Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Founders Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

1,832 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Founders Dirty BastardFounders Dirty Bastard

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,832 | Ratings: 7,201
Photo of bigkahunas4
4.61/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, brew came out an intriguing cloudy cider. There was literally no head, but there was a paw print of carbonation at the surface. A little bit of suddy lacing. Nose is full of sweet caramel, maybe some notes of honey. Very full, rich, and tasty.

The flavor profile on this is intense. The beginning opens up with a bitter kick to the nose, grapefruit rind. But then the brew settles to the fronts of the mouth and a big malt profile appears. Notes of dark fruit fruits, breadiness, and fig emerge. I'm definitely missing some others - as it's quite complex - really a joy to drink. The mouth feel is smooth and creamy, and leaves a rough stickiness on the tongue - begging you to drink more.

Really an awesome brew here, which completely reverses the typical malt to hop drink. I'm a huge fan!

 820 characters

Photo of SaucyA
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review 187. What's more appropriate than a Dirty Bastard? If only it were Old...

A - Sniftered, srsly. Pours a deep, rusty brown with Venetian red highlights. The head, a tan wisp, is here for a few seconds on the pour, and quickly fades to a ring around the glass. Carbonation isn't visible in it's fairly opaque body. No lacing. Actually has decent legs.

S - Caramel malts, and not a whole lot else. Fruity yeast, alcohol, light cherry syrup is all I'm pulling out. Nothing very smokey at all.

T - Here's where this beer shines. After being graced with a few Scotch Ales recently, this one really hits the spot. Starts off quite sweet on the tongue with lots of sugary-sweet malts and fruit-soaked-in-booze notes. Transforms into a dry, bitter backend where smokey earthiness really balances out the sweetness.

M - Creamy and smooth. A tad syrupy.

D - This is a big brew, in both taste and noticeable abv. I'm fine with one... then I'll move onto its big bro :)

Notes: When I first had this a couple years ago, I wasn't much of a fan. It's fun to revisit beers only to discover how much you like them.

 1,109 characters

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice hazy dark red color. The head is very not much there. I'm guessing based on the pour that this will be somewhat thick.

S- Sweet malty goodness, with a great smell of darker fruits. I'm also getting a slight bourbon smell as well. Brown sugar/molasses are here to play as well.

T- Great flavor here, good malts, mixed with lots of complex flavors. The fruits and brown sugar for starters, I'm also getting a slight bit of that bourbon I smelled. It is very very faint though. The ABV is well hidden. This is a very tasty and well put together beer. It almost reminds me of an English Barleywine.

M- Great mouth feel very solid...a bit more carbination would have been nice though.

D- Very drinkable, solid beer.

 723 characters

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

Deep mahogany, reddish hues when held to light. Thick and chunky, its weighty character visibly evident with the suspended yeast. Thin tan head recedes quickly, very spotty lacing.

Strong boozy nose, blends with sweet maltiness. A hint of roasted grains. Later some date like notes. Sweetness more noticeable as glass empties. I've been noticing this with alot of beers, and I think it's the sugars sticking to the glass.

Not the sweet malt bomb I was expecting. Interesting start. Some sweet malt and roasted, almost burnt tasting grains balance each other nicely. Boozy flavors come in thru the middle and some mild bitterness in the finish. Interesting and complex. Noticing more sweetness, less booze, and more bitterness in the finish at end of (warmer) sample.

Nicely effervescent, creamy texture and coating, full bodied. Nicely done. Dryish bitter finish.

Going, going, gone way too soon. For a big beer, this goes down pretty smooth and easy. Certainly not a session beer, but not intended to be either.

Very nice brew! Not cloying like many scotch ales. It does the style proud.

 1,095 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again, a big thanks to DrDogbeer for this one. Pours a solid caramel brown, almost opaque, with some light caramel at the edges. reminds me of Kahlua. A bronze gold thin head of fairly good sized bubbles grows at the top before leaving a solid collar and sticky, gummy lacing.

Aroma is sweet and malty, toasty and nutty. Cocoa and chocolate mixed with scotch. Hints of artificial sweetener mixed with paint thinner... not necessarily a bad thing though. hints of rum come through nicely.

Taste is beautiful, incorporating the aroma and taking it further. Sweet malt, caramel, cocoa, and hints of bourbon up front. spiced with some cocoa and bittersweet coffee notes. A touch peaty, full and earthy. Pretty complex on the whole. Impressive.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. Full and thick without being even close to cloying... not syrupy or bitter. Smooth, full, and rich. just enough carbonation to prevent it from nearing the realm of liqueur.

