Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,835
Ratings:
8,071
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
10.56%
 
 
Wants:
1,012
Gots:
3,261
For Trade:
286
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,835 | Ratings: 8,071
Photo of sentomaster
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- liquid dark brown fudge with a very slight maple colored head peaking for moment before leaving sticky lace down the glass.

S- whoa, big, big nose. Fantastic bourbon, creamy vanilla, and slight dark cherries. Spicy alcohol and a bit of fruity esters lurk along with a smooth caramel sweetness.

T- this brew is unreal. Start to finish it is unreal. Smooth and seductive; complex, nuanced and epic. There's so much going on here but the impression you're left with is silky bourbon, caramel and vanilla backed by peppery alcohol and a rugged malt backbone. Dark fruits, a touch of smoke, and herbal hops interplay.

O- wow, perfection in a bottle. KBS may get the glory, but this beer is the self assured older brother.

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, here it goes. This is probably one of my top two beers that I've had so far. I keep going from KBS to this and back and forth in a good way.

Poured the luscious liquid from a 12 ounce bottle in to a pint glass.

A - The brown liquid pours nicely with minimal head. The viscosity lets you know that this is a quality Scotch Ale.

S - Bourbon, more bourbon, toffee, roasted malts, and little dark fruit maybe raisin.

T - Ridiculous, this is the shit. The stars have aligned and the gods can now destroy the earth, because I have tasted the nectar of the gods. I'm tasting toffee, bourbon, carmel, roasted malts, butterscotch each fighting for your taste buds but all equally winning their pursuit to blend so evenly. This beer is so well blended for a barrel aged beer that it is hard to comprehend. Wow, just WOW!

M - Smooth medium ale leaning towards a heavy, with just enough carbonation for this style.

O - Unbelievably , just a wonderful beer to sip and enjoy on a cool winter night.
Highly Recommended ! CHEERS!!

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

Wow, this is one fantastic beer. Was good in the years past but to me this years is the best yet. Higher ABV then in years past but you can't taste it. No over the top booze hit here at all. Just a nice warmness. Amazing flavor and depth. Really glad I grabbed 2 - 4 packs when I could as it didn't last long before being sold out and I can surely see why. Another home run from Founders. I rank it right up there with their Stouts which coming from me is a helluva statement. Damn good. Think I'm going to have one tonight. Cheers

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Photo of KingEdward
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Don't feel the need to explain flavor, look, ect... other reviews sum it up. What i would like to say is that the 2015 version is the best version of this beer Founders has made in my opinion. Increased malt bill has added more body and flavor with the bonus of a little more alcohol... Awesome Job Founders!

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Photo of YoDude
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Founders Backwards Bastard, aged 6 months in my fridge (yes, I am drinking it fresh), 10.2% ABV, a 12 oz. bottle and poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Poured deep ruby brown with a very little head and lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel and smoky malt with a hint of vanilla, no pronounced hop presence, no obvious off flavors.

Taste: Candied dates and baking chocolate. There is also a spicy and earthy aftertaste that I attribute to the oak bourbon barrels used in the aging process and the 50 IBUs of hop flavor.

Mouth feel: Medium to full body and low carbonation. The bitter sweetness clings to the upper palette. There is definitely an umami effect as I keep running my tongue along my upper palette. Also a nice warming alcohol finish.

Overall: Founders has been making great beer for over 20 years. Backwards Bastard is an amazingly subtle yet complex beer. You will find the flavor change with each sip as the beer warms and the taste lingers. You can drink this with almost any rich food and meal course; from roasted garlic Portobello mushrooms, to a medium-rare rib eye, or a flourless chocolate raspberry cake. But why wait for the food. As my favorite late night talk show host would exclaim, “This is a beverage”.

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Photo of stingray
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2015 vintage poured at cellar temp into a snifter.

L: Deep red with a tan head, some residual lacing. Lots of sediment in this bottle, don't remember seeing that before. Interesting how brown the foam is compared to how red the beer itself. I love how brown the lacing stays.
S: Bourbon, caramel, toffee. Like a savory bourbon candy. I could sit and smell this all night.
T: Smoky malts, caramel, bourbon and butter. Butterscotch, I guess! 11.6% ABV is very smooth. Heavy bourbon but not a strong alcohol flavor. So smooth and rich. Intoxicating.
F: Carbonation is surprisingly active but provides a creamy mouthfeel. Definitely thicker than your average beer. Not oily or filmy.
O: I go back and forth between this and the Central Waters version. Both are about as good as beer gets, in my book. Don't chill it or you'll miss the warm, smooth bourbon glow. I had it on tap once and it was fully chilled. Caused some odd sharp flavors to come out and couldn't smell the sweet notes. Drink slowly at cellar temp and let the taste and aroma open up as it warms. Dirty Bastard is pretty good, not my favorite; Backwoods is on another level.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is exceptional and as smooth a barrel aged beer as I have ever had. Complex esters and rich malty layers do not go over the top with sweetness. Bourbon barrel highlights are what takes this beer up a few notches.

