Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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1,696 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,696
Hads: 6,582
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.45%
Wants: 259
Gots: 1,437 | FT: 24
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
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Reviews: 1,696 | Hads: 6,582
Photo of allengarvin
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark but clear ruby red color with a small light-tan head. Rather fruity aroma, like black cherries, along with a sweet maltiness. Strong, sticky malt sweetness up front, with a component of caramelized fruit. Hops are moderate but with the strong malt remain mostly in the background. A touch of warming, peppery alcohol can be detected around the finish. Big bodied though with medium-low carbonation.

A dead-on American interpretation of the style. (454 characters)

Photo of bearrunner44
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Murky, chocolate-brown overall color with shades of burnt orange. Minimal tan head.

Smell- Sweet, candy-like malt aromas. In the back, estery alcohol merges with slight hop scents to create a somewhat fruity aroma. A pleasantly sweet overall smell.

Taste- Heavy mouthfeel, very viscous. The alcohol is recognizable up front, but the toffee-like malt provides most of the flavor. A slight, wheat-like dryness cuts off the sweetness in the finish.

Verdict- Auch, laddie! Okay, the label is pretty cheesy, with the caricature of a Scotsman on it and the ScotchTalk ("It ain't fer the wee lads...") on the neck, but I like this beer. It's a tasty, hefty brew. (676 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark red wine to coffee color, glows sunny crimson along the bottom edge. Coffee-stained peachy head; volatile with poor retention.

Smell: Dark malts, vodka-like alcohol, and some deep, slightly obscured estery hops. Sweetness of brown sugar or molasses.

Taste: Lots of coffee, woody and floral hops, quite nicely bittered, actually. Toasty flavors. Not as buttery or peaty as I'd expect from a Scotch ale... a unique take on the style. Alcohol sweetness is very present, like dark rum.

Mouthfeel: Cloying at times. Not full-bodied enough to warrant the stickiness - it should be a little more crisp or else a little less light.

Drinkability: Not my favorite Scotch ale, but pretty drinkable. I'd rather have a Belhaven. (744 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown/ dark mahogony with very little head that has no lacing. It tries but to no avail.

Very malty with some smoke. Rich malty aromas. Lots of caramel as well. Very rich. Not much in way of hops.

Rich flavors as well. Very toasty. Tons of caramel. Great taste.

Nice, full bodied beer with great complexity and flavor. Alcohol is well subdued as well. (367 characters)

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

Poured from 12oz bottle. Dark reddish-brown, with sticky spit-like foam on top.

Smelled pretty good, easy to smell the malt. The taste was better than I expected, not as overpowering as Robert the Bruce or Orkney Skullsplitter. Definitely I could taste the alcohol though.

Probably my favorite scotch ale so far. But not even close to my favorite style of beer... (369 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty opaque redness with little bits floating in it and with a nice tan head.

Very rich, sweet and sour malt with a nice zing of alcohol yeast. Lots of fruit, spice, and raw, burning molasses.

A big bang of all them nose flavors only on my tounge. Creamy coffee, molasses, big zippy alcohol yeast. Is this some kind of Belgian scotch ale? It's a perfect blend of both. It's a rush of all sorts of flavors and it's all pleasant.

Another wonderful beer from the folks at Founders. (490 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Out of the bottle it's a bubbly, very dark reddish brown with a thin, quick dissipating off-white head.

Smell: At my first sniff, I'm blown away. Fruits, caramal, molasses, a little bit of a roasted/burnt aroma, and much more. Highly complex, subtle, yet still balanced. An amazing sniffer.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Instantly rich, full-bodied and complex. The malts are the obvious focus, and are vast in flavor, complex, and strong, but balanced out by a nice bit of hop bitterness. A tiny bit of a tart tinge right before it goes down the throat. Finishes clean, a little sweet, and smooth. Full-bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: Now this is what I call a killer wee heavy. This one is amazing, I wish we could this locally here. But, alas, we can't, but next time we make it up to Michigan we'll definitly have to get more. Highly recommended.

