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: 1,750 | Ratings: 7,768
Photo of AJacob81
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap into a tulip 11.13.12 @ Jak's Tap in da West Loop. From notes.

A - mahogany brown, deep amber highlights w a creamy off white head of 1 finger. great legs, patchy lacing.

S - big oaky bourbon straight away, brown sugar and vanilla in after. peat and a hint of smoke just detectable underneath it all. As usual for Founders, a top-notch bouquet.

T - closely follows the nose w brown sugar and peat more enhanced. alcohol heat picks up as beer warms but smooth port, sherry, rum-soaked raisins and melted butter as well. finish is lingering and caramel sweet but not cloying.

M - medium body, medium carbonation. smooth, dangerously easy drinking.

Worth the hype, but I really wish this was easier to get in bottles.

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Photo of MDekker
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For Christmas, from my wife, through my brother.

Into a tulipish goblet this brew pours out very dark brown with some orange edges. A little bit of head, but what's there is thick. Not bad.

The aroma is nice: caramel, milk chocolate and notes of the oak barrels. It tastes wonderful, of syrupy bourbon, ripened berries, some alcohol, and a perfectly complementing finish. The mouthfeel is very smooth, with tiny bubbles of carbonation, but I wanted it to be slightly more harsh, less watery. Still good, though. That said, it went down so easily and was a most pleasant drinking experience. I look forward to finding this one again.

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Photo of Shumista
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm, Founder's Dirty Bastard is one of my favorite beers and I love whiskey, I think this beer should be pretty agreeable.

A- Backwoods Bastard pours a dark brown with a small tan head. Good lacing.
S- Whiskey/bourbon with some oak. Dark roasted malts.
T- Lots of whiskey and oak but not overpowering like some oak aged beers I've had. This seems to me like a cross between their curmudgeon old ale and the regular Dirty Bastard.
M- Thick and creamy. Very nice feel to it. In some sips the alcohol does get a little bit hot.
D- Not great, but one is thoroughly enjoyable.

If your a Dirty Bastard fan, this is definitely a must try.

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Photo of degerbah
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy deep brown with about two fingers of head after an aggressive pour. There's a fair amount of sediment swirling around in the bottom of the beer and a lot of lacing as the head dies down. The smell is tremendous. LOts of bourbon with some sweet malt as well. The taste is absolutely heavenly. Initially very smooth and sweet with a hint of oak and vanilla The aftertaste is primarily sweet bourbon. Very boozey, but unlike a lot of beers, that's not a downside. Between the alcohol content and the flavor, this is a sipper. Almost like sipping on a good whiskey. This is probably my favorite beer that I could legally buy in the state of ohio right now. If I could afford it, I'd buy out my local shops and drink it right now.

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Photo of ahq514
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

Pours a dark brown with a red hue. Light head graces the top of the beer. Some small bubbles slowly rise to the surface of the beer. Seems to have light to moderate carbonation. Nice ring of lacing around the glass.

Two things really stand out to me when I smell this beer, big malt and big hits of bourbon. The oak makes its way in there too, contributing obviously oak and some vanilla. Malt is very sweet smelling , with some light aromas of dark fruits.

This is a sipper for sure. Pretty boozy. Right up front I get hit with bourbon and oak. The malt comes in to provide some balance with the alcohol, but doesn't cover it up enough. Fairly sweet malt that reminds me of chewy caramel. Finishes with a healthy dose of warming alcohol. If there are other flavors, they are covered up by the bourbon and oak.

Low carbonation and medium to full body.

Enhances with warming up, bourbon mellows out a little bit. I enjoy bourbon aged beers, but they're not my favorite. I can tell which ones are quality and this is one. Will be anxious to see how this beer drinks with some age on it.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 10/07/11. Poured into a snifter.

Slightly less than 1 finger, creamy white head. Fades pretty quickly but leaves a moderate ring around the glass. Lace is minimal. The beer is a mixture of dark purple and brown.

The aroma is fairly intense of wonderful smelling bourbon, vanilla, sweetness, a bit of spice, notes of burnt caramel and brown sugar, dark fruits, and some roasted malts in the background. The bourbon and oak take the spotlight here, though, and smell absolutely wonderful!