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Photo of Bubba569
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had it at Founder's Brewery! The perfect place to taste a near perfect brew!!
Look - Had a small whitish head not long lasting at all.
Smell - Oh my...great mouth watering sweet caramel & bourbon aroma.
Tast - Heaven in your mouth...a lot like Sweet Repute but with more of a Oak "Backwoods" aftertaste, caramelly with a lasting bourbon finish!
Mouth feel - Awesome long lasting sweet, smooth Bourbon taste that coats your pallet.
Overall - Outstanding beer that you'll be sad when it's gone! Founder's did it again!

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Photo of EveningCordial
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A- dark brown/copper body with noticeable carbonation and a short, white head that dissipates fairly quick. Good amount of lacing present.

S- all notes take a back seat to the bourbon in this offering. Alcohol smell us very present. The delicious bourbon gives way to a sweet molasses scent. Also present are hints of vanilla, oak and other woods, leather, maple syrup, and even a little tobacco.

T- sticking to its nose, this ale is very bourbon forward. The warm bourbon heat hits up front and is followed by some creamy vanilla and molasses. Plenty of oak and wood is present, as is some brown sugar and caramel.

M- medium to full bodied. Very creamy without the heaviness of a stout. Decent amount if carbonation and although the initial swallow has heat from the bourbon, the finish is actually quite crisp, smooth, and perfectly balanced.

O- outstanding job by Founders. I'm a sucker for KBS and stouts but this is a homerun for a scotch ale and is just a step behind KBS in my opinion. I know quite a few people who enjoy this offering better actually. It's smooth bourbon bliss in my book.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a rusty copper, thin fuzzy head forms and slowly fades. Slight bit of lacing but not much.

Nose is big bourbon forward, vanilla and molasses come through big.

Flavor is fantastic - bourbon, vanilla, and caramel are huge. Slight smoke hint, clove, and pepper hints too. This is a delectable sipper. Surprisingly, "boozy" is one of the last things that comes to mind. Delicate, subtle, sweet but not cloying. Just a fantastic beer.

Feel is near perfect. It's a bit brash, in a good way, but a slightly rough edge does come through.

Overall this is a fantastic beer, one of my favorites for the season hands down.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Joint review of Backwoods Bastard and Wulver (only using whole numbers as usual):

A: Poured both aggressively into identical Stone IRS snifters. Backwoods had about a half finger of head, Wulver with about 2 fingers. Both poured a deep ruby red / bronze, with Wulver just a tad darker. Score Backwoods a 4 and Wulver a 5.

N: Backwoods screams bourbon, which is a very good thing. A slight bitterness lies beneath the bourbon and scotch aromas. Wulver was slightly more subdued on the nose with the bourbon less pronounced and no bitterness whatsoever. Score Backwoods a 5 and Wulver a 4.

T: Backwoods is a delight, as usual. Definitely a bit boozy at 10.2% ABV, and I definitely get that hint of bitterness. Should improve as it warms. Bourbon takes a bit of a backseat to the booze and bitterness, as well as the classic scotch ale flavors of caramel and toffee. Now for Wulver after a quick palate cleanser. Wow, these taste very different, considering they're the same style. I don't get nearly the booziness on Wulver despite its 12% ABV. The bourbon and caramel/toffee flavors are blended much better, although I'm not certain that's a good thing, as it's robbed of some complexity. Still extremely tasty. Score both a 5.

M: Backwoods is a bit thin, although I get some coating around the teeth and mouth. This is really where Wulver shines; it's a full-bodied, frothy mouthful of heaven. Score Backwoods a 4 and Wulver a 5.

O: Both incredible, but different beers, and standard-bearers of the BA Scotch Ale style. I've yet to try BA Big Sound, but I'll pull it out of the cellar next year. Very well played by Founders and Thirsty Dog. 5 for each.

Happy Holidays, BA!

