Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

7,035 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,035
Reviews: 1,651
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 894
Gots: 2,495 | FT: 249
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,035 | Reviews: 1,651
Photo of radioscooter
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade with Baltimorebeerguy. I've been wanting to try it for a while, as I work my way through the wee heavys. Hard to find around here.

Aggressive pour into a pint glass. 2 finger head that drips down beautfiully with complex, syrupy lacing.

Stays firm after a few minutes. Pits and valleys. Dark copper, auburn, mahogany color. Slightly cloudy. Aroma weighs heavily on the bourbon side. Nothing Scotchy here. Getting vanilla and burnt sugar.

Let warm for 5 minutes.

Hit with the bourbon boozines right off the bat. Sticky, toffee, vanilla, malty, chewy creamy,

Nothing wrong with that, I like many bourbon beers. But it seems that when you age things in b. barrels, it either marries up to the style of brew, or it doesn't. When it does, you've got amazing things like Goose Island Rare stout. When it doesn't, you get things like Kentucky Bourbon Ale that just taste like you poured bourbon in with the original beer.

This one is somewhere in between. Yeah, I'm getting the malty, dark ale feel but it doesn't really say Scotch Ale to me a whole lot.

It IS delicious though and my only complaint is a slightly dry, phenolic finish. I'm not grabbing this when I want a Scotch Ale, but it's a wonderful sipper when you want that Bourbon feel but don't want the heaviness of a stout.

Photo of leftmindedrighty
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at Founder's during a brewery road trip to Dark Lord Day

Smell, First thing out of the gate is alcohol, this one smells hot. Some fruity Belgian-esque smells, but overall, fruity and hot

Taste, the alcohol is quite noticeable, but plum, raisin, and some other dark fruits really help balance it out. All the flavors really do come together to make this one a very good "Scotch Ale." While I know the brewers are much smarter than I am about their beer, this one really reminds me of a young Quad, very fruity, but with that alcohol poking at you.

Overall, a very different beer, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I would love to see what a year would do for the flavor of this beer.

Photo of HOPPYKC
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from the good guys at Royal, gotta thank the guy i talk to on the phone for saving me one while i was in class at UMKC.

This thing immediately smells of bourbon. I will say that i was turned off a bit in the fact that the previous night i had had a little too much to drink and this brought back some of the spins for me. Now getting on to it. This is an amazing brew. The bourbon is nice and mellow once it warms and this is extremely drinkable for a nice 10% er. A nice dark red to brown hue, no head at all, it was really fresh so a little carbonation was noticeable. I will say that the feeling is a little think for my taste overall, but this is worlds above some of the other wee heavies ive had.

Photo of Kelly88
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the dilly deli. Served in a great lakes snifter.

A- dark ruby mahogany with a minimal beige cap that is slithering away to a wispy thin skim. I like this look but I could use a little more body in the head.

S- first thing that comes to mind is vanilla as you really put your nose in the glass you can start to pick up some wood and very slight cherry. Intoxicating

T- lot more complex than the nose. Caramel toffee mixes beautifully with the vanilla and wood. Alcohol shows it head to add some kick to the finish. Great.

M- suprisingly light for all of the strong flavors. Perfect carbonation that has the perfect feel on the tongue. Maybe perfect

Overall a fabulous beer. Huge flavors that you are prepared for by the aroma wafting out of the glass. Then it lives up to the anticipation with expertly executed tastes and mouthfeel.

Photo of schusterbauer
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet aromas of brandy, smoke, and caramel, just strong enough to tickle the sinuses, but no burning sensation. Soft, smooth body, tastes of custard, caramel, rotten apple peels, and Makers Mark. My burps taste like the Creme Brulee I had at Assagi last night.

Some might call this the latest Founders monstrosity, but I promise it's nowhere near as bruising as other "big" Founders beers, and it's a nice escape from a dreary fall afternoon. (Leave it to Michiganders to know the antidote to Michigan weather!)

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

Poured into snifter

A-dark copper /brown cinnamon color with a mocha color 1/2 inch head that quickly dissipates mild lacing the quickly runs down the side of the glass

S-boozy bourbon, vanilla, charcoal wood, sweet caramel, brown sugar or molasses

T-follows the nose...booming with flavor. Sweet boozy bourbon but not a lot of alcohol burn, notes of vanilla, caramel, molasses, toffee, pecan pie

M-not much carbonation, medium bodied, leaves some sweetness on the finish, maple syrup,

O-Great tasting beer, all time favorite, good balance of style with the barrel aging, not much alcohol burn given the ABV...great sipper on a cold day...

