Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

7,035 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,035
Reviews: 1,651
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 894
Gots: 2,495 | FT: 248
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

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

"Wee Heavy", cave aged in oak bourbon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,035 | Reviews: 1,651
Photo of GregSVT
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Brooklyn Snifter

A: Pours a deep hazy brown with a small head that fades to near nothing and leaves a tiny bit of lacing. Not very impressive looking.

S: The nose is intoxicating, lots of vanilla on top of a chocolatey malt base and a slight roastiness. This almost smells like a Belgian with all the sweet smells arising from the glass. As it warms the whiskey aroma somes out more and more.

T: The taste has a lot of chocolate/cocoa in there with the vanilla from the nose and a slight bitterness on the finish to balance things out. There is a touch of whiskey in there but it's not overpowering. I will say a lot of the scotch ale flavor has been drown out by the barrel aging though.

M: The feel is medium to full with a slick feeling as you swallow. Not too much carbonation but I feel that it helps to bring out the flavors more than if it were very bubbly.

D: I actually like this one compared to KBS and would definitely have more. Great example of what barrel aging can do to a nice Wee Heavy.

Recomended if you can find it. I have 3 more I may age for a while to see if the scotch ale flavors come forward after a year or so.

Photo of BeerInReview
2.99/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A dark amber in color with a nice thick white head. Nice lacing all the way through as well.
S: Hello alcohol! Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. It's hard to distinguish other aromas when the bourbon is so strong, though I can faintly smell vanilla.
T: A strong bourbon and heavy alcohol punch up front. Harsh! As the fire subsides oak and vanilla flavors are present.
M: Thin...
D: Let me put it this way, I won't be seeking this beer out again.

However...I think the bottle I had was way too young. The alcohol has not settled and melded. It seems to have some good underlying characteristics that may present themselves better in a years time once the alcohol settles down.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle.

A: Pours a hazy mahogany color with a thin eggshell head that has little retention. Lacing is minimal, but the beer itself coats the edge of the glass.

S: Nose is sweet, with caramel, honey, toasted oak and vanilla. There is just a slight hint of charred wood in the backround.

T: Malty notes of caramel, fig, and rasin are present upon sipping at first. It's followed by toasted oak, vanilla and some smoke, along with some warming boozy flavor. Hops do dry out the finish, but are overall masked by the intense flavors brought on by massive amounts of malt and bourbon barrel aging.

M: Massive, full-bodied mouthfeel, great viscosity, and has a long finish.

D: A very good beer for it's style, however, it's high ABV and intense flavor make it a bit heavy to sit down with and enjoy on it's own. It will be interesting to see how it ages.

Photo of beerjerk
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark with rich, creamy head. Aroma is predominantly bourbon, with hints of malt and caramel. Smokey, oak barrel flavors with a hint of mild whiskey bite over vanilla. A pleasant, drinkable brew that feels nice and warm once it settles and will have you craving another as soon as you polish off the first one. Low carbonation, this makes for a good reading ale.

Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as parts of a couple four-packs from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear burgundy brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven skim, with heavy legs, minimal lace. Aroma is sweetness and bourbon. Taste starts sweet, a touch of fruit in the middle, and then heavy on the vanilla, with a warming close. Flavors seem very distinct and separate. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. I keep coming back to this one.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an Ithaca tulip.

A: Moderate pour yields a quickly upward cascading 1 finger semi-coarse orangy-brown head that flattens rather quickly. Looks like there's sediment in the head too... weird. Beer is a cloudy reddish brown that reveals a bunch of floating indistinguishables. Lacing is very controlled but ample.

S: Nose is slightly boozy, sweet plums, grapes. A touch of oakiness, vanilla, and brown sugar. Also might be some caramel in there.

T: Boozy upfront, sweet, kinda like bourbon. Barrel-aged character is definitely prominent as it fades in and out with the fruitiness. This one is a lot hotter than I expected but completely delicious. Caramel and brown sugar is prominent, supporting a strong malt backbone. Hops are near non-existent though there's a hint of their presence right at the finish which is sticky. Caramel and bourbon last right up until the end.

M: Medium to full bodied, rather flat and smooth with the booziness ticking the back of the throat. Finish is messy and sticky. This one is most definitely a sipper.

D: Delicious. Complex and a real joy to have. The appearance of tiny particles in the beer really threw me off in the beginning but it recovers well. Like a barrel-aged RIS but without the soy sauciness, making it a different experience altogether, but still enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky mahogany with about a finger of cream colored head. Aroma is full of bourbon as you would expect. Caramel, vanilla and fruit also stick out.

