Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,778 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,778
Hads: 6,962
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 290
Gots: 1,729 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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
Reviews: 1,778 | Hads: 6,962
Photo of Avagadro
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Very low on carbonation. Very small head with poor head retention. Thin film rests on the surface of the brew. Dark garnet red in color, looks very attractive when held to the light.

S: Low amounts of aroma. Sweet dried-fruit maltiness. The ethyl alcohol is also present.

T: Malty and spicy with little hops. Raisins, plums, and ethanol are the main contributors to flavor.

M: Medium bodied with a solvent-like mouthfeel. Very boozy.

D: I don't know know if this beer is for me. I love big beers, but this one is a tad unbalanced.

 545 characters

Photo of Prufrock
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

clear reddish brown that shines a purplish ruby against the light. thin layer of off-white head fades quickly.

sharply sweet aroma of caramel, cherries and burnt wood. heavily bready and malty, with touches of alcohol and a faint whiff of hops.

sweetness is far more subtle in the flavor, with strong roasted malt bitterness and an alcoholic kick overwhelming the caramel and dark fruit flavors. finish is fairly bitter. medium carbonation balances out a fairly full, heavy feel. ends up being slightly harsh, slightly medicinal, slightly off.

 585 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a dark brown with a deep garnet seen through a light, with a light tan inch thick head, slowly receding to a thin foam, pretty good lacing down the glass. And every time you take take a drink and set the glass down, some head mysteriously forms around the edges. Aroma is hefty, good but not great, lots... scratch that, tons of malt, spices, dark fruits, and something else faint that I can't put a name to, and I could have sworn I picked up a hop streak, but perhaps that was just Nessie.

Taste is also hefty, odd, not yet used to this style. Lots of malt in here, little to no hops, a bastardly concoction of dark chocolates, figs, dark fruits, roasted malts, and leaves me with a kind of mossy feelin in the mouth. A bit unsavory, but oddly endearing. The mouth is full and thick, something I fully expected out of this one, and it hit the mark dead on.

I've had my first few of this style lately, don't know yet if it'll grow on me, but this is surely a great advocate for the style, full of flavor and body, something you'd like to session (but probably shouldn't).

 1,105 characters

Photo of wingman14
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish red with a tan head that lingers around as you sip. The smell is inviting, roasted malts, fruit, some sweet notes. The taste is big and bold (as with most founders beers) and starts off with the roasted malt, a hint of smoke, and some hops thrown in the mix. The alcohol flavor dominates this beer especially as it warms, like you actually are drinking scotch. Very potent but brings out a nice flavor for an aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, a very enjoyable and well balanced feel. This one isn't the easiest drink, not for weak, I wouldn't suggest this for starters, but an amazing scotch ale. Definitely worth checking out. Enjoy.

 670 characters

Photo of phisig137
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Santa DeeJayDan for this one...

Pours a deep brown with abundant ruby highlights and a one finger head. Decent retention falls into a ring around the glass.

Aroma is sweet, fruity, and alcoholic. Malty toffee and raisins mix with grape aromas, and a slight twinge of alcohol to make a nice nose that is heavily malt driven.

Flavor is big and clean. Raisin and grape (almost a fake dimatap kinda grape) flavors are prevalent, along with a slight toffee sweetness. Finish is slightly sweet and lingering. Mouthfeel is heavy and slick, drinkability is great considering the ABV.

Another winner from founders, and a great scotch wee heavy. Very tasty all around and well made. Recommended.

 707 characters

Photo of Cresant
2.9/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip glass. Notched (I'm guessing) for November? Body was a cloudy dark brown leather color. Served around 48-50F. Very little head was achieved despite a hearty pour. A tiny collar of white foam lingered.

Smell was of rum-soaked fruitcake. Big malts.

Taste was sweet and malty. Alcohol was evident. Hops brightness poked through, but barely.

Mouthfeel was smooth and full bodied. Not my favorite Founder's offering but I tend to like hop-heavy beers rather than malt bombs.

