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Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
95
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1,743 Reviews
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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,743
Ratings:
7,741
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
22.35%
 
 
Wants:
1,001
Gots:
3,083
For Trade:
284
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,743 | Ratings: 7,741
Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich red-brown hue with plenty of haze. Head is an attractive finger of frothy tan foam with a bit of an amber cast. Quite good.

Smell: very sweet aroma, to the point of a malt molasses, perhaps. Along with that is a good woody aroma from the barrel, contributing vanilla and almond-like character. Very good, although massively sweet.

Taste: sweet malt, vanilla, alcohol, more sweetness, tannic woodiness, and finally a bit of harsh bitterness at the end. The alcohol lends a bit of dark fruit character, cherry and plum, but is generally a bit on the hot side for me. I like a lot of the flavors here, but they just come together in a pretty harsh way. Good, but it lacks the smoothness I like in the style.

Mouthfeel: huge body, great carbonation, silky smooth creamy wonderful texture. The body on this thing is just massive, as the sweetness ought to indicate. Wonderful.

Overall: I know this is supposed to be a strong beer, but its strength is a little bit raw; as I said I'd prefer it a bit smoother. Still, quite a good beer.

 1,094 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served into a glass stein. Thanks Geneseohawk for the great extra.

Appearance- The Bastard pours with an attractive auburn body. There are some orange-ruby highlights. The off-white head built to a finger. It does not have great retention and minimal lacing.

Smell- There is some sweet caramel and vanilla. The oak comes through with a distinct musty and smokiness. There is also some bourbon heat.

Taste- The bourbon flavor leads, but gives way to the sweet malts. There is some caramel and vanilla. The oakiness is present here, but not as big as in the nose. There is a little bit of heat in the finish.

Mouth feel- Founders sure knows how to handle carbonation, very creamy. The finish was a little dry and harsh due to the heat.

Overall- This beer is very good. The oak notes really tie it together and give nice parity to the sweet caramel malt and vanilla.

I had an early 2010 vintage and picked up more vanilla and molasses on the palate with less bourbon burn. The mouth feel was also better, being more creamy and less dry, not as much heat.

 1,071 characters

Photo of nanertak
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip.

Appearance: Poured 1 1/2 finger amber head with hints of red. Dark red/brown in color, very clear.

Nose: LOT of sweet malt. Oak and honey in the background, a bit of boozy sweetness.

Taste: Sweet malts up front, fades into oak, finishes strong toasted oak and medium malt. Not much hint of the 10% ABV, very well masked. Small amount of heat on the breath. Little sweet for my tastes.

Mouthfeel: Round, somewhat oily. Mild carbonation. Bordering on cloyingly round.

Drinkability: Very slow occasional sipper. Strong flavor, strong ABV.

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Photo of ejquin
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Cola brown with very thin white head that fades quickly.

S: Loads of vanilla and bourbon. Litt le bit of caramel and some molasses sweetness and a slight amount of fruitiness

T/M: Medium and chewy. Taste is of caramel and lots of vanilla, though not an overpowering bourbon character, fades to slight hop biterness. Milky sweet. Feels strong but not 10%.

D: Above average for the abv.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a dark hazy brown with little floaties seen in the glass. You can smell the burbon on this one, and its definately in the taste too. Mixed with a dark malt taste, and it does drink so damn smooth. The 10.20% is very well hidden. This was a decent beer and glad I got to try it. Never had a burbon barrel aged beer before. Nice offering.

 349 characters

Photo of JoePat
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dirty brown with a thin off white head that dissipates pretty quickley.
Smells of sweet vanilla and oak with a tiny bit of bourbon. I do pick up some of the caramel.
Very earthy taste but with a sweet malt backbone, gram crackers. A little boozy on the end. This beer is big and flavorful.
Mouth feel is thick and with everything going on in this beer it is a sipper.

 375 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle.

A: Pours a hazy mahogany color with a thin eggshell head that has little retention. Lacing is minimal, but the beer itself coats the edge of the glass.

