1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,712 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,712
Reviews: 1,617
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 192
Gots: 771 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,712 | Reviews: 1,617 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zraly
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chestnut and ruby color with an off-white head into a Dogfish Head goblet. Nose of malt and a hint of leather.

Very rich, malt forward ale with a touch of booze. Caramel and brown sugar notes coat the palate. Hops in the finish blend nicely and the slight bitterness takes the edge off what is a very malty ale. A bit of earth and tobacco. Semi-dry finish.

Quite nice and a good choice for sipping on a fall evening.

Zraly, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of litheum94
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 7/7/11 (I think that's what it says at least).

Deep ruby, nearing brown in color. Tiny and bubbly khaki head. Leaves pools of foam that are completely gone by the end of the session.

Tons of caramel malts and a faintly vinous quality. Some earth from the yeast. Vague fruit aromas, plums or apples. Scotch aromas. Faintest hint of floral hops.

Tons of roasted, toasted caramel malts. Dark fruit flavors, slightly syrupy. Hint of coffee and toffee. Sweet, boozy bite at the end, kind of like a scotch. Some hop bitterness on the finish, slightly medicinal.

The finish is a little weird, but not a bad scotch ale. Glad I had it, but there are better options.

litheum94, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of heebes
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yellow bottling code is illegible, 2011.

Poured into a Founders pint glass a deep amber brown with a thin tan foamy head that retains well. Nose is caramel malts, dark fruit, molasses. Taste is much the same; roasted and sweet caramel malt base, bit of fruit at the back and a scotch like mildness accompanied by brown sugar. Medium to heavy body, oily texture.
Overall, a very easy drinking ale, good to sip on throughout the fall like evenings.

heebes, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Bells Tulip Glass.

A- Pours a one ½ finger off white head that dissipates quickly, leaves a bubbly layer of head on top, Dark brown color, with hues of burnt orange, nice lacing.
S- Some roasted malt, brown sugar, dark fruits (plums) the aroma is enjoyable.
T- Roasted notes upfront, nice hop presence, adds a nice bitterness, well carbonated, hints of dark fruits (plums) brown sugar, caramel.
M- Medium mouth feel, well carbonated, bitter after taste, crisp finish.
O- Overall this is a solid beer, I ‘m glad I only bought one bottle though, this beer was good to have once but not good enough to revisit IMO, still enjoyed it.

Chriscrundwell12, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
2/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Why does this remind me of an old ale? Stale malts with caramel sweetness and only a mild bittering hop presence.

This is not impressing me right now.

Medium full body is lacking carbonation and feels slightly gritty.

Overall, what the hell is going on here? I love backwoods bastard, and this is terrible. This is like a strange old ale or aged barleywine. There is a boozy bite on the finish that is off-putting as well. Me no likey.

The beer looks murky rust colored reddish brown. Quite brackish and cloudy. Almost no head. Looks dull and lifeless.

AleWatcher, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of eclipse54
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from FluffyMcTingle; thank you! Bottled in 07/2011, and poured into a tulip glass...

Pours a deep mahogany and brown color with some garnet hues; develops about a quarter inch of foamy, off-white head that lingers for some time. Patches of wet lacing remain. Smells of caramel, toffee, faint bourbon, some molasses, and a touch of oak (though I don’t think this one is barrel aged). Taste is very similar, with caramel, scotch, vanilla, and some molasses coming through. Well balanced. Mouthfeel is smooth, and finishes only a touch dry. Overall, a very good, highly drinkable scotch ale. I'm very happy I have another to enjoy down the road.

eclipse54, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from undated 12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.
This is one of those brews that I knew was probably good, but see so frequently, I hadnt gotten around to trying it...

Aroma: Deep, rich carmelly malt. Some cocoa notes, as well as scotch.

Appearance: Slightly hazy ruby-amber color. One finger light tan head disappears somewhat quickly. Minimal lacing.

