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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,649 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,649
Hads: 7,331
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 22.59%
Wants: 953
Gots: 2,767 | FT: 260
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  11.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

"Wee Heavy", cave aged in oak bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,649 | Hads: 7,331
Photo of scottyg354
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Golden brown with minimal head. Some lacing.

S: Bourbon and malt pretty much some this bad boy up.

T: This brew is more like drinking a scotch that is mildly carbonated. I think it is the bourbon and malted barley blending together that give it this character. It really has an abnormal complexity to it. Some smokiness and vanilla with a malty kick. Really quite tasty.

M: Minimal carbonation. For all the boozy characteristic this beer has it goes down unusually easy.

O: Founders once again stands up to its name. Be sure to sip this bad boy.

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Photo of polio
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer is great!
i bought it because the label is awesome.
i drank this beer in a chilled mug. the color of this beer is a dark brown almost red color. very small head. the taste is very creamy. the taste of caramel is very prominent.it goes down smooth and feels great in your mouth.

ps this beer has one of the coolest labels ive ever seen.

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Photo of machostacos
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time I've tried the Backwoods Bastard; poured from a chilled bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark, rich amber with a small tannish-beige head that disappears quickly, leaving a thin layer with a little collar that sticks around. Not much lacing.

S: Rich woody vanilla, some caramel, sweet with a nice kick of smokey bourbon, followed by a wisp of dark cherry. The bourbon is definitely featured, but is not so prominent to overpower the more delicate notes. The alcohol is noticeable, but only just.

T: Very full. Foremost was the oaky vanilla and caramel sweetness of the malts, followed immediately by the bourbon. Definitely wakes up the tastebuds. The sweet smokiness stays with you, lightly penetrated by a citrusy bitterness that I could savor all night. Finishes long and slow, bitter but not too bitter, smokey but not too smokey. Absolutely delightful.

M: So rich, creamy, and thick - I was in heaven. Did not expect that at all.

D: I could easily drink 2 or 3 of these, but with the 10.2% ABV, 1 is certainly enough. Absolutely perfect on a winter evening - warms you right up.

This is my second attempt at a bourbon beer - I'm not much of a whiskey drinker so I was a little skeptical, but boy am I glad I tried the Backwoods Bastard. An absolutely fantastic beer. I'll definitely be buying more of these.

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Photo of Maxwell106
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review so here we go.

12 oz bottle poured into a straight side pint glass

A: dark brown with a bit of red, not quite opaque. very little head (probably due to my pour).

S: Incredible! Great earthy aroma with a lot of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel notes coming through. the oak comes through a little bit towards the end, with some sweetness.

T: Vanilla is the first thing that hits me, followed by a rich blend of chocolate, oak, and caramel. The end is sweet with a touch of bitterness.

M: Very thick, but smooth at the same time. Towards the end my mouth started to feel a little coated.

D: For a beer that has a 10.2% ABV this is extremely smooth. Goes down very easy with very little bite from the the high alcohol content.

This is the first beer that I have drank and felt like I just had a dessert. The richness, flavors and aromas of this beer are incredible. In my opinion, I would enjoy it without the accompaniment of food, but that is me. Sadly, this one is only around in November so stock up while you can.

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Photo of jtd1969
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Brown, hazy with some redness tint. Good Lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon on the nose and with some caramel and sweet

T - Bourbon notes through out with caramel and vanilla, toffee, molasses. Delicious.

M - Very smooth. Low carbonation, but perfect for beer. Alcohol was hidden for the most part. It was medium to full bodied.

O - Was so delighted I was able to enjoy this beer. The bourbon was there but did not overpower this beer. I recommend this beer.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: 22 oz. Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This one pours a beautiful, deep, rich, copper/amber color. So deep that it's almost opaque. One-finger head of tan colored foam. Retention is decent. Lacing is spotty, but slightly sticky.

Man, the oak comes through in this one. A huge butteriness is also present. Very nice notes of vanilla and bourbon. Nice presence of caramel malts.
This one smells so good. I almost don't want to drink it, for fear that it won't be able to match this nose.

God, that's good.
Rich caramel maltiness blends with a beautiful bourbon flavor. Hints of very ripe dark fruits. Good level of oak flavor, without being smokey. Rich brown sugar and vanilla notes. All of this is covered in a wonderful butteriness.

