Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Dirty BastardDirty Bastard
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 Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,017 | Ratings: 7,908
Photo of Mitzvahman72
1.24/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Quick take: This is outlandishly bitter, nearly overpowering the flavors that are in this beer to the point of insignificance. Judging from how they made and created this beer, it’s obvious Founders is trying to compete with Stone’s Arrogant and other bitter beers. This isn’t a good beer for those who like a proper Scotch or Wee Heavy ale. Your alternatives will be Beam Me Up from Intergalactic Brewing Company, the Loch Down from Arcadia Brewing Company in Kalamazoo and, for a more lighter body, the Kilt Lifter from both Four Peaks Brewing Company in Tempe, Arizona and Moylan's Brewing Company in Novato (Don't let the not-so-classy beer name discourage you. They are good beer!)

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Photo of ThatGuy85
1.91/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Worst scotch ale I have ever had. This is a sickly sweet, disgusting beer. It reeks of burnt molasses and spoiled fruit. The taste is rich and overpowering, coating your mouth in an unsavory and unpleasant manor. I nearly spit this out the moment it hit my tongue.

Scotch ales are delightful and smooth. This beer is as delightful as baby vomit and as smooth as a train wreck.

A dreadful, embarrassing, abomination of a "beer".

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Photo of AleWatcher
2/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Why does this remind me of an old ale? Stale malts with caramel sweetness and only a mild bittering hop presence.

This is not impressing me right now.

Medium full body is lacking carbonation and feels slightly gritty.

Overall, what the hell is going on here? I love backwoods bastard, and this is terrible. This is like a strange old ale or aged barleywine. There is a boozy bite on the finish that is off-putting as well. Me no likey.

The beer looks murky rust colored reddish brown. Quite brackish and cloudy. Almost no head. Looks dull and lifeless.

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Photo of cfrivera1
2/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Smells ok and for the first couple of seconds after sipping it actually tastes pretty darn good - smooth and creamy - chocolaty! But immediately after that, it left a real nasty-paint-thinner-like-vinegary after taste. Couldn't finish bottle - I was VERY disappointed and decided to stick with mojitos the rest of the evening (Christmas Eve). Just for kicks, I decided to give it another shot today - no change - starts out super delicious to the palate, but finishes with a super vinegary bitter bite which literally makes you shake your head and wonder "WTF? What happened here you dirty bastard?" To each his/her own.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.02/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Pours cloudy reddish brown. Produces little head, even with a rough pour. Minimal fine lacing. Not much to look at.

Smells like chocolate toffee meeting asphalt in that ozone spot right when it starts raining. Some fruits, all dark and all somewhat prune-juice like, poke through. Average is a stretch.

Has that flavor that I can't quite put my finger on, but I really can't stand. For such a highly rated beer, I can't by any means figure out why. Honestly it's one step away from a drainpour. Heavy super dark fruits and warm prune juice would be a complementary way to describe the flavor.

Feel wise it's typically Scottish ale like, thick and rich, low carbonation, not bad at all.

Drinks horrible. Will not seek out, recommend, or buy.

It's not just the style as I rated Bellhaven wee heavy quite highly. Something about this beer stands out as "I hate it." I'm sure it's not a bad bottle, but hey, I'm rating both to style and to my tastes, and this just plain tastes terrible. Sorry founders, I like some of your stuff but not this one.

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Photo of JoelG21
2.04/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Having read a few previous reviews, I think that people might be misrepresenting the taste of this beer. Simply put, the flavor was completely off-putting. Had almost no beer flavor, just a very alcohol-flavored kick.

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Photo of pumarocks
2.2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I picked this up at the jungle in Fairfield, OH. This is a super malty brew. It seemed to me the alcohol was far more prominent. This was way to strong in my opinion and I will not be purchasing this angain. The Founder's Red Rye is a far superior offering and much more balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of Gruntlumber
2.28/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Is this one of those beers that I should pretend to like? Afterall, it has a high ABV, it's a dark burnt amber in color, and the label/name is cool. The name is actually quite accurate in my opinion...tastes dirty. The smell is truly horrendous. If you let it sit for a few minutes and let the fumes build up in the glass before you take a wiff, wow, it is not pleasant. I think that's what did it for me: the smell. It's a hard to drink beer, but you plunge through it because you paid $10 for a sixer. It would be a challenge to choke down more than one of these tonight. As I work my way to the bottom, the smell is seeming to dissipate somewhat, which helps a tad on drinkability. Sorry, this will never be in my fridge again. I think I'll go have the Samichlaus I've been saving for 2 years.

