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Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,744 Reviews
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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,744
Ratings:
7,742
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
22.35%
 
 
Wants:
1,001
Gots:
3,082
For Trade:
284
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,744 | Ratings: 7,742
Photo of Frosty80
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: pours brown. sits dark ruby

Smell: sweet malt aroma with oak and bourbon. light alcohol and hint of sweet bread and vanilla

Taste: sweet, bready malt flavors with woody and bourbon tones. finishes sweet with some whiskey and oak flavor and hints of dark fruit, cocoa, vanilla and warming alcohol

Mouthfeel: heavy-med body. smooth with low carbonation

Notes: delicious fuckin beer! i wait all year for this and i made sure we stocked up big time at the store. one of my favorite beers and probly my favorite seasonal ANYONE puts out! decided to give it a 5 cause i cant imagine a scotch ale getting any better. i can always go back anyway

 648 characters

Photo of dpnelson1978
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.

$13.99 / 6 pk.

55°F

S: Ripe red fruit, raisins, and bourbon. Boozy but pleasant.

A: Clear dark red-brown body. Small loose tan head that leaves only a trace of lacing and a sparse creamy cover.

T: Sweet red fruit up front, followed closely by hot bourbon that somehow manages to be intense and smooth simultaneously. Label says 50 IBU but I can't detect more than a trace.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation and little in the way of bitter bite. I find myself craving a heavier body.

D: This beer is fantastic, but at 10.2% abv. needs to be enjoyed in moderation. Would be amazing with a well prepared steak. Drink slowly and enjoy.

O: Amazing beer that overtakes Dirty Bastard as my favorite offering from Founders. This beer will age well, no doubt about that.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip; a re-rate from an earlier review of what I now believe to be a bad bottle. Have had this bottle sitting in the cellar since May, so it's definitely older than that.

Pours hazy dark red brown, very little head, only really a smattering of light-khaki bubbles on top, with a collar of large bubbles around the edge.

Nose an appealing mix of rich caramel malt and brown sugar notes and beautiful spicy bourbon, so smooth. Good, but lacks the complexity and subtlety of the flavor.

Taste follows the nose, only perfected - reminiscent of a bourbon-soaked slice of dark, rich spice cake covered in caramel. Notes of oak and bourbon are there, with a beautifully light, earthy bitterness towards the finish. The bourbon balances the rich caramel notes perfectly while still adding unbelievable richness to this - stunningly good.

Mouthfeel is beautiful, light but full, crisp but delicate - exactly as it should be.

Drinkability is unbelievable. I was practically swallowing this whole. I may be unable to resist going down for a second bottle.

So glad I gave this one a second shot - am now convinced the first try was a mishandled bottle. Fantastic beer, far better than it's non-barreled counterpart.

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Photo of KingMoomie
2.68/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

For me, this is a classic example of how a beer can change year by year.

When I heard that Backwoods Bastard was coming in this week, I was very excited. Founders is one of my favorite breweries, and I have loved this beer since the first year it was released.

I grabbed a bottle to drink at the bar, and everything started out good. The appearance was fine, just as I remembered, with a slightly dark color and a great bourbon nose.

I was talking to someone when I took my first sip, but I immediately realized that something was different.

Keep in mind that I do love bourbon aged beers, this was different. From the first sip you get an extreme booziness that dominates the beer. I tried to think back if I had ever thought it was this way in previous years, and decided I had not.

After passing it around for others to try and coming to the same conclusion, I finished it myself, but not in the way I envisioned.

The mouthfeel was fine, but as far as drinkability, it comes up far short.

As much as it pains to do, I have to review this beer poorly, and will be waiting until next year's batch to try it again.

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Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my lovely wife for picking up a four-pack of this at the local Eagan Cellar's. She snorted a snifter of this during our Founders visit & I only had a sip of hers at the time, so was happy to find out this one had arrived in MN via the bottle.

Ruby, don't take your love to town...with virtually no carbonation or head to sully the view. Smell is malts & bourbon all naked & intertwined.

Backwoods Bastard looks more like a dwarf on the label to me. But anyways, this is good stuff. The bourbon is on top of this brew, but not over it. Molasses is the secondary taste, & then one could get all tied up in everything else below the surface. Wood lends a dry quality. Vanilla. Malts, of course, with the sweetness offsetting some of the bourbon chop. Far in the distance a dash of spiced fruits. Flat, heavy, more dangerous that a BA RIS, & less common. Heaviness detracts just a touch from the beer.

Another excellent beer from Founders. I've said it before & I'll probably repeat myself again, but these clowns could give lessons on barrel aging to anyone & everyone in the industry.

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Photo of PrinceDarren
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this for dessert tonight after Chinese dinner.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. It is certainly not very attractive in appearance. Rusty in color with no head. Resembles bloody urine.

