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Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,740 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,740
Hads: 6,790
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 273
Gots: 1,604 | FT: 22
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,740 | Hads: 6,790
Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours an opaque dark brown with a thick, three finger, rocky, beige head. Magnificent, cascading effect. Epic lacing.

S - Healthy aroma of caramel, toffee, molasses, baked dark bread. A hint of milk chocolate. Smells extremely inviting.

T - Taste follows the nose but with additional notes of nut, dark fruit (fig and date), and peat. Absolutely delicious.

M - It is here where this beer truly excels. It is thick and chewy with low carbonation. Delightfully creamy. A hint of alcohol burn in the finish but generally hides its ABV well.

O - Exceptional. The best example of the style I have ever had. The Gold standard. Kudos to Founders.

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Photo of ndawg42031
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great coffee notes on this extremely flaverfull full bodied ale. Lots of layers of malt balanced with just the right amount of hops. It seems as if there is another flavor picked up with your first five to ten sips. Is that chocolate? A little caramel? Some coffee? Delicious, Go Beer!

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Photo of uawildcat
4.76/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: This is the right color for a true scotch ale. Although there was some head, I find myself wishing there was a little more

S: it smells like toffee sweet. That is pretty much it. Not very complex lack of a peat smoke in this particular rendition of a scotch ale. Nonetheless it is very enticing for a dessert beer.

T: very sweet with little to balance it out. There also isn't a smokey flavor that is present in most other beers of this style nor is there a metallic taste that comes with some in this style. It mostly is a very sweet toffee flavor just like the smell, plain and one note. This isn't a bad thing for me. It is what makes this such a great dessert beer.

MF: very sticky and kind of hot. True to the style!

O: The most impressive Scotch Ale I have ever had.

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Photo of mckemp
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark brick red color, finger of off white head.

S - Butterscotch, sweet syrupy smell.

T - Caramel, light cherry taste, with traditional scotch ale "alcohol" taste, finishing with lingering bitterness.

M - Thick and sticky.

O - Absolutely the best scotch ale I've had. I've never been disappointed by Founders. I ate some M&Ms while drinking the dirty bastard; it was a great pairing!

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Photo of WillWillows
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Pours like a root beer, same kind of coloring. Head up and quickly down, little bitter on the back taste, but not unpleasant. Nice malty feel. Nice Scotch Ale. I would put oneof these in with some Arrogant in my pick six..

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Photo of Mellonius
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a small bottle into a tulip. Paired with some roasted cashew nuts.
The color is dark cola and it delivers a nice 1-inch beige head that lingers quite long. Smell is very pleasing, caramel-driven. Good body and carbonation, the high ABV can barely be felt. Crispy aftertaste courtesy of the well balanced hoppiness. The dominant flavor I found was that of prunes, intermixed with caramel malt and some light roasted notes. Very enjoyable. I wish I had more bottles in my fridge!

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Photo of jjboesen
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is another Founders beer to add to my list. It is truly a find since we have one of my favorite styles in cahoots with one of my favorite brewers. And, incidentally, this was quaffed at Rustico Ballston (Virginia), a favorite venue. Happy Happy Drinking Games! Now raise your goblets ….

The Dirty Bastard has a foreboding copper body protected on top by a shimmering cloud of foam that is, eventually, encrusts the glass with thick slabs of crusty lacing. The Dirty Bastard will punch your nose with a heavy fist of pine, molasses and almond and leave you reeling. As you continue to inhale this Highland miasma (where is the aroma of heather and wet wool one whiffs in Scotland?), the palate is trapped in a boggy blanket of plum, toffee and the aforementioned molasses.

The mouthfeel is superb as there is a subtle blend of toasted malt and dried fruit. The Dirty Bastard makes an exquisite quaff for any lad and lassie willing to experience a complex concoction of a style that is truly hard to get right. Founders really got this Dirty Bastard right and gave us an example of a wonderful Scottish beer that will bring out the Braveheart in all of us. Freedom!

