1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,250 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,250
Reviews: 1,690
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 231
Gots: 1,136 | FT: 24
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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-03-2003

Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,250 | Reviews: 1,690 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours dark brown with dark ruby highlights. Slightly hazy. Head is nearly nothing. Light lacing

S-Deep maltiness. Molasses, burnt caramel, sugar. Lightly roasty. Not really detecting much of a hop presence in the nose. Light, yet attractive Scotch presence too which I enjoy. Smells like a dumbed down Backwoods Bastard.

T-A nique take on the Wee Heavy. Sweet and malty. Has a cola like flavor at one point. Scotch and smoke is very minimal but may be my favorite aspect of the beer. Not a very powerful taste. I usually don't love the style but this one taste pretty decent.

M-Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Alcohol is somewhat drying. Leaves the cheeks hot.

O/D-Not one of my favorite Founders brews, but their company is so good that this one still is above average. One of the better Wee Heavys I have had. Good, not great. Alcohol masked well and while it is sweet, its not too sweet (like many others in the style).

Photo of Stocean1
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a thin collar of head from a bottle into a pint glass, deep ruby brown color with fine lacing. Some fine lacing.

Smell is peat and whiskey, caramel and dark fruit.

Taste is boozy scotch whiskey with dark fruit (raisin), caramel malt, nutty, and a chocolate note. Taste of whiskey is definitely not as prominent as the scent.

This is a medium bodied brew with some carbonation. Somewhat bitter with alcohol burn in the throat. The ABV is definitely unmasked.

Overall, a nice wee heavy although I prefer the Innis Gunn to this brew for the style.

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 07/26/11

A- Thin tan head on a dark brown body. Minimal head retention with a very small amount of lacing.

S- Dark fruits dominate with peaty malts.

T- Major caramel malts. More dark fruits with a hint of chocolate notes. Ghost of a smoked sensation with some bready flavor going on. Booziness fits the description.

M- Low carbonation. Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel.

D/O- Perhaps the easiest to attain wee heavy around, at least in the Midwest, this is many craft newbies first of the style. Thankfully it is a solid representation from Founders

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a flute from 12 oz. bottle, this beer is a tough review because I find the tap little more fulfilling.

Appearance: Dark Brown with an 1/8 light brown head. Semi-opaque with cloudiness to when poured into the right lighting.

Smell: What a horrible word, I would say this beer has aroma...if i could describe it in any away it would be part barley wine meets espresso. You can inhale this beer and get the buzz, its like a premonition of the good to come.

Taste: Chocolatey, but bitter which is incredible oxymoron for beer.Sweet caramel feel offsets everything else. I do try all different types of beer and I simply just love this beer.

Mouth: Very full with medium carbonation, taste is super sticky...you finish a glass and taste is still there. It hints of chocolate/coffee and maybe a dash of grapefruit and wine. I used this before and will use it again the flavor just "hug your cheeks".

Overall: Incredibly finished beer I loved it beginning to end. You will get almost everything with this beer, lacking maybe appearance which isn't much since it's going to end up in your stomach. Best of all you can get it year round, this beer is definitely top of my A list and should be on top of yours. Salud!

Photo of SawDog505
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 13 oz tulip. Pours a brownish red, with a half inch of off white head, a little lacing. Smell is of brown sugar, dark fruits, peat, and some hops. Taste is that, very easy drinking, and the balance is wonderful. Really impressed, this is not a style that I seek out, but Founders never let's me down. Nice carbonation and a perfect mouthfeel. Really like this beer, didn't want it to end.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. The bottle date has rubbed off so I have no idea how old this is.

Appearance - Reddish brown body with some floaties suspended in it. The faintest glimmer of a head and then just a ring around the body. The surface is pocked with small islands of foam.

Smell - Caramel, no hint of booze, but a slight fruitiness from what I think is hops. Not a complex or overwhelming smell, but nice. The hops throw me for a loop though.

Taste - Caramel forward with some brown sugar aspects, but it's sort of one-note. The finish is brazen. Hops and bitterness. It brightens the flavor considerably. I am unsure of how I feel about this.

