Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Wee Heavy", cave aged in oak bourbon barrels.

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

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Reviews: 1,830 | Ratings: 8,052
Photo of andrecrompton
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would surely consider myself a beer nut and this is the "Holy Grail" of beers that I have had. Great from first taste to finish. The body of this beer is heavy with a sweet after taste. Vanilla and Caramel taste all throughout. Perfect head from a tap pour. I have had other scotch or whiskey ales and they don't come close to the taste of this beer. I am really surprised to see very little reviews on beer.

This is a definate sipper and not a liter mug guzzler.

 466 characters

Photo of PeterParker
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Pours a deep dark ruby-brown. Nearly black. Half finger of head.

Smells divine. Oak, bourbon, cherries, caramel, vanilla, bit of coconut. Such a beautiful smelling beer.

Taste is astonishing. Bourbon undertones with dark smokey malts. Background of vanilla and cherry. Toasty, roasty, smokey and just so good.

Medium body, goes down super smooth. Very slight burn but nothing bad. Nothing not great about this beer.

One of my favorite beers. Super delicious and satisfying.

 489 characters

Photo of Frosty80
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: pours brown. sits dark ruby

Smell: sweet malt aroma with oak and bourbon. light alcohol and hint of sweet bread and vanilla

Taste: sweet, bready malt flavors with woody and bourbon tones. finishes sweet with some whiskey and oak flavor and hints of dark fruit, cocoa, vanilla and warming alcohol

Mouthfeel: heavy-med body. smooth with low carbonation

Notes: delicious fuckin beer! i wait all year for this and i made sure we stocked up big time at the store. one of my favorite beers and probly my favorite seasonal ANYONE puts out! decided to give it a 5 cause i cant imagine a scotch ale getting any better. i can always go back anyway

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Photo of Paul5211
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've rarely had a beer that I loved more than this! I love full-flavored ales and I've recently become a huge fan of oak whiskey barrel aging. Add that to Wee Heavy being my favorite variety of beer and this is second only to one other beer I've tried (St. Arnold's Bishop's Barrel #5 from Houston) and then not by much. Dark color. Beautiful, full aromas of cocoa. Taste and finish were delightful! The bourbon gives it an oaky, caramel-like taste to compliment the cocoa and adds just a slight burn that feels great going down. I can't give this beer enough stars! Unfortunately, like the St. Arnold's, it's a limited release, so I don't get to enjoy it over and over. I would love for a brewer to make a beer like this year-round!

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Photo of alk3kenny
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been getting really into trying different Founder's beers after getting my hands on breakfast stout and CBS... Found this in a four pack at my local liquor store they had one 4pk left after I bought this one... I'll be going back for the other one hopefully it's still there. Pours a great color dark in the center but tan in the light around the edges smell of alcohol and bourbon. Tastes just as delicious the whisky is really present here which is a huge plus. Smooth easy to drink just overall delicious. If you've been pining for some of Founder's rarer brews and you come across this do yourself a favor get some. Do it... Do it... C'mon Do it...

UPDATE:!!! Pouring a 2011 and a 2012 next to each other and seeing the differences. Looking at appearance my 11 is slightly lighter then the 12 which is much darker this year. The smell on the 11 has definitely mellowed out over the year and the 12 has the same wonderful smell that I imagine. Let's taste... Wow the 11 has really mellowed out and became extremely smooth. You can taste the difference in the two from the get go. The year of age really benefits this beer though the 12 is still the amazing beer that I remember. It shows the alcohol much more and has slightly more of the bourbon burn. The 11 is now super smooth and easy going alcohol presence has lessened but I'm sure that the overall abv has hopefully increase with age. Mouthfeel on the 11 is amazingly creamy while 12 has the nice bourbon feel and fresh beer carbonation. Can't wait to put the 11 next to the 12 and 13 next year lol :)

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
5/5  rDev +17.4%

This beer has a very dark ruby brown color with a thin tan head.

The aroma is wonderful: raisins and chocolate hit up front, while prunes and cherries sneak up behind.

The flavor is the most astonishing part of the beer. Licorice, sweet chocolate pudding, juicy dates and raisins, sugar and molasses, maple syrup, oak wood, and much much more. There is a prominent bourbon barrel coat on every sip.

This drinks velvety smooth - a thick mouth-feel. Yet, it maintains drinkability.

This is one of the best beers I've had yet. I'm still trying to comprehend all of the wonderful flavors present in the taste. The balance and the craft of this brew are beyond superb.

 669 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter at the Mohawk House in Sparta, NJ. Deep opaque, reddish-mahogany, with one finger of beige head that retained and laced excellently. Very little visible carbonation. The aroma revealed a huge cherry-vanilla/whiskey/oak essence, with some caramel apple and smoke as well. The taste? Wow...sweet malty, caramel-apple, cherry-vanilla, then followed by more sweet fruitiness before finishing on an ever so subtle bitter peel finish, that hid the alcohol content ridiculously well. As a matter of fact, if it wasn't for the whiskey in the nose, I wouldn't get much hint of alcohol at all. The feel was a silky smooth medium thickness, with no carbonation. The crazy thing is that the alcohol presence is such a non-factor, that you can find yourself having downed three snifters of this stuff, and still be yearning to session more. I know I was. Anyway, I sampled this at my virgin trip to the fine establishment known as the Mohawk House (see review), but even if I didn't like the place, I would've come back just for this beer. I can't remember when I have given a beer review 5's across the board..if ever. This beer is excellently done on all fronts.