S: Nose is sweet, with caramel, honey, toasted oak and vanilla. There is just a slight hint of charred wood in the backround.

T: Malty notes of caramel, fig, and rasin are present upon sipping at first. It's followed by toasted oak, vanilla and some smoke, along with some warming boozy flavor. Hops do dry out the finish, but are overall masked by the intense flavors brought on by massive amounts of malt and bourbon barrel aging.

M: Massive, full-bodied mouthfeel, great viscosity, and has a long finish.

D: A very good beer for it's style, however, it's high ABV and intense flavor make it a bit heavy to sit down with and enjoy on it's own. It will be interesting to see how it ages.

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Photo of birchstick
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - pours a very dark, rich brown with a solid one-finger head

S - smells very sweet - a lot sweeter than I expected. There are hints of vanilla and oak, with sweet tones of leather and black licorice. There is also some caramel malt and a dash of dark cherries. There is also a very faint touch of peatiness, as an ode to its scotch ale style.

T - The taste follows the nose. There is a lot of stuff going on in this one - it has taken me a while to decipher this beer. Very sweet, toasted and caramel malts are upfront and play the leading role. The cherries that are pretty subtle on the nose stand out quite a big as well. There is bourbon and sweet oakiness on the finish as you exhale, and it lingers on the palate for a while. This is an ultimate sipper...

M - pretty thin and watery mouthfeel - very average.

D - Wow, this is a pretty hearty brew. You definitely need to sip this one and take all of its aromas and flavors in. I really enjoy the bourbon that lingers between drinks. Another fantastic brew from Founders - I have come to expect nothing but the best from these guys.

 1,094 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 32 oz growler. The look of this beer is fantastic--a dark ruby/orange with the light behind it. Half-inch tan head didn't linger too long. The smell is bourbon and booze, though after it warmed the sweeter malt came through, and a little later, there was some chocolate and vanilla, and what briefly smelled like coconut. Taste was heavy on bourbon and alcohol, which gave way to a little malt sweetness, finishing with a slight bitter dryness. A little sweet, but not too sweet. Smooth feel that left a kind of alcohol coating on the tongue. I'd love to try this one after a year or so of aging. Seems to have all the elements to be taken to another level.

 664 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass on tap at Founders

This beer pours a hazy plum-maroon color with little to no white head doing anything but lacing on the surface. The aroma is a lot of malts hanging out together and having a party in this glass. There is an overwhelmingly sweet aroma coming off of the nose of this beer. This beer truly is a bastard because I really can't figure out all of the flavors it's really trying to go for. The short answer is that I like it, but I don't know why. I believe that there is a definite whiskey kick to this beer that is more prevalent in the back of the palate. There might even be a touch of smoked malts used. It's a true malt bomb in every sense of the word. It's got a really decent mouthfeel, but is almost too sweet and strong to easily take down without a lot of time on your hands.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pored from 12oz bottle into tulip -2011 bottle

A: Pours a translucent deep brown with one finger head that quickly decends into a tiny ring of lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Scotch/bourbon roasted malt, slight hop.

T: Scotch/bourbon , toffee, caramel,malt, slight hop,slight sweetness.

O: Overall a treat of a beer , a slow sipping tasty beer that will reward anyone who is fond of scotch/bourbon.

 401 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Super dark red color to the point of being black/brown. Poured with minimal white head that quickly went to the edge of the glass.

S: Hints of the barrel. Tons of malt. Hints of whiskey as well. Really nice amount of sweetness as well. The barrel really bring out what you want in a wee heavy.

T: Really nice. Nice mix of whiskey and malt. Tons of sweetness just like the nose. The malt is there no doubt all the way through.

M: Heavy medium body. Nice syrupy tone.

D: Almost too drinkable. Very nice beer.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a quasi tulip,looks very nice.deep brown with great lacing. rich bourbon and vanilla notes in the nose,bit of caramelized sugar.bit of dark fruit.

rich caramelized sugar sweetness,vanilla and oak flavors. bit bourbon burn in the finish.moderate clean bitterness. overall pretty nice,real into the strong bourbon flavors.

mouthfeel is medium bodied,doesn't take away much from the beer itself. the beer is a nice sipper,the abv is high which takes away from the drinkability imo. still kinda hot as well,but i like this rough version.

