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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): 11.60%

Availability: Fall

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

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,790 | Ratings: 7,904
Photo of tedpeer
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce poured into a pint.

A - Pours a deep red/brown with a sand colored head that quickly settled to a thin layer. Light lacing.

S - Bourbon, malt, vanilla.

T - Roasted malt, dark fruits, Alcohol warmth.

M - Thick, medium carbonation, smooth.

D - Good beer.

I really enjoy both this and Dirty Bastard, although this is better.

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Photo of tayner
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle sayd 8.7% not the 9.2 listed on here

Poured dark brown with a very little head, leaving just a ring around the edge

nose was strong bourbon, some woody oak, and dark malts

I expected taste to be dominated by bourbon, but surprisingly it was a little less than the smell which indicated a bourbon bomb. this was more balanced than that.. sweet malt, bourbon, mossy oak, figs.

Thick and coating, not too carbonated.

Pretty easy to drink even for the high abv. think it would be too much to have more than one or two, like drinking a beer and a shot of bourbon, but i could drink one every day.

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Photo of suspect
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip.

A: Clear mahogany brown. Aggressive pour leads to a slowly rising thick light brown/beige head that disappears slowly leaving thick lacing.

S: Bourbon. It gave me those shivers you get after taking a shot of whiskey...that's how strong it is. Holy cow. Malts are present as are some dark fruits but this is a one trick pony. And that pony is drunk off of bourbon.

T: Bourbon mellows a bit leaving some spices and malts but still, the bourbon is humongous here.

M: Smooth finish, big bodied. Huge bodied. Perfect carbonation.

O: A sipper. Total nightcap beer. Tastes and feels like bourbon. Damn.

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Photo of mavbrew
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a mahogany color with reddish tint when held up to light. The head is a finger thick and light tan in color, slowly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

S: The scent is pretty complex, the bourbon/scotch scent hits you right up front. Caramel malts are present as well and hints of vanilla and oak/wood characteristics.

T: The upfront taste is without question a massive bourbon flavor that punches the back your palette and sticks around for a while. Following is the oak taste and well as slight malty backgrounds and a bit of alcohol which is expected. The finish is dry and has bourbon flavor.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. The feel is woodsy and bourbon.

D: This is not a beer for the average beer drinker. This is a gnarly beer, very strong bourbon presence and the 10.2% does not go unnoticed, definitely a sipper. However, if you like bourbon and aggressive beers then give this one a try.

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Photo of pburland23
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Deep, dark garnet brown color with an incredibly thin head. The aroma is sweet malty, and smoky. The taste is comparable to bourbon with tinges of oak, smoke and sweet vanilla. The mouthfeel is a little thin. The lack of carbonation is noticeable with each sip. The beer is a little boozy and it has some heat to it. To me, that affects the drinkability. It's definitely a sipper

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Photo of sprucetip
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark mahogany with ruby highlights when backlit, clear, very active, 1 finger tan head, modest retention, spotty lacing.

SMELL Lightly smoky, oak, malty sweet, boozy, balanced mostly but with bourbony heat coming on strong late. Has legs.

TASTE malty sweeta, peaty, dark fruity, only mildly boozy compared to nose. Mild bitterness in the finish. Smooth, balanced and complex.

FEEL Brief acloholic bite then creamy, thick, rich, full and viscous.

OVERALL pretty easy drinking big beer. Alc not really so evident other than the nose.

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Photo of BirdFlu
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One would hope that this beer would be enjoyed after one has becom acquainted with dirty bastard, as there are obvioisly many more similarities than differences. Unless one is recently-familiar with DB, the differences may go unnoticed altogether. Basically, you don't really need to write a full review on this, but rather add some comments onto a DB review.. The bourbon presence is definitely noticeable and a nice touch. The flavor (and aroma) are both a bit more complex with whiskey and bourbon notes, as well as hints of vanilla and sweetened chocolate. Overall, in many ways it is very similar to DB and the other prominent Wee Heavys (skullsplitter, etc), except the brown liquor presence adds extra boozey warmth while at the same time slightly decreasing the drinkability as the sweetness and liquor-like qualities could get tiring after your second or even first bottle. It certanly puts the "scotch" in scotch ale, though for all it's deliciousness and highlights (which, like DB there certainly are many) it seems as though it's not quite perfect and falls just short of a solid A.

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Photo of Givemebeer
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep ruby color not much head thin lacing

S: bourbon and toffee

T: bourbon, plums, toffee, butterscotch. Slight hop bitterness to ensure this doesn't get too sweet.

M: Full-bodied and silky slightly sweet.

