Founders Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty 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:
Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU

Added by Mitchster on 01-03-2003

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Reviews: 1,894 | Ratings: 7,412
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brownish barleywine appearance. Aroma whaffing of alcohol, also barleywineish and some spice and roast. Taste well balanced though followed by tongue numbness. Hops at finish with roast. Very well malted, some sweet rather than bitter chocolate, and cinammon, and a touch of smoke. and an easy drink.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

single finger head on a brown and light amber cloudy body. Lots of lacing.Not much head retention. Aroma is a mix of caramel, cocoa, dark fruit and booze. Flavor is more of the same, with caramel and cocoa initially and a nice musty dark fruit finish. Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Very flavorful scotch ale. One of my least favorite genres but this one is actually pretty good.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bobhits for sending me this one!

Pours a murky dark brownish red with a small 1/2 inch beige head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. A little bit of ring lacing forms on the drink down. Smells of dark fruits like raisins, malts, and alcohol. Maybe some light caramel aromas. Taste is of some malt flavors up front with some caramel and raisin like flavors on the finish. A bit of roasted malt bitterness after each sip. Mild carbonation makes for a smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this a a good beer all around. I think this is the first beer of this style I have tried. Not one of my favorite styles but I would try others in the category in the future.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a great example of this style here, and it drinks dangerously easy for how strong it is. caramel in color, clear copper shine, with an inch of airy head without much to it, fades out rather quickly. the nose is a complex mix of sweet grains, with toffee and butterscotch notes, molasses too, with its earthy spice. the flavor is just as sweet and malt driven as the nose, only the layers of grain sort of come in waves. i get some wheat malt in here, a ton of pale and and caramel malts, maybe some chocolate malt too. finish is sweet, i couldnt drink too much of this, but its a smooth feeling beer with quite a lot of body and it hides its strength well. its a good winter drinker but for the sweeter beer drinker. i also should mention that this burps real well, i was tasting it for a long time after drinking it, and it was pleasant the entire time. another solid offering from founders.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking brownish red color. The head is thin and it creamy looking. It leaves a touch of lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer has a really nice sweet caramel aromas along with some earthy aromas too. The taste is very nice on this one. The sweetness was really nice and finished with a light bitterness. The mouthfeel of this beer was very smooth with a really nice carbonation to it. Overall it's a damn good beer, Founder's strikes again with yet another really tasty beverage.

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured dark brown with very little head.
S: Smells of malt and chocolate fill the aroma.
T: Like the smell, the taste is malty and chocolaty, with a bit of sweetness, particularly in the aftertaste.
M: The beer feels medium bodied on the palate and the finish is a bit warming. The carbonation lends some smoothness.
D: It's rather drinkable and the alcohol was well hidden.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy cow, the lable boasts 50 IBU's! I don't think Scotland has used an accumulative 50 IBU's in all of their beers... ever. Let's see how this Scottish IPA goes.

The appearance bring a deep amber, ruby color with good clarity. A short, yet firm head forms on the beer and retains for quite some time though reducing to a trace mid-way through the session. Fair lacing. It's a decent look.

Malty sweet aromas of barley, caramelized sugars, brown sugar, and molassas. Fruity with figs, dates, grapes, and berries. The hops show a light grassy, piney note but not reflective of 50 IBU's. Earthy phenols come in as the beer warms and gives a pungent, earthy, dirty note.

Flavors of deeply caramelized malts give a complexion of Dopplebocks. Richly sweet, bready, and fruity with the figs, dates, and berries. The phenols give a light smokey note but not nearly as pungent as traditional Scottish versions. The hops begin to show their leaves with a stronger flavor of grass and pine than the nose reveals.

At first, the malty sweetness of the barley takes hold.... There's the 50 IBU's, basically all surpressed into the bitterness and dominates the beer from mid-palate on. Bitterness chases the beer into a sweetly, long linger on the tongue and throat. Odd to see such bitterness in this style.

