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): 11.60%

Availability: Fall

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

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,750 | Ratings: 7,758
Photo of ne0m00re
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle.
A: A mostly clear brownish red; poured with a nice cream head that died to a thinner collar.
S: Strong bourbon, a bourbon vanilla and caramelized or dark candi sugar behind, almost comes off like black cherries and cheese cake. Dessert sweet with a boozey alcohol presence.
T: The booziness is far more conceiled in the taste, until the very end, which lingers like a sip of smooth bourbon. An earthy mellow vanilla caramel, raisins, brown sugar, figs, and some cherries play lead before the booze takes over. Very well done.
M: Thicker, with an undercarbonated mouthfeel.
D: Pretty good. Maybe one bottle is good?

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Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dirty brown color with a small, thin head of off-white, foam. It left soapy residue.

S - It smelled of bourbon, scotch and rich, sweet malt.

T - This really had a good dose of bourbon flavor with touches of raisin. It had a rich, sweet malt backbone.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a great tasting brew. Potent and rich.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Wasatch in a recent trade. I think this may be an older vintage as the ABV is listed at 8.7%.

A: Aggressive pour yields a murky brown beer with a slightly cream colored cap that disappears into a ring of bubbles on the edge of the glass and a small island in the middle.

S: Booze, big bourbon profile, lots of malts, never really a great sign when the first thing I notice in a beer is the booze, but it actually is growing on me. Some notes of wood and vanilla, a little char. Nice.

T: Smooth syrupy malts that lend flavors of vanilla and roasted malt, which leads into a great bourbon profile. Honey, vanilla, oak, caramel, slightly astringent alcohol flavor. Man the vanilla note in this really stands out, I love the lingering aftertaste of the vanilla on this. Wow, chocolate creeps in on the back of the vanilla as well. Very sweet beer, but it serves its purpose well as dessert. Delicious.

M: Fairly thick body, very low carbonation, dry, and incredibly smooth. Just enough warming alcohol to know it's there.

D: A little sweet and strong to be a session, but this is a stellar dessert beer. Excellent. Will definitely try and revisit this beer in any way that I can. Great work from Founders, I have yet to be disappointed.

Thanks John!

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Photo of Adamostella
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a slick deep amber. No real head on this one at all.

You certainly get the bourbon / oak notes right up front on the nose.

The taste is similar to the nose on it, you get the bourbon/oak and a small amount of vanilla. This drinks closer to an actual bourbon to me than a beer which is impressive. The alcohol is there in this beer and it really isn't trying to hide it. However, it doesn't get in the way or overpower it.

Drinks extremely smooth which can make things interesting with a beer that packs this kind of punch.

A great beer overall when you are in the mood for something a bit different and boozy.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased at Discount Liquor in the Mke. Poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Rich, brown color. The pour creates a small half inch light, kahki head that leaves a little spotty lace.

A: Burbon, vanilla, and caramel. Pretty sweet. The burbon really takes center stage in the nose. I get a very pronouces earthiness as well.

T: Pretty nice. The burbon is not overwhelming but you know it's there. The sweetness is in the form of the vanilla and caramel. I also get a small chocolate flavor. It finishes smooth and tangy.

M: As with most barrel aged brews, the mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Pretty low carbonation levels, heavy body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average for the style, the high ABV with the burbon will limit it some. Overall, I am very pleased with this brew. The barrel did its job here, very solid, and recommended. Skal.

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Photo of barczar
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an clear deep amber with a small beige head that dissipates immediately, leaving a foamy ring around the sides of the tulip.

Booze and chocolate malt dominate the aroma with a slight peaty element creeping in as it warms. Raisins and figs appear in the background.

A cola-like sweetness opens the flavor profile, with bourbon, oak and vanilla taking center stage, together with malted milk balls. Booze becomes apparent as the flavor lingers. The finish is slightly bitter. Chocolate becomes more apparent as it warms.

Medium heavy body with almost no carbonation. Alcohol provides a warming feeling.

Overall a very good nightcap. Could benefit from a little age to tame the alcohol.

Years later, tried again fresh in 14, and the fruity notes are excellent in aroma. Flavor still boozy and vanilla dominant. Upped my rating a bit.

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Photo of tjkinate
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yup, I enjoyed this one.

A: Single fingered, khaki colored head that exhibited ok retention settling to a thin film above this deep rust colored and cloudy brew.

S: Toffee, followed by molasses, raisons, and rich vanilla hints.

