Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,750 Reviews
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): 11.60%

Availability: Fall

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

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,750
Ratings:
7,758
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
10.59%
 
 
Wants:
1,006
Gots:
3,087
For Trade:
278
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,750 | Ratings: 7,758
Photo of Lingenbrau
5/5  rDev +17.6%
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!

 353 characters

Photo of silverblaze540
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 405 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
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;

 473 characters

Photo of chrismann65
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
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 !!!

 225 characters

Photo of JTG372
4.59/5  rDev +8%
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.

 1,088 characters

Photo of wuthrichj15
3.6/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 433 characters

Photo of krs0123
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 310 characters

Photo of flyingpig
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 327 characters

Photo of mmcsporran
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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.

 259 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 323 characters

Photo of Anglophile1117
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 664 characters

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 782 characters

Photo of Jwmumm
5/5  rDev +17.6%
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!!!

 156 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

 394 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

 310 characters

Photo of THSmusicman
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

 887 characters

Photo of beantown_hopster
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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.

 829 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 278 characters

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 645 characters

Photo of Sheppard
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rich brown, with light brown head. The aroma of booze bursts out of the glass. The taste is a luscious chocolate, some nutty-ness, some dried fruit. The mouthfeel is smooth and thick. This is a phenomenally tasty Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy.

 247 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage
Pours from the bottle a nearly opaque brownish-red with ruby highlights and a light tan head that quickly fades leaving plenty of lacing.
The aroma is loaded with caramel and vanilla, oak and a whisp of booze.
Tasty brew with caramel and toffee flavors leading the way and then the flavors of the barrel -- oak and vanilla and bourbon. A touch of dark fruit as it warms and a pleasing bitterness. Plenty of taste from the barrel but not overly boozy.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Outstanding brew.

 513 characters

Photo of ajm5108
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, viscious amber with a good measure of foam. Lots of vanilla bourbon on the nose, a little caramel & the oak. Malt is there but buried. Incredibly smooth beer, the vanilla really comes out, and has a flavor akin to the burnt top-layer of a creme brûlée. Definitely a good hint of caramel malt, full-bodied and chewy despite the smooth texture. Burnt sugar is there, and the bourbon /wood flavor is also present but very well blended. It isn't overpowering at all, and compliments the malt profile of the Scotch ale style. Incredibly well blended and smooth, with great flavors. One of the better bourbon aged beers in what seems like a never ending barrage these days. Par excellence.

 699 characters

Photo of ccg
4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a wine glass and a tumbler for comparison, because I don't have the right glassware for it here.
It's a beautiful, earthy brownish color with a thin layer of foam that sticks to the glass. In the tumbler, it almost looks like a glass of carbonated bourbon.
The smell is clearly bourbon, with its vanilla, caramel, and oak. A good amount of sweet malt as well.
The taste is top-notch. The bourbon is clearly present but without completely dominating the malt. They complement each other well. I also get caramel and sweet, dark fruit, like figs or dates.
The mouthfeel is also in line with other scotch ales, but definitely a good example of it. It's rich without feeling like it's coating my teeth and giving me cavities.
Possibly the best scotch ale I've ever had. Founders knows how to barrel age a beer, that's for sure.

 835 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thank you SomethingClever for this
12 oz bottle, dated 9/24/15, poured into a tulip

A- A clear deep ruby red with a small off-white head.

S- Caramel malts, toffee, light smoke, bourbon, oak, very nicely balanced.

T- Toffee, caramel, hints of smoke, vanilla, bourbon, oak, touch of earthy spice.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A tasty and smooth bourbon barrel aged beer. I haven't try much in this style, by this is definitely winner. Wish I could get this in MD or DE, I would definitely pick this up every year.

 516 characters

Photo of leadpaint76
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has a nice bourbon nose and taste to it. This is a great beer to have a cigar or steak with. One of the best beers I have had this summer. Have a great day my friends.

 174 characters

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 7,758 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!