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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,740 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,740
Hads: 6,791
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 273
Gots: 1,604 | 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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-03-2003

Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 1,740 | Hads: 6,791
Photo of Vogie
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One of the best easy to find scotch ales around. Great taste of sweet caramel malts, dark fruit, and a slight hoppy finish.

This is the beer that put Founders on the map. I can see why.

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Photo of WonderNerd15
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark brown, minimal light brown head

S: Can smell some hops, but there is a sweet, malt like smell as well

T: Very smooth. Not as hoppy as the smell. Has a sweet note to it

F: Very crisp, doesn't linger around

O: Pretty good. Light enough to drink more than one in a sitting, but heavy enough to have a satisfying taste and good flavor.

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Photo of dgmirelli
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not a pro on scotch ale but here goes: a dark brown/ruby color with great head and lacing to follow, smell was sweet and hints of caramel, taste was strong for alcohol and more sweet, malty caramel spice, feel was rich and heavy with great carbonation. will try more of this and style for winter

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dirty Bastard pours to a brief-lived medium pebbly yellowish-tan head on a clear effervescent body that is somewhere between ruby brown and deep brown in color; lacing is fair and consists of alien-looking structures. The nose is modest: medium-roasted caramelly malt notes and iced tea with surprisingly restrained boozy overtones; behind all that lurk sweetish dark plum notes. The palate is appropriate in intensity for the style, and more assertive than the nose: an expectedly complex blend of medium malt notes plus some unexpectedly dark ones, encompassing the range from light caramel to light milk chocolate, balanced nicely against expectedly prominent deep, sweet boozy undertones. The finish is also boozy and faintly toffee-like, followed by a mild, slightly bitter coffee flavor that lingers until the next sip. The mouthfeel is biggish for the medium body and warming from the alcohol; the texture is sticky and creamy from the soft carbonation. This is a very nice example of the style. (12 oz bottle, 67 days after pkg)

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Photo of garymuchow
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Giving this another review (see note below). This bottle is probably from a about a year ago. Not to old, but not fresh either.
Somewhat boozy aroma and a touch of age on it and more towards stale than sherry. Maybe this is older than I thought. Still good looking with a nice dense head and attractive brown/red color.
A touch of age in the taste as well. Still a smooth malt flavor with a drying on the finish. A bit of a boozy quality. The malt is rich but not to roast but awfully close.
Moderate feel but no bigger than that. An awful lot of drying on this finish here.
I"ll combine the scores of last time and this, but not hurt where age was an issue. That's my bad.

Here is the first time I rated this beer, but I inadvertently put it under Backwoods Bastard.
Pours nearly perfectly into my Sam Adams glass. Appealing dense tan head over a dark amber elixir of thick and rich cooper and garnet. Malty aroma with rich sweetness, almost sugary that slowly fades to mild alcohol mixed with vanilla, oak and very mild bourbon. Hints of toast and caramel. Now this one has that balance right, at least in the aroma. Thick and heavy lacing marks the drinks.
So much of the balance stays into the flavor, except the alcohol shows a bit of a bite, with a mild burning and isn't blended as well. Too bad. Flavors pretty much mimic the aroma. They also smooth out in time and seem less harsh, but the emphasis on alcohol remains too great for my tastes.
This has a great feel. Soft yet full. Heavier body and very smooth.
This actually comes to drink lighter than the initial alcohol blast would propose.
Three out of five categories this is a very good beer.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.79/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I mean...come on, right? Base beer for Backwoods Bastard has to be world-class and this one does not disappoint. One of the best scotch ales out there with the exception of CW and Backwoods itself.

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - pours black body with no head
S - sweet, maple, caramel, bourbon, chocolate
T - maple and caramel with a bourbon and slight hoppy after taste
F - really smooth with just the right amount of carbonation to give it the perfect kick
O - this is a really good wee heavy, but their backwoods bastards destroys this

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Photo of ritwingr
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Beautiful, so-dark-it's-almost-black brown. Modest head that leaves a light, persistent lacing.

Smell is virtually nonexistent. I've tried hard. Can't catch much beyond the fact that you know the malts will dominate. Duh.

