Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
8,421 Ratings
Backwoods BastardBackwoods 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,421 |  Reviews: 1,921
Photo of blue-dream
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of 4amepiphany
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle, can't read the date, but I assume it's quite fresh on the shelf.

The season is winter, I've had a craving for anything aged in a barrel. Picked up a 12oz single at my local shop for something to drink for the night. I've heard about this brew, and I finally got to see it sold in singles, so I grabbed it with no hesitation.

Poured cold into a KBS snifter. A wonderful dark amber color, and it hits you with bourbon notes right away. I was afraid it was going to be too boozy, at 10.2%. I let it sit for a few minutes before taking the first sip, and WOW. Full of flavor. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, but... a bite of alcohol that quickly dissipates along the palate! VERY well done. Probably the most appealing feature to me. All the taste, none of the burn. I'm halfway through the snifter and I can feel the warmth slowly embracing me. I can't seem to stop taking sips even though I should slow it down a bit. This beer is wonderful. Pick one up when you can.


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Photo of jeff1973
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip. Bottled 9/28/12, so a 1 yr old at this point. Acquired in trade. Thanks beerbyrd.

A - Dark brown in color, slightly hazy. Light tan head that doesn't have much retention.

S - Lots of vanilla, caramel, coconut. Classic bourbon flavors. No alcohol burn. Everything blends nicely.

T - Again all the vanilla, caramel, and coconut from the bourbon. But then there is a creamy taste like condensed milk. Like a tasty milkshake. Again, no alcohol burn.

M - Medium thick. Carbonation is medium low. Gives a nice creamy mouthfeel.

O - Great beer. The Wee Heavy style really lends itself to bourbon aging. With the creamy mouthfeel and taste, it comes together perfectly.

Update: drank a bottle bottled on 9/23/11, so more than 2yrs old. Bit more watery. Still create flavors, but the mouthfeel is falling off.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

10/13/11 bottle

Deep ruby color (back lit by my tablet) slow pour no head.

Nice mix of caramel malt and oak/bourbon. Some dark fruits. Real nice smells.

Flavor follows aroma. Caramel but not really sweet. Dark, dry fruits. Whisky. Touch of pepper.

Some heft coupled with some tannin. Finish is some what dry, chalky. Warming alcohol on the trip down.

Pretty good over all. Wish I had more.

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Photo of Joey1566
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of dailyminefield
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JohnG190
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy ruby brown with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Big bourbon notes on the nose with hints of oak and vanilla. Bourbon hits the palate right up front with a nice, sweet oaky finish. Light bodied with faint carbonation. Overall, a bourbon lovers delight. Well balanced and well crafted.

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Photo of creal92
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Mikeypnh
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of MichiganBrews
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Cory-WC
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of mikefuski17
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of 4Socialanxiety
3/5  rDev -31%

Photo of thegrimone
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of astroflounder
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of TheRealPour
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Geijerb
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of DrewskiWhit
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A for a scotch ale this thing looks amazing. Tons of legs and lacing. Deep deep amber brown color with nice retention especially considering the abv

S caramel, toffee, dark fruits and bourbon. Smells really good

T delicious. Follows the nose almost exactly. Not a huge bourbon character but it is present way on the back end. I would score this a 5 if the flavors hung on a little longer. No alcohol burn.

M maybe perfect for the style. Sometimes beers like this have so little carbonation combined with the high abv they become hard to drink. This is scary easy to drink

O excellent beer. Was really looking forward to this one. As previously stated its perfect for the cold weather. Reminds me a bit of Bois with much higher drinkability and without the crazy alcohol presence. This has nice big flavors but tastes very controlled and balanced like most founders offerings. I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of adamdarcy
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of kbrown
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark crimson. Creamy tan head retained after pour.

Smell- Fresh glazed donuts, nutmeg, bourbon, malts, cinnamon, vanilla.

Taste - Sweet fig & bread balanced so well by the hop backbone. The bourbon adds the complexity that you expect.

Mouthfeel- Hearty, smooth throughout. Favorable aftertaste.

Overall- Unique. This blows away any wee heavy that I' ve had.

 374 characters

Photo of whatname
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of AnchorDrops
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of fullmoonbeer
1.75/5  rDev -59.8%

Photo of Infiniteingest
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generally: Beers aged in Bourbon Barrels = not my thing. I find almost universally that the vanilla from the oak itself, and the residual bourbon notes overpower the malt and, when brewers try to balance it all out with hops... chaos. Leave it to Founders to provide the exception to the rule.

The Pour: A handsome looking beer, falling right in line with the chestnut browns typical of Scotch Ales. There's a very light, almost wispy head that lingers for just a moment or two.

Face in the glass: Bourbon and caramel malts, with some subtle hints of earthiness and spice.

With Regard to Taste: On more than one occasion, I have dumped my whisk(e)y into my beer. This reminds me of that concoction in the best possible way. A parade of bourbon and oaky vanilla riding around on delicious caramel and spice floats. Extremely well balanced.

Epitoma: A wonderful late-fall sipper, guaranteed to warm your bones.

Serving type: Bottle

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Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 8,421 ratings