The hop bitternes obviously chase this beer beyond what is expected of the style. But it's not all bad, it begins to take on an Arrogant Bastard demeanor, but with less aggression and balance. The beer does edge on cola-like flavors at times, but ultimately stay with the malty, bready, toasty, melanoidin-rich character albeit very bitter.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, procured in a trade with Roke87 - cheers!

This beer pours a hazy dark orange brick hue, with one finger of creamy/foamy beige head, which leaves a sea-level iceberg profile of painted lace around the glass as it sinks away. It smells (since I first cracked the cap) of sweet butterscotch toffee, molasses, mild peaty smoke, treacle, vanilla cream, and subtly bitter leafy, piney hops. The taste is strong caramel/toffee, bready malt, brown sugar, some more lightly boozy vanilla, and moderately bitter grassy, earthy hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body a solid medium, maybe punching a bit above its weight class, deadly smooth, and a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet - with a restraint that I can't help but admire - and adequately balanced by the stoic 50 IBUs of bitter weedy goodness.

Not too sweet, not too syrupy, not too thin, not too hopped up - this wee heavy is juuust right! Wow, from the first whiff, this offering has proven to be a study in restrained plaid-clad fury - and tasty as fish and chips in seaside Aberdeenshire...

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Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear cola brown color with a bountiful head that hangs around for the full term, leaving plenty of lacing behind as a momento

Smell: Complex combination of bittersweet chocolate, tobacco, peat and dark fruit

Taste: Starts out with deep chocolate malt flavors, bursting with leather and smoky peat nuances; mid-palate, a restrained hop flavor kicks in to balance the malts; long, satisfying finish of complex malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and viscous with moderate carbonation; some warming alcohol on the finish

Drinkability: A very good Wee Heavy, though the mouthfeel is a bit thick

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Photo of largadeer
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy ruby red with an inch of solid tan head.

Smell: Toasted biscuit, tobacco, a bit of leather and earth. Rich caramel sweetness beneath.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet toffee and bitter resin. Medium-light in body, sweet yet crisp on the palate. Firmly hoppy with a very pleasant lingering bittersweet finish.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery and style. No best before or bottling date.

Not paired with food.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger light khaki head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention for the 8.5% ABV. Colour is a nontransparent murky dark caramel-ruby. Dull but appealing. No bubble show. No yeast particles are visible. Not unique or special.

Sm: Butterscotch, caramel, tea leaves, toasted malt, cream, and light hopping (but actually fairly heavy for a Scotch Ale). No yeast or alcohol comes through. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Nice malt layering. Too much tea leaf character. Overly hoppy for the style, with bitterness and even vague citrusy notes emerging. This throws off the balance and ruins the build. The caramelized and toasted malts are nice but weak. Far too hoppy. Not complex or subtle. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. Slightly astringent. Too thick for the lack of body. Overcarbonated.

Dr: One of Founders' worse offerings based on the four I've tried. A poor example of the style; I think they were experimenting with the borders of the style and failed. I don't care for it much, but it's not awful. Outside of style restrictions, it's an average brew. Drinkable but not worth getting again - especially at the exorbitant price charged for it here in Los Angeles (I purchased it at Ramirez Liquor). I'll be sticking to Oskar Blues Old Chub for my future Wee Heavy needs.


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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank to Steve for the single. Notched aug-sept.

Deep reddish brown body, hazy with sediment. Short puffy cap of foam, sort of imploded on itself. Decent retention. Malty, nutty, almost smoky aroma. Very smooth, caramel and peat smoke dominate. Lingering bitterness with bready rye and shortbread notes. Ultimately very drinkable. Worth a repeat buy for sure, try to find it fresh!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a small off-white foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of strong malt, caramel and a light touch of smoke. Taste is also dominated by the strong malt presence with sweet caramel with a subtle touch of peat. Body is quite full and carbonation is low. Very interesting take on the style.

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Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, maroonish-brown color with a small, off-white head. It left a little lace.

S - It smelled of malt, grasses and pine.