Glass: St. Bernardus oversized brandy snifter
Music: "Caukazoid Germ" by Sixtoo (948 characters)

Photo of Maestro
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a bubbly brown with a thin, sparse head that leaves a good bit of lacing. The nose has lots of biscuit and toast aromas along with some date and raisin notes. It tastes great! There is a nice balance of bread, chocolate and fruit with the first taste. The carbonation is quite crisp, but not overwhelming. The mouthfeel is very smooth and the alcohol is hardly noticeable. This beer is highly drinkable. I will definitely have another when the opportunity arises. Another great beer from Founders. (513 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sunset:

I don't know what happened today - I found all my beers to be way too sweet at Sunset. This was no exception. I admit this beer popped by Wee Heavy cherry, and it popped it with some cherries of its own. Definitely some of those pitted wonders in this one. Also some caramel sweetness.

I think my palate was overwhelmed by the EKU i had just had, but this was definitely more subtle. The alcohol, I felt, was a bit too apparent, especially as it is only 8.3%.

A strong sense of black bittersweet licorice and uncultured chocolate. Low to mid carbonation. No head, no lacing.

Anyway, I digress. It's an ok beer, nothing to write home about. I, however, look forward to many more Wee Heavies in my future. (735 characters)

Photo of maddamish
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My thanks to my co-worker Rob M for scoring this beauty for me.

Appearance: Small head that laces nicely. Clear copper in color.

Smell: "Wow" was the first thing that came out of my mouth. Notes of caramel, Cherry, Sugar and Malt. The aroma coming off of this beer is complex and pleasant. One of the better smelling beers I have had.

Taste: caramel, cherry and malt

Drinkability/Notes: II was very impressed with this brew. I wasn't expecting much and got the world. Should have known better considering it is a Founders beer. (532 characters)

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Founders Dirty Bastard pours out a dark brown color with an inch of tan head. Very sweet butterscotch aroma. Caramel and fruit flavor with some bubblegum. Overly sweet. A little sour. Some woodchip flavor comes in at the finish and makes the beer a little smoky. Mouthfeel is full. Drinkability suffers a little from the sweetness. This is a decent beer, but I don't really like the bubblegum flavor. (417 characters)

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

This beer is super carbonated; it starts to foam as soon as I pop the cap. The head on this is easily three-fingers thick and is a light amber-brown color. The beer is a deep amber color that shows a murky ruby-orange color when held up to the light. The aroma is pretty darn pronounced with strong notes of maraschino cherry, caramel, sweet toffee and a bit of toasty malt notes at the end. The aroma definitely has a sharp sweetness to it. As the beer warms up it picks up a bit of subtle phenolic smokiness and maybe even a hint of some musty-type character.

The beer is quite full on the palate, but the high carbonation makes it seem a bit lighter than it actually is. A couple of swirls later, I have released the excess carbonation, let's see what the beer is like now. The beer is fairly sweet, but not as much as the aroma suggested; it is a mix of caramel and toffee sweetness. There is a bit of that cherry sweetness, but it is much more subdued than the nose. The finish has notes of roast malt, a hint of coffee and a dry toasty note; plus it also has a hint of alcohol to it. There is not much in the way of perceptible hop notes here; the malt certainly dominates. This beer is definitely a sipping beer.

I was a bit worried, because of the high carbonation, that the beer was infected, but I don't get any of that in the taste. As the beer warms up a bit I get a note reminiscent of rum in the finish (both a bit of alcohol heat and the fermented/ distilled molasses flavor). This is quit a tasty beer and, unlike some of their other high octane offerings, this one has a nice balance to it, despite being a malt bomb. (1,640 characters)

Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark garnet body. Initially had a one finger light tan head. Finished as a thin layer.

Mainly a sweet caramel smell which blends nicely with a good dose of alcohol. Some raisin sweetness rounds it out. Taste definately has its sweet side but has a toasted nuttiness as well. Finishes with some tea characteristics. Alcohol is well hidden in the flavor. Has a touch of bitterness in the end.

Nice smooth full body, but not much carbonation. Overall a nice aroma and flavor with a smooth mouthfeel make this a drinkable brew. (529 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This bottle was provided by a friend and co-worker for my birthday.

Pours to a dark, nutty brown witha ruby hue and a thin, fine, off-white head. Has minimal carbonation, and subsequently the head doesn't last long, though this is right on for a scotch ale.

