Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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8,116 Ratings
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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:
8,116
Reviews:
1,842
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
10.56%
 
 
Wants:
1,017
Gots:
3,266
For Trade:
281
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,116 |  Reviews: 1,842
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice little scotch, gotten in trade. Pours medium with good lasting white head, tons of lace.Aroma is decent bourbon. Mouthfeel is easy, average and smooth, good bourbon taste, whiskeyish not too corny, not in-your-face that is well integrated and woody. Very drinkable.

 272 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

half finger rapidly dissipating head, no lacing, on a cloudy dark brown amber body. Aroma of the bourbon barrel is right on. Nice oak and vanilla notes. Mostly oak and bourbon in the flavor. Smooth with some molasses and caramel notes. medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Just the right amount of bourbon flavoring, smooth and surprisingly drinkable.

 360 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bourbon flavored aged ale pours brown with a nice tan head. Lovely soft burnt carmel nose, with hints of fruited toffee. Smokey-campfire malty flavors with dried fruit flavors and characteristics. Desireable creamy fruit and malty mouth and long on hops in the finish. Excellent character and quality.

 306 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours a murky dark brown color with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a thin cap. Rings upon rings upon rings of lace on the drink down. Very nice looking lacing with this beer. Smells of toasted coconut, some wood, alcohol, and malt. Taste has the toasted coconut, slight wood flavors, some vanilla, and malts. I am not really getting any stand out bourbon alcohol smells or tastes from this beer. Low carbonation with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat after each sip. Overall, this is a pretty taste beer with some nice toasted coconut qualities (I love coconut). I could probably only handle one of these at a time though.

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Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

super different for a beer in this genre. it pours a slightly cloudy pale amber color, with a dense nearly pure white head, lots of lacing left behind as it sips down. the nose is a little fruity, a lot boozy, and entirely different again from most scotch ales. its too light. the taste is awesome, like a tasty hybrid of licorice and fresca soda, thats what i taste. more fruit than ever for a scotch, and the same effervescent carbonation as that artificial grapefruit flavored soda pop. its really good, but i am missing that smoke and hefty malt base ive grown used to in these beers. anyone else get that? bright bubbling medium body, again too light for the style, but this is a damn good beer. living up to its name for all the wrong reasons, this is something unique and to be cherished. i never in a million years would have put uts abv over 10% on a blind tasting, its far too delicate to be that potent, but it all seems to work out just right. on tap at j. ryans in syracuse, a place you must visit as a beer enthusiast. what a treat from founders!

edit: just had a 2014 bottle, 3 years old now, and the beer does great in the cellar. it seems to be a little muckier than i remember, some sediment has obviously coagulated and dropped to the bottom, but the maturity after this time in the cellar is amazing, a more relaxed sweetness, even further integration of the malt layers, and a little less dramatic on the alcohol. great stuff.

 1,448 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks TATURBO for the bottle of this, much appreciated!
This bottle poured out as a light muddy brown color with a soft creamy looking head on top. The lacing is thin but sticks nicely. The smell of booze, maple, some fennel, malts and wood all flood out of this beer. The taste is sweet with some light vanilla flavors, sweet malts, a light amount of bourbon and some earth in there too. The mouthfeel has some soft bubbles and a smooth creamy feel in the mouth. Overall I am very glad I finally got to try this one. I had wanted to give it a shot for a while and I did my best to enjoy each sip of this. This beer is great but isn't my favorite from Founder's.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of nmann08
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10/12/12 Bottle

Foamy head with a dark amber color. Honestly, its amber pushing a dark brown. Head dissipated quickly, but left some carbonation throughout the life of the beer.

Smells a faint hint of oak with an overwhelming sweetness. Definitely some vanilla.

The bourbon has faded on this, but its in a good spot. Really well balanced. The vanilla and sweet malts are working together nicely. Dark fruit comes through as well. No real alcohol taste which makes it dangerous.

A really smooth beer. A light to maybe medium body that goes down really easy.