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Photo of mfowler314
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was the 2015 bottling and it was awesome! I'd not had it before so I can't comment on how it compares to previous years. I had it in the fridge but let it warm up to "cellar temp" before pouring. The look is a nice dark amber or light brown. Nice head that subsided fairly quickly. No lacing though. Smell was butterscotch and bourbon and the later I think I was getting some coconut. Taste was butterscotch and caramel and some bourbon flavoring... very nice. For the ABV I was not tasting the alcohol that much but it is there (if you could see how many time I have to backspace to correct my typing you'd know the alcohol was there!). Not real carbonated - at least by the time I was finishing it - so it feels real smooth. Overall this is an awesome beer and I'm glad I picked up a fair amount of it so I can have one or two every week and still spread it out over a fair amount of time!

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Photo of sjones5045
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Founders has perfected bourbon barrel aging and with this beer they proved it once again. Now, what is different here is that it's truly unique to have a non stout/dark beer pull off such a smooth tasty flavor with such a high ABV. Once you crack the bottle the smell of malt and bourbon overwhelm and you know you're in for a very different experience. The taste of the base Dirty Bastard is present and it meshes extremely well with the sweet malt and bourbon to create a top notch smooth scotch ale. Overall, it's a must have and one of the best beers Founders has created.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

5 - Perfect. Dark mahogany color yet crystal clear on the edges, Ruby/blood red notes. Nice big tan head that leaves a good lacing
5 - smooth. Vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, bourbon, chocolate/caramel malts. light scotch notes.
T - Vanilla, cream, caramel, chocolate/caramel malts, bourbon, oak, very light coffee, overall a very smooth and good beer. Umami/wholesomeness.
M - medium to heavy. Alc covered (amazingly at 11.6%). Aftertaste is bourbon/chocolate/vanilla.
O - God damn this beer is near perfect. The taste is amazing. The only thing keeping me from giving it a 5 is I know if I had it next to a KBS or FW Parabola it wouldn't be as perfect as them. Maybe that's my fault for not being as crazy about this style as I am about bba imperial stouts, but give me a break - I bought a case of this today, I'm thinking about searching out another case tomorrow so I have plenty to last me throughout the year. Great beer!

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Photo of Dagger541
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was first tried by a friend and I on a chilly Sunday afternoon in-between two music event that we were attending. It was an excellent choice all around. It has and great color and smell and was served in a sniffer glass. It is a sipping beer that will warm you right up. If you think of a scotch ale aged in a bourbon barrel you will have an idea about what this beer tastes like. If you enjoy their Dirty Bastard and you are a fan of whiskey this is a great beer.

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Photo of Katahdin
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was totally surpriseed by this beer. At 10.2% and a Wee Heavy one would think it would be a big beer. Not all to my surprise. The beer had a great taste, wonderful texture on the mouth and went down smooth. A ver deceaiving beer, it tastes and is as smooth a s a 5% beer, the alcohol can easily sneak up on you.

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Photo of MerryTapster
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Golden brown with minimal head. Some lacing.

S: Bourbon and malt pretty much some this bad boy up.

T: This brew is more like drinking a scotch that is mildly carbonated. I think it is the bourbon and malted barley blending together that give it this character. It really has an abnormal complexity to it. Some smokiness and vanilla with a malty kick. Really quite tasty.

M: Minimal carbonation. For all the boozy characteristic this beer has it goes down unusually easy.

O: Founders once again stands up to its name. Be sure to sip this bad boy.

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Photo of polio
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer is great!
i bought it because the label is awesome.
i drank this beer in a chilled mug. the color of this beer is a dark brown almost red color. very small head. the taste is very creamy. the taste of caramel is very prominent.it goes down smooth and feels great in your mouth.

ps this beer has one of the coolest labels ive ever seen.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stem glass. Bottled on 10/06/15.

Comes in a very dark reddish brown color; looks almost black in the glass but has ruby tints when held up to the light. A faint stream of carbonation is visible, as are some sediment chunks, and a semi-aggressive pours yields a finger of creamy tan head.
The aroma is very bourbon-forward. A sweet and spicy blend of kerosene, vanilla extract, pecans, and chilies. Behind the massive booze note lies oak, butterscotch, brandy-soaked cherries, figs, and raisins.
In the taste, the malt character is prominent. Butterscotch, toffee, molasses, and a hint of licorice up front, and then cherries, figs, dates, earth, and peat smoke in the middle. Finishes with heavy notes of bourbon, oak, and vanilla--warm, but not hot, and smooths out fairly well with sweetness coating the tongue.
The body is quite full, though not thick or syrupy; it flows smoothly across the palate, creamy like root beer, with only a light tingle of carbonation, and the aftertaste smacks of residual sugars, though it balances out fairly nicely and doesn't seem cloying.

