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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

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Reviews: 1,756 | Ratings: 7,780
Photo of Ikeithbot
4.96/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Looks brick reddish brown, no head typical of her style

Smells amazing! Heavy oak and bourbon action!

Taste is other worldly. I love wee heavies and this brings it to another level.

Mouthfeel. Baa. Whatever.

Overall. The more I drink it the more I want to rock a kilt. Such a treasure and kudos to founders for making an exceptional brew. It can't be easy and I guess that's why it's only available once a year.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Genty poured into chalice. No head, fizzy lacing that dissipates. Deep brown, ruby-brown when held to light.

Smells of molasses and dark malty ale, chocolate and toffee, like a tray of brown sweets at Christmas. Indicative of its style.

Taste: syrupy mash, rich creamy chocolate, roast toffee, very full bodied. Soft custard aftertaste.

Feel: pretty smooth. The savory flavors are soft on the palette. The only carbonated bite comes from the faint ale taste.

More personality than its exemplary but standard Founders cohorts Curmudgeon (Old Ale) and Dirty Bastard (another Wee Heavy). If you're a fan of the style, it is essential drinking. If you like dark rich beers in general, it will likely tickle your fancy. Serve it at your next Samhain.

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Photo of MaillardRx
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber with a thin light-colored meniscus for a head that leaves an equally thin lace
S: malt, whiskey, malt again, whiskey again... I could smell this all day
T: a robust and mature malt bill, whiskey, raisins, currants, oak, coffee, a little bit of smoke, pepper, molasses, brown sugar
M: more chewy than I was anticipating but in a very good way, it's got good girth to it
O: start to finish this was a very complete beer and great example of the style; it warmed the cockles of my heart and I'm very grateful to Kyle for it.

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Photo of BarrelAgedForrest
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW! Not sure what else to say here. I got to enjoy one bottle of this and was sadly hooked with no where to get a fix! (We got 1 case of it in our entire town) Then next thing you know we go to Round table to get a salad and low and behold founders is doing a tap take over there (WTF?) To say the least I was the only guy to ask for it properly served in a tulip glass (They had some) Also I was told I drank most of the keg lmao.

Pours a nice caramel brown from the tap and bottle. The tap had more Head Retention then the bottle. On the nose you are left diving into the depths with bourbon and sweet oakey vanilla up front, followed by caramel and some chocolate. ( at least i was) The mouth feel is very warm and creamy, emphasis on the boozy warmth. Great for a cold evening! get hints of smokeyness as well. Taste wise, i got the same as on the nose but with a bit more maltiness then what I picked up on the nose. Absolutely wonderful and a great pleasure to get to enjoy it while it was here!

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red brown with a short tan head that dissipates leaving a little lacing, clear

S: malty, oak, bourbon, bread, prunes, raisins, vanilla, chocolate covered cherries

T: cherries, raisins, bourbon, oak, prunes, vanilla, chocolate, smoky peat

M: full and heavy, lower carbonation, alcohol well hidden

O: Fantastic beer with a wealth of flavor complexity. Perfect for a cold winter evening.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy dark amber in color, with a massive and somewhat coarse tan head, with good persistence.

Aroma: A spicy-sweet bourbon-like alcohol note dominates the aroma. Raisins, wood, vanilla, and earth are also notable.

Taste: The taste begins with sweet, vinous and spicy alcohol, roasted malt, and earth. As the taste progresses, wood infused bourbon notes advance, offering a slightly sweet and very complex undercurrent. As the taste progresses, the bourbon notes vie with the wood to provide a complex melange. Late in the taste, there is a surprising note of toasted coconut. The finish is dominated by wood notes and sweet alcohol.

Mouth feel: Wonderfully full, very soft and pleasing.

Drinkability/notes: Simply wonderful, in a world of overpriced and mediocre craft beer, this is an elegant and over-the-top example of what craft beer can be when craftsmanship is applied.

Presentation: Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. Bottled on date is 09/24/15.. This was my 1500th review on Beer Advocate.

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

This is my first perfect 5! Deep ruby and brown. Smell of toasted marshmallow, lots of vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. Tastes even better with all those aromas highlighted even more. Smooth and creamy, medium full body. As of now, this sets the bar for my favorite beer ever! Thank you Founder's for coming to California. The hype is real. Cheers!

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Completely opaque brown. Low head retention with fast rising bubbles.

S - Planty, with notes of bread, prunes, plums, and bourbon.

T - Spicy and woody with prunes. Bitterness is restrained. Mild alcohol presence.

M - Mouth coating thickness. Some carbonation burn with short finish.

O - A strong, interesting and tasty brew. Not an everyday beer for me, but good for the occasional enjoyment.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: opaque; brown or deep amber with ruby accents at the edges; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a splotchy cap; very nice lacing;

S: vanilla, dark fruit, molasses, and caramel;

T: caramel, vanilla, molasses, fruitcake, and bourbon; relatively sweet up front with mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish; smooth; for 11.6% ABV, alcohol is warming, but relatively well hidden;

O: very nice, complex aromas and flavors;

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Photo of chrismann65
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle to snifter. Bottled 9-13-15. This is a top shelf B.W. ! some roasted nut, some dried fruit. The mouthfeel is smooth and thick. This is a phenomenally tasty Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy. This years was on POINT !!!

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Photo of JTG372
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in 10/15. Poured a 3 inch head(! [my fiance poured in her "from higher is better" method]) into a tulip.
Look: Deep dark reddish mahogany.
Smell: Oak, tobacco, sweet earth, and yes, heaven.
Taste: Again, heaven. Oak, sweet malt,bourbon, vanilla, more tobacco, an earthy quality in the best way. The best scotch ale I have ever had, aged or otherwise. There's a lot of complexity there, and I feel like I want to compare it to HotD Adam, even though they're not the same style. Just alot going on.
Mouthfeel: Sufficiently viscous, coats the tongue. Enough of a burn to let you know this sucker's packing heat.
Overall: Quite possibly my favorite beer. The only reason I don't give it a perfect 5 is because it gives me no room to go up. This just ticks all the boxes. I don't usually buy the same beer twice in a row so I can change it up, but I bought Backwoods Bastard 3 times. Have one left in the fridge (time hasn't seemed to detract from any of its glowing qualities) and I'm going to age two bottles. I've heard negative things about aging it, but what the heck.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Honestly I am not a huge bourbon fan. I did want to try this because I very much enjoy Founders and all the brews they crank out. Unfortunately, this was the first one that I have come across that I just really couldn't enjoy. I know there are many people out there that love this stuff, I just am not a fan of bourbon beers.
I did pick up some nice vanilla notes and I liked the consistency, but I enjoyed Dirty Bastard far more.

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Photo of krs0123
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite bourbon barrel beer. The backbone of a scotch ale, but the beautiful, powerful bourbon comes through perfectly. While many reviews of bourbon aged beers include vanilla notes, this beer is bursting with vanilla. Pours the same beautiful red as dirty bastard. An epic experience in every bottle.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£4.80):
Another excellent Founders beer, one of their best yet. Tonnes of complexity with good roasted malts, dark fruits & sweetness apparent throughout. Easy to drink despite the strong abv., the balance is excellent too & it's definitely a beer I'll be on the look out for again.

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Photo of mmcsporran
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this at Consumer's Beverages in Buffalo and really enjoyed this beer. The bourbon barrel aging really comes through. The taste was smooth, a tad sweet, but the bourbon and alcohol content balances this well. Absolutely will look for this again.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown pour with a tan one-finger head. Strong aroma of alcohol and caramel. Taste has a strong bourbon flavor upfront backed by sweet malty flavors of caramel and bread. Can also taste some light earthy bitterness but the bourbon flavor dominates from start to finish ending with an alcohol warmth in the throat.

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Photo of Anglophile1117
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Beer bought at Trader Moe's in Lee, Massachusetts, my home town and home of Moe's Tavern on 12/30/15. Beer was bottled on 09/24/15. Opened it up and took a good sniff while it was in the bottle. I could smell the oak from the barrel eminating from bottle. Poured into a glass and saw a one and a half finger head form. It disapated after a few moments. Left decent lacing in the glass as I sipped it. As I sipped it I got a mouth full of Bourbon and some dark fruit notes. Mostly Bourbon though.
By comparison, New Holland Brewing Dragon's Milk is a close second to this beer.
Overall an excellent beer on this fine New Years Eve. Would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz, bottled 09/30/2015. My first time drinking this beer.

