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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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5,661 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,661
Reviews: 1,614
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 192
Gots: 751 | 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: 5,661 | Reviews: 1,614 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Seebs847
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark caramel brown with a half inch of sticky head. Great looking beer! Lacing down the entire glass!

Smells of butterscotch, scotch, and a slight earthiness due to the heavy malts. You can tell this beer means business.

Initially the beer's malt and scotch characteristics hit the tongue. This is quickly followed by a hop bite which works perfectly for me. Finishes deliciously creamy and smooth!

Overall a fantastic offering from Founders. Interesting style I dont find myself drinking enough of. This is my second time purchasing Dirty Bastard and I will definitely be looking for it during the cold Chicago winter.

Seebs847, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of celticfutblclub
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - dark nut brown ale with a coffee colored head that sits two fingers deep. pretty good retention and superb lacing.

S - peat, caramel, smoky malts, toffee and chocolate. one of the best smelling scotch ales i've encountered.

T - caramel toffee and chocolate malts all blend together in the beginning. smokiness comes in after and just adds to the flavors without over powering. one very well balanced beer.

M - good carbonation on a medium to full bodied brew. good hop bite in the back for the style and a good feel of alcohol on the throat.

O - definitely one of the best scotch ales out there. get this beer if you haven't already.

celticfutblclub, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of mckemp
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark brick red color, finger of off white head.

S - Butterscotch, sweet syrupy smell.

T - Caramel, light cherry taste, with traditional scotch ale "alcohol" taste, finishing with lingering bitterness.

M - Thick and sticky.

O - Absolutely the best scotch ale I've had. I've never been disappointed by Founders. I ate some M&Ms while drinking the dirty bastard; it was a great pairing!

mckemp, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of McNealc31
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a light brown color, almost like the darkest iced tea you've ever had. The flavor is very complex with a ton of different malt flavors going on. There is roastedness, piney, hoppy, a little bit of not very sweet maple, even a hint of scotch. It's very bold and has a long bitter, but not acrid, finish.

McNealc31, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy rootbeer color, half finger off white head that diminishes quickly leaving thin lacing.

S - Cherry, butterscotch, light hops, maple syrup.

T - Starts with a rind-like bitterness, proceeds to cherry, caramel, molasses, pit fruits, finishes with a clinging bitterness, light smoke, & maris otter malt flavors.

M - Thick, sticky, bitterness clinges to tongue.

O - Delicious! At times the taste resembled a Rochefort 6 (less smooth). First beer I've had from Founders, not disappointed!

Rickythejeweler, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep, dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts and caramel ,a touch of alcohol. Taste is malty, nutty, some caramel, alcohol is present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

tone77, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of MrOH
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep reddish brown with a half finger of light tan head. Good lace.

Figs, dates, treacle, malt. Very deep and relaxing.

The nose is replectated on the palate with a nice snappy bitterness and warming alcohol, with neither coming across too strong. Very well done.

Heavy bodied with lowish carbonation, but it fits.

I remember back when this was Founders flagship. Haven't had it in years, but it's quite the dram for the end of the night.

MrOH, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of Holland
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown, almost black in low light. This pours with a one inch head, and it leaves a thin layer of fine bubbles on top and nice lacing with bigger bubbles.

S: Sweet malt, peat, and caramel dominate. I smell butter, too. Butterscotch? Yes.

T: the caramel and malt are present along with the bitter hops, but the scotch flavor takes it over here. Nice!

M: some wee heavies don't carbonate, and I want a punch of carbonation with mine. So far the only mouthfeel that is close is the Dark Horse wee heavy. This one is medium carbonation, but for the category it's awesome.

O: drinkable for a few beers, I'd need to switch it up if I had more than 2. This is another one of those awesome founders beers that is $10 or less for a 6 pack, and that's a steal for this one.

Holland, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Boto
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle: This one pours a cloudy, coppery amber color. There was a very small light brown had on it that didn’t linger or leave much lacing at all. Big nose of roasted caramel. Definitely raisins and a hint of smoke in there also. Very nice taste. It is smokey and a little bitter. Then you get some of that roasted caramel with a bit of sweetness popping thru. Faint dark fruits to the taste also. Nice.

