Founders Dirty Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

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6,535 Ratings
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Ratings: 6,535
Reviews: 1,760
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 256
Gots: 1,412 | FT: 25
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: 6,535 | Reviews: 1,760
Photo of jbails007
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
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!

Photo of COBeerBuff
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Photo of klintok21
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
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!

Photo of misternebbie
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best Scotch Ale< I can find on a regular basis in PA.
heavy with fruit cake and honey. very drinkable your the amount of ABV

Photo of interzen
4.71/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
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 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 cellar temp in a nice big chalice.

Photo of exonthebottle
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
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

Photo of BlindPig
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of Recie
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First experience with this one. Enjoyable

Photo of santoslhalper
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
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

Photo of maddamish
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of 2Cents
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
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!

Photo of Broman
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance- Rich dark brown, almost black color. Moderate foamy head atop lingers around for a bit, then settles to a few spots. Decent lacing throughout.

Smell- Malts, coffee, caramel. Some other less obvious tones as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium to thick body on the palet. Just a slight hint of carbonation hits the tongue. Somewhat chewy the longer it is allowed to linger.

Taste- Somewhat heavy. Coffee and caramel on the front. Malts are what primarily make up this beer. Has a somewhat smokey flavor to it. Leaves a bit of alcohol on the end. Aftertaste leaves a somewhat bland stale flavor. Burly is the word that comes to mind when drinking this beer.

Overall- Very nice beer. Even nicer is its availability, at least here in Cleveland. Basic flavors surround this beer and seems to fit well to its style. Overall a good drink for the seasoned beer drinker, may ward off those who aren't.

Photo of professorninja
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of this at Drinks Over Dearborn, and it was awesome. Dark, slight whiskey flavor. Rich, smooth and the kind of beer that sticks with you after you drink one. Something I would pair with steak.

But then I got a bottle at D4, and it was flat and kind of dulled of flavor. I don't know if it was just an old bottle they had lying around, or what. I'm assuming as much, because I really liked the bottle I had bought from the store, and plan on getting some more.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders imperial pint.
8.5% ABV, 50 IBUs, Bottled 01/21/14

A - The sexy and deep ruby-hued mahogany color pours with clarity, glugging into the glass to form some brief carbonation cascading, which builds the dense cream-filled coffee colored head. Stupendous retention eventually gives way to sheets of lace left clutching the glass.

S - Caramelization of the malts opens up a deep complexity of sweetness. Semi-melted caramel cube and brittle toffee fills in the gaps left by the profound toastiness that overruns the lightly grassy hop nuances.

T - Offset slightly by earthy hoppiness and dry roasted qualities, the sweet malt comprised toffee slivers bobbing in melted caramel also brings a drizzle of chocolate over thick sliced, lightly toasted, soft rye bread.

M - Dirty Bastard has a super smooth, almost creamy medium-full bodied feel that lingers with balanced sweetness, never becoming cloying. It's alcohol level impressively glides by almost fully unnoticed save for the gentle warming finish.

O - One of the most quintessential stateside Scotch Ales, Founders' Dirty Bastard is full-flavored and nearly full-bodied but isn't 'intense' as most of the style reflect. Instead, the sweet caramelized wort opens up nuanced complexity of sweets and bread, carefully balanced by hops and alcohol dryness for a smooth beer that can quickly sneak up on you!

Photo of MarkBlackout
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent brew. This is for true malt-heads obsessed with sort of sick-sweet rich caramel malt flavors with a high abv. and faint hop spice. Can't beat it in the winter. I've drank a ton of these and didn't make u p my mind about it until recently. I kept buying it once in awhile because I seemed to remember something positive about its maltfunk onslaught. Not lambic funky, but fruity leather ale funky. Hides the alcohol just enough. I love this shit! Good price!

EDIT: this give this style a good name, but unfortunately have had few others that stood out in any way. This is where it's at.

Photo of Optimus203
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pretty amazing brew - especially for bourbon lovers.

