Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard
8,356 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,356 |  Reviews: 1,897
Photo of iuhophead87
3.77/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Founders Backwood Bastard Fed Ale

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nutty redish color with a 1 inch tan head with good retention.

S- Am I about to drink Bourbon?

T- Sweet, caramel, maple syrup, vanilla, and BOURBON! Did I say you can taste BOURBON. I've had many bourbon aged beers, but this is over the top but tastes like Dirty Bastard with a few shots of bourbon. Not bad, but not great either.

MF_ Just like it smells! Crisps, dry, and sweet!

D- Not my style, but could drink one or two on a cold winter night.

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Photo of Bubslang
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy brownish amber with a medium creamy light tan head that left some nice lacing. Aroma of dark malts,vanilla,oak, dark malts,caramel and bourbon. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel with flavors of vanilla, caramel malt, and oak, with the bourbon enhancng the flavor but not overpowering it. very nice finish that is slightly bitter and warming. A perfect beer to drink on a cold michigan evening.

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Photo of bound4er
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BWB pours slightly turbid showcasing a rich brown color. A firm pour produced a 1/2" head that settles fairly quickly to a nice foam skin. Small patches of lacing are present. When cold the aroma is that of mainly caramel but as it warms a whole range of scents poke through - vanilla, bourbon, figs, a damp earthiness or mustiness and butterscotch - WOW! The taste does not disappoint either - many of the same smells follow through to the palate - this is a full flavor beer with caramel malts, bourbon and figs. The mouthfeel is spot on - not too heavy or light though it could use a bit more carbonation for more punch. If it weren't for the high ABV, I could easily have 2 or 3 of these beers in a night. A lot of bourbon-based beers become ponderous to me after a few sips - not this beer. Good stuff from Founders.

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Photo of HomebrewPgh
3.44/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is hits every end of the spectrum for me. The appearance was nice. A deep cloudy brown with a few bubbles and no head. Aroma was absolutely perfect. Strong vanilla dominates with oak and bourbon intertwined. Taste was a little thin. The taste reminds me of the days when I first started drinking in bars. It tastes EXACTLY like a Jack and Coke that has been sitting too long with ice in it and got watered down. This is because the beer lacks any HINT of carbonation. With some carbonation this beer could be an A. I don't remember 07s being this flat. Maybe it's just the bottle I had.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Backwoods pours like a viscous Bastard, unleashing a hazy, mahogany-amber body into the pint. A small head of tiny tan bubbles rises to a quarter-inch before falling to a crater-ridden, thin cap of foam. The aroma hits me from across the room--WHISKEY! A serious scotch and bourbon presence draws its oak-aged muskiness into the olfaction alongside notes of sickly-sweet molasses, dark cherry, and booze-laden raisins.

The flavor starts out with a sharp bourbon bite of oak and booze that quickly gives way to creamy vanilla and scotch malts. Candy-apple molasses and brown sugars slide through for a deliciously sweet finish. Aftertaste is more vanilla and a boozy warmth that continues all the way to the stomach. The mouthfeel is creamy, perfectly carbonated, and slightly viscous--but not so thick that it's tough to drink. All in all, an impressive Scotch Ale from the "Bastards" at Founder's. Me likey.

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Photo of TrevorGW
3.21/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy soft brown. Head retention is pretty weak.

A lot of caramel flavor and aroma here. Dark fruit and oak come through pretty strong on the palette. Sweet and nutty with an abundance of warming alcohol. Finish is a tad harsh.

A flavorful experience... but it is a bit too intensely alcoholy and sweet for me.

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Photo of mightyjoemoon
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this ale is all about the bourbon. its a very warm red in color which pours with a reasonable head that lingers as a fine lace around the outside. its also a very smooth ale without being flat; the slight carbonation definitely adds to the liveliness. the nose is all bourbon and the initial taste is similar to a good single malt with a strong alcoholic kick (10.2%) and hints to both oak and vanilla. but as it warms the hops come out, especially in a pleasantly bitter after taste.

at 14$ or so for four this isn't something i'm going to be drinking all the time but its a great alternative to a winter warmer, which tend to be too rich for my taste. if your sick of stouts this could be your new favorite seasonal.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found myself looking for the Jack Daniels trademark. I have to say this beer is insanely good after a steak dinner. I only wish I had a cigar to enjoy with this one.