Overall, this is a great beer, but if you prefer the taste of bourbon, drink this fresh, as the barrel disappeared quickly. Even with a few months on this, the flavors still balance nicely.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a ring of beige bubbles around the edge of the glass with some lacing in the center.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grapes and raisins in the nose.
T: The initial taste has lots of malty sweetness with flavors of raisins. There are some hints of alcohol in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink although I can't see myself having more than one of these in a sitting.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An honor to finally try this beer. I'm a huge fan of Bourbon barrel aged beers. Needless to say I have high expectaitons here after striking gold with everything else that Founders makes.

A sturdy and stead pour brings about deep mohogany and medium brown colors with a significant haze. An initial 1/2" head of dense off-white head falls to half that and remains firm from then on. A nice Belgian lace persists on the sides of the glass as the beer fades.

In Kentucky, we are used to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday Bourbon Balls. This delicate desert is very well exhibited in this beer. The aroma is chocked full of deep bourbony and cocoa aromas. Here, the maltiness doesn't end with the grains, but a malted milk note persists and inhances the intrigue. Just from the nose, this is one inviting beer.

Intense flavors of strong malts, deep chocolates, medium coffees and nuts, and bourbon-soaked fruits make for a great, great taste. Low on hop flavoring, the malts dominate here. Absolute delicious blend of molassas sweetness, bourbon undertones, cocoa, and mild campfire-ish notes make for a very well rounded and complex taste.

The body of the beer, once again, favors the malts but is well balanced with deep alcohols, fruitcake breadiness, and rich creaminess (again, like the malted milk thing- think Whopper candies soaked in bourbon). No phenolics or sharp alcohols, this beer is very well textured.

As far as Scottish Ales are concerned, this one is light on the peat and smokey notes. It emphasized the rich malty flavors and textures without becomming overly sweet. Combine all this with the robust chocolate and bourbon notes and we have a perfect desert beer for a Kentuckian.

Thanks RyanC84!

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Photo of kojevergas
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lucked out and picked this one up locally - albeit for $7.00. 355ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof; heard nothing but great things about this one. 10.20% ABV confirmed. I dig the label.

Served after a period of rest to warm up after leaving the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness but underwhelming (~20 second) retention - though this is more than excusable for the style. Colour is a very dark ruby-amber; it's not black or brown. Very appealing sleek velvety colour; even if it is quite dark. Nontransparent and (surprisingly) non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. There's a certain luxurious quality to its dark hue.

Sm: Vanilla, alcohol (but a warm, inviting type of alcohol aroma), caramel, dark sugars, dark malts, heavy oak chips, fine bourbon, raisin, and more bourbon. Wow. Rich and decadent. A fantastic aroma; I'm really interested in this one. I can't wait to try it. Complex, subtle, and nuanced. Some of the most vibrant oak in an aroma I've ever experienced. Really appealing. No yeast comes through.

T: Vanilla and oak chips up front, with dark raisiny malts forming the near-perfectly sweet clean body. Fine bourbon undertones are evocative throughout, joining with the oak in the climax for a lovely delivery of more vanilla and fine dark fruit. The bourbon and oak aging here is top notch, with the tones complementing the flavours rather than competing with them. Some caramelized sugar throughout. Malty caramel is fantastic and understated; not overbearing like many beers in the style. Some hints of maple syrup in the early second act. Hop presence is minimal to nonexistent. I don't even get floral character off it. I keep wanting to detect chocolate but there's just a fleeting whisper of it and it's gone. Same with some sort of fruity note in there; almost the slightest hint of plum or perhaps even fig. About as subtly done as they come. That's one tasty beverage. Obscenely well balanced. Quite tasty. I can tell she'll drink better as she warms. The alcohol is present as a light touch of heat to warm the stomach; about as pleasant an alcohol presence as is possible. Wow. This redefines how I look at this style.

Mf: Perfect thickness. Slight undercarbonation. Good rolling smoothness and wetness. suits the flavours quite well. I could use a bit more dryness and coarseness on the finish to encourage the next sip. The biggest flaw with this beer is the mouthfeel; which is too smooth and wet overall (though this does bolster drinkability).

Dr: Sweet mother of fuck that's good stuff. Definitely lives up to the hype. Drinks like a fine bourbon but with improved drinkability. This changes the game for the style in my book. Replaces Old Chub as my idea of the ideal Wee Heavy. Drinkable as hell for the ABV - which is itself very well hidden. The vanilla is delightfully subtle and incredibly well executed. I'd definitely have this on draught, well worth aging as well. Another glowing success from Founders. This is one brewery that really lives up to the hype.

