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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,380 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,380
Reviews: 1,606
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 177
Gots: 628 | FT: 22
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:
Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-03-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,380 | Reviews: 1,606 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dirkchivers


4.63/5  rDev +14.6%

12 oz bottle. RI Beervana spoils, so its a few months old and the hops will likely have eased off.

A. half finger tan head, deep red. clear but with lots of sediment that i wasn't expecting, should have checked.
S. i can smell caramel malt and alcohol from across the table. bit of pineapple in the nose, but lots of caramel.
T. caramel again, dark chocolate. like a dark chocolate caramel candy bar. hops are nearly imperceptible. more chocolate on the finish, but not much bitterness. delicious!
M. Not much carbonation, but it cleans up on the finish well. medium bodied over all, very silky.
D. mmmm, very sip-able. I hope i have more of this. I think the couple months of age really mellowed the huge alcohol that others mentioned. I will definitely seek this out in future. My only question is whether this is appropriate as a scotch ale. this has distinct porter characteristics, which differ greatly from the other other scotch ales that i've had. And yes, i know the difference between the scottish ales and scotch ale.

12-21-2010 18:38:48 | More by dirkchivers
Photo of ryantaussig

New York

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Beautiful auburn brown with an off-white head. Smells of smoke and malts. Alcohol is very present. Lots of malt presence with a bit of hops as well. Smokiness is there, but could be more prominent. Thinner than expected, but plenty of carbonation to compromise. Bit heavy body in the long run. Drinks a bit heavier than it's ABV.

12-20-2010 19:04:24 | More by ryantaussig
Photo of CaptFrothy


2.68/5  rDev -33.7%

I'll compare it to 'other' scotch ales, it looks good, smells decent, mouthfeel is subpar, it's too carbonated for the style, alchohol is noticable, taste is initally sweet with a dry finish and a bite of somethng I can't identify. Guess my preference in a scotch ale is silky mouthfeel, malty raisen-y toffee and low alchohol. I love alot of founders ales but this one wasn't one of them.

12-19-2010 01:59:35 | More by CaptFrothy
Photo of EtOHMD


3.45/5  rDev -14.6%

Pours a thin looking deep brown - maroon with almost pinkish hues on the edges. No head or lacing until I kept swirling (which also brought out more aroma and flavor than on its own; would have given lower ratings otherwise). Sweet caramel smell with hints of cherry. Tastes of apple, raisin, brown sugar, malt, Surprisingly dry finish. Was expecting more warm boozy taste and feel which didn't really come through. Went back and forth with this beer but in the end an okay but not great beer especially for founders.

12-18-2010 23:53:11 | More by EtOHMD
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


1.95/5  rDev -51.7%

Pours cloudy reddish brown. Produces little head, even with a rough pour. Minimal fine lacing. Not much to look at.

Smells like chocolate toffee meeting asphalt in that ozone spot right when it starts raining. Some fruits, all dark and all somewhat prune-juice like, poke through. Average is a stretch.

Has that flavor that I can't quite put my finger on, but I really can't stand. For such a highly rated beer, I can't by any means figure out why. Honestly it's one step away from a drainpour. Heavy super dark fruits and warm prune juice would be a complementary way to describe the flavor.

Feel wise it's typically Scottish ale like, thick and rich, low carbonation, not bad at all.

Drinks horrible. Will not seek out, recommend, or buy.

It's not just the style as I rated Bellhaven wee heavy quite highly. Something about this beer stands out as "I hate it." I'm sure it's not a bad bottle, but hey, I'm rating both to style and to my tastes, and this just plain tastes terrible. Sorry founders, I like some of your stuff but not this one.

12-16-2010 00:11:37 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter glass. Body reminds me of root beer for some reason - brown with a small tan head that is gone pretty quickly. When backlit it's reddish tints shine through the whole body, allowing me to see lots and lots of chunks of sediment floating throughout. Some "legs" but no real lace.

S: Interesting nose. I get chocolate and fruit. Think of those chocolate-covered cherries.

T: First impression is chocolate malt, surprisingly (though maybe I shouldn't have been surprised given the nose). Also some charcoal and a bit of the smoky peat you expect from the style. Dark fruit too - figs, I think - and a touch of boozy fruit. There's a drying bitterness at the end after a waft of drying alcohol. Lingering almost oaky, tannic bitterness over sweeter (fruity) malt. As it warms it seems to get sweeter, with brown sugar, caramel malt and molasses evident.

M: Body is close to full bodied, feels a bit thick (especially as it warms). Carbonation is low.

D: A bit of a sipper, but that's expected (by me at least) for the style. Alcohol heat is felt in belly quickly, sending a "go slow" message.

