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Founders Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU

Added by Mitchster on 01-03-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,823 | Ratings: 7,172
Photo of Casey10
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not bad picked up at Julios while I was in MA.

A - good a redish color with a small head when poured into a glass.

S - a burbon like smell some earth like notes almost like a wheat wine.

T- strong lots of malts, dark rasian taste as well.

M it is good for the style feels stong reinsy.

D - Not bad not a big fan of the style but would drink again.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer first because of the name... THEN I noted the style, and was interested in another American interpretation.

The beer was a deep red clear liquid with a half finger head. It left nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma was of deep malt, raisins, and was slightly sweet.

The taste was slightly roasted malt, and very smooth, with a hint of alcohol that was more prominent with larger swallows. But not as flavorful as I expected.

Mouthfeel was OK, but drinkability is rated lower, because it just didn't meet my image of a scotch ale as much, so I wouldn't go back to it as readily as, say, a Sam Adams scotch ale.

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Photo of sarajayne
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a reddish undertone, very thin head, leaving light lacing.

Smell: Strong malt scents were dominant, with a subtle sweet smell, caramel maybe?

Taste: Wowza! this beer is BITTER, the caramely sweetness is no match for the bitterness that the barely offers. A very interesting, earthy flavor.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation & medium bodied

Overall: Dirty Bastard was without question a good beer - not my favorite though. Definitely more of a sipping beer, although the bitterness may have been a little much for my novice pallet, I love this brewery and will absolutely give it another try.

Collage girls drink GOOD beer:

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Photo of robbyc1
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice black/brown color, quite dissipating head.

Nose has some hops, some alcohol, and roasty malt. Good but not great.

The flavor has an astringent late flavor (from the hops?), can taste the malt and the abv is not hidden, not as deep malt, abv takes away some of the flavor, does have a nice caramel flavor though, just not as tasty as the one from Lake Louie (my favorite of this style).

Decent heavyness, good slick mouthfeel, but I think the higher abv takes away the drinkability of this. Good but not great for the style overall.

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Photo of jackorain
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler at TDR Springhouse

A-brown, clear with a two finger rocky head that seems to stay around for a while. Once it drops though, it is gone expect for a slight ring.

S-malty, mollasses, dried fruit (figs, raisins, prunes). Caramel, a little roastred malt, some peat like aroma as well. Hops show themselves a little.

T-Malt bomb, all the flavors from the nose and more, the claimed 50 IBUs hides well as this is not that bitter. These is some earthy and green hops to be found in the middle. Big solvent like alcohol is really prominent.

M-creamy full bodied, a wee bit heavy ;). slick light carbonation, prickly alcohol shows here too.

Drinkability- The fumy alcohol lowers this one a bit for me.

Overall-a nice change of pace, but I shared this a BBQ with some newer craft people and that left me with half a growler to get through. It was tough.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at hop devil grill. Goblet arrives with half finger of foam, deep red maroon color. Aroma is malty sweet with a bit of raisiny aroma.

This is a very malty up front, heavy on crystal malts punctuated by a sharp bittir finish. Bordering on barleywine in style. A bit boozy.

Overall pretty good. Nice beer to open the night.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my De Struise glass... As it pours into the glass it looks like a bright copper, but this settles a deep mahogany. A light tan head rises a few fingers at first then settles to full finger cap. I'm skeptical of this retention as the head looks very watery and light, not full enough for me. Very light lacing... The aroma is really too light, toffee on the front mostly, some light scotch notes on the back, not much going on. As it warms lots of peat comes through. Actually, this needs to warm quite bit out the fridge, really starts to open up and is very pleasant...The taste is a bit of let down for me. There is a scotch backbone that really dominates, too spirit like. Very chewy. Malt characters is gone.

This is so-so, get if you're a scotch ale fan, but I'd pass in the future.

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Photo of NitroGen
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 6-pack that my daughter brought back from school in Ann Arbor as park of my x-mas present!

P: Slightly hazy dark brown with some reddish tints, a ½ finger of foam that quicly settled to a scant cover and carbonation.

S: Crisp malts and a bit of grain with some liquor alcohol fumes for the nose.

T: Surprisingly thick sweet dark brown sugar, malt and huge liquor/alcohol taste for the sinuses and palette that cuts the sweetness a lot.

M: The sweet malt blossoms in the mouth and stays throughout but is cut by the liquor/alcohol fumes.

D: While I like the taste, the alcohol fumes are a bit much for a number of these in one sitting. On a cold night/day this will really get the fire going on the inside.

