Founders Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

1,903 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,903 | Ratings: 7,440
Photo of Bud_Light
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First time drinking a Scottish Ale and wasn't quite sure what to expect. It poured very dark with a tan head, looks very much like a stout. Personally I have trouble pickup any significant aromas with this beer, sorta reminds me of Moose Drool, a brown ale, but its been a while since I've drank that. At first the taste was fairly bitter imo, but it starts to disappear and more flavor comes out as it warms up. I also got just a small hint of chocolate taste at the end, really wondering if I'm actually drinking a stout. Overall its ok, not my favorite, but definitely improved as I drank more of it.

 608 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany? That is the color right? When you have a mixture of brown and dark red? That is what this is, replete with 1/2" off white head, great retention. Aroma of earthen malt, peat.

Taste, malty baby. This is like that thick girl without much flair. A lot of booziness, toffee, unsweetened, slight roast. Even a slight hop bitterness kick to it. 50 ibu scotch ale? Damn. Hoppier than to style for sure, but not a problem for me. Probably more booziness/abv too. So what. Mild smoke in the mouthfeel. Man, if they could only add lowland fog from the isles to this.

When they put this in barrels to become backwoods bastard, that is when it really shines.

 676 characters

Photo of RacerX5k
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Founders flagship beer if I remember correctly? It's obvious why. Great all around beer. and man, I could go for an 4 pak Backwoods Bastard right about now. Classic, a beer I've drank occasionally for many years now ... Beautiful, mahogany, ruby dark furniture look. Huge malted aromas and tastes. caramel, dark fruits, English toffee, smoke, peat. What I imagine Scotland to be like, dank, rainy, dark, mysterious. Bottom line, overall tremendous regular beer.

 461 characters

Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Pours a nearly-opaque ruby-brown with a excellent foamy head and retention, eventually fading to very persistent sticky lacing throughout the drink. This is a fine-looking beer.

Sweet aromas of toffee and ester, smoke, and bitter hops all unite in a fine balanced presentation,

Dark malts and dark fruits are very forward on the tongue, with whiskey and smoke close behind. And then, at the finish--a blessing of hops. This wee-heavy is hoppier than the standard of the style (and I'm not a hop-head by any stretch) but I refuse to mark it down for that. The hops take this brew to the next level. The hops and the crisp carbonation make for a remarkably dry finish for such a malty beer.

The mouthfeel is similarly inspiring given the malty sweetness. The carbonation and hops again prevent this from becoming a sticky mess. If there is any complaint, it is a "wee bit thin" for a "wee heavy."

Overall, this wee heavy may not hew perfectly to the brew standard for this style, but beers aren't dogs, so I don't care if this example of the "breed" is a little scruffy. The hops here are present and perfect and make for one of the best, if not the best, Scotch Ale I've ever had.

 1,208 characters

Photo of Riff
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep ruby red body, mostly clear, with an off-white head about a finger or so thick that dissipates slowly. Smells of molasses, malts, and peat. Tastes smokey, a little caramel flavor, peat, and a touch of alcohol. Well balanced and smooth. Flavors pleasantly flow and meld together. Slight aftertaste but not overwhelming or unpleasant.

 337 characters

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

A: Dark brown with a red cherry tinge, unfiltered, hard to see any carbonation, a foam of tan rather than a head.

S: Whiskey, caramel and stinky foot. Scotch whiskey in particular, and oak. Butterscotch ice cream. Banana split.

T: Bourbon barrel scotch aged whiskey underpins a Belgian style dark ale. Getting flavours from both. Dark fruity fragrance, but definite wee heavy. Got the dark malt quality, the scotch, and stout like darkness, but carries the essence of scotch.

M: Heavy, bready body, highly carbonated.

O: 8.7 out of 10. Delicious malty wee heavy with a bad name. Definite punch to this one, dark and delicious with weight in alcohol. Would go well with camembert cheese, or goat or other white creamy cheese. I had this in Kalamazoo several years ago, but am revisiting it again in Chiang Mai, Jan 15th, 2017.

 844 characters

Photo of rmatos
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark reddish brown color, think tan foamy head. Sweet malty start and peaty hoppy finish. I enjoyed the transition of flavors. Smooth with nice mouth feel. Like it.

 168 characters

Photo of aleigator
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a decent sized, beige head.

Smells of molasses, caramel malts, burned toffee and earth - rustic and inviting.

Has a very low carbonation, silk on the tongue, very sweet till mid palate until the finish, in which a pungent dryness mingles together with the initial maltiness.

Toffee malts with a rustic earth wrapping creates the taste foundation in this. Gets a very pleasant roasty touch during mid palate, enriching the malts, with a slowly evolving herbal note. After the swallow hops get way more noteable, producing an almost tongue numbing dryness of dried grass, replacing the sweetness by even more earthen toast in the finish.

Pretty darn wild on the tongue, sweet, roasty, then dry- convincing in every of its aspects with a great balance.

