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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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6,255 Ratings
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Ratings: 6,255
Reviews: 1,690
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 230
Gots: 1,139 | 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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-03-2003

Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,255 | Reviews: 1,690 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DerekP
3.27/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance is cloudy, with an array of hues that make the beer look delicious and inviting. A fluffy nougat head on top. A dark brown to mahogany glow to the bottom of the glass. The smell is unbelievable. Sweet fruits to a chocolatey, malty backbone. Taste's earthy. Not quite what I was expecting. A lot of hoppy bitterness. Hot alcohol. Malt and grains somewhere in the mix. Definitely a sipper. As it warms up it tastes more and more like bourbon or a brown liquor. Have a good night...

Photo of thecarster1
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a tulip, one finger of tan head, murky walnut brown color.

s- nice scotch ale nose, some sweet bready stuff in there, nutty, light chocolate, a bit of toast.

t- nice, sweet, very nutty, some roast, chocolate both milk and bittersweet, slight alcohol.

m- medium to full body, slick, coating.

d- nice, this is a top notch scotch ale, i would drink this one again. yet again i maintain that founders doesn't make bad beer.

Photo of mariposafan
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

My first Founders beer, poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip.

No head to speak of - just a light layer that disappears almost as quickly as it arrived. Bubbles persist at the edges, though, leading to a little bit of lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel with herbal hops?! What?

Taste isn't nearly as sweet as the smell led me to expect. Caramel, yes, but a drier version. Chilled it also has a fair bit of hoppiness, but that fades to nothing as it warms. Unfortunately the bitterness doesn't fade quite as much - it's a little over the top, particularly in the aftertaste.

The mouth feel is nice and creamy, with a little sharp carbonation trying (unsuccessfully) to cut through the bitterness.

Drinkability is hindered by the excess bitterness of the aftertaste. The 8.5% does its part as well so this is definitely a sipping/one and done beer for me.

Overall it's not bad but not something I'll expect to seek out again.

Photo of mattgreger
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with color that is dark red with a bit of a haze, and a very nice tan head, that falls to a little bit of lacing.

Definite aromas of alcohol, toffee, and bread. Which you would expect with a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy.

The taste has a bit of a malt. You can surely taste the alcohol notes up front, with some cocoa and bit toffee coming in the finish. Making it bitter and crisp.

Mouthful is very good as well, some scotch ales over play the alcohol, or they compeletly forget to put it in. This brew is pretty good by Founders. Its a heavy/strong brew that is easy to drink. I picked this up in a Founders Variety pack...would definitly pick it up again.

Photo of alleykatking
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes...

A- Poured a brown color with light red hues around the edge of the glass. One finger beige colored head shows good retention. Lacing is good coming in sheets on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts in the front of the beer. Darker fruits come into play toward the middle. Some light smoked and toasted malts in the ending of the beer. It is a little dull for the aroma I must say.

T- Nice caramel malts start of the beer. There is a darker fruit presence in the middle of the beer which shine for a second before it dies back into the caramel malts. A hint of vanilla in the ending of the beer goes along with the sweetness of everything.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style of the beer. Caramel malts are left on the palate with some light vanilla and alcohol in the aftertaste. Alcohol is drying on the palate. Flavors were balanced and well put together.

D- I have a problem at times with scotch ales but this one was good. It is a little sweet for me and that makes it a hard drinker for a sixer. That's just me though. The ABV is a little high to makes this a session beer without getting drunk. Overall, a good beer and nice way to rep the style.

Photo of adam42381
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with a 1/2 finger white head which dissipates quickly.

Smell: Caramel malt with chocolate, dried fruit and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Caramel and chocolate malt up front followed by a faint hoppy bitterness in the middle then a complex array of malt flavors that I can't quite describe at the finish. Alcohol flavor comes through at the end. Aftertaste is somewhat bitter but not overly so.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. This isn't a beer that's meant to be sessioned. Drink a couple slowly throughout the evening.

Overall: Very solid Wee Heavy. Founders puts out a good product and this is another fine example.

Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a caramel brown color with a thin, fizzy head to it. The head faded quickly and there wasn't a trace of it ever existing after a minute or so.

The aroma has some caramel, brown sugar and some dark fruit, raisin, fig like qualities to it. I'm getting just a hint of roastiness in it as well. It has more alcohol present in the nose as it warmed.

The taste shows caramel, brown sugar and some dark fruit sweetness along with a roasted malt, bitter, burnt, coffee flavor. The finish also has a moderate warming alcohol heat to it. Very nice mix of flavors with a lot of depth. All the flavors work very together and none are too dominant.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Drinkability is good, it's a very flavorful beer and has a lot of depth to it. The flavors all came together very nicely overall. A very good choice to sip on after dinner tonight.

Photo of stoutman
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of alcohol, toffee, and bread. Color is a cloudy dark red with a nice tan head. A really nice looking beer. Taste is very malty and complex with alcohol noted up front, with cocoa and toffee coming in the finish. A dense palate with a heavy body. Very nice long finish that keeps changing. This is a very nice, complex brew. Outstanding.

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

Dirty bastard

Pours a dark reddish brown with one finger of dark tan head.  Smells are plums, sweet caramel and dark fruits.  Tastes are malts, hops, dark fruits.  There's a lot of flavor here, very good. Mouthfeel is medium and goes down pretty smooth, and drinkability is pretty high given the Abv.

Photo of IPAescotch
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of LairdChisholm
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Spiekerbox
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
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

Photo of Blanco
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of sixthglass
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of drizzam
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

Photo of BeerCon5
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Anthony1
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of pdoran10
3.15/5  rDev -22%
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...

Photo of StephenRich
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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

Photo of Metuo
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of Landfill21
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of bnes09
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.42/5  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!

Photo of Spider889
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 6,255 ratings.