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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,709 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,709
Hads: 7,586
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 972
Gots: 2,981 | FT: 276
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 1,709 | Hads: 7,586
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost blackish body with a one-finger tan head that stickss around for awhile. A rich, thick malt smell of toasted, maple, caramel, molasses, that whiskey smell (oak cask, bourbon...) mixed w/ sour/tart fruits - reminds me of a barleywine the smell is that strong. A thick, full-bodied beer that is strong and a little syrupy/sticky. The malt taste is excellent with cocoa, caramel, toffee, coffee bean, oak, vanilla along w/ minor fruit flavors like cherry (tart fruit). Overall I'd say this is a smooth and creamy scotch ale, but it does have a little dryness in it thanks to that really high ABV, which is mostly hidden. This is a grat sipper to relax with, but I couldn't session this it's so thick and strong.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY, for their Bourbon and Blues night.

Pours a dark brown, clear-ish color. Somewhat hazy. Half inch head, a small amount of visible carbonation. Not much lacing.

Smells like bourbon, some cocoa, and vanilla.

Tastes incredible. So smooth and sultry- Lots of bourbon flavor, without any alcohol burn. Very subtle, smooth, and sweet. Additional flavors of molasses, caramel coconut, vanilla, and cocoa.

Medium-full mouthfeel, low but present carbonation.

A truly exceptional scotch ale/wee heavy. Founder brought the big guns here.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another big thanks to 2BDChicago for the chance to try this. 12oz. bottle served at 51 degrees in a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy, brownish-maroon hue with a creamy, quarter inch, tan-colored head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders forming a frothy band around the edges. Great nose on this beer - bourbon notes, brown sugar, raisins and prunes along a robust, malty backbone. Aromas are very much reminiscent of an old ale. Taste follows nose; however, the bold aromas are somewhat hollowed out in the flavor profile; nothing really pops. That said, I also get some buttery notes as well as a slight earthy hops presence at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a pleasant, even carbonation as well as a trace of acidity. There's also a little bit of residual alcohol heat that lingers at the back of the throat between quaffs. Overall, a very good beer. I'm not really getting the wee heavy on this, so I am rating more to preference than style. Another great beer from Founders; however, not a beer that I would cellar for an extended period of time as I feel like this brew could develop some oxidized flavors.

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

reviewed from notes:

appearance: redish brown with 1 finger head

smell: vanilla, caramel, bourbon

taste: vanilla, caramel, malts, bourbon

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body,

drinkability: this is a sipper beer. But damn do I love it. I'm a hophead at heart but damn this is tasty. Will except this beer with open arms anytime I can get it.

Cheers,
the CPJ

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Photo of barnzy78
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. 2008? 10.2% ABV with a different label than pictured. I bought this at a small town liquor store in March. I am unsure of the release date as the guy at the store said it was on their shelves for a couple of months. I grabbed a 4-pack and didn't question him any further.

Pours opaque brown with a minimal beige head that leaves no lacing on the glass. Aromas are of bourbon, alcohol, malts, toffee, and caramel. Mouth-feel is thick with an oily feel that coats the palate well. Strong bourbon, toffee, soft caramel chews, malts, mild fruitiness such as golden raisins are all present. Hints of oak and vanilla also present. Finish is very sweet, but the alcohol warmth tames it and keeps it in balance - also some spiciness adds to the finish. Lots of malt presence, which is accurate for the style.

This is an interesting take on a Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale and I do like it. I'm not sure if I would get it again, but I definitely recommend it if you can get your hands on it - well worth the try!

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,709 ratings.