The taste is wonderful just like the aroma, but a little more mellow. Very well integrated and not overpowering bourbon, vanilla, toffee, caramel, burnt brown sugar, hints of dark fruit like raisin and fig, maybe some molasses, hints of roasted malts, and a bit of peat and smoke, but really not much, and maybe the tiniest twinge of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is really wonderful for the style. The consistency is creamy, the carbonation light-medium, the body is medium, and the finish is nice and long.

Overall I think this beer is stupendous! And that's not a word I often use to describe a beer. Last time I had this, I believe it was pretty old. While still good, I don't quite remember the same wow factor that I get with this relatively fresh one! Extremely well done barrel aged beer. If I could get my hands on a couple four packs of this, I know what I'd be drinking almost every night! Very well done.

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Photo of thequeen711
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Backwards Bastard is a fine brew from my friends at Founders. Nice frothy head out of the tap, beautiful bourbon aroma/taste with hints of oak, malt, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. With a mix like that who could not like this!!! Mouthfeel is refreshing and satisfying, sip after sip.
Drink up and enjoy!

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Photo of NCBeernut
3.3/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep red almost mahogany body generously dusted with particulate and capped by a small bone colored head that is somewhat resistant to forming. First scent to hit is sweet bourbon followed by candy sugars and hints of vanilla and anise. Flavors hit all at once. Bourbon, sweet sugary malts, a bit of vanilla and spicy alcohol. Smooth woody flavors from start to finish, but never coming close to taking over the bourbon. A bit thin a slightly watery...not what I was expecting....

As it continues to warm some slight dark fruit notes come out but really this beer basically tastes like watered down sweet bourbon...I am starting to think that my notes above took a bit of digging to detect.

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Photo of MPLS
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this one up from a fine selection of single bottles the worlds oak aged and bourbon really stuck out like.

A: Dark copper body with a amber bottom. Cascading head with a soapy head that appears to have gotten just a slight tan. Faint and mild-mannered lacing.

S: Dirty caramel infused bourbon, butterscotch, almond, alcohol.

T: Very sweet and malty, the butterscotch/caramel dominates the beer. Small linger hop profile. I might have had bigger expectations of this beer, maybe it's the style that doesn't work well with the oak-aged bourbon barrels. maybe I'm spoiled with bourbon-aged stouts?

M: Medium bodied would be generous, a bit thin for a "big beer"

D: Hmmm...the bourbon element entices me to want it, but the thin mouthfeel and not to my liking sweetness of this beer make would make me grab for it if it were in the back of the fridge.

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Photo of MunsonRoyE
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 9/26/14

This was an amazing beer!
The first few sips were mediocre. However, from there on out, the flavors kept on coming out and changing in nothing but a good way. It just kept on getting better and better until the very last sip, and I was sad that my glass, unfortunately, was empty. I've never had one fresh, but at 11 months old, it was simply delicious. I have three more in the cellar and I don't know if they're going to be in there much longer!

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Photo of claminat420
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- poured a dark burgandy brown color. off white one finger head.

S- sweet malt with a sweet caramel blend. woody with a slight cherry or some other fruit hidden deep down inside.

T- the caramel malts and the woodiness of the oak barrels deliver in the front. alil spice from the alcohol and a weird fruit hidden delivers in the backend.

M- medium to heavy bodied. awesome on the carbonation.

D- for 10.2 abv i was expecting more. the four pack isn't to rough to handle.

Overall- this is definitely worthy to pick up.

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Photo of priwen
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with thin, tan head. Wonderful smell of bourbon with some malt and vanilla in the background. Bourbon dominates the taste of this one. Very easy drinking given the alcohol. Has a nice, semi-dry finish. Overall a wonderful beer that deserves to be sipped and savored.

12 oz bottle
Bottled date: 10/10/2014
Served in an oversized wine glass

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Photo of ramseye4
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A=Pours a very dark brown color, completely opaque, with a thin head.
S=Smells just like the bourbon barrels it was aged in, and with a faint vanilla undertone.
T=Straight Whiskey, with some malts,and with a very strong aftertaste of alcohol. Surprisingly, it is very smooth despite the high ABV.
M=Very full bodied and chewy
D= The strong alcoholic aftertaste makes this one a sipper, I wouldn't want to have more than one of these in an evening.

