Backwoods Bastard
Founders Brewing Company

Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #1
Ranked #395
4.38 | pDev: 10.05%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
Notes: Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
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Reviews: 1,991 | Ratings: 8,679
Photo of zdk9
3.76/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Second night without power. It feels like I'm in the woods without heat. Hopefully this one will warm me up.

A- Dark brown with ruby highlihgts. Little head tops the surface. As the beer goes down the glass it leaves limited, but fairly strong looking dots of lacing.

S- Dark fruits- prunes and raisins. Reminds me quite a bit of the Raison D'extra of a couple days ago. As my nose delves deeper I notice strong carmel, and some alcohol. There is also some off tones, perhaps DMS? Hopefully these aren't reminscent of the DFH brew.

T- Initial taste of vanilla, oaky bourbon which smoothes into sweet carmel malt with some brither fruit flavors- cherry and orange or dark tangerine. The aftertaste brings some heavily roasted coffe tones to the party.

M- Syrupy as hell- a major tongue sticker. I'm loving this part of the beer.

D- I love the bourbon notes on this batch, but the off flavors turned me off in turn. But still good, especially the drinking experience of syrupy, mildly boozy, beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1yr old 2007 brew
(Served in a snifter)
A- Dark brown body with a faint red glow thick creamy yellowish head good strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- Still a big wet oaky barrel with some nice dark dry malty notes. Make you want to sniff for days.

T- Nice full bourbon flavor with big oaky vanilla flavors and some roasted malt flavors. There is a burnt wood malt flavor to the bourbon in the finish. This lingers for a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture as long as the head last. There is a soft smooth alcohol heat that supports the flavors.

D- This beer is great fresh and it is just a good with some age on it although I didn't really notice much change.
(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep auburn-brown body that is a bit dense but still clear. There is a creamy light tan head that sticks to the glass and last long after the beer does. It also has a nice slow carbonation of tiny bubbles that support the head.

S- The smell of big vanilla and bourbon has notes of dry toasted malt and apple wood smoke to them. There is a slight sweetness to the smoke and the aromas are big with some nice depth.

T- The taste of big oak and some nice prune flavors and a bourbon/vanilla flavor to it. There is a soft butterscotch flavor followed by a spicy bourbon note and some bitter hops that finish off the beer nicely.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft heat that lingers with the bourbon and hops taste.

D- This beer has a bit more sweetness to the malt which adds more depth to the bourbon and wood. This is a great beer for the winter months ahead. It will pair well with a warm fire, cold winter nights and perhaps a cigar.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Could there be any better way to spend a day off? Homebrewing while drinking a Founders limited release in the morning, visiting a brewery (Flossmoor) for the first time in the afternoon. Into to Affigem Goblet...

A - A dark, thick looking beer with amber tints. A small amount of head pokes out through this thickness, and leaves a small ring of head.

S - The very expressive bourbon (vanilla, smoke, cherry) qualities mix well with the slight peat smoke from the Bastard, Very enjoyable.

T - The flavor that wins the race to hit my tongue first was the scotch-ale like sweetness, and it blended quickly with the cherry flavors from the bourbon barrels. Smoke mixed in at midpalate, and helps balance this beer out at this point. At the swallow, I was hit with alcohol and peat. The peat lasts well into the finish, where the hops balanced everything out, and left with cherry, peat, hops, and some spice. Focused and tasty, very enjoyable.

M - Full and silky, basically what you would expect from a big beer like this.

D - This was really good, but I would say that the bourbon did overwhelm the scotch ale. I don't know if this would be any better, but I am curious is this beer would have worked better with more balance between the two.

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Photo of schusterbauer
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet aromas of brandy, smoke, and caramel, just strong enough to tickle the sinuses, but no burning sensation. Soft, smooth body, tastes of custard, caramel, rotten apple peels, and Makers Mark. My burps taste like the Creme Brulee I had at Assagi last night.