Smells like toasted oak, vanilla and honey-suckle. With a little bourbon cutting through on the nose (but not too much).

Tastes like cream soda with leather. Not overly sweet, not overly alcoholic. This would be the perfect companion for a good cigar! It has nice vanilla tones that don't overwhelm.

This lived up to my high expectations. I look forward to trying it again soon with a Havana stogie. If it pairs up as well as I hope, I am going to need to load up on a case of this stuff!

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Photo of danielharper
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy red-amber appearance, thick slightly off-white head that stick around for a bit, amazing considering the alcohol.

Smell: Malty, hugely alcoholic, slightly sweet. Bready.

Taste: Rich with caramel malt, hugely alcoholic, very astringent. Sweeter than expected, with a nice roasted dry aftertaste. The wood is nicely understated here. If I could give this a rating between 4.5 and 5, I would.

Mouthfeel: Thick, rolls around the tongue amazingly. No real carbonation or hops.

Drinkability: All right, here I'll give it a 5. Delicious, with the 10.2% ABV amazingly hidden. I'm not always a fan of bourbon-barrel aged beers, but this is truly top-notch and incredibly easy to drink.

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Photo of BigAl723
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. Served in a 10oz tulip.

A: It pours a very dark brown/red. Like a dark rusty color. Very nice tan head about an inch and a half thick.

S: Dark Fruit, caramel, bourbon, molasses, light oak...I had to taste this to get more out of the smell. It was a little hard to pick up for some reason.

T: Here we go. Kind of hoppy and heavy. Very complex...a lot going on. The taste and smell came out real nice once I tasted it. Bourbon dominates along with sweet notes of chocolate, caramel, and molasses. The taste of this beer grew on me while I drank it. I had to get two of them because they were so good.

M: Fairly heavy in the mouth with moderate carbonation. Perfect really.

D: For being over 10% ABV, it has great drinkability. The more I drank, the more I wanted. I had to stop myself after two.

Overall, I've only tried this once before and it was last year around this time. It was good but this year's batch is outstanding. I really enjoyed this and will be seeking out a four pack soon. Founders +1!

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Photo of Brenden
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours thick, a dark bronzed brown that can't be seen through. I'm assuming the lightness of the head and lacing is due to the high ABV, but I get a somewhat dense one finger ot so and, when it dissipates, a decently thick foam that manages to leave some thin patching with lots of webbing.
There's plenty of enticing elements in a rich, complex aroma: some caramelized sugars, a boozy note (bourbon? I suppose it would make sense), something nutty, something woody, perhaps even earthy, a strong malt, a light spiciness, dark fruits, a sweetness alongside the initial (vanilla, perhaps), even something leafy. This MUST be inhaled quite a few time to get it all. It's pretty intense.
It's all in the flavor. I didn't know what to expect out of the whole "oak-aged, bourbon barrel" thing, or even if it would make a difference in there. But it's there. I have to wonder if the rich oak notes I'm detecting would be there otherwise, and I can certainly doubt that it would have the tasty scotch / bourbon flavor otherwise as well. There's a gentle alcohol burn in the finish; otherwise, a very high ABV was well masked. Just as a side note, I was told I needed to grab one of these without knowing anything about it first, so I did a "blind" test. I had no idea beforehand what it was.
Just looking through the reviews beforehand, I came upon one that claimed this was too thin. My only response was to laugh to myself. Either there's no chance a bottle that seemed thin could possibly have been good or someone drinks way too much motor oil. This stuff came out as thick as I've ever seen a liquid pour from a bottle. It was thick on my tongue and in my mouth, huge, rich and creamy. This is massively full-bodied. Not only that, but there was even just the right crispness to it in a low carbonation that allowed it all to work together.
The only reason I wouldn't drink a barrel of this in a sitting would be to remain conscious and for the slight alcohol burn.

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Photo of MPLS
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this one up from a fine selection of single bottles the worlds oak aged and bourbon really stuck out like.

A: Dark copper body with a amber bottom. Cascading head with a soapy head that appears to have gotten just a slight tan. Faint and mild-mannered lacing.

S: Dirty caramel infused bourbon, butterscotch, almond, alcohol.

T: Very sweet and malty, the butterscotch/caramel dominates the beer. Small linger hop profile. I might have had bigger expectations of this beer, maybe it's the style that doesn't work well with the oak-aged bourbon barrels. maybe I'm spoiled with bourbon-aged stouts?

M: Medium bodied would be generous, a bit thin for a "big beer"

D: Hmmm...the bourbon element entices me to want it, but the thin mouthfeel and not to my liking sweetness of this beer make would make me grab for it if it were in the back of the fridge.

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Photo of endincolorado
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, deep reddish-brown with some haze, and very little light coming through. Tasty looking, creamy tan head settles slowly with bubbles of various size. Nice sheets of lace stick around on the sides of the glass.