T - It was quite sweet with a great toasty malt taste. Also, some hoppiness that added a little spice.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a great beer. It was sweet but not overpowering.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rustico in September 2009.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a nice beige head and plenty of lacing as it goes down. The smell is quite enticing with overpowering roasted malts, toffee, caramel, a little bit of wood and vanilla, and a bit of brown sugar sweetness. The taste is all the same with the malts dominating. Medium-bodied and smooth, this one was very, very drinkable.

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Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours a 3/4 finger yellow/tan head. Very nice retention with great lace. The lace was the reason for such a high score. Color is a dark brown/ruby red.

Aroma: Caramel, honey, toffee. A lot of roasted malts. Slight earthy hops after a deep inhale. After another deep inhale I notice some dark dried cherries.

Taste: Very malt, but the earthy hops are present. Booze makes its way past the malts. Caramel. Honey.

Mouthfeel:Crisp, a little bitter, but very bulky. Full bodied. High carbonation. Leaves a very dry malty aftertaste.

Overall, not to bad of a scotch. I really enjoyed it for the most part. I am looking forward to my next bottle, but probably not tonight.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 2/15/2012. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, molasses, plum, biscuit, toast, toffee, and light herbal. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, prune, biscuit, raisin, peat, molasses, light chocolate, toffee, and herbal spiciness. Fair amount of herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, raisin, prune, peat, toasted biscuit, light chocolate, and herbal spiciness for a good bit. Very nice balance of flavors with good complexity; and no cloying sweetness. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very nice creamy, lush, and slick mouthfeel as expected. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is a great scotch ale. Nice flavor balance, with a good amount of robustness and complexity; and very smooth to sip on.

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Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of medium brown foam on top of a dark brown body with some very clear, amber highlights. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - Rich, deep caramel, brown sugar, dark bread, and some plum.

T - Dark, sugary flavors dominate up front with lots of caramel, dark brown sugar, and some cola notes. Darker caramel in the middle with some burnt notes and a bit of alcoholic warmth creeping up. More of the same dark, sugary character as the beer finishes with a bit of malt bitterness and some herbal hop character.

M - A fairly thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a lightly sweet finish with some spicy alcohol.

D - Not too bad, there is a lot of complex sugar character and the aroma is really very nice. Some of the dark sugar in the flavor profile is accompanied by a musty note that may be diacetyl or possibly even cardboard. In addition to that slightly unpleasant note it has a touch of alcoholic warmth that is, perhaps, understandable considering the strength but kind of messes with the smoothness that I would really like to see in this sort of beer. Overall it is a pretty good beer, but falls a bit below the average for Founders and I have a hard time seeing myself drinking it again.

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Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a pretty thin off-white head,big bold aromas of butter and brown sugar with some whiskey notes in there as well the alcohol is very prevelant.Flavors of dark fruit and alcohol are big here with some caramel just adding to the sweetness but this is fine for the style a big malt bomb for sure here.A warmer a sipping beer alcohol makes itself known for sure I have to stop now or I wont see the ending of Revenge of the Sith.

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Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a fizzy 1 finger head that fades semi quickly. It's a hazy dark dirty brown color with a little ruby red.

N: Lots of dark malts with some creamy malt aromas, some rich porter even. A little smoke with that, and a hint of earthy bitter hops. A little brown sugar and hint of caramelization. Not big on the nose.

T: Starts semi sweet with lots of creamy porter like flavors. More dark malts with lots of crystal, some smoked malt, and hints of roast. Some sweetness with a little molasses and maple but not really brown sugar anymore. The roast adds a touch of coffee and porter flavors. A slight bitterness from a little earthy hop and some roasted malt bitterness.

M: Medium body but on the heavier side of medium, with decent carbonation.

F: A little alcohol spicy feel hits at first with a touch of warming booze, then more sweet syrupy flavors with some molasses and maple, a little brown sugar now, lots of dark malts. More smoke as well. THen some earthy bitterness comes out more than before on the finish but still not too heavy. Bitterness also comes from the roasted malt flavors. A slight sticky sweetness but not as much as I expected from how heavy and sweet the beer is. Another nice tasty concoction from Founders as usual.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Dirty Bastard pours a mostly clear, very deep chestnut color with a rich crimson cast. The creamy tan head holds fairly well and leaves wide swatches of large spots and splashes about the glass.