Wow. wish I had a few more... this is a beautiful and rich scotch ale, robust and full of flavor. warming alcohol and a beautiful flavor profile makes this one really drinkable, without seeming overly boozy. Definitely seek it out should you get the chance.

 1,206 characters

Photo of Philabeerphia
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From da notebook. On tap @ Earth Bread + Brewery.
13oz pour. Deep caramel in color. Opaque even when held to the lights above. Topped with a tidy, sandy head. Plenty of thick lace wrapping the tulip. Giddyup this is a beer talkin to me.

Disappointed a bit in the nose, aka I'm not smelling much. breath deep real deep and I pick up something... lemony, coffee and biscuits. Lots less than i expected.

Taste is another story. Bright and ballsy. the hairy stuff. slight orange/citrus up front. Some nutmeg, chocolate, dulce de leche. Hops and chocolate open up when swirled on my lengua, while the alcohol taste is zippy background music. Hops linger on the top of my mouth. Still has some nutty and strawberry flavor camped out. damn I liked that a lot.

Warming in the mouth. Creamy and relaxing in a profound way (not sure what that means exactly but the kid stays in the show).

An experience to savor. Yea I thirst for more, but one of these and its kaputz. Break one of these out when you're ready for a cerveza especial.

 1,028 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Flying Pig in Malvern yesterday to help celebrate the 75th anniversary to the end of prohibition.

Poured into a tulip glass - color was a deep, opaque brown, with just a faint head.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel, with a presence of bourbon, caramel, and roasted malts in the flavor - quite tasty.

Drinkability is high, with a lot of character and ABV.

 378 characters

Photo of corby112
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the South Philly Taproom.

Pours a nice dark brown color with a thin, foamy beige head. Hints of malt, alcohol, and hops in the aroma. Has a very earthy taste in which the hops nicley balance out the roasted chocolate maltiness. Nice beer!

 256 characters

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Every once in a while, I need a reminder of how much I love Scotch Ales and while I wouldn't consider Founder's Dirty Bastard a reminder-- it's only for one reason.

It's a damn wake-up call! This beer screams at me for neglecting this style for way too long [which is equal to any time at all].

Pours a hazy and almost opaque dark brown into my brand new Appalachian Brewing Company pint glass [I drove down for some lunch the other day]. The only way to see the haze is to put it directly in front of a light. There is a fair amount of retention that seems shallower in the middle of glass and a sticky web of lace down the pint glass.

Smells of beautiful scotch notes and chocolate/caramel suggestions. The taste then follows suit but translates the aroma to a flavor that makes you wish you had some more of this in the fridge... and I don't.

Mouthfeel provides a warming alcohol sensation to the back of your throat and down to your belly. This is truly a cold weather beer. It's like a comforting fireplace in a 12 ounce bottle.

Drinkability is rather tolerable for an 8.3% ABV brew. I need to find another Scottish Style Ale very soon!

 1,146 characters

Photo of abrand
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into tulip glass

A- pours a very deep amber color with a small amount of off-white head and good retention. Not much lacing is present.

S- Very sweet up front and a lot of alcohol is present. Nose consists of fruits, nuts, and spices. Also hints of caramel as well as a small malty-coffee presence.

T- Up front it is pretty bitter with a lot of spices. Finish is surprisingly smooth with hints of fruits and smoke/nuts that linger.

M/D - Medium bodied and drinkability is fairly high. The intimidating title of this beer is a little misleading because it is very smooth and enjoyable.

 613 characters

Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A deep colored amber...a very little head that was a light brown in color

S - Sweet roasted malts

T - Follows the nose...the sweetness and malty flavors are there...a nice caramel flavor...the alcohol is masked pretty well

M - Rich and creamy

D - I'm in love with Founder's...they hit the nail on the head with this one...a good session beer

 349 characters

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a - deep, dark amber-red, very little head, very thick with few bubbles slowly rising up to the head

s - it has a strong aroma that is indicative of its level of ABV.

t - quite complex... roasted malt, a little tinge of whiskey floating around there somewhere, maybe some toffee notes

m - creamy, sticks to the inside of your cheeks a little, but not sludgy

This is a great beer, another homerun from Founders

 414 characters

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

This is a strong Scotch Ale that makes a statement. The beer pours a thick, syrupy mahogany brown color with not much head, retention, or lacing. The beer was a bit sludge like coming out of the bottle, so I knew this was going to be a thick, full bodied brew. The aroma is strong: plenty of ABV, liqueur like, alcohol fruitiness, big malt palate, some smoky and peatiness, some caramel and roasted notes. Lots of ABV in the nose, but less so in the taste.

