Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Backwoods BastardBackwoods Bastard
8,421 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 8,421 |  Reviews: 1,921
Photo of Beers-es
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 32 oz growler. The look of this beer is fantastic--a dark ruby/orange with the light behind it. Half-inch tan head didn't linger too long. The smell is bourbon and booze, though after it warmed the sweeter malt came through, and a little later, there was some chocolate and vanilla, and what briefly smelled like coconut. Taste was heavy on bourbon and alcohol, which gave way to a little malt sweetness, finishing with a slight bitter dryness. A little sweet, but not too sweet. Smooth feel that left a kind of alcohol coating on the tongue. I'd love to try this one after a year or so of aging. Seems to have all the elements to be taken to another level.

 664 characters

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

This years, 2015, was definitely a bit different from pst years. I felt like it was a but thinner, even though the ABV went up, but overall had a thinner viscosity. Overall still a very good beer

 195 characters

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

So this year's version has a higher alcohol content so naturally I assumed would be more hot and would probably want to age to mellow out. Boy was I wrong. Founders somehow increased the alcohol content but the result was a smooth creamy taste of vanilla and bourbon. Got a 4 pack and was planning on aging 3 of them, but it's gonna be hard not to drink them sooner.

 366 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Dark copper, rusty brown color with a moderate tan head. The one-finger head didn't stay around very long, but it left some nice tracks in the glass. The nose was full of whiskey, oak, vanilla, toffee, and plum. After one whiff, I was excited about this and the first taste did not disappoint. My mouth was flooded with waves of whiskey, vanilla, wood, chocolate, plum, and caramel. Very well-balanced - the boozy tones were most prominent but seemed like a great platform for the other players. Nice warming smooth whiskey on the finish. Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. This is a stellar brew.

 627 characters

Photo of npachl
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jroden5446
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taste: big and bold spiced peat and malts, warming bourbon moth feel of alcohol.
Clear deep red copper color.
Big oaked malt nose.
Full body.
Tan refined head with nice lace.
50 IBUs

 182 characters

Photo of mr-jj
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle.

Color is deep mahogany with a one finger off-white head. Notable lacing. Smell is oak, scotch, and caramel. Pretty boozy. Flavor is similar, with some dark fruits. Body is medium/full with moderate carbonation. Overall, a very tasty beer.

 288 characters

Photo of Hop_God
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep Mahogany. Ruby to almost brown. Wine almost no head

S: one of the best smells I've experienced. Sweet candy. Oak. Scotch. Booze. Maple syrup.

T: oak. Scotch. Booze. Candied dark fruits.

F: creamy almost. Smooth. Booze front but soft finish. Low carb.

O: this is fantastic. Wonderfully done oak aged offering. Sweet but bitter. Balanced but boozy. Bravo.

 369 characters

Photo of badgustav
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sweet, caramel and toffee. Excellent color, flavor, and body. This beer is an excellent wee heavy, the scotch notes are an added bonus.

135 characters

Photo of SFNC
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter
Look; Nice deep garnet with a one finger head. Mild carbonation visible
Smell; Malts, oak and booze.
Taste; Well integrated oak and bourbon with the original maltiness of the Wee Heavy Ale. Nice vanilla presence. Smooth taste, the alcohol present in the smell is under wraps in the taste.
Feel; Creamy, a warming presence from the alcohol.
Overall; To me, this meets the hype. Very enjoyable.

 417 characters

Photo of OKFine
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DoctorEvil65
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Pens1967
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mblk6062
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Raime
3.36/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Founders Backwoods Bastard.


Alright enough of that shit. Stuff finally arrived in my town and this is the first year I was able to actually get ahold of some. At $16.99 a four pack it better be as good as the hype would have you believe. Let's do it.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle directly into a snifter. Pours smoothly and cleanly with an amber body that is virtually crystal clear like the waters of the bahamas..only y'know, amber like the liquids of my slain enemies instead of blue like the oceans. The head mounts to a solid one finger of slightly off white bubbly head that doesn't stick around for more than maybe thirty seconds. Eventually the head dies down to some weakened cloud formations amongst the top of the swill. Carbonation appears to be very low. No lacing is left after the beer is gone.

Smell - Admittedly the nose isn't as large as what I had expected. Lots of bourbob up front exactly as expected, but I'm not getting a whole lot of the maltyness I assumed would be in this beer. A bit of the oak characteristic comes through, as does some peat levels and smaller amounts of vanilla. Overall this nose is dominated by the bourbon and not much else. It screams a higher ABV than only 11.6%. Maybe it needs to just warm a up a bit and we'll see what we get. Alright now that it has warmed up a bit the vanilla notes really come through and dominate alongside the bourbon but it still isn't quite as strong as I had expected.

Taste - Boozy with a capital B. Big scotch levels boozyness with a large oak presence and a vanilla that lingers well into the afterlife. Really astounded at the notability of the alcohol in this beer given than 11.6% isn't THAT much by todays beer standards. Caramel malts finally do come through but it is once again, highly dominated by the massive level of alcohol.

Feel - Body is as thick as I had expected though a bit cold. Carbonation is very low. The vanilla is there along with the oak barrel bullshat and a big boozyness exactly as expected. Swallows a bit rougher than I was anticipating. Burns at a moderate level as yoy swallow it.

Overall - Well...I'm disappointed. This is an alright beer, do not get me wrong, but there wasn't much more than just a big boozy concoction thrown into a bottle. The oak and vanilla surely come through but I didn't feel there was enough of the actual scotch ale components for this to be considered great. At $16.99 a four pack, and with this specific flavor profile and the absolute failure of booze hiding, I will most definitely pass in the future. I'll have no problem finishing the 4 pack, but there is no way this should be the highest rated scotch ale on here..

I'll drink a second at room temperature to see if anything changes, but at 53F it stands as written.

ROOM TEMPERATURE EDIT. No changes. Cept it looks a bit better.

 3,053 characters

Photo of chrisjws
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tomrd123
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of foundersfan1
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tard24
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of dahahnii
4.09/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Strong bourbon and high ABV to match. Very enjoyable sipper

59 characters

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of KBS
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of frothy_80
3.66/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Look- One finger light brown head that is dissipating quickly. Murky dark brown color.
Smell- Burnt sugar, toffee, oaky vanilla character from the barrel, and dark fruits. Slight smokiness. Surprisingly the bourbon comes into play after the malt aromas. The finish is sweet alcohol.
Taste- Upfront are the burnt sugar, caramel, toffee, and vanilla followed with raisins or dates. The oak follows right behind and helps to balance the sweetness of the first initial flavors. The bourbon kicks in at the backside followed by the alcohol.
Feel- Full bodied. Carbonation is higher than I had anticipated but still low to low-med. The alcohol legs coat the mouth making mouthfeel somewhat silky and smooth.
Overall- The aroma and taste are not doing it for me. Every flavor stands out on a singular stature instead of coming together in harmony. As it sits right now, this beer is a flavor disaster. Hopefully this beer balances itself out with age. If it does, this beer is going to be great.

 1,030 characters

Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 8,421 ratings