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: 1,847 | Ratings: 7,255
Photo of bort11
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to unclejedi for this one.

12 oz stubby bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Mild off-white head that recedes quickly, but leaves an impressive sticky lace. Color is a deep dark ruby red color. Nice highlights when held to the light.
Smell is malty sweet with a floral back-note. Taste follows with the maltiness and finishes with a slightly tannic hops bitterness.
Solid medium body with a balanced carbonation. Very smooth and drinkable.

If it's no Scottish, it's crrrrap!

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. this brew pours a chestnut brown color with ruby red highlights. no head is present, just a soapy rim around the glass.

smell is a mix between malts, hops, and an earthy scotch aroma. caramel malts above the others, with a fruity base of grapes and a touch of apple. hops are in the background and are grassy. roasted malts are also present

taste is of caramel and roasted malts, with alcohol and a touch of earthy scotch present as well. the scotch flavor takes a more prominent role as the palate becomes familiarized with the brew, and the roasted malts reside.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with bite from carbonation and alcohol.

drinkability is moderate. this is a rich brew that commands attention. however, it is well balanced and rich in flavor profile and complexity. cheers!

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Photo of JamesS
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of this while visiting family in Indiana. I was homesick for my McEwans back home. Luckily this did the trick! Poured very nice with an excellent dark, rust/copper tone. It has one of the best aromas I've experienced, a very deep, malty and almost peaty scent. Very nice flavor, a nice amount of malt. The only negative was that, even keeping in mind its relatively high ABV, the taste and feel of alcohol was higher than usual compared to other beers, which affected its mouthfeel considerably and its taste a bit, as well. Still, if you're going to have a domestic scotch ale instead of the real thing, this is definitely worth trying.

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

12oz stubby bottle decanted into a tulip glass. No freshness date available.

A: Pours a deep deep copper brown, can't see to the other side of the glass, not much carbonation present (which I wasn't expecting too much of anyways, plus this guy is a little to dark to tell what's going on in there) with a sandy one inch head. Decent sticky lacing down the glass even after the head fades away.

S: Super sweet malt aromas bubble through. Hints of chocolate and boozy fruit (if that makes any sense) are present as well. This one even smells heavy.

T/MF: There is a hop presence here that the inital aroma hides quite deceptivly as a bitter kick greets me on the first sip. Swishing the beer around my mouth, a lot of it tends to stick all over my tongue and finishes a bit prickly on the front and back of the tongue. Very active mouth feel and not quite as creamy as I was expecting, which is nice because I enjoy being suprised by beer as long as they are good suprises. The malt is sweet, but I feel that the hops cover up some of the toasty malt flavors that only seem to come out near the end of the quaff. There is a strange sort of funk to this beer as a chocolatey taste is mixed with the hop bitterness and gives a sort of fermented fruit taste.

D: This is quite an interesting and complex beer and quite heavy on top of that, but something seemed a bit lacking overall, I guess my expectations were a little high on this one. Not sure I'd try this again before I tried some other's in this style.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Auch! This bottle of Dirty Bastard was brought back from Grand Rapids, MI, by my lovely wife on a recent trip to visit her sister there. She also brought me several other singles for a wonderful assorted sixpack of Founders beers. God love her.

From the bottle to a belgian style snifter, the Dirty Bastard is a dark brown, almost black color. When held up to the light, shades of ruby red and mahagony shine through. There is a thick tan head on top, which dissipates in time, leaving behind little lace. The nose is big. I get a boozy scent here, but it doesn't detract from the rest of the notes wafting through - molasses, faint vanilla, chocolate, toffee, caramel, various dark fruits. This is a splendid aroma altogether. The taste follows suit, delivering up hoppy spices, candied sugars, malted fruits, and a smoky aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

This scotch style ale may be a bit wee too heavy (pardon the pun) for some folks, but it's just right for this lad. It's big, and it doesn't try to hide it, but that's part of the Bastard's charm. Mind the ABV and know what you're getting yourself into and enjoy the ride.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured cool into my Corsendonk tulip
A - Decants a deep brown w/ about an inch of fluffy sand colored head. Generous lace hugs the glass as the tightly formed bubbles decrease.

S - Deep malty tones w/ a light woody earthiness. A whiff of alcohol in the deep roasted nose.