The taste is maximally complex, strong, and full palated. There is plenty of ABV in the beer, but it isn't so strong that it totally detracts from what else is going on in the beer. There is a roasted malt, brown sugar base to the beer. There is a very clear smoky, slightly peaty quality to the beer. And then add some liqueur soaked cherry flavors, some charred bits in the finish, and then some hop in the finish. There is a bit of carbonation in the beer, it isn't flat, the mouthfeel is a bit oily, and the aftertaste has a tad bit of throaty burn from the ABV, but not over the top. This is a substantial Scotch Ale. The style isn't my favorite but for those who like the style and want a beer also making a significant statement, then seek no further because this beer is your destination. L'Chaim.

 1,264 characters

Photo of praufs01
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Cloudy dark reddish brown, with a creamy tan head.

Aroma - Golden raisins, cantaloupe, and dark chocolate with some light alcohol in the background.

Mouthfeel - Thick full bodied brew with light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Coffee and chocolate dominate with wisps of alcohol throughout, as though it were spiked with a splash of really good small batch bourbon.

Overall - Wow! This is one good brew. It makes you want to slow down and savor the experience : )

 484 characters

Photo of orangemoustache
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky brown with lots of reddish highlights when held to a direct light. The head is a couple fingers of thick creamy tan foam that leaves some chunky lace as it falls to a thin covering that holds firm for the duration. Smells of dark fruits,old leather and toffee. The flavors are very nice. Mostly medium roasted malt upfront,with some whiskey notes and subtle hints of peanut brittle. The mouthfeel is reminiscent of a medium rare steak that melts in your mouth...thick and meaty,yet soft and effortless. This 12oz bottle went down so fast I will have to revisit this one,Founders is quickly gaining my trust.

 626 characters

Photo of rustan
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. thicker than expected.

appearance ruby brown, moderate off white head.

nose is immediately sweet, malty with nutmeg or some other spice that makes me nostalgic for christmas?

flavor dominated by the nose and notable for absence of hop presence. malty sweetness ends on a bitter note. alcohol presence establishes itself mid-quaff.

mouthfeel thick but not syrupy. densely carbonated.

interesting higher gravity twist on the style.

 476 characters

Photo of daythree16
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a burgundy/mahogany color with an enormous four-finger head despite the relatively tame pour.

Smells of toasted malt and caramel. Taste is nice and roasted with hints of caramel. Has an earthy quality as well. The alcohol is a bit noticeable but not overwhelming. Good smoky finish.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated. Drinkability is okay. I doubt I'd have more than one or two.

 428 characters

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is highly malty and alcoholic. Minor fruit. Smells like a strong Old Ale. Smells like a no-nonsense kind of beer.

Pours a deep ruby brown with orange highlights, too dark to see through but no noticeable haze, mildest of heads. Good slurry on the bottle bottom.

It is highly malty, with chocolate, espresso, bread crust, etc, but it's also very fruity and surprisingly not really thick. Wonderful flavor. Lots of ripe pear, grape, and some mild citrus. Tastes like some fruit I can't put my finger on... I think perhaps a combination of the pears and cherries in a fruit cocktail with medium syrup - mmm! Good sweetness, not over-the-top. A little bitterness near the finish. No alcohol heat whatsoever, even though it was prevalent in the nose. There's a mouth-coating that also reminds me of fruit cocktail; I don't know why, but I sure like fruit cocktail. Chewy malt expresses more detailed semisweet chocolate and dry bread crust. Espresso-like bitterness. Finishes with slight mouth-coating and slight sweetness.

The name Dirty Bastard doesn't make any sense to me. This beer isn't harsh or brutish or even all that strong, it's refined, delicate, and exceedingly well-crafted. It's rare to find a beer with such a tight balance - nothing in this beer seems out of place. The many wonderful flavors cycle through the limelight. I'd love to get it on tap someday. Very nice.

 1,387 characters

Photo of NCSUdo
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Pours a deep rusty red/brown under a large off white head. Good lace and retention.

S: Big time smell of toasted malt, bit of caramel and toffee, hint of chocolate and sweetness.

