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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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5,383 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,383
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: 5,383 | Reviews: 1,606 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of JayS2629


4/5  rDev -1%

A- Deep ruby and mahogany tones. Slightly cloudy, with a thin tan head that leaves sea foam lacing.

S- Floral and hoppy. Hints of caramel and booze.

M- Creamy with a hop bite and crisp finish.

T- caramel undertones with strong pine hops, roasted malts, oak, hints of cocoa and rum.

D- Sipping beer that goes down entirely too easy. The hop bite is nice and the crisp finish makes it very refreshing. It can sneak up on you, so be careful. Well balanced and hoppy.

11-22-2010 03:58:12 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Lauthaha


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a half-liter beer glass.

Appearance: Pours a caramelly-red color with a semi-thick consistency. Dark but not opaque. Head is initially a golden-brown color, and recedes to near nothingness in a matter of seconds. No lacing.

Smell: Extremely hoppy; hops are probably less floral than bitter. Caramel maltiness with more than a touch of alcohol in the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Creamy brew with mild but consistent carbonation. The hops hit you right up front, and as you savor the flavor, the caramel malt rides through in the undertow. Aftertaste is all hops.

Drinkability: It's good. Definitely worth a try if you haven't had it before. As for a "regular" beer, maybe once a week with this bad boy.

I've had it on tap several times before I was a "taster." Always enjoyed this one.

11-22-2010 01:47:30 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of TheSarge


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured this one into a Celebrator glass...

This is about the best looking Scotch Ale I've had as of yet. There is about two fingers of nice retaining cranium, with a deep ruby red and copper colored body that is cleanly filtered.

The aroma is malt dominant. I'm getting dark toasty grains, caramel, a little cola, with some cherry and woody hints in the end.

Taste wise it's pretty much caramel upfront... Some cocoa and a semisweet chocolate bluntness... Oily slickness in the feel, with a very warm alcohol finish.

11-21-2010 19:59:51 | More by TheSarge
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours opaque dark brown with creamy tan head that didn't last long at all; decent lacing that slides down the glass fast. Average looking beer.

Smells of roasted malt, toasted grains, caramel, cocoa, toffee and faint chocolate; light grass and citrus hops in the nose as well.

Tastes like it smells, with sweet roasted malt, toasted grains, caramel, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa, light vanilla, citrus hops, floral hops, hay, wheat, some dates or plum, and light alcohol like rum; roasted and complex, this is a tasty ale.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a smooth creamy feel, which is contrasting for a beer that has a medium to heavy body and overall roasted flavor.

High drinkability for a beer of this weight; very enjoyable, I would definitely have this again.

11-18-2010 03:36:15 | More by CHickman
Photo of Vdubb86


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

Served in a pint glass at The Barley House in Algonquin, IL

Who doesn't like free beer?! This beer was randomly handed to me by the bartender at the Barley House because it was the last of the keg and they were going to give it away to someone. Lucky me.

This beer pours a nice deep raspberry/redwood color with a beige half finger of foam on the surface. The smell is simple there is malted grains and there is brown sugar. Both aromas are light. The taste has a general sweetness to it. The malt character is rather nice with an almost marshmallow like flavor on the sides of the tongue. The mouthfeel washes down really smooth, but has a bitterness perhaps from the alcohol. This is a good beer to drink, I have nothing bad to really say about it. It was a pleasant experience, especially for free!

11-17-2010 08:00:42 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of stimulus

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Founders snifter.

A: Pours a very deep ruby red that is only clear when held up to the light. It has a light tan head that settles quickly.
S: Caramel malts followed by some smoke flavor.
T: Caramel, brown sugar, toast, and medium smoke on the finish.
M: Smooth and medium bodied with good carbonation. A bit sticky on the finish.
D: One of my first Founders beers, this still doesn't disappoint. No hint of alcohol considering its abv. It is possible that this is hidden too well, but it definitely can be finished quickly and this will sneak up on you.