This is a very nice BBA aged beer. Complex and quite drinkable for being 11.6% alcohol. Definitely worth buying. I might even buy a few packs while I have the chance.

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Photo of machostacos
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time I've tried the Backwoods Bastard; poured from a chilled bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark, rich amber with a small tannish-beige head that disappears quickly, leaving a thin layer with a little collar that sticks around. Not much lacing.

S: Rich woody vanilla, some caramel, sweet with a nice kick of smokey bourbon, followed by a wisp of dark cherry. The bourbon is definitely featured, but is not so prominent to overpower the more delicate notes. The alcohol is noticeable, but only just.

T: Very full. Foremost was the oaky vanilla and caramel sweetness of the malts, followed immediately by the bourbon. Definitely wakes up the tastebuds. The sweet smokiness stays with you, lightly penetrated by a citrusy bitterness that I could savor all night. Finishes long and slow, bitter but not too bitter, smokey but not too smokey. Absolutely delightful.

M: So rich, creamy, and thick - I was in heaven. Did not expect that at all.

D: I could easily drink 2 or 3 of these, but with the 10.2% ABV, 1 is certainly enough. Absolutely perfect on a winter evening - warms you right up.

This is my second attempt at a bourbon beer - I'm not much of a whiskey drinker so I was a little skeptical, but boy am I glad I tried the Backwoods Bastard. An absolutely fantastic beer. I'll definitely be buying more of these.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red brown with a short tan head that dissipates leaving a little lacing, clear

S: malty, oak, bourbon, bread, prunes, raisins, vanilla, chocolate covered cherries

T: cherries, raisins, bourbon, oak, prunes, vanilla, chocolate, smoky peat

M: full and heavy, lower carbonation, alcohol well hidden

O: Fantastic beer with a wealth of flavor complexity. Perfect for a cold winter evening.

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Photo of Dzman
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overall first...I love this beer! It's no wonder that Founder's got to be the best brewery in America. The color is similar to a raisin dark violet black. The head is creamy beige. Taste something like raisins and sweet. It tastes naturally sweet as if it was pressed fruit. The alcohol is noticeable at first but later not so much as my tongue got use to the new flavor. It lingers on on the tongue after swallowing. I prefer to let it sit on my tongue for 3 seconds before swallowing. It ends crisp and clean. This is a beer that is most certainly a sit back and relax after dinner. I would only need one for the remainder of the night. Not an everyday beer or one that I would drink in a day. It must be a one a day and only after a good meal. Classy.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a clear, dark brown with a large head. The aroma offers up milk chocolate, raisin, vanilla, toffee, caramel, fig, banana, bourbon, and chocolate truffle. The flavor features vanilla, rice puddings, fig, chocolate, cinnamon, raising, and a hint if bubblegum, The mouthfeel is full, soft, rich, and sticky. Overall this is a simply amazing beer. The flavors a full but in excellent balances, and there is a rich, almost vinous quality here that is utterly charming.

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Photo of Maxwell106
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review so here we go.

12 oz bottle poured into a straight side pint glass

A: dark brown with a bit of red, not quite opaque. very little head (probably due to my pour).

S: Incredible! Great earthy aroma with a lot of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel notes coming through. the oak comes through a little bit towards the end, with some sweetness.

T: Vanilla is the first thing that hits me, followed by a rich blend of chocolate, oak, and caramel. The end is sweet with a touch of bitterness.

M: Very thick, but smooth at the same time. Towards the end my mouth started to feel a little coated.

D: For a beer that has a 10.2% ABV this is extremely smooth. Goes down very easy with very little bite from the the high alcohol content.

This is the first beer that I have drank and felt like I just had a dessert. The richness, flavors and aromas of this beer are incredible. In my opinion, I would enjoy it without the accompaniment of food, but that is me. Sadly, this one is only around in November so stock up while you can.

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Photo of jtd1969
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Brown, hazy with some redness tint. Good Lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon on the nose and with some caramel and sweet

T - Bourbon notes through out with caramel and vanilla, toffee, molasses. Delicious.

M - Very smooth. Low carbonation, but perfect for beer. Alcohol was hidden for the most part. It was medium to full bodied.

O - Was so delighted I was able to enjoy this beer. The bourbon was there but did not overpower this beer. I recommend this beer.

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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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