Notes: discovered this one in the back of the DBF tonight. I cannot get Founders in NY, and I cannot remember when I got this one. I suspect it was in MA (Julio's) a couple years ago, possibly as early as May of 2008 or 2009. Can't remember when I put it in the fridge though - it's been in there awhile I'm guessing.

12-15-2010 02:38:33 | More by Kendo
Photo of Shrews629


4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

Appearance - Hazy amber with burnt orange/yellow highlights around the bottom. Moderate tan head with modest retention and nice lacing. Looks pretty good in the glass.

Smell - Very delightful malty aroma of bread and caramel. Very, very well balanced. Both really stand out and are very alluring. Lightly roasted and somewhat fruty. Peachy smelling.

Taste - Rich malts in the taste with some light caramel. Actually has a walnut dryness in the flavor. Very nice. Some alcohol warmth invades the flavor in a very welcoming way.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied mouthfeel that is extremely dry and leaves a wealth on the palate. Some alcohol is left on the tongue and the roof of the mouth. Feels wonderful. Chewy even.

Drinkability - This is a great brew, however I probably wouldn't be able to have more than 2 of these at a time due to the high ABV. It was very nice on a cold December night. This is also a nice after dinner brew in my opinion. The alcohol comes in nicely and exits easily.

12-10-2010 14:43:23 | More by Shrews629
Photo of AdamGarcia


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

Review from notes.

12oz btl served in SA Perfect Pint.

A: Pours a deep dark brown with brilliant crimson highlights. Small cinnamon colored head vanishes quickly and leaves a thin ring of foam. Leaves some lace here and there. Attractive beer.

S: Sweet malty bliss. Brown sugar. Caramelized malt. Molasses. Suggestions of smoke. Hints of leather and tobacco. A bit of spicy hops to dial in the malt.

T: Malt overload. Beautiful interplay of sweet and spicy flavors. Just a little bit of heat. Slightly less complex than the nose. Carmel sweetness. Mild woodiness. Mildly tannic, spicy hops pop up toward the end but ultimately this one finishes sweet. Very nice.

M: Slick and coating. Carb is near perfect for the style.

D: This one shows its ABV a bit, but not in a negative way. This is not a beer that will bore you.

Founders makes good beers and great beers. This one falls somewhere in between.

12-09-2010 22:46:57 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of BeerLover99


4/5  rDev -1%

A: deep brownish mahogany red. big head at first but settles for a small 1/4 inch head.

S: strong malt, smoky, nutty, roasting.

T: smoky peat, nutty, carmel sublte, slight alcohol taste and mild bitter after taste.

M: medium beer with strong flavor retention and no aftertaste.

D:Very scary beer. At 8.5, could be a sipping brew, but downing this brew rather quickly. I could see me polishing off a 6 pack in front of the fire with ease.

12-09-2010 19:47:06 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of DannyDan


4.2/5  rDev +4%

A. Body is a dark reddish brown with a thin brownish head that has good retention and lacing. The carbonation is also good on this beer.
S. The smell is candied apples, coffee, oak, sugar, and caramel.
T. The taste is apples, bananas mixed with coffee, oak, caramel, some pine along with a nutty apple after taste. The taste is sweet with some bitterness at the end and in the aftertaste, but balanced.
M. This medium bodied beer has a nice sticky mouthfeel to it. It reminds me of eating candy and getting a stickiness in the mouth from it.
D. A nice drinkable beer that goes down easily, could sip on this or drink it in one swallow with no problem. I will be getting more of this beer in the future.

12-08-2010 10:08:37 | More by DannyDan
Photo of muttyd


3.63/5  rDev -10.1%

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip. Deep copper amber pour with a thick tan head. Aroma is of caramel, fruity esters, and licorice. Flavor follows the nose, heavy on the caramel. Slick velvety body with a warming alcoholic finish. Overall, an enjoyable beer.

12-08-2010 02:36:19 | More by muttyd
Photo of arboristfish


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

This beer pours a deep amber color with an off white head. The aroma of this beer is strong in caramel malt, and a hint of booze. The taste is very smooth with the flavor of caramel malts and again a hint of booze. The mouthfeel is medium heavy, and overall is a drinkable beer.

12-07-2010 22:36:14 | More by arboristfish
Photo of mbrown26

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Had this on-tap at the Thirsty Monk South.

A: A nice dark color with an okay head.

S: I got floral notes. Quite surprised.

T: Lots of flavor of licorice and caramel.

M: Not a lot of carbonation, but I don't care for too much carbonation.

D: Easy on the palate and could have several of these in one sitting, but don't need to.