T: ABV detectable, but in a good way. Loads of toffee as the smell followed by vanilla. Grainy bitterness on the backend.

M: Fairly high burn from the booze, well carbonated.

O: Very good beer, would love to have again.

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Photo of pdoran10
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Backwoods Bastard pours out a deep amber brown color into my New Belgium snifter. I get half a finger of tan head that hints at proper carbonation, but it fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

The smell is vanilla, alcohol heat, bourbon, and caramel sweetness. Really impressive here.

I get flavors of sweet caramel cotton candy up front, with big tannins from the wood, and a boozy vanilla bourbon taste on the finish. Nice complex flavors. A few months of mellowing might make this even more delicious.

Mouthfeel is reasonably chewy with lowish carbonation. Solid here for a barrel aged offering.

Overall a really nice complex beer, can't wait till Founders expansions when they can put out of more of this each year.

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Photo of codewarrior
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz singleton poured into a snifter.

Picked this little guy up in a trade with Lat, many thanks and welcome to beer trading!

L: Mahogany brown, but transparent. 1 finger fluffy, creamy head.

S: Not nearly as bourbony as I would expect from a bourbon barrel founders. Sweet in the extreme, with a good bourbon balance peaking through in the middle. Tails off into booze-y sweetness.

T: Starts sweet slowly, building into a massive sweetness ... when the bourbon powers through and makes itself known. Tails from there into a good blend of bourbon and malty sweetness. Lingers.

F: Thick and syrupy. Pretty good.

D: Bit of a sipper, but good.

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Photo of kranker23
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber with a slight red hue. Almost root beer color.

S - Great nose, vanilla, caramel. Poured slightly cold from the cellar. This should open up wonderfully as it warms.

T - The booze comes through strong but pleasant. it might be the hops that throw this a little bit off balance. There are hints of whiskey and vanilla.

M - Medium mouthfeel, nice and not at all sticky.

D - Very complex, a definite sipper.

O - Glad I got this one, this was appropriate as a long slow sipper. The hoppiness surprised me, but this was a well made beer.

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Photo of TriGuy20
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Backwoods Bastard poured into goblet

A: Dark mahogany/ Touch of head/ nice lace clings to side of class
S: Carmel/ Maple/ Oak/ Booze-Scotch/ Vanilla/ Malt
T: The caramel comes though nice on the palate with a nice vanilla accent. The booze/ scotch is quite prominent but does not overpower. On the finish there is a nice alcohol burn, very warming.
MF: Full body with a mild creamy texture. Coats the mouth nicely.
D: One bottle of this does me just right. Definitely a sipper

Really enjoy this beer! I feel that it will be better with a little age; the alcohol will have a chance to balance out. The finish could be a little longer. For a sipper I wish this beer displayed a little more complexity as it warms.

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Photo of Boitnott
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from a bottle into a tall tulip class. It had been aged for about a year. The ageing may confound so of the results of this review. I was told that it was stored properly but I have heard that it is never a guarantee. This is my first try with an aged beer so here we go...

A: An opaque red brown color. Literally not light comes through the beer. Not much head on the beer which may be an after effect of the aging. Pretty light lacing as well, once again may be indicative of the aging. Very nice looking beer.

S: Pure scotch whiskey. I can also smell some of the sweet malts used and maybe same distant hop smells as well. Smells so close to scotch that is is hard to smell anything.

T: Wow. There is so much going on with this beer. The nose is reminiscent of the medium hops and sweet malts. There is also a bit of caramel, but only a touch. The finish of the beer is where it really shines. It finishes in three stages: (1) the sweet caramel taste becomes apparent, very sweet for a dark ale; (2) next the slight bitterness of the hops comes to the surface but does not eliminate the sweetness; (3) finally the scotch whiskey barrel aging process becomes the dominant flavor, this flavor lingers for about five seconds after you sip the beer. As opposed to other beers, these tastes do not polarize each other. They integrate very well and create a nice combined flavor on the palate that lingers for longer than any beer that I have tried.

M: The beer is amazing smooth and medium bodied. I expected a "Wee Heavy" to be much thicker (like Dirty Bastard) but this is not the case with this beer. The only issue is the lack of head on the beer. It would have been nice balance the powerful tastes of the beer. Once again this may be due to the aging process. This is not to say that there was no carbonation. The beer even leaves a tingly feeling on your lips as you sip it, which is probably because of the ABV.

