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: 1,831 | Ratings: 8,055
Photo of jsmooth72
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a 2014 Cellar Aged bottle. $8

Very Very Good. The nose is all bourbon as you would expect. This beer is so smooth great taste of smooth bourbon soft light mouth feel, definitely the Ale version of KBS. This beer leaves very little to be desired. Excellent buy worth the taste. Comes out in fall. Buy a six pack and age half of them for a couple of years. Definitely a good bang for your buck.

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Photo of threeviews
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12oz bottle (Bottled On Date: 10/14/14) into a 11oz Libbey Snifter glass
A- Pours a gorgeous (and mostly clear) mahogany, bordering on ruby red color. Although it's retention is low (after all, it is 10.2% ABV), the head grows to a strong 1+ finger's worth of a creamy, khaki colored head. (4.75)

S- The complexity imparted by the barrel aging is immediately apparent. Heady aromas of Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Coconut, Bourbon, Chocolate and pinch of Smoke all contribute to the massively complex nose. The balance between beer and barrel is exquisite and there is absolutely no detectable alcohol. (4.75)

T- The complexity in the nose carries through in the flavor. A caramel/toffee/chocolate/bourbon sweetness coats the palate and lingers for a time before a mild, peat smoke and oak tannin comes to the fore. The beer ultimately finishes dry as a from the hops helping to contribute to the calculated, 50 IBUs . (5.0)

M- The body is medium-full with a decent amount of carbonation, yet is able to maintain a creamy mouthfeel. This is unquestionably a sipper, but more due to its complex flavor profile rather than it falling heavy on the palate. As it rises to room temperature, the 10.2% ABV only surfaces in the form of a slight warming in the chest. (4.75)

O- Regardless of style, this is simply one extraordinary BBA beer. The base beer (Dirty Bastard) is excellent in its own right, but after time in a bourbon barrel transforms it into a sublime libation. Founders continues to release very solid, barrel-aged beers with Backwoods Bastard being one that is often overlooked. (5.0)

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Photo of jmich24
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 10/13/11

A:Very dark murky brown with red edges. One finger head that dissipates quickly.
S: Bourbon, oak ,vanilla, dark fruits, touch of chocolate.
T: Big bourbon flavor, oak, vanilla, lots of sweet dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate. Long bourbon like alcohol tastes I enjoy very much. Very light bitterness to balance everything out.
M: Medium mouthfeel, Touch of bitterness to counter all of the sweet malts. Nice bourbon alcohol finish. Dangerously drinkable.
O: This is a world class wee heavy. The bourbon notes are just outstanding. One of the seasonal I look forward to every year.

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Photo of BlushingMonk
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours malty brown with small white head. Delightful nose smells of bourbon, toffee, and vanilla. Moderately thin mouthfeel tastes just plan delicious. Alcohol is present, but you'd never guess 11.6% from the taste. Sweet, but not too sweet, carmel, bourbon, and malty cereal. No bitterness to speak of. This is a great beer! Robust and warming. I'll be stocking up to drink now and cellar some too.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This is truly a masterpiece!
Clear dark amber-red with a beige, fluffy head.

Nose: Honey, vanilla, single malt whisky, oak, dried fruit, toffee, caramel malt, bourbon and licorice. Oh! It's so complex! I love it!

Taste: Butter, fudge, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, alcohol, nuts and brown sugar.

A full body with a great complex texture. Little carbonation.

As a lover of great single malt whisky and a good bourbon I naturally fall as a rock for this. It's heaven on earth...

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Photo of mjwellman
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I think this may be my favorite beer now. Dark brown in color but somewhat clear. Sweet nutty aroma with bourbon. The tast is carmel and bourbon with a lite sweet taste. No bitterness. This is one of the quintessential beers. I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of keanex
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Deep red, almost opaque, with a thin light caramel colored head. Head retains through the beer as a small coating and nice lacing leaving traces down the side as I drink.

S: A beautiful intriguing mix of vanilla mixed with a fruity aroma, perhaps pear? Hints of caramel and toffee, very sweet smelling with a slight alcohol hint. I'm very much enjoying the scent of this.