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Photo of Saylor
2.32/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

This beer does not taste good to me. I am a big Founders fan and I’m not sure if the beer had gone bad but this this is not what I was expecting. It has a very “malt forward” taste. I feel like the caramel or toffee flavors were torched a bit. I should have know because the price was $12 for a 6er, it came in a 6pk vs a 4pk and I’ve never heard anyone mention it in conversation. I’m not sure how the current rating is a 4.04 on here. This should not be their flagship beer.

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Photo of Fartknocker
2.38/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark ruby red color
S- sweet, sugary aroma
T- same as smell. Kool-aid sugar water with a strong black licorice flavor. Also a bit of alcohol at the end showing that the 8.5% is definitely present but muted.
M- Fairly flat with little carbonation. It must just be me but based on the BA Founders hype, this seems to be another of thiers that I just don't see where the hype is coming from. I've had much better scotch ales than this.

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Photo of thelagerheads
2.43/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This Scottish style ale pours with a head like Einstein and the brain of a Speak-N-Spell. I'm mumbling to myself right now with a bowl of salty tortilla chips next to me trying to keep the burn from my throat and the hot tremors from the rest of my body. Three parts propane and one part shark liver this is sure to rip your intestines to shreds like the flag on a paddle boat in a noreaster. I kind of enjoyed the first two or three sips but in a similar way that one of my old childhood friends did when he got an Egyptian eye tattooed on the side of his head, "It hurts but it's a good kind of pain." Needless to say he was an idiot and time has caught up and taught me a few lessons about practicality. Get a fire extinguisher and some Rolaids because the whole town is going to burn down inside your body.

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Photo of MONKandTUCK
2.46/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - deep red, almost brown. very dense.

A - sharp malt notes. sweet notes, dark fruit, some toast.

T - Very tart. Lots of caramel, prunes, mellow chocolate.

M - Thick, heavy.

O - Too much of a challenge. Too much going on to figure out what's going on. The dark fruit notes really dominate.

I advise avoiding this one. Too weird to be enjoyable.

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Photo of MichaelT86
2.52/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

I might just not like Scotch Ales, the one I had might have been skunked and I not known but my impression of this beer is largely that it tasted like what would happen if you let a malty ale sit in a used work boot then bottled it from there. I just did not like it, might just be a case of poorly aligned preferences though judging from the beer's high rating.

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Photo of barleyroad
2.6/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is DARK and clear. Smell is hoppy and very nice. The mouthfeel is creamy, thick and heavy. The taste is better up front and in the back of the mouth. Bitter start with a slight sweet finish. Overall this is a strong beer in flavor and in ABV. This beer will go well with anything HOT..

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.61/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter. It turns out this beer really needs to warm up before its characteristics other than bittering hops and alcohol present themselves.

A - A 1-finger beige/cream-colored thick foam head developed late in the pour and dissipated pretty quickly leaving few traces of lace on the glass. Deep ruby/copper, burnt rust color that's pretty clear.

S - Very little going on in the nose at first. Malts seem to be competing with the bittering hops with neither getting up out of the glass. Slight caramel rises with the alcohol. Once it really got warmed up, the malts stepped forward like a young Scotch whiskey. It also presents subtle tart cherries.

T - Toasted, roasted malts. Pronounced bittering hops on the finish that really linger. This finish, accented by the above-normal abv, is what this beer is all about.

M - Creamy with slight carbonation. The bittering hops wash away the already thin structure quickly. When warmed, this approaches watered-down bitter Scotch.

D - The bittering and the abv over-power the malts. Lacks the caramel characteristics of a good Scotch ale. Needs to be way too warm to get any of the nuances going, and by then, the beer is flat. At that point, a good single malt would be much more satisfying.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
2.62/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - a nice rusty red color which formed a foaming head which lingered ~ 1 min after pouring.

Smell - Not a very potent odor. Smells of alcohol a bit with a little bit of fruit possibly, but not very strong at all.

Taste - An upfront bitterness that seems to persist. while not heavily present at first, begin to get the alcohol taste a bit later.

Mouthfeel - A nice level of carbonation with an average body.