12-07-2010 03:30:40 | More by mbrown26
Photo of OnThenIn


3.83/5  rDev -5.2%

A: Pours with a small thin tan head that dissipates quickly. The body is a dark brown with dark amber notes when held up to the light.

S: The smell is dominated by dark fruit and caramel. The aroma is extremely sweet and boozy. Hints of coffee as well.

T: Caramel and candied apples. Lots of sweetness. There is a slight bitterness throughout the taste. The alcohol is never directly present but there is a slight warming feeling.

M: The carbonation was a little low and the beer was a medium to full body mouthfeel. It was not a bad mouthfeel, just a little below what I had hoped it would be.

D: This is a larger tasting beer and the sweetness in the flavor along with the alcohol, felt by the warmth, make this a sipper. I honestly expected it to be a higher abv. This is my first crack at this style and I have yet to fall in love. I am not sure if it is the beer or the style. We shall see.

12-07-2010 01:52:23 | More by OnThenIn
Photo of kneeland

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -15.1%

Almost has a coffee flavor to it. it tastes of brown sugar, ripe fruit, and a touch of woodsy smoke. I had a pint, but I couldn't have any more. I was really liking it, but it's one of those that's tough to have more than one.

The appearance was great, especially for a crisp December afternoon. A really dark, almost Guiness look, dark brown tone. It had a thin cap of caramel-colored foam, that really stuck around for the whole pint.

12-05-2010 22:27:51 | More by kneeland
Photo of airheadmtrcycle


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

I had lunch in a sports bar, Taco Mac for my Atlanta neighbors. After hot wings and a Highland Oatmeal Porter, I ordered a Dirty Bastard, my first. They listed it as a strong ale on the menu; I just now see it's a Scotch ale.

Copper to brown with a thin head, but looks substantial, a manly man's ale. :-)

Smelled of caramel malt, sweet, but not over the top. Maybe chocolate or perhaps some faint coffee as well. The alcohol was noticeable.

The malt sweetness dominated but, surprisingly, a bitterness was detectable particularly on the finish. I'm even more surprised now, seeing it's a Scotch ale. All in all a very balanced and delicious ale. The alcohol was deviously hidden by the geniuses at Founders. I wasn't in a hurry, but it disappeared way too quickly. I was really pleased with myself for the adventurous choice and couldn't wait to order another until I stood up to use the restroom. My arse was kicked.

The mouthfeel was medium and perfectly carbonated, but I'm not sure how to rate the drinkability. As measured by how much I wanted another it rates high, but its relatively high ABV wouldn't allow me to have another and still be able to drive home.

It will not be my last Dirty Bastard, that's for sure. What I remember of the only other Scotch ale I've had, a Sam Adams, Dirty Bastard was a little different with the hoppy bitter finish.

12-05-2010 04:57:49 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of bwan15

New York

4.08/5  rDev +1%

Appearance: Dirty, murky, rust-brown. Head is light and playful, settles for but a few moments on this pretty bastard before all but disappearing.

Smell: Initially barely there, but as it warms, reveals a sweet and inviting character that's got me thinking bread and honey.

Taste: Sweet, grassy, and bitter. There is a bit of a metallic aftertaste. The balance between sweet and bitter is a tenuous one at first, but as it warms the sweetness wins out, and the metallic bitterness fades into a something powdery and pleasant.

Mouthfeel: A great mouthfeel. Full and balanced.

Drinkability: A delightful ale. The hoppy bitterness is a bit unruly, but then again, so are the crazy Scots who originated this style. Two or three of these bad boys and I'd be ready to throw on a kilt, paint half my face blue, and charge those bloody English arseholes with everything I've got. CALEDONIAAA!!!

12-04-2010 00:20:16 | More by bwan15
Photo of chicano4craft


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a dark copper, almost ruby. Thin but creamy head.

Nose is all malt, as it should be. Nice caramel,toffee, and some sweet smoke. I also pick up some cherry.

Nice coating of the tongue with a rich maltiness. Smoke is also there. Some dark fruit in the finish. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel is dead on for the style. I find this to be highly drinkable despite the ABV. But then again I'm a hugh Scotch Ale fan.

Nice beer. Everything works together to deliver a really good Scotch Ale.

12-02-2010 19:44:53 | More by chicano4craft
Photo of twoheadedboy


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

Poured in a 12 oz glass with very little head. Color is a bright copper.

Smell is an almost over-the-top sweetness. Very resiny.

Taste is also extremely sweet, with some sweet caramel and fruit, and late dry chocolate and slight nuttiness. Only drawback for me is a surprisingly bitter aftertaste.

Very light and drinkable, especially considering the style and the abv; a couple of these could definitely knock you on your ass if you aren't careful. Overall I enjoyed it quite a bit, although it was almost both too sweet and too bitter at times. I only bought a single, so it might grow on me even more after a few.