Some might call this the latest Founders monstrosity, but I promise it's nowhere near as bruising as other "big" Founders beers, and it's a nice escape from a dreary fall afternoon. (Leave it to Michiganders to know the antidote to Michigan weather!)

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Photo of kirok1999
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice light brown with some ruby edges, no noticable head and very little lacing. Smell is really nice, chocolate, toffee, bourbon.
Taste is nicely sweet, starts with a mild chocolate note backed up by the toffee sweetness. The bourbon is noticable but not overpowering. There's some wood notes as well but this mostly about the sweetness. The alcohol is slightly noticable but very pleasant.
Very drinkable, too bad it's so rare.

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Photo of Wildman
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear very dark red amber color and formed a nice foamy off white head that left laticed lace as it subsided. Very little carbonation was present. An aroma of malt, smoke/wood, caramel and lightly of cherry. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and again the woody/smoke probably from the cask aging. The the body was medium light and the finish was slightly burnt.

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Photo of Osiris9588
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no date. Pours a clear mahogany with very little head of which to speak, just a thin off-white layer on the surface.

The aroma consists of molasses, cherry, vanilla, and some anise. These carry over into the flavor, along with some rock candy and a touch of toasted malt--very nice, well balanced and not syrupy. Along with the sweetness, it's still has a nice smokiness to it.

It's medium bodied with a creamy, and just slightly sticky, mouth--but it's just right, well balanced and very active on the palate. It's drinkable, but probably not a session brew. It's more of a desert beer. It would make one hell of an ice cream float. Outstanding.

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Photo of Phatz
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We were the first people in the door at Founders when they opened Sunday afternoon. The first beer I asked for was the Backwoods Bastard. Our bar tender was very helpful but after several attempts to fill the snifter she asked me to choose something else. The keg or the line or something was causing it to foam and she kept pouring it out. I asked to try it anyway so I received a small glass with the head rushing down the sides for free with an apology. I guess someone fixed the problem later. This beer is the Barrel Aged Dirty Bastard.

Appearance: Served a ruddy brown color with a tan / beige head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Dark fruit, plum and cherry with toasty caramel and a light smoky element beside a hint of fresh cut wood.

Taste: Earthy woodyness and sweet dark fruits toasted caramel and toffee and a touch of bourbon and oak. The smokiness is very light and not overpowering at all letting the sweetness dominate and making an overall pleasant beer.

Mouthfeel: It is creamy and smooth with a medium body and light alcohol heat left on the cheeks.

Drinkability: It is a sipping beer but the 9.2% really doesn’t feel that high. It will catch up to you if your not careful with this one.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at Founder's during a brewery road trip to Dark Lord Day

Smell, First thing out of the gate is alcohol, this one smells hot. Some fruity Belgian-esque smells, but overall, fruity and hot

Taste, the alcohol is quite noticeable, but plum, raisin, and some other dark fruits really help balance it out. All the flavors really do come together to make this one a very good "Scotch Ale." While I know the brewers are much smarter than I am about their beer, this one really reminds me of a young Quad, very fruity, but with that alcohol poking at you.

Overall, a very different beer, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I would love to see what a year would do for the flavor of this beer.

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Photo of kajerm
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surprise growler pour at DL day 2007. This is officially the best day ever.

Pours dark reddish-brown. The aroma is woody with a strong malt presence; vanilla and alcohol are also present. Tastes like it smells, malty, complex, and awesomely balanced.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. This is an awesome Wee Heavy.

Can't remember who it was who was roaming around with a growler of this, but thank you very, very much.

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Photo of rsyberg01
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S - Had on tap after DLD at Founders.

A - Pour was black with a nice chocolatey head, sticky in the corners with a thin layer residing on top of the brew.

S - Oak, toasted malts, slight smoke, chocolate, caramel in some sense, bits of fruitiness as well. Totally dig it.

T - not overly bourbon-y very level balance of it, sweet, malty, smooth, smoke, oaky but not too, this stuff has me speechless. Damn fine brew.