This one is definitely in the 'full-bodied' category. It's thick and viscous. Just short of 'chewey'. Minor level of carbonation, which works well. (Although, I think a touch more would provide a wonderful creaminess and this one would be perfect.)

Very drinkable. So well balanced and smooth. It's hard to believe that this has 10.2% ABV. Where is it? All that I get is a nice mellow warmth, in my belly. One of the best 'hidden ABV' brews that I know of.

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Photo of Dhren1979
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a rich, mahogany color; reddish in color on the edges. Minimal lacing is observed on the sides of the glass.

S: Bourbon! Bourbon! Am I about to drink a bourbon? This is followed by a sweet, surgary...possibly vanilla aroma. Hints of toasted oak is also at play here.

T: Again, bourbon is quite prominent, which is good!! Even has a "kick" that bourbon can have when doing a shot. Love it!

M: This is a very smooth, full bodied brew. No carbonation at all.

D: If I could get this in stores more than once a year I would! Great beer to age! I have 3 left and looking forward to how these develop over time.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy dark ruby brown color. It has a small 1/2-finger light tan head on it. The head left some lacing on the glass.

S -Smells of bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, and booze.

T - The taste is of bourbon with definite vanilla and oak notes. There are good notes of caramel, candied fruits?, and toffee. There is also a kick of bourbon alcohol presence that reminds me of sipping some nice whiskey. This has a very nice deep complex flavor.

M - medium mouthfeel with lower carbonation. This beer is smooth as all hell. It has just a bit of a boozy kick that adds some warmth to it. This goes down very easy.

D - Awesome drinkability. It is sort of a sipper, but I can hardly keep from drinking this quickly. The flavor is great and it is very smooth. I think this is a great beer and will definitely be trying it again. I highly recommend.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep mahogany color with decent head that fades away quickly. When held to light, you can see a bunch of "floaties" and haze.

Aroma is very complex. Oak, dark fruits, bourbon, a hint of peat moss, cherries, toffee, alcohol, orange zest....and more. I could smell this stuff forever.

Taste is equally complex. Oak, dark overripe fruits, prunes, peat moss, cherries, caramel/toffee, whiskey, tobacco, heather....the list goes on & on.

Mildly heavy beer, nice carbonation, semi dry finish. Slight boozy finish but not as much as would be expected. Surprisingly smooth yet warming.

I could sip on this all night if it wasn't for the ABV. Phenomenal beer.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my all time favorites! I sip this one on special occasions, especially when celebrating success at work and wins by my favorite teams! I go to great lengths to purchase as much as I can.

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Photo of drrone
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle on 3/1/13. Bottle Dated 10/13/11.

A - Gorgeous hazy dark amber/brown color. Very little head and minimal lacing. It had some floating particles in it.

S - Wonderful nose to it. Bourbon, vanilla, and I think caramel/butterscotch. It makes my mouth water. Fantastic.

T - The taste is amazing. It follows the nose very well with an explosion of bourbon, vanilla, caramel/butterscotch, with an oak and malt finish. Nice balanced booziness to it.

M - Smooth, very easy to drink.

O - I love this beer. I only wish I could have found more of it. Founders did a wonderful job.

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Photo of EMV
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a dark mahogany brown, approaching black. A nice head leaves delicate lacing on the glass.

S: Bourbon. Delicious oaky bourbon plus alcohol, with undertones of malts and light hops.

T: Just a glorious beer, boozy with a wonderful bourbon flavor on top of the malts and caramel of the wee heavy. Mild hop bitterness at the finish keeps it honest.

F: Thick and chewy, moderate carbonation and smooooth.

O: One of my favorites, and great quality as expected from Founders. Serve at cellar temperature for best flavor, and if you like bourbon aged beers this is one of the best. It really works well with the wee-heavy style and the malts are dominant but there's definite complexity once you get past the alcohol. Boozy and delicious. It mellows a little bit with a few extra months of aging but it rarely lasts long enough in my house to get there.

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Photo of drewba
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - murky, translucent dark brown/burnt sugar which pours with a half finger head which quickly recedes to a khaki ring and thin top coating just around the glass. I want more bubbles!

S - This may be one of the most pronounced vanilla aromas i've ever smelled. I know this doesn't make sense, but the vanilla just smells sweet, smooth, creamy, silky. To adapt a classic George Costanza line, "I would bathe myself in Backwoods Bastard if it was socially acceptable". The background aroma is riddled with delicious molasses, oak and a hint of dark fruit and alcohol.