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Photo of FreshEsh
4.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Don't make the mistake of drinking this too cold. I liked it best when it was closest to room temp. All the flavors really came out. Almost has the appearance of a top notch scotch, which I love. Drink more than one, and you'll feel like you've been sipping on scotch as well. If you don't like this beer, you just can't appreciate it.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a glass

A: A very dark color with intense ruby red color when held to the light. A tan head with moderate retention and good lacing.

S: Malty sweetness with caramel notes. Alcohol is apparent. Nutty aromas as well (although I could not pick out which nut precisely).

T: A roasted malt flavor dominates the first taste. Some diacetyl which leads to a buttery experience; however, this may be the complexities of 'caramel' in the beer that I am confusing for diacetyl. A moderate amount of sweetness, but never over-bearing.

M: Full bodied with a chewy viscosity. A balanced bitterness (predominantly from the malt and not hops) that remains pleasantly briefly. A creamy flavor. Dry finish.

Notes: Charlie from Five Points Bottle Shop told me that Founders was one of the top 3 breweries in the country right now. After experiencing this Scotch Ale, I am inclined to agree. I have been searching for a brew that I could enjoy on a regular basis. And if only they had a version of this that was about half the ABV, I would have found my brew. This is a great beer, one of my favorites. I am stoked that I have 5 more in this pack to enjoy. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of gangstafaceclay
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is a dark-reddish color with a nice head. Very nice!

Smell is some spices and sweetness.

Taste is very complex. dark fruits, carmel, scotch, semi smokiness, nice toasty malt, and toffee. So very good!

Mouthfeel is silkyness and medium-full bodied. A great sipper and a slight warmth going down.

Overall, this is a lovely scotch ale! So good and complex.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a nonic pint glass from a bottle.

Appearance: Rich dark-brown body with a slight red hue. It glows when it is held up to light but it is not transparent. The body is topped by a fluffy light-brown head. Thin, creamy lacing forms.

Smell: Toasted malts dominate the nose. Sweet notes of caramel and chocolate stand out as well.

Taste: Sweet caramel notes are countered with bittersweet notes of cocoa. Toasted malts carry the overall flavor. The alcohol is present in the aftertaste. It is sweet at the first sip and tangy as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation, enough to make the hops and alcohol stand out. Semi-dry finish.

Overall: To the best of my knowledge, this is my first Scotch Ale. I alternate between stouts in the cold months and IPAs in the warmer months. This almost strikes me as a lovechild of an IPA and a Stout. It is incredibly creamy, yet is finishes with a similar mouthfeel on an IPA. I was very impressed by this beer and I am very excited to explore other Scotch Ales as well.

Bottom Line: Do yourself a favor and try this, you will probably be satisfied.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours an incredibly dark ruby red. Forms a half finger of quickly dissipating tan head. No noticeable lacing on the walls of the glass.
S - Malts, smoke, slight caramel and vanilla notes.
T - Sweet sweet malts, caramel, smoke, tobacco, bourbon, vanilla and a bitterness at the end to balance the sweetness. Very long finish. Medium body.
O - A damned good brew for a cold day. Excellent and unique taste to this strong scotch ale.
V - Medium.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light brown with some red highlights, thin head. A complex aroma, some bread, malt, alcohol and raisins to be noted, simply awesome. A full bodied beer, hence the ABV, with some complex flavors as well. Oak, raisin, some port and bready taste up front, the alcohol is hidden, yet noted. The flavors get better as this baby warms up. One of the top scotch ales I've ever had, or one of the top beers I've ever had, get some now.

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Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a wonderful copper colour with a khaki head with hints of red. Head dissipates quickly, but leaves a nice lacing.

S: Caramel, cherries, brown sugar, tea. Beautiful

T: Hoppier than I would have expected. Not hoppy, just more hop presence than I would have expected from the style or the aroma. Again, caramel, cherries, brown sugar, and tea are all present, with the tannicity and the hops working to balance out the sweetness nicely. Faint butterscotch makes its presence known. Just the slightest hint of smokiness comes through as the beer warms. A sweet sipper with a nice zing to it to keep it from being too cloying or heavy. There's a reason this is my favourite example of one of my favourite styles!

M: Just right. Full bodied without being sludgy. Carbonation and hops serve to keep it from feeling too syrupy, but without being overdone.