 797 characters

Photo of Prefabu
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I quite like this ale. For some reason I have a hard time identifying the exact secondary flavors. The primaries are easier. I like the weighting of smokiness, hops, malt, and alcohol. All are present, but very balanced. Not subtle, but not over the top. Beyond that, I want to say caramel and butterscotch and maybe a hint of orange, but I only get that last impression on occasion. Sometimes I'll share a bottle with a friend, and I rarely want to drink more than one, but I don't mean that in a negative way. It's just a pretty substantial beer, and even a smaller quantity makes for a satisfying experience.

 611 characters

Photo of dditto2
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks: Dark ruby brown. Thick head with tint of the beer. Smell: Malty with light smokey peat and alcohol on the nose. Taste: is sweet, peaty, malty, and smokey, all of these overpowering any hop presence to me. Mouth feel is heavy and creamy. Overall: a great beer. I like a good Scotch style ale for a night capper, and this is one of my fav breweries. I have no idea how it took me so long to try this. I feel like this is the perfect time to drink it too, 5° F out. This has a warming effect. Great nightcapper beer.

 521 characters

Photo of Kaapstadmk
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Dark amber with red highlights. Semi-translucent. 3 1/2 finger red-tan head. Lacings dominate throughout the glass

Smell - Malts, Dried fruit, and a slight caramel note predominate the nose (I'm getting more excited as I go). There's also a slight toasty smell at the very back end. It's not super complicated, but it sure is good

Taste - Caramel, Toast, and a slight carbonised bitterness are the initial tastes. There's definitely a booziness to it, ending with some warmth at the back of the throat. There's a very light sweetness at the front end which anchors those dried fruit aromas.

Feel - This is where this beer really makes a stand. It has a wonderful, fuller body. It's not particularly bready, but it has a wonderful weight to it, which is understandable given the higher ABV. In addition to its weight, it also coats the tongue marvelously. Smooth is definitely a good word to describe it

Overall - while I expected something slightly maltier, I am nothing less than satisfied, pleased even. Beautiful to look at, with an inviting aroma. It's drinkability and smoothness belies its booziness, though, so imbibe with care.

 1,146 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy medium, ruddy brown with a huge (3+ fingers) tan head that recedes to a dense island cap leaving sheets of chunky lacing on the sides of the glass. Aroma is chocolate milk, roasted malts, butter, nutty & slight hop notes. Taste is chocolate, caramel/toffee, butter, various dark fruit with subdued hoppy undertones & a slight bitterness. Aftertaste is chocolate, toffee, roast, butter & nuts with a burnt note. Mouthfeel is moist, voluminous, drying in the finish & aftertaste with a chalky aftertaste.

 516 characters

Photo of Vetbidder
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark look. Ok. I'm scenting a malty beer but refined and less sweet on the nose something biting in the background of this bouquet. After I scent again this is smelling even better, maybe something sweet in the back somewhere also. Thinner stout like flavor. I'm getting some of the scotch and alcohol flavor on the back end. Strong 8.5% that fades as you drink this one. Dangerous I'm upping my overall because the sum is better than the individual parts. This is decent but not my favorite style personally which might affect my final number. If you really like wee heavy ales this might be for you.

 606 characters

Photo of Everydayoff
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a sniffer.

Dark brown in color with some ruby tinge, one finger of foamy tan head forms up and stands for a while before subsiding to some bubble film atop along with lots of lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

The aroma is packed up with generous varieties of malty goodness ranging from brown bread, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, slight roasted, wood, hint of smoke and peat, as well as cocoa, coffee, and creamy chocolate. Apart from that, there are also notes of dark fruits, citrus, and some astringency. Overall, it is quite malty aromatic.

The caramelized and sugary sweetness yet breadiness from malt are robustly upright and nicely mingle with some roasted yet smoky and peaty wood again from malt. Some astringency reveals in the middle with a character of coffee for more complexity sake while the finish is wrapped up by pleasant bitterness from both hop and roasted malt trying to balance and linger as the aftertaste.

The body is between medium and full with some lively carbonation that is excellent to carry all the things well inside the palate, very smooth with a wave of silky effervescence and dry finish.

Very intense malty brew with many varieties of malt usage, anyway, I would consider as easy drinkable since it is not too hefty or cloyingly sweet but nicely balance and very tasty.

 1,343 characters

Photo of Zhayes151
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - I drank my Dirty Bastard out of a bottle, so I didn't experience the true color of the beer had I poured it in a glass. I like the artwork as I think it is indicative of the 'manly' taste of Dirty Bastard.

S - The beer smelled good. Reminded me a bit of fall.

T - Dirty Bastard tasted very good. I could taste the scotch with perhaps hints of oak or maple. Overall the beer really went down well and I would have it again.

F - Good texture. Not too carbonated that it left me feeling gassy or full. Smooth and good for drinking slowly.