Delicious notes of oak and bourbon right up front, accompanied by a malty sweetness in the background and some grain that reminds me of single malt scotch. Faint alcohol. I cannot wait to sip.

Damn, i wish this was more readily available. A perfect medley of vanilla, bourbon, oak, malty sweetness, and toasty caramel that is carried by a rich, creamy texture with just the right amount of carbonation. Some alcohol is noticeable and helps complement the brew. This beer takes me back to September tours in Bardstown, KY inside the Maker's Mark distillery, with all of the smells of the sour mash and wood.

I could drink this all night (and with breakfast in the morning) but that probably wouldn't be wise). As a bourbon lover, (and lover of scotch ale, and Founders Brewing Company) I might be a little biased, but I strongly urge any fan of barrel-aged beer to give this one a shot.

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Photo of claminat420
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- poured a dark burgandy brown color. off white one finger head.

S- sweet malt with a sweet caramel blend. woody with a slight cherry or some other fruit hidden deep down inside.

T- the caramel malts and the woodiness of the oak barrels deliver in the front. alil spice from the alcohol and a weird fruit hidden delivers in the backend.

M- medium to heavy bodied. awesome on the carbonation.

D- for 10.2 abv i was expecting more. the four pack isn't to rough to handle.

Overall- this is definitely worthy to pick up.

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Photo of MrStark
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a dark reddish brown with a small off white head that unfortunately dissipated quickly.

Smell is has a nice caramel sweetness to it with vanilla as well. The bourbon is there for sure in strength, to me making it a quite inviting aroma.

Taste is what the smell would make me expect, a pretty heavy bourbon flavor. And although its strong, its certainly doesn't seam overpowering and makes for a nice rich and sweet flavor with a bit of bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Seams pretty slick on tongue and is quite pleasant.

Drinkability is great! I think it goes down quite easy for the amount of alcohol. I don't think I would say its a session beer though as it might sneak up on you. This is something I would have one in a night. Something to savor every now and then.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter

a-dark burgundy color...fast fading one finger off white head...lacing and legs forever

s-sweet vanilla...bourbon and oak...tannins and tobacco...malty sweetness faint hops

t-sweet malt up front..bourbon lingers in the back..vanilla...oak and roast..slight hops to hold it together...

m-creamy and oh so smooth...oily and sticky...wonderful

d-you would never know this brew is 10.2% at all....slightest warmth makes it feel more like a 6% brew...if not for the abv i would drink this all night

a nice surprise as im not a wee heavy fan at all...this is one easy drinkin brew...i cannot get over it..damn

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Photo of KeefD
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber brown, small head that's gone in a flash, no lacing. Aroma is of caramel and apples, chocolate, bourbon and oak. Taste pretty much follows the smell. Lots of caramel and light fruitiness reminiscent of apples, light chocolate, some roastiness, and plenty of warming bourbon. Alcohol is a tad hot, but not bad. Good stuff.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a quasi tulip,looks very nice.deep brown with great lacing. rich bourbon and vanilla notes in the nose,bit of caramelized sugar.bit of dark fruit.

rich caramelized sugar sweetness,vanilla and oak flavors. bit bourbon burn in the finish.moderate clean bitterness. overall pretty nice,real into the strong bourbon flavors.

mouthfeel is medium bodied,doesn't take away much from the beer itself. the beer is a nice sipper,the abv is high which takes away from the drinkability imo. still kinda hot as well,but i like this rough version.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 12 oz bottle.

A: Pours a brownish red with a surprising amount of clarity. Light shines through. Thin white head forms and leaves loads of lacing.

S: Onslaught of oak and bourbon. The bourbon lends a nice vanilla aroma which meld nicely with notes of toffee and caramel. The nose is predominantly bourbon and smells very nice.

T: The bourbon is very strong in the flavor, but its not hot on the booziness like I expected from all the bourbon on the nose. This beer has a very nice bourbon character that never is overpowering. I am surprised at how tame the alcohol presence is with this beer.

MF: A nice viscous thick body. I served this one without letting it chill too much which seems to really work for this beer. It is thick and velvety in the mouth and never feels sticky.

D: This is TOO drinkable for a 10% bourbon barrel aged brew. The flavor is complex and delicious which keeps me going back for another sip. I really enjoy this one, even if I am having trouble detecting what I am used to in a wee heavy.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.62/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark red-brown with almost no head.
S: Strong wood (oak) and bourbon notes. Less strong but still prominent alcohol too.
T: Follows aroma fairly well. Strong wood, bourbon, and alcohol. A tad bitter at the finish...softens with warming. Hint of vanilla with warming.
M: Medium body. Surprisingly light for 10.2% ABV. Wish this lingered at least a little bit on the palate.
D: You can have only so much 10.2%, but if this was a better brew this would score higher here. This is a nice one, but can't hold up to other bourbon aged beers. Not sure it was worth the $4 paid for the bottle.