O: Extremely easy to drink and complex. A nice treat on this snowy day.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another big thanks to 2BDChicago for the chance to try this. 12oz. bottle served at 51 degrees in a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy, brownish-maroon hue with a creamy, quarter inch, tan-colored head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders forming a frothy band around the edges. Great nose on this beer - bourbon notes, brown sugar, raisins and prunes along a robust, malty backbone. Aromas are very much reminiscent of an old ale. Taste follows nose; however, the bold aromas are somewhat hollowed out in the flavor profile; nothing really pops. That said, I also get some buttery notes as well as a slight earthy hops presence at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a pleasant, even carbonation as well as a trace of acidity. There's also a little bit of residual alcohol heat that lingers at the back of the throat between quaffs. Overall, a very good beer. I'm not really getting the wee heavy on this, so I am rating more to preference than style. Another great beer from Founders; however, not a beer that I would cellar for an extended period of time as I feel like this brew could develop some oxidized flavors.

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Photo of Wontonst
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a full thick head. Very appealing look. The smokey barrel aging pops out along with vanilla, caramel. Taste is hoppy with notes of toffee, caramel, and malts. Feel is smooth but a bit boozy halfway through, with a malty finish.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with new art. higher, 10.2%abv

A- small sticky off white head on top of a dark brown body with ruby highlights

S- earthy peaty malts, a touch of smoke, some bourbon, vanilla, oak, and some cherries maybe

T- strong bourbon and oak taste. very slight aftertaste. the alcohol isnt that well hidden. earth, peat, cherries, vanilla,

M- extremely smooth and creamy. warming from the alcohol all the way down.

D- the ABV and the taste of alcohol make this one hard to want a second. however, i do feel that its a much improved version of dirty bastard and wish it would be a year round staple.

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Photo of spointon
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12-ounce stubby brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a hazy, deep amber-brown color with a 1/2" light tan head. Some minor spotty lace stayed on the glass.

S= Aroma was of course dominated by the bourbon, but also had a solid base of malty sweetness and oaky vanilla.

T= I found carmelly malty sweetness covered throughout by bourbon. There were also notes of dry oakiness and vanilla. Finish was mild for a bourbon barrel beer, and produced a bit of smokiness.

MF= Every bit of the high end of medium bodied here, with a lower carbonation feel. Nice tongue coating feel.

D= Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV and the relatively strong bourbon barrel quality. I think that malty Scottish ales work pretty well in bourbon barrels and this is no exception!

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The much anticipated first tasting for me of "Backwoods Bastard"...

The smell was absolutely incredible. The taste unfortunately was not as great as I hoped.

I really like "Dirty Bastard"; Founder's regular Scotch Ale. Assuming this is just the regular scotch ale aged in bourbon barrels, the bourbon taste was really good but overpowered the scotch ale taste I was hoping to get.

If I lined this up against most beers, it would win most head to head competitions. When I compare it to the "cream of the crop" beers I have had though, it didn't quite rise to the occasion.

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Photo of mday
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A :: Extremely dark, deep red and a light tan head that leaves little lacing.
S :: ...and here we have bourbon. So much bourbon (and some caramel/vanilla)! It smells delicious if you like bourbon.
T :: I got hit with some malty, smoky, caramel up front with the bourbon following close behind and it finishes with an oaky, dry woodiness.
M :: Creamy, smooth and sticky. As it lingers you get the alcohol warmth throughout your mouth and down your throat.
D :: I qualify this as a sipping beer. I really enjoyed it and it could be a good after dinner drink. Keep in mind the ABV; it will sneak up on you.

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Photo of Franz4
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice, 2010 vintage

A- dirty hazy brown with sediment suspended evenly throughout glass. No head to speak of, just a thin ring of foam.

S- nice bourbon nose with strong vanilla and oak noticeable. It's like they're making the bourbon right in your glass. Brown sugar and molasses become more evident as it warms.

T-Nice bourbon flavor dominates the beer, slight warming in the back of the mouth. The mashed grain taste continues to be ever present.

M-Carbonation is light but noticeable, medium bodied, but for the punch this beer packs it seems just a little light.

O- This is a nice brew, not as stunning as I remembered it, but nevertheless it's a beer to take your time with and appreciate.

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Photo of tgorgz
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: From the bottle into a wine glass- closest to a snifter I've got.

A: Dark, ruby red-somewhat like a cola. There's light carbonation at work, and some minimal lacing. Good looking beer.

S: Boom: You're hit with this boozy, toasty, even buttery (as mentioned below) nose. I'm detecting a slight hint of dark chocolate in there as well.

T: The alcohol isn't a prominent as I had anticipated. This is nice, because it allows the other flavours to come through. With that said, I'm getting more bread, butter and lighted toasted malts, followed by the chocolate and toffee notes.

M: Not as thick I as I might have had on draft, but no worries: it still glides on the palette very well. Also, the lingering taste is quite subtle as well.

O: Solid work from the boys at Founders. Keep 'em coming. Oh, a note though- I'd actually suggest letting this guy get up to around 50 degrees, because I feel the chill actually suppresses some of the flavours

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a thistle glass.

L - murky brown with a khaki colored head that thinned to a ring and left a few trails of lacing.

S - bourbon, oak, vanilla bean.

T - heavy bourbon taste upfront with some malty sweetness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

O - good example of the style.