Flavor: Again, a very rich, malty, butterscotch profile. Some prominent hop and alcohol bitterness enhances the richness of this brew. Bitterness clings on to the tongue through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full, slightly syrupy mouthfeel coats the tongue (in a good way.) Medium carbonation.

Overall: Definitely glad I finally bought a bottle of this one to try. I'm a big fan of this style, and Founders' rendition of it is an excellent one!

mdvatab, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of MidnightWatch
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very attractive, dark marble red, with good head for the style. Already seeing lacing one sip in.

S - Malty redness. Smells like traditional scottish Ale.

T - Smooth, delicious roasted malts. I like the hop usage here, chocolate notes are minimal but vibrant on the finish.

M - Very clean, not overly sugary as I have disliked with others in this style. You can tell they use amazing quality water.

O - Decent beer for the style, would be good with food or standalone.

MidnightWatch, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of paxchristi
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into wine glass. This particular brew is somewhere between a wee heavy and an -80 Schilling. May not be big enough to be a wee heavy but definitely bigger than an -80 Schilling.

Appearance: Pours a dark, reddish color with a bubbly head that totally dissolves in a minute or so. Where the light penetrates, I get some very dark, crimson, honey hues. I don't expect much head from a Scotch Ale, so I can forgive it. Looks great.-- 4.0

Smell: A real malt bomb. Very medium malts come through very strong. Pretty intense really. Not lacking on the nose whatsoever. In fact, I get a slight burn in the nose after a good swirl in the tasting glass. Phenol alcohols for sure-- pretty obvious. Its hard to hide booze when there's not much hops. Hopheads are weird about that, but its appropriate for the style. Its an ale thats supposed to have some real pop and burn to it. And there is some ever so faint bitter chocolate malt with perhaps the faintest amount of some dark fruit (dates?)-- 4.5

Taste: Boozy, bready, malt bomb. Mouth justifies the nose. It's every bit as strong and boozy as the nose. Burns the palate after a little while. Big yeasty breads in this one. Perhaps a bit of biscuit. I get some raisins and dark fruits as well. Perhaps the slightest hint of hops bitterness. Fills your head pretty well. BOOM!-- 4.5

Mouth: Burns a bit. Carbonation moderate and appropriate for the style. Almost chewy. Brings out the boozy bread qualities.

Overall: Founders never disappoints. It's like drinking a big fresh loaf of booze soaked yeasty raisin bread-- toasted slightly dark. Don't get the hate this one has received lately. It's spot on for its style, and it requires it not be mocked, ya wee lad! ;-)

paxchristi, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a red brown color. Big head of three fingers settles at about one. A little lacing.
S- The smell is heavy on the malt, as it should be. Caramel, a touch of vanilla, a bit of earth, and a grassy hop note.
T- There is less hop here than on the nose but that's ok, because the malt profile was tremendously complex. Initially it was caramelly with a light vanilla note. The finish is a combination of dark fruit and sugar. Like a sugar glazed dried fig. Actually the level of sugaryness gets a bit rough on the palate after a while.
M- Medium-full body, medium-light carbonation. It comes across a bit sugary.
O- This is a decent Scottish Ale, and I like the strength of malt, but the sugar level on it is just a bit too high. Dial it back, maybe add a bit more hops or peat quality and this could be a true winner.

jsprain1, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of KDawg
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice mahogany color with a good and thick foamy head

rich and deep nose of caramel, dark chocolate, some malt tones and bits of spice

full bodied with a real richness to it. Fuller bodied with well balanced flavors of dark roast coffee, caramel, malts and spice tones

while this is a bigger beer it holds it very well. On the fuller and richer side, but well balanced with some power behind it

KDawg, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of cmq103
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel Belgian Tulip glass. I picked up a 6-pack for $9.99 from Canals in the Hamilton Marketplace (NJ).

Appearance: A moderately aggressive pour got me a 1/4" beige head that reduced to a thin ring. Nice cascading lacing when I tilt my glass, but it fades quickly once brought upright. A medium brown color with a tad bit of murkiness to it.

