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: 7,202
Photo of Bleer
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a good beer. It's not a great beer. Pours almost black with a mostly white head. Very little nose. Was very glad to find that it has a boozy bite which I love. I love all things founders and I am not a huge ale fan to begin with so let's not worry about my opinion too much on this one!

 295 characters

Photo of Kdubzz
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Ruby-brownish color with an inch of khaki head. This is definitely one that you need to let warm quite a bit. As it sits, the flavors and olfactory notes start coming out more and more. It's got a very woody characteristic on both the nose and the tongue, quite malty and sweet, maybe some prune or currant notes in there. A small amount of bitterness lingers at the end, but it's more from the woodiness than any hop flavor. I'm just starting to get into Scotch Ales in general, but this one is just a bit underwhelming. An interesting flavor, but not too much going on smell or mouthfeel wise.

 595 characters

Photo of TLWalsh
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brownish cranberry color, very slight vanilla colored head. Aroma has a caramel and vanilla note. Taste is malty, chocolatey, big and bold. Feels sticky and dense on the tongue. Finish is a little sweet, like toffee and leaves an aftertaste you won't soon forget. This is a bold beer and I really like it.

 318 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured mine itno a pilsner glass, because I can.
Pours a dark coffee and caramel colour, very thin foam head which lasts seemingly indefinitely since I am taking my time with this.
Smells dark, almost chocolaty like a stout.
Tastes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate mix.
Feels great though, I don't much care for the stout like chocolaty taste, but it has a nice feel to it, bold flavor. You could almost say the strong taste would hint at its strong ABV.

While not my favorite, I do think this is a good one for what it is, even if it isn't of my preferred tastes.

 570 characters

Photo of KatyBeerGuy
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass. No head. Color is chocolatey brown. Mild, yeasty smell. Well carbonated. Initial feel is almost stout, which had me expecting a similar flavor, but not. Does have hints of coffee and chocolate. Nice malt, and not sweet. 8.5% abc is well hidden. Nice beer.

 288 characters

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip.
Pours a medium to light amber color with one finger of tiny bubble head.
Aromas are sticky caramel, vanilla some mellow floral notes.
Flavors are beautiful beautiful caramel and toffee oak.
Mouthfeel is excellent, slightly sticky.
Overall this beer is so full of flavor and perfectly executed.

 315 characters

Photo of Raidersox
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on date 1/6/16, chilled to 40 degrees, allowed to sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes, poured into oversize wine glass.

Look: Dark red amber color, slight haze. 1/2 inch light tan foamy head that dissipated to a thin foam that held up to the end. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Intense caramel and citrus aromas, roasted grains

Taste: Coffee and caramel, roasted malt, slightly boozy

Mouthfeel: Creamy with modest carbonation, full body

Overall: I checked the style attributes after I took my own tasting notes and feel that what I experienced matches well with what I read about Wee Heavy/Scotch ales. A very enjoyable drink that first put me in mind of a Porter but with more sweetness. A solid sturdy drink for after work, after dinner or whenever but with the 8.5% ABV more than a couple will settle me down in a hurry.

 833 characters

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 bottle poured into a Anchor Steam glass Smell is maybe cherries ,brown sugar.Taste is sweet.Caramel with slight cherry taste.Overall not a bad brew.Nice kick with a ABV of 8.5.I like it.Give it a try.

 203 characters

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

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Nearly opaque dark brown, next to no head, very little lacing
S-Faint hints of raisins, prunes & toffee.
As it warmed then clear notes of grape juice emerged.

T-Charred oak barrel, sweet malts caramel, toffee, dried fruits,
alcohol, slight cherry. Taste is more complex than smell by far.

M-Good creaminess, some carbonation.
O-Very nice choice.

 390 characters

Photo of MichaelT86
2.52/5  rDev -37.5%
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.

 362 characters

Photo of johnamo
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

One of my go-to favorites.

Smell and taste is a malty, sweet, flavor that reminds of me fresh wort with a bit of a tang. However, this packs a deeper, dark caramel flavor with a punch of alcohol that makes it an all-too-easily drinkable scotch ale. An excellent overall beer.

 276 characters

Photo of Zack_Hinkley
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draft at Siren's Song in Eureka, CA. Deep maroon/amber with creamy head and good lacing. Sweet candy, cooked down berries, malt, and maple on the nose. Sweet and filling without being cloying. Pretty darn sweet though. Caramelly. Creamy, but again not cloying. Just a swell scotch ale.

 288 characters

Photo of RozzieBoy
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Dark copper with slight ruby look. Decent head which disipated quickly. No lacing.
S - Seemed like cherries. Definite malt.
F - Hit the roof of my mouth and stayed there. Smooth overall, though.
T - Difficult for me to describe. Alcohol taste comes to mind but not in a bad way.
O - Not much experience with this style, but this was an enjoyable beer to drink. (Not sure why I think this, but this style may be better suited in the fall season for me).

 464 characters

Photo of Redrover
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisiting an old favorite. Poured into an imperial pint, the beer is dark brown with a thick and creamy light brown head. It has really nice lacing.

It has an aroma of dark fruits and roasted malts.

It is sweet and a bit nutty. There is lots of raisins, a bit of char from the malts and molasses.

The mouth is slick and bit thick.

Always a nice beer to spend some time with.

 388 characters

Photo of moodenba
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Founder's Dirty bastard Scotch style bottled on 12/22/15; tasted 3/14/16 at about 50F.

Beer with a very deep amber color, otherwise clear, and cream-colored head. Aroma of malt and possibly a hint of yeast. Very little lacing.