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Photo of morimech
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a one-fingered head that has good retention. It eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing left on the glass.

Has a smell of roasted malt with a little smoke. But there is a heavy alcohol aroma as well.

The taste starts out mellow enough with the customary roasted malt and smokiness. But the alchohol is really overbearing in this beer. Very hot alcohol affect.

Has a nice creamy mouthfeel that coats the palate.

Too boozy for me. This would be a much better beer if they knocked a couple of percentage off the ABV.

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Photo of wowbagger
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brownish pour, not terribly notable.

Smells a bit sweet.

Tastes of sweetness, hop and cocoa. Reminds me of a lighter stout. Has a lot going on in the palate, and it spreads out and mellows nicely though it left my mouth a bit dry.

Overall, much more complex than I expected. Good.

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Photo of fropones
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice red like you'd see on a Scottish kilt with about 1 finger of beige head. Nice lacing is left behind

S - Some toasted malt with some sort of sickeningly sweet aroma that I can't quite place. Some darker fruits as well.

T - A lot of caramel malts right up front. Happy to see that whatever I was smelling that turned me off didn't end up in the taste. After taste like dry toast from the toasted malt. Notes of bourbon throughout. More dark fruits in here as well. Some cinnamon as well as a touch of hop bitterness towards the back.

M - Creamy and smooth. Big bodied, low carbonation.

D - Good drinkability, alcohol not real noticeable. A nice dryness in the end from the alcohol, but that's about it. Not exactly my cup of tea, but good for the style.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this in bottle-form at Eulogy Bar in Philadelphia...
First ever beer from this brewery, and the only brew from Founders among the 300 or so offered at this amazing bar...
The appearance was a deep, dark, ruby-red colored-hue with absolutely no head at all and very minimal lacing around the edge of the glass...
Strong aroma bursting with alcohol, Scotch, whiskey notes, and sweet sugars...
Taste was headily alcoholic and very thick and rich on the malts... Spicy flavor that left a burning sensation at the back of the throat... A strong, powerful, thick, big-bodied brew with a slightly sweet, caramel aftertaste...
Mouthfeel was good, but nothing above and beyond, and the drinkability really took a hit due to the cloying, extremely noticeable alcohol taste present that lingered on after the first sip...

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Photo of Smurf2055
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours darker brownish red, almost tea colored. Minimal head.

Smells sweet malty, toffee caramel, like a less bitter english barleywine.

Taste pretty sweet, caramel, bit of a bitterness to it, sticky.

Very drinkable though bigger bodied. Nice beer.

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Photo of IPAescotch
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of godlessape
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at The Porter, in the Little 5 Points neighborhood in Atlanta. It's a great little beer bar that sports over 430 beers.

Appearance: An ominous dusky, light-less cloudy brown with dark cherry highlights, hinting at an overt aggressiveness in flavor. The small head stays throughout.

Smell: Just a faint malty darkness.

Taste: Pure Scotch ale power. Toffee and caramel, along with chocolate notes and a smokey, hoppy, oaken cheap scotch fire like someone stubbed out a cigarette on your tongue. That's what I expect from a Scotch ale.

Mouthfeel: Heavy at first, then the alcohol runs for the back of the neck.

Drinkability: I could do it again and probably will, but not all night long.

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Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a surprisingly transparent brown. Very modest tan head recedes quite quickly. My previous experience with the style caused me to expect a more opaque and rather smoky brew. This one didn't meet either one of those qualities. Pronounced sweet malt flavor fades as alcohol heat shows its bite. Finishes with tanin like flavors. Much lighter than I anticipated but still quite drinkable. Could used have used a bit more smokey bite.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper brown with a fizzy tan head that quickly goes to a thin film.

Its aroma is sweet and slightly smokey molasses with some figgy fruitiness and a little chocolate.

The flavor is sweet caramel/toffee malts, a little chocolate, some dark fruits, a touch of smoke, and a dry bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is very full, smooth and creamy.

Not my favorite style and a little too sweet for me, but this is a nice, well made beer.

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Photo of frankiepop
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am giving the appearance good marks. The head looks different. I don't know if it's exceptional, but it's good. I like a little more sweetness personally. I haven't drank much scotch ale wee heavy, but this is darker than the others. In fact, it reminds me more of a Porter. Rich strong flavors caress your taste buds and you mmm that's good.

Goes down good with some Wilco playing on the jukebox.