M - Come on, creamy, viscous, exactly what it should be IMO.

D - Being 9.2%, it will sneak up on you, but until it does, drink it up.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is just one of 2 beers im reviewing from tastes at Dark Lord day...this one because of how amazingly good it was and because i actually took notes on it. Pours dark, dark brown with reddish hues and a thin wisp of a head. looks exciting. Odor is full of bourbon, oaky and ethanol-laced with chocolate and peat smells too. Taste is absolutely sublime. Bourbon, some vanilla (not too much), oak, cherries, peat, toffee, prunes, other dark dangerous fruits. obvious alcohol warming. i think dirty bastard is definitely a beer that lends itself to barrel aging. what a great beer this is, ill have to head on up to Founders soon. Don't know who brought the growler but thanks!

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Photo of mcallister
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep russet. Plenty of ruby and scarlet shine through. Poured with no head or lace. Some slight cascading effect from carbonation.

Nose shows signs of peat, with a sweet chocolate sense. Some hints of bourbon and vanilla but nothing stands out. A bit dissapointing nose.

Well there we go. This really opens up in the mouth. Nearly perfect integration of the barrel aging. Added depth and complexity instead of taking away from the original creation. Nice charred oak flavors and hints of bourbon in the finish. Peat shines through and leaves a sticky sweet raisiny sensation on the toungue. Bits of anise and milk chocolate. Vanilla has an impact on the finish as well.

Mouth is silky smooth and full of life. Very highly drinkable BA beer.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

founders backwoods bastard is a wonderful addition to founders oak aged line of beer. the flavor of the oak, bourbon and beer just blend into a beautiful elixir of intoxication.

i was served a brandy glass of cloudy mohogany brew, that had a very thin loose head that fell into nothing quickly.
the aroma is malty sweet with oak and bourbon, vanilla and alcohol.
the flavor is very malty, almost sweet, there is a good hop flavor, with a pleasent oakiness, bourbon, and vanilla.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at Founders 2/2/07. Thanks to Leslie for the assist!

A: Very nice opaque dark brown color. Sort of the color and clarity of an espresso shot. Hardly any head, just a a faint ring. Very still.

S: Large aromas of bourbon with hints caramel, vanilla, and molassas.

T: Flavors of bourbon, burnt brown sugar, peat smoked malt, caramel, chocolate, and toffee.

M: Smooth and oily. The stillness of this beer makes the mouthfeel even creamier.

D: Wow! The bourbon is so well intergrated into this beer. It doesn't over power the other flavors and aromas. A pleasure to drink!

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional new offering by Founders, and one that should only get better as it ages out more, unbelievable as it is. Backwoods Bastard is yet another experimental, aged beer, this time in Bourbon casks.

The appearance on this one is straight-up Dirty Bastard, blackish, but with purple highlights and a nice head. The smell combines the roasted malts and chocolate from Bastard with the distinct bourbon tinge from the cask and makes for one enticing aroma.

The taste on this is excellent. Take the standard Bastard formula of strong malty chocolate with a dark fruit tinge, and then add in the distinctive bite of bourbon from the barrel. The bourbon flavour shows up about half-way through, and does a nice job of taking over the show without completely destroying everything else the beer is trying to do. The finish on this is a more intense version of the standard alcohol shot and warming that normal Bastard gives you. Great stuff.

The mouthfeel, just like Bastard, is full, all around rock solid. Drinkability, well, this is going to depend on what you're used to drinking, but I had no problem drinking a 12 ounce of this.

The bottom line: Founders does some of the best barrel aged products around. Kentucky Breakfast, Old Curmudgeon, the Bourbon Stout, and now this are amongst my favourite offerings by the brewery. Be sure to check this out if you're in the GR area anytime soon.

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firstprev| 1926-1950 | 1951-1975 | 1976-2000  | next → last
Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 8679 ratings