Taste has hints of black cherry. Nice carbonation pop with a definite, but not excessive alcohol bump.

This is a very nice scotch ale to which I am fortunate to have regular access at the local Harley's. Best I've had from Founders,

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Photo of AleEvangelist
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Am amazingly solid strong Scotch Ale! Heavy on the malt, cut perfectly by the alcohol. Rich mouthfeel, and gorgeous flavors of toffee and butterscotch!

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Photo of Grugalug
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a mug.

A- Considering the 8.5% ABV, I thought that a normal pour would yield very little head, so I poured it straight down the middle and was greeted by...a 3+ finger head. Needless to say, a bit surprised. And it lingered for quite a while. The head is a light tan in color, and the color of the beer is an absolutely gorgeous ruby. Lots of lacing is here as well, and this beer just looks amazing. (5)

S- Where to begin? It basically smells like a caramel/dark chocolate/dark fruit candy bar or something. Just layer after layer keeps coming at you. It also smells a bit nutty, almost like a brown ale in this respect. The label says 50 IBUs, and I think I can detect a woody/herbal hop character but it is just in the background. Maybe it can get a bit muddled because there is just so much happening, but that's pretty much just being nitpicky. (4.75)

T- Pretty much see above. The only difference for me is that I can't detect any hop flavor. It's really quite sweet, but those 50 IBUs prevent it from being cloying. To me, this tastes more like a dessert beer, but it would go great with something really hearty like a stew. Awesome for the fall or winter time. (4.25)

M- Quite full-bodied in my opinion, and if you were expecting something different considering the style and sweetness, then something is amiss here. Definitely has some chewiness to it, and is just lightly carbonated. (4.25)

O- Just a great, malty, sweet, fruity, chocolatey, delicious...I could keep going. It's good. Really good. What makes it even more amazing is that it's a year-round offering and really, REALLY reasonably priced. I can get it for between 9-10 bucks in my area, which is kind of absurd for the higher alcohol content and for just complex it is. Please try this. Even if you don't like beers that showcase malt, just do yourself a favor. (4.46)

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Photo of Chuckletheturtle
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great Amber color, lacing that fades quickly, hauntingly good gently malted , well carbonated, and so it makes a statement as a Scotch Ale. Maybe I just like the NAME ?

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Photo of DrSpaceman
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into snifter, beautiful amber red with fleeting off white head. Smell is a bit metallic, standard amber ale aroma. Taste is heavy upfront with caramel maltiness, balanced hop bitterness rounding out to the finish. The body is good and heavy, very chewy. Overall, a very good beer. I am very happy to buy Founders in California!

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Photo of Chris_Huston
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Founders describes the color as "dark ruby" -- emphasis is def on the "dark", with brushes of deep mahogany. Scents of earth, oak, and a bit of booze. It reminds me a bit of Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher, though not as grungy or "Dirty". Keep a handful of that and chuck in some maltiness on the taste. Not one of the better Founders, but a nice, worthy Scotch ale.

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Photo of ACon204
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown with red highlights. Think dark cherry wood / dark mahogany. 1.5" caramel head which dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell: Rich caramel, toffee, chocolate aromas. Slight booziness in the background.

Taste: Caramel hits you up front with dark fruits (raisin, plum) following in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy. Fuller than many porters/stouts that I have had.

Overall: This was the first wee-heavy/scotch ale (whatever you want to call it). Although I like to have a few beers of the same style prior to passing judgement, I have to say that I would highly recommend the beer. It certainly follows the BJCP guidelines (not so important) and definitely passes my personal deliciousness test (very important).

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle, Pours a dark ruby with a small, off white head. Aroma caramel, raisins, figs. Taste is sweet, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, candy, dark fruit.nvery very good.

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Photo of schwansmantr
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Been wanting to try this for a while, Founders Dirty Bastard scotch ale. This is a highly rated beer on almost all reviews. It's a dark copper hazy appearance with a light head. With a 8.5 percent alcohol content it smells like bread,roasted toast, caramel. The taste is very caramel, sweet complex scotch taste. If you like scotch you will love this beer but keep in mind it is a strong beer. Personally I'm not a scotch lover but if I were I would most likely give it an A+. With that being said I give it a B-.