Sweet caramel is noticeable upfront. That gives way to slightly boozey, bourbon flavor. A faint smokieness is in the background, with a dry, bitter finish. Body is medium-full. Overall a pretty solid effort and a nice concept.

Photo of bonkers
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bottle into a snifter. It is murky and muddy in apperance with a slight white head. The nose is full of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and sweet caramel. The taste is bourbon heavy, but not overbearing. It is nicely rounded out with some vanilla. The finish is hot with alcohol. It has a medium/full body and has nice carbonation. I really liked this. The bourbon really works with this one.

Photo of ipafool
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aquired via trade with beerbeerbeerbeer, Thanks brother. Pours a dark copper with a nice two finger head. Smell is dominated with bourbon but in a good way. Also vanilla, oak, brown sugar, love it. The taste is a huge sweetness, plums, bourbon, toffee and caramel. Mouthfeel is perfect silky smooth coats well with a full body. Drinkability is off the charts. A sipper for sure but will seek out again and again, Founders nailed it on this one.

Photo of becktone
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes 11-13-09

Eye: Deep red in color with tints of brown. Maybe some yellow tinted orange highlights in there too. This beer isn't clear but its not murky either, hazy is the best word. Its got some transparency but its not great. Head formation and retention are non-existant, could be the glass...Still color is good, but I'd like to see more from the head, something thick and creamy. Although it doesn't form a nice head or keep one, it still has some lacing...as I sip on this it leaves partial walls, but mostly legs of lace adding to this beer's appetizing appearance.

Nose: Big on the dark fruits, plums rasins. Hints at chocolate too. Overall warm aroma. Vanilla tones are evident. Notes of bourbon are evident. This actually has tones of an empty bourbon barrel in it. Heavy and thick aroma, it feels syurpy. (Now I'm actually getting a slightly and faint charred or smokey aroma...maybe its just me though.) The aroma is almost intoxicating. I really can't ask for more.

Tongue: On first sip alcohol, oakiness, bourbon character, and vanilla are present. Dark fruit comes into play as well. Alcohol is definitely detectable, it adds some balance to the brew as well as create some sweetness. Hints of chocolate, smokiness, and definitely some heavily roasted or burnt flavors. This beer has a great malt backbone and a great malt flavor, but a bit more would be nice to contend with the bourbon heat, oakiness, and alcohol.

Feel and Drinkability: Overall this one feels very nice. It warms once it hits the stomach. The beer is heavy on the palate and carbonation is low as it should be, otherwise it'd be way out of balance. Although its heavy on the palate it is far from syurpy. This is one that I'll not hesitate to pick up again...another great offering from Founders, they cease to amaze me.

Photo of DrinkingAleToday
3.3/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep amber with a thin off-white head that leaves some spotty laceing.

S: Bourbon and alcohol up front, some vanilla and oak, hints of cocoa.

T: Strong bourbon flavor, oak is more mellow,hints of tabacco, malt in the form of toffee and biscuit, some vanilla and cocoa, bitterness in the finish. Too much bourbon, flavors are unbalanced.

M: Very thin and hot, flavor hits you then seems to just dissapear, no finish.

D: A decent beer but too thin and unbalanced, worth trying but not one that I will try again.

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a murky reddish-brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky and slightly mineral-like caramel malts with good amounts of whiskey and vanilla. As the beer warms booze-soaked golden raisin aromas waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors with huge whiskey and vanilla undertones and hints of butterscotch kick things off. Hints of boozy dark fruits enter into things midway through but allow vanilla to dominate through the mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was more impressed with the bottle version I had last year as I feel like the whiskey notes were more well-defined. Still, this remains a very good beer and one that's worth a shot.

Photo of stephens101
3.73/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with amber hues at the edges. A one-finger tan head settles quickly and leaves a thick streak of lace right above the brew.

Smells malty, sugary and spicy. Big sweet malts, cherries and a good hit of red-hot spiciness hit the palate. A streak of carmel gooiness exists. Goes down extra-creamy with some lingering alcohol heat in the end. I would say it's near full-bodied, and almost, but not quite chewy.

More food than beer? Possibly. A good example of the style? More than likely. A damn good beer either way? Definitely.

Photo of generalnotsew
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Barely any head on this one. Gone in the blink of an eye. Coloring is very coca-cola like. Could all fit the style though.

S: Nice bourbon smell with a lot of oak notes. I had to check to see if it was barrel aged. Did not see anything because it sure smells that way. Hints of caramel. It is like a GOOD bourbon. A bit like the Buffalo Trace I had awhile back.

