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
firstprev| 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2001-2025  | next → last
Reviews: 2,020 | Ratings: 7,927
Photo of kwalters
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have been highly anticipating a taste of this brew. Scotch ales are among my favorites and Founder's is in my home town of Grand Rapids, MI. With a name like Dirty Bastard and the man-ly statements made on the label, this beer had better have some kick. It does.

Dirty Bastard pours a very deep and dark amber color. In fact, it looks black unless you hold it up to a light. The head is thin and tan in color. The carbonation bubbles rise from the dark depths of this brew like stars whizzing past the Millenium Falcon as it enters warp-speed.

There's a bit less smell associated with DB than I would have thought for such a strong, malty brew. But the flavor! This is immediately recognizable as a Scotch ale as you taste the sweet malts and thinly masked alcohol. I was reminded of Southern Comfort as I took more sips. Sweetness, malts, and alcohol. If you don't like those flavors, then step away from the DB.

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Photo of moulefrite
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with amber highlites-a good sticky while minimal head that is accompanied by very ample lace. Strong in the aroma department with black coffee followed by a burst of hop-some sweet malt faintly chimes in. Big and rich in the mouth with a creamy viscous texture. Flavors run deep-caramel, dark chocolate, fruitcake, black licorice, and plenty of twangy hop to keep it interesting. The finish continues long and deep-the only way to stop the delightful lingering flavor would be to get out some grub. I can see this standing up to something rich and meaty-perhaps a dry aged hanger steak accompanied by some fries, and a side of super fresh, crispy vegies of choice. Or maybe a beef stew with plenty of potato, pea and carrot!? A great choice for a Winter Warmer!

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally, a beer named for me! Pours a murky brown with a respectable eggshell colored head. Little retention or lacing.

Smells quite nutty with a fair amount of plum coming through. Definite wisp of alcohol in the background.

Quite a bold and flavorful rush on this one. Lots of smoky malt up front with a big towering wave of dark fruit and raisin. Finishes slightly dry with a nice lingering burn. This almost qualifies as a light barleywine in taste. Very similar.

Mouthfeel is very assertive which I admire in this style of beer.

Drinkable but you wouldn't spend all night with it. A solid beer given to me by JahNoth. Thanks.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep caramel brown from a bottle with a dirty bastard on it. How often can you write that?

The tan head dispersed quickly and left a blotchy lace that didn't linger either.

I had my nose in the glass for a while trying to describe the aroma of this fine brew. A hint of apple cider? Malty and a little caramel flavor as well. It gets better as it warms.

The beer was fairly cool when I opened and poured it, and I liked it then. It has since warmed to nearly room temp in a cold room, and there are an abundance of flavors. Slightly malty at the outset, it presents a fruity flavor that ends with a pleasant tang.

There is a thin and slightly mouthfeel to the brew, but personally that doesn't effect the drinkability too much. This a keeper, one to be enjoyed during it's seasonal run.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown hue with a white head, a very nice deep maltiness with a little bit of hops thrown in to provide a nice amount of bitterness, a little bit more than I hav tasted in this style of beer before, but it does not really seem out of place. Nice caramelly maltiness, a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of clvand0
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I saw the name on this one and a I couldn't pass it up. I'm a sucker for offensive marketing I guess. Pours a reddish-brown color with a moderate brown head and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma was very sweet, a bit of caramel, and alcohol. The flavor was very sweet, like the aroma, but not too sweet. The maltiness is present in the flavor as well as the alcohol and a tiny bit of the vanilla. This was an interesting beer, nice mouthfeel and not too hard to drink.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color. No head whatsoever produced, yet carbonation was solid. Aroma of caramel, toffee and malt. Taste is very sweet with some medium bitterness in hte middle. Very nice full mouthfeel with just a hint of alocoholic warmth on the back end.

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Photo of marc77
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Lightly turbid deep ruby in hue. Creamy, massed, tan head leaves respectable lace. Deep, satiating waft of caramel drizzled biscuit along with hints of roasted barley and alcohol heat in aroma. As it warms, agreeable hints of almond and sweet cocoa surface and provide additional depth. Quite luscious and decadent, yet pleasantly clean aromawise. Maple syrup laced cookie sweetness upfront in flavor is complemented by gentle combination of roasted grain derived bitterness and equable, rounded dark caramel sweetness. Hop bitterness is paltry. Once roasted grain character fades residual sweetness surfaces towards the forefront of flavor, but remains judiciously both dextrin like and toasty in character, and thus avoids a cloying, sugary nature. A bit shy in body to support the malt profile, but a passable viscosity allows for ominously easy, fluid drinking. Whiskey macerated plum along with hints of diacetyl emerge late, adding a buttery dessert like richness, which finally signals beefiness to the palate. Finishes with fading notes of dilute carob and roasted nut. Dirty Bastard is a brew that improved tremendously as it breathed and warmed. Its rich, simple malt character is both satiating and appetizing... my belly craves more. With a firmer body this could be top notch. An impressive find.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Typically scottish with a good hop profile. Nicely aromatic and neither dry nor sweet. Easy drinking; a little light on the body. Less malt than I expected, but I appreciate the tasty hop contribution. No notes of cognac or wine. In typical Scottish fashion, this carries an undetectable but very high abv. Dirty Bastard is the best Scottish I've had in terms of its ability to mask the phenols.