M - Slick, smooth sweet w/ an ample amount of bitter hop and malt texture w/ light carbonation and heavy body - very dense.

T - A rich blend of roasted and dark malt w/ a sugary tip and pungent spiced pine hop flavors. There is an almost smoky flavor w/ salty woody qualities. A creaminess and smoothness of oats makes for a good foundation w/ an allotment of hop flavor and bitterness. that is high for a Scottish ale, but not unpleasant in the least. There is a very good balance and this intense brew keeps reminding you w/ a lingering sweetness.

D - A big Scottish style brew, I couldn't drink this all the time, but every now and then a big malty brew is enjoyable. I found it to be a ting harsh the first time I drank this, but on repeated tastes found it to be well made and better than average.

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

Founders Dirty Bastard is best served at warmer cellar temperatures (50-55°F) from a small brandy snifter or Scottish thistle glass. This award-winning Strong Scotch Ale (Wee-Heavy) pours up with some authority along with a moderate carbonation that creates a low, short lived beige-light brownish colored head that sits proudly atop a deep auburn-russet body. The clarity is fairly bright with surprisingly good head retention and even shows some alcohol legs. The incredibly rich caramel aroma showcases the abundant maltiness with some intermingled fruitiness reminiscent of a bananas foster. In addition, there's a leafy, tobacco earthiness and peat smokiness which emerges as the beer warms in hand along with an intermingly of whisky notes that adds to the overall complexity. The malt dominated flavor starts off slightly fruity (plum preserves, raisin pie, ripened fig) with a rich, caramel maltiness that shows lots of kettle carmelization and carries a touch of oily smokiness. The chewy, full-body shows both power and grace with a big, bittersweet finish that packs plenty of warmth. This is just the tipple to add some color to the cheeks during a long winter's night. Here's to the old Dirty Bastard!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. stubby brown bottle. Bottle conditioned.
Poured a hazy reddish copper. Not a lot of carbonation. Slight fine bubbled head. Not a lot of aroma to start. As it warmed, there was some malt and burnt sugar.
Big malt flavor with some molasses. Hoppier than a traditional Scotch style.
There seems to be some alcohol there. Nice dry malt finish.

This is an interesting American twist on the Scottish style. Lots of malty goodness with a dose of American hops.

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

Appearance: It's dark brown (slightly red when held to light). Head is about one finger. Retention was rather short and lace was light.

Smell: Very nice caramel malt aroma. Slight hint of dark fruit (raisin, perhaps). Alcohol is noticeable, but not strong smelling. On the outskirts is a toasted nut smell.

Taste: Initially, it's simply a very full, flavorful malty taste. Dark fruits taste is there. Slightly nutty. Alcohol is blended well and not noticeable. Seems a bit chocolaty on the way down.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's full bodied. Carbonation is excellent. ABV is perfect for this beer. Very drinkable. Overall, this is a very good beer. One I'll certainly drink again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a deep chestnut-brown body with a slight glow of red hue at the base of the glass. Although the body is dense it does look clear at the base. There is a creamy tan head that last a good bit and lots of tiny bubbles sliding up the side of the glass.

S- This beer has a big caramel malt smell with a light whisky wood hint that comes through when it warms. There is also a softer note of darker toasted malt.

T- This beer has a nice caramel malt flavor that is not real sweet with a biscuit malt note and some dry toasted malt flavors. The big bitterness of hops at the finish balances the malt beginning. There is a slight pot caramel note after the finish that blends with the hops. As it warms there is a note of scotch that comes through in the malt flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight fusel heat at the finish which increases with the temperature.

D- This beer has a big malt flavor but it is not real sweet and is balanced by the hop bitterness, although there is not much hop flavor. It is a big flavorful beer but it is almost abrasive with the fusel note. I rather like the big abrasive flavors.

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Photo of david131
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- A very dark red/ orange beer. Slightly cloudy. An off-white head.

S- Very sweet and malty. A little smoky and perfumey. Very interesting. Maybe a little peat smell?

T- Perfumey, peaty, malty. This is very different, thats for sure. There is a lot of flavor though.

M- Not too carbonated and not drying. Nothing really off here.

D- Very interesting. Something worth trying, but I would have a lot of trouble enjoying more than one of these.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A muddy, dark brown beer with a thin off-white head.