This was poured into a brandy snifter and enjoyed after a huge porterhouse with family. There was basically little to no head. But the aroma was fantastically delicious. How in the world do they think these things up. Everything was in pefect harmony. I will say that I tried this earlier in the week and did not like it. Rather than slam it I thought I would try another. I ended up chilling it rather than drinking it at cellar temp and the taste improved. Almost like chilling whiskey before drinking it makes it taste better (to me).

The taste is of alcohol, smoke, bourbon, toasted nuts, dried fruit, and strong malt backbone. I cannot detect much in the way of hops. I really ended up liking this one a lot!

The mouthfeel decent. A little watery but very in tune with the style. I don't know how drinkable this one is with over 9% ABV and $16 a four pack but I cannot slam them for either considering the awesome flavor!

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Photo of gdfan47
3.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first off.. im very irish.. and i cant /don't like whiskey

but i figured I would try this beer anyway

it poured a dark copper color without alot of head

the smell is of whiskey and alcohol.. straight up

it tastes like it smells, you can really taste the alcohol too

its pretty smooth but the non whiskey drinking part of me makes it hard to like this beer

i would try it again, maybe I will develop a better taste for whiskey..

there is nothing wrong with this beer, im just not acclimated to whiskey

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass and really could not get a large head to form. A small ½ finger head formed then immediately faded. The beer itself is a deep dark brown with ruby highlights... (when held to the light)

Aroma was great. Vanilla and a touch of alcohol.

Flavor was fantastic. I have to be honest, I was not sure what to expect here. I had heard some good things, I love barrel aged beers and respect Founders... This is fantastic. Creamy, slight sweetness, deep vanilla and a warming effect from the alcohol. Some maple syrup or brown sugar flavors as well. This is great for a cold November afternoon of football. I picked the right one out of the fridge.

Mouth feel is creamy and silky smooth. You definitely get a sense for the alcohol and the warming effect from it.

Session beer...NO Drinkable... YES. I really enjoy savoring this one..

As a bourbon fan, this is a winner. I have to be honest, I bought a 4 pack and now I am considering running out to get another.

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

A - Pours a very dark amber with a tiny, slowly evaporating tan head

S - Sweet, syrupy, malty

T - Complicated and sweet. Bourbon, brown sugar, maple syrup, extremely mellow smokey malt. Hold this in your mouth for a second and it tastes of Maker's Mark, swish it around and the finish is deliciously sweet. Fantastic.

M - Just right.

D - Extremely drinkable, as most have said here, for a 10 percenter.

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a rather small, fleeting, off-white head.

Smell: A sturdy, sweet-scented caramel maltiness with a hint of maple. Oh, and with a rich, distinct bourbon barrel aroma, but you already knew that, right?

Taste: Sweet, sugary caramel maltiness with an added dose of maple syrup. Small touch of fruit. Full, punchy bourbon barrel tastes of vanilla and toasted oak wood. Light tannic astringency. Earthy hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Pleasingly sweet, bourbony finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Lightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Oh, it's quite good. Potent, sure, but good! If ever anyone has some extra bottles of Backwoods Bastard they're looking to get rid of count me in.

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Photo of spointon
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12-ounce stubby brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a hazy, deep amber-brown color with a 1/2" light tan head. Some minor spotty lace stayed on the glass.

S= Aroma was of course dominated by the bourbon, but also had a solid base of malty sweetness and oaky vanilla.

T= I found carmelly malty sweetness covered throughout by bourbon. There were also notes of dry oakiness and vanilla. Finish was mild for a bourbon barrel beer, and produced a bit of smokiness.

MF= Every bit of the high end of medium bodied here, with a lower carbonation feel. Nice tongue coating feel.

D= Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV and the relatively strong bourbon barrel quality. I think that malty Scottish ales work pretty well in bourbon barrels and this is no exception!

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12-ounce stubby with a twist-off top and a sketchy old dude on the label wielding a double-bitted axe, poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear ruddy-amber body garnished with a trillion tiny particulates in suspension and a finger's depth of creamy light tan foam on top. The head collapses slowly into a soft skim with a creamy collar that deposits patches and fine-bubbled rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is darkly sweet and malty with succulent caramel and plenty of charred oaky, perfumey notes of savory sherry and rich, smoky bourbon.

The taste is malty-chocolatey sweet with a fine fruitiness and light charred smokiness. Mild toffee and rich dark caramel notes are spritzed with vanilla infused simple syrup and a drop of deliciously warm bourbon. As the drink warms a bit more, a touch of toffee sweetness really comes through, but is kept in check with a bit of bitter char and a cleansing, palate-tingling alcohol note of fermenting plums and red apples. A lingering mild and smoky bitterness in the aftertaste anxiously awaits the drinker's next swig, and a significant warming in the belly reminds him that this axe-wielding Bastard packs a wallop!

Backwoods Bastard is on the full-bodied side with milky feel and mild carbonation. Alarmingly drinkable for a 10.2 percenter.

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Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ahh the Lions,enough said.Backwoods Bastard poured into a small tulip glass an awesome deep mahogany with with amber hue,a tight formed clingy tannish colored head atop,great clarity and a great pour.Deep complex malt aromas with the bourbon barrel showing through,vanilla and cherry notes dominate with some wood and a tinge of sweet alcohol.Obviously not a beer to start turkey day with but I did,its a sipper but not a head knocker.Flavors are pretty sweet up front with vanill,caramel and cherry flavors dominating,the bourbon flavor is prevelent but not overpowering,theere is a noticeablr drying leafy finish.A great beer,like I said asipper but it wont slow you down to much,a few of these and I might enjoy the Lions game.

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Photo of vurt
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle picked up in a trade with kirok1999, poured into a tulip glass. The neck ring indicates this version is 10.2% ABV instead of 9.2%.

The Backwoods Bastard is a turbid brew, with a color between reddish-amber and auburn. It pours with very little evidence of carbonation. Swirling the glass raises only a thin veil of ivory colored foam which dissipates quickly, though the foam does tend to hang around longer as the beer warms. This beer doesn't create much lacing, just some sticky dots of foam on the glass. Not very attractive, but maybe this beer has a nice personality.

First impression is a big hit of bourbon followed by a rush of sugar sweetness. Delicious caramel and oaky vanilla aromas evolve afterwards, along with a faint spiciness that reminds me of gingersnaps. A fair amount of alcohol wafts from the surface and gently stings the nostrils.

Bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors wrapped up in a creamy malted-milk base, with notes of molasses, marzipan, caramel, brown sugar, and a little anise. An underlying fruitiness makes me think of golden raisins, figs, and dates. Delicious. A woody bitterness creeps in at the finish, along with an alcohol bite and an evanescent floral note.

Body is on the heavy side of medium, and gloriously smooth. This beer fills the mouth and coats the palate. Carbonation is low but appropriate for a barrel-aged beer. Alcohol provides warmth and, by the end of the glass, numbness.

The rich aroma, luscious flavors, and low carbonation make this a pleasure to drink. But the heat of the alcohol does become a bit distracting towards the end. I'm glad this is available in 12 oz. bottles. Anything larger would be just too much.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome extra from Bigdaddywil. Very dark reddish amber, almost brown. A one finger, off-white head lingers for a short minute. The lacing disappears quickly. Immediate slap in the face (nostrils) from the bourbon. Nice. Huge sugary malt notes in the nose with some caramel and brown sugar. Initial taste is sweet and malty bourbon, with some caramel and vanilla as well. Very boozy and delicious. The finish is remarkable. Long bourbon alcohol finish that lingers, imparting a sticky coating to the back of the tongue. Full bodied with good carbonation. Backwoods Bastard leaves my mouth dry and wanting another drink.

