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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Reviews: 1,835 | Ratings: 8,071
Photo of aquabears
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby with minimal head - the foam that is there is yellow/brown/white. Smells boozy, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, and sweet... Taste is rich and smooth. Malty with caramel and bourbon, very minimal carbonation, oily feel that coats your mouth. Rich and chewy and dangerously drinkable.

Also. As I drink, I end up with an almost ice-cream-like aftertaste in the back of my throat. This is pretty incredible.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet. Bottled 22 September 2016.
A: Pours surprisingly clear nut brown, but turns deep mahogany red in the glass. No head.
S: Smells sweet and syrupy. Maple syrup, not cough syrup. Hella malt like a good scotch ale should.
T/M: Taste is astoundingly rich and deep. Huge caramel sugars roll and roll, forcing the tongue to slog through the sheer volume of flavor. The flavors come in a narrow band, akin to one another -- maple, whiskey, caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, dense bread. Even if the notes are close together, their intensity makes up for a lack of variety. Thick without ever quite being sticky. Mild carbonation. A sipper and a chewer.
O: A heavy-hitting beer that knows exactly what it wants to do and smashes into that goal with considerable force. If you don't like dark, autumnal flavors (maple, bourbon, rich Demerara) look elsewhere than this malt bomb.

Bottle tasting notes (mostly including for use of 'scintilla'):
"Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt sctoch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bot of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It's a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate."

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Photo of Bierman9
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack of this recently for $16.00. Label shows bottled 26SEP16, and notes a current ABV of 11.2%.
Also have had this on tap at the Nashua Garden, a 12oz pour for $4.00 during Happy Hour!!

Poured a 12oz bottle into a small tulip. It is a very dense, opaque bier, but there are some lovely ruby/garnet highlights showing when held up to the light. Has very little head to speak of save for some fine, light tan bubbles gathering at the edge of the glass. Lacing is on the light side as well. The aroma is superb, with the bourbon blending with some caramel and peat for a great olfactory experience. The body is medium-plus and a touch chewy, and the liquid is satiny smooth going down.

Flavor has some caramel sweetness and brown sugar hitting the palate first. The bourbon is easily detected, mixing in with a bit of vanilla, some peaty malts and a hint of oak. Doesn't have much of your typical hoppy action, but it does finish with some earthy notes. The alcohol is, scarily, well-hidden in this tasty Bastard.

4.47/5 rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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

Get ur gandalf on in a secret cave chillin with your precious because this one is quite the smooth beast and will reward those that seek it's candy scotch splendor

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Photo of ChipChaight
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle Noble Grains NYC on the UES
Pours a dark amber almost red with minimal light tan head and thick boozy lacing, smell is thick sweet boozy toffee, caramel, molasses and a hint of maple syrup, taste is sweet molasses and mild maple syrup, transitioning into nice roasted malts and warming bourbon, this beer is surprisingly light, mildly carbonated, very sweet. Straight up maple bourbon candy.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A deep mahogany with a 1 finger head with minimal retention and fair lacing

S- Once poured even at an arms distance from my nose the inticing aroma of roasted malt was very prevalent. Once I brought the glass to my nose definite caramel notes were noticeable with just a subtle hint of raisin.

T- There is a light but very perceptible flavor of bourbon with very light charred oak that is enhanced and plays well with the sweetness of roasted malt. There is a slight and pleasant back end bitterness that is almost chocolaty.

F- Very light on the tongue and surprisingly smooth and clean for an 11.6% beer.

Overall I would agree with a previous reviewer that this is to date my favorite Scotch Ale and highly recommend it.

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Photo of seedyone
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From bottle at home in a stunted Pilsner Ommegang glass. 2016 Release.

Me Oh My...Thanks to Ben, at Whole Foods, without whom I would have passed this by.

Label says "ale aged in oak bourbon barrels". I'm big on the bourbon barrel aged stuff, but look more to porters & stouts & have overlooked this fine brew for some time.

It ain't cheap but I've come to accept my trashy attraction to the big boys & their big prices. Herein is a competitively priced big flavored brew, that, category aside stands tall. My prejudice would have passed it over for being a mere ale. That it is not.

The color is a deep mahogany with a stingy head & negligible lacing. The aroma is more full then big. There's the oak,of coarse, but also rich vanilla & lots of raisin & caramel. The big surprise is the mouthful. It exceeds what I would expect from an ale. It pushes the boundaries.

My take was a great surprise of a full bodied, big flavored, adult strength treat that deserve a place on anyone's list.