D: At 10.2%, the drinkability is astounding. With the smell I assumed the beer's scotch taste would be overpowering but it is actually more subtle than I thought, making the beer much more enjoyable. I could absolutely have a lot of these in one sitting, which is dangerous at 10.2%. I recommend this beer to any fans of the style, or to anyone who simply enjoys good beer.

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Photo of kbeals
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I liked the Dirty Bastard so I figured I'd give this a try.

A- A dark ruby red bottom fades into a nearly opaque black top. About three fingers of creamy light brown head.

S- Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon, oh and some caramelized malts come into play.

T- First the bourbon/alcohol taste comes into play, followed by a bit of malty aftertaste. Finishes with a slightly dry finish. The alcohol warms the chest after all is said and done. Very pleasing.

M- This beer was velvety smooth with little to no carbonation.

D- Due to the high ABV I probably wouldn't drink more than a few of these.

This beer was excellent and a definite recommendation.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep amber/copper color with a thick off white foam head that leaves some lacing.

S- Rich sweet bourbon aroma.

T- Huge rush of bourbon whiskey flavor. Nice vanilla bean and oak flavors are present in the finish along with a strong sting of alcohol.

M- Creamy feel with nice carbonation and a medium/full body. The alcohol was a bit too strong for my tastes.

D- Overall this beer tastes just like I expected. This seems to be Dirty Bastard aged in bourbon barrels and that is exactly what I got.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Brilliant ruby-brown, tan head that remains only as a ring, no lace.

S: Sweet, nutty toffee malt, some buttery wood. A lot of big smells, easy to overdo, but here they are balanced very well, just maybe too much diacetyl.

T: Sweet malt/grain, then nuttiness, then a mix of alcohol, wood, and whiskey spice all lingering on the palate for a while. Butter is gone!

F: My only gripe. A little too light, but pretty smooth. I could do with even less carbonation, make this thing as close to whiskey as possible!

O: With this style, it's easy to be boring, or do too much 'innovation'. This one nails it. Malt at the forefront, sweet overall but not too much, with whiskey spice and a bit of an ethanol reminder to really elevate it above the rest.

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Photo of Steaks
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

god damn i'm drunk. it tastes like you're drinking hard liquor. 10.2%. the smell is straight up bourbon, but it doesn't have the burn you'd expect. it pours black as hell and is easy to drink, but i stumbled several times while drinkin this and lookin at some fine ladies. i haven't thrown up yet. founders is delicious, but i think this beer might be a little much for me. wooo

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Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thin off white head on a brown beer. Average hea retention and above average lacing for the style.

Very sweet smelling, slight booze and peat.

Peat, small hint of smokiness. Booziness is kept in check. Very tasty.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, slightly thick. Good carbonation.

Another great seasonal from Founders. Been awhile since I've had this one but just as good as I remember. Worth hunting down a bottle or two a year. Thanks kawilliams81!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby hued brown with a thin tan head. Nose is malty with an almost cardboard tree kind of thing going on. The first thing I thought when I took a sip was: boozy! Thankfully that seems to fade away as time goes on. What I get after that is a thick malty backbone with a sweet earthy edge. Peaty edge on the backside. Full flavor profile, not a mass of complexity. Feel is smooth on liquid and carbonation is lower. After the booze calms down here this gets better.

Thanks to tburkhart for this one.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle as an extra in a trade with hoppymeal. Thanks Derek!

This pours from 12oz bottle a clear deep amber with a 2 finger head of off white foam. Lots of lacing and the foam just doesn't want to quit. Nice.

The smell isn't strong but I get good notes of carame and roasted malt.

The taste is a malty delight! Big caramel malt up front with notes of bourbon(done very nicely), chocolate, fig, and when I swish the beer in my mouth, I notice that it's very (dark) fruity. D licious. The alcohol is hidden pretty well with just some warming after the swallow. It borders on sweet but there's some burnt flavour there that adds just enough bitterness to balance the flavours. Very nice and it has a medium mouthfeel and it finishes with a slightly woody flavour. This is some good stuff!

Thanks again, Derek!!

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Served at approximately 50 degrees. Sick extra from Kelly88.

Heavy handed pour produces a finger of off white head with mostly tiny bubbles tight concentration and bigger bubbles on the top. Dark ruby color bordering on brown. Can't see through this one, no light getting through. Initial head dies down to a bubbly layer of foam around the edge and a slim layer of foam on the surface. Some oily legs, but not oily enough to pull spots of lacing back into the beer.

