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

6,658 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,658
Reviews: 1,581
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 808
Gots: 2,265 | FT: 210
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 | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,658 | Reviews: 1,581 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of superspak
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 10/07/11. Pours cloudy dark red color with a small dense khaki head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of huge caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, toasted malt, oak, bourbon, and molasses. Simply incredible aromas here with fantastic balance. Taste of huge caramel, coconut, vanilla, toasted malt, bourbon, toffee, molasses, and a bit of spiciness. Fairly clean finish; but some lingering notes of caramel, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and molasses on the finish for a bit. Medium carbonation and quite full bodied; with a very creamy, silky, and incredibly smooth drinking mouthfeel. Alcohol is almost completely hidden; but there is a small bit of booziness and a slight warming after the finish. Incredible balance of flavors in the taste and aromas. Overall this is definitely a world class brew. Incredible flavor balance, with some unique flavor combination thanks to the barrel aging. I am glad I have more of this; I wonder how it is in a year.

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA. In a snifter, this one sits in all its dark dark amber splendor. Dark tan head, fine wispy lacing. Nose of smoke, berries, vanilla. Very tasty, sipper. More smoke, some cola, dark grains, raisins. Perhaps a bit thin mouthfeel wise to match the ABV and the complexity lurking around here. More tasty, high quality and interesting beer from Founders.

Photo of corby112
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark chestnut brown, almost black color that is completely opaque with only the slightest of mahogany edges and a thin coffee colored head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.

Roasted malt aroma with an awesome oak presence that gives off a nice wooden aroma with sweet vanilla notes and a good dose of bourbon/whiskey. Hints of burnt toast, chocolate, toffee and oatmeal.

Full bodied with a nice roasted malt flavor that is kind of nutty with a big oak, vanilla and whiskey presence. Chocolate malt, caramel, toffee, burnt toast and oatmeal notes are also detectable. Kind of sweet up front with a silky malt backbone with a very nice touch of bourbon and a bitter dry finish.

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dense, murkey dark brown with a small, 2 finger, light tan head that quickly fades out into a mild collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of rich toffee, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, apple smoked meat...pretty nice aroma on all counts.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with the vanilla, oak, and bourbon coming through with some raisin notes and lip smacking goodness with a hint of cocoa.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, warming, lightly carbonated, and yummy.

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

Poured into Town Hall Chalice.

Pours a small beige tan head. Fades to a thin layer. Color is a murky ruby hued bark brown.

Aroma: Oak and bourbon with vanilla right up front. Lots of malts, caramel, molasses and cherries. I really like this, but the bourbon is so dominate.

Taste: Right away, I get bourbon, oak, vanilla, and cherries. Then the caramel comes in and at the end I get some molasses and a touch of booze.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and a some heat from the bourbon. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends slight boozy, but fairly clean.

Overall, a solid beer, but the scotch notes were not as apparent as one would expect. I do like it, but I am very curious to what would happen with some age on it. I recommend this one.

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

Poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a dark brown color with a very small head that dissipates very quickly. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: Lots vanilla and some of the bourbon, which gives a slight alcohol aroma. Also get some oak and a little caramel.

T: The alcohol is very hidden on the taste. Bourbon and caramel upfront. The middle has some darker fruit and a really nice vanilla flavor. Has a warm finish.

M/D: Medium to full bodied. Overall I really like this beer. While very easy to drink considering its abv, I prefer to sip and savor it. Very complex, with a lot of flavor.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber/brown with a great head and lacing. Smells malty and fruity with fig and cherry. Sweet and smooth aromas that are bold but not cloying. The taste is sweet and somewhat grainy, with more deep flavors of fig, dates, butterscotch and a touch of peat to control all the sweet stuff. Quite creamy and full in the mouth, the flavors explode here. This pushes the edge of too sweet but holds on to enough complexity and pure, clean flavors to be very enjoyable.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adam for sharing this brew.

A: The beer has a brown transparent appearance, with tinges of crimson. There is a small head and a touch of lacing.

S: Scents include sweet malts, toffee, oak, and bourbon.

T: The beer packs some flavor. The initial taste brings oak and bourbon flavors, followed by a malty sweetness and peat from the scotch ale lurking beneath the wood and booze.

M: The feel is moderately thin, with a slight alcohol burn in the finish.

D: Drinkability is somewhat limited, as the strength and sweetness make this a slow sipper.

Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bowman (not a BA) for sharing a bottle. This is a darned tasty and drinkable beer. I'm taking it as a sipper, but I could certainly down it faster were I in a hurry. The aroma has smooth oak and mild vanilla bourbon while mellow chocolate notes and burnt caramel come out in the back of the flavor. It drinks like a balanced bourbon-beer candy drink. It's not the most complex BB beer, but it's a fine example of what a barrel can do.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a big snifter, late 2008 edition, 50 IBU's 10.2%

A- Founders Backwoods Bastard pours a copper to dark brown color which brings up a one finger tan head. A lot of sediment is there but i poured to quick, my bad. As it dissipates there are a few squiggly lines of head in the middle, while a lot of bubbles creep to the edges of the glass with some build up. Quite nice.

S- BB holds a very rich aroma of good bourbon up front with oak from the barrel, pretty much all I smelled for a while. Sweet and toasty malts follow with some caramel in the mix. I get some fruit (berries) and some wood is also there.

T- My first sip was a rush of bourbon and oak attacking the senses while some malts and vanilla smoothed things out. The cherry presence was also quite a nice touch. The sweetness of the caramel flavor with some spices while woody notes are there. The bourbon never leaves the forefront though.

M- Full bodied with some carbonation. The taste goes on forever while this elixir coats the mouth perfectly leaving bourbon and much sweetness along with some alcohol. A very strong feel, this bastard makes itself known.

D- Regular bastard is great and so is this. I could easily have more than a bottle of this high A.B.V brew in a sitting, no problem. This is probably not for everyone though. I want to do a side by side.

This is my first time trying this and i very much enjoyed it, BB is worth the dollars. The barrel aging in this one is spot on. I was expecting mostly bourbon but recieved much more. I drank this to quickly. Worth seeking out, will get again!!

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.33/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured deep maroon color with decent carbonation leaving a small dirty white head.Nose of booze, caramel, oak and more booze and whiskey. Taste is just big booze, bourbon, some light vanilla but hot and how does anyone call this a Wee Heavy is beyond me. It is a Strong Ale. In that category, yes it is ok, however, way off balanced, as a strong ale it needs some time to downplay the bourbon. If you like that sort of thing then great. It just took control of this beer and left it undrinkable for me.
///
Note to richbrew. Lets clear this up?? Lets do that. Whatever floats your boat. Before you criticize reviews and taste of others you might want to review more than 17 beers. Secondly, dont bash other reviews. Its one's own taste and choice.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Backwoods Bastard pours a ruby mahogony with a dense off white head and some lace. Poured into a snifter to maximize aroma.

Nose is of sweet bready malts and a whiff of bourbon like booziness.

Flavor features some complex maltyness. There is a bourbonesque booze and a woody, earthy note from the barrel aging. Chocolate covered cherries. Vanilla. Oak.Faint resinous hops. Then some clean solvent alcohol in the warming finish.

Luxurious and smooth.

A strong, full flavored beer. Complex and a sipper for sure, though I could drink so much more in an ideal setting.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev -9%

Photo of smakawhat
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle in to a thistle/tulip bulb glass

In appearance, this bastard resembles a great head of a nutty light brown with tight bubbles. Head foams almost like a guiness quality creeping up slowly but staying compact. Your typical dark midnight brown color if I could call it that.

The bouquet is fantastic. Giant cream smell, HAZELNUT, chocolate, pralines, light brown sugar, milkshake consistency sweetness on the nose, malt is not noticeable, no smoke, it smells like warm creamy hazelnut hot chocolate.

Taste is fabulous, mild carbonation giving way to some malt and this giant cream finish of nutty hazelnut chocolate and pralines coming through a buttery finish with maple syrup. Medium bodied, not syrupy not wet either. Just a flat out joy.

I am a big bourbon fan, and its sometimes hard to find THIS much flavor, bouquets, and tastes just coming from ONE bourbon. Ironically, the beer does not remind me of whiskey, but that's fine with me because it is flat out exceptional. You don't even notice the high ABV content. What the heck is up in the water in GRAND RAPIDS!!!!

Drinkability is stratospheric!

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 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 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 chinchill
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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 tdm168
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing a bottle with me.

A - dark amber with a soft, off white head leaving a thin lacing

S - big bourbon aromas, some fruit, caramel

T - caramel, huge bourbon flavors, alcohol, dark fruit

M - warm, medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent beer. It's a bit simple, but it's good. The bourbon is a bit heavy and the underlying scotch ale at times seems to struggle with it. On the whole, this is a very nice beer that is worth trying.

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 6,658 ratings.