 537 characters

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

This beer pours a nice dark brown with a hint of red. The tan head dissipates, but clings to the glass for the duration.

To me, this beer really smells of fruit. Perhaps some nutty aroma as well.

As for taste... wow. I really dig the roasted malt. Again with the fruit. a nice mix. The finish has a nice roasted bitterness, and a wee bit of alcohol.

This is a full bodied beer. Smooth.

I will drink this beer again as soon as I get the chance.

 455 characters

Photo of Musky
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with deep red hue, has a minimal head which is good for this style. Carbonation level is perfect just enough to bring out the flavor. A nice and smooth beer this is with a little sweetness and a hint of a roasted character. Not much of any hop smell to this one as it should be, just the great malt character smell with maybe a hint of chocolate malt. HHHHMMMM goood!

 373 characters

Photo of jpagewatts
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

this comes out of the bottle a murky brown and what little tan head there is gone in the blink of an eye. the nose is all nutty caramel deliciousness, like the pecans you get from street vendors in new york. it makes me really excited to drink. the taste is buterscotch at first. a really good sweetness. the zestiness of the hops takes over and fills the mouth. there's a nice taste of acohol, but it detracts from the mouthfeel because it lingers very long in the aftertaste.

this certainly isn't a beer to have four or five of. but to enjoy one is a pleasant experience.

 577 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, light mahogany color with a light beige head. No doubt, its one of the prettiest hues of the Beer Rainbow.

Smell: Mild nutty aroma charged with a heaping helping of berries and other various dried fruits.

Taste: Light toasted grains and caramel sweetness with just a slight bitterness that comes across as dull and unimaginative. I'm not picking up any smoke or peat flavors either - just those bizarre fruity undertones. Sour cherries, figs, and more berries.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a slick mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Is it me, or is this the fruitiness non-fruit beer to date?

 648 characters

Photo of Nipitato
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liqours in Westborough, MA.

A: Dark, dark, chocolate brown with a reddish tint. Dense - opaque. Poured into a tulip/thistle glass with a vigorous tan head.

S: A clean aroma with a strong toasty/toffee presence. No hop aroma.

T: Roasty/toasty malt flavor up front. Finishes with a roasted grain bitterness. As beer warms alcohol begins to come through as well as dried fruit esters.

MF: Smooth. Medium heavy. Slight carbonation.

D: A nice smooth, rich, malty wee heavy. Taste really starts coming through as the beer warms.

 570 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an interesting beer to return to...I had had a Dirty Bastard as one of my first craft beers, and I originally found it to be overly aggressive, with too much of an alcohol flavour. Of course, that was a few years ago, and many, many pints...so when I was down at Founders again I decided to give it another whirl:

The appearance of this beer is excellent, deep black with purple highlights, a nice head, a beautiful beer. The smell was exactly what one would expect from the style, nice roasted malts, a strong chocolate tinge.

The flavour on this was really well balanced, and definitely in the good category. A strong malty backbone carries the brew, but it also has a distinct chocolate bite, with dark fruits evident in the background as well. The finish is an alcohol shot, with some warming. I have to say, this is probably my favourite "regular tap" offering down at Founders.

Mouthfeel, really good, smooth, full bodied, creamy, excellent. Drinkability is also very high for the style...while the alcohol is present during the finish, the beer drinks much easier than its ABV would otherwise indicate.

The bottom line: a very solid regular offering by Founders, and sure to be a mainstay in my pint from this point on.

 1,247 characters

Photo of AndoBrew
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*i did not mind it and would not buy again*

app: looks great big and sexy. deep rich amber red scotch joy with nice sturdy.

smell: chewy sweet malts, dark fruits sweet smelling indeed. like a fruit snack.

taste: a bit weak, good .. but a flagship? this is a wee wee heavy and it is very yummy but just small, it is not very complex.. sweet malts followed by booze and hop spice. I am very let down.

mf: who cares. it is a tad brite and thin

drinkable?: kinda, it is easy to drink but does not really invite you back.