Smells is of oaky vanilla, boozy bourbon, raisins, figs, and sweet caramel malts. Nutty/fruity bourbon notes reveal themselves with some agitation as the brew warms. Comparisons to a bourbon barrel aged old ale would make sense based on the nose. Very enticing.

Taste is comprised of boozy bourbon up front that melts into oaky vanilla which quickly transforms into toasted caramel malts that end on a boozy nutty bourbon note with a resin/leafy hop bitterness. Bitter nutty flavor lingers on the palate.

High end of medium bodied, flavors aren't super rich which is one of my only complaints with this beer. Low carbonation. A bit coating, but not to syrupy/thick. Slightly hot on the way down.

I could definitely knock back a few of these without being overwhelmed or getting sick of it.

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Photo of Uanof
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark brown ruby color with a decent head that quickly dissipates in to a thin lacing around the edge of the glass.

S: dark fruits, plums, raisins, heavy malts, some licorice, caramel, all this makes up for a very pleasent aroma indeed.

T: the first flavor to hit is some high notes of booziness but not in an unpleasent way, more in the way a liqueur would be drunk. Most of the aromas fade on the palate and in their place they leave a pleasent heavy ale adorned with flavors of raisins and dark fruits, leaving no aftertaste behind.

M: full bodied to a great delight, for such a big beer it falls pretty well on the stomach and it doesn't leaves you feeling bloated; no dryness, no harshness and no off notes.

O: can't say anything asides from the fact that this is a pretty great built beer by an even better brewery. Would enjoy to see more experiments with this base for a beer.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass in November 2015. I like the bottled date of 9/26/2015 on the bottle, and I drank it about 2 months after bottling.

Appearance: Very deep amber with dark tan head. Beer color is opaque but not cloudy. Head is medium, and leaves a thin film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, caramel, and some chocolate. Nice variety and balance, with a little aroma from the bourbon barrel.

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the hops. There is a strong scotch flavor, and also a little chocolate flavors, balanced with a bit of hops. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too, that lasts for a minute. I like how the flavors vary overtime with the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, and very smooth. Strong alcohol, which confirms the 11.6% on the bottle.

This is an extremely smooth full-bodied Scotch Ale. It is an interesting combination of flavors, and I would definitely drink this again. Overall a very good beer, and another winner from Founders

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Photo of rtepiak
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

age this boozy doggy. a interesting merge between beer marshmallow maltiness and bourbon hints. some walnut and zucchini bread hints. pour is sticky and nice head of mahogany with an off white head. nose of bourbon and caramel. palate is hard on the tough like bourbon and then cuts clean. this is not syrupy at all. its a bit hot. its a nice blend of flavors. that ends sooner than the expected barrel ages stout. dry mineral tongue. dessert that doesn't let itself linger.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish red with smooth head comprised of exceptionally small bubbles, a sign of quality. Head fads to a thin rim.

Smells strongly of Bourbon, cedar, pine sap, and cherries.

Taste is similar to the nose, although Tue bourbon presence feels a bit heavy hands to be honest. As much as I like bourbon in beers, I think this guy would he better with a shorter time in the barrels.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Ever so slightly too viscous for me for this style.

Overall I would certainly buy this again, but it feels just short of something really brilliant.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

recieved this in a trade with jpmclaug. thanks again!

12oz stubby bottle pulled from my cellar floor. tough to read date stamped on the neck. *0/08/10?. poured into a standard pint.

pours out a dark ruby red, dark dark brown color. half a finger of tannish fizzy head that disappaited completely after about 5 minutes. no lace to speak of, but has decent legs on the side of the glass.

big bourbony, boozy alcohol is most obvious. with that there is lots of burnt caramelized malt. also bits of maple, vanilla, and oaky woodiness.

lots of boozy bourbon, but behind that theres some complexity to it. lots of burnt caramelized malt. maple, oaky, woody, just bits of smoky peat, maybe not enough. bits of honey and lots of sweetness. the barrel aged qualities of this beer really show strong, not so much the scotch ale qualities. still damn tasty non the less. went very nice with some sharp cheddars as always.

thick viscous, chewy mouthfeel. very light carbonation which definatly compliments the beer.

this is definatly a sipper at 10.2%. one bottle per session is enough. good to share with friends, and definatly a nice night capper.

im very glad i got a chance to try this. if this was readily available to me, i might get some to age, but i prolly wouldnt go out of my way to trade for this. im not sure of the price, but its worth a try.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 7,758 ratings.
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