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.

6,254 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,254
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: 6,254 | Reviews: 1,690 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohannBock
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured in a pint glass. One finger head that disappeared quickly leaving slight lacing on top. The beer itself was a beautiful dark ruby color and relatively opaque. Looked good.

S: Smelled very malty, with some caramel and nuts. Smelled like it would taste sweet.

T: Starts off very sweet. You get the malt at the beginning. But then it finishes dry and you get some bitterness that lingers. It seems likes it is a combo of hops and alcohol. A nice roller-coaster of flavors.

M: Very thick. Has a very smooth and heavy feel but it just adds to the complexity and fun of this beer.

O: Really fun beer. It seems like a great representation of this style. A great beer that I would go back to and be very happy. Be careful if you have more than one though because it may sneak up on you.

Photo of SirSketch
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Solid, dense head the color of a brown egg. The beer itself is a ruby red, borderline brown color and mostly translucent.

S - The malt aroma on this beer is sublime! Aromas include nuts, maple syrup, honey and a slight milk chocolate aroma, as well as a touch of diacetyl.

T - Very sweet upfront, then mellows into tastes of honey and astringent dark malts, and end noticeably bitter. Aggressive in both malts and hops.

M - Thick and tannic mouthfeel, but with a big bitterness that dries the finish and lingers.

O - This hopped-up version of a scotch ale may have a hard time striking a balance between sweet and bitter, but it's still amazingly flavorful and a pleasure to drink!

Photo of sixerofelixir
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Bottled-on date on neck, but the label was glued over top of it.

Pours a cloudy brick-red. Nice, unique caramel/toffee-colored head/ring. Smell is all sweet caramel. Taste is a ton of toffee with a bit of mineral. Clean & lightly nutty. Sort of like peanut brittle as beer. Enough bitters to satisfy. Dry finish. Very clean brew. Good!

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

Poured from a 32 ounce swing-top growler into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Filled today at Whole Foods.

A: Two and a half fingers of head fades rather fast, leaving LOTS of lace in its wake. The beer is rusty brown in the shade, translucent-murky-clear amber red in the light.

S: Sweet, malty, and fruity. A bit spicy...pumpkin?

T: Flavourful and nice. Spicy -- cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe cloves -- it reminds me of eggnog, especially with the creamy smoothness. The maintaste is full, malty, and laced with fruit...still getting pumpkin (pie) and maybe even some banana. The aftertaste is nutty and lightly dry.

M: Substantial. Creamy at times, weak and dry at others. Overall, good.

O: Good beer, slightly better than I remember it perhaps. I quite like Founders, and this beer is no exception. Not exceptional perhaps, and not one for regular drinking, but a full-bodied well-spiced winter sort of beer. I would recommend it, even if it's a while before I have another.

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

A: Big, beige, dense, and bubbly head. Dark, dark ruby red with some nut brown.

S: Sweet fruit -dark and heavy. Alcohol. Sugary malts. Molasses. A little tart and sour -yeast? Some soy sauce.

T: Sweet malts. Fruits again. Molasses. Roasted flavor. Some spices, like cinnamon. Good.

M: Sweet and smooth. Clean. Nothing special, but nice.

O: Tastes quite good. I'd have another if I'm in the mood. Recommended.

Photo of Retail1LO
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found a case of this at Kunda Beverage in King of Prussia. Another strong beer. This poured a beautiful reddish brown, with a nice thick two-finger head at the top which hung around for a pretty substantial period of time. Real smooth beer, yet it still had a fairly pronounced alcohol profile that gave it a tad of bite. I would have to imagine this is much better suited as a fall or winter beer, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.

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

A-dark red amber with tan creamy head

S-caramel sweetness with malt aromas and some hints of citrus

T-sweet malty caramel flavor with a bitter hops finish, some citrusy accants

F-good body and smooth creamy feel with medium carbonation

O-a nice Scotch style ale

Photo of Glibber
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Founders beer. Dark coffee color with a decent smell with some hops and sweetness like molasses. Good carbination and a dark malt taste and just a hint of hops. I wasn't that crazy about the beer, but the alcohol was hidden fairly well for 8.5% abv. For the style it was good.

Photo of tdm168
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

Arrived a deep, dark brown with absolutely no head. Smell is sweet, perhaps caramel with a hint of raisin. Taste is not as bold as I'd like; sweet caramel malt with again a hint of raisin. I even detect a soapy, creamy taste in the finish. As the beer warms the alcohol comes through nicely to warm the finish. Little if any carbonation, medium bodied.