T - After that aroma, how could this be bad? The taste does not dissapoint, the flavors are deep and delicious. The bourbon imparts lots of brown sugar, sweet vanilla and a slight dryness from the wood. The malts are bringing out a lot of nuance - hearty bread, pecan, caramel, raisin, plum. The hop profile is not lost, but not pronounced. A very mild citrus and bitter character is present and does a great job of balancing all of the sweet flavor qualities going on in backwoods bastard.

M - Creamy, smooth, low but tingly carbonation. Medium - thick body is just right.

D - I've got to say, I love bourbon, but this is like the bourbon barrel aged beer for the person who doesn't love a heavy dose of bourbon. The bourbon sweetness is highlighted, while keeping the alcohol heat at bay (though there is a bourbon aftertaste). Because of this, this was a beer I began sipping, but couldn't stay away for long.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1yr old 2007 brew
(Served in a snifter)
A- Dark brown body with a faint red glow thick creamy yellowish head good strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- Still a big wet oaky barrel with some nice dark dry malty notes. Make you want to sniff for days.

T- Nice full bourbon flavor with big oaky vanilla flavors and some roasted malt flavors. There is a burnt wood malt flavor to the bourbon in the finish. This lingers for a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture as long as the head last. There is a soft smooth alcohol heat that supports the flavors.

D- This beer is great fresh and it is just a good with some age on it although I didn't really notice much change.
(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep auburn-brown body that is a bit dense but still clear. There is a creamy light tan head that sticks to the glass and last long after the beer does. It also has a nice slow carbonation of tiny bubbles that support the head.

S- The smell of big vanilla and bourbon has notes of dry toasted malt and apple wood smoke to them. There is a slight sweetness to the smoke and the aromas are big with some nice depth.

T- The taste of big oak and some nice prune flavors and a bourbon/vanilla flavor to it. There is a soft butterscotch flavor followed by a spicy bourbon note and some bitter hops that finish off the beer nicely.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft heat that lingers with the bourbon and hops taste.

D- This beer has a bit more sweetness to the malt which adds more depth to the bourbon and wood. This is a great beer for the winter months ahead. It will pair well with a warm fire, cold winter nights and perhaps a cigar.

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Photo of screamking
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured in snifter.

Appearance- cloudy red-brown with little head. 4.25

Aroma-toffee, butterscotch, oak, alcohol, brown sugar, malty. 4.75

Taste-heavy toffee, lots of toffee, creamy butterscotch, vanilla, some malts, hint of alcohol. 5

Feel-medium body, coats palate well, no burn. 4.5

Overall- first off, I'm not a big fan of dirty bastard but this bourbon aged version is everything I want in a sipping beer. The flavor just keeps evolving as you drink it. Give this beer to a whisk(e)y drinker and watch their eyes open up and explode. Strong bourbon profile. Get a pack if you can, get two if you have the money.4.75

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Photo of raverjames
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with a 2 finger head. Head retention is great.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, smoke, and caramel.

T: Roasty and malty. If you could make a beer taste just like bourbon, it would be just like this. Tons of oak and vanilla.

M: Smooth, sweet, and rich. A tad sweet, though it compliments the heavy bourbon flavor and booze.

D: Great beer that is pretty easy to drink for the abv. Perfect brew for a cold night in front of the fire. Founders doesn't seem to make a bad beer, and this is just another example of their best work.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark brown with slight ruby hues and a decent head that recedes to a thin film but leaves very nice lacing in the glass.

S: Nice soft bourbon smell fills the nose with the candied malts hiding in the back.

T: A sweet caramel taste with the bourbon riding along. The bourbon is pretty well balanced here.

M: Smooth, thick, and creamy makes this beer oh so good.

D: The only place where this loses points is the ABV. The 10.2% it clocks in at this year (2008) is pretty well hidden but a few could easily catch up to you. I love this beer though and plan on stocking up on the next release!

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Photo of archiebunkerjr
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Dark caramel brown color. No visible carbonation. Slight head immediately after pour. Head almost disappears within two minutes but never completely disappears.

