Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

BA SCORE
95
world-class
8,098 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
8,098
Reviews:
1,838
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
10.56%
 
 
Wants:
1,013
Gots:
3,269
For Trade:
284
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 8,098 |  Reviews: 1,838
Photo of dheldman
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of leantom
2.05/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After trying (and loving) Founder's Dirty Bastard, I decided to give this beer a try, given that it's basically a Dirty Bastard aged in bourbon barrels. I bought this beer wanting to like it, but I wound up disliking it. Here's why:

A: The appearance is the best thing about this beer. It appears opaque, but upon holding it up to a light one can make out a faint, light, ruby-colored hue on the edges. The center is still dark, however.

S: The vanilla and molasses are overpowering (emphasis on overpowering). I don't mind hints of vanilla in my beer (or molasses, for that matter), but I certainly don't want it to wreak of vanilla beans. And, rather than compliment the vanilla, the molasses winds up producing a sickly-smelling sweetness that can only be equated to old cough syrup.

T: Yes, bourbon is clearly present. Therefore, it's reasonable that the beer should taste of oak and vanilla. However, the flavors are not balanced well, and, rather than compliment the Scottish ale, the vanilla and oak (i.e., the bourbon) wind up totally masking the presence of good beer. The alcohol content - which is quite heavy - also takes away from the ale's original flavor. I like Dirty Bastard far more than this beer.

M: The mouthfeel is OK. The excess sugars give the beer a syrupy composition that lies heavily on the tongue, but the taste was so bad that I just wanted to gulp the beer down and be done with it.

O: I would avoid it, but a lot of people like this beer. I would just recommend getting bourbon, since the bourbon in this beer is so overpowering that it hinders much of the ale-taste found in Dirty Bastard.

 1,627 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
2.13/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz into Newport Storm pint glass. 2010 bottling. Thought the first bottle was off, so I drank another the following night.

A- Dark roasty brown, a bit of a light brown head that fizzes out.

S- Bourbony notes, caramel/molasses. Nothing great, nothing awful.

T- Taste is bourbony, but not very good. Earthy, musty, dull, and oxidised. There is a heavy burbon note but it's dull and unexciting. Where's the vanilla and oak? All I'm getting is burnt sugar and dull earthy notes. Unappologetic booze permiates, but I've had far boozier beers that incorporate it better.

M- Decent enough body and carbonation but there are some off-notes in the flavor and finish that I'm not really enjoying.

D- Low. Thought I was going to enjoy this one as the chatter in the forums is quite abuzz over this beer. Not the case- I'm going to gift out the two remaining bottles as I don't want to drink this. Not a drainpour, but not enjoyable. I love bourbon, straight up, on the rocks, and in my beers, but this one was a misfire IMO.

What kind of barrels are these in? Remind me never to buy that bourbon.

 1,095 characters

Photo of WildRage
2.2/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Let me preface this with saying that I love scotch ales - I love Old Chubb, and I typically love beers aged in bourbon barrels - Black Ops comes to mind. That being said, I had a really hard time finishing one bottle of this 4 pack. It was like drinking bourbon - almost no beer taste to be found. If you love bourbon, you will love this beer - but be warned that it is EXTREMELY overpowering. I typically love Founders beers - had the Breakfast Stout and Nemesis on tap last night -- but I can't see myself buying this one again.

 530 characters

Photo of Beersmuggler
2.21/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Rifugium
2.24/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Definitely the "least good" of any Founders brews I've had. Poured a reddish-mahogany color, muddy, with a spotty white head that receded to a layer of patchy bubbles. Booze-heavy aroma, almost straight bourbon, big and woody (there's a B&B joke in there somewhere). Let's be honest: this tasted like a cheap boilermaker, big on the booze, eliminating almost all complexity that might exist. Tones of oak-aged vanilla come through, but the bourbon just kills the palate almost completely. Tasted way higher in alcohol content than it actually was. Thinner than most Scottish ales I've had, but certainly not as good as some. The texture is more what I'd like to have in that it wasn't too syrupy, and certainly not as peaty, but it just didn't work with the intensity of the booze flavor. Not very good, not very drinkable, and I'll be happy never having it again. Sorry, Founders.