Look: Pours a cloudy amber color, but clears when it warms. A small amount of light-caramel-colored head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves behind a thin ring at the edges. No lacing to speak of when swirled.

Aroma: Very nice: fresh, boozy, dark fruit, reminds me of a well done old ale.

Taste: Very sweet (perhaps caramel) and somewhat boozy, with dark fruits, and as others have mentioned, a bit of butterscotch.

Mouth-feel: medium, slick (almost buttery), and very smooth.

Overall: After all the hype, and waiting a few months to drink this beer, I have to say that it lives up to the expectations: it is a quality beer, and I have never had anything quite like it. I Look forward to seeing how this ages.

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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 Tonyjenlasc
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - A deep amber/burgundy/brown'ish type color. Not much head to speak of. Alcohol legs.
Smell - Could have smelled this all night long!! WOW! Tons of caramel/toffee/almond & bourbon on the nose. A fantastic smelling beer.
Taste - Follows the nose beautifully. Bourbon, caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, oakiness

Overall - OUTSTANDING! I will seek this out every year from here on out.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown pour with beige head; thin cap; thick lace; very good clarity. Sweet malt and bourbon nose. Toffee flavor with a boozy bite; bourbon with smooth oaky vanilla notes. Creamy, medium plus mouthfeel; moderate carbonation; alcohol bite on tip of tongue. Overall quite good with toffee and bourbon linger.

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Photo of THSmusicman
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle ( yay for Wegmans re-stocking this!) into a Teku.

Look: Dark, dark, dark. The head is a dark khaki color with half a finger of dense head that subsides relatively quickly, as expected for a high ABV beer.

Smell: Wow. Chocolate, vanilla, single malt scotch, a bit of brown sugar and a bit of spice.

Taste: This beer is a bourbon bomb. Getting a ton of vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and a malted milk ball taste. A bit of a smokey taste in the background.

Feel: Feels a bit thin to me but not too thin for the style. It would certainly be a bit thicker if it wasn't for the barrel aging. This beer would be a solid 5 all around if it was just a tad thicker.

Overall: This beer is one of my favorites. I could drink this everyday and never get sick of it! I was fortunate enough to get a good bit of this this year. I'm definitely going to grab this whenever I see it.

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Photo of beantown_hopster
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to snifter. Bottled 9-13-15.

I'm a big old chubb boy, eh, wording.... and had high hopes for this scotch ale. Here goes...

Poured black though when held up to the light you can see your finger through and it appears amber... no head and smells great off the bat. The mouthfeel is much thinner than I expected but light and compliments the flavors well. As far as the flavor... this is a great, great scotch ale. Vanilla and piney/woodsy, without the generic piney taste you might find in other lesser wintery brews. The bourbon is there too, it is there hard and warms my cold heart. The breadiness, breadness? dark fruitcake breadyness on the back end is a great ending.

I'm going to enjoy having these in the hopster beer fridge, as I watch the Mrs. do a number on my IPAs not knowing what she's missing.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown pour, dark and earthy, producing an average beige head. Aroma was great, solid bourbon forward, malty, earthy. Lots of caramel and toffee.

Sweet taste, not peaty, earthy goes smooth, bourbon without the sting. This and CW bal scotch are elite 1st tier bal scotch ales.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter, bottled on 10/06/2015.

Appearance: Pours a hazy ruby with 1/2 finger of head that recedes to a fine film around the edge.

Smell: Oaky with plenty of malt and peat

Taste: Barrel character up front with vanilla and american oak pronounced then some malt in the middle with a warm finish

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than id like but ill chalk this up to the length of time in the barrels

Overall: Scotch ales are one of my least favorite styles but I recognize how good dirty bastard is. This takes the style to a new level and work fantastic with the bourbon barrels. They compliment each other very well.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 7,780 ratings.
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