Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,739 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,739
Ratings:
7,721
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
10.59%
 
 
Wants:
994
Gots:
3,079
For Trade:
284
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Wee Heavy", cave aged in oak bourbon barrels.

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,739 | Ratings: 7,721
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this from a 12 oz. bottle and on tap at the Bryant lake Bowl.
A: Brilliant chestnut under a half inch light tan foam collar.
S: bourbon, alcohol, rich malt.
T: Alcoholic, definite bourbon, some chocolate notes, kettle sugars, malty-grainy spice, bitter finish, vanilla.
F: Chewy, smooth, medium carbonation,
O: Manages a three way balance between the hops, the alcohol and the bitters. A pleasant after dinner beer.

 424 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle received in trade with iguenard - thanks!

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a good size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for around 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/butterscotch, dark fruits, leather/earthy

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, sweet butterscotch+caramel, and dark fruits. There is also woody/boozy notes and a hint of vanilla.

Overall - A little disappointed with the mouthfeel, but the scent is fantastic. For such a full bodied beer it's a shame that it comes across as a little watery. The taste is solid and the alcohol is well hidden. Good stuff and I'm looking forward to trying the 2013 bottles.

 800 characters

Photo of dar482
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours out in this dark murky brown with a small tan head. Deep, deep amber in the light.

Sweet barleywine aroma, vanilla, caramel, oak, smokey, dark brown sugar. Just a lovely deep and sweet aroma.

The flavor is just fantastic. There is deep vanilla, caramel, dark brown sugar, and toffee. There’s also a bourbon soaked raisin flavor along with lots of dark fruit like dried dates and figs. Having had the Dirty Bastard, this turns up the beer to a different level. It rounds out the beer, but also gives it some rich intense qualities. The mouthfeel is actually medium to medium plus, which makes it quite drinkable despite the high ABV.

In general, the beer is a bit too dominated by a hop presence of wood, roots, and leafy qualities almost of an American barleywine.

The finish is actually pretty easy and sweet, but the alcohol presence is there. It’s almost like a barrel aged barleywine, but without as much sweetness and fruit qualities.

The beer has this beautiful play of sweetness, dark fruit, and then the woody bitterness and barrel character on the end.

 1,085 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown, nearly opaque with a bit of a ruddy hue at the edges, a little muddy. Little foam, just a smattering of fine, beige bubbles that produced a bit of spotty lace. Vanilla and bourbon aromas up front, with toffee and a bit of smoke in the background. Low bitterness relative to malt, same characters as in the aroma. There was a bit of fruity raisin to start, plus cocoa notes in the middle and finish. Bourbon character was more pronounced and it had a warm, alcohol finish. Really good stuff. The texture was rich and malty with light carbonation. Founders hasn't let me down yet.

 604 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a great, deep ruby that stubbornly lets a little light pass through it. Makes me think of a mans cognac or brandy. No head or lace to speak of. Very meaty aroma of sugared fruits, like pruins, figs, and apricots with a definite touch of oak and alcohol. The taste starts with vanilla and malty figs. A good oaky finish but with a bit too much alcohol that lingers a little toolong. Still a good sipping beer. The palat is thick and fruity with an undeniable oak and creamy standard vanilla tone. Good for a long sipping night cap. No more than one a day. I'm glad I got to try this beer. Considering I really like the old dirty bastard.

 642 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep brown with beautiful crimson highlights. Very small head. Leaves tan splotches of lacing. Liquid is translucent. The color of the beer is pretty.

S-The bourbon is quite evident and it frankly smells pretty delicious. Along with the bourbon is some sweet caramel and molasses. Dark fruits and even some nuttiness. Alcohol is evident but it also solidifies the bourbon aroma.

T-What a beautiful mixture of chocolate and bourbon. Oak and vanilla. Dark fruit, nuts. Caramel sweetness. The initial taste was purely delicious. The bourbon is set to a perfect intensity. The flavor really surprised me, it exceeded my expectations.

M-Creamy. Carbonation is mellow but enhances the feel. Medium to heavy body. Drying. Bourbon lasts on the palate. Feel is a great complement to the flavor.