 1,173 characters

Photo of doppelmeup
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely loved this beer. Had it on tap on two separate occasions, and wish I could find some in bottles.

Great notes of malt, vanilla and bourbon in the nose, and the taste is more than I ever hoped for. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Sweet without being cloying. Bourbon flavors perfectly compliment the scotch ale, resulting in one of the best beers I've ever had.

Warning though - the 10.2% ABV will kick you in the N**ts!

I say - if you ever see this, buy it!!

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Photo of chromemittenman
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was fortunate enough to get a bottle from a friend. This beer is absolutely incredible...very smooth taste, definitely can tell it was aged in Oak Barrels. If you aren't a fan of the oak aged beers, then this one might not be for you...but this beer is no joke...some bite of whiskey on the front end, but smooths right out. I think one is enough for drinking one of these...I wish I had several more!!

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Photo of Jwmumm
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my absolute favorite beers. This has in incredible flavor and the bourbon barrel aging adds an unusual smoothness to this beer. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

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Photo of krustster
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: one of the best-looking beers I have ever seen, if not the very best. I always say this isn't an important category, but this is one of those beers that you really have to see in the glass to fully appreciate. Dark, dark brownish red. Held up to the light it's almost a blood red. Mostly clear with fine sediment suspended in the bottom of the glass. Very generous brownish-white head that lasts for a very long time. Tons of sticky lacing. Incredible appearance. I've had many bottles of this before now, but just looking at it is raising my expectations for this review.

Smell: Incredibly rich, bourbon, oak, candied nuts, caramel, vanilla, toffee, every "sweet" and "rich" adjective you can think of applies here. I'm sure there are some references to dark fruits and whatnot that I'm missing, but to me, it's all about the caramel and pecan pie. In any case, it's a magical experience. I've been just smelling it for about half an hour, and this is my 13th bottle so far this year. It never gets old. Absolutely unreal!

Taste, in accordance with tradition, is similar to the nose. Delicious, rich, decadent, any over-the-top adjective you want to apply will fit in here. Huge bourbon, oak, caramel, toffee, dried fruits or whatever, incredible. This is one of those beers where you go "oh my god bourbon barrels must be actually magic!" and buy a bunch of bourbon barrel stuff that isn't very good, in hopes of duplicating the miracle your mouth just experienced. More than anything else, the flavor I get is pecan pie. And that's one of my favorite types of pie! Oh man. Maybe even french toast. This is so sweet, so rich, so balanced. But not over the top! I like over the top things, but this one is so balanced in spite of how rich and sweet it it is, that it reaches another level. It's almost like a religious experience. What a treat. I could drink this all day... but given its limited nature, I'll say that I could have this as a dessert after any meal.

Mouth feel... a hard category to rate, but I have to give it a perfect score again. It's so sticky, like a syrup. Like maple syrup on french toast! Viscous, but creamy, and with just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall, it would appear that I've given this beer a perfect score. I don't have a ton of reviews, but this is one of only two so far that has gotten such a rating from me. I dunno, for me, most beers fall behind in either mouth feel or appearance, but this one is quite simply perfect all around. I cut myself off once I'd purchased 16 bottles. I have 3 left, and I feel like I made a grave mistake buying as "few" as I did. This beer is an utter masterpiece.

 2,660 characters

Photo of gfreed
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rarely am I given the chance to rate a beer so highly. This is so far beyond any other American Scotch ale, it is the standard for American beers in this style. Bourbon to the fore! Add to that the gentle aroma of citrus with a heavy malty tang; a dense taste of orange peels, lemons, rope, cocoa, butter, oak, new leather shoes... is there anything *not* to envy in this beer? This can go head to head with any UK Scotch ale. Best enjoyed in a snifter or a thistle while playing the piano, or on one's front porch on an almost-spring New England afternoon. An incredible beer by any standard.

 593 characters

Photo of Social_Lubrication
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

look: 5
Brilliant Dark Amber.

smell: 5
sweet & malty. vanilla & oak I am also picking up the smell of fresh rye bread which gets more intense as the beer warms

taste: 5
Chocolate covered dark cherries up front with the bourbon finish

feel: 5
Excellent. Creamy & smooth. Lightly carbonated.

overall: 5
Excellent Beer. Will be on the lookout every fall for this.!!

 368 characters

Photo of Reema
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: 12 oz bottle into a snifter

Pours a deep crimson brown, with off white foam settling on top. Smell is of rich caramel, toffee, slight vanilla, and intense oak qualities. It smells awesome. Taste is of initial caramel toffee, with a slight fruitiness, intense bourbon oak flavor after that lingers for a few moments. Feel is medium, with enough carbonation to not be flat. Overall this is a great beer with awesome oak characteristics.