I've had this beer before and never had the soapy experience I had this night. I will try this beer again, probably from a bottle, as Founder's rarely disappoints.

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

Giving another Founders a shot. Reddish-brown on pour, solid couple inches of creamy tan head.

Smell reminds me of butterscotch, with some honey in the background. Not sure where that particularly came from, but I welcome it. No booze on the nose despite the listed strength. Flavor continues the theme, plus apple and a slight twinge making me think of rum almost. From what I can tell the bitterness present is the most anonymous hop character I've tasted while still being present -- malts are the star, no question.

Goes down slightly syrupy, but not to an annoying degree. It's thicker than it looks.

Ridiculously casual overall for the usual north of 8%er. I'd order this on tap somewhere if I could - then have someone else drive home.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Deep, reddish amber color with muddled clarity and a chilled haze beneath a two-finger head of tan foam which settles to a creamy cap, leaving some nice lacing.

S: Sweet, robust, spicy, fruity and floral with some nuttiness, raisins, pine cone and molasses.

T: Powerful concoction of sweet, roasted, bready malts, rich, complex fruity flavors that reveal citrus and raisins while smoothing the palate back over with a creamy, smoky, earthy and nutty snap. The finish is herbal, bitter and leaves a hint of alcohol and bitter hop resin on the palate.

M: Rich, robust and full-bodied feel with a good deal of bitterness to cut the creamy malts and a touch of alcohol in the finish.

O: A very complex and robust Americanized Wee Heavy indeed, Founders Dirty Bastard is a deep, decadent brew to sit down with on a cold autumn night. Although, I enjoyed it just fine on a balmy summer night, too. The 8.5% ABV is heady indeed, but there is a fine balance amidst the chaos.

Photo of infi
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Corsendonk tulip.

A dark, burnt, caramel/copper red body with a settling, tan cap and minimal lacing on glass. Smells of lots and lots of sweetness, possibly from all the varieties of malt used in brewing. There's a nice amount of caramel sweetness resonating from the glass too. For the amount of malt used, however, there was not much of a breadiness found. Not really much hop character in the beer either. Mostly sweet overall.

Taste has sort of a salty quality in the flavor profile, with a decently sized malt complex, seasoned by some dark, fruity sweetness and alcoholic booze. Slim amount of smokiness underneath the beer too, as well as a thin, sugar-coated, nutty-like essence.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Drank pretty well.. personally, I liked it. Haven't had many Wee Heavy/Scotch Ales, besides DdC Equinoxe du Printemps, so it's a delightful, new style for me. I hope to experience more in the near future.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

A- Dark caramel with a two finger head and a lot of lacing.

S- Not a lot in the nose. Caramel malt and roastiness. Pick up on some candy sugar and some other sweet additive.

T- Roasted malts, caramel, spices, a hint of coffee. Nice balance of bitterness to round this beer off.

M- Medium bodied, a little oily in texture with a nice mellow smooth finish.

O- Not a huge scotch ale guy, but this is a good one. The blend of sweet, roast, spice, and hops make this a very well balanced beer. You would never know this is 8.5%.

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep burnt sienna--fairly opaque with a taupe-colored head a 1/2 inch at the start, but settling to an 1/8 inch that persists and leaves good cling. It has a rich toasted malt nose with notes of caramel, coffee, and chocolate. Barley and some flashes of hop zest coming across, as well. Smooth and sweet toasted malts--flashes of caramel and dark chocolate, predominantly--are the first flavors to register. This moves quickly to nice hop bitterness, mingled with smoke and coffee flavors at the back. Great balance on this one. Smooth, creamy, and medium-bodied feel. There's a bit of a syrupy quality, but it has a surprisingly clean finish.

This is an extremely flavorful brew, with nice balance and real assertiveness in all sensory respects. It surprised me with its creamy sweetness, and then it surprised me with its smokey bitterness. What's great is that it moves so effortlessly between its flavors. Definitely a well-crafted ale that's worth a purchase.

Photo of cosmo4u
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

purchased 7/11/11 growler

Appearance: Beautiful dark red hue, mostly hazy but some transparency to it. No noticeable carbonation. Forms a small, yellowish, soapy head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Red apple and caramel syrup. Touch of alcohol.

