Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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8,098 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:
8,098
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 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 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.

 547 characters

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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, near-opaque ruby-amber with pretty much no head, just a thin ring of foam.

Smell: Big whiskey barrel flavors up front, toffee sweetness, burnt sugar. Faintly earthy. Roasted corn, slight sherry-like oxidation. Very pleasant.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich caramel malt flavors meet whiskey heat. Medium in body, low carbonation. Earthy bitter finish, hints of burnt grain. Light tannins. Really nice stuff.

 419 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dirty brown color with a small, thin head of off-white, foam. It left soapy residue.

S - It smelled of bourbon, scotch and rich, sweet malt.

T - This really had a good dose of bourbon flavor with touches of raisin. It had a rich, sweet malt backbone.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a great tasting brew. Potent and rich.

 388 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of superspak
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 10/07/11. Pours cloudy dark red color with a small dense khaki head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of huge caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, toasted malt, oak, bourbon, and molasses. Simply incredible aromas here with fantastic balance. Taste of huge caramel, coconut, vanilla, toasted malt, bourbon, toffee, molasses, and a bit of spiciness. Fairly clean finish; but some lingering notes of caramel, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and molasses on the finish for a bit. Medium carbonation and quite full bodied; with a very creamy, silky, and incredibly smooth drinking mouthfeel. Alcohol is almost completely hidden; but there is a small bit of booziness and a slight warming after the finish. Incredible balance of flavors in the taste and aromas. Overall this is definitely a world class brew. Incredible flavor balance, with some unique flavor combination thanks to the barrel aging. I am glad I have more of this; I wonder how it is in a year.

 1,060 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with mahogany hues to it. Small off-white, creamy head.

S: Lots of bourbon going on here. This sits atop a fairly-strong caramel malt base with some buttered notes.

T: Again, the bourbon really comes out. It layers a nice complexity on top of the underlying notes of oak, caramel, and malt sweetness.

M: Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Not too hot, but a pretty good alcohol warmth to it.

D: Pretty drinkable, and sips especially quickly for a beer with so much bourbon.

 496 characters

Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Town Hall Chalice.

Pours a small beige tan head. Fades to a thin layer. Color is a murky ruby hued bark brown.

Aroma: Oak and bourbon with vanilla right up front. Lots of malts, caramel, molasses and cherries. I really like this, but the bourbon is so dominate.

Taste: Right away, I get bourbon, oak, vanilla, and cherries. Then the caramel comes in and at the end I get some molasses and a touch of booze.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and a some heat from the bourbon. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends slight boozy, but fairly clean.

Overall, a solid beer, but the scotch notes were not as apparent as one would expect. I do like it, but I am very curious to what would happen with some age on it. I recommend this one.

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

A - One finger of light brown head on top of a slightly hazy, amber-brown body. The foam settle quickly to a thin layer and leaves moderate lace.

S - Sweet caramel malt that blends with, and becomes indistinguishable from, bourbon barrel aromas of oak, coconut, cherries, and booze. Lots of burnt sugar notes with a little bit of pine sap character.

T - Strong, thick malt up front with toffee, caramel, and brown sugar notes. The bourbon character comes in fast and hard with a lot of spicy alcohol notes and more complex, dark sugars. The finish is spicy and alcoholic with a strong, phenolic smoke note that brings out a lot of the woody, boozy, harshness of the bourbon. Lingering notes of smoke, char, brown sugar, and pine sap stick to the back of the tongue.

M - Moderately thick body, low carbonation, and an only slightly sweet finish with some alcoholic warmth working its way down my throat to settle in the pit of my stomach.

D - I expected something big, round, sweet, and bourbon like, but what I got is something far leaner and meaner than one would expect from a scotch ale. There is a lot of phenolic smoke character in this beer, either from abused yeast or from peat, and it does some strange things when it meets the bourbon. The phenolics seem to bring out a lot of the boozy and astringent qualities of the whiskey that are usually not present in barrel aged beers; combine this with the relative dryness of this brew, and the fact that it is not at all shy about its 10% abv, and you have a weirdly convincing bourbon beer. I'm still not quite sure what I think about this one. It has managed to capture a lot of the harsher qualities of distilled spirits that I prefer not to see in a beer; on the other hand, I have to respect the fact that they have brewed what I can only regard as the liquid equivalent of the grizzled, scotch-irish mountain man that graces the label of the bottle. This is quite a unique beer, and while I won't be rushing out to buy another one, I am certainly grateful for the opportunity to try it.

 2,051 characters

Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ahh the Lions,enough said.Backwoods Bastard poured into a small tulip glass an awesome deep mahogany with with amber hue,a tight formed clingy tannish colored head atop,great clarity and a great pour.Deep complex malt aromas with the bourbon barrel showing through,vanilla and cherry notes dominate with some wood and a tinge of sweet alcohol.Obviously not a beer to start turkey day with but I did,its a sipper but not a head knocker.Flavors are pretty sweet up front with vanill,caramel and cherry flavors dominating,the bourbon flavor is prevelent but not overpowering,theere is a noticeablr drying leafy finish.A great beer,like I said asipper but it wont slow you down to much,a few of these and I might enjoy the Lions game.