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Photo of Ryan4120
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

L - deep brown amber with minimal tan head
S - sweet bourbon, malt, dried fruit, caramel, molasses
T- follows the nose with strong sweet bourbon flavors up from followed by malt, molasses, caramel, and dried fruits. Definitely boozy.
F - Fully body with a moderate amount of carbonation - sticky
O - a very complex, strong bourbon barrel aged ale.

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Photo of jaketaz
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the few beers I've had in my life that receives constant hype and then actually lives up to said hype. Excellent Scotch ale that exceeds the great Oskar Blues "Old Chub", and does in fact improve upon the already great Dirty Bastard. It keeps the chewy salted caramel texture of Dirty Bastard, then jacks up the alcohol content and tops it off with bourbon barrel bite. The one issue I have with Scotch Ale (easily one of the best styles of beer) is that it can be a bit too sweet, but the tang imparted from a torched oak barrel is the perfect solution. Bourbon barrel aging has become almost a cliche in the craft beer world but I would say it benefits this style of beer even more than the strong American stouts to which it's usually applied. It's got texture and smoothness for days, one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Jpb123
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: held up to light appears to be translucent dark brown with deep red/purple, almost a dark maroon

Smell: sweet aromas of vanilla, sugars, raisins

Taste: sweet bourbon, oak, vanilla, delicious

Feel: smooth, for 11.6% abv you cannot detect alcohol very much

Overall: Probably my favorite Scotch Ale to date, although I'm not a connoisseur

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours deep dark brownish purple color with thin tan head not much lacing.

Aroma - Oak, vanilla, caramel nice bourbon smell. This thing has an amazing smell.

Taste - Very nice smooth flavor, more oak and vanilla very mild bourbon flavors no way I would think this was 11.6%. Mild chocolate and caramel.

Feel - Heavier full feel, very smooth and coating great feel.

Overall - I not notch beer, no int of the alcohol great flavors smooth as silk.

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Photo of KevCan
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bought a 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles from Whole Foods in Arlington, VA. Bottled 10/6/16. Poured into a tulip glass.

Look: Dark ruby, small head.

Smell: Sweet smelling, clear bourbon barrel notes. Begs to be drunk.

Taste: Totally awesome. The high ABV is well-hidden by the strong, sweet, maltiness.

Feel: Thick, syrupy sweet. Coats the mouth.

Overall: Fantastic, tons of flavor. Superb example of a Scotch Ale.

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

First time trying this. 2016 release, bottled 9/29/16. Sampled 11/6/2016. Poured into a wine glass at refrigerator temperature.
A - Pours a garnet red with half a finger's width of tight white bubbles that quickly recede into a thin ring. Alcohol legs observed with spotty lacing.
S - The nose is yet to open up as the beer is still cold. Can detect mild barrel notes (wood), torched sugar, raisins. Smells sweet.
T - For a beer at 11.2% with barrel influence, this drinks amazingly smooth. Warmth felt in the chest after the liquid has gone down the windpipe. Save for that, there is no hint that this beer is north of 10% ABV. Starts out slightly sweet, and immediately the barrel influence is felt, with notes of almond and vanilla tempering the sweetness. The hops are just enough to create an amazingly well-balanced beer. The backend is all barrel, this one.
F - The mouthfeel is slightly thinner than what I would expect for a beer this rich, but that is not a negative. Just goes to show that Founders has crafted an incredibly drinkable beer, that will appeal equally to the uninitiated as well as the connoisseurs. It would not be hard to put down a few of these in a hurry!
O - I've heard great things about this beer with a few months on it, but in my opinion, this is good to go fresh. I still have a few more bottles that I will likely sample at 3 months' interval - but that is just for intellectual curiosity. If you have just one bottle, it wouldn't be a mistake to drink up now.

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

Just released for 2016 and I picked up two four packs this week :)
I had this last season for the first time and loved it as many others from Founders .
Beautiful color, taste and smell !!
Been drinking two a day and getting ready for the football game to start, so today's pouring will begin shortly :)

Highly recommended to all !
One of my new favorites and if I can grab another four pack I'm going to try and tuck a couple of bottles away until next year .

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Photo of Damian3477
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

At the liquor store it was a toss up between blue moon oatmeal cappuccino stout and this. 16 per 4 pack
And I was thinking it would be hard to drink in comparison to the other beer.

Bought refrigerated , left on freezing windowsill with window cracked then allowed to be warmed up a bit.
The most drinkable beer that's smooth as you can imagine.

Brewed 9/26/16w and it was recommended to fridge 6 months and drink in spring. No taste of alcohol perhaps due to waking up without brushing my teeth.
If their is a taste it's so smooth and balanced by the powerful malty bourbon sweetness.
Better than kbs and breakfast stout.