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 Tim9m1r
4.66/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Nearly opaque dark cherry color with a one finger medium-thick frothy cream colored head

Smell - Sweet toasted malt immediately followed by dark fruit, fig, and sweet alcohol with hints of caramel and toffee.

Taste - Rich toasted malt followed by dark fruit, fig, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol with a caramel-toffee finish

Mouthfeel - Smooth and balanced with a medium-thick slightly syrupy viscosity and fine creamy carbonation. Very light alcohol throughout, light bitterness as you would get from dark chocolate, and a warm finish.

Overall - Very flavorful, filling, and overall a great beer, It is one of my favorite beers that I have had.

Photo of jtierney89
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep yet clear amber color with a vanilla head. Lots of sticky lacing.

On the nose, is it strange that I'm getting a ton of sweet milk chocolate? Toffee and caramel are also present. As the beer was pouring I got huge whiffs of scotch like alcohol. Still though, predominately getting sweet milk chocolate.

Milk chocolate sweetness is present on the tip of the tongue as well with a slightly alcoholic finish. Full body rich and complex with some added notes of toffee, caramel, and cinnamon. Big vanilla presence as well. The hop and alcohol presence does an amazing job of balancing off the finish for an incredibly smooth drink.

Drinks like a carbonated scotch with impeccable smoothness.

The layers of flavors are immense and unmeasurable due to the amazing concentration. Quite the beer. And for it's complexity and abv, it's something I could have more than a few of.


Photo of J_Dub
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Deep reddish copper pour. A nice amount of head with really good lacing as well

S-I smell malt right away. Dark fruit and molasses as well. You can almost smell a certain sweetness in it. Wonderful smell

T-Like the nose, I was assaulted with malt at first. However, after a few sips I really started to note a lot more flavors. Dark fruits, brown sugar, some hops at the end. Very "earthy". There was a lot of bitterness at first but as I had a few sips the bitterness faded. Absolutely fantastic.

M-Not too much carbonation. Feels as if it going to be syrupy on your tongue but surprisingly clean finish.

I'm happy to finally have Founder's in Texas. I actually confused this brew with backwoods bastard and was a little disappointed at first when I realized my mistake. However, this beer does not disappoint. It was fairly harsh at first but I think that was just because it was my first beer of the day. This beer is just wonderful. Beautiful pour and aroma. The taste is similar to the aroma but even more complex. I can't really compare this to other Scotch ales as I haven't had many but Dirty Bastard is good no matter the category. Buy it and don't look back.

Photo of Pockitz
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Overall pretty tasty, first sip is a bit deceiving, but smooths out nicely perfect beer for sipping or socializing

Photo of gotweid
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This brew is a must try! Great job, Founders! Poured a very dark brown with a slight reddish tone. Thin, off white head, but very thick and strong. Long lasting, excellent lacing. Not much carbonation. Smelled of strong, roasted, toasted, luscious malt. I loved the smell. Despite the heavy, roasted malt, this is a very smooth, creamy, dreamy brew. Extremely smooth. I can't express that enough. Full bodied, but still light on the tongue and throat. Starts out a little bitter, but finishes smooth and rich with a strong tasting, roasted malt aftertaste that makes you yearn for more and also my pipe (legal tobacco). Warm, rich, relaxing feeling .Would make a great, crisp autumn or winter brew. Extremely drinkable, even with the 8.3% abv. Beers like this are so enjoyable and are what great beer is about. Cheers and enjoy.

Photo of Myotus
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a large, cream colored head. Dark red in color. Has a lot of particles floating throughout the beer and some even settled on the bottom of the glass. Pedominantly fruity aromas from hops with a slight aroma of roasted malts are present. Initial taste is fruity and hoppy. A pleasant bitterness combined with roasted malts follows and overtakes the initial taste with a caramel flavor coming in last. A wonderful scotch ale.

Photo of berliner07
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was a great surprise. Not a usual fan of the style, but this one delivered. The malt profile was so much more complex than a usual Scotch Ale. Wonderful sweetness was met with a touch of smoke and a sensational mouthfeel. A real treat to drink all the way. I'll definitely get another.

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 6,535 ratings.