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Photo of NCBeernut
3.3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep red almost mahogany body generously dusted with particulate and capped by a small bone colored head that is somewhat resistant to forming. First scent to hit is sweet bourbon followed by candy sugars and hints of vanilla and anise. Flavors hit all at once. Bourbon, sweet sugary malts, a bit of vanilla and spicy alcohol. Smooth woody flavors from start to finish, but never coming close to taking over the bourbon. A bit thin a slightly watery...not what I was expecting....

As it continues to warm some slight dark fruit notes come out but really this beer basically tastes like watered down sweet bourbon...I am starting to think that my notes above took a bit of digging to detect.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a clear dark amber with a creamy off-white head on top.

Aroma of malts, dark ripe fruit, wood, and alcohol meet the nose.

Tastes of a strong ale with a big vanilla kick. This caught me by surprise, but I like it. Dark ripe fruit fruit, toffee, bourbon, and a boozy punch follow.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, with a moderate carbonation.

Awesome beer. The strong ale with a vanilla kick really appeals to me. Wait for the snow to fall and grab a couple of these for the evening. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.

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Photo of craytonic
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby-orange with a 1.5" head. Murky.

Smell: This beer makes it abundantly clear, in both smell and taste, that it was aged in bourbon barrels. It actually smells just like a bourbon barrel - smokey oak, vanilla, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, and caramelized sugar. Smells like bourbon.

Taste: - Like bourbon, but sweeter. Nice vanilla tones, a great and well-balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Could have been a tad fuller, needs a little work on the mouthfeel and carbonation.

Drinkability: If you love bourbon, you will love this beer. I will have to get some more.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a muddy reddish brown, a thin, barely existent cover of bubbles on top. Some light ropes of lace, some dots in there too.

Aroma - peaty malts, big whiskey notes, this smells like wood and booze. A heady sniff for sure.

Taste - roasted malts, sweetened with chocolate and a with light cereal quality at first. The swallow issues in a deliciously sweet, whiskified flavor. Dark chocolate provides a fine complement to the bourbon flavor. Vanilla also hits about the same time, this beer is tasty start to finish.

Mouthfeel - a smooth brew, carbonation is low key, the body is good and sturdy.

Drinkability - this is one to cherish IMO. Aging a few is a must.

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA. In a snifter, this one sits in all its dark dark amber splendor. Dark tan head, fine wispy lacing. Nose of smoke, berries, vanilla. Very tasty, sipper. More smoke, some cola, dark grains, raisins. Perhaps a bit thin mouthfeel wise to match the ABV and the complexity lurking around here. More tasty, high quality and interesting beer from Founders.

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Photo of strykzone
3.57/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A cloudy brown tea looking brew with a minimal tan head that soon becomes a ring. Aroma is dark fruit with yeast, whiskey (Jack Daniels), with more whiskey. It is almost a Jack and Coke nose.

Flavor is more complex but still is full of whiskey. Throw in some bitter dark chocolate, strong coffee, vanilla, licorice, brown sugar, and wood. Like the aroma, it is whiskey dominated throughout but the chocolate grows along with the temperature.

Feel is creamy but just a bit thin. It also provides some zing on the tongue and whiskey can be felt, especially on the back of the tongue.

Whiskey lovers will enjoy this beer because that is what dominates both aroma and flavor. There are other aspects that make it interesting and it is definitely flavorful.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big thank you to crazynelson for an awesome trade.

Pours a caramel stream with a thin sheet of off white head. Smells mostly of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and alcohol. Tastes like malt, caramel, oak, vanilla, some raisin I think. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but could be less carbonated still. You can smell the alcohol, but you can't feel it much.

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish-red color and a cloudy consistency. Not much head at all, but some solid lacing.

S: Aroma of bourbon, malt, coffee and sweets.

T: You get a big blast of bourbon up front, along with malt and some chocolate. There's a dose of toffee when when finished. Complex and tasty.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a slighty slick, syrupy finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a likable, drinkable beer, especially on a cold, cold night.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 8,356 ratings
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