Smell is caramel and ripe red apples. Alcohol is present and is a little solventy. Smell is full and spicy.

Taste is spicy caramel poured with boozy alcohol. The spices remind me of fennel and heather. A great bitterness supports the sweet and sticky malt backbone. There is also a good maltbitter, which increases depth of the beer.
Carbonation is on the wild side, mouthfeel is sticky and warming, which suits the style.

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Photo of Riggsy
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into BA - Sam Adams glass.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown. Thin tan head falls quickly and retreats to the sides of the glass.

Aroma of sweet caramel, dark fruits (plum, prune), slightly phenolic.

Taste is extremely complex: Sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit, chocolate. Hop bitterness more evident in the finish. A little boozy but provides a nice warming sensation. Maybe a little bit too much going on here.

Thick and syrupy in the mouthfeel, full bodied. Carbonation is low but is ok for this style.

Wouldn't see myself drinking more than one. I might like to try another one to make sure this is what this brew is supposed to be about.

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

My first Founders. Joy!

A dark brown red/purple-ish; pours a plum nectar. The head is very small, less than one finger, and is the color of espresso foam.

Sweet caramel malts mix with dried papaya, plum, and berry notes. The fruit notes are more spicy than bright and vibrant and remind me of many a dried-fruit trailmix that I've had. Fitting for the style. Hint of alcohol is definitely present and lets you know that this brew means business. The caramel malts are very strong and hit the nose first, which is good for a malt-mouth like myself.

Alcohol hits a little harder in the taste department, but the high degree of maltiness combines with said alcohol to fill out the body of the brew. The caramel malts are very present and pleasant. There is a biting hoppiness to it to round out the flavor, but it takes a backseat to the malts as is once again fitting of the style. There is less spicy fruit than in the nose which leads me to believe that the yeast plays a larger part than previously suspected, but nevertheless there is a sweetness to this brew that goes beyond the caramel malts. Once again a dried-fruit backbone helps round out this brew.

Slightly syrupy with a low level of carbonation. Full in body with a dryness that distinguishes itself from that of a wine-like dryness by hitting the front of the mouth/tongue.

A mite strong for multiple servings at the price that it's sold for. However, if I ever found this in a pub for $4-6 a'd have to tear me away from the bar at closing time. Truly an excellent beer and one whose not-so-subtle characteristics are best enjoyed through sips and sniffs. This brew ain't no guzzler.

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Photo of baos
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark reddish brown. Good tan head.

S: Malty bright hoppiness with a bit of caramel undertones.

T: Hoppy bite. Heath bar, black cherries. Nice alcohol splash. Not too much for me but I could see how some would frown to taste that much booze in their beer, but this lad likie!

M: Oily, creamy. very nice

D: A bit strong, but I could help my neighbor build his deck better with a six pack of this.

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Photo of shertz
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with notch on top of label right in the middle(so probably March/April bottle date) into a Pint Glass. Had in my beer fridge and my son left the door open for the night. Luckily, the beer didn't get too warm. So the name fits my thoughts after finding the door wide open.

A- Looks wonderful. Nice brownish/red color with 2 finger head that dissipates quickly.

S- Malty and sweet. Hints of chocolate and some alcohol are floating into my nose. Dark fruit is strong.

T- Chocolatey and Malty are what comes to mind at start. Alcohol is certainly present. Also taste something floral, maybe the hops. Some dark fruit, maybe dates are present also. Really nice but alcohol could be hidden a little better.

M- Probably the best aspect of this beer. Numbing feel in throat is just what I love. Very nicely carbonated but creamy and thick. This is what I look for in a higher ABV brew.

D-To me, this is a sipper, which is what I like to drink. Got a case of this and it will probably stick around for a while since it's so hot outside. I could see drinking this more in the winter. Two would suffice for a night, three tops.

Enjoy and Cheers,

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown/red color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention is low, but the lacing is good. It smells like caramel, roasted malt, dark fruit and a bit of a smoky aroma. It's mostly malty, I can't smell any hops at all. However, the aroma is a little weak. Flavor is pretty much the same as it smells. Taste overall is good, nice with good malty flavor. Mouthfeel is medium/full, it's smooth and creamy. It has just the right amount of carbonation to make this easy to drink, too. Overall I think this is a good beer, I'd definitely buy this one again.

