Backwoods Bastard
Founders Brewing Company

Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #1
ABV:
11.2%
Score:
97
Ranked #422
Avg:
4.38 | pDev: 10.05%
Reviews:
2,063
Ratings:
8,847
From:
Founders Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  1,076
Gots
  3,514
SCORE
97
World-Class
Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
Notes: Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
Reviews: 2,063 | Ratings: 8,847 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NotABeerDrinker
NotABeerDrinker

4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a fantastic dark beer, especially considering you don't have to go to a boutique micro-brew in order to get it. It's available at my local grocery store! The flavors are complex without feeling artificial or over-powering. The bourbon barrel aging is evident. It forms a very nice, almost nitro-style head. IMHO, this is the best offering Founders puts out...which is saying a lot since they make some outstanding beers.

Nov 07, 2021
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11/7/21 from a 12 oz bottle 4 pack.... Birthday present from DW.

Nose: maple, pecan and bourbon barrel.
Taste: " " and brown sugar. Warms you up real nice! Nice and smooth front and back end. Wee heavy!

Nov 07, 2021
Photo of LesDewitt4beer
LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Notes from Thanksgiving Day 2019. Bottled on 6/26/2019.
12 oz bottle into a small snifter glass.
L: deep dark brown
S: bourbon, candied caramel, spicy peppery wood.
T: oak, bourbon, smoke, nuts, dried up fruit, figs, raisins, pectin, fruit cake, pecan pie. Not too sweet.
F: medium bodied and kind of sticky. Balanced and fairly smooth.
O: Deep, full flavored barrel beer with a hearty soul. There is light alcohol. It is excellent.

Oct 13, 2021
Photo of doclh
doclh

4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great beer for the days when you worked out and feel you deserve a reward. I like it cold. I love malty brews and this one doesn’t disappoint. Smell is what I’d expect from a Guinness Extra Stout that was dark brown rather than black. Pour is like any well brewed beer and the taste is malty with a touch of sweetness. The finish is long and pleasant. A nice beer to drink with medium swallows to enjoy the feel and lingering graininess. Hard for me to find, but when I see it, I buy it!

Oct 10, 2021
Photo of Wardoff
Wardoff from Rhode Island

2.42/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This used to be my favorite Wee Heavy. I've bought a couple of 4-packs of this over the last few months from a packy in Putnam, CT. The whiskey flavor is overpowering in these 4-packs. I can barely recognize that it's a Wee Heavy. I mean, it's like Wee Wee Wee Wee HEAVY. The whiskey flavor is so strong, that I might never buy this again. Seriously, it used to be among my favorites! Bummer. There are just not enough good Scotch les out there.
I wonder if the distributor unloaded a few cases of BWB mistakes on this packy, which probably has a relatively high percentage of customers that buy nips as opposed to beer connoisseurs.

Sep 27, 2021
Photo of robwired
robwired from Kansas

4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It pours a think tan/beige foam head that is so slow to dissipate, I almost hated to take the first sip, it was so pretty. But, taking one for the team, I took a sip that was bottled on 05/13/21, poured into a nanobrewery's tulip glass, such as those are.
The taste is of the wee heavy variety with a barrel-aged chocolate tongue and a cookie-like texture going down. Another sip. Yep. Wee heavy. And there's a foamy surface with great lacing, sticking to the glass in the shape of a swirl. The mouthfeel is medium-thick delicious.
I think I got a good batch.

Aug 04, 2021
Photo of Kkasprzak
Kkasprzak from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, transparent red with a medium-size head. Deliciously sweet with noticeable bourbon and cinnamon aroma inviting you in. Thin-ish and smooth.

Overall, its aroma and flavor simply invites you in for more.

Jul 11, 2021
Photo of blazerkor
blazerkor from Nevada

4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smells like malts and whiskey.  There's a lot of wood in there and a kick of liquor.

That tastes like a boilermaker.  Some beer flavors dominated by woodsy alcohol.