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Photo of bobv
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/07/11,

A: Vigorous pour yields a half inch, tan head, with some lacing.

S: So nice, its best attribute. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, molasses are all present in varying degrees.

T: Very nice, oak and vanilla predominating with lots of bourbon and hops on the finish.

M: Nicely thick, but not overly so.

O: As it warms, a touch more bourbon comes out, but just the right amount.Another fine offering from one of my favorite breweries.

Can't wait for CBS in February...

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Photo of JohnG190
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy ruby brown with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Big bourbon notes on the nose with hints of oak and vanilla. Bourbon hits the palate right up front with a nice, sweet oaky finish. Light bodied with faint carbonation. Overall, a bourbon lovers delight. Well balanced and well crafted.

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Photo of Kelp
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok so this brew is probably better than I am giving it. Not to say that it wasn;t a very enjoyable brew. It's just that i had bourbon county earlier today and yes i know stout vs. ale is different, but i did and so be it. The appearance is a nice medium golden hue. Has a nice mellow smell of bourbon with a wee bit of vanilla and toffee. A nice mellow bourbon taste followed by vanilla and spice. Feels a bit heavy for an ale, but still easily drinkable. I enjoyed this brew just not as much as the previous brew i had. I could have a had one or two more but that would be it before the bourbon sweetness got to me. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of Overlord
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to LeftMR for the brew.

Pours a reddish brown. Aggressive pour yielded about a finger of head. Settled down to a thin offwhite crust for the remainder of the drinking session. Thick, bourbon mouthfeel. Seldom do I describe a mouthfeel with a taste, rather than a sensation, but considering just how crazily bourbon flavored this is, there's no avoiding it.

Taste and smell: so, do you like bourbon? That's the dominant characteristic, with oak, a bit of malt, and some vanilla/honey?/roasted fruit? rounding out the BOURBON.

I like it. Would I want it all the time: no way. Not as well integrated as the superb KFBS, but still a very good brew.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burgandy. Thin beige head dissipates quickly. Not much for lace, but not much expected for 10.2%. Nice aroma of caramel and bourbon like vanilla notes and a little dark cherry. Definitely smells like a winner. Nice warmth to this beer. Not too boozy, which is good, but rather a "glow" to it. And the bourbon is noticeable in the alcohol notes. Nice little chocolate and caramel notes on the buds. A little bitterness coming from the 50 IBUs. This makes for a nice little nightcap. A sipper.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- Dark red to brown in color with a thin layer of mocha head that only leaves the slightest lacing.

Smell- First thing that punches me in the nose is a bread yeast smell. Then I get large amounts of oak and bourbon.

Taste- Very nice smooth oaky flavor with a bourbon finish. My beef here is that this beer has been eatin up by the oak barrel aging. I dont get the carmel and peat flavors that are normally present in a scotch ale.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a nice warming quality on the backend.

Overall- Very good beer but see my taste comment. Needs to keep the basics of a scotch ale in my opinion. Still the oak makes it so smooth it is insanly drinkable.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired this 2009 bottle in a trade with nflmvp. Thanks Steve! ABV listed at 8.7%.

Poured into a Rémy Martin snifter.

Appearance: Tan, foamy crown quickly dissipates to a hair-thin halo. The body is a deep auburn color that turns crimson when held to light. Yellow-orange near the edges. Clarity is nice, but I spot quite a few floaties inside. When swirled, the beer leaves an oily residue coupled with spotty lacing on the walls of the glass - neither of which have a lot of staying power though. I'm excited. Time to dig in!

Smell: Strong molasses/caramel, sweet bourbon, and loads of grain. Mmmmm... this is bourbon barrel-aging done right! Alcohol is present but totally tolerable. Vanilla and flowery esters complete the aroma.

Taste: Clean grains, caramel, and bourbon. More earthy and alcoholic than the aroma let on, but still damn good. Subtle, flowery hops come through in the finish, mixing with dry bourbon. After reading a couple of the other reviews, I started picking up on raisins, too. Still, I'm not getting a whole lot of complexity from this one, but it is well-balanced and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Rich in flavor, bu the body is thin and oily with very light carbonation. Finishes dry and prickly, leaving bourbon-y undertones all over the palate. Still, this is working well for me right now - it's only 11:00AM. Still, a thicker body would be nice.

Drinkability: I just bombed a final exam, and Backwoods Bastard is acting as the perfect comfort beer. A little more complexity would be nice, but then again my mind is totally shot right now. Not great, but certainly recommended.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice light brown with some ruby edges, no noticable head and very little lacing. Smell is really nice, chocolate, toffee, bourbon.
Taste is nicely sweet, starts with a mild chocolate note backed up by the toffee sweetness. The bourbon is noticable but not overpowering. There's some wood notes as well but this mostly about the sweetness. The alcohol is slightly noticable but very pleasant.
Very drinkable, too bad it's so rare.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 7,904 ratings.
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