Overall it is well done, at first the alcohol teetered very close to overpowering the taste but as I worked my way down the glass it became more mellow. As I conclude drinking it, it gives me a nice,pleasant, relaxed feeling.

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Photo of Marty30
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to imperialking for this. Poured into a Jackie O's snifter At 50 degrees.

A. Body is A dark muddy brown with a ruby tint.Almost no head as expected,It just gives off some large bubbles.Very little lacing.

S. Big caramel malts hit you in the face,nice bourbon notes shine through,not overpowering by any means.A bit of oak,and dark cherries.

T. Sweet tasting beer,not bad tho fits the style.Bourbon and caramel,a bit of vanilla and oak from the barrels.

M. Feel is awesome,heavy and creamy, coats the palate very well. Not much carbonation but I wouldn't expect there to be.

Overall this is another badass beer from Founders,easily my Favorite brewery. I definately recommend this beer,a must try!

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Photo of swedishmailman
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a fat tulip.

Appearance is a dark copper that has a slight ruby color when held up to the light. Light tan head that is relatively thin, but sticking around for awhile. Tight bubbles. No light is getting through. Looks inviting.

Aroma is sweet malt, a slight earthy tone, some vanilla, a bit of a fig smell. I get a bit of the bourbon character because I know this is aged in bourbon barrels, but it doesn't scream barrel aged.

Taste is delicious. Huge malt character. It's got a nice butterscotch flavor on the back end. The barrel character shines through here much more than in the aroma. Slight alcohol burn on the finish but nothing overwhelming. Not too boozy at all. A slight warming sensation comes pleasantly with every sip. It's got a pretty sweet finish. No hop character that I can pick up whatsoever.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy. It's not the thickest beer I've ever drank, but definitely has a syrupy feel to it, especially as it warms up.

Overall this is a damn good beer. It doesn't have an insanely huge barrel character, but it definitely adds to the beer perfectly. One of the better offerings I've had from Founders.

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Photo of pdoran10
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Backwoods Bastard pours out a deep amber brown color into my New Belgium snifter. I get half a finger of tan head that hints at proper carbonation, but it fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

The smell is vanilla, alcohol heat, bourbon, and caramel sweetness. Really impressive here.

I get flavors of sweet caramel cotton candy up front, with big tannins from the wood, and a boozy vanilla bourbon taste on the finish. Nice complex flavors. A few months of mellowing might make this even more delicious.

Mouthfeel is reasonably chewy with lowish carbonation. Solid here for a barrel aged offering.

Overall a really nice complex beer, can't wait till Founders expansions when they can put out of more of this each year.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first Wee Heavy and WOW they set the bar pretty damn high with this one. Simply put, it's the best bourbon barrel aged beer that I've tried. Perfectly balanced, super smooth, ideal for sipping on a cold winters night. Outstanding!

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Photo of ballewblake
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bottle into my Duvel glass.

One finger tan head didn't last long, some soapy bubbles persist on the side. Light lacing. Solid dark brown body. Light malty nose, but not really noticeable. Taste is peppery first, sweet second, alcoholic third. Not really that petty, scotch flavor I was expecting at first. Chocolate notes come through with more drink, almost like a chocolate martini now that I think about it. Mouthfeel is perfect, I like the balance and everything about it on the tongue. Even with the noticeable alcohol, I could drink this pretty easy, no problem. I liked this brew. Thanks to hophead101 for throwing this in the ss09 bif.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle out of my Harpoon LE tulip.

A- Deep reddish brown, very clean. Nice off white head, 1 finger or so. Nice lacing too.

S- Smells sweet and bourbony. Notes of vanilla and molassas. Perhaps a touch of oak.

T- Smooth and full of bourbon. The vanilla notes stand out the most to me. Starts smooth, and then really opens up.

M- Pretty much perfect. Just right with the carbonation, and the beer has just the right body.

D- This is a heavy one, but the initial flavor is just so good. A nice sipper on a cold night, very tasty

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Photo of techfed87
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a very nice head to it, light in color, but with a very tempting scent to it. Is very slow to dissipate. Scent is very malty, with hints of bourbon.

