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Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Dirty BastardDirty Bastard
7,885 Ratings
Dirty BastardDirty Bastard

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads. Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).

50 IBU

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,885 |  Reviews: 2,008
Reviews by DrewV:
Photo of DrewV
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle dated 5/24/11 into a Nonic glass at 45 degrees F.

A: Hazy dark amber red. A foamy 2-finger light tan head forms in the glass, leaving streams of lace down the sides.

S: Sweet malts up front. No hop notes whatsoever. Heavy caramel/honey and butterscotch malt aromas.

T: Unsurprisingly, this is one sweet-ass beer! A thick, syrupy mixture of more heavy butterscotch malt and very light balancing hops. A decent brew, could use more smokiness/peat flavoring for my tastes. Just too overwhelming with the butterscotch aroma and flavors. Definitely cloying.

M: Thick, syrupy, heavy. Lower than average carbonation. Creamy. Easy to drink.

O: A bit sweeter than I prefer, but not offensive. I would also prefer more complexity, possibly more smokiness and bitterness to balance the sweetness. I'd put this at a solid B. The best aspect of this brew is its ability to hide the alcohol. The 8.5%ABV is totally masked by the sweetness.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Shanex
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a teku glass. Pours a 2inch head fading quickly.

Smells like chocolate and rum, taste caramel with a hint of chocolate.

An excellent Scotch Ale/wee heavy. Hard to find in Europe but totally worth it. CHEERS!

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Photo of The_Meme_Lord
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I signed up to give props to this beer. Rarely find something in the $9.99 range for a six pack that is amazing from start to finish. Sweet caramelly smell and taste, sprinkle of fruitiness, hint of roast. Almost zero bitter aftertaste, which is amazing considering its 8.5% ABV.

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Photo of Icedog
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The overall feel of a heavy brew going down like this bastard is refreshing; knowing that your body will be healthy after the nutrient content is absorbed makes it gratifyingly desirable.
The dirt flavor of the peat is overcome with the sweet malts and balanced with the reassuring hopfullness; leaving me with the quest for another pint to re-assure myself. Yes it's very good and deserves far better than a score of 90...

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer poured a reddish copper with a half-inch crown of foam that showed little staying power, although this may have been due to pouring too soon after coming out of the frigde. This beer really needs served at slightly chilled, not cold temperatures for the flavors to fully develop.

Smell was slightly sweet and slightly spicy. Faint traces of hops. there was no dectectable alcohol in the nose, which I find unusual in a 8.3% beer.

Taste was simply marvelous, leaning heavily towards carmelized malts and hints of toffee and a very mild fruitiness to round out the flavors. Sweet finish but so much that it gets cloying. Goes down very smooth. and easy. You get a ton of flavor in every sip with this one. Many beers this flavorful seem to deaden the tastebuds after a while, so that each sip is less intense than the last one. That didn't happen with this beer.

Would never guess that it's a 8.3%The beer poured a reddish copper with a half-inch crown of foam that showed little staying power, although this may have been due to pouring too soon after coming out of the frigde. This beer really needs served at slightly chilled, not cold temperatures for the flavors to fully develop.

Smell was slightly sweet and slightly spicy. Faint traces of hops. there was no dectectable alcohol in the nose, which I find unusual in a 8.3% beer.

Taste was simply marvelous, leaning heavily towards carmelized malts and hints of toffee and a very mild fruitiness to round out the flavors. Sweet finish but so much that it gets cloying. Goes down very smooth. and easy. You get a ton of flavor in every sip with this one. Many beers this flavorful seem to deaden the tastebuds after a while, so that each sip is less intense than the last one. That didn't happen with this beer.