Boto, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of tjkinate
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, my first review and tasting of a Founders brew. I think, even with this more common offering, they have lived up to there reputation.

A: Poured a deep amber and was toped off by a single finger head that was tan and incredibly creamy. The head dissipated slowly and in its wake exhibited great lacing that persisted throughout my tasting.

S: Very sweet, pungent caramel malts, however, becomes quite bitter toward the end. Alcohol was definitely detectable, but was not imposing.

T: Sweet tastes of raisins, as the scent had indicated, accompanied by undertones of hops. This was followed abruptly by alcohol which dominates your palate and holds on until your next sip.

M: Medium bodied, low carbonation, slight burn from the alcohol.

O: A unique, fantastic beer that I could enjoy in sparing amounts. I truly felt one 12 oz bottle was perfect, any more and it would have been too much.

tjkinate, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep and dark ruby red with a tint of orange. Lots of rising bubbles and a nice three finger tan head with good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Big aroma of sweet roasted malts with lots of caramel and toffee. Some oats, molassas, butterscotch, and brown sugar. Also some hints of dark fruits with raisin and plum. Light hints of floral hops.

Taste: Like the smell, sweet roasted malts with caramel and toffee mixed with a big dose of molassas, brown sugar, butterscotch, oats, and raisins. Finishes with a lightly bitter kick from some floral hops. Very malt driven and sweet while still being well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Creamy and chewy. Not noticing any alcohol heat.

Overall: This is a very fine ale that is packed with toasty malt and scotch flavor while still remaining very smooth.

MattyG85, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of SDtastentune
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Darker amber brown, some good lace, some small head working into a haze over. Very small amount of some dirty'ness sediments.

S - Wheat and oats, mixed with some frsh brew bay malts. Some slight scotch. Slighly sweet but not much at all. Pretty smelly stuff.

T - Taste is great! Starts off with some very nice maltyness, very rich, Works into some great hop stuff but not bitter. Has that red ale taste mixed with some slight raisin like with a smoky finish. Very nice alcohol burn mixed with some caramel, toffee, and maybe some butterscotch candy.

M - Lower to medium caronation, larger bubbles, no prickly stuff going on with the carbs. Very good after taste/bite.

O - Overall... I like this, gotta get more. This has some very nice characteristics going on that I really like. I could drink this like eating candy, can never get enough! THUMBS UP! Thanks Dave!

SDtastentune, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of jman892
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a reddish brown color with minimal head, and just a little bit of lacing

S - Very hard to pick out specific aroma here. There is a sweetness that is hard to define, but maybe a little bit of sugar covered raisin

T - Taste is a little bit of sweetness, maybe some brown sugar, and there is a noticeable alcohol burn with each sip. There is a dark fruit like fig that gives it a pleasant taste

M - Good carbonation, it is smooth and fairly creamy. Again, the alcohol burn is noticeable with this one.

O - I think the whole is greater than the sum of its parts with this one. Or maybe the alcohol content has caught up to me at the end of this review and I am an easy grader. It is an enjoyable brew, not something I would drink a bunch of at once, but overall glad I tried this.

jman892, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of MoustacheHero
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first gift from the Founders brewery.

A: A very dark brown pour with a yellowish head. I found it's head very unusual for a scotch ale. Saw some sediment like yeast in homebrew bottles, which I found strange.

S: A sweet caramel smell with burnished notes throughout. Reminiscent of porter notes.

T: A complex ride from sweet to pleasingly burnt. Tones of high liquor heat also come through like a very high percent beer.

M: A full, almost sappy/sticky mouthfeel. Another unusual trait for the style that I am glad to have experienced for the first time.

O: This is a great beer overall. Complex, intriguing and not quite like any other scotch I've had.

MoustacheHero, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown body with an off white head.

Aromas are caramel and toffee. Sugary, but nearly burnt.

Flavors follow the same path with caramelized sugar, toffee, molassas, even butterscotch. No smoked malts detected, but there is almost burnt character to it. Pleasing though, not an off putting acrid flavor or anything. No hop flavorf to speak of, though there is some bitterness on the finish to balance out the malty sweetness.