Not entirely complex, the DB is fun but gets boring real fast.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On rare occasions I find a beer that has as its major attribute the aroma that it provides. Such is the case with Dirty Bastard, a lovely strong ale that provides volumes of rich malty aroma with a faint whiff of the hops presence. A lovely brew to look at as well, its hazy red hues are quite warming to behold. The flavor is of the malt richness, but it also provides a surprising level of hop bitterness. I was at once surprised and delighted by the beer after having my palate set up by two hoppy offering just before it. The fullness of this malty brew countered their light bodiedness quite well. The feel is rich and smooth and the drinkability is hampered rather more by the fullness of its body than by its high ABV.

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Photo of chilidog
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its great to see Founders in Ohio, one if not my favorite Michigan brewer. A "wee heavy scotch" on thisone, but a nice warm you-up brew. It pours a dark burgandy, deep red, with a thick pillowtop off- white head with super lace, thick & sticky. Not a strong aroma, just a hint of a sweet malt. The taste is very hoppy for a scotch. Its floral with a hint of brown sugar & malt. The mouth is left with a floral hop-oil coat while a slight alcohol dryness or bitter settle in. A good drinkable strong ale, though a bit bitter than others of this style. A good find for winter cellar stock.

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Photo of aracauna
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The body is rubied leather topped by a fading crown of buttered straw (brown with ruby highlights and faded khaki with an oddly strongly yellow tint). The aroma is nicely malty, but it hints that this is a bit old. Still a beer this old shouldn't have too much of a problem surviving. The flavor is brown sugar and leaf litter and a surprising amount of hop bitterness for a scotch. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a metallic nature about the hops that I find slightly unpleasant.

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Photo of granger10
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer does not really resemble most scotch ales. The alcohol taste, which is predominate in most scotch ales I've tried, isn't even there. What I do taste, though, is something good. A pretty thick body to this one that starts out with a malty, brown sugar type sweetness. It's followed up by an onslaught of malts, hops, and spices. I taste a bready, chewy texture in this one. It finishes with more of that brown sugar sweetness. Much sweeter than most scotch ales. But it is also better than most scotch ales. Another great one from Founder's!

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at Lazy Chameleon in Powell, OH. This beer is a dark brown with a copper hue and a thin light beige head. Very little lacing. Aroma is mostly caramel malt with a little spice thrown in. The flavor was not really reminiscent of other Scotch Ales I have tried. It seemed to be leaning more toward a Brown Ale. Flavors of caramel, malt, molasses and brown sugar are all there, but not in the doses you would expect. Still, it is not a bad beer. The finish is more bitter than most Scotch Ales as well.

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Photo of Wildman
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a hazy reddish brown color and formed light tan foamy head that left circular lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation and some sediment is present. A complex aroma of malt, caramel, raisins and other dark fruit. Not as heavy an aroma as others, but more in the mix if you will. The flavor was of malt, caramel, slight bit of chocolate and a hint of raisin. A slightly lighter body than I would expect for this style and slightly sweet finish. The alcohol is well hidden in this one. Also best if had at cellar temp or just slightly cooler to help draw out more of it's character.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light brown with some red highlights, thin head. A complex aroma, some bread, malt, alcohol and raisins to be noted, simply awesome. A full bodied beer, hence the ABV, with some complex flavors as well. Oak, raisin, some port and bready taste up front, the alcohol is hidden, yet noted. The flavors get better as this baby warms up. One of the top scotch ales I've ever had, or one of the top beers I've ever had, get some now.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear dark garnet brew forms a thin beige head atop small bubbles with medium carbonation. Aroma is heavy with amber malts, with subtle notes of figs and dates, a fruity fermentation, some incense, and mild, dusty hops. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a medium dense body. Taste starts out with a brief up-front subdued hop notes, then immediately cascades into a firm, chewy malty body with hints of peat smoked malt...ending in a mildly astringent malty finish, a spicy yet rubbery hop note, and some brief fusels. Not being a big fan of Scotch ales, I thought this was okay, but probably not something I would buy again.

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Photo of jackndan
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Dirty Bastard: let me start this review by pointing out that I do not like Scotch Ale. But I love this Scotch Ale. Deep brownish black, not a whole lot of head, and no lace. Really nice sweetness from the malts, that makes this beer easy to drink and to savor. Buy it if you find it.

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish-brown in color, has a huge foamy clingy off white head that leaves a clingy lacing in my glass, has a sweet fruity, bready and citrusy hoppy aromas. Nice sweet fruity cherry flavors balanced with alot of hops, nice bitter finish, medium body with a smooth creamy mouthfeel, pretty damn good.

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Photo of MJR
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a dark red/garnet color with a tan bubbly head. The head has good staying power and laces well. I love the color of this beer...

Smell: Lots of malt, lots of hops, and a faint tropical fruit aroma. I'm surprised to find no peat-smoked aroma here...

Taste: Wow! This is a Scotch style ale? There's a lot of hops in this brew, so they didn't exactly conform to style guidelines, but who cares! The hop flavor is coarse and aggressive. Looking for smooth hop character?...look elsewhere. This is rough, but in a good, no make that, great way. Lots of flavor and complexity in this brew. Tropical fruits...burnt fruit...sugar sweetness...tons of malt...tons of hops... Ends with a huge wave of alcohol that overwhelms the other flavors fighting for attention. Great stuff here!

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick with an oily mouthfeel. You can really taste and feel the alcohol towards the end. Very nice...

Drinkability: Good for an 8.3%abv brew. Drink a few of these and you will feel it... Very warming and relaxing...an awesome beer to warm yourself with in the winter. This was my first brew from Founders, but it won't be my last.

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firstprev| 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2001-2025  | next → last
Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 7,927 ratings