1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  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.

5,496 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,496
Reviews: 1,607
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 179
Gots: 677 | FT: 23
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: 5,496 | Reviews: 1,607 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IPAescotch
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark and crystal malts. Roasted scent. Some earthy hoppiness

Tastes like bitter roasted coffee some definite whiskey characteristics.

Thin and light bodied yet obvious malt impact. The bitterness really caries through on the aftertaste. Expected more heftiness in the flavor.

Highly drinkable for such a strong beer.

IPAescotch, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of LairdChisholm
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark ruby, brownish color. There is less than a one finger, tan head that has sub par retention. There is hardly any lacing.

S - I actually got a lot of raspberry during my first sniff. There are also some smokey malts and other dark fruits, mostly fig with a touch of alcohol.

T - Very smooth with some roasted caramel malts up front with a touch of smoke. After that, there are some dark fruits such as figs and raisins. The after taste has a surprisingly strong bitter hop taste. Notes of bitter chocolate also linger. Satisfyingly complex.

M - Very very smooth with a higher viscosity than most wee heavies I've had. Not easy to pull off. Bravo, Founders.

D - When I drink a wee heavy, I like it to be on the sweet side. With the bitter hoppy after taste, I think this category suffers a little. But wee heavies, this one included always pleasantly surprise me with their drinkability, considering with the ABV.

LairdChisholm, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Spiekerbox
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Dark reddish brown with a dirty white head, pours maybe a finger thick and leaves nice lacing.

S- Toasted malts, with some sweet malts in there too, dark fruit there too

T- Malty, sweet, a little caramel and dark fruit flavors a little hidden vanilla. light bitterness but no hops to be found, very good flavor

M- medium thick with a medium amount of carbonation, little alcohol warmth at the end

D- Drinkable, but not much of a session beer. Good one to drink but not one to have more than one of

Spiekerbox, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Blanco
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a maudite "snifter."

Very dark, chocolate brown, with a slight reddish hue. Moderate sized tan head.

Smells of caramel and tootsie rolls and hint of fruit (cherry, raisins maybe?)

Taste is malt upfront, followed by caramel and a little hint of cherry coke. slightly bitter, with a smooth and slight alcohol burn. Tasty and as the beer warms is more complex than at first.

mouthfeel is very good. silky and medium to thick, but definitely not syrupy. Does coat the mouth some.

Moderate drinkability. It's good and the alcohol burn doesn't bother me, but it's not one I would have more than 2 or so at a sitting.

Blanco, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of sixthglass
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- nice ruby brown, with a two finger khaki colored head,nice lacing.

S- Not very aromatic but, you can smell the malt, Carmel.

T-Malty carmel, some hint of dark fruit, some tiny hint of vanilla.

M- Smooth, creamy, alcohol is hidden well. Carbonation is the right amount.

D- I would only drink one or two of these, sipping slowly.

sixthglass, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of drizzam
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a cloudy opaque dark brown body topped with a two finger light khaki head. Beautiful head retention which left very nice lacing.

S - Mainly a malty nose accentuated by touches of sweet caramel and a touch of dark fruit. Not a highly aromatic brew, but does smell tasty.

T & M - The taste starts out with a very rich malty backbone with flavors of caramel, dark fruit and maybe a touch of vanilla toward the back end. This is a sweet brew, but not cloyingly so. The 8.5% ABV is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is creamy and thick, a very luxurious creaminess that coats your mouth. This is as smooth as they get!

D - Probably not sessionable, but certainly highly drinkable! I was very pleasantly surprised by this brew and am glad one of my BA friends hooked me up with this offering...now to remember who gave it to me so I can pay them back!

drizzam, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of BeerCon5
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber color with one finger of off white head.

The scent was of caramel malts, scome dark fruit and some cocoa.

The taste was of caramel malts, vanilla, a little molasses, cocoa, and had a pretty strong alcohol presence.

Full bodied, smooth and a bit chewy, moderate carbonation.

I though this had really good flavor, lots to experience. It went down smoothly but it's difficult to drink more than a couple of these.