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

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, reddish brown. It's topped by a thin beige head that fades to a film, leaving sheets of lace.

Smell: Very malty: rich caramel, molasses and dark fruit.

Taste: Sweet caramel and dark fruit. Moves into a spicy alcohol with a nice roastiness for balance. Very flavorful, but not over the top.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Heavy and thick.

Drinkability: Strong.

Overall: A very nice Scotch Ale. It's flavorful, but everything seems to work well together, without one aspect overpowering any of the others.

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

Bottle. Poured a cloudy purplish-brown color with a medium light-brown head. Nice lacing. Aroma is very malty with a sweet fruitiness to it. Very nice mouthfeel. Flavor is very strong, with malt, alcohol, caramel, and an almost smoke flavor to it. Interesting and tasty beer. Strong Scottish Ale for fans of the style.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to sirhc for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark amber hue with a fluffy one finger off white head that quickly dies down to a very thin layer. Stickiness is non-existant, not sure if that is common for this style or not. Smell is, well, scotch. Big on caramel and chocolate malt, not much else. A good amount of dark fruits tingle the nose as well. Taste is sweet full flavored caramel malt with a smokey tobacco as well. Dates, raisins, and fig seem to appear in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very full bodied and creamy. Definite warming sensation after sipping on this for a while. Not a whole lot of alcohol on the tongue but still a bit thick to put down easily. Haven't had many of this style, but I did enjoy this. Pick it up if you can. Cheers.

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Photo of berserker256
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured a bottle into a pint glass. Dark reddish-brown appearance with a thin tan head. Smelled like roasted malt with a hint of something semi-sweet. Doesn't have an overpowering bitter flavor as some strong ales tend to have. Not too hoppy. Not to strong for an 8.3% alcohol brew. A bit syrupy and thick but not too bad. I like this beer a lot but after drinking a couple I'd move on to a lager to mix it up. I've had this beer on tap at the Founder's brewery in Grand Rapids and for some reason It seemed a little better from the tap... But then again, beers always do.

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Photo of gotweid
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of leviathan85
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first review, so bear with me.

A: Darkish brown with some red undertones. Head was a dirty white with good retention.

S: Did not care for the smell too much, overwhelmed by a certain fruitiness.

T: Complex. Starts smoky and alcoholic, then moves to dark fruits, and finishes smoky again.

M: No complaints here.

D: A little alcoholic, but i enjoy that for Scotch ales, so no complaint here.

Overall a very nice beer. I have to be in the right mood for scotch ales but I'd definitely go back to this one.

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Photo of Risser09
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a wine glass

Appearance: Very dark brown, with a tinge of cranberry color beaming through the beer. Small but vigorous head only climbs to less than an inch and subsides quickly. The head is tan with a small bit of lace left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Single malt all the way. As soon as I opened the bottle and poured there was an attack of whisky on my nose. mmm. Other aromas are leather, tobacco, toasted malt, and way overripe plums and apples.

Taste: Malty and great. Smoky Tobacco and toasted malts are way up front, with oaked bourbon next and some espresso coming in late. Lots of complexity and strong flavors. Toffee, coffee and cola are in there too. This is how a Scotch Ale should taste.

Mouthfeel: Dense and heavy. Very smoothe and creamy with a smoky aftertaste. There is quite a bit of bitterness there in the end too, or maybe that's the alcohol rearing its head. Warming feeling in the belly. Can't beat it.

Drinkability: Very good for this style. Not overly smoky like some (charcoal briquette anyone?) and plenty of sweet malt to keep you coming back. Also, some beers of this style aren't complex enough to keep someone's interest, but I will seek this out again. Surely, this is a sipper and more appropriate for winter but it tastes just as great in the summer. One question, why a twist off? (head shake).

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this from EvilKeith in a trade.

This one pours a dark amber with some red grape highlights that looked a lot like red wine when held to the light. The head was just a thin film of off white.

Smells of caramel, marshmallow and powdered sugar with a little pipe tobacco, raisins and figs.

Tastes a bit like birch bark and a sappy fresh cut wood with a bit of caramel, red grape with an electric dry tingle in the finish. The change up was a bit confusing.

Feels light and a little sticky with some pretty big bubbles in the carbonation that are rather rough.

A nice take on the style and a fun experience.

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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 7,255 ratings.
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