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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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6,004 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,004
Reviews: 1,640
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 207
Gots: 912 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-03-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,004 | Reviews: 1,640 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of leviathan85
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first review, so bear with me.

A: Darkish brown with some red undertones. Head was a dirty white with good retention.

S: Did not care for the smell too much, overwhelmed by a certain fruitiness.

T: Complex. Starts smoky and alcoholic, then moves to dark fruits, and finishes smoky again.

M: No complaints here.

D: A little alcoholic, but i enjoy that for Scotch ales, so no complaint here.

Overall a very nice beer. I have to be in the right mood for scotch ales but I'd definitely go back to this one.

Photo of ZBR101
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Eddiehop
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle w twist-off cap. no date or batch code found. tasted in late may/early june 2009. poured into tulip.

very dark brown amber. dark ruby under the light. lots of small sediment particles despite attempt to decant. 1-finger yellowish tan head, fades to thin layer, then wisps and ring. decent lacing.

aroma: rich malty caramel, hints of... vanilla? hints of... chocolate? gentle hop whiff and trace herbs or spice.

taste: caramelized maltiness is still strong, but now met by bolder hopping (mostly still euro, but maybe a touch of american?), resinous with a relatively bold bitterness, and also showing some herbal character. maybe some peated malt? touch of booziness tho.

medium body, lightly syrupy feel, with some resins toward the finish. moderate, tingly carbonation for some additional body and flavor lift.

perhaps could tone down the hoppiness a bit (i know, it's american, but still...), and find a way to hide the alcohol better. but a decent drink nonetheless.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. stubby brown bottle. Bottle conditioned.
Poured a hazy reddish copper. Not a lot of carbonation. Slight fine bubbled head. Not a lot of aroma to start. As it warmed, there was some malt and burnt sugar.
Big malt flavor with some molasses. Hoppier than a traditional Scotch style.
There seems to be some alcohol there. Nice dry malt finish.

This is an interesting American twist on the Scottish style. Lots of malty goodness with a dose of American hops.

Photo of berserker256
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured a bottle into a pint glass. Dark reddish-brown appearance with a thin tan head. Smelled like roasted malt with a hint of something semi-sweet. Doesn't have an overpowering bitter flavor as some strong ales tend to have. Not too hoppy. Not to strong for an 8.3% alcohol brew. A bit syrupy and thick but not too bad. I like this beer a lot but after drinking a couple I'd move on to a lager to mix it up. I've had this beer on tap at the Founder's brewery in Grand Rapids and for some reason It seemed a little better from the tap... But then again, beers always do.

Photo of JizackFH
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very deep dark red with a 1 finger head that sticks around for quite a while.

S: Malty Caramel and sweetness. Alcohol notes are present as well.

T: A sharp bitterness at first that lingers, but ends up mellowing into almost a smooth sweet fruity flavor.

M: Low carbonation, pretty smooth and full with an alcohol presence

D: For me this brew is more of a beer to sit and sip on for a while. Goes down a lot smoother than I thought it would considering its ABV.

Photo of Fordknox
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of walterk
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mattster
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened 12 fluid ounce 2007 Bottle at Beer Tasting with NitroGen & Tayner; Poured into snifter.

Pours a brown tea colored brew with no head, some lacing. Smell is very meaty/savory. Taste is on the earthy side with some sweet notes. Finish is somewhat hoppy, Carbonation is nice and low. Not a bad brew, but nothing that makes me want more.

Photo of RickS95
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, too dark to see through. A touch of reddish around the edges. The head takes some time to form, and then is gone before you know it.

The nose fills with caramelly malt and little else...and that's not a bad thing.

The taste buds tell the same story as the nose. It's heavy on the malt, with a bit of alcohol. Strangely, it's got a cola-like taste to it.

There's some complexity on the palate. It starts off creamy and almost sweet, then finishes with a touch of malt before giving way to a slightly bitter swallow.

There's no mistaking the high alcohol, but it's a relatively smooth drink for 8.5% ABV. It does lack some flavor, but it's still a good beer.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color. No head whatsoever produced, yet carbonation was solid. Aroma of caramel, toffee and malt. Taste is very sweet with some medium bitterness in hte middle. Very nice full mouthfeel with just a hint of alocoholic warmth on the back end.

Photo of StephenRich
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Dirty Bastard is a big Scotch Ale, also known as a Wee Heavy. It is one of Founders Brewing's year round, and flagship beers. Founders has been brewing since 1997 in Grand Rapids, Michigan - very close to several other great American Craft Breweries. And I've always been impressed with their beers, especially the bigger ones. But so what it a big Scotch Ale? Well its 8.5% abv, 50 IBUs (which is higher than the normal style, but typical in the US), and malt focused. Scottish Ales show a big, sweet, malty center with classic toffee, caramel and roasted malt sensations. They are thick and rich in both mouthfeel and flavor, and are best served at cellar temperature.