BeerCon5, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of Anthony1
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is brown with a reddish tint and a short tan head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass. The robust smell is of vanilla, dark chocolate, caramelized malts and a hint of dark fruits. There's an initial burst of sweetness when you first taste it. Then you get the taste of the malt, dark chocolate, vanilla & fruit, which quickly followed by a short warmth of alcohol. Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish leaves just a bit of stickiness.

Anthony1, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of pdoran10
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

hey it's a founder's beer i somehow haven't tried yet, awesome! had one of these while bottling my homebrew earlier today. my sister said this is a great beer, i usually have a similar beer palate.

pours out a deep caramel brown color. maybe a half a finger of head that lingers.

smell is nutty, caramelized malt, hint of maple syrup.

taste is hot fusel alcohol up front, weird i have never had a beer from founder's that is this astringent and boozy up front. it's offputting. after i get past the alcohol, there is a really nice sweet nutty caramel malt flavor going on, but it is subdued by the booze.

mouthfeel is thick and creamy with nice moderate carbonation. just right for style.

really poor drinkability, i was planning on having a few brews while bottling my homebrew saison, got through my first from the six pack and cursed myself for not getting FBS instead. maybe it's super fresh and could use some age, gonna go check on that...

pdoran10, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of StephenRich
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Dirty Bastard is a big Scotch Ale, also known as a Wee Heavy. It is one of Founders Brewing's year round, and flagship beers. Founders has been brewing since 1997 in Grand Rapids, Michigan - very close to several other great American Craft Breweries. And I've always been impressed with their beers, especially the bigger ones. But so what it a big Scotch Ale? Well its 8.5% abv, 50 IBUs (which is higher than the normal style, but typical in the US), and malt focused. Scottish Ales show a big, sweet, malty center with classic toffee, caramel and roasted malt sensations. They are thick and rich in both mouthfeel and flavor, and are best served at cellar temperature.

So given the style, and my experience with Founders, I was expecting a good beer. Scotch Ales are some of my favorite, so I was definitely excited to try this Dirty Bastard. But really you never know what you are going to get from a classic style brewed by the Americans. Will be it over hopped, too rich, unbalanced, or hugely alcoholic? It could be sublime, soft, balanced and elegant on the other hand too. It really doesn't matter where on the spectrum it lies, because the key is that wherever it is, I can almost guarantee that it is well done.

The Dirty Bastard comes in a short 355ml bottle, and as mentioned is 8.5% abv, pretty much right in the mid range for this style of beer. I do like them more as they edge towards 10%, I find the malts, if done well really shine at that strength. But its just a preference.

I opened the Scotch Ale at cellar temperature around 14C (57F) and poured it into a snifter. The pour was oily and slick building a smooth and creamy balance of richly brown beer and dense light brown foam. As the pour continued the beer rumbled with life and excitement eventually building up just over half the glass, the rest was 2 and a half inches of soft, cream-like head. The beer was richly brown with deep mahogany shades, ambers, and dark copper. The head stood there with great retention shining a nutty shade of light brown and showing dense, but random carbonation towards the bottom, and larger, more airy carbonation towards the top.

The nose wide and round with soft toast, roasted chocolate, lush malts, dried fruits and sugary-sweet toffee. Hints of molasses, cocoa powder, almonds and stewed plums come out a bit more, but no hops seem to be in the nose. It is malt focused, and appropriately so.

The first sip was all head; a thick, smooth and creamy lush head. But once you get beyond it the Bastard brings wide malt sensations that flow softly across your palate. Actually, much softer than I thought it would. Big dried fruits come though in a gooey range of dates, prunes, raisins, and apples. Ranges of roast float in, but are not as powerful as I expected from the nose, but also bring earthy and herbal hops lightly to the back adding some bittering balance.

It has gentle smoke, touches of toast, the softness of bitter bakers chocolate and a smooth wave of molasses. As your palate opens up, a more malty flavor of caramel and toffee becomes more apparent and then eventually take over. Fruit moves to the background, and more savory malts build in power. A hint of wood and maybe even bourbon finishes in at the end, but again, gently.

The overall mouthfeel is soft and caressing. It gliiiddeess over your palate with an oily smooth texture gently washing the flavors over you. I would have liked it to be a bit bigger to be honest, the smoothness almost worked against it. It was lush and malty, but not MALTY, which is what I wanted from an American Scotch Ale. So maybe they hit it right then? Its all in the eye of the beholder. I did enjoy the Dirty Bastard, but would have enjoyed it more if it smacked me in the face, rather than just gave me a warning tap.