Taste: This is the liquid equivalent of a candy apple. Rich caramel sweetness on the outside with a juicy red apple on the inside. Strange, but pleasing mix of fruit and sugar. Leaves a distinct bittersweet chocolate aftertaste as well to impart a touch of bitterness as well as round out the sweet aspect of the palate. Finishes with a slightly smoky flavor, but it seems to fade away after one a few swigs. Initially, a very delectable palate, but the beer doesn't finish as strong as it starts as it begins to become overtly milder and alcohol begins to distract from the main palate. Still very tasty and pleasing from first to last drop, though.

Mouthfeel: Thick, soft, slightly stick, no noticeable carbonation. Thins out and becomes slightly watery towards the end.

overall a great beer to share with your friends and enjoy over and over again

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

A: Pours a very dark brown with no head but lively carbonation

S: Caramel, toffee, other assorted creamy sweetness, hints of dark fruit like figs and raisins, and a vapor of hops in the background

T: A touch of the creamy sweetness in the smell, big sweet malt flavor, and a bittersweet finish courtesy of some grassy hops. Some peppery notes as well all throughout, maybe like a tobacco or wood like pepper/oak combo? Complex and tasty.

O: Pretty tasty, and probably a shoe in over oskar blues' old chub, the only other scotch ale I've ever had. Might warm up to this style.

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

From notes:


A - Deep mahogany. 1 finger tan head, dissipates quickly. Not much lacing.

S - Sweet, bready, caramel and alcohol dominate. Maybe a little peaty smokiness.

T - Toffee/caramel, scotch whiskey, alcohol, peat, bittersweet finish that is superb. Excellent balance of hop bitterness and grain sweetness. Awesome tasting beer.

M - Medium/heavy. Nice and creamy.

O - I am not gonna be drinking many of these in one night. Nonetheless, a very nice beer.

Photo of rundocrun
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 12-oz bottle.

A - Pours a deep, almost opaque brown with faint amber highlights when held up to the light. Yields a finger of light tan head that fades to a thin film over the top of the beer. Minimal lacing on the glass.

S - Big and malty! Lots of caramel and milk chocolate up front. Hints of coffee, raisin and molasses intermingle as well.

T - Strong dark chocolate, raisins and black currants. A bitterness hits toward the middle that is not entirely hop-like. It's almost more of a black coffee-like bitterness. I also get some vanilla and caramel as it warms. The malt body of this beer wasn't quite as sweet or potent as I was hoping it would be judging by the smell.

M - Medium body. Has a slightly dry finish, but the malt sticks around well after, leaving the mouth sticky.

Overall, not a bad brew. I think it just didn't quite live up to it's potential. I think it could be better by lowering the attenuation (i.e. lowering the alcohol, but increasing the sugars left in the beer).

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a respectable tan/beige head. Deep brown with caramel/amber tones.

S: Peaty, savory. Soy. Toffee richness.

T: Charcoal smoke over a deep caramel malt. Coffee bitter. Roasted meat.

M: Medium carbonation. Some oiliness/viscosity.

D: Good interpretation of the style.

Photo of colt45n
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: ruby red with brilliant clarity. Rim of creamy foam borders and climbs the rim. Spotty lacing.

S: dark malts, sweet caramel, a hint of tea.

T: not as sweet as would expect for the style. Toasty and dry. See nose for flavors.

M: medium to Heavy with medium carb. A hint dry on the finish.

Overall not a bad beer. Wish it was a little sweeter for the style. once again just not my favority style.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We pour a brew the color of a good Scotsman’s beard, a nice reddish chestnut. It holds a brief one finger head of cream colored bubbles, which recede into big clumps which stick around for a while. Flecks of lacing remain. There are swirls of haze throughout, introduced by the last few drops. Otherwise the beer is clear, with medium looking carbonation. The aroma is rich with sweet and roasty malts. As the beer warms the malts flourish, and become darker, bordering on the lightest example of a porter or stout type of roast. Otherwise they are brightly sweet with caramel and buttery diacetyls, which do their best to hide a burning fusel alcohol sting at the very back of the nose. There is also the faintest suggestion of sweetened banana esters and even fainter hop resin, to round out the coolness of aroma. As we sip, the deep malts, as in the nose, charade as though they belong in a lighter stout. There is a significant and charcoaly roast to them, and it makes for a nice and smoky beginning. Through the middle the flavoring bitters out, briefly. It seems to be lent from both roast and slick hop oil that floats at the very top of the liquid, to quickly disappear before it is noticed. The finish is where the sweetness comes out, riding on a big wave of malty, boozy goodness. This is lent from sugary cooked caramel and a mineral, flowery earthiness. The body is medium to full and the carbonation is medium. There is a nice froth and smack to each sip, with an unseen creaminess. The mouth is coated initially, but left to dry into a partially astringent finish. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks with ease.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew were the malts and the smokiness they impart in both the aroma and taste. The aroma is muted at first, but blossoms into a rich mixture exemplary for the style. It does, however, suggest that the flavors will bring a bit more sweetness. This is not to say that we were let down, but rather that it gives a little bit of a surprise when you take that first sip.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a very oily and viscous dark amber with some nice ruby red notes and some haze. The head is about 0.25 inch tall. The head color is a nice light tan color with some dense bubbles that are quite lovely and recede quickly to a ring around the glass.