Smell: Sweet caramel, malts, brown sugar with a mild boozy finish. This is my first Scotch Ale so I'm not sure what to expect. So far the nose is pretty darn enticing. I also sense some dark fruit similar to an Abbey Dubbel.

Taste: Sweet caramel, along with bready malts, chocolate, and a nice warming alcohol presence. Mild bittering hops are present, but not overwhelming, in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A creamy, buttery texture on the tongue with moderate carbonation. I know it's suppose to be a "Wee Heavy" but I think Founders did a very good job with making you forget it is a 8.5%'er and I would put it at a medium body style. All of the flavors blend extremely well.

Overall: A very tasty beer but the Scotch Ale style is not my thing so I probably wouldn't seek it out again. With that said, it was a very easy drinking beer. I still want to try the Backwoods Bastard so I will revisit the style again.

cmq103, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of Demer
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured deep amber color with little head and no retention.

The smell is caramel and roasted malts.

There is a lot of caramel malt with dark sweet fruit in the taste, molasses. It has a good mouthfeel. It is sweet with a slightly bitter finish.

While this is a solid well made beer it really isn't my thing. I can appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a beer of this quality but the style just isn't one I feel strongly about.

Demer, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of ryantho00
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep maroon and umber color with a white head that laces the glass nicely but dissipate rather quickly.

I get nice sweet malts, a spicy mocha whiff, a hint of dark cherry and some small traces of hops on the nose.

Upon first drinking this brew I taste a sweet molasses and carameley maltiness to start that leads way to some small hints of dark fruits like cherry and blackcurrent. I also get a nice warming sensation from the alcohol near the end that blends well with a small bitterness and hops. The taste is nicely linked with the smell. Nicely balanced, with a medium body mouthfeel. Very nice.


ryantho00, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark mahogany colored brew with a decent off-white head and similar lacing. The aroma is a beautiful charcoal malt with a hint of buttery licorice. The taste buds detect more charcoal and butterscotch but licorice remains a key ingredient. This stuff is carbonated with fine tingly bubbles that keep this very lively in feel with a solid medium body and some resinous qualities for sure. There is also some booziness present but overall this is a very satisfying scotch ale sort of brew and in true keeping with Founders’ reputation.

Durge, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Paincane
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber-brown iced-tea color with hazy appearance and a creamy one finger tan head that quickly dissipates with scant lacing.
S: Malt overload with sweetness of caramel
T: Sweet malt with caramel, hint of chocolate and dark fruit. Alcohol presence lends a nice warmth. Ever so slight bitter finish as it warms.
M: Chewy medium-full bodied with mild carbonation.
O: Very enjoyable beer that is packed full of flavor. Will definitely drink again.

Paincane, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Color is a orange-brown, much like iced tea. The tan head is pretty wimpy and fades pretty quickly, with no lacing left on the glass. Dark fruit and alcohol scents are noted in the smell. The malts are prominent in the taste - caramel with a slight smoky flavor. A piney hop bitterness comes through in the finish. Full-bodied and chewy mouthfeel. Nice balance and complexity. Good representative for the style, but not a fit to my preferred tastes.

DeltaGolfSierra, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of JayAre46
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off Big ups to Elephantrider for this extra! Thank You.

A - pours a deep heavy looking reddish brown with sharp ruby highlights, one finger of a creamy lightly tanned head sits on top receding to a thin layer showing good retention.

A - dominating toasted malt presence, caramelized sugar, woody aroma, maybe raisins with some alcohol in the back. decent aroma but rather weak.

T - wow where the aroma lacks the taste definitely picks up the slack, very complex with an ordinal ingredient flavor portfolio, toasted malt, light flash of chocolate with some candied sugar, cinnamon spice, a very delicate vanilla bean, hints of woody flavors, minimal hops come in the end and are accompanied by a warming alcohol ending with a sweet darkness.

M - very creamy, chewy, medium to full bodied, minimal carbonation. very easy to drink with a good soothing characteristic.