11-17-2010 04:07:35 | More by stimulus
Photo of jmdrpi


3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

a cloudy deep copper brown color. thin white head that whisps away. decent lacing.

sugary boozy aroma. sweet malty taste. flavors of butterscotch and brown sugar.

thick and syrupy mouthfeel. heavy, coats the mouth.

the sweetness brings down the drinkability if you're drinking by itself. but I had a bottle the other night with a dinner of pork chops and potatoes and it paired excellently.

11-16-2010 04:54:51 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of smurder187


3.83/5  rDev -5.2%

While staying in a log cabin in the Berkshires I found this critter on the shelf in a nearby liquor store. The color was a warm brown and was a great companion to the cold mountains, as it carries a high ABV with a scotchy-malty flavor. The scent was similar, but toned down with a dull barley scent. The heavy malt factor also keeps this brew velvety smooth when sipped. The overall boozy style of it makes me imagine a St. Bernard carrying this around the mountains to revitalize folks!

11-16-2010 00:34:55 | More by smurder187
Photo of xnicknj


3.68/5  rDev -8.9%

on tap in pint glass at devils den in philly

Pours a deep brown with some orange glow towards the bottom. A frothy head retains well with nice toffee lacing around the glass.

Roasted caramel malt, faint booze, and earthiness in the nose.

Begins slightly sweet with dark chocolate and molasses. Dark fruit such as dates and figs slink in alongside some candied sweetness. Multi-layered malt profile enhances the overall character. Finishes with roasty warm flavor and booze.

Medium to full body, sticky, dry and chewy. More drinkable than it should be, very tasty but not really shocking. Perhaps my standards for Founders are too high, but I usually expect a little more excitement from one of my favorite breweries.

11-15-2010 16:32:49 | More by xnicknj
Photo of BuckeyeSlim


2.63/5  rDev -34.9%

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter. It turns out this beer really needs to warm up before its characteristics other than bittering hops and alcohol present themselves.

A - A 1-finger beige/cream-colored thick foam head developed late in the pour and dissipated pretty quickly leaving few traces of lace on the glass. Deep ruby/copper, burnt rust color that's pretty clear.

S - Very little going on in the nose at first. Malts seem to be competing with the bittering hops with neither getting up out of the glass. Slight caramel rises with the alcohol. Once it really got warmed up, the malts stepped forward like a young Scotch whiskey. It also presents subtle tart cherries.

T - Toasted, roasted malts. Pronounced bittering hops on the finish that really linger. This finish, accented by the above-normal abv, is what this beer is all about.

M - Creamy with slight carbonation. The bittering hops wash away the already thin structure quickly. When warmed, this approaches watered-down bitter Scotch.

D - The bittering and the abv over-power the malts. Lacks the caramel characteristics of a good Scotch ale. Needs to be way too warm to get any of the nuances going, and by then, the beer is flat. At that point, a good single malt would be much more satisfying.

11-15-2010 07:06:39 | More by BuckeyeSlim
Photo of tetonka4kzoo


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Pours a dark, reddish brown color. This scotch ale has a thin cream colored head.

I first notice the malt aroma. It also has a sweet molasses smell. Contains a strong and pleasant nose.

Dirty Bastard has an intense and complex taste. I taste the chocolate, whiskey, caramel, and a little fruitiness. Like the nose, the taste has a major malt presence.

Seems medium-bodied and fairly smooth to drink for a scotch ale. Decent drinkability for its 8.5 ABV. One of Founders' impressive brews.

11-14-2010 14:38:06 | More by tetonka4kzoo
Photo of TheDTrain


4.6/5  rDev +13.9%

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. 8.5% abv

A: Cool amber rust but head disappears quickly.
S: Strong malts, sweetness, scotch, alcohol is subtle
T: Fruits, vanilla, scotch, and a noce bite at the end.
M: Medium to full body.
D: Easily a beer the D-train can sip and enjoy on a cool day. If you like scotch style ales, you'll enjoy Dirty Bastard.

