Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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1,718 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,718
Hads: 6,683
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 265
Gots: 1,532 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,718 | Hads: 6,683
Photo of ajchocholousek
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

medium pour yields a 3/4 finger tan, slightly rocky head, that dissipated quite quickly, leaving some big bubbles behind and a bit of a creamy ring around the edges. Pours a mostly opaque ruby-cola color.

Big notes of sweet, dark-caramelly malt and some dark fruit - fig, raisin, etc. Fairly boozy.

A thick, full mouthfeel yields an exploding combination of dark, chewy, caramelly malt, dark fruit, a bit of butterscotch, a bit of roasty smoke and plenty...i mean plenty...of booze. I get a bit of citrus at the end too - perhaps some hops coming through? Mostly the hops are non-prevalent. The big malt notes dominate here, and it is surprisingly less complex than the nose might lead on, but really intense in its malt character.

Overall, this is a really nice beer. Looking forward to sipping one on a cold Duluth winter evening. Really love the intensity of flavor here, even if it's a bit one-dimensional. The smoke and faint hint of citrus really do add, though, and make it one of the better scotch ales (not a huge fan of the style, generally), I've had.


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Photo of Godfatherbob
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very solid beer. Admittedly my first scotch, but I can see where the style gets its name from! It is very subtle, but the after taste and feel are definitively reminiscent of whiskey.

Smell is fantastic. Full of subtleties, very malty and sugary but has so many distinct notes--coffee, vanilla, dried fruit, and a slight citrus.

Taste is very good, but not quite as sophisticated as the smell would have one believe. The maltiness is a bit overwhelming and masks some of the complexity. Of course I'm being hyper critical, and what you're going to notice is a delicious blend of caramel and earthy fruits.

Overall this is a medium-heavy beer with lots of flavor and much more alcohol than its feel would have you believe. Prepare for a complex taste and a fleeting sense that you're somehow in some way drinking whiskey. A- for sure.

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Photo of Caj1
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a great deep copper brown that turns ruby when held to light. Clear and has mild carbonation. A finger of tan head that doesn't last too long and has almost zero lacing.

Smells very sweet with loads of malty caramel and butterscotch. I also detect hints of toast and it has that bready ale smell that smacks of malted barley. Hops are an afterthought. Also a whiff of alcohol.

First off, MORE CARAMEL! Nutty flavors balance on the palate and there is also a nice almost toast or coffee-like taste as if this was roasted grain. A little bit of bitterness under the malt and also a tiny bit of spice like maybe some cloves or cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is first sticky and remains heavy, almost like bread in a bottle. Alcohol dries the palate some but it really only helps cancel out the oily and sticky textures. This finishes warm and with a nice bite.

This is very complex and is a lot more than the sum of its parts. It strikes an incredible balance between heavy porter qualities and lighter ale body and really feels more like a cold wearher drink. Great beer, however, and one I intend to get again. I will wait until fall before I grab another six pack, though. For now it's pale ales and pilseners for me. But please don't get me wrong. This is great stuff.

To good health and good beer.

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

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark brown caramel color.

Overall: Has so many tastes of sweet malts, caramel, molasses, barley, hints of coffee and vanilla bean, raisin, slight citrus, clove, oak, and a earthy hop spiciness. A phenomenal Scotch Ale with a unique taste of a barley wine and beer. Must Try!

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep blood red molasses color with one finger of creamy light tan head.

S: Molasses, caramel, sweet malts, coffee, vanilla, light citrus, dark fruits, barely, oak, subtle smokiness, bourbon???, a unique earthiness. Wow there is a lot of good things going on in this beer.

T: Sweet malts, caramel, molasses, barley, hints of coffee and vanilla bean, raisin, slight citrus, clove, oak, and a earthy hop spiciness.

M: Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a nice slight alcohol burn on the finish.

O: An incredible Scotch Ale. Founders did a great job on this one. An absolute must try. This is a frequent flier in my year-round rotation.

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Photo of twosheds
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark caramel in color

Smells malty with caramel and molasses

Very malty with a dry nutty finish. Little rough around the edges with a bit of an alcohol tinge. I mean that in a good way.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a little dark red when held up to the light. Pours a one finger tan head that dissipates quickly. Smells sweet, malty, Carmel smell. Taste of nut, malt, Carmel, with a hop coming in the end to say hello. A definite scotch boozy presence. A very smooth beer with a medium to heavy body. I'm not big on the Scotch Ales, but I like this one.

