Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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6,535 Ratings
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Ratings: 6,535
Reviews: 1,760
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 256
Gots: 1,412 | FT: 25
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,535 | Reviews: 1,760
Photo of schusterbauer
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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

Photo of BitterBrian
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of a10t2
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of BlackAngus
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of macster
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with some burgundy hues under a thin tan head. Head quickly settles to a slick film which persists throughout the glass. The initial aroma is of assertive peat smoked malts, followed by faint notes of burnt caramel candy, dark wheat bread, raisins, black cherries and a touch of herbal hops. Carbonation is appropriately subtle resulting in a smooth, slightly oily and slick moutfeel. Just right for this style. Initial flavor leans toward the sweet side presenting burnt caramel, brown sugar, raisins and figs with a hint of chocolate. The hops and alcohol eventually emerge in the late palate and finish with a fairly crisp, dry bitterness and ethanol warmth. Kind of an "Amercanized" hoppy version of the style, reminiscent of old Bert Grants Scotch Ale, but a nice winter season beer.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle purchased from Breeze-Thru liquor in Milwaukee.

The best Scotch Ale I've had in recent memory, although I am not a frequent consumer of Scotch Ales (I drank a Belle Haven and a McEwan's recently and had some others at a recent festival). While I liked it, I didn't find Dirty Bastard very sessionable, which may have involved the ABV.

Appearance was a reddish-black, with a non-persistant tan head. Odor was of bourbon/caramel, which I liked. Flavor was also that of bourbon and caramel. I didn't feel that the bourbon flavor was overpowering and thought the aroma and flavor of the beer was quite pleasant.

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

Poured a slightly chunky, dark auburn color with a medium sized, light orange/tan head.

Smells like dark fruits, caramel, and a slight alocoholic aroma.

Taste is sickly sweet with a malty syrup, raisins, piney hops, and a slightly burnt caramel sweetness. Warm alcoholic burn similar from quads.

Well carbonated, quite thick and a bit syrupy.

Drinkability is slightly hampered from the syrup thickness and alcohol content, but nothing quad lovers couldn't easily handle.

Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle

Dirty Bastard poured clear mahogany. When held to the light you can see sediment floating throughout. Sitting on top of the body s a finger's worth of creamy beige head that sticks around. Looks good.

When I opened the bottle I immediately smelled scotch. When poured and held to my nose I smelled toasted grains up front. Followed by a sweetness of candied dark fruits. The toasted grains remain throughout with hints of the fruits, a hint of wood, and vanilla. There even seems to be a little mustiness.

Fairly complex beer. Up front I pick up a very mild toasted malt but it's quickly overtaken by a wave of roasted malts and caramel at mid-palate.The wave settles with a deep roastines and caramel flavor. An earthy quality follows all the big flavors in the finish. A slight lingering bitterness shows up just before the swallow and lingers for just a few seconds.

The mouthfeel accompanies the taste very well. It is a little on the heavy side of medium bodied. Nice and creamy like the way it should be.

Drinkability is good if you drink this how it should be drunk. It's a sipper in every sense of the word. That drops the drinkability just because of all the big dark flavors.

I'm drinking this on a cool night and I have to say it warms me up nicely. A very nice beer for the up coming cold weather. I will keep these on hand to keep this winter a little warmer. Dirty Basard seems to me like a perfect beer to sit around the fireplace and read a book while smoking a pipe. I would be doing exactly that right now if I had a fireplace and smoked a pipe.


Photo of rsyberg01
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

S - 12 oz bottle. Notch at lower left hand corner, july or august. assumingly 2006.

A - Pours a deep brown on the verge of black with deep red hues breaking through at the edges. Head is an inch and a half then to a patchy cap on the beer. Lacing sticks all over the edges in a broken up film.

S - Caramel is the first thing I picked up, slightly tangy as well with some fruit character, maybe raisins and something else. Slight hoppy oily scent there in the back, chocolate, sweet malty character as well. No alcohol scents present at all.

T - Roasted malts, raisins, malty sweetness, maybe some date and fig as well. Hop character is interesting because it is present through the whole tasting, its actually really nice. Dark chocolate, toasted caramel. Warming alcohol sinks through my chest, not harsh, actually really gentle. Really nice.

M - Creamy with a tannin like hit from the hop which makes for quite the experience.

D - The 50 ibu's in this beer help it by cutting through the weight of the beer which helps with the drinkability a lot. Otherwise one of these would knock you out.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep garnet with a brown center. About an inch of medium tan head doesn't leave any visible lacing. Lots bubbles in this one.

Smells sweet malt, chocolate, a bit of a smokey earthy scent in the background mingles with pine hops.

The flavor starts with the alcohol. Dark caramel, light chocolate, some raisin, and the piney hops giving it some bitterness at the end. Not quite sure about the bitterness, though.

Very carbonated, full body. A slight aclohol burn lingers for a second or two after swallowing, but no real aftertaste. The bitter end and the abv makes this only an average drinker for me.

Photo of adammills
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I owe this beer an apology. After a couple more years of brewing and tasting experience I am recanting my previously scathing review. I do find that this beer is a bit too much on the big end of the style as far as drinkability, I find other wee heavy's preferable in that way, but it is a big rich and daring interpretation of the style.