O/D-This far exceeded my expectations. I usually don't love Scotch Ales, but this one is delicious. Looks like I need to buy a four pack instead of just a single. $4.15 for a bottle is pricey but its worth it. This is a gem. Founders is among the best.

 1,052 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, Fall 2008. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a dark red/brown color with a very small tan head that went away quickly. Not much lacing either. Aroma is mostly bourbon, but there's also vanilla, oak, peat and smoke noticable. Taste is similar to the aroma, but the alcohol heat is a little harsh at first. It does mellow a bit when it warms up but you can still tell there's some alcohol there when drinking it. Mouthfeel/body is medium, carbonation is low and it's creamy. Drinkability is decent enough and it is smooth, but the alcohol isn't hidden well at all so that hurts it some. I don't think I'd want to drink more than 1-2 of these at a time. Overall I think it is a decent enough beer, I think aging it some would help.

 758 characters

Photo of barczar
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an clear deep amber with a small beige head that dissipates immediately, leaving a foamy ring around the sides of the tulip.

Booze and chocolate malt dominate the aroma with a slight peaty element creeping in as it warms. Raisins and figs appear in the background.

A cola-like sweetness opens the flavor profile, with bourbon, oak and vanilla taking center stage, together with malted milk balls. Booze becomes apparent as the flavor lingers. The finish is slightly bitter. Chocolate becomes more apparent as it warms.

Medium heavy body with almost no carbonation. Alcohol provides a warming feeling.

Overall a very good nightcap. Could benefit from a little age to tame the alcohol.

Years later, tried again fresh in 14, and the fruity notes are excellent in aroma. Flavor still boozy and vanilla dominant. Upped my rating a bit.

 841 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 9/30/10 almost 8 months old.

A - Surprisingly I got a ring of head that turns to a lace ring. Color is a deep murky brown with an amber hue.

S - Well it's hard to defer from the bourbon but it does have a bit of caramel and maple in the mix. Maybe some toffee.

T - Bourbon has relaxed a bit and is not that aggressive. The taste is mostly that of bourbon then a sweetness of toffee or butterscotch and the the finish is fairly sweet with little burn. As it warms the oak becomes more clear making the bourbon feel less "warming".

M - Very warming the bourbon may have settled but the feeling is still there. Worth sipping.

Overall I remember having this fresh and almost gagging but after about 8 months possibly at the most a year (if you want to age it) it's about as good as it will get. Very tasty bourbon beer that's worth the $4.50 price tag (especially considering some can't even find this right now) At the most one a sitting since the bourbon goes right to your head

 990 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 11/05/09. Only 2 days old, now thats fresh!

(A)- Pours a super dark mahogany that is borderline black. Produced a good off-white head that dissipated to bubbles after leaving behind some tiny bits of webbing behind.

(S)- Some light berry fruits with a toffee, fig, and a woodiness mixed together to create an interesting aroma. Definitely some smokiness present from those oak barrels.

(T)- Wow, great dark berry fruits, fig, raisin, cocoa & vanilla. Some cola-ish nuances that remind me of Dr. Pepper. A silky woodiness that has a slight smoky/mineral characteristic. Fantastic Complexity and character to it.

(M)- Great carbonation level with a great body to it. There is a slight warming sensation as it goes down, but otherwise the 10.2% abv is integrated very well. Sweet, but in a balanced way. The fruits & wood counterbalance the sweetness well.

(D)- A very good beer. I was expecting something extremely potent (it is!) but in a much more delicate/complex sense. The oak bourbon barrels really makes this brew shine. If it tastes this good fresh, this should be really interesting with a year of age on it. Well done, once again Founders!

 1,204 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired at a DLD trade, I believe from my man EliteDigger, but feel free to speak up if I'm wrong!

Pours an cloudy orange/red, a bit muddy, nice thick tan head forms, slowly settles to a thin layer, nice ring, some lace spots on the glass, a fine looking head! Smell is nice, buttery, toffee, bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, oak, touch of chocolate and coconut, brown sugar, boozy but rich, I like. Taste is similar, buttery beginning, some citrus, toffee, heavy vanilla/coconut, brown sugar, alcohol, bit spicy, woody, chocolate, toast and bourbon in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, some alcohol warmth, but nicely drinkable, and pretty balanced, even though I think the bourbon is a bit heavy.