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Photo of Tom_Banjo
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle purchased from a local deli and poured into a stemmed Spiegelau Pilsner glass. I'm an avid Scotch drinker and, given all the high ratings , thought I would like this way more than I did. Thought it was OK. Too syrupy sweet for me and could use more carbonation, in my opinion. Could maybe see ordering in a bar occasionally as a change of pace, but definitely not a beer I will be drinking consistently.

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Photo of Prasm
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Medium expressive nose of caramel and coffee, creamy mouth-feel, caramel up front with a little bitterness in the back-end which balances this out nicely. This is my current daily drinker, readily available at $9 per 6.

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Photo of Karma_is_flawed
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - Dark, foamy head that is also brown in color; small volume of bubbles going all the time.
Smell - Sweet, crisp, almond
Taste - Strong aftertaste, reminds me of a cigar;
Feel - Light for this style, smooth, but nothing special.
Overall - A little strong on the back-end, a very good beer but it'll take me forever to finish this first bottle.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look-dark but clear amber in color, almost no head, but there are bubbles visible in the beer itself.
Smell-English toffee, Dates, clover honey.
Taste- similar to smell, toffee flavor upfront, without being particularly sweet, followed by dates,figs, honey, and a hint of booze.
Feel-Carbonation is very light, the beer is heavy but not quite viscous like other's of the style.
Overall- Great beer, warming, satisfying and tasty but doesn't weigh you down the way you other wee heavy's tend to. Definitely recommend trying it.

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Photo of 1Bonehed
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LOOK: Poured into 25oz mug down side finishing with center pour. Left roughly a finger of thick frothy head with a beautiful light tan color which dissipated quickly. Body was heavy in appearance with a dark mahogany & slightly amber color that light could barely penetrate.

SMELL: Complex, lots of smells accompany this beer. Sweet & malty aroma. Roasted coffee/chocolate & somewhat smokey. Had a bit of a raisin/fruitiness to it that seemed to blend together with an alcohol smell.

TASTE: A bit sweeter than it smelled. Very malty with a strong fruitiness to it that seemed to me to be almost exclusively a strong raisin flavor on the back of the palate. The sweetness was up front & the fruitiness kinda blended with the alcohol. Impressed with how the alcohol flavor worked with the other flavors. A nice but slight bitterness accompanied the finish for a nice balance. I really enjoyed this beer & it has spurred my curiosity to delve further into Scottish Style Ales.

FEEL: Nice almost syrupy/heaviness to this beer. The carbonation was enough to balance out the heaviness of it without making it hard. I really enjoyed every aspect of this beer & the mouth feel perfectly matched the flavor profile. Very impressed.

OVERALL: First Scotch Style Ale I've ever rated, but I assure you, it won't be the last. If this is what Scottish Style Ale is supposed to taste like, I'm all in beecause this particular beer was great. Never tasted a beer quite like this, quite an eye opener.

I hope you enjoyed the review...CHEERS

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 5/19/15 into pint glass. Pours a rich, cloudy molasses amber-brown, with a thin tan head. Initial impression is of dark, sweet caramel-molasses maltiness, with smoky scotch overtones. Very little bitterness. Smooth and quite easy to drink, for 8.5%. Slight residual bitterness, but that just encourages you to take the next sweet sip. One of the very best offerings from Founders, which is one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.61/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In fitting companionship to the drug-addled Ol' Dirty Bastard for whom this beer might well be named, Founders' Dirty Bastard would easily make a beer addict out of me if I weren't damn near close to one already.

A sweet, lightly wooded, and piney smell at first with remarkably flavorful yet constrained use of hops, Dirty also works in a hint of molasses and caramel from the large variety of malts thrown into the mix and a waft of a good smokey whiskey with barely a hint of vanilla. There's a surprising amount of diversity in the nose and the more I smell it, the more I discover. Is that citrus or strawberry that gives this beer its lightly fruity nose? Whatever it is, it's so mesmerizing, I could smell it all day - but I won't because that's only part of the fun.

The first taste is malt heaven, with far less emphasis of the hoppy flavor coming through overtly, but rather as a balance that tempers what might otherwise be too syrupy and rich. But this bastard of a beer is just right. Even the 50 IBUs it claims seem a bit of a stretch. I can only really get a hint of bitterness as the thin but frothy head folds over my tongue like a wool blanket, and it's mostly manifested in the taste of resin, wood, and musk.

It's strong, rich, and a bit on the pricier side, so this isn't a beer I'd drink all day, but one I could enjoy drinking almost any day.

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Photo of gmossii
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

If you have not had a Scottish Ale, then you have not been living. Adding rye to the mix adds a new flavor dynamic. It is also a nice bridge for you hops heads out there who think life begins and ends with IPA's. This is my favorite entry in this category to date. It has a nice mix between bitter and mellow sweet. It is also surprisingly smooth for something that is 8.5 APV, plus it is reasonably priced. Well worth the $10 entry price and even better on tap.

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Photo of MizzouBrew
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the only scotch ale I've had to date, so I may be biased, but WOW! Poured a deep rich opaque reddish brown and tasted like liquid candy to this scotch lover. Meant to be sipped slowly and savored.

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

Bottled 10 months ago (7/13/2014).

Pours to a dark beige head and hazy brown color. Aroma is malty with brown sugar, molasses, whiskey barrels, vanilla and aged hops. Flavor is very much a rich, sweet malt bomb with a earthy woody finish much like a good single malt Scotch. Mouthfeel is medium heavy. Overall a very satisfying malt oriented brew.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pub pint. Had a go round with this bastard a few times, from the tap at pub, to a plastic cup at Comerica Park. Fantastic in any setting. Aroma is malty, maple, toffee, vanilla goodness which translates to a malty, plum/raisin bread, bourbon, smoky flavor with roasted coffee/chocolate undertones. This bastard is dark, earthy, and smooth. Silkier than expected, full.

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

Look: dark ruby brown
Smell: heavy, chocolate/espresso, heavier fruits, malty
Taste: intense woody, smokey, chocolate/espresso, heavy malt flavor
Aftertaste: stays with you, this will definitely put hair on your chest!
Overall: not a fan of beers like this but had to try it. really intense flavors, if you're into heavy malted beers this is definitely worth the try

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Photo of stompilator
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Poured a very dark, coppery, opaque red. Dark, frothy head.

S - Caramel and tons of grain.Peat and smoke.

T - Very smoky and almost crunchy malt notes that fade into a caramelly, buttery sweetness, with noticeable alcohol bite in between. Hops come in a little near the end to provide contrast to the super-sweet malts.

M - Medium-full body, with pretty light carbonation.

O - My exposures to scotch ales are few, but the fantastic complexity in the malts of this is undeniable.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I tried this beer a few months back, gave it a more non favorable review. Tried it again today just for shits and giggles and boy was I wrong... oh my how our tastes change lol. Pours a nice dark dark amber colour with a generous tan, medium brown head. Minimal lacing. Smells of oak maybe light hints of bourbon. Taste is waaay better than last time... nice even bodied mix of light scotch and light boozy flavour that lingers for a bit. Not heavy at all nice and smooth baby. Nice light ale after taste. Das ist güt ya?!

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

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark ruby with only a thin skirt of off-white lacing on top. It dissipates quickly into a spotty lacing. Smells of roasted malts, molasses, maple syrup, caramel, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is quite thick and syrupy. I was expecting more flavor up front, but this beer is actually quite subtle and elegant in its delivery. Toasty malt, vanilla, dark fruit, and toffee/chocolate are the main flavors I get. Sweet & sticky finish with roasty notes on the aftertaste.

Overall, very enjoyable. I was expecting this beer to be a malt & syrup bomb, but it actually surprised me, in a good way. I might even be inclined to call this one sessionable, in the sense of having 3 or so over the course of a couple hours. Definitely better as it warms up, but most of these bigger beers are, in my opinion. Drink this one fresh, if you ask me. I don't really see how cellaring could make this particular beer any better.

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Photo of SpanishUnicorn
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid beer. Carmel and toffee come through strong in the smell and taste. Smooth going down. Malt heavy with a bitter aftertaste. Poured from a bottle, would like to try to tap.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L (4.25) - Nice dark color and dark tan head. Not overly fluffy, but enough.
S (4) - Not a lot of aroma here, but a little bit of malt. A little yeasty too.
T (3.75) - Not of a lot of taste here. I mean, it's 'ok' but nothing great. I like this style a lot, and there's a lot of room for improvement here.
F (3.75) - Decent enough mouthfeel. Not very heavily carbonated, or anything else.
O (3.75) - This beer is alright. I'd drink it again, but probably not buy again. A lot of Founders beers are like this for me. There's much better options out there.

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Photo of Voonder
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown with ruby notes, small light brown head, great retention. Smell - very malty, some toffee, burnt caramel, hint of dark fruits. Taste - rasiny and malty upfront, then chocolate and caramel followed by hoppy bitter finish. Mouthfeel - alcohol is well present, though it's smooth, slightly off balance. Complex, strong this beer has some character. Very solid brew from Founders!

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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,718 ratings.