I founderd out that when this flagship sails off in to the horizon that i for one will not miss it.

 634 characters

Photo of TexIndy
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dating on the label. Was a nice brownish mahogany. Had a small head that quickly dissappeared. Aroma was a nice toasted malt with some chocolate in the background and was pretty typical of the better examples of the style. The mouthfeel was nice and creamy and let you know you were drinking a good beer. The 8.3% ABV definitely warms you up as you drink it but was not to overpowering in aroma or taste. Overall, the taste was excellent and what I expect as a top tier example of the sytle. Due to the higher ABV, not a session beer but could see myself drinking this on a regular basis. Highly recommend. (4, HR, T, Y)

 654 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves less than one finger of espresso foam colored foamy head, which has decent retention, and leaves a little spotty lacing. Body is a medium brown. This is very beautiful to behold.

Smell - aroma of roasted malt, and some malt bread baked with that roasted malt having dark crusts. And apples, figs, raisins, some plums, butterscotch, hint of caramel, and spicy, medicinal alcohol. Very mouthwatering.

Taste - it's every bit as promised by the nose, and as every bit delicious. There is roasted malt with dark dried friuts, accented by butterscotch, and apples. Dark crusted malt bread swirled with a paste made of raisins, dates, figs, plums, caramel, and spicy, medicinal alcohol. Very delicious.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, smooth, somewhat slick from the hop oils ( even though the hops have no presence in the nose or on the palate ) , and some occasional puffed grain fluffiness ( like when eating puffed grain breakfast cereal ) .

Drinkability - this is delicious and mouthwatering, I think it's excellent, and only the high abv prevents it from being sessionable. But do, by all means, have the second serving ( i.e. 12 oz. ), and if one excersises due caution, the third.

 1,223 characters

Photo of malthead
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great rich reddish-brown color and beige head. Both the taste and aroma are just fantastic. Plum, fig, brown sugar, molasses, without being overly sweet or cloying. Very well balanced, and dangerously drinkable. If I could get this regularly, it'd probably wouldn't be a good thing...

 284 characters

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

Purchased at local liquor store. Poured into a tumbler a deep chocolate with plush red high lights. Tan head, about half inch thick, some lacing and decent retention. Smells of medium sweet malt, with coffee and toasted notes, slightly nutty, hops are present although more in support formation, with some raison, bread and mild dark fruit. Taste, wonderful toasted sweet malt, immediately followed with balanced bitterness, imparting sort of a nutty dark chocolate flavor, how ever I would not describe this as syrupy or too thick. On the swallow comes another nice round bit of milky sweetness, balanced again by mild bitterns. This is a tasty scotch ale, which I am relatively new too, but from my experience thus far I very much enjoyed. This is well worth a having around especially during the winter months, I know I'll buy it again."Yeh’ve nary had such a bonnie taste of heav’n since pullin’ yer mouth off yer mammy’s teet." Need I say more…

 954 characters

Photo of KevBrews
2.83/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Mahogany in the glass; red when light shines through. Low head crouches atop my full pint, then rings the glass as I drink.

S: Mild roastiness, hints of molasses cookies. Low hops.

T: Strong flavor up front, with a grainy astringency. Some roast, but not much. A splash of chocolate in the finish, but also a licorice and a syrupy medicinal quality. None of the peat flavor I had wished would be present. Not balanced, as I had hoped--too medicinal, too syrupy, too much licorice.

M: Full mouthfeel, but harsh.

D: I only bought a single, and I'm glad I did. The flavors are all over the place, and the ones that predominate aren't pleasant. I detected slight hints of chocolate and toffee, but was overwhelmed by the harshness of it. If it weren't for the other (rave) reviews on BeerAdvocate and the fact that this beer is named as an exemplar for the style by the BJCP, I'd content myself to have tried just this one bottle. I'll probably try it again at some point, to assure myself that I didn't just get a bad batch. I suspect this beer, at 8.3% ABV, will mellow well with age.