Mouthfeel - Medium-heavy bodied, as I'd expect. It is surprisingly easy to drink, though, partially due to the hop presence. It prevents it from being sweet at all and makes it go down nicely. At the same time, the bitterness detracts just a bit from the mouthfeel.

Overall - Some nice aspects, but I'm not terribly impressed. There are much better examples of this style that have more complexity to the malt character.

Photo of scratch69
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a thistle glass.

Appearance- Deep brown with a foamy head. Minimal lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt. Not much else.

Taste- Strong malty flavor with a touch of smokiness. I can also taste the alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, thick body with a nice amount of carbonation.

Overall- Scotch ale is not one of my favorite styles, but this one is quite enjoyable.

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The beer itself is nice, a dark brown in color, but the head is absolutely magnificent. It’s moderate in size with the most luscious copper tone that I’ve ever seen in a head.

Smell – The scotch aroma is light and not boozy in the least. Too many of these efforts have that vanilla-like boozy smell but this is a pure Scottish malt character. There’s some light sugary cane as well. It nicely complements the malt.

Taste – The mating of beer and scotch flavors is right on for my tastes. The scotch flavor lingers at the finish making this a long, wonderful drag. It’s a powerful flavor yet somehow light in the mouth.

Mouthfeel – This is maybe medium-bodied with some surprising bitterness. The carbs are in the background but just enough to make this a fun drinker.

Drinkability – The bitterness might scare away a novice drinker but any fans of the style, and especially any lovers of fine scotch, will thoroughly enjoy this effort from Founders.

Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber color that's light enough to see through. Lacing.

S: Citrus from the hops. Malty sweetness. Caramel.

T: Caramel. Malt sweetness. Bitterness from hops.

M: A little too carbonated, but it's still fine.

Overall: This is a really good beer, and possibly one of my favorites from Founders. Definitely recommend.

Photo of Pete0714
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured into a pint glass dark brown with a tan head.
Smells of rich chocolaty caramel.
Taste brought a roasted sweetness with a syrupy creamy mouthfeel.
Very much a heavy bodied ale full of characters I might have expected more from stouts, but very nice. Another Founders success.

Photo of keanex
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle dated 5/14/2011 into a tulip glass.

A: Deep red/maroon/brown beer with a tan foamy head that retains it's shape and size. Nice looking beer.

S: Mostly malty and bready, not much picked up here through the nose.

T: Big malty flavor up front with hints of fruits and fruits coming through.

M: Medium carbonation with a rather thick body.

O: A decent beer, I remember it tasting a little better than this, but it's not a bad beer just not as complex and interesting as I remember.

Photo of FoundersFanatic
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- ruby red/cooper brown

S- not very good at describing it. But it's kind of peat/smoke, kind of caramel malty, a little bit of hoppiness. But it smells pretty good.

T- has a good taste, nothing special, but better than most beers similar to it. Has malt caramel flavors, peat/smoke, and a bit of hoppiness. Is somewhat bitter and the alcohol taste is more pronounced than most beers similar to it (in a good way). Is smooth and goes down easy.

M- nothing special, has a smooth feeling, but does have a bit of bite that leaves room for it to be a bit smoother.

O- great Scottish Ale. Strong taste, great taste for the style, and can knock you on your ass if you haven't had anything to eat, lol.

Photo of adman08
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep red with a hint of brown. Minimal off-white head that fades to a thin layer on the surface of the beer.
S-Aromas of smoke/peat combined with chocolate and a hint of caramel and vanilla. Fairly strong smell of alcohol.
T-Strong peat smoke flavor. Lots of malt sweetness with flavors of chocolate and a hint of caramel. Strong alcohol. Some herbal hop bitterness.
M-Decent carbonation. Fairly sticky, starts fairly thick and sweet.
Overall, this has all of the characteristics you look for in a scotch ale, the peat smoke flavor, the rich malt and fairly high alcohol. I would have liked a little less herbal hop bitterness or maybe just a little more malt sweetness to balance it but I think this is very true to the style.

Photo of Zraly
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of litheum94
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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.

Photo of eclipse54
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of mdvatab
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

Photo of MidnightWatch
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of paxchristi
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
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! ;-)

Photo of jsprain1
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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

Photo of cmq103
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 6,250 ratings.