T: Very balanced taste up front. Nothing really stands out. Slighty sweet up front, with toasted malt and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Finish boozy as well. Hint of smoke. Booze may a be a bit harsh in the finish.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is just right, nice mouthfeel. Decent drinkability. This one I served pretty warm, maybe a bit cooler can mask some of the booze. Overall a decent brew.

 601 characters

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

I got this brew from raznug, Thanks Darrell!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky red/brown color with a small beige head that in spite of it's size left good lacing.

S - the sweet malty aroma is quite pleasant.

T - whoa!... what a nice tasty brew, sweet malty flavor upfront followed by a shot of bitterness and a smokey, dry finish.

F - medium bodied with a silky smooth feel.

D - crisp, clean and easy to drink.

 438 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
3.05/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Murky, but not quite opaque, reddish brown. Two fingers of light tan head rise with moderate retention. A thin film remains with some moderate lacing.

S - Nice caramel aroma with some buttery notes. There's also an aroma of sour fruit with a touch of anise.

T - Nothing too impressive here, way too dry for the style as far as I'm concerned. There's a slight brown sugar flavor early on with suggestions of butterscotch and toffee, but overall boring and attenuated. A huge dose of alcohol takes control mid palate and doesn't let up. Immediately there's an almost numbing, earthy bitterness that wipes away any trace of sweetness the beer had. Alcohol taste and bitterness prevail through the finish and long into the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with a soft carbonation. The alcohol makes this brew seem thinner.

D - Not a huge fan of this beer, and the bit alcohol flavor is a major deterrant. The bitterness is also on the crazy high side for the malt bomb that this should be. I doubt I'll bother getting this again in the near future. Plenty of better examples.

 1,128 characters

Photo of BirdFlu
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with a ruby hue.. some head but not much.. it sort of resembles a cola, the mouthfeel is similar to cola as well, with a refreshing crispness. Smell is mostly sweet with malt and a bit roasty. Smells a bit of alcohol, this also is evident in the flavor and aftertaste, which maintains a boozey warmth and a bit of a sour whiskey-ish..well.. sourness (but not much, just enough to keep the sweetness from being that of, say, a doppelbock or such). A good amount of hop bitterness in the flavor, as well. There is a roasted quality to the flavor, a malty sweetness, some caramel-like sweetness and, again, a liquor-like feeling. Mouth is well carbonated and on the lighter side of medium. Its very easy to drink and quite refreshing. If you don't like whiskey or scotch or other brown liquors at all then that characteristic of it may turn you off a bit, but its very nice to sip from a snifter.

 912 characters

Photo of JISurfer
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Since Scotch Ale is probably my fav beer of all time, when I see one, I try it. This one didn't disappoint. I thought it had just a tad too much hops than most Scotch Ales I've had. Other than that though, it was a decent brew. I would have liked to have seen more use of strong malt taste. Then again, everyone seems to like it the way it is, so I guess Founder's knows what it's doing.

 387 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Love the label, the name, and the poem around the bottle's neck. Hopefully I enjoy the beer as much, but knowing Founders I have little to doubt.

This Bastard pours a very cloudy ruddy brownish amber. Really a muddy sort of color with a thin light mocha colored head and thicker collar.

Smells of caramelized sugar and lightly of peat and smoke. A somewhat delicate aroma with a hint of maple.

Tastes is much fuller and stronger. You decide if that's a good thing. The hops are slightly more assertive to balance the strong caramel malt flavors. Peat comes through more clearly than in the nose. The alcohol content provides a biting and warming, yet refrains from becoming harsh.

Mouthfeel is medium, but somewhat lighter than expected. Moderate level of carbonation. Everything comes together wonderfully and I could see this being great with various cold weather foods. Recommended brew.

 894 characters

Photo of czfreeman
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On a recent visit to Illinois I finally stumbled across some Founders!!(none in NY).
Pours out a rich malty mahagony toned brown, capped by a richly foamy head.
Smells of tart esters, dried fruits, malts, raisins, brown sugars, burbons, vanilla, all back by a rock-solid malt backbone.
Flavor is absolutely fantastic. Not a hop to be found here, rather a rich complex brandy-like drink. Notes of vanillas, oaky malts, brown sugar sweetness with a pleasant warming finish.
Mouthfeel is rich and biting at the same time. Its quite a full bodied beer, but so simply delicious its hard to put down. I really am enjoying this style beer, and this one holds its own with the best of them (Orkney Skull Splitter). If I could just get my hands on some Kentucky Burbon Breakfast stout!

 778 characters

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,832 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.