Would never guess that it's a 8.5% abv beer from the taste Drinks much easier.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

A real delight and very much recommended abv beer from the taste Drinks much easier.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

A real delight and very much recommended

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Photo of thesherrybomber
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Color: dark brown, cloudy, tanned head
Nose: spicy, sweet, dark fruits (raisins, prunes), rich, chocolatey
Palate: malty, rich, similar to certain Belgian ales I've tried
Finish: nice hop balance and warming from alcohol

Definitely one of my better experiences. Didn't get too much peat or earth. Will buy again

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Photo of Kernell_Sanders
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Alright gents, it's the Kernell again giving you yet another breakdown of another fantastic brew. Let me start off by saying I'm no fancy smancy beer tasting extraordinaire with a pedigree to boot, I'm just a small town fried chicken tycoon, but I know a good beer when I see one.

I find myself struggling to start this review because I enjoy this beer so much I am thinking about calling off work and going to get some instead of finishing this. Upon opening the bottle it has a slight bitter smokey oak smell to it, pour it in a glass and let it breathe though, and my friend you have a delicious smelling brew indeed. It boasts a nice head and is just how I like my women, thick and brown. Its tastes a tad bitter at first but its complex taste of smokey oak/wood, peat and sweet malt push thru and shine in the end. This beer isn't for boys, its for men god d#$n it. Sure its a tad bitter, but only for a moment then you're rewarded for your dedication and patience with a taste that rivals my famous chicken bowls.

If you're new to Scottish Ales, looking for a beer with big flavor or are a fan of some Bourbon Barrel Ales I would highly recommend it. Every time I seen that crusty grinning Irishman on the bottle it takes me back to that first time I tried it, its the same night I came up with the formula for my extra crispy chicken and we all know how that went.

Buy a sixer and open a bottle of success you dirty bastards, KERNELL OUT!

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smells like chocolate and rum
Tastes like toffee, malty, caramel, with a hint of chocolate.
Smooth yet chalky with a very mild booziness.
This is a great beer :)

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep blood red molasses color with one finger of creamy light tan head.

S: Molasses, caramel, sweet malts, coffee, vanilla, light citrus, dark fruits, barely, oak, subtle smokiness, bourbon???, a unique earthiness. Wow there is a lot of good things going on in this beer.

T: Sweet malts, caramel, molasses, barley, hints of coffee and vanilla bean, raisin, slight citrus, clove, oak, and a earthy hop spiciness.

M: Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a nice slight alcohol burn on the finish.

O: An incredible Scotch Ale. Founders did a great job on this one. An absolute must try. This is a frequent flier in my year-round rotation.

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Photo of Squire
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark ruby red gold color with light tan cap.

Aroma led by the scent of wild black cherry. I kid you not, that's what first lept out of the glass. Followed by roasted, coffeeish malt, Dark chocolate and a sense of dryness.

Taste is Belgian Quadlike, big, strong, bold and rich. On entry the roasted malt is primary with chocolaty coffee and dark tree fruit (cherry) trailing not far behind. Each time I raise the glass I'm greeted with the cherry/fruit scent first but don't actually taste those as strongly until the aftertaste where they linger.

Texture is full, chewy, creamy and denser than Army coffee.

This is big rather than complex with strength of character rather than finesse. The 8.5% alcohol is well hidden and not disclosed in either scent or taste. I don't know where the 50 IBUs went, I didn't see 'em, perhaps a slight tingle in the aftertaste but I wouldn't bet on it. For such a big flavor as this one carries hops are window dressing anyway. There are enough in there to balance things out. This is the culinary equivalent of a big hunk of meat hot off the grill.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage (odd for the brewery); drank 3/13/15 @ the Yarchives.

Brown/purple appearance.

A rough pour yielded a tan head; strong lace.

Brown sugar, sweet corn & caramel notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Brown sugar, sweet corn, tree bark & molasses flavors up front; mild booze heat on the finish. Mild raspberry notes emerged as this warmed.

A touch too sweet for me but this is a nice, complex brew. I'd have another.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This Dirty Bastard has full rich caramel and malt tastes but these quickly layer into a distinct quinine finish. (For those not familiar, "quinine" is a traditional drug to treat malaria, but is taste is bitter and not hops-like.) This is a really interesting brew. But it's not an all-night-long beverage or an everyday fair.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer many times and I am just now getting around to reviewing it. This is one of the best, readily available Scottish beers on the market.