Photo of justjonas
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Do u like bourbon? Cuz theres a ton of it to be had in this founders offering. Has opened my eyes to what can be done with a bourbon barrel aside from the usual (stout) suspects. Delicious!

Photo of DrewZ926
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- deep brown with some golden highlights, minimal head that fades fast, no lacing

S- a wallop of savory bourbon, maple, caramel, molasses, sweet malt

T- really complex and balanced surprisingly, big bourbon flavors, not overly sweet though, lots of intense malt and caramel, toffee, a bit of mint and cocoa too

M- full bodied and fairly viscous

O- a great barrel aged offering from founders. Very bourbon-centric though, which to some may be off-putting. That being said I think the base beer melded great with the aging and preserved its integrity while taking on an even more complex flavor profile

Photo of tigerbeer90
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

This is an update, so I will keep this brief

Loved this beer fresh, but now that it is pushing a year old, I think I like it more! The bourbon barrel is there, but its a more blended and subdued flavor. The heat is completely gone and notes of vanilla and caramel are brought to the forefront.

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

2013 vintage. Really nice barrel influence on this to have such a presence after more than a year's aging. Nice cherry/plum flavors and hints of vanilla from the oak.

Photo of RudyMcCrafferty45
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Scotch Ales aren't my fancy. This beer had a lot of character. So I cant degrade it.

Photo of spacebear09
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very interesting and unique ale, never had anything quite like it before. The scent hints at massive bourbon flavor, but the taste is surprisingly mild. Very smooth and easy drinking. Flavors are primarily toffee, caramel, creme brulee, bourbon, and a hint of chocolate. Very refreshing and doesn't have the bite associated with most bourbon aged beers.

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

10/13/11 bottle

Deep ruby color (back lit by my tablet) slow pour no head.

Nice mix of caramel malt and oak/bourbon. Some dark fruits. Real nice smells.

Flavor follows aroma. Caramel but not really sweet. Dark, dry fruits. Whisky. Touch of pepper.

Some heft coupled with some tannin. Finish is some what dry, chalky. Warming alcohol on the trip down.

Pretty good over all. Wish I had more.

Photo of DrewV
3.18/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark reddish-amber with a thin 1-finger tan head.

S: Malt up front with some minor vanilla/oaky notes peeking through. Nothing aggressive, but nothing impressive, either.

T: First sip hits you with a blast of sharp bourbony alcoholic bite. Not much "beer" flavor here, just mostly alcohol and sharpness. As the beer warms, the flavors come through a bit more, particularly in the aftertaste, but nothing very fulfilling. Just sweetness, bite, and hints of other flavors mixed in.

M: Adequate carbonation, but lacking in fullness. Mostly just bite.

O: I'm not sure what to do with this brew, quite honestly. I love my beers aggressive, but this one just didn't cut it for me. There just wasn't much beyond the bourbon bite. Not much flavor overall, just "hints" of various other flavors. Perhaps some aging would do wonders for this beer, but I'm not so sure I'm willing to give it another shot quite yet. Above average brew, but nothing more.

Photo of StaEva
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

truly amazing beer. Hints of bourbon, tons of vanilla, toasty oak, buttery toffe and caramel, slight Scottish roast. medium carbonation, almost syrup-like mouthfeel. tons of flavor. founders hit a BIG fucking home-run with this beer. one of the best beers I've ever had.

Photo of drrone
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of tedsox31
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my snifter, the color is a dark brown with off-white head that dissipates relatively quickly. Lots of lacing left behind.

The aroma is delicious. Right up front is a nice bourbon presence that isn't overwhelming. Alongside of that is vanilla, oak, caramel, chocolate, and the slightest hint of fruit.

The taste is boozy, along with all of the other flavors mentioned in the aroma: lots of caramel and chocolate, vanilla and oak are in the middle-ground, and a smooth sweetness at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, surprising for a beer like this, but very smooth and low carbonation. The bourbon lingers on my tongue a bit.

This is a sipper, although I'm tempted to have two in one sitting despite the high alcohol. The flavors are so well-blended they just invite you back for sip after sip after sip. Would be interested to age this one for a year and see how it develops.

Photo of AuntBea
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great color and I could smell the bourbon. Not much foam and a little bit of bubble after it's poured. Really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of MCDuhamel
4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass at around 55 F. Thanks to Liz for the sample!