 940 characters

Photo of gibgink
2.25/5  rDev -47.2%

Very disappointed with this one. Should have been labeled Bourbon Bastard, because that is what DOMINATED this beer. The smell reminds you of...bourbon, and the taste profile is that of a watery bourbon.

 205 characters

Photo of mlhyatt
2.25/5  rDev -47.2%

This beer was a hot mess. The bourbon was hot, the scotch aspect was hot, it tastes like super sugary caramel covered in bourbon. I wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't paid for it. Founders disappoints again.

 210 characters

Photo of Avantyawn
2.26/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Deep brown red, barely any head

S: Nutty, smoky, malty, bourbon, molasses

T: Tastes a bit like a watery bourbon cocktail. Tastes sloppy. The bourbon flavor is overwhelming. Why do I only taste the bourbon and not any of the awesome base beer here? Doesn't work.

M: Mouthfeel is too thin , a bit too dry, not melded together well. Tastes like a mixed drink gone flat.

O: Overall, I really did not enjoy this beer, a rarity as I always enjoy Founders beers. I don't get the melding of flavors, they don't seem to work in my opinion. I love Dirty Bastard, but do not dig this.

 580 characters

Photo of charlesw
2.29/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep brown amber. Small head even with great lengths taken.

Smells of mineral spirits.

Kind of weird in the mouth. Sweet and thick, chocolate milk, hot alcohol. Not what I expected at all. Some bourbon especially in the aftertaste (back and sides of the mouth) along with a lingering bitterness.

I have absolutely no idea why this is classified, here, today, as a Scotch Ale.

Too sweet and thick, not enough flavor, misplaced bourbon (to try to hide the hot alcohol?).

Bleh.

 479 characters

Photo of nuebs
2.3/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of shanegatter
2.4/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, way too much alcohol. Smells and taste like a bourbon with the sour front mouth and heat in the back of the throt.

119 characters

Photo of Murchmac
2.43/5  rDev -43%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well Younger35, you can't win them all.

The picture of Gandalf the Grey as a hillbilly farmer on the label should give it away. Pours a brownish brackish like the marsh lands frodo crossed with Sean Astin.

Smells cloying and sweet? Redundant, Gollum Gollum.

Tastes sticky icky sweet and alcoholy, like a pint from the green dragon and the bartendress that samwise gange eventually marries.

Aftertaste of stinginess, the beer turns blue when orcs are near.

I can see how some people like this beer, for me, it's like Mordor where the very air you breathe is poison.

 571 characters

Photo of Jacurdy60
2.43/5  rDev -43%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A-Deep ruby read with a bubbly head. Poor retention and little to no lacing at all.

S-Srong, potent scotch whisky and vanilla

T-Followed the nose, mostly. Some banana was in there as well

MF-Too carbonated and crisp, I was expecting something smoother

O-I did not enjoy this beer at all. It might be because I dislike liquor and it strongly resembled a scotch whisky. I guess this kind of beer is not my style, and now I definitely know so.

 444 characters

Photo of Cresant
2.48/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was cloudy and the color of brown leather. The modest head faded to a filmy ring.

Smell was bourbon. Only bourbon.

Taste was a bourbon smack in the face. There was a lingering sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was medium to full in body. I have to say I "don't get" this one. Seem one dimensional to me. Too much up front bourbon flavor. I prefer muted bourbon notes, not feeling like I'm drinking a mixed drink.

 483 characters

Photo of McMuffin_1
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of nlfrenette
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of krl2112
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of enewcomb
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Focusf111
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Mcvs1507
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of mmsimmons
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of MDunk
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of birdsellam
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of ajschutz
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 8,098 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe