1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,664 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,664
Reviews: 1,615
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 192
Gots: 753 | FT: 22
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,664 | Reviews: 1,615 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHADMC3
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Scotch Heavy pours a dark brown to chestnut with ruby hues and what head exists is thin and tan leaving next to no lacing behind.

Giant aromas of caramel and earthy malt dance from the glass with other deep, sweet notes resembling dark fruit, maple, and vanilla.

Big flavors of sweet malt, dark fruits such as raisins, more vanilla, and much more noticeable earthy hops that grab the back of the palate are all present. Other flavors include caramel and even dark woodnotes.

Medium in body with only a slight chewiness, medium carbonation, tons of flavor and aromas to stimulate the senses.

This is one heck of a beer! Perhaps my favorite Wee Heavy. Tons of character to offer, big aroma and flavor, extremely easy to drink, and all around amazing.

CHADMC3, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of allenson21
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My affinity for Scotch Ale continues.

This beer is pretty. Pours a reddish brown. Somewhat-creamy tan head that rose quickly in my chalice.

Smells of burnt sugar (in a good way), caramel, and malt.

Maltiness. I get a bunch of floral notes too, oddly enough. Caramel.

Goes down easy. Excellent carbonation. Almost no hint of 8.5% alcohol.

This is an excellent brew, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

allenson21, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of smooth_aleing
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich, murky, copper color akin to an old suitcase. Head is slight, maybe a finger or slightly less, but the lacing stays throughout. Nose is strong of molasses, raisins, prunes, and a bit of Scotch smokiness. Taste is well-balanced, with molasses and figs coming through most prominently. Overall a great beer, as Founders is want to make, and a great example of Scotch ale.

smooth_aleing, May 09, 2013
Photo of Stonebreaker
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: They filled this beer to the very top top and as a result, I hypothesize it retained it's carbonation better than another growler I brought home from another spot. Gratzi Founders. Poured a healthy head with solid lacing.

Smell: A wee heavy is one of my favorite styles, and this one has that familiar sweet, dark roasted malt aroma.

Taste: Sweet, slightly chocolately malt, with a complexity that will take the pepsi challenge, with any top notch brewerie's scotch ale. Is that cloves?

Mouthfeel: Solid caramelly, richness.

Drinkability: One of so many, delicious American craft brews that will sneak up on you and put you on your ass.

Stonebreaker, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of caddybuyer
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-Slightly hazy marachino cherry with a thick creamy tan head. Devine.

N-Rich barleywine-like malts with cherry, chocolate, rum soaked figs and rock n' rye all vying for a spot.

T-Ka Pow! an explosion of creamy malt goodness in a cornucopia of flavors. The nose carries well into the taste, with some pear and walnut flavors present along with earthy peat and crushed fall leaves. Each sip brings out a nuance, and this is one to be savored. This is utterly superb.

M-Rich and creamy with well balanced carbonation. Spot on.

D-One of those brews that is definately a "must try" and a "must have" There will always be a place for this in my cellar. I could drink this all night, and can't imagine anyone not enjoying it.

caddybuyer, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to midwest malt man mnwags for this bottle.

A modest pour produces a huge head atop a fudgy brown with ruby highlights and a tan head that just about glows in its tan-ness.

Aroma offers big hops, which are belittled by even bigger malts, plus generous alcohol, with waves of toffee, fudge, and black cherry.

Flavors give everything the aroma does, plus dark raisin and musty peat. And more dark fruit. And more chocolate. Oh yeah. There's just enough alcohol creeping in to enhance the flavor, and not enough to detract.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, on the heavier side, but not too thick, and no unwanted stickiness.

Maybe a bit too alcoholic and demanding to be an everyday beer, but still, this is a killer Scotch Ale. Founders does it again.

Metalmonk, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of tjsdomer2
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Whiskey red with copper tint to it. Excellent layer of foam as well. Excellent thick pour as well.

Smell: Definitely some cherries. Possibly a local Michigan connection for this? Smoky wood as well. A bit of a winey smell in the background.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Pine hops mixed with caramel malt. A mineral flavor in the finish as well. Pretty earthy also. Mouthfeel is nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. Nothing that begs greatness in total, but a lot of great parts.

Overall: A great beer overall. Not quite A+.

tjsdomer2, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of wspscott
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass (bottled 4/29/09)

A: Hazy, very dark copper color, a very thin to almost non-existent head.
S: Sweet, caramel, lots of fruit,
T: Very sweet, but not cloying, lots of caramel, some yeast fruitiness, a little bit of biscuit and toast malts
M: Round, rich, mouth-filling, a little bit of tingly carbonation
D: A very smooth easy drinking beer, lots going on, lots to think about. An excellent intro to the style. A great beer, highly recommended.

wspscott, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of Richardbeerlover
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber with a nice thick head. The first sip is magical. Nice sweetness and lots of flavor. I get hints of raisin, plumbs and prunes. You can taste and feel the alcohol at the end. A fantastic beer and one that I could drink a few bottles at a time.

Richardbeerlover, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served right out of the fridge and allowed to warm for a few minutes before being poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very hazy and murky looking dark hazelnut brown with a small amount of sediment floating around in the bottle of the glass. Just a small touch of light peaking through the sides and the bottom, lightening it up a bit and giving off just the slightest bit of a reddish hue around it. A somewhat small off white colored head rose up above the glass perhaps one inch high, before settling down and just becoming more of a film across the top that lasted throughout the session. Very nice residual side glass lace did remain though which was very good to see and this left a good amount of streaking down the inside.

S - The aroma was a classic scotch ale all the way. Very big deep malty notes dominated over everything else insight giving it a very sugary and earthy overall presence. Lots of bready tones in the background and a deep sense of caramel right up in front. There was a slight touch of some residual hoppiness in there, maybe some grass or a light smattering of fruit trying to lighten it up, but overall this one had a very heavy and sweet aroma to it.

T - The flavor was fantastic. This is a style I have been trying to get back into, as there are just not enough good examples of it around, however now that I get to try things like this it really makes me want to seek some out again. The first note to hit the tongue was a tingly sensation of spiciness. Some caramel, nutmeg, or cinnamon with a hint of vanilla, all very raw and earthy though with lots of grain mixed in as well. The overall taste was very raw, and unfinished, but in a good way. Lots of sugary notes coming onto it now as it really get going. This was a lot sweeter then I thought it would be for sure. Some dark fruit like hints in there perhaps, maybe raisins or plums, or it could just be the spice, but either way very nice. The finish was strong, with only the tiniest amount of bitterness coming though and the malty backbone really holding its own, and doing what it could to drag the taste on and bring you back for some more.

M - Very rich and creamy, this was easily a medium bodied ale, which at times bordered on being full. The consistency at times again almost felt chewy it was so big, with tons of sugar and grains. Very nice carbonation profile as it never got flat or dull throughout the entire session and really kept up its own throughout.

D - Absolutely fantastic for a session beer. The flavors were so full and rich, with really no let down at all. I am not sure what the ABV is on this one, but it did not taste very big, but it was no where near light either. Very rich and an ideal beer to have with dinner or sit and watch the game. A little filling but really not that bad at all.

Overall I thought this was very good. I have been lucky that I have a lot of the Founder's brews that I still have to try, or have tried recently, and I have to admit, this one is easily one of the best. A very well done representation of the style that really focused on keeping it raw and earthy, and unrefined. I would love to pick up a case of this one and have one all the time. Really a great representation and a classic beer. Have to recommend this one.

mikesgroove, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of Phillyphilms
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass

A- Once poured this beer exploded. A GIANT head filled the top fifth of the glass and after a minute still was a two finger head. Its color is a dark brown becoming lighter in color and more translucent as it lowers down the glass. Lacing was really nice as it sunk.

S- Not an incredibly strong nose but a light malt with some fruit and almond or toffee.

T- Lots of upfront malt with a silky finish that shows off its 8.5 abv yet has enough hops to balance that abv down to smooth. Still slides down nicely and leaves little behind. Some dark fruit and malt dominates this but the creaminess of the caramel or toffee.. whatever I can't peg lends this an even easier drinking brew.

F- medium to heavy mouthfeel. Thickens as it drinks yet fades just as quick after the swallow. The alcohol, although not overwhelming, is surely an open participant in the discussion but I think the higher IBU's makes this a nice marriage.

D- I typically like if not love most things that come from Founders and this is no exception. A great example of a well balanced and interesting Scotch Style Ale that may not be an all night drinker but sliding one in when you can is a good idea.


Phillyphilms, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of StoutHunter
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a 6 pack of this the other day since a nice scotch ale sounded good. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This brew pours a dark copper color with two fingers worth of off white head that turned into a thing ring that stayed with nice lacing.

S- Wow, this brew smells sweet. Lots of sweet dark fruits mixed with equally sweet malts. I can also pick up a good amount of booze. This beer smells very different from other scotch ales I have had.

T- This beer tastes similar to the way it smells. Sweet fruits and malts stick out the most, but they are blended with some toffee, caramel, and bitter chocolate that didn't show up in the nose. Tastes sweet but not as sweet as the smell. You can tell this is a stronger beer since the booze is always present.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D- Not that high, two would be my limit, too sweet and boozy to drink more then that.

Overall I find this beer to be pretty good, I have had this beer many times and enjoy the fact that this beer is widely available in my area. This beer always has a place in my fridge. A great scotch ale from a great brewery.

StoutHunter, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of geexploitation
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deceptive dark brown that reveals ruby highlights under light. Head of yellow cream dissipates to a soft ring. Aroma of chocolate, molasses, and smoked peat. Taste is initially soft, with caramel malts and Belgian sweet malts. The smoke hits briefly, and is then subsumed under a fairly powerful alcohol burn. Very silky mouthfeel, like a thick oatmeal stout. Quite a good scotch ale overall, although the burn does distract a bit.

geexploitation, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of ghostwalker
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brown with reddish highlights. 1-2 fingers of creamy reddish-tan head.

Nose is caramel malt. A litle bit of almost whiskey smokiness, too.

Wow! This is really a malt-bomb. Serious levels of smoky, peaty malt dominate every sip. A light snap at the finish lets me know that there are some hops involved. Really a great-tasting brew.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, bordering on chewy.

Drinkability is very good. So rich, and yet easy to drink.

Overall, the best Scottish Ale I have had since Robert the Bruce, maybe even better. I need a side by side tasting to decide. Try it!

ghostwalker, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of ClassicBrad
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Every once in a while, I need a reminder of how much I love Scotch Ales and while I wouldn't consider Founder's Dirty Bastard a reminder-- it's only for one reason.

It's a damn wake-up call! This beer screams at me for neglecting this style for way too long [which is equal to any time at all].

Pours a hazy and almost opaque dark brown into my brand new Appalachian Brewing Company pint glass [I drove down for some lunch the other day]. The only way to see the haze is to put it directly in front of a light. There is a fair amount of retention that seems shallower in the middle of glass and a sticky web of lace down the pint glass.

Smells of beautiful scotch notes and chocolate/caramel suggestions. The taste then follows suit but translates the aroma to a flavor that makes you wish you had some more of this in the fridge... and I don't.

Mouthfeel provides a warming alcohol sensation to the back of your throat and down to your belly. This is truly a cold weather beer. It's like a comforting fireplace in a 12 ounce bottle.

Drinkability is rather tolerable for an 8.3% ABV brew. I need to find another Scottish Style Ale very soon!

ClassicBrad, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of BigAl723
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: A beautiful crimson that is as dark as an early dawn. This is a very nice looking brew. Not much of a head.

S: Scotch, raisins, and a little funk. Dark and dirty fruit. Molasses and coffee too.

T: Sweet and with carmel notes. This one tastes a lot like it smells. Fruity and dirty. The name of this beer fits it so well it's scary.

M: Medium carbonation. It feels so light and feathery. The alcohol isn't too dominating at all.

D: Very drinkable. It's hard to believe this beer is over 8%. It goes down like it's just over 6%. I could drink 3 or 4 of these.

Overall, this was my craft "gateway beer." My buddy and I used to grill brats on his deck and drink Dirty Bastard. To be completely honest, we didn't even really know how good of a beer we were drinking. It just tasted good, it was brewed in Michigan, and above all...the name is cool as hell. I also drank this exclusively during the Tigers' 06 World Series run. A classic beer that will always be one of my favorites. Thank you Founders for the memories.

BigAl723, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of groovemonster
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from the bottle like i drink all my beers...i have no idea what color it is.
smells like strong beer, i only know that because i cant smell very good at all...but i can smell this. so it must be strong.
tastes great. kind of boozy and warm going down. plenty bitter yet very drinkable. high ABV is enjoyable. this is one of my go-to brews. i havent had many scotch ales i like but this one is awesome!

Disclaimer: I cant smell but it hasnt curbed my ability to enjoy fine brews. it has only curbed my ability to tell you what it smells like
i ALWAYS drink from the bottle...i almost never know what the beer looks like...not even sure why thats important.
i dont know the difference between a growler and a snifter, and i dont think anything shaped like a tulip should have beer in it!

mouthfeel? that just sound offensive...:) is this a serious thing?

i am an irreverent beer snob!

groovemonster, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Brunite
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First...I'll say I LOVE Founders. They are one of my 2-3 favorite brewers. I had been looking forward to this one for a long time. Here is the verdict:

A: A nice deep ruby red / dark mahogany. A tan head that disappears quickly.

S: Some booze. Deep malt notes.

T: Tastes great. Highly malty...but not sweet. The main focus is the malt...some peat...brown sugar...dark fruits.

M: Medium body.

O: Love Founders. Enjoy this style after not liking it much initially.

Brunite, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Has a very nice copper color that is semi-transparent. Didn't have much of a head, but the little bit there was, lingered for a little while.

Smell: A very rich, malt aroma dominates the smell. There also seemed to be some kind of fruit aroma in the background that reminded me of a light cider.

Taste: Again, a very rich malt flavor dominates. However, there is a balance here that keeps it from becoming too sweet. Could be hops, or could be caramelized malt that provides just enough bitterness to make this very smooth. Also has a very light cider flavor that just peeks through.

Mouthfeel: Good body. Not creamy or thick, but there's a mild chewy texture that feels fantastic on the tongue and cheeks.

Drinkability: Excellent. Could drink this beer anytime. In addition to a pint glass, I also tried it in a wine glass (as I didn't have a snifter or tulip available) and the aromas and flavors became even more apparent. Good anytime, anywhere, any which way.

civilizedpsycho, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of mattmarka1
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

mattmarka1, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of EPseja
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you do yelterdow for hooking me up with this bottle not only for my birthday, but also for my 300th review.

Served from a 12 oz bottle in my SABL glass at cellar temperature.

A - Pours medium brown with crimson highlights and a definite viscosity that can be felt through the bottle. The sandy tan head rises to an inch with audible bubbling, and then settles in -- bubbles packing tightly into a foamy pillow. Lacing remains light and sporadic, and head retention is spotty.

S - Big malty forefront with notes of dark, caramel covered candied fruit. Trace notes of unassuming hoppiness (that's lying in wait...).

T - Right off the bat I can tell you that it's nice to have a Scotch Ale that's not so overly sweet up front that it's like a candy. This beer definitely packs the malt punch, but it's got a fantastic hop profile and a nice yeasty tartness that offsets it in the finish, making seem like you just took a hit of an IPA. Also of note is the very light, very interesting and alluring English Stilton cheese saltiness that I've tasted in other Scotch Ales. Hmm. Might be the yeast strain used? The finish is quite dry and very bitter, bringing this taste profile to a very uncharacteristic but well rounded close for the style.

M - Very very nice. Substantial and chewy with good tingly frothing in the mouth. Doesn't get gassy, but gives you a nice creamy swallow that reaches every nook and cranny.

D - At 8.3%, this beer is ridiculously drinkable, largely in part due to the really great hop profile that keeps the alcohol from burning; replacing it with a crispness and dry bitterness. Although this isn't at the top of my Scotch Ale list, it's two thumbs up for me. If only it had a touch of smoke or peat in the malt, it would really add a masterful dimension.

EPseja, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of HopNuggets
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into Chimay glass. I need to say that Founders cannot do anything wrong. I have not had a single bad brew from Founders. I've had a few before and though the body would be good for my Chimay goblet. It works better than a snifter in my opinion.

A - Poured a deep crimson red/maroon/reddish brown with a 1 finger off white head that dissipates to a patchy cover that leaves an amazing lacing down the goblet.

S - Sweet dried fruit (plums, prunes and dates mostly). Molasses sweetness with heavy malt presence. Definite alcohol esters.

T - Sweetness and a bit tart with some hop presence that is taken over with malt. A bit hot upfront and all the way through and after and down into the throat and stomach. Earthy and woody in there at the end as well. It's scotch you know.

M - Slight carbonation, hot, light body for the deepness in color, more of an alcohol body resemblance. Very nice.

D - 1 or 2 is good but you can't drink all 6 in 1 sitting. Nice for a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy.

HopNuggets, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of farrago
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Some filminess deepens the chocolate brown colored base, dusky yellow rims with a touch of zinc orange. The head is on the thinnish side, evaporates quick enough, lacing more persistent. Restrained nose of orange/lemon citrus, apricot pits, round malts alongside non-intrusive hops, pine resin, bread and a slight infusion of dried flowers. Medium-bodied, smooth with enough carbonation to keep a steady forward pacing. Semi-sweet with baking spices, orange peel, honey glazed bread, pine, none of these have the depth nor tenacity to overshadow the hops component. Never bitter, maltiness persists. Pleasing tightening through the finish. Unassuming complexity, no sense in not enjoying the natural fluidity.

farrago, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of TheBear11D
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint glass at Founder's

Pours a dark chestnut amber brown with a tan beige head that left decent lacing.

The smell is fairly dominated by the roasted malts and chocolate with alcohol also a little noticeable.

Great flavor! Chocolate malts, bourbon and a touch of caramel can be picked up quickly. The alcohol gives this beer a kick and hangs on in the end, but in a pleasing fashion.

Medium to thick body with light carbonation.

This beer is quite enjoyable. I don't believe I have rated one out of the bottle yet, but I have had several six packs. It was great to have it on tap.

TheBear11D, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of DIM
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Dark brown with some ruby highlights, Slightly hazy and translucent. A vigorous pour produces a huge light tan head that is long lasting and leaves lots of lacing behind

s: Earthy candied fruit malts are the most noticeable aromas. Some vanilla alcohol and a hint of hops also detected.

t: The malts, of course, dominate here in a smokey, earthy, peat form. There is a bit of sweetness in the form of vanilla. The alcohol is very faint. An excellent example of the style.

m: Silky smooth with long lasting carbonation. Pleasantly dries the mouth a bit.

d: Certainly a sessionable beer given the well masked alcohol. I'll certainly buy this again.

DIM, Nov 16, 2007
Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 5,664 ratings.