The smell is heavy on the caramelized malt aromas with a healthy bit of a raisin and fig. The aroma is quite powerful. I can smell the beer 2 feet away as well as I can with my nose buried in the glass.

The taste is intensely sweet with plenty of slightly roasty caramel flavors. Has a touch of smoke in the finish. Not too particularly hoppy at all, though I think I might detect a bit of a bite from some spicy hops, though it could be the alcohol. Of course, the raisin and fig flavors are present in full force as well, which I am not too particularly fond of in such quantity. Very earthy and, well... a dirty malt profile.

The mouthfeel is very dry with a nice bite in the finish. Body is fairly full and coats the mouth well. I couldn't (or wouldn't want to) manage to drink more than one of these in a night, or at all. Unfortunately this one's kind of a miss from Founders, uncharacteristicly of their other beers that I've had the pleasure of trying. (1,231 characters)

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

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: This beer has a great coppery amber coloration. The head was a nice strawberry blonde rising about an inch and retreating into a very thin shean on the beer.

Smell: The beer has a very fruity woody sweetly spicy smell.

Taste: This beer has a very fruity combination cherries and apricot maybe. Hell I dont know the fruityness taste good. Strong malty goodness is the mainstay with a hop backbone that prevents cloyingly sweet nastyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is medium to full bodied. Has a very smooth chewy mouthfeel. (597 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice tawny color with no real head, just a loose mass of swirling bubbles. Agitating the beer and swirling it brings a thin tan head up for a few moments.

Smell: A bit of caramel and some saltiness along with molasses.

Taste: Roasty and slightly tart. The beer is a bit puckering from the tart roasted flavors and as it warms up the roasty character shows up even more. Over ripe red fruits with burnt chocolate, apple, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Some creaminess with a sticky, syrupy, medium to full body.

Drinkability: This beer is tasty but it seems to have an identity crisis. It is a porter ina scotch ale bottle. (639 characters)

Photo of Smittysguinness
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am a big fan of this beer.

It poured a deep red hue, with a thin off-white head that disappeared quickly, and I thought it'd last a little longer.

I smelled tons of sweetness, like molasses, with a little alcohol at the end.

Ahhh...the taste was wonderful. Sweet molasses right off, with dried (and thus sweet) fruit like currants or maybe raisins. Then, and I love this about Scottish Ales, came that smoky flavor. It reminds me of what the peat fires smell like in Ireland where my wife and I honeymooned. scotch. Hmm....

Thick and creamy mouthfeel, like Rogue Dead Guy. I'd have to be in the mood to drink a bunch of these in a row, but I will make sure there are a few in my beer fridge at all times. (733 characters)

Photo of FirstMan
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Julio's in Westboro on my way home from work this evening. Man was I happy to see that they carried Founders. No breakfast stout, though, sadly. Anyhoo - glad they had this.

Pours a deep dark reddish hue. Originally a nice head was on there but after a few minutes there's not a trace of foam anywhere along the top. That's surprising. Spot on coloring, but the lack of head knocks the appearance down a notch.

Nose, however, brings it right back up. Sweet molasses, toasty bread, raisin, and very slight smoky peat. There's a hint of alcohol in there too that makes me feel warm already.

Big smooth and creamy mouthfeel - just excellent. Sweet, malty breaddish taste at the beginning tempered by the tangue of alchohol lacing throughout. Touches of coffee and brown sugar. After just a second a dark smoky character settles in like the back-room of some underground pub. Hooo boy this is a fantastic Scotch ale. Curse me kilt that I only bought two bottles!!!

This is one of the best American Scotch ales I've had. Just fantastic. (1,061 characters)

Photo of Domingo
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow - this brew is tasty, but packs a pretty big kick!
Looks like you're pouring a foamy maple syrup. It's thick and brown/red but has a nice froth.
Smell is very sweet. Definitely a lot of dried fruits but with an alcohol wallop mixed in.
Lots of dried fruit flavors mixed with hazelnut, vanilla, and maybe even a little cherry flavor. Very sweet, but not overbearing. The finish is very alcoholic. This would make a great brew for cold weather.
Mouthfeel is solid and the head has staying power.
Because of the alcoholic kick I'd have to say that I couldn't handle more than one or maybe two of these.
The flavor is amazing, but it's just something I couldn't drink a lot of.