T: As a bourbon drinker the first sip was incredibly familiar. A spicy/vanilla bourbon forefront with a thick creamy toffee finish with fruits thrown in the mix. This beer tastes a lot like a world class bourbon, leaving a similar burning down the throat, in a good way.

As I drink more I notice it's a bit sugary, but in a good way that balances out some of the burn.

M: Thick and creamy while rolling easy down with medium carbonation to ease it's thickness up.

O: This beer is absolutely blowing my mind now. It's very complex with a fruity vanilla bourbon character. As a bourbon drinker this is very familiar to me and this is the best scotch ale I've ever had making me warm and tingly with each sip.

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Photo of amiles
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really believe this is a beer that should get more attention. Sure it came out at the same time as Breakfast Stout and was overlooked, but this is one amazing beer. I bought everything I could find last fall and still have quite a few of these left.

A: Heavy pour creates a big bubbled foam over a cloudy dark reddish brown body.
S: Bourbon, Vanilla, Toffee, Malts. Mmm...
T: Amazing. I'm glad the bourbon flavors have not feel short since this one is starting to feel alitle bit of age. Sweet from the bourbon, oak and vanilla touches. Finish with some balancing malts.
M: Feels good, what can I say? Medium carbonation.
D: More please?

Damn fine, interesting, bourbon bomb of a beer. I can't wait till this fall to get more.

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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 ToddGregory
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best Bourbon Aged I have ever had. It was aged about 18 months to perfection. I'm in Texas and understand the Founders has been picked up here by a distributor. Can't wait to get my hands on more of this amazing beer. If anyone can recommend anything like this or better I want it.

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

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Founders snifter. Bottled 10/03/13

A - Deep deep amber, almost brown. Started with one finger of tannish head that quickly dissipated

S - Initial hit of sweet heavy malt. Very faint dark fruit. Then the bourbon smell kicks in with nice vanilla aroma. Also getting a lot of caramel/toffee. There seems to be a lot going on as far as aroma goes

T - The taste is just perfection in my opinion. One of the most well-balanced beers I have tasted. Starts with more of the caramel and dark fruit flavors. Followed by a nice vanilla taste from the bourbon. Also getting brown sugar. Love the finish....very nice bit from the bourbon with a distinct oak flavor

M - Medium body. A bit more carbonation than I originally expected but I feel it balances out the beer completely. Creamy and soft but the carbonation works well with it

O - Truly one of my favorites, perfectly balanced. Perfectly boozy in my opinion. One of Founders best right here

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Photo of krs0123
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite bourbon barrel beer. The backbone of a scotch ale, but the beautiful, powerful bourbon comes through perfectly. While many reviews of bourbon aged beers include vanilla notes, this beer is bursting with vanilla. Pours the same beautiful red as dirty bastard. An epic experience in every bottle.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: hazy mahogany. A thin off white head. Thick lacing for a 10+%.
Smell: sweet caramel. Smoky Bourbon. The nice out of the fridge and gets better and better as it warms.
Taste: As great as the nose. Full and malty with an a nice Scotch like edge to balance. Strangely mellow.
Overall: awesome. Founder's big beers are simply works of art. A creative, great brewery on top of their game.

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Photo of beer4colin
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can be said that I have not said before....Dirty Bastard is great, Backwoods is mind boggling! This is as good or better than KBS or the elusive CBS. My absolute favorite beer ever!

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Photo of Tuey13
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The 2012 edition poured into a snifter... this pours a dark, murky brown with ruby red highlights. Has a very light head that doesn't last very long, expected on a 10.2% ABV.... alcohol legs are definitely present on the glass as well. Looks beautiful!

Smell... wow... vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, rich malts, and of course oak and bourbon. Such a rich earthy smell accompanied by dark fruits.. so pleasant on the nose.

The taste is phenomenal... wonderful oak bourbon flavor... vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, sweet smokey malts... a bit of light coffee on the back. Wow!!