11-27-2010 06:47:24 | More by twoheadedboy
Photo of codewarrior

New York

3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

12oz from a 6-pack, poured into a snifter.

Picked this up in a trade with Viciousknishs (his first ever trade!) along with a bunch of FBS ... mmm.

L: Dark oak ... feudal ... brown. Beautiful towering 3- 4 fingers of head.

S: Extremely sweet, bordering on quad levels here. Candied apples, brandy poached pears, boozy fruity sweetness here.

T: Starts slow, building into a big middle with apple and boozitude for days. Fades into a caramel-y booze ... like a port-wine dessert.

F: A touch thin for how huge it is. Still, pretty damn good.

D: Not as good as Old Chub, but really good. I wish I lived inside of founders distribution ... :: sigh ::

11-27-2010 00:13:21 | More by codewarrior
Photo of Cheesemoose


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured into a pint glass. Happy Turkey Day!

Deep garnet red with a khaki head. One finger of fomay head that dissipates rather quickly. Little lacing.

Roasted malt brings caramel and saltines on the nose.

Spicy throughout the mouth, though you get a big kick on the initial sip. Moderate bitterness that is played against a moderately sweet body. Figs and dates come to mind, though balanced against a nice bitter bite.

Watery mouthfeel. Alcohol is noticeable only after a few and is well subdued.

Well balanced but with boldness. Nice.

11-26-2010 03:37:17 | More by Cheesemoose
Photo of Frothboss


4.88/5  rDev +20.8%

Appearance has a dark bronze full bodied look. Cant see through the glass. No head and nice laceing. Smells chocolaty and rich, hints of bread and malt. Tastes just as good as it smells, rich, chocolaty and bready also has a good nice finish. Tastes very good. This is a great beer. I really like this one will definitely drink it again.

11-25-2010 19:59:29 | More by Frothboss
Photo of JohnnyChicago


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chalice.

A: Dark brown body with a mocha head; looks like a porter.

S: Carmelized malts pop out of this one. The hops are present but very muted.

T: Lots of caramel and roasted malts; brown sugar and bitter hops also make an appearance.

D: Its a big beer, make no mistake, but this flavours are intresting enough to keep it exciting and somewhat refreshing.

Overall: A good example of the style and a very flavourful beer. Great for cold weather because it warms you up the way a good whiskey of bourbon would.

11-24-2010 07:40:31 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of optimistictour


4.2/5  rDev +4%

Dirty Bastard is (at least in my part of the country) one of the most widely available scotch ales, even sold in the local gas station (one of a whopping two entries from Founders) yet still one of the better examples I've had.

Poured into my pint glass it's a coffee brown with a dense head that dissipates quickly, lacing all over. Through a light source its color is revealed to be an extremely dark shade of red. It looks strong but not crushingly heavy.

The smell is where this variety can often make or break a session. Thankfully Dirty Bastard tosses up the requisite whiskey tones cloaked in carmels and coffees and all manner of indulgent flavor, practically begging me to take a sip already. This one truly shines in the olfactory department.

The taste thankfully reflects the fine balance between a scotchy up-front personality and a mellowed out bitter finish.

It's hearty but never too thick on the tongue. It's solid and distinctive yet lacks any stickiness or sugary feeling. You'll taste it for a while after a sip but never feel like you need your teeth brushed between bottles.

Speaking of between bottles this stuff is also immensely drinkable. You could easily put away 4 to 6 of these before realizing - surprise! - Founders isn't kidding with that 8.5 abv listed. It's not the smoothest in its class but it's up there. I've had dozens of these over the years and uninitiated friends always sing its praises, which is measure enough for me that it's quite drinkable.

Basically this is a class act and your entry into the realm of scotch ales if you're interested.

11-24-2010 06:19:35 | More by optimistictour
Photo of ceable


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

a- This is exactly how a scotch ale should look. Dark, dark brown body with substantial caramel head that fades quickly and light lacing.

s- The first smell I picked up on was caramel/chocolate. It has some scents of scotch and there is a definite presence of the alcohol but not overpowering at all.

t- Sweet on the front end and bitter on the back end. The front is tasty and and rich. It is somewhat woody and sweet. The middle is a hint of whiskey right before the back of your tongue kicks. You can really sense the caramel, coffee and hops towards the end.

m- Luscious. It is creamy and warming. You can even get that charming tingling like you can with a good scotch.

d- I would drink this again right away. And another after that.

You can really pick up on what the brewer was going for with this one. It is a quintessential scotch ale with a full flavor and a handsome feel. Very well done.

11-23-2010 02:38:41 | More by ceable
Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 5,380 ratings.