EDIT: I think I reviewed this as a BA neophyte as I've really grown attached to it in recent years. I find myself getting it whenever I can either trade or travel for it. If you like the style, this is on par with Old Chub. (903 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tiny rings of lace above an almost impenetrable ruby murk.

Fudgey malts reign surpreme on the nose, mixed in with a malty presence of raisins, cinnamon, watermelon, with booze in the background. A surprising hop prescence for the style.

This beer is surprisingly barleywine-like, and seems a little too much like a generic "Founders" beer - hoppy, boozy, and generally big. I'm not noticing the huge beefy malt profile I expected with the style, nor the inherent smoky, peaty, earthy tastes that most scotch ales have. Quite akin to FFF's take on the style.

Very bock-like mouthfeel that goes down smooth but doesn't make for the most drinkable of beers. This one seems like a stylistic experiment gone awry.

Best name ever though, it should be said! (762 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown in my glass. Moderate head that vanishes quickly. Not a ton of aroma, some carmel notes there though. Taste is earthy and smoky, a nice blend. Nice body, lightly carbonated enough, but not overpowering. This is a pretty good representation of the style. Not great, but pretty good. (301 characters)

Photo of gotbeer
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- The beer pours a dark mahogany brown with some red shining though. Very light head that dissapates quickly, and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass.

S- Rum, brown bread, and raisens

T- This beer has a huge taste and lots of complexity. Just like the smell there is rum, brown bread, fruit like raisens and figs, and some warming alcohol.

M- A little chewy in a good way. Satisfying.

D- I could definitely drink more than one of these

Overall a very good wee heavy. Tons of flavors and complexity. I have to wonder why I haven't bought more Founders brews in the past when I have had the chance. I won't pass them up in the future after this one. (667 characters)

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brewery just blows me away with every beer I try from them. A very heavy beer, almost porter-like. Very chewy, like a piece of moist beef jerky. Deep scarlet and blood brown tone. Great lacing, head fizzled quickly though. Is it supposed to do that?

S&T When I popped the topped I felt like I was at a campfire, very smoky, birch bark dissipation. Generally when a "fruity" aspect is brought in to the equation you're talking citrus, hot with this one. Black cherries all the way

Alcohol is nicely disguised, but it's definitely there. Beer is so good it could turn in to one of those "session" beer that not supposed to be a session beer.

Awesome. (663 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at one of the several bars a frequent not too long ago. I believe they've replaced it with something different since then.

It pours a very deep brownish-black color with a nice sized tan head. When held to the light, blood-red shades sneak through the bottom of the glass. Leaves nice lacings.

The nose is quite sweet and malty. I also smell raisins and some over-ripe fruits.

The taste is heavy and sweet. The strong malty presence almost consumes the taste at first, with hints of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The more I think about it, I seem to notice a nice little hop bitterness in the aftertaste, but maybe thats all in my head.

The mouthfeel is heavy-bodied, but not quite as heavy as their Russian Imperial Stout. It goes down smooth and is a little warm at 8.3%, which I gladly welcome. The drinkability is fine for maybe a couple of these, but I probably wouldnt want to drink them all night. (942 characters)

Photo of macpapi
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always been intrigued by this beer. Have heard mixed reviews of it, but finaly have gotten around to trying it myself.

Pours a dark brown, murky color with a slight tannish head. It is really too dark to see any bubble action in the glass. Pretty nice lacing.

Smells very nice. There is a strong roasted malt presence. This initial aroma is followed by sweet caramel and toffee hints. Overall, very sweet full and pleasant.

Tastes bold and flavorful. Roasted malt, with a slight bitterness. Caramel and toffee sweetness is also nice. It is sharp and substantial on the tongue. While there is not a ton of bitterness, what's there makes it substantial. Alcohol is noticeable, but not in any detrimental way.

Overall, this is a very nice Scotch Ale. The high abv is certainly noted, but I think on the whole it gives the beer a very good sipping quality. This is not a brew to drink all night, but a couple suffice nicely. (937 characters)

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,696 ratings.