I have to say this is another amazing beer by Founders.... such a well balanced and well crafted beer that you can tell is made with care. I only wish this was year round... but it is worth the savoring when this comes out in the fall.

Try this.... you will love it.

Cheers all!!

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Photo of Gatch
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 9/23/12

A: Deep, dark amber-brown with yeast suspended throughout. Bubbly, skimpy off-white head that builds very quickly and fades just as quickly. A small ring of foam hangs around along with beautiful wisps of foam on top of the viscous liquid. A quick whirl in the glass brings about a thin layer of foam that fades fast.

S: Buttery, deliciously woody bourbon. Wood, earth, must, vanilla, booze. You get the malty sweetness from the base Scotch Ale. You could get buzzed just from smelling this thing.

T: Holy. Sh*t. F*ck. Bourbon. Buttery, woody, sugary, sweet, malty. Salted caramel. Never overly sweet or bourbon-y, this has so much complexity and amazing layers of flavor. So balanced yet so wood, barrel, and bourbon forward. The Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy is a perfect candidate for barrel treatment. It never loses its true character but allows the bourbon to take center stage. Exquisite.

M: of the smoothest beers I've had. Thick, viscous, sweet, exploding with flavor. Top notch. The body is luscious. That's the only word I can think of.

O: A very special treat. An obvious upgrade to an already awesome beer. Founders is known to be talented with barrels at their disposal and this only enhances that reputation. Extremely well-crafted with the bourbon character incorporated/infused perfectly. An absolute pleasure to drink. Unbelievable. Damn!

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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 Jeffreysan
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, 2013 edition, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Nice aromas of toasted malt, brown sugar, toffee, dried stone fruit such as raisins and prunes, as well as a touch of oak, a touch of vanilla and a lot of boozy alcohol.

Taste: Wow! Absolutely, fantastically, delicious! Strong flavors of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of brown sugar-like sweetness, toffee, dried stone fruit, such as raisins and prunes, a touch of vanilla, a touch of oak, a touch of bourbon and a touch of booze.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and smooth as hell, as there is no alcohol what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.5%, I’m surprised at how little alcohol there is on the palate. The alcohol is really, really, dangerously masked.

Overall: This is a fantastic, outstanding beer! Awesome flavors wrapped up in an equally awesome mouthfeel. Be careful though, as with its awesome flavors and amazing masked alcohol, you might want to drink more than one at a time which could know you on your ass, real quick!

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Photo of rdilauro
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Once again, a time to taste some Scotch Ale, Wee Heavy! And this was so much of a treat. The pour is liken to a Rusty Nail (Drambuie and Chivas Regal).
A amber but royal color that stands out in the glass. It shines it pours out high standards. The aroma is amazing. A bit of malt, a big hint of whiskey a small very small amount of hops, even though this is a 50 IBU beer.
The taste! Outstanding. It hits your lips and mouth at the same time with a big robust flavor and feel. Its smooth yet has a bit of an alcoholic burn. To me, this is what I imagine folks from Scotland drinking centuries ago. Big robust, full and a good amount of alcohol to keep you warm and satisfied.
CanI put this in the "5" category? Now, only because I need to separate the beers. I wish that Beer Advocate would give us the ability to rate beers based on their types (ie Stouts, IPAs etc)

A year or so has gone since the last time I tasted this. Better than I remembered. The bourbon bouquet was oh so very present, but it was oh so very soft and mild in the taste. A perfect blend
I picked up a 4pk, had 1 with a co-worker tonite and will age the rest (if I a patient enough)....
BA people may kill me for saying this, but I like this one better than KBS

Wait a second, I thought I was taking beer with this one.. Guess I was wrong. The pour was a nice dark black pure and clean. NOt much of a head. I really couldn't pick up many different aromas.
BUT then I took the fist sip I was really taken back.. Big full and it was Bourbon.

The finish to this ale was exceptional. From start to end, this was a very interesting ale.
Cant say it would always be on the top of my list, but it is very good

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders tulip.
10.2% ABV, 50 IBUs, and Bottled on 10/24/13.