Full bodied, sticky, nearly chewy.

Not my favorite beer style, but this is clearly a good example of it. Malty, but balanced. ABV is almost entirely masked. Avoids the smoked malt that too many American brewers of Scottish ales insist on using. Well done, fans of Old Chub and Claymore are sure to love Dirty Bastard.

BradLikesBrew, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of Mosley1212
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a DFH Snifter.

A--Aggressive pour produced a rich caramel head that had foam qualities. The head died pretty quickly, but a solid ring remained throughout the beer. The color reminded me of scotch. Very dark amber, perhaps a mahogany brown.

S--This smell is rich. Mocha, toffee, and butterscotch. There's a slight floral characteristic, but it goes away quickly. Smell amount of hops. This has a more of a malt backbone than I was expecting.

T--The sweetness of the caramel is the first thing I pick up. Then comes the mocha aftertaste. It's an almost bitter taste that's left in the mouth. There's a small amount of hops, but they are well hidden--I had to search for them.

M--It's medium bodied. Pretty thick in the mouth, but not viscus. There didn't seem to be any carbonation in the beer.

O--This is a great scotch ale. It may actually be my favorite. I'm not normally a scotch ale kind of guy, but Dirty Bastard helped me appreciate it.

Mosley1212, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of Bierman9
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a 6-pack of this today (20AUG11) at Harringtons ($12.95 plus dep) after being intrigued by the description on the carrier...

Poured a couple of bottles into an imperial pint glass.... It was a clear, deep, striking mahogany color. I could not make out what the carbo situation was, but the head was a creamy, frothy, beige/mocha layer of about 1/4", lasting well and leaving a bit o' lace. Aroma had lots of "come hither"... Malty sweetness, with mocha and semi-sweet choco, and quite robust at that! Body? Medium-plus with a hint of chewiness, and silky smooth over the tongue. Real nice!!

Flavor, like the nose, has solid sweetness, with mocha and subtle toffee hitting the palate. Some peaty smokiness blends in, for a fine combo of tastes. Surprisingly, a strong floral hop bite shows up at the finish, leaving a lingering bitterness, though not in a bad way. Damn, this really hit the spot! Glad I got a six-pack; 4 more bottles to enjoy!!


4.47 rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Bierman9, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of dtreindl
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm no expert in scotch ales but this beer is delicious! Rich mouthfeel, but not tacky sweet. I can't analogies the taste to any single other flavor, but it's a balanced toasty caramalized deliciousness. It's not too thick or strong that it can't be enjoyed in hot weather. I usually avoid ports and stouts in the hot summer months of Virginia, but I have no problem enjoying this brew on an August night. The abv is high, but its not too noticeable on the palate.

dtreindl, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of mocktm
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint, I guess the bottling date rubbed off as I couldn't find it.

This beer is literally the color of the desk that my computer sits on, a rich mahogany brown. A faint tan colored head sticks around for a hot minute and then quickly descends into a thin floating ring. Some spotty lacing here and there.

Aromas are mainly that of roasted malt: caramel, molasses, toffee, and butterscotch, with hints of vanilla and raisins, plus some smokiness. The booze are also apparent, but don't dominate the robust roast flavors that this brew proudly displays.

Taste is exceptional, toasty caramel and vanilla tones paired with some peppery spice, almost like gingerbread. Very mild hop bitterness to round it out in the back end, along with some heat from the alcohol. This would make those bag pipe playing bastards proud.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick and viscous; smooth, yet full bodied and more of a sipper. The alcohol, while not overwhelming isn't all that well constrained, hence why the style is called a heavy. Well done.

Not my favorite style in the world, but I really enjoyed this beer. Yet another example of why Founders beers continues to find themselves in my fridge.

mocktm, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried the Dirty Bastard from Founders. The appearance was rich reddish amber color slightly cloudy with decent tan head with some lacing. Smell was sweet from probably molasses and some roast. Taste was dominated by alcohol. There is an attempt to balance the beer with sweet malt and roast. The mouthfeel was downgraded due to teh alcohol bite. this is not a session beer for the timid. This beer has fortitude and gusto. Worth a try if you like the Wee Heavies.