 727 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burgandy. Thin beige head dissipates quickly. Not much for lace, but not much expected for 10.2%. Nice aroma of caramel and bourbon like vanilla notes and a little dark cherry. Definitely smells like a winner. Nice warmth to this beer. Not too boozy, which is good, but rather a "glow" to it. And the bourbon is noticeable in the alcohol notes. Nice little chocolate and caramel notes on the buds. A little bitterness coming from the 50 IBUs. This makes for a nice little nightcap. A sipper.

 496 characters

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

12oz bottle poured into a HotD tulip.

Appearance - Dark brown with a slight red tint. Small thin tan head that lingers. Good Lacing.

Smell - Brown sugar and fruit.

Taste - Carmel - Strong brown sugar.

Drinkability - Low carbonation.

Overall - Smooth and delicious.

 269 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'll just say this is one of my favorite scotch/wee heavy's out there. No doubt the bourbon barrels did wonders with a style I'm kinda meh towards. Pours out a substantial dark brown pour, earthy, beige head, somewhat thin on the top, but probably better than average for anything that aged in a bourbon barrel.

Smell is nice and luxurious. Bourbon, plenty of oak, vanilla and caramel throughout the aroma. Pleasant and not heavy or boozy.

Taste, smooth, again, more of that caramel, vanilla, bourbon and oak mixture, the base beer is just right to soak it all up and not compete, but peacefully coexist with all the aforementioned flavors. The right amount of malt sweetness to it. This really takes a less than interesting dirty bastard and makes it an excellent beer. I think this beer might be disappointing to a big fan of scotch ales, but a big turn on to someone who isn't really into that style, but likes bourbon barrels for flavoring.

Drank during the Christmas 2012 poker game.

 993 characters

Photo of Bung
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz, 2008. Cloudy dark amber/brown/orange pour. Minimal cream head, disappears quickly, but sticks nicely. Heavy aroma of charred oak. Some malt and caramel/toffee and booze. Taste is excellent and smooth and really comes out as it warms. Oak and bourbon, vanilla, toffee, some charred peat, a little vanilla and just hints of vinuous fruits. A warming sipper, good medium body. Finishes a little ashy bitter, with some warming whishy barrel. Pretty darn good wee heavy. Year of age has brought out some refinement and mellowed the heat a bit. It was very good fresh though as well.

 584 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish-red color and a cloudy consistency. Not much head at all, but some solid lacing.

S: Aroma of bourbon, malt, coffee and sweets.

T: You get a big blast of bourbon up front, along with malt and some chocolate. There's a dose of toffee when when finished. Complex and tasty.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a slighty slick, syrupy finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a likable, drinkable beer, especially on a cold, cold night.

 485 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I did a side by side of a bottle of Dirty B from March of 2007 and the 07 Backwoods B along with Chris towards the end of the first night of our epic tasting. Thanks for the bottle go out to czoch75

A: Like the Dirty B, this one's crimson with ruby highlights but doesn't have the head or the retention of the DB with only one ring to show for my efforts at pouring this.

S: On the nose, ton of bourbon up front with some pleasing oxidation. Again, there's a hint of wet cardboard but the malt backbone is rich and bready with rum-soaked plums

T: Opens up with a good bit of bourbon. Once this has had time to breathe, the booziness tames a bit and the bourbon is more balanced. Sweet dark fruit character with great plum and mild raisin character. Dark brown sugar. Drying on the finish with some tannic character. Warming this up does bring out more oak and vanilla, resulting in a wonderful palate.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium body and a great finish with some alcohol heat

D: Side by side with the DB, this is one treat!