Extremely full malt flavor, with just enough hoppy bitterness (I don't sense the stated 50 IBU). The label promises smoke and peat, but there is little in the initial flavor. The label says 8.5% alcohol, but it is just perceptible through the malt body. The aftertaste is a malt flashback, with maybe a hint of smoke.

In the age of overwhelming hops, this is a rare example of a beer that gives a malty experience. I think this is true to the strong Scotch ale style.

 705 characters

Photo of JackieKu
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap.

A: Clear brown.
S: Mildly citrus. Slightly toasty.
T: Medium caramel malty. Toffee. Moderate bitterness. Moderate sweetness. I also got butter and coconut when warmed. Dry and bitter finish.
M: Moderate body. Medium carbonation.
O: Solid malty flavor.

 260 characters

Photo of Lunchboxhead
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A true scottish ale. heavy on the malt, light on the hops. mouth feel is a bit viscous in a good way. A beer to be savored as it slides down your gullet and warms your insides. Do I smell peat or is it that I am being transported to Scotland? A very strong finish that almost feels like scotch (whiskey). Overall I would highly recommend.

 338 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

This beer has a dark maroon color with an inch of sturdy head. I smell prunes, esters, and a pinch of smoke and caramel. Full flavored and sweet with some earthiness flavors, toffee pudding, dry earth, and dried fruits make much of the delicious flavor of this beer. Alcohol is hidden well. Swimming in a creamy and smooth body, the Dirty Bastard isn't so dirty after all.

 414 characters

Photo of twage04
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep ruby, dark mahogony. Taste is very dark fruitish/caramelly without being cloyingly sweet. Lots of specialty malts in this one, as the beer's description confirms. Despite the deep maltiness and caramel, it is easy to drink, albeit with some alcohol heat that makes this a sipper. An enjoyable beer but I prefer the package of smoke and hints of roast you get with ol chub.

 386 characters

Photo of Taybeh
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

from a single almost two years old into a cervoise. pours a slightly hazy dark burnished reddish sienna, very little head that subsides quickly and no lacing. nose is great: brown sugar, cherries, caramel, and a touch of leather...promise of some whiskey. taste follows the nose, but sweeter and smoother on the back end than I was expecting, even if it also has a little bitterness and dries out quite a bit too. mouthful is pretty great, with a ton of body but not overpowering or too much.

 498 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ale is something of an exercise in taste intelligence for me.
Six years ago when I certainly was more hop-intolerant than I am today, I surprised myself by liking this ale. The hi-content hops did not overwhelm what seemed like well-blended malts.
I have had a couple a year since then and the hops increasingly started to bother me. But while this was happening, I curiously was becoming more tolerant of hoppier styles such as American IPAs.
What I discovered was that as I tasted more of the style, I came to recognize that Dirty Bastard does, in fact, have too many hops for the general way in which Scots blend malts and balance their beers. The malts of a Scotch ale should not have to contest with the hops... which is what happens here. The taste buds get some sweet malt and salivate and, then, the hops appear.

Not to start anything.... But, has anyone suggested that there be a style called an American Scotch Ale? I know, it sounds funny. But, there is an American rendition of other revivals.

reviewed and slightly revised 4/26/16

 1,053 characters

Photo of jmd1978
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose is malty with a bit of smoke and cherry. Nice lacing throughout. The color was deep red like a cherry Coke. Taste is malty with notes of smoke, caramel, roast and a bit of cherry. The finish is hearty with nice warming feel. I don't usually get scotch ales but this is a top find!

 285 characters

Photo of m_hall
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle(dated 7/8/15, been cellaring a bit) into a tulip. Deep garnet red in color, dark but also crystal clear... I did pour this one carefully to avoid disturbing the sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Topped by a dense two-fingers tall tan head. Copious sticky lacing. This is a pretty one, indeed.

The nose on this beer is rich, with sweet brown sugar-ish malts intertwined with big earthy, smoky notes, and a touch of leather. Just a hint of whiskey-like alcohol hovers in the background.

On the palate this beer comes in with a one-two punch of sweetness (dark fruits, dried cherries, raisins) followed soon by bittering notes from the heavily caramelized malts. These seem to meld and transition into tones of semisweet chocolate leading into a drying, smoky finish that lingers but doesn't overstay it's welcome.

Feel is big, rich, and creamy, with fairly low carbonation. Alcohol is there, but very disguised, just slightly warming... this one drinks pretty quickly for an 8.5% ABV beer.

An impressive scotch ale that hits the style squarely. Big enough in body to make a nice evening sip on it's own, but the controlled alcohol and balanced flavors would pair this one nicely with a fine meal. A great choice for when one wants a 'big' beer, but a stout might be too much.

 1,313 characters

Photo of BrokenEdge
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark and rich ruby color with a thin, fizzy head (expected for a higher ABV beer). Looks a little like Cherry Coke, actually. Smell has some faint cherry, smokiness, and earthiness. Taste continues with those notes, plus some caramel maltiness that develops throughout the palate. I got a lot of alcohol out of this, with intense warming sensations. It's not unpleasant and the alcohol feel and flavor balances well with the other flavors going on. Kind of reminds me of a less sweet Jack and coke...with a lot of Jack. Surprisingly easy to drink, although it was a lengthy sipper.

 594 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This one is the cream of the crop of the style I've had. For the style, this is better IMHO the barrel aged version. The 4 months in the bottle was good to this. A bit roasty, some chocolate, that peat that you'd expect from the style and a wee bit of that Irish Red characteristic underlying the previously mentioned notes and soft malt.

No booze whatsoever for the ABV. The mouthfeel is so soft and creamy. Everything I look for in a malt heavy beer. Near perfect beer for me at least. Very well executed and extremely highly recommended. A steal for the price and format.

 576 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.