Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
8,396 Ratings
Backwoods BastardBackwoods 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: 8,396 |  Reviews: 1,913
Photo of moe71
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hungryghost
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2016 release.
Pours dark, hazy brown, little to no head, perhaps due to age.
Aroma is nice, sweet, caramelized malt, hint of booze.
Taste complex and fantastic, low carbonation. Brown sugar, some fruit I can't put my finger on maybe dark cherry, roasted and caramelized malt, a hint of bitter chocolate perhaps. Touch of caramel in every sip. And of course the bourbon! It is not overly boozy, just a friendly reminder. Made for the perfect dessert beer.

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Photo of qrazvan
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark orange-brown colour, pouring with acidity and a decent head.
Smells of bourbon, caramel and fermented grapes.
The taste is surprising, with a mellow sweet initial sensation, hiding some dark fruits, honey, sweet cherries with some fermented fruits. The woody, oak whiskey barrel scents are leaving their mark, after which a really dry feel on the palate is covering everything and a lingering alcoholic feel, like after a bourbon is leaving you the sensation that you forgot what was in the glass.
Very interesting and well-crafted beer, but somehow the aftertaste is leaving room for improvement.

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Photo of cjohns73
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of johnverduin
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DamienI
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of stevoj
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Brewers Haven. Dark brown / mahogany, small fizzy head subsides to ring. Aroma is big and full, roast malts, molasses, peat. Taste comes with some alcohol warmth, sweet and slick, more brown sugar, caramel, tobacco. Velvety feel. Definitely a world class beer.

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Photo of Ov1
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap many times until the local bar ran out. Thursday drafts at 3$ OMG. One of my favorite all time beers.

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Photo of TerryW
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of samEBC
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cub7
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pirateclem
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm a bourbon guy, I like bourbon. I live in Kentucky Bourbon country so, I know my Bourbons.

This drinks like a Bourbon and it is my favorite Bourbon barrel aged beer yet. It tastes like someone mixed two fingers of Buffalo Trace with something between a scottish ale and a light thin stout.

The nose is good, but not great. It's lighter than I expected for something so dark. The initial flavors to me are dark red berries mixed with brown sugar and vanilla. Lots of that Bourbon influence coming through. A little smokiness and a tart flavor at the end.

Really good stuff.

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Photo of jroof1
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of trdant
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of YungAnejo
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2017 release
Let warm for half an hour, 12oz bottle normal pour into a snifter, about a quarter-inch of tan head that dissipates quickly into pea size groups of bubbles, almost muddy looking body but deep red when put to a flashlight, light stringy lacing

Aroma is immediately sweet bourbon/molasses, but on second take I’m getting some plum, cherry, like dark fruit, no alcohol presence

Taste up front is bitter sweet bourbon, booze, bitter fruit, smokey malt finish, maybe even getting some rye kick to it

Mouthfeel is a lot lighter then I’d expected, moderate carbonation, finish is long, but there’s no alcohol burn present which is weird for the percentage.. kinda bummed since I’d expected some warmth for this cold night lol

Overall a nice barrel aged brew, definitely worth a try, I have one more I plan to have later this year when the 2018s are released, but I can’t help feel that this could’ve been better fresh, since In my experiences the longer I age the barrel dominates everything..

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Photo of CvilleCraftMan
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GreenBayBA
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dd53grif
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CLSimps
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 12 oz bottle from AJ’s here in Phx. Poured into a tulip a beautiful, dark, ruby amber. The nose was bourbon, chocolate, and a little smoke. This brew is complex to say the least, malty, bready, black cherry, and of course bourbon notes took turns throughout. As it warmed a boozy vanilla started to come through. This was a pleasure to drink; boozy yet balanced, and until I sell a kidney and get some KBS, it’s my favorite Founders offering.

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Photo of Tjmcgreal
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Dan411
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2017 version, from a bomber, set out for 15 minutes.

Look: Mahogany brown with ruby red highlights. Two fingers of loosely packed small bubbled head which produce lazy curtains of foamy blanketing lacing and legs on the swirl.

Smell: Bourbon and vanilla up front dissolves into brown sugar, dates and figs, with a slightly sour, fruity milk chocolate on the back end. This lingering finish is almost like smelling a chocolate covered raspberry. Dark malts and smoky roast comes out as the beer warms.

Taste: Bourbon, vanilla, dark brown sugar, and fruity molasses. This follows with hints of smoky chocolate, tannins, and roasted malt as the beer warms. Very, very drinkable for a big beer.

Feel: This beer initially feels thick and creamy as it enters your mouth, but that's quickly dashed by an effervescent, almost bottle conditioned mouth feel, giving it a quick, smooth finish.

Overall: Very well balanced for such a complex beer. All the notes play perfectly off each other. Just on a side note, this beer actually seemed a little more complex when it is colder.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark amber, mahogany coloration with a medium, creamy head. Intoxicating aroma of bourbon, vanilla, red berries, especially redcurrant, dark fruit: blackcurrant, fig, plum; and bready malt. Taste is incredibly complex, dominated by dark, bready, caramel malts with a lovely, mellow bourbon note and strong notes of vanilla, oak and redcurrant. Notes of toffee, dark fruit, chocolate and smoke as well. Finishes with a great combination of light sweetness, medium bitterness and redcurrant. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel with low carbonisation. An expertly balanced Scotch Ale that is just fucking awesome.

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Photo of tkolterman
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I have ever drank.
As of 2-5-18 I have drank 297 different beers.
This one is top 3-5.
Buy it, like it, or you don't know what your talking about.
Go Founders, love ya

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Photo of kinmundy77
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Nass
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I don't not know what you people are smoking on this review site. Some of you are either dumb or retarded or something. How dare you give 2017 Founders Backwoods Bastard a 1/5 failure for a beer rating. Before you start reviewing beers on beer advocate gain some beer drinking experience firs. Alright let's get on with the review folks. The 11% abv is perfectly hidden for the 2017 batch which founders sometimes has problem trying to do but nailed it on the head with this batch. Vanilly, oaky bourbony, mapley sweet malts on the nose and taste. All I can say is if you do not like this brew then you do not like bourbon barrel aged scotch ales. Go back to drinking your cheap corn syrup filled macro lagers if you don't appreciate a well crafted beer like Backwoods Bastard. This beer is quintessential and ground breaking in the beer world. It is so good I went out and bought 3 four packs of it this winter season and I gave 2 bottle to some family members to influence them to go out and buy some well crafted beer. This is another Founders winner along with their russian imperial stout, breakfast stout, imperial malt liquor, and their rubeaus raspberry ale. I find it puzzling how this beer can be so well made and their base brew the dirty bastard taste so awful and close to undrinkable. I don't know maybe I bought an infected 6 pack or something. Anyways, Founders Backwoods Bastard is a world class beer in it's genre. If you are looking for something big, strong, warming, inviting, dark, rich, and sweet but different because you are little sick from drinking one too many stouts this year then this is the beer for you. It sure is for me folks. No need to look elsewhere. Yes, $15.99 is expensive for a 4 pack of beer but life is short, so you need to treat yourself from time to time. It sure is for me folks. Nothing in life is perfect including myself so I don't give anything a perfect 100 score but you can come close and this does it along with the New Holland bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Michigan state has the stout and scotch ale game on lockdown on the east coast of the United States. Cheers! A- (90-94) score range

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Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 8,396 ratings