WoodBrew, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of trixdout
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance - The color reminds me of a newcastle brown ale, but slightly darker. The color is like a brownish mahogany. Medium carbonation. It was clear liquid and not a bit of cloudiness except for the perspiration on the glass. The beer was quite inviting and really jumped out at me. Pouring gave birth to a tannish head that was approximately 1.5 fingers in thickness with some lacing that recedes very slowly.

Smell - At first I smell caramel malts, as well as some sugar and molasses. I smell some smoked malts as well.

Taste - At first I taste a combination of smoked malts and hints of chocolate. After a second sip, I get a caramel flavor as well as some minimal sweetness. Altogether the tastes blend well together as well as stand out individually. There is quite a bit of hoppiness in the finish. As a scotch ale it hits a 4 out of 5, but is also seems like a brown ale.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation give a prickling like feeling to the palate and it feels like medium carbonation. The ale coats the mouth well and is quite creamy. Almost chewy with a oily creaminess. My lips were quite sticky afterwards.

Overall - My impression is quite unique of this beer. Being that it is supposed to be a scotch ale, it hits all those notes with some improvement still needed. It also reminds of a brown ale. The taste is really good and well balanced and blends quite well.
I would be willing to purchase again just to get out of the usual trend of beers that I try.

trixdout, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, procured in a trade with Roke87 - cheers!

This beer pours a hazy dark orange brick hue, with one finger of creamy/foamy beige head, which leaves a sea-level iceberg profile of painted lace around the glass as it sinks away. It smells (since I first cracked the cap) of sweet butterscotch toffee, molasses, mild peaty smoke, treacle, vanilla cream, and subtly bitter leafy, piney hops. The taste is strong caramel/toffee, bready malt, brown sugar, some more lightly boozy vanilla, and moderately bitter grassy, earthy hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body a solid medium, maybe punching a bit above its weight class, deadly smooth, and a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet - with a restraint that I can't help but admire - and adequately balanced by the stoic 50 IBUs of bitter weedy goodness.

Not too sweet, not too syrupy, not too thin, not too hopped up - this wee heavy is juuust right! Wow, from the first whiff, this offering has proven to be a study in restrained plaid-clad fury - and tasty as fish and chips in seaside Aberdeenshire...

biboergosum, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of LtCracker20
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly mahogany with a 2-finger soft khaki head with good retention.

S- Sweet caramel, toffee, mollasses, and candied sugar.

T- Sweet caramel, toffee, sugar and a slight burn.

MF- Full bodied with a silky and creamy feel.

O- A good beer overall, but being from CT, I'd gladly take Wet Willy over this, but would buy it again if I see it out of state.

LtCracker20, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of DrewV
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle dated 5/24/11 into a Nonic glass at 45 degrees F.

A: Hazy dark amber red. A foamy 2-finger light tan head forms in the glass, leaving streams of lace down the sides.

S: Sweet malts up front. No hop notes whatsoever. Heavy caramel/honey and butterscotch malt aromas.

T: Unsurprisingly, this is one sweet-ass beer! A thick, syrupy mixture of more heavy butterscotch malt and very light balancing hops. A decent brew, could use more smokiness/peat flavoring for my tastes. Just too overwhelming with the butterscotch aroma and flavors. Definitely cloying.

M: Thick, syrupy, heavy. Lower than average carbonation. Creamy. Easy to drink.

O: A bit sweeter than I prefer, but not offensive. I would also prefer more complexity, possibly more smokiness and bitterness to balance the sweetness. I'd put this at a solid B. The best aspect of this brew is its ability to hide the alcohol. The 8.5%ABV is totally masked by the sweetness.

DrewV, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of chromemittenman
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of many times I've had this beer, tonight in a bottle, but many times on tap. It is the best wee heavy I have had to date, I love as it warms up, the booziness creeps out ever so slightly, but just as smooth as can be at the same time. If you think Dirty Bastard is good, you have to try its big brother Backwoods Bastard.

chromemittenman, Aug 14, 2011
Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 5,661 ratings.