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Photo of AllDayAdams
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, i just wish they would come out with this beer more then a month. The bourbon taste at the end of a sip taste amazing!Def a great beer to buy.

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Photo of jewellrunner
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Perhaps a top 5 beer of all time. Despite the warnings to only drink this at room temp, I found it to be delightful cold as well. The carbonation hits the tongue and immediately fades for a smooth mouthfeel. Then there's the bourbon; the delicious, perfectly accented bourbon. It's how bourbon and beer were supposed to taste together. Perfection.

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Photo of enrique_m
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is a really tasty brew, the color is black and when you put it to the light it is an amber color with visible particles all over. i poured into a snifter and it gave me about 3 inches of a cream color head that went away quickly. and once i put it up to my nose i get the aromas of maple syrup, molasses, and dark fruits like fig. the taste of bourbon is noticable and you get a bit of sweetness at the end. i have to slowly consume my last three bottles of this lovely brew.

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Photo of domfreego
5/5  rDev +17.4%

My first bourbon barreled beer and still my favorite.

Smell: Rich bourbon qualities with a hint of sweetness

Taste: Vanilla flavor will hit your palate followed by sweet malts that compliment the barrel in the beer. Let it warm to experience different levels of oak on your palate.

Mouth Feel: Medium body with a smooth finish, definitely not as heavy as other beers in this style

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Photo of Feldpausch
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 batch poured into a snifter. Finger size head that dissipates quickly into barely any. Deep dark brown and smells of oak, scotch, and bourbon, almost like your grandpa's cottage somewhere up north in Michigan. Taste is an outstanding deep malty/toffee undertone with a strong bourbon aftertaste. Overall, this is another great, buy-as-much-as-you-can-while-its-around Founder's classic! I will be cellaring a few alongside my KBS for a year and 3 years to see how age makes this incredible beer taste!!

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Photo of AScribjr
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is not for your everyday beer drinker...This beer pours like the red seas...And the aroma of this beer opens up the bourbon barrel. the first sip is a full mouth of delight.But the way it makes you feel is the best.It is to bad thiss beer is very limited...thank-you Founder

 284 characters

Photo of JohnnyMc
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another Bourbon-Barrel aged beer from Founders!!

Pours out a pretty dark mahogany with ruby highlights and a thin head.

The aroma has a lot of Bourbon, a decent amount of vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee butterscotch and followed by dark fruits like figs and raisins.

The taste has a decent amount of Bourbon right away and that's followed by the caramel, toffee and butterscotch notes and then that blends into a vanilla, slightly smoky and oaky characteristic and on the back end is where all the dark fruit notes are. The bitterness helps balance out the sweetness, but it's not a bitter beer.

It's medium bodied and has a nice rich mouthfeel. You can feel and taste the alcohol, but it enhances the style of the beer.

Very easy to drink and extremely enjoyable young, but I'm going to age a few bottles as well to see how it is in a year or more.

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Photo of aronamerican
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahhh, the annual meet and greet with the Bastard. How could I forget the boisterous rambunctiousness that ensues when you egress from your hiding spot?

Looks like cola, tastes like a libation suitable for the gods.

 217 characters

Photo of buddha5050
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass

A. small 1/2 finger tight white head with a nice dark/ruby red color nice laceing and alcohol feet. Good carbonation as well.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, cherries, even a little black walnut to me. Sweet.

T: Oh wow! It is so well blended you get the bourbon and vanilla up front a nice sweetness. The best tasting wee heavy I have ever had hands down. Chocolate covered cherry....

M: Medium body, not too sticky like alot of barrel aged beers. Nice carbonation...

O: I can't say enough about this beer, I know I gave it a 5 but this is a rare example of a truly great beer...

 636 characters

Photo of weareallfalafel
4.99/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled October 2016, enjoyed December 8th of the same year. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large snifter. Pours a deep, dark, just short of opaque mahogany with a finger-thick off-white, beige head that dissipated at somewhat slowly and left a little bit of lacing. Carbonation is evident on the sides of the glass when swirled and held up to the light. Smell is big bold caramel, bourbon, molasses, and a touch of spice. Taste follows suit, but of course, more pronounced. Marshmallowy combo of malts and Bourbon is killer and, like the Dirty Bastard, the touch of caramelly sweetness and the loving hop bite, work like a dream together. The feel is full bodied and relatively thick with a carbonation that is lively, but not overly so. Overall, I absolutely love this beer and can't wait to see what age will do for it. Can't recommend this highly enough. Layers of complexity, flavors from across the spectrum, and not too ridiculous a price, either. For me, I'd call it perfect.

 986 characters

Photo of titletown30
4.99/5  rDev +17.1%

Pours a thin white head, and dark garnet color when held to light. Bourbon flavor is well balanced and has a velvety mouth feel. Hints of toffee and milk chocolate come through with the oak and has a pronounced bourbon finish. If you like bourbon this is an excellent beer. Need to find more!

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 8,052 ratings.
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