It's thin with mild carbonation.  The whiskey flavor lingers along with a finish that's a little bready.

It's really good. Like a supercharged scotch ale.  I give it a 5.3 out of 6.

Jul 01, 2021
Photo of aBosslyElephant
aBosslyElephant from Florida

4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L- Nice mahogany body that is opaque but not see through. Almost no head.
S- Nice berry and caramelized brown sugar. Oaky and super complex.
T- Super scotchy. Super easy to drink. Very woody and spicy like a scotch. Dark berry sweetness towards the end. Out of this WORLD.
M- Crystal clear, not very carbonated.
O- Couldn't recommend enough, I might have found my new favorite beer!

Jul 01, 2021
Photo of AccipiterofBeer
AccipiterofBeer from New York

4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a belgian tulip/snifter style glass

L: 4. Mahogany body with a small to medium head. Evident carbonation.
S: 4.75 lots of barrel notes. Vanilla. Oak. Dark fruits.
T: 4.75 barrel characteristics up front. Oak and vanilla. Chocolate. Back end is the fruits, notably cherry.
F: 4.25 Not as harsh as expected. Thick bodied.
O: 4.5 Deserves its reputation. Cheers.

May 20, 2021
Photo of JacobusFavier23
JacobusFavier23 from Texas

4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L-Pours a deep mahogany colored beer with a slight red tinge to it. A healthy and frothy head is created on the pour and takes a while to dissipate to a lace hugger.
S-Up front dark stone fruit. This is followed by a nice caramelized brown sugar aroma. Past that, I get a mellowed aroma of oak barrel and scotch. Some slight, but clear, roasted firewood and earthy notes and a bit of oat, earth and booze.
T-Sweet right off the bat. Malt forward with a bitter bite at the end. Sugary stone fruit, oak and smooth single malt scotch. Slight booziness, but it clearly works with the flavor notes. Earthy throughout.
F-Medium bodied with slight carbonation.
O-Very very good beer. Probably the tastiest Scotch Ale I've ever had. Incredibly well made and flavorful at every sip. The beer progresses in flavor as it wars too. A true sipper.

May 08, 2021
Photo of detgfrsh
detgfrsh from Texas

4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle produced 11/11/20. Nearly black with an inch of tan colored head. Smells of bourbon and raisins. Medium body. Roasted malt, raisin, and whiskey flavors. A little sweet but less than other scotch ales (fine by me!). Great, complex flavor.

Apr 17, 2021
Photo of backblast
backblast from Alaska

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly.

Taste the barrel influence and the toffee/caramel, and a bit of spice with dark fruits lingering in the finish with a hint of smoke.

Apr 16, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355 ml bottle, vintage 2014, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 10.2%, 50 IBU. Deep ruby colour, large to moderate off-white to beige head. Aroma of Scotch whisky and bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, grain and dust. Medium sweet flavour with the same elements as the aroma, also a distinct hoppy bitterness in the finish. Warming mouthfeel. Not bad at all.

Mar 23, 2021
Photo of Derptiluderp
Derptiluderp from Indiana

4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle. Slightly reddish hue to this dark guy. Minimal head. Not as much lacing as you'd think. Effervescent for a barrel aged ale. Nice bite goes with it though. Not a fan of scotch ales typically. This one is warmer with the bourbon influence though. Founders is incapable of making a bad beer. Even a varietal I don't like. Smells like whiskey and malt. Pretty smooth and doesn't have the lingering anise flavor, typical of scotch ales.

Mar 19, 2021
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A caramely treat enhanced with very lovely barrel notes of vanilla, toasted coconut, and marshmallow. Gorgeous in appearance, full bodied and lush to the palate, this beer is exceptional even by Founders standards. Highly recommended.