O: I. Love. This. Beer! Perfect for one of the last chilly rainy days before Summer.

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Photo of jbails007
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I just had this a mere 2 hours ago, and I felt the need to review it right away!

Color is very dark. Not pitch black, but close. This beer had absolute phenomenal lacing! The best lacing I've ever seen. A medium head with excellent retention.

Smell is fantastic, it's kind of hard to put a finger on what it is. this is the first Scotch-style ale I've had. I definitely detected some caramel and some toffee.

The taste was absolutely exceptional. It is bitter, and there is alcohol present, but not in an overwhelming way. There is some underlying malt sweetness. It has a bold, full mouthfeel. This is a more "extreme" beer, but it totally works. It is unbelievably drinkable and balanced for as flavorful as it is.

This is the 2nd best beer I've ever had, behind Hopslam. This is a bold, in-your-face beer that is easy to drink and packs a punch. Excellent!

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received during our summer beer exchange at work... This was my pick so let's get to reviewing!

Appearance: Pours into a tulip with a beautiful rich mahogany ruby color and about 2 fingers of tan head that recedes way too quickly. It definitely sounds carbonated from two feet away, and the color of this beer is frickin' fantastic!

Smell: This beer smells delicious. Right off the bat, I pick up notes of raisins, grapes, cherries, oats, and a bit of biscuity malts and a wee bit of peat as well. There are some caramel and vanilla notes as well, but as you'll notice from my first three scents, this is a very sweet smelling brew. Not cloyingly so, but it smells like a scotch ale should and that gets good marks in my book.

Taste: This is beer provides for a very interesting mélange of flavors. Definitely picking up the sweeter notes from the cherries and raisins. Can get a lot more of the biscuit and toasted malts that were in the nose. And I also get a little bit more of the peat that I picked up at the beginning. It's not enough to make me think of any comparisons to Scottish whiskeys, but it's enough that I can see the influence.

Mouthfeel: A past reviewer described this beer as chewy, and I can't think of a more apt descriptor than that. The first few sips almost coat the tongue, and invite the imbiber to gnaw on the different flavors offered up therein. The aftertaste is almost as good if not better than the start because of how smoothly this brew makes its way down to your stomach. It's like molasses syrup that just begs you to take another sip.

Drinkability: The higher ABV of this brew is certainly present, but this is more than made up for by the overall mouthfeel and drinkability of this concoction. Founders has done a remarkable job capturing the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style, and I will most assuredly be drinking more of this from time to time.

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Photo of klintok21
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow wow wow. A very tasty scotch ale, so props go to Founder's for this one. Rich taste, low carbonation, appealing aroma, very easy to drink. Watch yourself however as the ABV is 8.3% (but what do you expect from a Scotch Ale??) A very dark beer and as the name states, hey it's a dark and Dirty Bastard! We just like to say the name here in Grand Rapids! Give it a try, even the bottle is worth reading! Ooonly if ye dar becom da dirty bastard eh!

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Photo of interzen
4.71/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

355ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

Look: Dark brown body with a tan head. Nothing to shout about in the head/lacing/retention department.

Smell: Smells overhelmingly of chocolate, with a considerable side-order of bananas and dark, roasted malts. More than a hint of sweetness, too. It certainly doesn't smell like an 8.5% beer - in fact, alcohol is one of the things that is notably absent in the nose.

Taste: Follows the smell, more or less. In additional to the chocolate and banana/yeast smells you start to get a hint of alcohol. It's not particularly in-yer-face boozy, but it's definitely there. It's well disguised though, and subtle enough to add a certain degree of interest to proceedings.

Feel: Medium bodied, fairly easy on the carbonation front with a lovely, chocolate cream mouthfeel. Eminently drinkable.

Overall: I wouldn't say that I'm a big fan of Scotch Ales in general but this one might well have me converted. It's definitely a beer to savour, unless you want to get completely trashed in short order, and savouring it will undoubtedly yield good results. Top brew from Founders - love it.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dirty brown with a small tan head and some nice tan lace on the side of the pint glass. I had this out at Buffalo Wildwings after work, and I must say that a standard pint glass is really my least favorite thing to dring beer out of...it just doesn't do a good brew justice.