 1,097 characters

Photo of schusterbauer
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours an impressive deep deep maroon, verging on blackness. smells of a strong dose of malt, caramel, and hops.
tastes amazing -- first thing you notice is the strong bread/caramel malts, followed by a nice kick of scotch flavoring that then gives way to a very clean finish with a pleasant cleanness due to a perfect, subtle, level of hops.

highly drinkable, could make for a nice, albeit semi-dangerous, session.

a nice example, for me, of how palates evolve. i first had this years ago, before i'd tried many craft beers at all, and hated it. thought it was disgusting. now that i've become more aware of the characteristics of a quality beer, i'm very impressed with this one.

 688 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The Brew is a nice and dark brown to Dark dark red. Way cool looking. The head was week, tan and little lace.

The smell was marvelous sweet malt, caramel and honey.

The taste followed, Caramel, and toasty malts. This one is so very good. I love it.

The mouthfeel is very good full body, good carbonation. Nice

The drinkability as also very good I will seek this one out. Prosit MK

 436 characters

Photo of BitterBrian
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 251 characters

Photo of a10t2
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz twist-top stubby with no freshness date.

A: Deep reddish brown, pours with a thin tan head that hangs around forever without leaving any lacing to speak of. Plenty of CO2 bubbles that fuel the head and stir up some brown sediment. This one is obviously unfiltered, and more power to them.

S: Sweet malty aroma with a faint hint of chocolate and roasted barley.

T: Malty with a Belgian-esque sugar character, maybe the hops could be better balanced but that's coming from a confirmed hophead. Smoky chocolate and peat. Definite Scottish alcohol aftertaste.

M: Thick and syrupy going down, but the carbonation balances it perfectly. Slight carbonation tingle combined with the alcohol warming on the roof of the mouth; really unique.

D: This is too thick and sweet to be a session beer, but it's well-balanced enough that the bottle went quicker than I would have expected. Very enjoyable.

 907 characters

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I've been sitting on this Founders' scotch ale for a couple of weeks, eager to try it out. Much thanks to IndyBeer for this one.

Smooth, opaque and viscous chocolate pour with some red highlights. Small, 1/2 finger tan head that leaves a ring of foam and lacing.

Very, very sweet nose, but unique aroma. Nutty, milk chocolate notes. Delicious. Malts all over the place. Alcohol. Bready.

Heavy, syrupy body that hits my tongue like a tidal wave. Surprising bitterness, but I guess I should've expected it given the 50IBUs. Lots of roasted/burnt malt notes, bittersweet chocolate and burnt caramel. Wash of scotch-like alcohol on the tongue. Lingering spiciness and warming alcohol presence.

One of these and I'm OK, though I wouldn't readily drink more. Love the creamy/syrupy mouthfeel, but the label tells no lies: "Dirty Bastard Ale ain't fer the wee lads." Drink slowly and with caution. Recommended for a try.

 927 characters

Photo of BlackAngus
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Major props to TheManiacalOne for surprising me with this on our last trade. I've had it for months. Thanks man!

A - Slight tan head that disappeared immediately. Dark ruby color.

S - Sweet malty smell, and alcohol is present.

T - Malt sweetness, smoke/roast flavor, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits.

M - Thick mouthfeel, almost syrupy. Nice carbonation.

D - If this is your kind of style, extremely drinkable. I love it.

 437 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz stub nose received in a trade with czoch75.

A: The ale is a deep reddish brown color. On the initial pour, the head was thick and as it dissipates, it leaves a smattering of lace in the seidel.

S: The ale has a very malty aroma, concentrated with a sweet tone. Those malts have a barleywine-like aroma with a bit of smoke.

T: The grainy malts are very strong. They are biscuity with hints of smoked and toasted barley. There is no appreciable hop presence here, allowing those malts to really kick up the flavor.

M: The smoky sweet malts sit well and do not overload the tastebuds like some maltier offerings.

D: Very drinkable with a beefier malt body that goes well with these increasingly colder evenings.

 731 characters

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,778 ratings.