Smell - Bourbon Sweet Bourbon!!! Caramel, fig and faint alcohol

Taste - Sweet caramel malts. More alcohol on the finish than the nose suggested. Leaves no doubt where this beer was before it was bottled.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth. Not quite syrupy. Just enough carbonation to know it's there but still very smooth.

What's not to love about this beer? I can babysip this beer for over an hour and every sip is better than the last. This is my go to beer when I want to reward myself and quietly revel in my own success. It simply tastes like victory. Another job well done by Founder's.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is just one of 2 beers im reviewing from tastes at Dark Lord day...this one because of how amazingly good it was and because i actually took notes on it. Pours dark, dark brown with reddish hues and a thin wisp of a head. looks exciting. Odor is full of bourbon, oaky and ethanol-laced with chocolate and peat smells too. Taste is absolutely sublime. Bourbon, some vanilla (not too much), oak, cherries, peat, toffee, prunes, other dark dangerous fruits. obvious alcohol warming. i think dirty bastard is definitely a beer that lends itself to barrel aging. what a great beer this is, ill have to head on up to Founders soon. Don't know who brought the growler but thanks!

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark red-brown, almost completely opaque. Tan head is slight but leaves decent lacing.

Aroma is chewy toasted caramel malt, chocolate, and an earthy, smoky woodiness blended with vanilla and bourbon.

Taste is very dry and woody with strong oak notes. Rich smokey malt, and chocolate. Finish has sweet vanilla with a bourbon spiciness.

Mouthfeel is full and round.

Flavor is full and rich. Hops are hardly noticeable. Huge smokey malt character matches well with strong woody bourbon. Alcohol is clearly present, but I never would have guessed that it is 9.2%. A tasty and flavorful brew.

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Photo of cvfish
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a ruby brown color that produced a white fluffy head that retained well and produced a nice lacing around the glass

S - A good malty aroma followed by that good old whiskey kick

T - A mix of a two great drinks, with all the malty backbone of deep beer along with great kick of a kentucky whiskey

M - Creamy, smooth, slight carbonation, and moderate body

D - Of all the whiskey infused ales out there, this one is my favorite. Its great, combining to of the great things I like, and in a almost perfect way

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Photo of HopsHops
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a white ceramic cup because my last snifter was recently broken...

A - Very nice, dark caramel color with goldish color around the edge under a light...

S - Sweet, sugar, toffee, candy, tangy....Smells great man...

T - Powerful, Chocolate, toffee, some bitterness...well balanced... WOW

M - slightly carbonated just right, creamy, kinda coats the tongue. Excellent..

D - 10.2% abv. I'd be careful it is strong and you probably couldn't tell if youre not paying attention.

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Photo of hail_seitan
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into brandy snifter.

A - Radiant auburn body. Quite a bit of sediment, which is likely tasty bourbon sludge. A thin off-white head forms on the top.

S - Well, true to the style it smells like bourbon. Hints of vanilla, burnt sugar, and cherry also are present.

T - Right away, a luxurious oaky vanilla bourbon flavor rushes over the palate. Then comes a malty biscuit and cookie sweetness typical of Scottish ales, with black cherry and a hint of smoke. The finish is wonderfully boozy and comes full circle with a return to bourbon. Delightful.

M - Thick without being syrupy. The carbonation is just enough to lift up the heft of the booze.

O - Right up there with KBS. The barrel-aging process brings a new layer of depth Founders' heavy Scottish ale, which can be a tad on the sweet side. I find that at first this beer can have quite bite from the alcohol, but after 6 months to a year in the cellar it mellows out to be just about perfect.

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Photo of FrostyFoster72
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

It's basically a badass version of their Dirty Bastard (which is great). Bourbon is definitely the front runner on the nose and taste, but absolutely no bad tastes! Smooth my bros, smooth!

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Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle(dated 10/3/13) into a brewery labeled snifter. Served out of beer fridge at approximately 50 degrees

A: mahogany brown with a very minimal head

S: smells of caramel, bourbon, and oak(aka god's vagina)

T: very much the same as the smell. Caramel and bourbon come together with a bit of vanilla and oak

M: I guess I would say "medium"? It's not a syrupy stout but its not an ML either.

O: Unrealistically amazing. Founders has produced a world class BA scotch ale. Thank you Founders for this creation and much love for distributing to WI. Too bad I can not enjoy one of these daily

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,649 ratings.