 547 characters

Photo of DrSpaceman
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque amber, very thin head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is oak and brown sugar. Taste is bourbon barrel forward, nice rich buttery finish. Body stands up to the alcohol, a brilliantly executed bottle.

 210 characters

Photo of TimZebGir
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%

Years trapped in wood,
Crawling out covered in syrup,
Eyes flash to the bar,
Grin of missing teeth.

A: Caramel brown and brilliantly clear -- a thick creamy head that just refused to subside (3/3)
S: Like a shortbread cookie at first, then blending to clear bourbon and booze, with notes of raisin and toffee in the middle (9/12)
T: Remarkably rich and dessert-like (burnt toffee on a sweet whiskey-soaked sponge cake?), but that alcohol (with a bit of coffee maybe?) kicks you in the ass at the end(17/20)
M: Very creamy, surprisingly so given the superbly clear appearance (4/5)
O: Tread lightly, this old bastard shoots to kill. This is a great cure for a cold night or a good companion for a small, rich dessert. Otherwise, this guy is going to overpower anything it touches. (8/10)
41/50

 796 characters

Photo of beerorRIP
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

50 ibu, 10.2% abv from the neck label.

poured from a bottle to a clear pint glass gave a 1.5 finger head which settled down quickly to a ring of foam on the top. some lacing here and there as small bubbles rush to the surface and keep the sediment from settling quickly. a nice clear deep amber, well clear if i hadn't poured all that sediment in there.

smells nice. bourbon? check. alcohol? check. some sweet malty goodness? check. woody? check. i think i like what i'm getting into...

wow. bourbon... i think there's some beer in here somewhere... oh, there it is. a vanilla taste, some hot alcohol (which reinforces the bourbon taste), and some malts. a woody touch as well, but no smoke. tasty. mouth-warming.

a creamy mouthfeel. again, reinforcing bourbon ideal, it gives your mouth a coating of goodness that makes you feel like you're having a tall glass of beer that might be mistaken for a bourbon-like concoction if it were flat.

this is quite drinkable for what it is. but not something i'd really wanna drink more than one of per session... ok, maybe two. a sipper for certain. guess i'll need to find some fancy snifters or tulips for next time.

 1,163 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark ruby, thin light brown colored head, spotty lace down the glass. Smell: caramelized sugar; mildly earthy, leafy and boozy. Bourbon, yes, not a lot from the oak. Taste: caramelized pear, dates, earthy, with notes of bourbon, vanilla, and baking spices. Sugary, candied fruit finish.

 316 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 ounce bottle into a stemless wine glass.

Oatmeal colored head a finger thick, looks creamy and substantial. Body is dark amber with excellent clarity when held to light. 4.5

Oaken, bourbon-heavy, and bright caramel and vanilla. Rye notes are apparent. 4.25

Tastes of scotch and bourbon. Peaty and rich with caramel. Toasted bread notes appear and add some richness. 4

Highly creamy but still has the body of a bourbon or whiskey and similar carbonation. Alcohol burn is there but not offensive and leads to a dry finish that reminds me of sipping a heavier spirit. 4

I like this brew, but I feel the bourbon is too dominant and doesn't allow the beer to shine.

 676 characters

Photo of ne0m00re
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle.
A: A mostly clear brownish red; poured with a nice cream head that died to a thinner collar.
S: Strong bourbon, a bourbon vanilla and caramelized or dark candi sugar behind, almost comes off like black cherries and cheese cake. Dessert sweet with a boozey alcohol presence.
T: The booziness is far more conceiled in the taste, until the very end, which lingers like a sip of smooth bourbon. An earthy mellow vanilla caramel, raisins, brown sugar, figs, and some cherries play lead before the booze takes over. Very well done.
M: Thicker, with an undercarbonated mouthfeel.
D: Pretty good. Maybe one bottle is good?