Taste is much sweeter than I thought it would be. It's kind of an oatmeal with brown sugar kind of sweet. Big mouthful, very malty, a very light, tight flavor. Coming into this, I was expecting something bitter, but it's anything but.

The taste is very light, not to say that it doesn't have body to it, but in the sense that the flavor is quick to disappear once you've done drinking. And with it being a solid 10.2% ABV, this can get you into trouble. This does not taste like a 10% beer.

For only being a seasonal release, I would like nothing more than to see this be available more often. It's just excellent. My only complaint may be that the flavors that I would have expected from the aging in bourbon barrels was not there. Instead, there was something unique to the beer that I like immensley.

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Photo of JasonA
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark carmel, very carmelized looking. Single finger of head, quickly disapating into islands of head with ample lacing.

Roasted medium deep malt. COuld be burbon in there, tough to tell as smells a lot like malt. Sweet port.

Slight vanilla, some bittering/hops almost belgian yeasty flavor also. Bourbon present, not overpowering. Not quite full bodied, could use some depth.

A bit hot, could probably use a bit of time to smooth out. Feels a tad off, not smooth quite enough. ABV present.

Good brew. I want a couple more so they can have some time in the cellar. I would say at least a year.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
5/5  rDev +17.6%

This beer has a very dark ruby brown color with a thin tan head.

The aroma is wonderful: raisins and chocolate hit up front, while prunes and cherries sneak up behind.

The flavor is the most astonishing part of the beer. Licorice, sweet chocolate pudding, juicy dates and raisins, sugar and molasses, maple syrup, oak wood, and much much more. There is a prominent bourbon barrel coat on every sip.

This drinks velvety smooth - a thick mouth-feel. Yet, it maintains drinkability.

This is one of the best beers I've had yet. I'm still trying to comprehend all of the wonderful flavors present in the taste. The balance and the craft of this brew are beyond superb.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found myself looking for the Jack Daniels trademark. I have to say this beer is insanely good after a steak dinner. I only wish I had a cigar to enjoy with this one.

This was poured into a brandy snifter and enjoyed after a huge porterhouse with family. There was basically little to no head. But the aroma was fantastically delicious. How in the world do they think these things up. Everything was in pefect harmony. I will say that I tried this earlier in the week and did not like it. Rather than slam it I thought I would try another. I ended up chilling it rather than drinking it at cellar temp and the taste improved. Almost like chilling whiskey before drinking it makes it taste better (to me).

The taste is of alcohol, smoke, bourbon, toasted nuts, dried fruit, and strong malt backbone. I cannot detect much in the way of hops. I really ended up liking this one a lot!

The mouthfeel decent. A little watery but very in tune with the style. I don't know how drinkable this one is with over 9% ABV and $16 a four pack but I cannot slam them for either considering the awesome flavor!

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Photo of Humulus85
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter.

Produced a 2" off-white head. Decent retention with minimal lacing. Poured a kind of murky mahogany with vibrant ruby tones when held to light. A very interesting looking brew.

Bourbon, wood, and roasted malt in the nose. Pretty powerful smelling stuff, like I stuck my head in a whiskey barrel.

The bourbon is pronounced throughout, but is never overpowering. Surrounding it are some very nice, rich, roasted malts with vanilla and nutty notes. There is also a subtle smokiness that seems to kinda tie everything together. The aftertaste is what wins me over: it's like I just took a shot of scotch chased with a good red ale.

It's medium bodied with slight carbonation. Smooth for over 10% and it doesn't finish too sweet. Love the aftertaste.

Overall I really liked this brew. I'm far from familiar with Scotch Ales but I think this is a great example. To my ignorant pallet this seems like a "double" Scotch Ale, so maybe not the best choice to someone new to the style. Love the prominent, but clean, bourbon taste. Cheers!

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Photo of TheFlern
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks MaxSpang

Appearance: Slightly dark amber. Bone white head. Lacing is decent.

Smell: Bourbon dominates. The base beer smells good as well. Sweet.

Taste: Follows the smell. Good balance with the Bourbon. I'm a fan.

Mouthfeel: Drinkable for the high ABV and Bourbon aging.

Overall: I would highly recommend this beer.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 7,768 ratings.
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