Overall - Not a bad beer, but not what it is lived up for or costs. Would not buy on any regularity and would choose other Founders beers over this.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
2.69/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Dark brown pour with ruby undertones and half a finger tan head.

S- Alcohol comes in very strong in the aroma, very light butterscotch and caramel notes.

T- Some sweet caramel, strong alcohol, medicinal taste, and some bitterness

M- Syrupy, sticky, a little chewy, full bodied beer, definitely has a strong warming and burning alcohol effect

O- Just too boozy to be very drinkable. This is the first beer I've had from Founders that disappointed me. This drinks more like a hard liquor than a beer with the booziness and burning effect. The alcohol is too prominent in this beer to the detriment of everything else going on with it. This is much boozier than Russian Imperial Stout's and Barleywines I have had. More flavor characteristics came out as the beer warmed quite a bit, but by then I was over this beer.

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Photo of plumberman63
2.7/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Nice color and aroma but flavor not to my liking, not tasting the sweetness everyone else is. Drank it , but wouldn't get again. A little to bitter for me.

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Photo of CaptFrothy
2.71/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'll compare it to 'other' scotch ales, it looks good, smells decent, mouthfeel is subpar, it's too carbonated for the style, alchohol is noticable, taste is initally sweet with a dry finish and a bite of somethng I can't identify. Guess my preference in a scotch ale is silky mouthfeel, malty raisen-y toffee and low alchohol. I love alot of founders ales but this one wasn't one of them.

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Photo of ski271
2.73/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at Zeno's in State College, PA... now smoke-free!
Dark, ruddy brown with a small, creamy, off-white, quickly diminishing head. Smell is malty and sweet with a little bit of smoke. Taste follows suit by being malty and sweet... VERY sweet. In fact, I think they take it too far. This is so sweet and syrupy that it tastes more like a desert. I love a good scotch ale and know their malt sweetness can be a bit over-the-top compared to other styles, but this is over-the-top even for the style. The mouthfeel was heavy, and not in a good way. I just have to say I was not impressed by this one at all, and think it's a bad example of the style.

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Photo of Nass
2.74/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was the first scotch ale I ever had back about 5 to 6 years ago and I was blown away so I decided to revisit it recently. All I can say now is what the heck happened. Most of this 6 pack I ended up giving away to local friends. Founders puts bottled on dates on their label so I know I did not buy a 6 pack that was sitting on the shelf for a year or two. Maybe I got an infected 6 pack or something. Oh well, I guess I have to find another scotch ale to drink when I am in the mood for some. Cheers! C

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Photo of waughbrew
2.77/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chestnut body with a very small beige head that laces but does not stick around. Smell is cardboardy hops and bready malt with hints of alcohol, not unlike the Bigfoot aroma. Flavor is lightly cherry-like with some roasted grains providing the only interesting part. Very bland. Boring yeast leaves a dull finish. Medium body seems even bigger than it is because of the very low carbonation. Overall very lacking in flavor for a beer of this alcohol level.

Not bad, but not interesting either. Definitely below average. Not worth another shot.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.78/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ugh. Just far too medicinal. Reminds me of the gnarly cough syrup my Mom used to make me take asa kid. Poured a brick-reddish brown in color. Thin head that all but dissolved. Nose is malts and a putrid/rotten peat aroma.

Rather like cherry cough syrup. Kind of tingles too. Black licorice. The peat tastes like it has turned. Slightly slick mouthfeel that tries to cling to my teeth. Full body though. Jut not so sure about this beer.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.78/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into Trois Pistoles snifter. Bottled 07/07/11 stamped on neck.

Appearance - Small tan head with low retention and weak stick. Dark ruby body.

Smell - Nutty and malty. Slight caramel. No hop presence. Moderate alcohol.

Taste - Earthy, nutty, coffee and somewhat boozy. Bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Too solvent. Otherwhise has a nice medium body and good creaminess in the head.

Overall Drinkability - First Founders beer I didn't really care for. I guess there's a first for everything.

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2.79/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Taste_- its a little heavy for me. It's a stout so it's as it seems over powered. It's like sucking down a semi. Lots of caramel and malt and a slight rye. It's about a C+ taste to me.

Odor- ^#^-Oates , caramel and malt. No spicy Rye notes and the finish suggests. It's probably to over powered by the other odors.

Manifestation- ^@^-tastes the same threw and threw not really interesting per say. If you like guineas give it a try if not I wouldn't waste your money.

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Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 7,908 ratings