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Photo of kegger22
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown with a small head that almost instantly dissipated to almost nothing. The aroma was musty and boozy. The taste was heavily alcohol, sweet but with a lightly bitter bite to it (may have just been the alcohol). The feel was full bodied and oily, with very little carbonation. Drinkability was decent for a 10+ ABV. Very good beer, perhaps a bit over rated because this time, the bourbon barrel aging did not significantly improve the brew.

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Photo of Katahdin
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
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 Burl41
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served in a bottle into a pint glass

Apperance- Dark brown red, with solid head from a rough pour into a 1/4 inch rention with solid lacing.

Smell- Wow an intence scotch smell, you get the alchohol upfront too, with a caramel backing. Intense.

Taste- hmmm, again caramel flavor is upfront followed by a solid bourbon taste. I don't even know how to review this, I should have put this into a brandy glass, this beer is strong and complex unlike many even in this catagory. Vanilla and alch linger on the pallete.

Mouthfeel- Thick and heavy, this is a strong brew, high gravity to be sure, almost have to chew this one.

Drinkability- Wow i'm not sure, I enjoyed it alot, but it should be served in a brandy glass not a pint glass. Thick and high abv.

I would have this one again, around a fire with friends on a cold winter night. To be savored slowly.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Backwoods Bastard pours a ruby mahogony with a dense off white head and some lace. Poured into a snifter to maximize aroma.

Nose is of sweet bready malts and a whiff of bourbon like booziness.

Flavor features some complex maltyness. There is a bourbonesque booze and a woody, earthy note from the barrel aging. Chocolate covered cherries. Vanilla. Oak.Faint resinous hops. Then some clean solvent alcohol in the warming finish.

Luxurious and smooth.

A strong, full flavored beer. Complex and a sipper for sure, though I could drink so much more in an ideal setting.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of 10/27/09.
Pours a nice deep caramel color with a slight tan head, not too much carbonation it seems. Heads settles down fairly quickly.
Wow! Smell that bourbon barrel age right off the bat. Followed by caramel, malty aroma. Maybe it's just me but kind of smells like banana too.
Bite of the tongue on the first sip. Strong flavor from the barrel aging process following by a meduim/heavy malt taste. Slightly bitter aftertaste followed by alcohol. Very little hop flavor which would be correct for this style.
Similiar to Fouder's Dirty Bastard but with an added kick of the bourbon barrel!

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

Picked up a single for $4, with a bottling date of 10/27/09

Poured from the brown stubby, with a now pop cap, no more twist off's. Went into a pub glass forming an inch of tan head. The beer is s pretty dark brown, showing reddish auburn highlights when held to the lamp. The forming head and carbonation mixture off the pour was also interesting to watch, allot of color there.
Head retention is a thick collar with foamy bubbles on the cap. Lace is sticky and coats the glass well.

Aroma is bourbon, wood, mild hops in the form of pine. Loads of dark sugar and burnt caramel malt in there. Buttery almost, in a caramelized butter sugar combination. Mild vanilla and maple syrup.

Man, this is one rich sipper. Some boozy warmth from the barrels, still plenty of sweetness shinning through. Bitters creep along with toasted wood and deep into the distance hops bite and linger. Loads of burnt caramel and some cereal grains. A touch of chocolate and vanilla, something in there is reminding me of dark Belgian candy sugar also.
Warmth into the linger after the swallow, not hot, just your very distant bourbon throat warming.

Mouthfeel is bordering a syrup slickness with just a little carbonation keeping any flat feel at bay.

This is tremendous!

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Photo of Stunner97
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark brownish to dark copper in color, a very thin white head slowly forms and then quick fades, low amount of carbonation,

Smell- lots of upfront malt sweetness, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, brown sugar, just smells very nice and something that pulls you into wanting that first taste,

Taste- slight hop bitterness can be noticed on the finish, overall a good amount of malt and sweetness, the flavor really livens up as it warmed a bit as it was slightly to cold to start, a lot of sweetness vanilla and brown sugar, good amount of oak and definite bourbon is noticeable and actually quite enjoyable, one of the strong points to me in the flavor of this beer is the fact that it does maintain a decent punch of hops just to keep all that malty goodness slightly in check, long lingering finish, very nice,

Mouthfeel- medium bodied not really quite as heavy in body as one might actually expect, nice tingling warmth is noticed in your mouth all the way to back of your throat,

Drinkability- To me this drinkability is extremely high, I am someone is a fan of bourbon so I would have to say this beer is definitely right up my alley, it doesn't over kill you with that bourbon but has alot of it there, it also is very sweet but doesn't over smash you with sugar maintaining a bit of bitterness, this beer to me is actually extremely well crafted and well made, one that while i can I will buy extra of to have around,

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,744 ratings.
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