A - Dark amber, almost brown color. Very clear with light khaki head with some staying power. Light lacing.

S - Rich malt aroma with caramel and toffee tones. There are also some ale esters and a graininess that lets you know there is a lot of different malts that go into this one.

T - Lots of malty goodness that hits the palate. There is a rich caramel, soft toffee, and a bready grain character that is throughout this one. There is some soft herbal-hop bitterness on the finish to help balance the sweetness but overall not too sweet. There is no alcohol character and with the soft finish this beer is very tasty.

M - Moderate to high mouth-feel. Light to moderate carbonation. There is less body than some other wee heavies which makes it more drinkable but with lots of flavor and no alcohol burn this beer is almost perfect.

Overall, this is the quintessential wee heavy to me. Some others of the style may have more flavor, more alcohol, or more body but the balance, taste, and drinkability make this a champion. This is definitely still a malt bomb but with layers of flavor I would suggest this beer to go with your beef-stew or haggis everytime.

Glass- Shaker Pint

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Photo of muchos
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can poured into a pint glass.
Canned on 5/8/17. Enjoyed 8/8/17.
L. Super dark brown with a big frothy tan head which lasts and laces the glass.
S. Dark brown sugar, molasses, nutty, slightly smoky, brown bread, clean wood. Smells dang good.
T. Sweet dark bread like zucchini bread, molasses, rich roasted malt, slight smoke and wood, toffee, a bit of bitter chocolate, finishes with grassy bitterness. Nice.
F. Leaning toward a full body, subdued carbonation, sticky resinous finish with just a little bit of drying, not boozy at all.
O. I've passed over this so many times, but boy am I glad I finally grabbed some Dirty Bastards. I am pretty sure this will be in my fridge most days from now on, especially during the cooler months, especially especially at like 20 bucks incl. tax per 12 pack. Well done Founders! Cheers ! ! !

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Photo of MikeLikes
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. My first review. I'm really not sure what the I'm doing but this is good stuff! This beer has taken the game to a whole new level. I was tired of just drinking beer and adding the excess while sometimes never even getting a buzz. Its dark brown color is a big change for me. It's very malty is smell, almost creamy and with 8.5 alc. volume it really sneaks up on you. The flavor also is outstanding. Can't wait to find other beers that compare or perhaps be even better.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

appearance- Dark brown in color with no visibility throughout. Pours a two inch tan colored head.

aroma- Rich sweet malt aromas consisting of toffee and dark fruits and a burnt malt presence underlying the sweetness.

taste- Again the malt is very sweet with toffee and dark fruits noticeable at first, and then a peated malt comes in to balance the sweetness.

feel- Thick, chewy, full bodied, medium carbonation, and relatively clean in the finish for such a malty beer.

overall- This is a really great scotch style ale. Tons of malty sweetness with toffee and dark fruits, but it never comes close to being cloying especially with the peated malts adding a light burnt aspect to the beer. Overall, this beer really respects the guidelines of the style and it rivals the quality of a Bellhaven scotch beer. Definitely worth purchasing again.

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Photo of ColtR40
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into an English style pint glass. Date on bottle was 12/12/2018. Poured black/dark brown with a khaki head. Good retention and lacing. Faint whiff of coffee and dark fruits aroma wise. Flavor was good. Malty, chocolate, dark fruits. Mouth feel was smooth and creamy. About 50 ibus. Finish was clean without any lingering aftertaste. At 8.5 abv this is a sipper. I'm normally afraid of the higher gravity beers but "Dirty Bastard" is a delicious beer. Well worth the price. I would recommend this to stout/porter/Scottish style ale drinkers. Not for wee lads according to the label blurb and I would agree. (As a goof give to Bud drinkers and watch them make faces).

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Photo of jmasher85
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In fitting companionship to the drug-addled Ol' Dirty Bastard for whom this beer might well be named, Founders' Dirty Bastard would easily make a beer addict out of me if I weren't damn near close to one already.