11-07-2010 18:18:05 | More by TheDTrain
Photo of prdstmnky


3.88/5  rDev -4%

*review from notes on 4/17/10*

Nice deep ruby brown color, with a finger of tan head and light lacing. Dried dark fruits and sweet, roasted malts in the nose. Very malty tasting, with lots of toffee and caramel coming though. Also some of those dark fruits that were evident in the smell. Smooth and creamy, with just a hint of the 8.5% ABV present in the mouth - A nice Scotch Ale.

11-06-2010 01:10:30 | More by prdstmnky
Photo of Transatlantic


4.2/5  rDev +4%

A - Nice dark amber (rusty brown) color with an offwhite creamy head that's sticking around a good while. Lacing looks great

S - Oh wow, makes me think of a brown ale through the smell. There's a very light roasted malt upfront with a slight hint of sweet chocolate. Many people are mentioning a boozey smell, but i'm not picking it up. I almost think i'm picking up wet leaves as well.

T - Wow, definitely an interesting one here. The first thing I pick up on is the sweet malty characteristics which play well with the taste of alcohol which comes in through the back. Roasted malt is definitely upfront. I want to say there's dark fruit in the taste as well. Bitterness will show up towards the end, but in no way strong.

M - Very very creamy and medium to full bodied. This is a warming beer. Just a couple sips and you'll be feeling it in your chest.

D - As a high abv beer which does good at hinting at you, this is not a beer you'll be downing in numbers.

10-29-2010 23:20:18 | More by Transatlantic
Photo of StoutHunter


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

Got a 6 pack of this the other day since a nice scotch ale sounded good. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This brew pours a dark copper color with two fingers worth of off white head that turned into a thing ring that stayed with nice lacing.

S- Wow, this brew smells sweet. Lots of sweet dark fruits mixed with equally sweet malts. I can also pick up a good amount of booze. This beer smells very different from other scotch ales I have had.

T- This beer tastes similar to the way it smells. Sweet fruits and malts stick out the most, but they are blended with some toffee, caramel, and bitter chocolate that didn't show up in the nose. Tastes sweet but not as sweet as the smell. You can tell this is a stronger beer since the booze is always present.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D- Not that high, two would be my limit, too sweet and boozy to drink more then that.

Overall I find this beer to be pretty good, I have had this beer many times and enjoy the fact that this beer is widely available in my area. This beer always has a place in my fridge. A great scotch ale from a great brewery.

10-29-2010 02:30:35 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of weizenbob


2.85/5  rDev -29.5%

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. A half finger head reluctantly forms at the top of the glass and quickly scatters leaving a thin layer of odd bubble formations at the top. Steady carbonation activity is present. Color is deep copper and I cannot see the other side of the glass through the brew. It is indeed a dirty looking bastard.

It is not very fragrant from afar, but up close it smells complex. The scent is fruity up front, chocolate-like in the middle and some subtle malty character on the tail end. Let's dive in.

Initial flavor is a mellow chocolate note but after that, hold onto your hat. Did somebody drop a shot of whiskey into my glass? This is really tasting like somebody poured liquor into a perfectly good brown ale. This beer is 8.5% abv and they didn't do anything to try to hide it. Once the alcohol flavor kicks in, it dominates the overall palette. I'll be nursing this one for sure. But the more I sip, the more I'm warming up to it. Now that I'm getting over the initial shock of that alcohol kick, I'm noticing that this is kind of syrupy and very sweet. The aftertaste is kind of woody. I'm curious how this might mellow over time.

The overall effect is smooth and feels good in the mouth but the very noticeable 8.5% abv doesn't help the drinkability of this Scotch ale. It feels like whiskey on the throat so it's definitely a sipper. I'll probably end up sitting on a couple of these for a while because I anticipate this being a lot more enjoyable once it mellows out a bit.