O - what a solid beer and makes me want more of the style, aroma was a bit lacking but still there. the only rival that ive enjoyed as much was a year old, Old Chub from Oskar Blues. founders just continues to push to be my number one brewery. well done

JayAre46, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a tulip glass

A: pours a nice deep brown color with a thin layer of tan head that dissipates quickly and has a very fine foam. leaves a small amount of lacing, pours very hazy
S: dark fruits and a slight underlying scotch note, overall very pleasing on the nose
T: great taste for the style, scotch, woody notes and a slight sweetness like dark chocolate
M: medium carbonation, very thick on the palate, smooth, leaves the mouth salivating which is awesome
O: a great representation of the style, really needs to be allowed to warm up before all of the great flavors come out and it really hits the palate right

BigPlay1824, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.73/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into Trois Pistoles snifter. Bottled 07/07/11 stamped on neck.

Appearance - Small tan head with low retention and weak stick. Dark ruby body.

Smell - Nutty and malty. Slight caramel. No hop presence. Moderate alcohol.

Taste - Earthy, nutty, coffee and somewhat boozy. Bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Too solvent. Otherwhise has a nice medium body and good creaminess in the head.

Overall Drinkability - First Founders beer I didn't really care for. I guess there's a first for everything.

ZenAgnostic, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for this one, Jeff.

A: The beer pours a dark amber color with a creamy khaki colored head.

S: Quite a bit more fruity than many other Scotch ales. Sweet toffee and caramel with some toasted bread and malt aromas. Just a little bit of peat and smoke.

T: Sweet malt and bread with lots of peat. A bit of caramel and toffee and a maybe a weird savory and salty flavor, almost like seaweed. There's a bit of a strange bitterness, too.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: One of the few Founders beers I've had that didn't do much for me.

womencantsail, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of cdkrenz
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Transparent reddish brown body with a quarter to half inch of medium tan colored head.

S - Brown sugar, molasses, and medium roasted malts with no hoppy presence.

T - The yeast makes the scotch style really shine through. The flavors are liquory, roasty, kinda smokey, and none of them are really overwhelming to take away from each other.

M - The start is rather wet and the middle into the finish is dry and light.

~ This is a good scotch ale. While I'm not a huge fan of the style I really think Founders has done yet another fine job of nailing a style and bringing to folks that may otherwise neglect its existence.

cdkrenz, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of KajII
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Snifter]

The pour was a murky medium brown with a copper hue and had an average sized (1-2 finger) light brown rocky head that dissipated quickly but left a thin layer of foam that created some fair lacing.

The aroma was a bit on the sweet side with roasted bread malts, an herbal hop and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of raisons, molasses and a mild alcohol scent.

The taste was sweet and malty with a hint of molasses in the beginning and finished a bit bitter, with a touch of raisons and a mild alcohol tinge at the end that left the flavor to linger for a nice long while.

Mouthfeel was somewhere between medium and full in body and was rather dry in texture with a soft carbonation.

Overall an extremely tasty brew with the alcohol flavor kept to a minimum, yet still allowing for a nice warming sensation after the swallow.

KajII, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of PorterLambic
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown with a tinge of orange throughout. Decent head develops then drops to a thick head relatively quickly. Good lace.
Smell is rich malt, fermented apples and grapes, fruitcake, light notes of whiskey smoke and hops. Great balance and complexity.
Taste is amazingly well balanced. Malt, whiskey, smoke, fruitcake and alcohol. Amazing complexity.
Rich, full-bodied with a light effervescence. Creamy, warming, smooth. Seriously good beer.

PorterLambic, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of Sdesenberg
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased a six pack of bottle at the local grocery store for 9.99. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a medium dark brown with a half inch of thick sticky head. Stick your nose in the glass and you are greeted with a wonderfully complex medley of smells. Biscuity malt and earthy peat are balanced with vanilla. The flavor is equally complex, and frankly, wonderful. It starts with the maltiness, but finishes with the smoky peat and alcohol of good scotch. The smokiness lingers. Overall, an exceptional complex standout. Definately worth picking up!

Sdesenberg, Sep 12, 2011
Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 5,712 ratings.