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): 11.20%

Availability: Fall

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

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,105 |  Reviews: 1,840
Photo of CHickman
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 Release, bottled 09/22/16, 11.2% ABV: it pours dark chestnut brown color with a thick 2 finger tan head that was full of tiny bubbles, fading slowly and leaving very good spotty lacing and a foamy ring around the edge of the glass.

Smells of toffee, caramel, roasted grains, light bourbon, woody notes, oak barrels, dark fruit, cocoa, hints of vanilla and coconut, and a wave of sweet malty aromas. The malty dominance brings out brown sugar, wheat bread, syrup and spent mash, then finishing off with some more bourbon. The bourbon is soft and mixes well, it reminds me of a well aged KBS or Bourbon County Stout.

Tastes sweet and malty up front with toasted grains that seem rum soaked, followed by vanilla, toasted oak, bourbon, brown sugar, toffee, dark fruit, raisins, maple syrup, tea leaf, mild piney hops, sticks and/or earthy notes, wood and cocoa powder. The flavor lacks any smoked grains and appear supplemented by the bourbon barrel accents. Really, really complex and tasty even though it deviates from a traditional Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy.

Mouthfeel is very smooth yet thick with texture while seeming thin as it slides down easy, even with the light burn from the booze, the evident ABV and mild carbonation. It's dominated by malty bread components with recurring caramel, oak, bourbon and sweet fruity flavors. Overall a fine beer that was dynamic and quite enjoyable.

 1,394 characters

Photo of Categart
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PugsandBeer
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of steverx8
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2016 release

Pours dark (brown with red highlights) but not opaque. Not much head retention, but excellent sticky lacing.

The aroma is somewhat unbalanced with very strong bourbon and vanilla at the very fore, with only a hint of malt and peat in the background.

The flavor follows its nose in both good and bad ways. There is a good balance of malts and hops (a touch at the end) but the bourbon, vanilla, and ethanol is pretty prevalent.

The flavor is big, the body is not. Like many barrel aged offerings I've tried lately, this one is a little thin. However, the carbonation is excellent and helps keep what is otherwise a sweet beer from getting cloying.

Overall this is fine, but if I want a good off-beat wee-heavy I will stick with Founders's other "Bastard." The bourbon is just a bit too strong on this one. I'm wondering if this one is just too young. I'm going to tuck a couple of bottles away and try them to see if the bourbon notes will mellow.

 975 characters

Photo of mwvman
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PHPRO
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of wanderingpints
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of biggoon16
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of goingbrokeonbeer
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour is dark brown with a slight red tint and two finger beige head. Smell is scotch, molasses, and dark fruits. Taste follows smell with the addition of some caramel. Feel is medium with nice carbonation, overall a great brew.

 227 characters

Photo of TigGaffis
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of APH
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MNAle
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2016 version. Dark brown with a tinge of ruby. Moderate tan head that recedes quickly. Excellent aroma of bourbon and dark fruit. Moderate to thick mouth feel, little carbonation. Mild bittering and very nice fruity taste, with the outstanding bourbon taste at the forefront. Very, very nice, indeed. Little bittering, but what there is shows up in the finish. No alcohol warmth despite the 11+% ABV. Very smooth. Outstanding beer, Founders.

 441 characters

Photo of JakeScully
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have chosen to pour this wee heavy into a mug, instead of another glassware that wouldn't fit. And I don't own any proper Founders glass anyway. Best by 04/06/17...

Backwoods bastard is pretty heavy, as puts the label 'Extra Strong Beer' (11,1%)..Oh, 'bière extra forte' it's even in french. We appreciate it, but I guess this translation is more aimed at the québécois, because we normally don't get this in France.

This has a brownish color, taste bourbon, brown sugar, milk.. this is definitely a very complex brew and I don't have the knowledge or palate to detect every aroma. I've been milking this for an hour now, still do as I write this. You don't chug a beer like that uh?

Overall, an excellent wee heavy which is a style I don't remember ever trying, and I have proudly added another major American brewery to my 'bucket list'. Still looking forward to try new ones... Cheers!

 896 characters

Photo of yoshie
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of flaskman
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I poured a 2014 into a tulip glass while watching a movie. It was over 2 years old and had aged beautifully. Dark amberish with a decent head. It smelled like raisins and figs with a sweetness that said "try me". It was very smooth with the perfect amount of heat and enough of the bourbon to give that taste that I love without overpowering the great scotch ale that it is. I loved it.

 393 characters

Photo of Blackop555
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep Brown. Short, thick, short-lived tan head.

Smells caramel malt, vanilla, bourbon, light nut.

Taste caramel and vanilla. Also strong Bourbon and hints of smoke and dark fruit. Finish is semi-sweet with vanilla, malty linger with a touch of bitter. High side of full-bodied. Creamy medium carbonation.

 312 characters

Photo of Scepter
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cwkash
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of drews240
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of CistercianFan
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of Ben_
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of pgbond
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a slightly hazy, dark brown-amber with a thin light khaki head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of deep caramel malt, dates and figs, hint of plums, bourbon. Flavor follows with caramel malt, toffee, dates, figs, dried plums, bourbon and a touch of oak and peat. Medium bodied with good creaminess, nice mouth feel. It's clear why this has a good reputation. All the classic flavors of a scotch ale with a good bourbon overtone. Well balanced with integrated flavors. Many good scotch ales have a little astringency in the finish; that is absent here, very smooth from start to finish. I see why Founders has such a following. Glad to see them in the West Coast. I will get this one again.

 742 characters

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 8,105 ratings.
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