A sweet, lightly wooded, and piney smell at first with remarkably flavorful yet constrained use of hops, Dirty also works in a hint of molasses and caramel from the large variety of malts thrown into the mix and a waft of a good smokey whiskey with barely a hint of vanilla. There's a surprising amount of diversity in the nose and the more I smell it, the more I discover. Is that citrus or strawberry that gives this beer its lightly fruity nose? Whatever it is, it's so mesmerizing, I could smell it all day - but I won't because that's only part of the fun.

The first taste is malt heaven, with far less emphasis of the hoppy flavor coming through overtly, but rather as a balance that tempers what might otherwise be too syrupy and rich. But this bastard of a beer is just right. Even the 50 IBUs it claims seem a bit of a stretch. I can only really get a hint of bitterness as the thin but frothy head folds over my tongue like a wool blanket, and it's mostly manifested in the taste of resin, wood, and musk.

It's strong, rich, and a bit on the pricier side, so this isn't a beer I'd drink all day, but one I could enjoy drinking almost any day.

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Photo of OhioLimoncello
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Does Founders brew anything that doesn't taste exceptional? I don't think so. Nothing like an endorsement from an Ohioan for a Michigan product. Just call 'em like I taste 'em. Keep it up, Founders! You guys are tops!

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Photo of kaseydad
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wife bout me a six pack and said the name fit......hmmmm.

Beautiful ruby/burgundy/brown colored ale with a nice sized beige head and light lacing.

Aroma is light scotch, BIG red cherry, caramel, boozed soak dark fruits and sour apple. Nice whiffs of this with each sip.

Taste is malty with a big dose of scotch, butterscotch and sweet malt. Just a great blend happening here.

A touch of spicy hops on each sip....well carbonated.

Overall this is a fantastic beer to try for this style. The alcohol is present, but the abundance of flavors overwhelm the senses and create an amazing beer-drinking experience. Appreciate it for the style it is and you will not be disappointed.

P.S. Love that word called "distribution". Overjoyed to see Founders finally make it out to Cali.

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Photo of JTuomi
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

33 cl bottle (bb 05/04/2015) into a tulip glass. Pours an amber brown body, small tan head, ok lacing and retention.

Smell has roasted malt, raisin, brown sugar, chocolate. The taste begins with sweet malt and builds up a roasted taste with chocolate, coffee and dark fruit, ending with a dry grassy hop and coffee-like bitterness. The aftertaste lingers long in the mouth with chocolate and coffee.

Medium body, medium-low carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Overall a complex and flavorful sipping beer with pleasant smooth roasted taste to it.

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Photo of garrettdeanjohnson
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like founders. It's delicious. Done.

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Photo of Voonder
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown with ruby notes, small light brown head, great retention. Smell - very malty, some toffee, burnt caramel, hint of dark fruits. Taste - rasiny and malty upfront, then chocolate and caramel followed by hoppy bitter finish. Mouthfeel - alcohol is well present, though it's smooth, slightly off balance. Complex, strong this beer has some character. Very solid brew from Founders!

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Photo of lwillitz
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12-oz bottle into Belgian ale glass

A - generous head of khaki over a body of deep red/brown; nice web of lace

S - brown sugar, dark fruits

T - caramel and brown sugar, dark fruits, touch of earthy bitterness, hint of peat, semi-dry finish

M - light/medium carbonation, smooth and chewy medium body

O - a very nice Scotch ale

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Photo of gmossii
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

If you have not had a Scottish Ale, then you have not been living. Adding rye to the mix adds a new flavor dynamic. It is also a nice bridge for you hops heads out there who think life begins and ends with IPA's. This is my favorite entry in this category to date. It has a nice mix between bitter and mellow sweet. It is also surprisingly smooth for something that is 8.5 APV, plus it is reasonably priced. Well worth the $10 entry price and even better on tap.

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Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 7,885 ratings