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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,111 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,111
Reviews: 1,419
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 622
Gots: 1,511 | FT: 139
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:
Scotch Ale aged in bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: CortexBomb on 01-30-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,111 | Reviews: 1,419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarkJBurch

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

11-06-2013 23:05:29 | More by MarkJBurch
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Tulip/Snifter style glass. Maple brown color but orange when held up to the light. It's a little cloudy and hazy, but not too bad. Light brown sugar color head, not much lacing to it and it goes away fairly quickly. Not bad looking overall, wouldn't mind a little more lacing.

Smell is really good. Very well malted, lots of sweetness going on. Bourbon has a strong presence and probably the most dominant feature, but it's not overwhelming. Vanilla, hard crystallized sugar/syrup (sort of like rock candy), and some oak. Slightly smokey, but not very strong and a hint of alcohol that tickles your nose.

Taste is pretty much perfect. Bourbon comes out first, vanilla stronger in the taste than smell and as if the oak was soaked in it. Sugar again and some caramel, but more of a caramel/brown sugar liquor. Some smokeyness again, but not that strong, overpowered by the other flavors. Call me crazy but I feel like I can taste a slight hint of maple as well. Not very bitter, but there is a feint hop presence, but malts dominate here. ABV is high, but I probably wouldn't guess it would be that high by the taste, sort of a sweet boozy.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, I feel it could be a little more carbonated, but the mouthfeel compliments the flavor profile pretty well. Ratio is in favor of the malts but a good ratio/balance, slight tingle on the tongue from the alcohol. Pretty darn drinkable, perfect after dinner drink or nightcap. Not typical to the style, but I love what Founders is doing here, knocked it out of the park.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 00:48:03 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

wow. what a monster. this is a very well executed experiment and definitely seems like a special occasion beer. dark mahoganyish brown with a creamy, tan colored head that holds very well and leaves tons of splotchy, webby lace as it goes. nose is really reminicent of the backwoods moonshine we get here in virginia. it's super top shelf, often aged for many years, and always comes with fruit in it. backwoods bastard reminds me of the cherry kind. booze, caramel, burnt toffee, cherry, wood, earth, brown sugar... all kinds of stuff going on here. taste is peaty booze up front, dark sugar laced fruit in the middle, and musty celarish (like a musty celar that is) woody booze in the back. mouthfeel is slick and creamy at the same time with a long, boozy finish that really isn't all that dry, it's just boozy. this is a nice one that i feel is executed well because the beer and the barrel get to share the stage as opposed to the barrel taking over. the fruity, roasty, malty goodness of dirty bastard is here and the sweet, peaty, earthy, boozy, woody goodness of the barrels are here, and they come together in fantastic balance to create a bastard bastard. amazing. can't drink more than one, and maybe should have shared this one with someone, but amazing none the less.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 02:36:10 | More by timtim
Photo of ColSanders123


5/5  rDev +15.5%

11-15-2011 07:00:04 | More by ColSanders123
Photo of birdsellam


2.5/5  rDev -42.3%

02-11-2013 18:26:32 | More by birdsellam
Photo of vissai


4/5  rDev -7.6%

11-21-2011 18:59:00 | More by vissai
Photo of Grebdioz


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

12-28-2011 08:30:15 | More by Grebdioz
Photo of Gtg642


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

11-16-2011 15:31:12 | More by Gtg642
Photo of jayhawk73


3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Rustico:

Pours a dark brown color w/ a one finger cocoa head that quickly disappears. Good carbonation, and somewhat weak lacing on the glass. Smell is oak, vanilla, malt, alcohol. A little on the thin side for me- and warming doesn't help much. Not as complex as I would think for a beer w/ this pedigree. Taste is the same- good, but not great. Something's missing here. It just doesn't have the depth of flavor or complexity that I would expect from a Founder's brew. Still, it's good. Mouthfeel is a disappointment. Very thin and carbonated feel. Too thin to be honest. Overall, this is a decent brew, but fell short of what I had hoped for.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2011 00:48:18 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of huntermop

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -7.6%

06-25-2014 20:05:54 | More by huntermop
Photo of schmidtmattsays


4/5  rDev -7.6%

11-11-2013 03:48:52 | More by schmidtmattsays
Photo of fthegiants


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

01-13-2014 03:13:43 | More by fthegiants
Photo of fmccormi

New York

4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a Cigar City snifter; bottling date of September 28, 2012 printed in yellow ink on the neck of the bottle (“BOTTLED 09/28/12”). So, a little under four months old.

Appearance (3.5): Maybe half a finger of light tan head comes off the pour, briefly capping a deep, deep chestnut-brown body that’s slightly hazy, and shows some reddish hues when held up to the light (think garnet). Very little retention and essentially no lacing. Attractive body, but the head’s lacking, even for a style that doesn’t particularly count on it.

Smell (3.75): Strong oaky, vanilla tones with that sweet fruitiness from the bourbon that always comes off as apple juice to me are most prominent here, half-covering the rich, thick malt character of the base beer: dates, molasses, fruit cake, toffee, and some caramel. The nose is full and right on for the style, but the bourbon isn’t as well integrated as I’d like.