Pics at: http://t.co/gTrqCuz

StephenRich, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of Metuo
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful dark amber color with an excellent bubbly head that lasted the entire beer. Laced in feathery clumps that only attended to the wonderful appearance.

S:Oak, vanilla, almost sour malt, alcohol, dried fruit, all very understated however.

T: Oak and vanilla are the most present, with a sour bite at the end. Very nice overall, each sip seems to differ a little from the last.

M: Slightly carbonated, a little tickle from the bubbles.

D: Very easy to drink, goes down smoothly.

Metuo, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a chestnut burgundy color with an ultra thin white lacing around the top with no carbonation.

S - Low on the aroma. Has some oaky character, caramel malt, and some scotch. I can't really pick much more out than that.

T - Caramel malts, cherries, scotch, and vanilla flavors with oaky dryness an dgentle but noticeable warming on the way down. There's also a nice bitter chocolate dry finish. The hops at "the bitter end" make for a very nice finish. The Bastard leaves a lingering alcohol warmth in the throat. There's also traces of candied figs and prunes with vanilla maple syrup.

M - Super smooth on the tongue with lingering bitterness and a heavy medium body.

D - Pretty good.

jzeilinger, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Landfill21
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 22oz. bomber glass. Pours into a amber color and has a nice creamy head that leaves a lace around the glass that shows the strength of the beer. Has a nice complex smell that has aromas of dark fruit, cherries and undertones of chocolate. Has a nice smooth taste with little carbonation. Has a really nice taste and has a good drinkability.

Landfill21, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of bnes09
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber, bronze color and opaque. Light tan head with exceptional retention and lacing especially for the beer's strength.

Tons of interesting aroms. Maple sweetness, cherries, dates, chocolate, and bourbon all come to mind.

Flavors are very rich and go right along with the smell. Dark fruits, chocolate and a well rounded maple sweetness. Hops are assertive to add balance to the intense malt character. Alcohol is very alive with a bourbon bite but gets mellowed out in the finish by the sweet malt.

Feel is full-bodied, almost syrupy. Finish is sweet and sticky on the lips. Hops do a fair job of drying the feel out.

Wow! An awesome example of a scotch ale! Haven't tried too many from the style but I can tell that this one is a gem. Each sip leaves me wanting more and at 8.5%, I know it will catch up to me quickly. Savor it and drink with caution.

bnes09, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After an evening of reviewing sketchy beers, it feels good to finish with this old favorite. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a deep mahogany color that reveals slight sediment when held up to the light. Very little head even with an aggressive pour, leaving a swirly sheen of thin tan on top.

Mmm, that familiar boozy yeasty scotch ale smell greets me, filled with dark candied fruits and slight sourness.

Starts bready, with currant, fig, oak tobacco and grassy tones, finishing peaty and bitter, with a predominate alcohol taste. Certainly earthy, with definite tanins hitting you mid-to-back tongue. Bitter aftertaste waaay at the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is complex, medium to fiull.

Very sippable, this is the last of my six pack. Time to buy more!

TheHoppiest, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of Spider889
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark amber color. Little head and even less retention.

Faint smell of caramel malt and liquor.

Nice balanced brew. Lots of dry malt and subtle scotch flavor. Woody and bready. Thick, chewy, and very smooth. Sweet but not overpowering. Nice hop bitter undertones.

This turned out to be a really good brew, just not one I'm likely to crave anytime soon. Easily drinkable.

Spider889, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle to a fluted beer glass, color is a dark amber with feint head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is sweet, malty, caramely, a bit of toffee undertones. Very well done.

Taste is strong sweet malt, caramel flavors, some brown sugar and toffee flavors, almost some notes of smoke or barrel aged flavors, similar to an aged rum, very good.

Mouthfeel is well balanced, not much carbonation, which is just he way you want this beer to flow and hit your mouth.

For this style and ABV, very drinkable. let it warm a bit and it tastes even better.

mvanaskie13, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of chasebrownyeah1
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

founders Dirty Bastard ABV: 8.5

A: Amber to a brown color. Poured a minimal head that quickly fell to a unnoticable head... Dark color.