A - It's difficult to see any clarity through this dark beer but it's ruby-hued mahogany color looks beautiful when held up to light. Little head forms over the surface of the beer but the tan skim and ring of foam stick around and dot the glass in specks of lace.

S - Building in intensity as it warms, Backwoods Bastard transitions from bold vanilla and warm bourbon oak nuances to a depth of malt complexity characterized by molasses, dark chocolate covered raisins, and a colossal bready, caramel and toffee sweetness.

T - The aroma suggests Backwoods Bastard to be barrel-forward but it's flavor profile relies heavily on the rich maltiness within, which mimics the aroma quite wonderfully. Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies and gooey caramel covered raisins make for a desert-like flavor that's paired with toffee slivers and finished with oaky bourbon balls; divine.

M - Smooth, delectable, and warming, Backwoods Bastard is anything but rough around the edges as it crosses the palate with simplistic ease, only to finish with a touch of carbonation and alcohol warmth.

O - Backwoods Bastard may have a rough, grizzly exterior, but it's a gooey, soft-on-the-inside sipping dessert beer that's seeping with malty sweetness reminiscent of Milano cookies and home-made bourbon balls. It's moderate barrel-aging makes it great fresh but also allows it to age gracefully for a beer that develops for years to come.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Quick review. The definition of flavor with the bourbon component is beyond compare. This beer is without a doubt the finest bourbon beer that I've tasted to date.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pouring a cellar temp bottle into a snifter.
The beer pours a deep mahogany with garnet highlights. Some small white particles are suspended in the brew. A tightly packed creamy tan head foams up 1 cm with an aggressive pour. The head fades to a frothy edge layer that remains through the sampling. Aroma is instantly deep brown sugar and caramel malt with heavy bourbon and vanilla notes wafting out of the glass. A little boozy scented but not fusol heat like a liquor.
The first sip reveals a slightly thick body but not syrupy or chewy texture, very smooth and EASY to drink. Next to nothing for carbonation that does fizz up when sloshed around in my mouth for a few seconds.
Flavor is all sweet malt, with brown sugar and maybe a little molasses mixing with some toffee. Hits of vanilla and a little bit of wooden dryness mixes in to the flavor. No hops anywhere to be found. I like this beer!!
The booze is very well hidden and I think this beer is dangerously easy to drink. I wish I could get access to this beer more frequently as it may have moved up into my top 5 brews.

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Photo of DudMan
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours reddish brown with a 2 finger head and light lacing. Smells of molasses and caramel. Tastes of molasses and caramel and brown sugar. Slight bourbon taste. It starts and finishes smooth. Mouthfeel is creamy and more than substantial. One of my favorite beers.

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Photo of bricksandivey
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was so good it inspired me to attempt a proper review, here we go.

I enjoyed this one in a snifter as recommended.

Look: Dark red to brown color as poured from the bottle When held up to the light it is actually a dark ruby red. Virtually no head to speak of.

Smell: Ok, so definately vanilla, caramel, woody, maybe even a slight coconut or chocolate in there. Some warm alcohol here not overpowering though. Reminds me of KBS, just not as pronounced.

Taste: Caramel,vanilla, bourbon, woody (oak), then at the end the alcohol comes on, not overpowering though.

Mouthfeel: very slight viscous feel, nothing like the the imperial stout from Founders. This one barely coats the palate.

Overall impression: Lighter weight cousin to KBS. Excellent Beer. I'm gonna stop reviewing and enjoy the rest of it.

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Photo of ekardz
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer pours a deep mahogany color, tiny head quickly recedes, hazy, vary little carbonation. Looks delicious, excited to dive in. Smells very very boozy, bourbon, oak flavor. Some malty notes as well as vanilla and resiny - smells like it's going to be a strong one! WHOA! The taste blows me away! DELICIOUS! Super sweet. Malty, vanillay, maybe some raisin notes. Very smooth delicious, full bodied and no burn. Such an incredible mouth feel. INSANE drinkability. Will be seeking out this beer again!

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 8,055 ratings.
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