Mar 12, 2021
Photo of misteil
misteil from Ireland

4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

look: one finger off white to tan head which quickly dissipates to a thin layer of bubbles, beer is a mahogany cola coloured brown, very little light bleeding through.

smell: smells really good, malty, black bread, dark fruit, prune and fig and raisin, lot of whiskey, hint of vanilla, sweet, oaky, earthy, quite inviting.

taste: that’s pretty damn tasty, rich malt flavour, black bread, prune, fig, raisin, dark and milk chocolate, caramel, fudge, vanilla, hint of honey, earthy, oaky, boozy, notable alcohol presence, lot of whiskey, mild bitterness on the finish, dark fruit and whiskey flavours linger on the finish, quite good.

feel: full bodied, light carbonation, warming from the alcohol, maybe not quite as explosive as i would have hoped it to be.

overall: another very good strong ale from founders, although not my favourite of the ones i’ve tried thus far

Feb 28, 2021
Photo of Gripnrip207
Gripnrip207 from Vermont

4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good brû.
As far as looks go, this is for a craft beer, but confuses me, as it should only matter as per style? Besides the point. Ruddy brown. Looks like a wee heavy, as bba beers, lighter head, lower carbonation. Smell; toffee, chocolate, rousted malt. Ambiguous whiskey, definitely not Scotch. Taste is very good. A lot going one. The smokiness of scotch whiskey is light but there. Along with the characteristics of smoker malt, chocolate, toffee, roastieness. Thick mouth feel, as per style. Absolutely exemplified by lack of effervesence.

This review feels too pretentious for my liking, however. Beer taste good. Not an ipa, ya. 11.2% and is tasty. Get ya there more enjoyably.
Craft beer has felt like a waste of money as of recent, but this 1 good

Feb 25, 2021
Photo of Iamaskier
Iamaskier from Idaho

4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Good lord this is a beer... deep ruby to light brown color, with a thin and uneven head. Smell is sweet and boozy, earthy fruity- grape, vanilla, fig. You know exactly what you’re going to get when you smell this....
Taste is very malty, with fig, vanilla, spices, and a heavy punch of booze. You can really taste this on the back of your tongue and going all the way down. And the feel, oh my— it leaves your tongue tingling and your throat warm.
Overall, this is a helllll of a beer, a slow sipper for sure. It isn’t the most complex beer, but that’s just fine, because it does it’s thing verrrrry well. To describe it in one sentence: I’m not much of a whisky drinker, but this beer makes me want to drink more whisky, it’s that good.

Feb 06, 2021
Photo of rawbraves
rawbraves from Colorado

4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My goodness what an impressive dank brew. Let’s just say when I drank it I was fairly certain it’d be ranked very high for its style. Honestly, the smell I don’t like. Can’t make it out, but wouldn’t drink it if I could only smell it. Amazingly the nose works well when it hits the tongue. Found a bit of a bite on the front of the tongue but smooth at the back. I’d say it’s not my favorite bourbon stout but that’s because the Scottish style flavors are very forward. If you go into it expecting a Scottish bourbon and whisky bomb then it’ll fit into your list of all time favorites.

Feb 02, 2021
Photo of harrypowers
harrypowers from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a small short lived tan head that ends as lacing.

Smells of malt, raisins and booze. Tastes of sweet toasted malt with some chocolate and coffee notes that are overpowered by the scotch barrel flavor and a warm alcohol finish.

Heavy body with little carbonation. Lush syrupy mouthfeel.

This is a delicious, subtlety balanced, powerful liqueur of a brew!

Jan 30, 2021
Photo of DrBeergood
DrBeergood from Ohio

4.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Very dark with a khaki head. Foamy and creamy.

S: Chocolate and coffee as Founders is known for. Picking up on barrels, scotch whisky*, malts, what is that fruit cake on the end? Touch of sweetness back there? Top 5 best noses. Can anyone give an oxygen mask with this and make it a thing?