Serve a bit warm. She drinks best that way.

High B+

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03.23.14: Truncated notes from a 2013 vintage bottle served chilled.

Just has one of the finest bourbon aromas out there. The oak, the vanilla, the toasty character...wonderful. Plenty of cream and sweet Wee Heavy malting too.

Doesn't taste quite as good as the 2012 bottle I initially reviewed. The bourbon is there, but it doesn't blend quite as well with the base beer as I remembered. The malting is actually a bit distracting.

Smooth and wet. Near perfect carbonation.

Overall, not the world class Wee Heavy I remember it as. Chalk it up to batch variation. That said, it's still real tasty. I'll be buying it up in future years.

High B

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Some brief notes on 2014's vintage:

Has a sanguine-amber body.

Bourbon beckons in the aroma.

Creamy, with great vanilla and the rich toasted oak note that keeps me coming back to this beer again and again. Touches of peat really set it off nicely. Scottish malting is a treat here.

Creamy, supple, rich, and refined. What a treat of a texture. Exquisite.

Hat tip to Founders for another great vintage.

Low B+

***
2016 vintage (bottle):

$2.99 at Whole Paycheck in NYC:

Hot damn; I always forget how great the bourbon barrel aroma is in this astounding brew. Chewy mouthfeel sets it off beautifully.

2016 is a bit thinner in the mouthfeel and lacks the gooey body I love in a great wee heavy. But the bourbon barrel character is fantastic as always, even if I regard this as a weaker vintage of Backwoods.

Low B / GOOD

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Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2009 bottle poured into a sam adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, dark reddish amber with a small layer of off white head. Some lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, dark fruit, vanilla, some warm alcohol and bourbon.

Taste: Sweet malt with some caramel and vanilla. Incredibly smooth bourbon with some brown sugar and a slight alcohol burn in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The age has done this one very well. Extremely smooth and complex. I'll definitely have this one again.

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Photo of brentk56
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tawny color with russet highlights; the modest cap drops to a layer of big bubbles on the surface, leaving some dots around the chalice

Smell: Caramel, oak, vanilla, chocolate-covered cherries and bourbon - a well-crafted blend

Taste: Caramel, up front, with a growing oaky vanilla and chocolate-covered cherry presence that adds bourbon complexity by mid-palate; after the swallow, the blend that made the aroma so attractive comes together on the tastebuds; the finish is slightly boozy

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Although the mouthfeel is a little thin for a Wee Heavy with this level of ABV, the nicely balanced flavor profile makes up for it

 743 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of emerge077
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 label with a sinister, axe-wielding dwarf on the front. Neck label lists 50 IBU, and 10.2% abv.

Poured half the bottle into a 12 oz. snifter. Thin cap of tan foam, that receded after five minutes, leaving a ring of bubbles at the edge, and a cool spiderweb pattern across the mahogany surface.

Big bourbon aroma. A swirl kicks up a sweet maltiness behind it, hinting at the base beer's character. Otherwise it's sweet, woody whiskey and sour mash fumes: hints of corn, cherry, and fried plantain.

Full fledged bourbon flavor too, more or less steamrolling the whole thing. Luckily not as harsh as straight bourbon, but the full flavor is there. Flashes of sweet malt underneath, with a growing warming sensation in the gut with every sip. Low carb and medium body, the strong flavor takes centerstage. Pretty much only good for sipping, even splitting a bottle if you aren't prepared for alot of whiskey in your beer.

1-12-2010 Vintage 2007 bottle, "7169" roughly may '07

Slightly murky red, decent amount of foam. Clear and strong bourbon aroma. Alcohol has mellowed, oxidation is creeping in, but doesn't interfere. Bourbon flavors are front and center, woody sweet maple syrup, brown sugar, drizzled in caramel toffee. Really tasty without the alcohol heat.

 1,272 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a lightly cloudy deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bourbon and sweet malt dominates. Taste is a fine mix betwen some bourbon notes with some deep sweet marley with some light dry fruit notes. Full body with average carbonation and no alcohol ester where noticeable. Bourbon might be slightly too present and somewhat overshadows the malt but still very solid beer from this fine brewery.

 465 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 8,116 ratings.
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