UPDATE 4/21/11:
I pulled one of these bottles out of the cellar on the six month anniversary of my original review. Half a year has done wonders for this beer. The gag inducing alcohol has mellowed far beyond my expectations. Six month Dirty Bastard is akin to a doubled English Brown, with the sweetness really shining through and a nice drinkability. The alcohol is still noticable, but its burn has been replaced by delightful flavors of caramel and toffee. I still have a few in the cellar and I can't wait to see what they become at the one year mark. Further updates shall follow.
Total-3.53, B

10-21-2010 22:39:30 | More by weizenbob
Photo of Pentastar

New York

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

Appearance: Dark brown with a small tan head, not much lacing present.

Aroma: Sweet with some alchohol and some grain.

Taste: Good malt backbone in this. Piney hops intermingle with caramel flavors and robust grain. A pleasant aftertaste with some grain and a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, proper carbonation.

Drinkability: Good.

10-20-2010 19:41:49 | More by Pentastar
Photo of jpmclaug

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured from the bottle into my Stone IRS snifter. I'm sharing this and some Dirty Bastard with my girlfriend. Interesting to see how the two compare.

A - Brown body with a circle of white head but not much head at all on top. The Backwoods is slightly darker than the Dirty. Not much difference in the two other than that.

S - Caramelly, malty sweetness. Hints of vanilla. But mostly caramel like sweetness

T - Follows the nose with a sweet caramel flavor. Toffee and molasses notes as well. Picking up some nutty flavors and a hint of booze.

M - medium body with a bit of stickiness and a low amount of carbonation

D - A sipper, and I'm kind of glad I am only drinking half a bottle of this. A solid beer but not my favorite style. Certainly enjoyable however and I could see it being the perfect beer if I was in the mood for it.

10-19-2010 01:11:52 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of tylernim

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

A - Light brown to tan color. Creamy head.

S - Bit of booze. Malts.

T - Malts with a hint of scotch. Some slight vanilla perhaps.

M - Thick and creamy as it should be.

D - Would love to be able to drink more, but I would call it at two.

Was excited for this one, and it delivered.

10-17-2010 16:33:38 | More by tylernim
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Very dark tan/brown with red traces. Nice creamy 1 inch head

Smell - Some hops and malts are present. HAs a scottish whiskey smell in there. Some spices are also there.

Taste - Very cool Has a rye/ipa kick with some scottch aftertaste. Baby has bite also at 8.5%. Malts are smooth and mellow. Theres a spice in this beer i cant pickout but it just adds to the great flavor.

Mouthfeel - ALot going on. You really have a treat with all the spices mixed with the malts. Really thought, the mouth isnt all that ruined after drinking. Its rather dry drinking, not a long aftertaste so you can move into something else.

Drinkabilty - Its just a little to strong to drink more then 1 or 2. But for sure i could see drinking this weekly. I really enjoyed the scotch flavor, really nice job again by founders

10-16-2010 08:05:03 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of ProLiquorMan


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

Looks really good. Some dark ruby color (just like the description).

Smells nice. Some malty beer smell. It's all I got. You can tell it's going to be a little bitter.

Tastes like it smells.

Medium Bodied.

It's a good beer, but it does taste like scotch at all. There was no smoke or peat. It's just a nice dark and malty beer that's slightly bitter.

10-15-2010 02:41:24 | More by ProLiquorMan
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

I really didn't think I was going to like this beer as much as I did. Really great garnet color. Initially has a puffy off white head that fades fast to a tiny loose ring. Aroma is a little faint, but sweet and bready.
Taste is really malt forward with strong toffee, caramel, molasses flavors that are abundant. That leaves your palate with a faint hop bitterness and slight alcohol hottness. Could be a little more lively in the mouth, but has good body none-the-less. After a while I'm sure this would get cloying but for one bottle its great.

10-15-2010 00:51:59 | More by pmlondrigan
Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 5,383 ratings.