So given the style, and my experience with Founders, I was expecting a good beer. Scotch Ales are some of my favorite, so I was definitely excited to try this Dirty Bastard. But really you never know what you are going to get from a classic style brewed by the Americans. Will be it over hopped, too rich, unbalanced, or hugely alcoholic? It could be sublime, soft, balanced and elegant on the other hand too. It really doesn't matter where on the spectrum it lies, because the key is that wherever it is, I can almost guarantee that it is well done.

The Dirty Bastard comes in a short 355ml bottle, and as mentioned is 8.5% abv, pretty much right in the mid range for this style of beer. I do like them more as they edge towards 10%, I find the malts, if done well really shine at that strength. But its just a preference.

I opened the Scotch Ale at cellar temperature around 14C (57F) and poured it into a snifter. The pour was oily and slick building a smooth and creamy balance of richly brown beer and dense light brown foam. As the pour continued the beer rumbled with life and excitement eventually building up just over half the glass, the rest was 2 and a half inches of soft, cream-like head. The beer was richly brown with deep mahogany shades, ambers, and dark copper. The head stood there with great retention shining a nutty shade of light brown and showing dense, but random carbonation towards the bottom, and larger, more airy carbonation towards the top.

The nose wide and round with soft toast, roasted chocolate, lush malts, dried fruits and sugary-sweet toffee. Hints of molasses, cocoa powder, almonds and stewed plums come out a bit more, but no hops seem to be in the nose. It is malt focused, and appropriately so.

The first sip was all head; a thick, smooth and creamy lush head. But once you get beyond it the Bastard brings wide malt sensations that flow softly across your palate. Actually, much softer than I thought it would. Big dried fruits come though in a gooey range of dates, prunes, raisins, and apples. Ranges of roast float in, but are not as powerful as I expected from the nose, but also bring earthy and herbal hops lightly to the back adding some bittering balance.

It has gentle smoke, touches of toast, the softness of bitter bakers chocolate and a smooth wave of molasses. As your palate opens up, a more malty flavor of caramel and toffee becomes more apparent and then eventually take over. Fruit moves to the background, and more savory malts build in power. A hint of wood and maybe even bourbon finishes in at the end, but again, gently.

The overall mouthfeel is soft and caressing. It gliiiddeess over your palate with an oily smooth texture gently washing the flavors over you. I would have liked it to be a bit bigger to be honest, the smoothness almost worked against it. It was lush and malty, but not MALTY, which is what I wanted from an American Scotch Ale. So maybe they hit it right then? Its all in the eye of the beholder. I did enjoy the Dirty Bastard, but would have enjoyed it more if it smacked me in the face, rather than just gave me a warning tap.

Pics at: http://t.co/gTrqCuz

Photo of TBoneJones
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Maybe my first scotch ale ever to try, so what better than to start with this brewery.
Pours a dark cherrywood body, nice carbonation, great tan head.
Smells of malt. Some bland bread. Not much. Hmm.
Tastes earthy and rich, immediately I note the slick oily feel, smooth. Slight molasses, non-descript dark fruit, rye, and just when i think the flavor apex is going to lend itself to the satisfying profile akin to a quaddrupel, a woody burn and a dry aspect creeps in at the end. Different to me, then again my first try of the style. Not my favorite style for sure I can say, but I can also tell this is well-crafted for what it is, due especially to the superb mouthfeel.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to pimpp for the sample. (I think)

Pours a nice big head with a thick reddist brown color. Retention is great.

Smell is a little bit too weak but is complex. Caramel malts, chocolate malts, hell several malts going on here with a little bit of alcohol astringency Apple phenol comes out.

Taste is nicely complex and the malts work well together. Upfront is a caramel malt sweetness witha slight chocolate malt sweetness to balance. This is followed by a balancing hop bitterness and alcohol astringency. I would like a little less booziness on this beer.

Slight creaminess is ruined by too much alcohol astringency.

This beer is good, but it is a little bit too boozy to be very drinkable.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/05/12

A: Pours a slightly hazy mahogany in color with a finger tall light beige head. The head on this beer reduces to a thin ring of bubbles around the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: The aroma is mostly roasted malts, dark fruits, caramel, and slight hints of alcohol. Overall the smell of this beer is rather sweet.

T: The flavors of this beer are roasted malts, caramel, and some sweetness followed by a fair amount of alcohol (more than the 8.5% ABV would suggest). There is a slight hint of hop bitterness in the finish. Overall a nice flavor profile.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Pretty easy to drink for the style and the alcohol is not as upfront in the taste and smell as you sometimes get. Also, this beer is not as cloyingly sweet as other examples of the style. Definitely more of a sipping beer.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

aggressively poured into oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Copper / redish body with a white fluffy head at least 2 fingers worth.

Smell: Malt and smoke.

Taste: Sweet smokey flavor. A little bit of alcohol burn. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes more prevalent and takes away the sweet smokey flavors of the beer. Some slight bitterness / astrigency in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer. Ample carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinks like a lighter beer, but its still a heavywieght of a beer.