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Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dirty brown color with a small, thin head of off-white, foam. It left soapy residue.

S - It smelled of bourbon, scotch and rich, sweet malt.

T - This really had a good dose of bourbon flavor with touches of raisin. It had a rich, sweet malt backbone.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a great tasting brew. Potent and rich.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Wasatch in a recent trade. I think this may be an older vintage as the ABV is listed at 8.7%.

A: Aggressive pour yields a murky brown beer with a slightly cream colored cap that disappears into a ring of bubbles on the edge of the glass and a small island in the middle.

S: Booze, big bourbon profile, lots of malts, never really a great sign when the first thing I notice in a beer is the booze, but it actually is growing on me. Some notes of wood and vanilla, a little char. Nice.

T: Smooth syrupy malts that lend flavors of vanilla and roasted malt, which leads into a great bourbon profile. Honey, vanilla, oak, caramel, slightly astringent alcohol flavor. Man the vanilla note in this really stands out, I love the lingering aftertaste of the vanilla on this. Wow, chocolate creeps in on the back of the vanilla as well. Very sweet beer, but it serves its purpose well as dessert. Delicious.

M: Fairly thick body, very low carbonation, dry, and incredibly smooth. Just enough warming alcohol to know it's there.

D: A little sweet and strong to be a session, but this is a stellar dessert beer. Excellent. Will definitely try and revisit this beer in any way that I can. Great work from Founders, I have yet to be disappointed.

Thanks John!

 1,272 characters

Photo of Adamostella
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a slick deep amber. No real head on this one at all.

You certainly get the bourbon / oak notes right up front on the nose.

The taste is similar to the nose on it, you get the bourbon/oak and a small amount of vanilla. This drinks closer to an actual bourbon to me than a beer which is impressive. The alcohol is there in this beer and it really isn't trying to hide it. However, it doesn't get in the way or overpower it.

Drinks extremely smooth which can make things interesting with a beer that packs this kind of punch.

A great beer overall when you are in the mood for something a bit different and boozy.

 624 characters

Photo of Gtreid
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased at Discount Liquor in the Mke. Poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Rich, brown color. The pour creates a small half inch light, kahki head that leaves a little spotty lace.

A: Burbon, vanilla, and caramel. Pretty sweet. The burbon really takes center stage in the nose. I get a very pronouces earthiness as well.

T: Pretty nice. The burbon is not overwhelming but you know it's there. The sweetness is in the form of the vanilla and caramel. I also get a small chocolate flavor. It finishes smooth and tangy.

M: As with most barrel aged brews, the mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Pretty low carbonation levels, heavy body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average for the style, the high ABV with the burbon will limit it some. Overall, I am very pleased with this brew. The barrel did its job here, very solid, and recommended. Skal.

 870 characters

Photo of barczar
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an clear deep amber with a small beige head that dissipates immediately, leaving a foamy ring around the sides of the tulip.

Booze and chocolate malt dominate the aroma with a slight peaty element creeping in as it warms. Raisins and figs appear in the background.

A cola-like sweetness opens the flavor profile, with bourbon, oak and vanilla taking center stage, together with malted milk balls. Booze becomes apparent as the flavor lingers. The finish is slightly bitter. Chocolate becomes more apparent as it warms.

Medium heavy body with almost no carbonation. Alcohol provides a warming feeling.

Overall a very good nightcap. Could benefit from a little age to tame the alcohol.

Years later, tried again fresh in 14, and the fruity notes are excellent in aroma. Flavor still boozy and vanilla dominant. Upped my rating a bit.

 841 characters

Photo of tjkinate
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yup, I enjoyed this one.

A: Single fingered, khaki colored head that exhibited ok retention settling to a thin film above this deep rust colored and cloudy brew.

S: Toffee, followed by molasses, raisons, and rich vanilla hints.

T: ABV detectable, but in a good way. Loads of toffee as the smell followed by vanilla. Grainy bitterness on the backend.

M: Fairly high burn from the booze, well carbonated.

O: Very good beer, would love to have again.

 452 characters

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,743 ratings.
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