T: Excellent. The liquor flavor is majorly amplified compared to other Founders varieties. I enjoy the shit out of stout. More often stout is my direct go-to because it bloody tastes good. I drink stout for bittersweetness, not so uncommon of dark chocolate. Once you get to double digit %%, it's just bitterness followed by a kick. A nice stout has a balance to it. If you're looking for effective, check out the other barrel series, you'll be fine. If you're looking for flavor, look at this.

F: I'm here to drink stout. I'm taking giant mouthfuls saying to my palate, hey deal with this, in fact, my palate is encouraging this and it's celebrating.

O: If I had to surmise this in some sort of way, read the bottle, it's honest, if it seems enticing to you, have one, have two. Plus the guy on the bottle has a nice facial forest.... If you look like the guy on the bottle, go for it... Dark fruit, the malts, the smoke, the peated scotch... Wow... Well done lads... Now I have to refigure out my favorite 5, fuck me, it's fucking lovely, the nose really has my titties twisted, even empty I'm having fun with an empty bottle, Oh my god, fucking well done... Touch of sweetness to it, probably the caramel action... ah... Holy shit I did not see this coming... Wow... I'm telling you the fruit notes it's like... like a... raspberry blackberry cobbler combo? Some sort of sweetness offering at the end, where the fuck did they pull the sweetness from? Fucking hell, I'll buy a fucking 4pack, I'll have another... I got to get a proper see on this, give it a little vigor, give it a tight fucking pour, look at that, roasted caramel on the color, it's purple. I actually like it from the bottle more, must be cause it funnels the smell? It has the oak profile, but not the oak burn. The oak on the palate is there, but it washes away on the finish. Smooth as all fucking get out. Grand fucking flavor and the nose gives me a mild chubby.

*Canadian and scotch whisky--Avoid the E.

Jan 24, 2021
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil from Rwanda

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. The beer is a dark cloudy orange color topped with a light tan frothy head that grew to 2 fingers after an aggressive pour and dissipated after just a minute or so.

S: Caramel, dark bread, earth, brown sugar, yeast, toasted malt character.

T: Toast, caramel, toffee, vanilla, spices. Some unexpected notes in here, especially some sweeter notes like cherry or prune. I was expecting a bit more wood or scotch here, but not much o be found. Finishes with a bit of scotch, but more sweetness of caramel and butterscotch.

F: Smooth.

Overall: A very tasty beer with lots of different malty notes. I really like this.

Jan 08, 2021
Photo of Ernald_Elbertson
Ernald_Elbertson from Delaware

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Perfectly Scottish, if that makes any sense. It's dark and ruby, but slightly murky at the same time giving off that feel of a true classic beer style rather than the perfected ones we have today.

Smell: Hard to describe, very complex. Bourbon is definitely there, as is whisky in general. I'm not super familiar with Scotch, but I imagine that's partially what I'm getting as well. Dark dried fruits too.

Taste: Follows the smell pretty closely. If you've had Dirty Old Bastard, it's quite similar, but more complex and with a bourbon edge to it. Full of dark fruit notes, butterscotch, and malt.

Feel: A very heavy beer, and with the alcohol burn to support it. Not to the degree of unpleasant, but this beer is a great winter warmer. A big sipper as well, don't expect to go through these quickly.

Overall: This is a fantastic beer, but a bit too out there for my personal tastes. I feel as if it almost would appeal more to a whiskey drinker than a beer drinker. I still am rating it highly just due to the obvious quality of the product though.

Jan 01, 2021
Photo of Roy_Hobbs
Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/22/16. Served at 54 degrees and poured into a tulip.
Appearance is like dark, dark cola with a moderately lighter color around the very edges. Small amount of head, but given age / ABV about what I would have expected.
Aroma is sweet and boozy, with notes of bourbon, caramel & malts.
Taste is all sweet malts with the bourbon barrels clearly present (in a good way).
Feel is medium+ body, with low carb.
Overall - a good "sitting around on a Saturday" sipper.

Dec 26, 2020
Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 8847 ratings