A: Pours a dark mahogany that shows a luminescent but somewhat cloudy garnet when held against light. A dark ivory head forms quickly, dissipating to a thin foam cap in short order. Some moderate lacing on the sides. Visible carbonation is more active than expected. Nice enough to look at, but nothing unexpected or exciting.

S: The nose is full of vanilla and oak, with a hint of red fruit.

T: The first impression on the palate is of oak and tannin, followed quickly by vanilla yielding to malt. Strong caramel/toffee notes are evident. The beer is supported by obvious alcohol spiciness and warmth; no subtlety to the strength here. The finish shows some hops bitterness which, with the medium carbonation, prevents the beer from being at all cloying despite its sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit light for a wee heavy, and perhaps reflects a little more carbonation than one might expect.

D: Despite its strength, this would be an easy beer to have two of in a session. There is nothing cloying or overpowering about the beer, which maintains nice balance.

Overall: Its nice to find an oak-aged beer that isn't a stout. This is a very good oaked beer that shows the wood and vanilla characteristics typical of such beers without losing proportion.

Photo of brian44556
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into Founder's snifter. Bottled 10/2/2013.

Pours an almost opaque black with a thin chocolate head. A steady ring of lace lines the outside of the glass and leaves its sticky presence with each sip. Strong bourbon, vanilla, oak, and slight hints of chocolate highlight the aromas. The taste is right in line with the smell. My palate is met with a mild, upfront bourbon flavor, then catches a hint of vanilla and oak in the middle that finishes with a nice boozy burn. Light carbonation with a warm mouthful from the bourbon makes this a very well-balanced beer. A great, complex, barrel-aged offering from Founder's. The accessibility, cost, and overall complexity make this one of my favorites from Founder's. This ranks up there with KBS minus all of the hype!

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

12 oz. Bottle to Snifter at Jerry's.

A- Very, very thin almost nonexistent head. A dark wood brown with reddish tones when held to light.

S- Founders beers always have such great aroma. These aromas really add to the experience and are a big part of the reason their beers are so solid. Milk chocolate here, brownie and cafe con leche, toffee, smells like a fudge shop that also roasts and brews their own coffee.

T- Legit. Crisp, dark chocolate and hops. Hints of bourbon and the oak. Alcoholic burn coated in toasted coconut aftertaste.

M- So crisp for being so heavy, really a pleasant mouthfeel and oh so very drinkable.

O- So glad I got to try this. It is such a great step in learning more and more about beer. This beer is pretty legit, great beer.

Photo of mbusster88
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown/mahogany color with a yellow ish head. Good amount of head for 10% and it sticks around well. Not much light gets through this one as it is rather hazy and dark.

S: Bourbon, vanilla and tons of sweetness in the nose. Some alcohol is present but not a lot. Very big sweet malt notes though. Also get some light toasted notes, not deep but lightly on the nose.

T/M: Wow this one was not harsh up front as I thought it might be. Really great bourbon flavors and vanilla. Very impressed with the alcohol and how not over the top it is. Great sweetness in this, very heavy on the sweet. However, the alcohol balances this sweetness out well. Tastes almost like rich fudge due to the amount of vanilla and sweetness.

D: Very drinkable due to the high ABV. This is one that I can say I would highly recommend and will be getting for myself again!

Photo of waltersrj
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage. (thanks Adam (splax23)).

Pour: Dark caramel brown with little off white head around the glass' edge.

Nose: Burnt marshmallow, caramel and bourbon. This almost smells exactly like slightly chilled or watered down bourbon with heavy vanilla, toffee, and charred oak.

Taste: Caramel, sweet vanilla, burnt toffee, and charred oak from the bourbon. Very sweet with heavy bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel: Nice here. Slightly oily and not too heavy.

Overall: A great wee heavy. Delicious bourbon notes.

Photo of Avantyawn
2.26/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Deep brown red, barely any head

S: Nutty, smoky, malty, bourbon, molasses

T: Tastes a bit like a watery bourbon cocktail. Tastes sloppy. The bourbon flavor is overwhelming. Why do I only taste the bourbon and not any of the awesome base beer here? Doesn't work.

M: Mouthfeel is too thin , a bit too dry, not melded together well. Tastes like a mixed drink gone flat.

O: Overall, I really did not enjoy this beer, a rarity as I always enjoy Founders beers. I don't get the melding of flavors, they don't seem to work in my opinion. I love Dirty Bastard, but do not dig this.

Photo of Mikedhoppy
3.61/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lots of vanilla! Too sweet for me but will be great for fans of bourbon aged beers

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