T: If I had to compare this to anything I would go with a bourbon and coke mixture. I honestly can't describe it any better. Damn warm on the throat too. This is honestly a good alternative to Jack and Coke. I think you could almost fool someone with this.

M: Quite chewy actually. Very thick and warm on the tongue. Carbonation is quite good. And do I mention this stuff warms your tongue and throat?

D: Hmmm. Where do I go with this? It is high if you are a sipper. However I don't see being able to hammer these down but I have to give it a middle score since it is easier to drink than whiskey.

I don't think my score will really reflect how much I am enjoying this. It is my first Wee Heavy. Appearance I gave average but I honestly don't know what these are supposed to look like. Drinkability took a hit but this is a really awesome smelling and tasting beer. Bourbon lovers should really check this out. Get a few for your bourbon loving non craft beer drinking friends. I think this will make then see craft beer in a different light.

Photo of gabeerfan
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass with a hazy caramel brown with a nice light tan/off white head.
Aromas are pretty much all bourbon. Lots of vanilla, caramel, and candied orange peel. Very boozy, but more subdued than just straight bourbon. Almost no "traditional" beer aromas make it through.
Taste is about the same. Lots of bourbon flavors: vanilla, caramel, candied orange peel. Lots of alcohol flavors. Again, almost no traditional beer flavors in this.
Full-bodied, but pretty smooth mouthfeel. A little syrupy, but not cloying.
Drinkable in the flavor dept., but at 10.2%, it is a definite sipper or night cap.
Great beer. Not sure I could have more than one in a night, but this is a great alternative to regular bourbon.

Photo of dismal
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a real nice dark red color with a small white head that quickly dissapears but leaves some head around, enough to leave some pretty good lacing down the glass. The smell is very caramel and very malty. There is also some chocolate that is pretty apparent in the smell as well which starts to stand out more the more I smell it. The taste is very malty and pretty chocolatety. There is a hint of vanilla and if you look for it the taste of the bourbon barrels is right there and adds a nice touch to the taste. The mouthfeel is pretty average, but is good for the style. A high ABV but noticeable in the taste. I'd do this whole four pack in a night easily. Overall this is one I've been wanting to try for a while and am glad I did. I've been getting more into this style lately and this one is up there with the better ones I've had lately. Great stuff but then again what do you expect from Founders!

Photo of beerthulhu
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark brazilin cherry with a heavy turbidity. The head was smooth and creamy, khaki in color, and moderately lasting. When held up against the light you can really get a good appreciation for the coloring and the densely packed micro-turbid nature that barely let a sliver of light through totally obstructing any view of the far side of the glass. An extremely vague and faint carbonation could barely be detected which was sparse and slow to rise. Overall a great coloring and turbid affair as well a creamy smooth head, which if lasted longer had a legitimate shot of pefection.

S: The nose was boozy burbon, which was evident upon first opening and remained fairly strong throughout. Carmalized malt, sticky and sweet, with an extract like quality fills the nose with a sweetness along with fresh plums and rum soaked raisins with a grand finale of alcohol laced wooden planks.

t: The flavor was boozy but very well refined and sweet, with the 50 ibus hardly standing a chance at balancing the massive sweetness that this beer throws out at you. Scorched wort, burnt molasses and licorice are all products of this malt forward beer. A huge dry toasted breadiness with dried maple syrup finishes up with caramelized grains and rum soaked raisins. There is as well a nice taste of burbon laced wooden planks. The alcohol is both sweet and spicy but never indicative of its 10.5% nature which I still find hard to believe. The alcohol adds a beautiful flair of flavor and was incredibly smooth and refined.

m: The mouthful was smooth and full bodied, extremely soft and luscious and almost void of any carbonation adding to its fullness as this slides around the tongue. Things finish off with a spicy dry burbon fade.

D: An extremely, almost to much so, drinkable beer considering its high abv. You probably would never guess as the alcohol adds beautiful highlights and added flair, and NOT off balancing hot liquor notes like so many other high abv beers do. Extremely smooth, refined, sweet and joyous to consume.

Photo of youngleo
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a caramelish head and about 1 fingered at that. Head hung around and left some good lacing with every swallow. Brew itself was a dark brown in color. Boozy smell was very evident with the opening of this bottle. Also smelled of caramel and hops. When opening, I didnt think I was going to enjoy this brew. But I was wrong. Strong bourbon taste at first. Then you got a nice creamy slightly bitter taste of booze, caramel and dark roasted coffee. Flavors blended pretty good. Felt thicker in the mouth. Carbonation was good. You couldnt make this a session beer. After drinking I sure had a good buzz. But it wood be nice to enjoy every now and then.

Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with a small tan head with a bsmall amount of lacing. Smells of sweet caramel malt, dark fruit, oak, and bourbon. Has a nice sweet flavor with a little bit of a bitterness at the end. The oak, bourbon, caramel, and dark fruit combine beautifully to make a great beer.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth and creamy. This is a very drinkable Scotch Ale. I have to wonder if Founders is capable of making a bad beer? It seems like everything they make is either very good or great.

Photo of beertunes
3.72/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this bottle as a gift from BA johnmichaelsen when he recently visited my fair town.

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a slightly hazy medium brown with a bit of a reddish tint. the beer poured very still, no head at all, with just a couple whisps of lacing.

A very sweet, caramel flavor enters the nose. Behind the caramel is a touch of earthy malt and a hint of spiciness. The initial taste is sweet backed by a wallop of alcohol. After the first rush the other flavors become apparent, caramel, peat, spice and a touch of hops.

The body does a nice job of coating the tongue and satisfying the tactile sense without being heavy or overly sticky. Drinkability is very good, however at 10% and the sweet caramel aspects of this beer, I probably wouldn't have more than one at a time.

Overall, a very good beer that I enjoyed a lot. If this were more readily available to me, it would be in my regular rotation. Thanks again, John!

Photo of dmamiano
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

fairly dark brown with ruby edges while holding to the light. Small tan head that goes away quickly.
sweet malts, boozy, well ripened fruits. Dates or figs come to mind. Really sensing an almost bourbon nose
bourbon notes dominate the palate. Big and boozy..wooden, earthy. Sweet caramel and bing cherries...well may not be bing.
Nice big mouthfell.

Photo of Gtreid
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased at Discount Liquor in the Mke. Poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Rich, brown color. The pour creates a small half inch light, kahki head that leaves a little spotty lace.

A: Burbon, vanilla, and caramel. Pretty sweet. The burbon really takes center stage in the nose. I get a very pronouces earthiness as well.

T: Pretty nice. The burbon is not overwhelming but you know it's there. The sweetness is in the form of the vanilla and caramel. I also get a small chocolate flavor. It finishes smooth and tangy.

M: As with most barrel aged brews, the mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Pretty low carbonation levels, heavy body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average for the style, the high ABV with the burbon will limit it some. Overall, I am very pleased with this brew. The barrel did its job here, very solid, and recommended. Skal.

Photo of dstc
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick looking cloudy brown with a slight orange tint. Has a small tan head that falls to nothing but a rim. Not really any lace.

Real nice fruity malt nose. Smells like deep red fruits, plums, raisins. Alcohol is present. Smells awesome.

Taste mimics aroma. Nice and sweet. Fruit taste is nice and backed by big alcohol. Just wonderful.

Medium to full in the mouth with a slight alcohol bite.

This beer is truly awesome. Love it.

Photo of ballewblake
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bottle into my Duvel glass.

One finger tan head didn't last long, some soapy bubbles persist on the side. Light lacing. Solid dark brown body. Light malty nose, but not really noticeable. Taste is peppery first, sweet second, alcoholic third. Not really that petty, scotch flavor I was expecting at first. Chocolate notes come through with more drink, almost like a chocolate martini now that I think about it. Mouthfeel is perfect, I like the balance and everything about it on the tongue. Even with the noticeable alcohol, I could drink this pretty easy, no problem. I liked this brew. Thanks to hophead101 for throwing this in the ss09 bif.

Photo of jera1350
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a snifter a murky muddy brown with one finger of tan suds which are pretty tight. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smells absolutely delicious. Dark rum, sweet coconut milk, vanilla bean and buttercream frosting scents fill the nose.

Very impressive taste that is very similar to the nose. It reminds me of drinking a rum cake with decadent buttercream frosting. A nice whiskey booziness with pleasant vanilla and coconut notes. Some dates and raisin flavors also come through.

For a beer of the ABV and complexity, it's hard to believe it's not fuller bodied. Smooth, but not as full and creamy as one would think.

I think this is incredibly drinkable. Probably a sipper for most though. This one could really get me in trouble. I love every facet of the flavor. This would make a great after dinner beer and would bode quite well in some dessert recipes or over ice cream. Yet another outstanding beer from Founders and it may be my overall favorite.

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 7,035 ratings.