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Photo of yamar68
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep burnt orange/amber with a finger of short-lived off-white/tannish head, sporadic beading. The nose offers waves of toffee, toasted bread, consistent and somewhat pungent - the beer has already taken a distinct direction. The taste highlights much of the aroma plus some peat and smoky wood. Drinkability is pretty low but it doesn’t detract from the beer. I’m not an avid scotch ale drinker, but from what little I know, this is a good example of the style.

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Photo of Gump
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Deep red and moderately bubbly pour. Nicely carbonated.
Red licorice, toffee and roasted malt aroma. Sweet carmel flavors to compliment the aroma.
This is like a strong Irish Red, which makes it worthy!
Sweet malt flavor weighs down the palette, but the drinkability makes up for it.
A very faint grain harshness in the aftertaste.
re-review 2010-01-07:

Into a pint glass, after hours at the office.
The aroma brings me right in. Toasty, bready, scotch and a faint hop smell.
The half-inch head is nearly gone in a few minutes.
With the lack of hops in the aroma I was surprised to find a very good hop presence in the flavor. It starts chocolatly, and malty, but the hops come in and take over along with great carbonation.

It's a terrific balance in my opinion, but then again, I like hops.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12 oz bottle
Glass: Pint
From Meijer in Ann Arbor
Price: ~$1.50

Appearance: deep blood red, a touch of brown in it. almost opaque. small tan head that faded pretty quickly and left nothing behind

Smell: caramel malts and a bit of raisin. slight smokey or peaty smell

Taste: strong caramel malts mixed in with raisin, alcohol, peat, earthy hops. not bad just not digging it

Mouthfeel: heavy a touch of creaminess. low carbonation

Overall: Thought i give this one a try since i am a big fan of strong malts. the raisiny taste throws me off of it.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served this chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Dirty Bastard pours out a deep amber brown color. When held up to a light source, it looks like a dark glowing red color. A semi hard pour results in two fingers of thick, creamy, brownish tan froth. Head settles quite slowly, leaving behing thick, clingy gobs of lace on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts, toasted malts, smokey malts, it's all in there. Touches of caramel and hops. Maybe a bit of plum and a decent helping of booze. Nice earthy notes.

Taste: Smooth smokey notes, caramel, and a half smoked cigar. Malty and a bit sweet. Just a bit of dark fruit tucked away in the background. Not as bold a flavor as I was expecting. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is just a tad under full bodied. Creamy and smooth. Almost silky. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, maybe too easy. This one could come back to bite you if you aren't carefull.

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Photo of Aleks_P
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours pretty dark brown with a slight orange hue. Color only visible around the edges through my pint glass as light doesn't pass through the center. Yellow/tan head, very thin (about a cm) but sticks around.

Smell: Pick up just a hint of the sour scotch and not much else. Not particularly complex.

Taste: This is a matter of personal preference, but I'm not a big fan of the scotch ales with a really heavy scotch kick. I don't really pick up much other than the scotch flavor and at first it isn't particularly heavy, which I like. Also did a good job masking the pretty high ABV, didn't even notice until the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, not a heavily carbonated beer. Pick up a lot of the alcohol burn in the aftertaste which is part of the style in my opinion.

Overall: This was good, not great. I usually expect scotch ales to be really heavy with a lot of flavor, and the taste and smell of this one were good but not amazing. I recall other scotch ales where I took a sip and immediately said "wow." Not the case for this one, although it is a bit more drinkable than others I've had.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle purchased from Oak Barrel in Sydney.

Pleasantly deep brown hue, ruby red when held to the light, with a very fine and fairly persistent film of yellow-beige. Lacing forms in spots, and the body is very rich indeed, holding fine rivulets of carbonation as its tilted. Looks pretty heavy and good.

Nose is rich and malty, with plenty of roast notes and a medicinal overtone. Slight smoky aromas permeate a little as it warms, along with a mineral sharpness. Booze inveigles itself as well, giving a heady boost of intoxication to the mix. Nice stuff.

Taste is initially big and sweet, but strangely enough it gets sharper as it warms, substituting a fine mineral, slightly medicinal tone for the broad sweetness at the start. There's still a burnt toffee character persisting, and more suggestions of smoke and booze. Aftertaste is quite blunt: without much lingering sweetness it drops off rather suddenly.

Feel is good, smooth throughout, and allowing some permeation of the sweetness even when it's a little lacking on the back.

It's a big beer, missing a little complexity (or maybe suffering a little from transportation), but with plenty to offer nonetheless.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
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).

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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,823 ratings.