Photo of headhopper
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
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 SilentSabre
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time having anything from Founders. Thanks to Ding for sharing this with me.
It poured a very dark red mahogany colour, almost like wood varnish. Slightly off-white foamy head faded away in about 40 seconds, leaving nice, sticky lacing on the side of the glass. So far, it looks quite good. Smell is dominated by sweet malts and toffee. There is also a tiny bit of stewed fruit hiding very deeply in the background. A bit of alcohol is detectable as well.
Taste is dominated by sweet malt, with a tiny bit of hops hiding deep down. Then, moments after you swallow the sip, there is a hop bitterness that shows up. It's several seconds after you swallow, though. Quite strange. In fact, I subtracted half a point in the taste on account of this. I had originally placed it at 4.0, but as I sipped this, I felt that while better than average, it didn't quite deserve 4.0. Mouthfeel is very smooth and has a solid feel to it. Overall, I enjoyed this very much, even with its peculiar hop bitterness in such a malt dominated style. Thanks again, Ding.

Photo of Derek
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

WAY too much hops for a Scotch Ale. This is more like an American Strong Ale (such as Arrogant Bastard).

I'll just rate the beer (not to style).

A: Redish-brown with a little light-tan head; not much retention, but it leaves a little leg.

S: A fair bit of aroma. Piney hops, dark caramel, a little smoke, slight amount of fruity esters, a touch of spice & floral hoppyness, and a little peaty/earthyness.

T: Piney hops & alcohol are up front. Plenty of dark/burnt caramel through the middle (with a little spicy, dark raisin bread), prune and a touch of dark chocolate. Warming alcohol in the finish. The bitterness overpowers the syrupy sweetness. I could even see this as a Winter Warmer or Christmas brew... but definitely not a scotch.

Score's between a 3.5 and 4... I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

M: Full body is a little syrupy, with a slight acidity; carbonation is moderate.

D: Definitely not for the wee lads!

Photo of Naerhu
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brown body with white head doesnt last, but gives a very good lacing.
S - Great vanilla spice and ripe fruity aroma
T - Brown sugar, very malty, spicy molasses. Although slightly sweet at the start, the finish is bitter with no sweetness.
M - Fine but aggressive carbonation.
D - Delightful and complex

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

Ruby brown color. Nice lacing from the thin film that remains after the smallish head dissapears. Very full caramel flavor and taste. Slight burnt flavor in the finishing taste which gives it a slight bitterness at first that builds as you drink more of the beer. Very chewy and full mouthfeel. My first Founders beer and it did not dissapoint. Read the description for a scotch ale/wee heavy and this is it to a tee. Love the description on the bottle too. Overall a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of ndekke39
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 12 oz. bottle of this with my big brother. Our reading of the bottling date is May 2006. Poured golden brown with a very thin, off-white head. Aromas of fruity white wine that give way to a burnt caramel. I'm really enjoying these notes of crisp fruitiness that I'm finding in these dark Scotch Ales. Taste begins with a bite from the alcohol. Flavors of nicely toasted malt. Good balance from a light hoppiness in the center of the tongue. Clean, dark finish. Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy (I mean this as a compliment; I like this style thicker) with light carbonation. Like a very thin caramel. Very good drinkability, although this style will sneak up on you if you're not careful. Contrary to my brother's analysis, I prefer Founder's to McEwan's, although both are excellent beers. Reminds me why this style is one of my favorites.

Photo of MDekker
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle with my brother in a head-to-head competition with McEwan's Scotch Ale. McEwan's won by a little bit. Onward:

Deciphering Founders' cryptic dating system, it seems that this was bottled in May. Poured into a regular wine glass, it came out reddish brown color with a little head. The aroma was sweet, slightly fruity and alcoholic. The taste was, again, malty and sweet, with a notable bitter finish and aftertaste. The alcohol here was apparent in the burn at the end. Overall, it felt smooth. Mostly, it was good, but felt potent, and I couldn't pack in much more than a bottle of this.

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

Man this is so dark that if someone told me it was a stout and I didn't scrutinize the beer, I would believe them. Head is about half a finger thick. Nose is mostly sweet caramel, toffee, a bit of smoke. Taste is much the same but i get a strange wheatiness that reminds me of a slice of whole wheat bread in the start and overwhelmingly in the finish. I really like it and find it fascinating. Oh yeah, there's also a bit of milk chocolate as well. Mouth is like velvet smeared with vaseline. Smooth smooth and smooth. I really liked this beer. I would love to buy it over and over. It isn't the best of the style I've had but it really does taste good.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is brown with a reddish tint and a short tan head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The robust smell is of vanilla, dark chocolate, caramelized malts and a hint of dark fruits.

T: There’s an initial burst of sweetness when you first taste it. Then you get the taste of the malt, dark chocolate, vanilla & fruit, which quickly followed by a short warmth of alcohol.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish leaves just a bit of stickiness.

D: This one’s very tasty and the type of beer that makes you crave the next sip. The only thing keeping me from giving this beer a 5 in this category is that it’s kind of filling; however it’s an excellent representation of the style.

Photo of nortmand
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours ruby red with a tan head that lasts throughout the beer.

Citrus hops dominate the nose. A hint of cinnamon and smoky chocolate. Nicely hopped for a scotch ale.

Slightly sweet up front, it's all hops from there on out. Beautiful, refreshing hops.

Medium bodied and very drinkable. Is it fair to judge this against other scotch ales? No. Am I complaining? No.

Photo of Phatz
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an amber caramel color with hints of orange and a decent head.

Smell: Dark fruit, caramel malts and brown sugar.

Taste: A bit of tart cherries, green apple plumb and brown sugar. Then toasty caramel malt molasses and a shot of scotch whiskey dumped in there.

This one I must get more of!

Mouthfeel: Extremely thick and sticky, very chewy, like a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy should be.

Drinkability: I love this style of beer but if you tried to session this your gut may explode =)

Hope this is helpful.

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 6,535 ratings.