Taste (4.25): Fortunately, the flavor is quite a bit better than either the appearance or nose. Those dark fruit, toffee, and fruit cake flavors mix well with each other and harmonize with the smooth oak character, folding the vanilla tones into the palate nicely. The oak, vanilla, and apple juice are all there—they just jive better this time than they did in the nose. Also, the strong, spicy alcohol character of this beer cuts through the maltiness at first, but then turns to vapor and dries out the finish modestly. The alcohol sticks around, but for a beer this size it fits the bill well and I welcome it. Definitely smoother as it warms.

Mouthfeel (4.25): Moderately full-feeling, with a viscous but not syrupy feel—but that alcohol burn sure does lighten it up a bit. The carbonation is very subtle, fitting the palate very nicely: just a soft, gentle, very low-key velvetiness acts a base for the body’s viscosity, foaming moderately on the way down.

Overall (4.0): It has some flaws, in my mind, but nothing crucial—I’m just not the biggest fan of most bourbon barrel-aged beers. And while this beer does very well with the barrels, I just don’t necessarily like what bourbon barrels bring to a lot of the beers aged in them. This however does a good job. Also, it’s much, much better overall after it warms up more than a bit, and it becomes a very pleasant sipper.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 03:22:21 | More by fmccormi
Photo of jaminjohnson

Yukon (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

07-04-2012 03:54:56 | More by jaminjohnson
Photo of Gushue3


4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought I missed out on this one and luckily came up with a 4pack. Great Job!

A One finger off white head that's pretty foamy. A red mahogany body that has some carbonation jetting up. Some islands of foam are left on the top of the beer and some lacing is left.

S Nice bourbon and alcohol fumes are the first thing I notice. Thats the majority of the scent but there's also some molasses and a light sweet roast.

T Sweet malt and bourbon combine for a great taste up front. Vanilla comes out toward the middle and becomes really noticeable toward the finish. Really nice flavors all around, bourbon's prominent but doesnt overpowers any other flavor.

M Mouthfeel feels a little on the lighter side but leaves my mouth somewhat syrupy. There's more carbonation than I than I think. Becomes a really smooth sip after the carbonation foams.

O This stuffs great. I'm not a gigantic malt bomb guy but the bourbon works perfectly with everything to make a really tasty and dangerously drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 19:10:25 | More by Gushue3
Photo of HoppyBastard2


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

02-16-2014 11:19:14 | More by HoppyBastard2
Photo of OneDropSoup


4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ralflord for the trade! This was the apparently more 10.5% batch with a different label than that on display.

Pours a solid dark brown (not black) with chestnut highlights. About a finger of khaki head that mellows to a thin foam & leaves a little lacing, but not much. Light action from bubbles, real light.

The smell -- YOWZA!! Smells great -- actually, I usually get the first indication of flavor from licking the cap, & was struck by significant sweet, caramel malt. Actually, chocolate chip cookies came to mind. The smell transported that and a maple smell, plus the sweet sting of bourbon barrel. One of the best smells I've partook.

The taste delivers on all those notes, finishing with a strong bourbon taste & alcohol presence. Oh, the caramel, oh the smoky notes, oh! The mouthfeel is rich & full without being overly unctuous. This is such a good idea -- a bourbon barrel-aged wee heavy. I hate to sound like a beentheredonethat, but the BB-aged imperial stouts are more common & leave a thick, heavy impression -- not bad by any stretch, but heavier & requiring more commitment. This imparts all the sweet & woody flavors without the intense viscosity. I'm into it!

Drank one, could drink another.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 23:38:38 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of polopaul20


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

08-27-2013 19:37:27 | More by polopaul20
Photo of mmcnaughton


4/5  rDev -7.6%

11-18-2011 03:00:23 | More by mmcnaughton
Photo of PGVG


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

12-23-2013 04:31:56 | More by PGVG
Photo of Mersh


3/5  rDev -30.7%

12-29-2013 03:43:44 | More by Mersh
Photo of mwilbur


3.6/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark red-brown with almost no head.
S: Strong wood (oak) and bourbon notes. Less strong but still prominent alcohol too.
T: Follows aroma fairly well. Strong wood, bourbon, and alcohol. A tad bitter at the finish...softens with warming. Hint of vanilla with warming.
M: Medium body. Surprisingly light for 10.2% ABV. Wish this lingered at least a little bit on the palate.
D: You can have only so much 10.2%, but if this was a better brew this would score higher here. This is a nice one, but can't hold up to other bourbon aged beers. Not sure it was worth the $4 paid for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 01:28:29 | More by mwilbur
Photo of fehrminator

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

04-05-2013 17:08:16 | More by fehrminator
Photo of Slay40


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

11-02-2013 01:45:12 | More by Slay40
Photo of utopiajane

New York

4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich brown. Mahogany with hues and highlights of ruby. Hazy cola color. Nose is rich and sweet. Leaves a thin ring and alcohol legs behind. Bourbon and oak. Earthy grain and dark fruit. This beer has every malt sweetness on the nose. Caramel, toffee, sugar. Fragrant vanilla and dark fruits. The taste is charming. Smooth and creamy body that boasts a sweet richness. The fruits are dried dates, raisins and figs. The vanilla adds smoothness and the bourbon enhances the lush sweetness. It finishes dry and pleasantly boozy. Has an earthy peat character underneath that offsets all the sweetness so it is not cloying.

Wonderful! Drinks big with an intense malt character that is deep and full.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 14:06:43 | More by utopiajane
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,111 ratings.