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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.

5,382 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,382
Reviews: 1,429
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 679
Gots: 1,565 | FT: 143
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: 5,382 | Reviews: 1,429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigBearBeerBro
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is always one of my favorites... every year... Couldn't wait to see this available... I only hope to be able to save one or two for the holidays!

A: Pours a cloudy maple with a nice creamy brown head...

S: Smell is a beautiful mix of oak-bourbon-toffee. With a hint of tobacco.

T: Matches the smell perfectly. Oak, bourbon, maple syrup, boozy finish. Delightful!

M: A nice rich creamy feel. Nice.

O: This is my absolute favorite vintage of this beer. I will definitely be buying more of this. Once again, will be tough to save a few bottles for the holidays...

BigBearBeerBro, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of okcommuter
5/5  rDev +15.5%

okcommuter, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of samwipf
5/5  rDev +15.5%

samwipf, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Justin_Cyr
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Justin_Cyr, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of DGD
4/5  rDev -7.6%

DGD, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of helmerjay
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

helmerjay, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of yodedawg
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

yodedawg, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of archiebunkerjr
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Dark caramel brown color. No visible carbonation. Slight head immediately after pour. Head almost disappears within two minutes but never completely disappears.

Smell - Bourbon Sweet Bourbon!!! Caramel, fig and faint alcohol

Taste - Sweet caramel malts. More alcohol on the finish than the nose suggested. Leaves no doubt where this beer was before it was bottled.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth. Not quite syrupy. Just enough carbonation to know it's there but still very smooth.

What's not to love about this beer? I can babysip this beer for over an hour and every sip is better than the last. This is my go to beer when I want to reward myself and quietly revel in my own success. It simply tastes like victory. Another job well done by Founder's.

archiebunkerjr, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of tmeals
5/5  rDev +15.5%

tmeals, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Wadhead1
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Wadhead1, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of Ferks012
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Ferks012, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of sweetmaltman
4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now that I can no longer get McEwan's Scotch Ale in the US, this is my favorite beer. It is too bad that it only comes out once a year and is in such a limited distribution. Thankfully, I am a regular at the super distributor here in Eastern PA.

Where do I start?

It is dark with the pour. Just a few hints of red on the edges. Not much head which is just fine by me.

The smell is heavenly. Bourbon but with a complex mixture of sweet tones (vanilla, figs, raisins, chocolate, caramel and others. They are all there. I think I could live on the aroma alone, but the great thing is then you get to drink it.

The taste, ah the taste, it is fairly strong and complex, so much that you hesitate to swallon the first sip. It keeps growing and resonating and bringing out all the different characters there. The second sip is less bourbon and you start to really identify all the specialties. Vanilla comes at you, then caramel and chocolate. The third sip starts to bring out the fruits, figs, cheeries and raisins.

Mouthfeel, I guess on the heavier side but with so much goodness you wish it would never quit.

Overall: I do not think the brewers at Founders or anyone else could do a better job of making a true scotch ale with as much complexity and character as this. It is a true pleasure to drink. The only things I will say against it are 1) It only comes out 1X/year and in limited distribultion and with the high alcohol content, if you drink more than one you really feel it. However I will gladly put up with the buzz and slowly sip it.

sweetmaltman, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of Otis
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Otis, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of beerweevil
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

beerweevil, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of Abinlp
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

This is an extremely rare and hard to come by beer. Do what you can to get hold of it and then be amazed. A fine, almost liquer like flavor. Founders' bourbon barrel beers are a high art form. It would be between this and Old Curmudgeon's Better Half for honors of the brewery's best product.

Abinlp, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of dogglebe
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My favorites beers are Scottish ales, and wee heavies are my favorite Scottish ales. I enjoyed this one a great deal.

This beer was a clear dark brown is a light beige head of small tight bubbles. The head didn't last that long, which is ordinary for a beer this strong.

The blend of malts with the oak and the bourbon was very nicely balanced, and I'm not a bourbon person. Crystal malt was there in big quantity. And just a hint of smoke.

If I had a complaint about this beer, it would be that it should be slightly more carbonated. Let the aroma fill the room.

dogglebe, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Dagger541
4.84/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was first tried by a friend and I on a chilly Sunday afternoon in-between two music event that we were attending. It was an excellent choice all around. It has and great color and smell and was served in a sniffer glass. It is a sipping beer that will warm you right up. If you think of a scotch ale aged in a bourbon barrel you will have an idea about what this beer tastes like. If you enjoy their Dirty Bastard and you are a fan of whiskey this is a great beer.

Dagger541, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Drewballs
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Drewballs, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of strykzone
3.6/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A cloudy brown tea looking brew with a minimal tan head that soon becomes a ring. Aroma is dark fruit with yeast, whiskey (Jack Daniels), with more whiskey. It is almost a Jack and Coke nose.

Flavor is more complex but still is full of whiskey. Throw in some bitter dark chocolate, strong coffee, vanilla, licorice, brown sugar, and wood. Like the aroma, it is whiskey dominated throughout but the chocolate grows along with the temperature.

Feel is creamy but just a bit thin. It also provides some zing on the tongue and whiskey can be felt, especially on the back of the tongue.

Whiskey lovers will enjoy this beer because that is what dominates both aroma and flavor. There are other aspects that make it interesting and it is definitely flavorful.

strykzone, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of rafro
5/5  rDev +15.5%

rafro, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of wxjunkie
3.48/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Backwoods Bastard

Appearance: Mahogany with a light creamy head

Nose: brown sugar first, then a little bourbon. Both aromas are tough, too, they have some bite and after you smell this beer you'll be a little better prepared for what's next ...

Taste was carbonated for sure, but all that aging in oak barrels hits you quick and the 10% ABV is obvious right away.

Palette: Again, carbonated and quite heavy.

Drinkability: Do you like heavy? Do you like bourbon? This is a good beer for you then. At more than $5 a bottle in Louisville, I will buy a bottle every now and then for an in-your-face bourbon beer experience, but I doubt I'd ever order a second.

wxjunkie, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of dieBierStube
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had my share of bourbon barrel conditioned beers, but none of them exactly lived up to my expectations. In light of this, tasting this beer was practically an epiphany. I really can't imagine how this beer could be improved. The balance, the mouth feel, the pour, all for me at the absolute peak of perfection. I only wish I had another!

dieBierStube, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of mtardiff
4/5  rDev -7.6%

mtardiff, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of orourkebr
5/5  rDev +15.5%

orourkebr, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of tgriff
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer very much.

Poured as a pleasant dark color with a thin, caramel colored head that did not last long.

Really nice blend of flavors from the barrel. Definite notes of vanilla. The bourbon characteristics were quite noticeable.

Careful, the high alcohol content can sneak up on you!

tgriff, Nov 08, 2012
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,382 ratings.