 730 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Portia99 for supplying this baby on the 08, now time to review the 09. Poured into Allagash tulip glass.

The new 2009 release, and I have refined my reviews and palate a lot since my last review.

A: Rich thick 1 finger head that doesn't seem like it wants to leave at all, and I don't blame it. Super dark molasses brown color that barely lets light through, but when it does it leaves a slight reddish hue with lots of haze.

N: Wow bourbon up the wazzoo! Also lots of oak aromas to dominate the nose. I start to get some brown sugar and molasses or some sweet syrup like aroma behind it, but heavy on bourbon and oak. Judging from my last review I didn't mention the bourbon and oak, so I wonder if it ages by lessening these aromas. I have more 2008 of this so I will have to compare them soon. Also on the nose is slight vanilla and a little alcohol. Then there are some creamy heavy malts, but way on the back side.

T: Taste starts with some rich creamy malts, very delicious malts though, wow! Then adds some interseting fruits like raisin and perhaps fig or date. After that comes the bourbon, which is still adding to the tastes. Next up is oak and vanilla, which round off the flavors well. Its really rich and complex. The vanilla seems to creep up and get stronger as the taste lingers and as the beer warms. Then some burnt brown sugar really takes a punch to this beer. I almost get a slight cream soda like taste. A slight alcohol taste as well, but very light. The flavors are dancing around in my mouth like ecstacy.

M: Pretty thick, almost syrupy, slightly velvety, some alcohol warmth and burn, decent carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly dry but still semi sweet. The alcohol leaves a fresh clean feeling in the mouth like you just finished mouthwash. The vanilla and oak also seem to stick around for a little while adding some nice lingering tastes in the memory. The bourbon also remains, but much less than before. It adds some bitter qualities that seem to stem from some possible hops. The creamy feel and taste also lingered for a little bit. Some oak esters stick around your tongue, or my tongue since I'm the one tasting it dammit. Damn this is such an awesomely awesome beer!

 2,217 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep-amber-red-chestnut. Surprisingly, the off-white head drops shortly.

The aroma is bourbon-like, but also caramelish and sweet. It's sweetish and woody, and welcoming.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with a median carbonation, leaving it smooth and gently creamy.

The flavor is initially caramel malt, brown sugar, and Bourbon, followed by drying notes of woodiness and a snap of alcohol. In the end, although it lingers for quite some time, the maltiness basically evaporates leaving just the wood, bourbon, and alcohol behind.

An interesting and engaging ale!

 582 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cellared 2012 bottle served in a St. Bernardus snifter at a temperature of about 58F.

Dark red-brown body with a small head that quickly reduces to a thin ring.
Slightly under-carbonated but very smooth body with only a bit of warmth from the alcohol.
Boozy and sweet aroma with notes of prunes, vanilla, bourbon and toffee.
The flavor also carries a bit of bourbon and faint wood (barrel), and is lightly sweet.

O: I've now had this both fairly fresh and aged for nearly 3 years: excellent on both occasions.

 515 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head, that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, some fruit, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of vanilla, bourbon, caramel and some fruit followed by a very hearty malt character. There’s a significant alcohol sting that comes in next. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style but there are others I would drink first including Founders Dirty Bastard.

 907 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with some mahogany highlights and very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall beige head with some orangish highlights in it that quickly fades to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon (from the barrel aging) with some more moderate notes of vanilla, peat smoked malts, and brown sugar/molasses.

T: Similar to the smell, the taste of this beer has a lot of bourbon from the barrel aging. There is some smoked peat malts upfront with brown sugar and molasses sweetness - just a touch of dark fruits hiding in there as well. Lighter notes of vanilla with just a touch of alcohol in the finish. Overall, the flavor is lightly sweet.

M: A little bit heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light notes of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: Overall a very enjoyable beer and one of the best in the style that I have come across - though I might be a little biased as I really like bourbon barrel aged beers. Definitely one I will be getting again (and this is not even one of my favorite styles).

 1,176 characters

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

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep, murky brown with light plum colored notes around the edges. Very minimal white head that quickly dissipated into a smallish circle around the outer rim with a few wispy traces in middle. Lacing was surprising good considering the small amount of head. Aroma is strong bourbon up front and coats the underlying currents of sweetness, spice, dark fruits, vanilla, and oak.

Taste is very complex. All kinds of stuff going on here. First up is a spicy sweetness melding into hints of vanilla oak and dark fruits. The bourbon flavor is very subtle and nicely compliments the other flavors. Finishes with a bitter hop, smoke, and alcohol combo that completely coats the back of the throat. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth viscous nature. Very nice.

Wow, Founders comes through with another oak-aged wonder. Definitely one to sip and savor to fully enjoy it's complex and warming characteristics. I just wish that I had more than just the one bottle.

 1,003 characters

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