S - Dark fruits, prunes, figs and raisins. Some caramel and some slight chocolate notes in the nose. Nose is malty and complex. Some slight cinnamon and a bit of bourbon. Vanilla is present as well. Delicious but a bit mild.

T & M - Starts off with some nice toasty malt, followed by some delicious slight burnt malt notes, some chocolate bitterness as well as some nice burnt sweet caramel. I'm not necessarily a big fan of these big malty beers but this is delicious. There is some awesome complex dark fruit flavors as it warms with some figs and some nice raisins. There are some woody hints and some bourbon as well as some spice. Surprising cuz' this isn't a BA beer. I feel like my palette is evolving I'm thoroughly enjoying this malt forward beer. The beer finishes with some nice slight burnt malt and some smokey wood notes as well as some nice caramel sweetness and a slight sticky chewy feel.

O - I've loved Founders for so long and have always skipped on this offering because I was not a "malt" guy. Today I have been sold on this beer. I will be picking this up as often as Red Rye PA from now on.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


The only other Scotch Ale i've had is Oskar Blues Old Chub so still pretty new to Scotch Ale's

Poured into a Claret

Appearance-Dark, hazy brown with some red ruby hues. 1 1/2 finger beige head that dissipates slowly leaving nice lacing.

Smell-Sweet fruits, plums and some light cherry notes. Lots of sweet malts. Molasses, Brown Sugar and caramel. Can pick out alot of booze. Also getting cinnamon. Smells like a toasted raison/cinnamon bread.

Taste-Very similar to the aroma. Sweet roasty malts. Lots of molasses, cinnamon, and some star anise or nutmeg(I think). Alot going on, complex palate.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, creamy, nice carbonation. Very very smooth.

Overall-I may have to go back and do a side by side with a few scotch ales. This beer was very complex, alot going on. This review is subject to change for the positive here in the next few weeks.

Photo of Roke87
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance- Pours a hazy dark amber red colour, average pour yields a finger and a half of tan fluffy head that quickly dissipates to a nice ring around the glass leaving almost no lacing throughout the glass till finish.

Smell- Lots of bready malt flavours coming through right off the bat, very sweet aromas coming through as well with a nice caramel/toffee aroma in there as well, and some mild fruity aromas with more dark sugar molasses in there as well.

Taste- Very similar to the smells, the taste comes through with a nice bready malt flavour, paired with a very sweet taste like caramel/toffee, dark sugars, and also comes through with a mild dark fruit taste in there as well, I also get a mild taste of the alcohol in there as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with almost a below average carbonation, very sweet on the palate it does goes down easy for the higher ABV’s although you can taste the alcohol in this one.

Overall- Another amazing beer from a truly amazing brewery, I have not to this day tried a Founders brew that I did not like. On the scale of amazing founders brew I would probably place this one somewhere in the middle but compared to a lot of others it is right at the top. This would definitely be a go to for me when searching for beers in Michigan, and I would actually love to have this one again, good thing it is a regular offering from Founders.

Photo of harrymel
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes at bier baron in dc.

A: ruby red with brilliant clarity. Rim of creamy foam borders and climbs the rim. Spotty lacing.

S: dark malts, sweet caramel, a hint of tea.

T: not as sweet as would expect for the style. Toasty and dry. See nose for flavors.

M: medium to Heavy with medium carb. A hint dry on the finish.

O: not a bad beer. Wish it was a little sweeter for the style. I can see why so many love this beer. Just not my cup.

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 6,254 ratings.