Drank out of bottle and it hits you after 15 minutes when bottles almost empty.
11.2 percent.
This is amazing and amazingly drinkable beer to my surprise. I hope the next bottle is identical.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter/tulip/wine hybrid glass from a 12 oz bottle

A - Swampy blood red and soil brown with a less than one finger creamy tan head and some sugar legs and lacing

S - This ale even smells creamy. Bourbon and oak are on point, wow. Vanilla, sugar, caramel, some sarsaparilla, booze, tons of malt both dry, sweet and a tad roasted, green and brown earth, peat, over ripe fruits, baking spices, very yeasty, a little floral and the hops are super earthy.

T - Creamy malts, bourbon and scotch barrels, slight smoke (maybe peat), slight earthy hops, cracker yeast, tons of vanilla, a bit of baking spices minus the cinnamon, sugar up the wazoo, fruit leather (berries and figs), caramel, molasses and just plain awesome.

M - Full bodied, great balance, great complexity, medium balance, medium acidity and a awesome barrel aged ride from beginning to end.

D/O - This one is awesome fresh and also made for the cellar. Perfect for all times of the year,but it does fit the fall winter weather perfectly. Something to considering sipping on for Thanksgiving, Christmas and for sure on New Year's eve and day. If you want to impress those at your dinner party or just a social gathering. Founders does it again.

Final thoughts - A high price at $15 per four-pack but the taste and 11.2% ABV will make up for all that. The "Old Ale" on tap would be super amazing.

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with ruby highlights. Not much in the way of a head, but what is there is a tightly packed, foamy rim of cappuccino brown.

Big hits of browned butter and caramel come from the bottle. Add some boozy fruit and you've got an aroma that has me dreaming of Christmas pudding and cake batter – lovely. The taste follows, but leans a bit more toward the smoky, bourbon end of the spectrum. There's also a surprising amount of drying bitterness coating the palette and throat with this one. Combined with the ABV, that makes for a very slow sipper.

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Photo of Suds
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reddish brown in color with a tan head. The aroma is intensely malty, with lots of fruit and wood complexity. Fig, old wood, earth, cherry, The taste is fiercely warming...boozy alcohol. After the ABV sharpness, however, it is becomes somewhat smoother than expected. Flavorful, full, and engaging. Excellent.

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Photo of JetFeather22
3/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is extremely overrated.
Doesn't taste anything like a scotch ale, it is hoppy, which scotch ales aren't and you can barely taste the oak aging..
I should have known this beer wasn't going to be that grate considering it was made by an American brewing company, I think if your going to label something a scotch ale it should be made like a scotch ale. The IBU's on this beer are 55 and they shouldn't be even half that, also I can taste the fact that there American grown hops and not English hops like a scotch ale is supposed to be.... All in all though its not that bad, it's just not as good as the rateings are saying it is

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Photo of BWood
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks dark dark red/brown. Little head that completely goes away.

Smell is great. Malt and barrel show up nicely.

Taste is amazing. Rich but subtle at the same time. The barrel is strong but not overpowering. I get some dark fruits and vanilla.

Feel is silk. Smooth as butter bourbon feel and creamy throughout. The flavor coats the tongue and lingers well after the sip.

Overall this is a phenomenal beer. I recommend grabbing as much as you can. Not much I would change about this beer.

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Photo of puck1225
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Deep dark red- brown color with a thin head and good lacing. Rich sweet smell. Dark fruit taste, raisins, dates with a boozey aftertaste. An excellent fall beer.

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Photo of ssm462
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks amber rich with full head. Smells like a sweet malt scotch with Some toffee. Tastes deceptively smooth and sweet. Definitely see the barrel flavor without too much hops characteristics. No alcohol bite. High carbonation. Overall a delicious beer that will give high ABV fans a middle ground between the hops of an IPA and the heaviness of stouts.

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Photo of HoodviewBrew
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look- dark brown/black with an even 1/2" head
Smell- bourbon, sweetness like molasses.
Taste- Strong malt taste with hints of molasses, bourbon, raisins, and fig. There is an initial alcohol burn that detracts a little from the taste.
Overall- pretty good but not great.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany red with a thin, creamy off-white head.
Smells of dark fruit and cherries, malt and oak.
Taste follows the nose with a wonderful bourbon presence. Brown sugar or molasses. A little bourbon burn.
Smooth as can be.

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

Great beer from Founders! It lives up to it's reputation! The smell is sublime and the taste is just so subtle. They did a very good job with the barrel aging! It also has a very nice kick!

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 8,071 ratings.
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