1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,861 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,861
Reviews: 1,623
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 844
Gots: 2,415 | FT: 230
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 6,861 | Reviews: 1,623
Photo of rab53
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant reddish-brown. Thin white head fades rapidly. Aroma is dominated by bourbon, not so much oak. More bourbon and malt in the taste. Warm alcohol. No hop presence. Very low carbonation, mimicking a liquor. Would definitely buy this again.

Photo of BillRoth
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Capone's on draft and really enjoyed. Grabbed a bottle from Matt in his bottle shop for later,
Enjoyed in my Magic Chouffe snifter, and "wow" what pleasure when controlled for temperature and glass.Full flavors of bourbon and wood, vanilla and that soft fullness that comes from excellent aging. The alcohol is only evident in it's creep; nothing that impacts the drink enjoyment. I am a rabib double imperial stout boy, who unabashedly loves Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. But this is a wonderful drinking experience that needs to explored again and again.

Photo of Zorro
3.81/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chill hazed reddish brown colored beer with no head formation.

Strong scent of whiskey is the first thing I notice. Lots of caramel, vanilla, chocolate, malt and especially Whiskey! Lesser scent is a little cookie dough.

Starts out malty with a strong whiskey flavor. Malt comes on after you get past the whiskey. Next to no bitterness here. Try as I might there is no way around it; this is more whiskey than beer.

Mouthfeel is a little light probably because of the alcohol content.

Personally I like this stuff, but it IS pretty strong in the whiskey department. Easy call if you like whiskey you will love this. If you do not like whiskey this will be a drain pour.

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of akorsak
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz stubby bottle from a case split with my good friend Deuane. Last time I had this, it was Dark Lord day from a growler.

A: The ale is a dark tawny color, a few shades browner that a nice port. The darkness of the ale makes discerning the clarity difficult. A finger of head did muster out of the glass but it doesn't stick around.

S: The aroma is bourbon, with vanilla and pepper notes, oak and just a wee hint of smokiness. The bourbon is definitely the star of this part of the show.

T: The sip is rather interesting, with strong bourbon up front before transitioning to a rather focused malt body. The barrel has done a number on the beer, overtaking the entire front of the sip, adding oaken bourbon and vanilla notes. The back end of the beer has a green grape-like tartness, not sour tart, but concentrated grains tart. The flavor is not as strong as the nose or the front of the sip would suggest. In fact, it quickly leaves the palate behind.

M: The mouthfeel upfront is glorious in the bourbon revelry. The back end drops off too significantly, dragging the overall feel down.

D: The abv is too far to make this a go-to beer. If you like the punch of a bourbon aged beer, this is worth a visit. The bottle is not as powerful as I remember the growler being, but that could just be the passage of time.

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours a two finger, off-white head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Deep ruby color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nice oak and bourbon nose. Flavor is similar with bourbon and oak, some malty sweetness. The high ABV is hidden. $3.50 for a 12oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome extra from Bigdaddywil. Very dark reddish amber, almost brown. A one finger, off-white head lingers for a short minute. The lacing disappears quickly. Immediate slap in the face (nostrils) from the bourbon. Nice. Huge sugary malt notes in the nose with some caramel and brown sugar. Initial taste is sweet and malty bourbon, with some caramel and vanilla as well. Very boozy and delicious. The finish is remarkable. Long bourbon alcohol finish that lingers, imparting a sticky coating to the back of the tongue. Full bodied with good carbonation. Backwoods Bastard leaves my mouth dry and wanting another drink.

Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. Poured a dark copper almost brown color with a small head that disappeared quickly.

Aroma is strong with Bourbon with some sweet vanilla and caramel notes. Taste also has a lot of bourbon flavor along with some sweetness. There is some vanilla and caramel much like the nose but also a hint of coffee or a latte in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and and light on carbonation. Drinkability is probably as good as it can be for a 10% beer that has a lot of bourbon flavor. I enjoyed one but couldn't drink this on a regular basis or more then one in a sitting. An enjoyable treat though none the less to have on occasion.

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -7.8%

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

Ok so this brew is probably better than I am giving it. Not to say that it wasn;t a very enjoyable brew. It's just that i had bourbon county earlier today and yes i know stout vs. ale is different, but i did and so be it. The appearance is a nice medium golden hue. Has a nice mellow smell of bourbon with a wee bit of vanilla and toffee. A nice mellow bourbon taste followed by vanilla and spice. Feels a bit heavy for an ale, but still easily drinkable. I enjoyed this brew just not as much as the previous brew i had. I could have a had one or two more but that would be it before the bourbon sweetness got to me. Definitely worth a try though.

Photo of John_M
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Have to say I wasn't all that thrilled with the dirty bastard, but this beer here is a whole nuther kettle of fish.