**Edit 03 August 2012**
I'm drinking my last bottle of the 08 vintage. It still doesn't look like much. The nose is super mellow. The bourbon has fallen off, but there is a nice vanilla note. The base beer has mellowed out too, with a little bit of caramel, leather, a touch of smoke and some fruit present. Some solvent too. The palate is a little stale with a dull and mildly papery oxidation, a muddling oak astringency and very muted flavors. Some fruit - faint raisin and faint citrus - is present on the mid-palate. Drying, oak-laden on the finish with harsh tannins. I really can't taste much. There's some faint tartness, but that just makes the beer all the more confusing. What a waste, I should have drunk this 2 years back.
3.5/3/2.5/2.5/2.5

 1,788 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/8 inch tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small bubbly center patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves tiny clots behind.

S- Bourbon presence is heavy with notes of oak and vanilla. Also some dark fruit and raisin.

T- Flavor is smoother than the aroma lets on. The bourbon provides a moderate booze flavor that's balanced out by the overall sweetness of the drink. Notes of caramel, sherry and more vanilla.

M- Slightly creamy with medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fullish side.

O- This is a great beer but not exactly worthy of all the hype. Thirsty Dog's Wulver on the other hand...

 776 characters

Photo of tbeckett
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours near black, sort of a deep red colour. Not opaque. Two finger beige head on top fades to an island. Good carbonation coming up. Lot's of bits floating in the body. Little lace which is fine given the ABV, island of retention remains.

S - Sugar, mild wood, a little vanilla and bourbon but faint. Some dark fruit.

T - Very tasty. Sugary, dark fruit, barrel present but doesn't dominate. Sweet, but not cloying.

M - Sweet alcoholic finish. No burn. Good carbonation, medium body.

O/D - This is a pretty cool Scotch ale. The barrel aging definitely shows but doesn't overpower the base, which is quite pleasant. A good sipper.

 638 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Murky, dark mahogony w/ almost no head but thin lacing

S - Burbon, earth and oak leading to hints of vanilla sugar

T - Vanilla oak with a nice burbon taste. a complex boozy balance of flavors

M - Thick and full bodied, mild carbonation but perfect warmth and smooth as can be.

D - Have one of theese and you will be good for a while. No need to rush to finnish this one.

 378 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with MrKennedy and mulder1010. Thanks for cracking this Owen.

Clear, dark, burnished amber colour with a small, smooth, off-white head.

Masses of caramelised toffee, chocolate and oak. Bourbon as well. Really nice and complex.

Full body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

This is a massively rich, complex Scotch ale with lots of oak and bourbony sweetness. The spirit is well integrated. Very nice.

 414 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Darkness glass...A ruby copper, murky ugly. Little carbonation, only about half a finger rises later, falls quick, and only has a very thin film. No lacing...The aroma is really light, malty, smoke, oak and vanilla, what I get is nice. Reminds of a ba bw, wish it was stronger, could be great. Vanilla really shows off as it warms...The taste is really mostly smooth bourbon with lots of vanilla, oak shows off as well. This is really good, however on the finish there is a scotch note that I don't like. Starts to kill the drinkability.

I really enjoy this except for a split second on the finish. A non heavy handed barrel aged that displays mostly the bourbon but very enjoyable and drinkable.

 724 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found a 4-pack of this at Stimmel's in Bowling Green Ohio. Tonight my wife and I are drinking it, poured into Sam Adams glasses. The beer's appearance is 50% perfect: hazy dark brown color with loads of fine floaties but absolutely no head. I can feel the carbonation when I drink it but really no foam on top.

The aroma is strong, bourbon and malt, maybe you could guess it was even a rum and coke. The flavor is way complex, rum, coke, bourbon, sweet and roasted malts, unreal. Alcohol is really evident as well, which limits the drinkability for me.

 556 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a chestnut amber with a distinct haze and a cream colored head that rose and fell quickly. Slight delicate lace develops over time.

The aroma is ripe with vanilla and oak. Sweet sticky caramel with bourbon dipped cherries. Very appealing to me.

Loads of caramel and cherries with a vanilla sweetness throughout. Oak and brown sugar with a sturdy alcohol base. The bourbon is really front and center here.

Medium to full bodied with a chewiness and heavy dose of bourbon in the finish.

I found this to be very drinkable given the heartiness of this ale. The sweetness complemented the dryness of the wood enough not to be overbearing.

 678 characters

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 935 characters

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,739 ratings.