In the nose it's pretty focused into one aroma that's a combination of gently sweet dark-caramel malt and yeasty fruitiness with a light whiff of alcohol and perhaps some leafy hops. But as noted, it really comes off as almost one note, and the specific characteristics (other than the malt) don't really stand out on their own - which is actually pretty damned characteristic of Scottish ales in general.

In the mouth it's medium-bodied with a gently crisp bristle of carbonation and a touch of warming alcohol.

The flavor is not as sweet as the aroma suggests, perhaps held back by its solid bitterness, a spritz of alcohol that cuts through the malt, and a bit of dark-malt acidity. It does express the dark, burnt-sugar-like caramel found in the nose, and there's a light bit of apple-like fruitiness to it as well - and there are, indeed, some leafy hops in the background (meaning they fall somewhere between earthy and herbal, and grassy and maybe even floral) - but again, it remains a very focused brew. It finishes dry, and lingering, clearly expressing a bit of peat-smoked malt that dwindles but remains just enough to carry you into the next sip.

Overall it's a decent beer, but I'd call it Scottish-style over Scotch-style ale. It doesn't have the body, or the sweetness (perhaps because of a little bit too much bitterness) for the style, and the hops are overdone by a bit. The alcohol level is right, but there's just not enough malt to back it. Dirty Bastard? Well, a bastard of the style is right at least.

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Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very fresh 12 oz with an indicated production date of 2/8/12 served in a snifter. {review revised with a notably better 2012 bottle served in Sept. 2014}.

Pours a fine, clear, dark mahogany, but with little head. Minimal lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is not particularly attractive, being rather boozy, with hints of cheap sherry (or so I imagine). (aged bottle has a great aroma). The higher ABV is also apparent in tasting. Although I've focused on the weak spots, this is certainly a decent Scotch Ale.

O: Disappointing (fresh only) given that I like this style and love this brewery. Even though it is mild, I found too much earthy/peat flavor in this Scotch ale. Will re-visit after some aging. (2014 -- Much improved. Now excellent in all areas. )

Revisited in Sept. 2012 -- aroma is rather delicate, and flavor has only a light and pleasant earthy/peat aspect, although still too much of a hint of liqueur. Different batch? Improvement by aging, ... not sure why, but I enjoyed this more than my original rating indicated, and tweaked my overall rating up (and again in Sept, 2014).

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is brown with a reddish tint and a short tan head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The robust smell is of vanilla, dark chocolate, caramelized malts and a hint of dark fruits.

T: There’s an initial burst of sweetness when you first taste it. Then you get the taste of the malt, dark chocolate, vanilla & fruit, which quickly followed by a short warmth of alcohol.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish leaves just a bit of stickiness.

D: This one’s very tasty and the type of beer that makes you crave the next sip. The only thing keeping me from giving this beer a 5 in this category is that it’s kind of filling; however it’s an excellent representation of the style.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a murky, dark crimson-brown, with a small off-white head that disappeared very quickly. Smell is of rich malts and pine. Taste is similar, with a rich malt base overlaid with pine and peat, moderately smokey, with hints of indistinct fruit and spice. Relatively low alcohol, but still had quite a sharp boozy kick, with a dry and bitter finish. On the heavy end of being medium-bodied, smooth and creamy, complex, and very drinkable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/05/12

A: Pours a slightly hazy mahogany in color with a finger tall light beige head. The head on this beer reduces to a thin ring of bubbles around the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: The aroma is mostly roasted malts, dark fruits, caramel, and slight hints of alcohol. Overall the smell of this beer is rather sweet.

T: The flavors of this beer are roasted malts, caramel, and some sweetness followed by a fair amount of alcohol (more than the 8.5% ABV would suggest). There is a slight hint of hop bitterness in the finish. Overall a nice flavor profile.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Pretty easy to drink for the style and the alcohol is not as upfront in the taste and smell as you sometimes get. Also, this beer is not as cloyingly sweet as other examples of the style. Definitely more of a sipping beer.

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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 7,412 ratings.
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