The beer pours an impressive dark amber red color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is otherworldly. I get a huge complex, sweet malty aroma, with nuances of cherry, vanilla, almond and chocolate. This beer smells incredible and you can tell it's not for the faint of heart. This is clearly a very big beer. On the palate this beer is incredible. It's very sweet and very rich, but there is so much going on it doesn't tire out your palate. There is again lots of cherry and vanilla on the palate, and the beer has almost a fruit cake flavor about it. However, there is enough bitterness from the hops in the finish to keep it from becoming tiring to drink. The abv. is noticeable, but not intrusive, though I agree the high abv., coupled with the richness, certainly make it difficult to have more then one.

This is an exceptional beer. As far as I'm concerned, dump the dirty the bastard and only make this liquid nectar from now on.

Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Backwoods Bastard, to use the parlance of the South, looks like something the cat dragged in (if not worse). It looks like a mud fence daubed with tadpoles. It's flat, opaque and turbid with no exuberance or highlights what so ever. With my own fingers I've fished out clumps of sediment that looked like hot fudge, they were lumpy and rubbery like phlegm. Then again, I guess I'd look like shit too if I spent all those months in a barrel.

The aroma smells undeniably good but it's boozy enough to make me feel like the underside of a turnip green. This thing perspires bourbon and booze like a hooker sweats in church. It's a potent smell of spiced cherries, coffee, macerated prunes, chocolate, bitter tea leaves, truffles, toffee and burnt wood. That would all be fine if not for the intense concentration of raw bourbon. So far things are comin' up a bad cloud.

And I say that because I was hoping to drink a *beer*, not a bourbon. This has the vanillin, leather, tobacco leaf, charred oak and cinnamon spice flavours - all wonderful and intense and highly sophisticated flavours, but flavours belonging to the bourbon not the beer. All the sticky toffee pudding, nutty, caramelly and peaty malts and leafy hop flavours I love about Founders' Dirty Bastard are buried. It's definitely tasty but it's all a little too heady.

What's not helping is that the carbonation is slower than cream rising' on last years buttermilk. Plus the alcohol; I'm starting to worry I'll be staggering around like a blind horse in a pumpkin patch. It's musky, burnt, leathery mouthfeel leaves a savory, earthy, cigar box kind of aftertaste that is sophisticated but stiff. Because of its sweet flavours and thickness it's started to remind me of (fortified) vanilla and chocolate pudding.

As it warms, this thing get's hotter than a June bride and leaves your mouth dry enough to spin cotton. If there's one thing I hate about barrel aged beers it's having to pick wood splinters out of my teeth and that's exactly what I'm doing here. I can hardly taste the beer beyond all this burnt, tobacco leaf tasting oak. It's not acceptable in wine to show this much of the barrel or alcohol so what makes brewers think it's ok in beer?

Barrel aging is a lot like remixing a song - it leads to different, unique, interesting renditions. Sometimes, however, a song is just better left alone, especially if the remix distorts the original to a point of it being unrecognizable. In my opinion Founders has taken a great song - one of their greatest hits in fact - and gone and ruined it. Maybe (excessive) bourbon barrel aging isn't my thing - but hey, whatever blows your dress up.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on tap at sams in Durham. 2011 version poured in 2013, into a shaker.

dark brown, nice head. the aroma is MASSIVE on chocolate, marshmellows and bourbon. its amazing. taste isn't quite as amazing, good bourbon flavor with a tad of sour/tartness. interesting. its got quite a mellow and smooth flavor. aging has done this nicely. full bodied for sure, sipper.

overall excellent. loved it.

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to BrewerB for this brew.

Pours a nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, lots of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight bourbon notes, with some toffee. The taste is very nice, malty, slightly sweet, very nice bourbon notes, and some toffee. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, thanks for the extra Brian.

Photo of Dicers
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. Bottle dated 10/8/10.

Appearance - Like its baby brother Dirty Bastard, it's got nearly no head and a dark brown body with flecks of ruby. A few bubbles and a ring around the surface show the only signs of life.

Smell - Bourbon and lots of it. When it's cold, it only smells of bourbon and charred oak. As it warms, it smells significantly better. The malt character comes through as caramel and burnt sugar. Good bit of buttery scotch ale back there too.

Taste - Bourbon and oak again in the flavor. Bitterness, too. Maybe from the oak or maybe from the hops, not sure. Again, the malt profile doesn't shine until it warms. When it does, it's exactly as the smell indicates: caramel, burnt sugar, and some butter. Not complex, but good.

Mouthfeel - Hot for sure. You taste all of the 10.2%. Otherwise, it's not such a big beer. It's not as thick as 10.2% would indicate and the carbonation keeps it from being syrupy. Still slow drinking from the booze.

Overall - The base beer, like Dirty Bastard, just isn't that interesting. The bourbon aging makes it quite nice, though.

Photo of sendbeer
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +15.2%

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 Lare453
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 6,861 ratings.