S: Smells of a sweet aroma. Kind of like a chocatlote, coffee smell. Very bitter in the nose and malty at the same time.

T: Taste of chocalote, coffee, caramel, hops, and very malty. Great combination! The aftertaste is relatively bitter. Has sort of a floral hops that kind of works its way in during the taste explosion.

M-D: Smooth on the tongue. However, kind of rough on the way down... hint hint, the alcohol (8.5%). Would I drink again??? Sure, but this would be a sipping beer.

chasebrownyeah1, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of vandemonian
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a lovely brown/red colour, but and a decent head that fades to lacing around the edge of the glass. The smell is lovely and malty but there is also some fresh hoppiness there too. This beer has a very complex taste. For me, this beer tasted fresh and citrussy up front but the malt quickly took over and it became sweet and syruppy. The finish is roasty and smooth. This is possibly my favourite beer. Taste this with your eyes closed and enjoy the ride.

vandemonian, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of chaz410
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours an amber hinted brown.
Smells of burnt caramel, nuts, chocolate notes as well as burnt wheat.
There is some heavy caramel and toasted malts. There's some peated malt chract, some roasted barley and a little carafa as well.
The mouthfeel is very smooth and thick.
It's not the most drinkable beer in the world but it's very nice

chaz410, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of scottyb88
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 4th, 2010

A- pours a cloudy deep brown color with off white head

S- very toasty and malty; brown sugar glazed pecans; very faint spice flavor that's perhaps clove

T- fairly complex and malty; I get a pie crust type flavor with a little spice flavor or possibly the hop bitterness is cutting through; some brown sugar is definitely there but it's not all that sweet; there is a nice bite from the hops to balance it out; a little apple skin flavor in the background; as the beer warmed a noticeable semi-sweet chocolate flavor emerged

M- not too bad but I wish it was a little bit creamier; carbonation level was good; aftertaste lingers

D- the 8.5% abv. is noticeable but it's still easy to drink; a fairly complex beer that one in an evening should be sufficient; I think it would be a great outdoor evening beer during the Fall months

scottyb88, Aug 29, 2010
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: nice mild nut brown with a decent head.

S: sweet brown sugar, caramel, a little nutty, and quite malty.

T: this beer taste alot like it smells. Same heavy malt charcater with the brown sugar and caramel. I get some rasions along with the nutty character that I also smell. In addition I can taste a slight rose like presence along with a little bit of a wood flavor. Its pretty much a nice sweet blend of a few flavors and has a smooth sweet finish. Its a tasty beer for sure.

M: pretty much medium, which is standard for the style, but I think its a little bit thin. It needs just a little more body.

D: very drinkable not overly sweet. Nice smooth and well balanced.

Thoughts* Great scottish style ale. Very traditional take on the style and good balance. Good feel and it drinks nice. I like to have a nice scotch ale every now and then, but they are not my favorite style of beer.

GOGRANDE, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of rrski198
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Small off white head with good lacing. Dark amber and crimson colored beer.

S: Heavy toasted malty sweetness. Alcohol burn inside the nose.

T: Pretty damn good. Toasted and spicy with a strong hop finish. Nicely balanced. Alcohol burn lingers. Makes my gums hot.

M: Good heavy carbonation. Very robust and heavy. I like it.

D: I like this beer alot and have had it before. I have bought it again, so it must be good.

rrski198, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of runner72
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 12 oz bottle

Pours a dark, cloudy brown with a tan head. Not too large of a head and little retention. Smell is a little phenolic with some caramel and toffee. It goes down very smooth and malty. No real hop bitterness. Taste is caramel and a slight hint of coffee. Very drinkable and you don't taste any hint of the 8.5% ABV. Very nice.

runner72, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of perrymarcus
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a rich chestnut tone with just shy of a finger's head; moderate retention, limited lacing. nose is predominantly malty - roasted and sweet - with dark fruits intertwined. first sip packs a caramel malt jolt with the dark fruits behind it; subdued hoppy notes; alcohol in the finish. tasty. nice, creamy mouthfeel... in summation, a very enjoyable (though not quite incredible) beer; going 4's across the board on this bastard.

perrymarcus, Aug 25, 2010
Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,496 ratings.