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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,774 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,774
Hads: 6,949
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 289
Gots: 1,720 | 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: 1,774 | Hads: 6,949
Photo of KomodoDragon
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color. Real quiet; slight head.

The obligatory malts are present upfront along with alcohol warmth, and a bitter finish accompanied by taste of figs and dates

Well built and solid entry in the scotch ale space albeit a bit americanized with hops

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/30/15

Pours a dark red, slightly amber-brown color, with a creamy beige foam head. Smells malty like caramel and butterscotch, with a little smoke and light fruit aromas. Tastes slightly fruity, almost like watermelon, with a caramely sweet butterscotch malty taste, light smoke, and a light herbal, piney hop finish. Feels smooth with light-medium body. Overall a delicious and malty scotch ale.

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Photo of dee4maine
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

great example of the wee heavy style. right amount of scotch on the nose and the palate. well balanced. easy drinking on a chilly autumn evening. my go to to start change of season from summer into colder months. especially before transitioning to Backwoods bastard in winter!!!

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Photo of ravenskana
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A personal favorite of mine and one that got me looking for better beers. Strong and sweet, dark and malty. I compare all other Scotch Ales to this. So happy this is available year round from Founders.

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

The overall feel of a heavy brew going down like this bastard is refreshing; knowing that your body will be healthy after the nutrient content is absorbed makes it gratifyingly desirable.
The dirt flavor of the peat is overcome with the sweet malts and balanced with the reassuring hopfullness; leaving me with the quest for another pint to re-assure myself. Yes it's very good and deserves far better than a score of 90...

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Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Founders, but Scotch Ales/Wee Heavy beers are generally not my thing. I say this to account for my not having reviewed this beer before now. What is the impetus for today's review? They finally listened to me and CANned the Dirty Bastard! The excitement of adding this beer to The CANQuest (tm) is immeasurable! Hell, I might follow this up with a Backwoods Bastard just because.

From the CAN: "Brewed for us."; "So good it's almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a bright hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain't for the wee lads."; "Drink responsibly. They don't serve Founders in the clink."; "Enjoy fresh. Keep refrigerated."; "Crack it. Pour it. Love it."

The Crack! revealed an appropriately filled craft CAN, right to the brim and producing a squirt! I performed an inverted Glug since it was extremely fresh (dtd 11/05/15) and this netted two fingers of pillowy, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retnetion that left beautiful lacing in its wake. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and garnet highlights. Gorgeous! Nose was really malty sweet, almost fruity. Hmmm. Mouthfeel was full and silky smooth. I stand by what I said about the nose - the taste had a mixed berry-like flavor, which was both unexpected and very welcome since I was expecting a malt bomb. Actually, this rendered it kind of dangerous at 8.5% since it was half gone before I realized it and now I was half gone! Phew. Drink at your own risk. Finish was semi-sweet, not full-on sweet as I was so afraid that it might be.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature into a pint glass. Hoping to enjoy yet another great Founders beer.

Appearance - very aggressive pour yielded a dark ruby coloured beer with two fingers of ivory coloured head. The head is also frothy with plenty of bubbles contained in the whipped goodness. Clear with minimal carbonation.

Smell - caramel and butterscotch, a slight smoked aspect and some earthy peat notes. There's also a small element of plums and cherries mixed in.

Taste - caramel and molasses, this is a malt heavy beer. Smoked goodness is there but only in passing. Bitterness is forthright compared to many scotch ales.

Mouthfeel - smooth with decent carbonation and a frothy whipped characteristic that is unique to this scotch ale. Booze is noticeable but doesn't really work it's way into the mouthfeel which is good.

Overall - very solid beer for the style, rich, decadent, malty with just enough going on be interesting, a little mysterious and just another damn well crafted beer. The more I try from Founders, the more I truly realize that they don't make mediocre beers, even their less enjoyable beers are very good and their best beers are phenomenal. As a result, I'm looking g forward to enjoying the remainder of this 4 pack.

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Photo of Chandango
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, it came out a bit darker and thicker than expected, but then, I haven't got much experience with scotch ales. Mahogany colored with very little head that just barely clings on throughout. Expectations are raised with the first whiff, which was filled with roasted malts, caramel, and a bit of citrus and dark fruits in the background. And it tastes just like it smells, starting off with rich roasted malts, some caramel sweetness that quickly gives way to a hoppy bitterness, with notes of citrus and those dark fruits again. It feels full, carbonated and a bit sticky, and is overall delicious and well balanced. Thanks for reading!

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

Look: Dark cloudy amber; Not much head

Smell: Yeasty bread, alcohol;

Taste: Bourbon-esque booze and sweetness upfront: Some bitterness--perhaps more
coffee-like as opposed to citrus--in the close.

Feel: Full mouthfeel: somewhat creamy

Overall: Certainly a big beer at 8.5%; As someone who's not much of a whiskey
fan, I wasn't enthralled with the hard liquor note being so prevalent in the foreground.
Sustained bitterness at the close also a little overwhelming. An interesting pour, but
prefer Bellhaven's Wee hands-down.

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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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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,774 ratings.