Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
BA SCORE
4.35/5
Outstanding
8,527 Ratings
Backwoods BastardBackwoods 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: Year-round

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

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#603
Reviews:
1,950
Ratings:
8,527
pDev:
10.11%
 
 
Wants:
1,044
Gots:
3,448
Trade:
268
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 8,527 |  Reviews: 1,950
Photo of tone77
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cola color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of molasses, whiskey. Taste is whiskey, dark fruits, molasses, malts, somewhat sweet, alcohol is present throughout. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality beer worth trying.

 281 characters

Photo of Radcpa
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark semi-transparent appearance with tan head that disipates quickly. Aroma is a sweet malt with bourbon. Taste is also a pleasant blend of malt and boubon that is slightly sweet and smooth.

 193 characters

Photo of BrewsOverHoes
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Low_Hanging_Hops
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of robebo44
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deg
4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Old_Dead_Oak
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Murray0420
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this one... One of my favorite 4sure

41 characters

Photo of LeftyMike
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of lalhart4
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Opaque brown body, looks like root beer or cola. Finger head, sticky lacing.

Strong molasses notes, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, figs, raisins, and dates.

Initially very sweet, upfront with notes of butterscotch, caramel, dark fruit, and toffee. Vanilla body. Dark chocolate aftertaste. Feels very creamy smooth.

A delicate oaky beer compiled with dark flavors, along with a sweet assortment of notes for balance. Excellent.

 481 characters

Photo of 94rocker1
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of tzat
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lelampp
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wati47
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oneguynamedjosh
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ragnar3
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MattGlass08
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bryant1985
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Dark_Scarecrow
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Livyatan1996
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DigitGrowler
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheHammer
3.67/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: An opaque brown body that is even when put up to direct light reveals little. A finger of head was produced that did not produce any lace but retained exceptionally well.

Smell: Very potent, but I don't think I am a fan of what this brew portends. In particular I pickup a strong molasses note, powerfully roasted malt and a solvent like quality that comes from a high alcohol brew that doesn't hide that fact well. Warming brings it out more, but it is completely irrelevant as it's strong at time of pour.

Taste: Shortbread and toffee malt starts us out masterfully as there is just the right amount of underlying sweetness, it continues to build with a slight charred oak hit with hints of raisins. Sadly while doing so, what I feared creeps into the beer, a powerful alcohol twang that punctuates the beer with some earthy hops giving it a very strong whiskey like note. Don't get me wrong, it's still good, but that undisguised alcohol should either be concealed or embraced without as much sweetness to start.

Mouthfeel: As stated, it has a solvent quality to it that is undesirable to me, unless you are really playing up the scotch and whiskey aspect. This one does at the end, but certainly doesn't at the start. That leads me to my biggest issue with the beer, it's transitioning, and it's not too often I encounter this problem (because most brewers don't seem to be able to pull it off). Most times when I take issue with transitioning, it's because the beer doesn't go from one flavor to another in a smooth fashion. That it feels either rocky or a 90 degree turn. I don't get that here, as it seems to make it journey from almost excessively sweet, to boozy, bitter, charred whiskey in a fairly graceful fashion. The issue is that it's simply too far a spectrum in such a short period of time. It's like a one day cruise. Sure, it's nice and I get to my destination, but it seems like the cruise was a waste and I could have flown for cheaper. Anyways, the carbonation is good and the aftertaste is still a bit boozy and cloyingly sweet.

Drinkability: Not as heavy as I would expect from something this boozy, but just on the heavier end of medium bodied. It's not quite a meal, but would say an appetizer for sure. Not exactly what I could call refreshing, but Scotch ale doesn't usually fill that niche. I like that it avoids dry aspects but I'm not a big fan of the feeling it leaves.

Final Thoughts: When I drank this, my mind actually wandered to a quote from a Sherlock Holmes adventure. I decided to look it up. It was from "The Adventure of the Norwood builder" where Holmes explaining how he caught the criminal in this adventure said "But he had not that supreme gift of the artist, the knowledge of when to stop." which pretty much echoes my sentiment on a lot of beer from the US (apart from the tried and true stereotype that macro lager is water, but I digress). This beer I feel perfectly expresses that sentiment. There is such an extreme transition here, that it comes across as drowning out it's own substance. Cranking the volume to 11 often deafens the listener to the music. Pretty much, the niche of this beer is after dinner in the fall or winter instead of whisky, because dinner wasn't substantial enough. As good as this beer is, it's far too small a niche for my liking.

 3,328 characters

Photo of quadmad
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 8,527 ratings