This beer and Old Chub are my 2 favorite Scotch Ale beers.

Photo of byronic
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with a tinges of red, opaque but almost muddy. Smells very inviting, predominately sweet at first with notes of caramel and toffee. Tastes as it smells with some nuts in the finish, perhaps almonds? Mouth feel is borderline creamy with medium carbonation, roasted/touch of burnt malts in the finish.

I've had six of these now, very good fresh not so great with six to eight months of age.

Photo of cnally
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another founders try for me, I am excited.

beer pours with a grand sudsy tan head over the cloudy amber brown beer.

appley, malty scent. hints of caramel and nutmeg.

the flavor is really alcohol laden. the hops are well prominent. an orchard fruit taste, grapey and appley. slightly acrid/astringent thing going on. not as strong a flavor as you might think, and alcohol takes over the flavor.

filling, creamy feel.

not bad, probably not my style. very strong alcohol flavor, not hid very well.

Photo of areich6
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying with my good friend pschul4

A: Pours a very dark shade of orange/copper. Little head. Seems as though it will be fairly viscous.

S: Smells very nice. Some pleasant bourbony notes along with fruits such as apples, pears, and black cherrys.

T: Can detect a little bit of caramel malts in the along with a slight amount of hoppy bitterness. In addition to that there is an obvious presence of alcohol. A litte disappointing.

M: Pretty good mouthfeel. Slight amount of carbonation along with a good amount of creaminess.

O: This is a fairly average beer. The taste lacks luster, however the other components of the beer are give it some redeemable traits.

Photo of dpasotti
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Deep garnet/mahogany in appearance. The thick, sticky foam cap is tan with a little yellowish hue that makes me wonder if this beer is barrel-aged. A decent amount of yeast floaties are suspended for a while.

Dense caramel aroma with a dark fruity/spicy quality that reminds me of some homemade baked dessert that I just cannot place. Dirty Bastard is loaded with sweetness, but leave it to Founders to dump a shitload of hop bitterness and flavor into any style. Lots of mid-range maltiness and a little diacetyl, with a slight woody/smokey presence underneath. Alcohol is hidden well, but it is present.

The mouthfeel is far and away the best aspect of this brew. Outstanding. Low carbonation combined with no shortage of residual sugars renders an unbelievably thick and creamy body. Feels like the finest imperial stout on the way down. Overall, it is not really to my liking, although it's easy to appreciate the fact that this is a well-made beer. I prefer less hop bitterness and more darker malts in a Scotch ale. Backwoods Bastard...now that's another story.

Photo of Apellonious
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz at the Teeter. Madhouse today.

A- Dark, cloudy brown, with ruby mixed in. Thin head that quickly disappears. Little to no lace.

S - Not much of a smell, slight whiff of dark fruit, but most of the nose is alcohol.

T - Starts off malty, dark fruit, brown sugar and alcohol on the finish. Scotch makes an appearance as the beer warms.

M- Very smooth, slight carbonation gives a faint pricklieness on the top of the tongue

O - Good beer. Strangely lacking in the smell department, but in all other facets it is solid. Goes down fast for an 8.5er.

Photo of Roman5150
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance: dark brown with some copper hues in the light, 1 finger slightly off white head

smell: roasted malts, coffee, bready notes, biscuity, a little boozy

taste: caramel sweetness, you can feel the warmth from the booze, there's not intention to hide it. lots of bready flavors and some toffee, espresso, and biscuity notes fuse with a roasted malt backbone to round it out. The lingering aftertaste has some dark fruits as well, and lots of roasted coffee. Lots of flavors in this one, very well balanced.

mouthfeel: medium carbonation, thick bodied

overall: A great take on the style, not the biggest fan, but this is on par with Old Chub as my favorite per se. Very well balanced yet with no intention of hiding the alcohol, lots of other flavors as well, great for the price.

Photo of headhopper
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours thick like oil/syrup. Cherry red color. Finger width head that doesnt last very long. Leaves thick lacing on side of glass the whole time.

S - Fruity , orange, and citrus. Almost smell some cherries and maple.

T - complex and sweet. Reminds me of a nice scotch or whisky. Starts out pretty smooth with a strong bite of alcohol. As the glass warms the taste becomes very complex and bitter. Can taste some toffee/coffee. A bit of cherries and orange..chocolate covered cherries perhaps....?

M - Thick and syrupy.

D - I really like this beer ,buts Its not for everyone. Cant drink more than one in a setting.

I was cold one night and I knew this would fix that. A very nice winter sipper. Careful with it though, it can sneak up on you.

Photo of BitterBrian
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful deep scarlet with thin white head. Smells of nice medium bready malts. Tasted of bread and slight fruits. I can only compare it to a Two-Hearted without as much of a hop presence. Still an enjoyable drink. Another good Founders brew.

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 6,004 ratings.