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Photo of beergoot
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, mahogany brown body topped with a dense, creamy, light tan head. Sweet, malty aroma; spicy caramel; cinnamon. Mildly sweet and spicy flavor; malty; zesty; slightly boozy. Medium to heavy mouthfeel; rich and smooth.

Full-bodied, rich and flavorful. This beer delivers the taste goods with a mildly spicy and boozy character.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

appearance- Dark brown in color with no visibility throughout. Pours a two inch tan colored head.

aroma- Rich sweet malt aromas consisting of toffee and dark fruits and a burnt malt presence underlying the sweetness.

taste- Again the malt is very sweet with toffee and dark fruits noticeable at first, and then a peated malt comes in to balance the sweetness.

feel- Thick, chewy, full bodied, medium carbonation, and relatively clean in the finish for such a malty beer.

overall- This is a really great scotch style ale. Tons of malty sweetness with toffee and dark fruits, but it never comes close to being cloying especially with the peated malts adding a light burnt aspect to the beer. Overall, this beer really respects the guidelines of the style and it rivals the quality of a Bellhaven scotch beer. Definitely worth purchasing again.

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Photo of Walligator
4.81/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Like this beer! Wee HEAVY on the roasted malt. Reminds me of a stout - a lot of the same character, just not as thick. To me, it pours like an ale and it tastes like a stout. Another Founders success.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smells like chocolate and rum
Tastes like toffee, malty, caramel, with a hint of chocolate.
Smooth yet chalky with a very mild booziness.
This is a great beer :)

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Photo of jakecattleco
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Founders first shipment to CA into a tulip glass. Liked most attributes of the beer, but wanted more out of the mouth feel and finish. May revisit this rating once I'm further through the 6 pack.

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Photo of Jamie_Newman
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Has a dark brown/red complexion with an off white head that doesn't stay around long. Very nice lacing. Smells like a porter with.. Well.. Scotch. And the taste follows. If you're drinking at cellar temperature it really stands out. Mouthfeel is medium and the finish is a little wet, kind of slick, and bitter. Very very high drinkabilty at 8.5%

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Photo of Premo88
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: ruby red ... crimson, clear; pushes up a 1/2-inch head of tan foam, no major sticking or lacing

S: big sweet malt, very Scotch feeling with hints of peat, some earthiness and a little sour grain mixed in; wants to smell like a stout, but it never hits those coffee/espresso notes, keeping just a little "lighter" ... fruitcake

T: lots of darker malt flavors, some definite peat, almost a bit of oak-wood/smoke, though it's in no way burnt like many a stout; perhaps a bit of medicinal alcohol burn, but at times it takes on such a peaty taste it's closer to scotch flavored than the typical vodka-shots/rubbing alcohol medicinal note some beers have; dates, prunes ... really sweet on the back end, then pumpkin/earth/dirt takes over

F: pretty thick despite looking clear and light, great carbonation, solid weight for a big beer

O: this brew is not to be trifled with ... it's big all around, packed with flavor, and pound-for-pound it's 8.5% ABV is as full a punch as any I've come across -- two 12 oz. bottles of this brew is a session for me, and a damn good session at that; the malt flavors run the gamut of all that's arguably possible in a Scotch Ale, including peat, wood, earthy dirt along with a lot of sweetness at times that reminds you of a good sweet stout but isn't 100% stout-like ... a beer I wouldn't mind having around to sip on come winter time

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Photo of lastmango
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour is a dark brown with ruby hints. Two finger tan head dissipated quickly. Some lacing. I could not detect any significant aroma. Taste was sweet malt and a bit of hops on the end. Medium thickness and carbonation. Not sure what's wrong but my taste buds cannot seem to detect much else. This is good but I cannot detect the complexity that I was expecting. But, I will try again soon.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look is dark brown and hazy with no head.

Smell is rich roast malt and a molasses sweetness.

Taste is sweet from the malt but definitely a hop bite, lives up to the name.

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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,740 ratings.