S - Rich toasty malt. Dirty and earthy notes along with a bunch of toffee and caramel.

T - Big caramel and toffee malts first, then more delicate flavors of burning leaves, brown sugar, toast, and peaty scotch. The alcohol is detectable, but it only adds to the complexity of this tasty brew. Hops are definitely second fiddle, but they are wonderful in their supporting role...just enough leafy bite to balance the loads of malt. The leafy hops add to the autumnal flavor of this beer.

M - Full bodied with some nice fine carbonation. Creamy, but tingly and playful too. Alcohol level is slightly warming, but if I didn't know the alcohol content of this beer, I might guess that it was around six percent. The alc. is present but never brash or intrusive.

D - Excellent. I could drink this all night, but you have to sip slowly and enjoy....never gulp down something so outstanding. This is one of my all time favorite beers! I must say that I slightly prefer the bottled version, but that may be just because I can serve it the way I want ....at cellar temp in a nice big chalice.

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Photo of exonthebottle
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black with off-white head. Nice lacing looks good.
hops and whiskey kinda strong smell
taste whiskey but bitter from the hops stays in mouth for a long time. coffee and fruit after the whiskey taste sweeten the beer.
very good beer and surprisingly easy to drink and is a smooth beer and nice nightcap

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Photo of BlindPig
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- About a 1/4" tan head on a very dark body and when held to light its a light cloudy ruby red.
S- A nice blend of malts comes through nicley. Caramel and earthy tones really come through along with hints of alcohol, dark fruits, toffee, light roasted malts, and almost a light hint of a hard alcohol.
T- A very nice balance and complexity is the first thing that comes to mind. Hints of caramel, toffee, roasted malts, hints of plums and raisins, alcohol, almost a cream like feel, earthy notes, medium to big bitterness just lingers around. Everything is just very well blended together.
M- Cream and silk feel to it. Full body with low carbonation.
D- I think this is an amazing beer. I think I will have to buy a 6-pack off line. Everything just seems like it is meant to be there and it all comes together VERY nicely.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look is dark brown and hazy with no head.

Smell is rich roast malt and a molasses sweetness.

Taste is sweet from the malt but definitely a hop bite, lives up to the name.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Out of the bottle it's a bubbly, very dark reddish brown with a thin, quick dissipating off-white head.

Smell: At my first sniff, I'm blown away. Fruits, caramal, molasses, a little bit of a roasted/burnt aroma, and much more. Highly complex, subtle, yet still balanced. An amazing sniffer.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Instantly rich, full-bodied and complex. The malts are the obvious focus, and are vast in flavor, complex, and strong, but balanced out by a nice bit of hop bitterness. A tiny bit of a tart tinge right before it goes down the throat. Finishes clean, a little sweet, and smooth. Full-bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: Now this is what I call a killer wee heavy. This one is amazing, I wish we could this locally here. But, alas, we can't, but next time we make it up to Michigan we'll definitly have to get more. Highly recommended.

Glass: St. Bernardus oversized brandy snifter
Music: "Caukazoid Germ" by Sixtoo

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Photo of maddamish
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My thanks to my co-worker Rob M for scoring this beauty for me.

Appearance: Small head that laces nicely. Clear copper in color.

Smell: "Wow" was the first thing that came out of my mouth. Notes of caramel, Cherry, Sugar and Malt. The aroma coming off of this beer is complex and pleasant. One of the better smelling beers I have had.

Taste: caramel, cherry and malt

Drinkability/Notes: II was very impressed with this brew. I wasn't expecting much and got the world. Should have known better considering it is a Founders beer.

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Photo of 2Cents
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured in a standard beer glass at about 50 F.

A: Rusty, ruby with a small beige head and decent lacing.

S: Butterscotch, peat, slight chocolate, malts, Phenol alcohol and slight yeast esters.

T: Malty goodness with a hint of chocolate, butter scotch caramel and a slight hop bitterness.

M: Medium mouth feel, moderate but adequate carbonation and a slight alcohol bite.

O: This is the best We-Heavy that I have tried, there may be other great ones out there but this one is a winner!

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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,740 ratings.