 543 characters

Photo of Schlitz74
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is none boozy beer. You smell the booze as soon as you crack the cap, it pours dark in color with an off white head, tastes of scotch hence a scotch ale. Leaves a little lacing on glass. Good beer overall meant for sipping.

 228 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company, courtesy of @nicholas2121. Poured from the bottle into a snifter, this head on this brew is two fingers thick and light tan, with lateral lacing, and a clear profoundly dark reddish brown body.

I smell a fair bit of scotch boozieness, along with approporiately accomodating notes such as hints of oak, vanilla, freshly cleaned leather, and a tad bit of candied dates and raisins.

Tastes like a malty, yet smooth adaptation of the scent I've described. Nothing is too sharp or harsh, especially as it warms. I'm also noticing a pinch of black licorice/anise that make me wonder how well this would blend with Jagermeister. I digress...

Mouthfeel is just slightly above medium with mild carbonation. Alcohol warmth is mellow and inviting.

Overall, I'll give Founders Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company a 4.5. A more viscous offering that will liven up a dull, dreary late fall/early winter's eve with zero effort. This would be a good "old world tavern" brew for a night of total nerdiness i.e. LOTR/GOT/"Vikings" viewing, fantasy RPG's, and pagan/folk black metal. SKÅL!

 1,144 characters

Photo of NeilSilber1
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice deep copper with thin head, drinks like a Belgium strong dark with an infusion of scotch and mild sweatiness. Very good beer, but not as great as other Founders like their stout and porter.

 200 characters

Photo of Kazahkstan
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, muddy hazel with reddish hues. Head is a thin frothy tan with significant lacing.
Lacking on the nose, the smell does not indicte the rich complex flavor inside. Smells of sweet malt and caramel, faint smokiness, undertones of dark chocolate.
This tastes amazing! This is the big time stout. Front is boozy, a little bitter, and warming- this is an 8.5% ABV and burns like it. Hints of peat and roasted malt. Aftertaste is unexpected and truly phenomenal, strong sweet caramel persists with a boozy taste and little peat-bitterness.
Definitely a good winter beer- a little over carbonated, and I would encourage drinking this closer to cellar temperature. This is a strong beer and you can feel it. Warms you right up on a cold Midwestern evening.
Overall a top-tier winter stout. Definitely recommended. A lot of unexpected flavor in this beer.

 859 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Founders Dirty Bastard brewed by Founders Brewing Company, with an ABV of 8.50% This Scotch Ale pours out a deep brown color with a nice off white head. There is a decent amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The color of Dirty Bastard looks like cola, not saying that is a bad thing. You pick up on roasted grians and malts in the smell of this brew. Also you pick up on some nice earthly hop notes and some sweetness in the smell of this brew. The look and smell of Founders Dirty Bastard is really inviting. Now for the taste, it is rich, but bold with flavors. There is a lot of roasted grians and malts in this brew. Then you pick up a nice bit of hops. I really like how heavy and how complex this brew is. Founders Dirty Bastard has a real super nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I can't get over how smooth this brew goes down. It is really hard to pick up on the 8.50% ABV in this brew. The mouth feel of Dirty Bastard is Bold, Rich, Smooth, Heavy, and Refreshing. Overall I'm giving this Scotch Ale a 4.75 out of 5. I will definitely buy this brew again. Founders Brewing Company, did a real nice job with this one. If you like roasted brews look this brew up.

 1,244 characters

Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a dark amber with very nice head and lacing. Smells of molasses, chocolate, hops, and dry fruit (plum/raisin). Taste has a hit of alcohol up front with a mix of sweet, notes of chocolate and fruit round out this beer nicely. Overall a bite to finish, I can taste a lot of alcohol in this beer which is ok but would be better if less present. I may need more of these to really get a final view, good beer but it had a lot of bite to me.

 444 characters

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the most delicious beers I've ever had and continue to but and will continue to give Founders credit for being one of the greatest beer companies in the world. Helps yeah Michigan!
Poured into a goblet the color is a dark red velvet with a bubbly head that soon turns pitch black with a stained foam glass and a very thin white lining head. The texture is velvety, malty, and sizzling.
Taste is of dark sweet malts, chocolate, oak, Christmas, scotch, licorice, vanilla, raisins, and nuts. Almost tastes like a barley fermented Brandy. Strong alcohol notes but smooth for an 8.5 abv. Perfect for a winter's day.

 626 characters

Photo of lwcreasy
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Inch of creamy, tan head rests on top of an opaque ruby-brown brew. Foamy head collapses fairly quickly to a beige film concealing the beer's nature from bird's eye view.

Lots of subtle treats for the nose. Shortbread, lady fingers, malt balls; and then later- a bit of cherry or almond, and strawberry. The strawberry note, in particular, I find increasing as the beer warms. Mostly, though, it is rich malt on display. An assortment of sweet cakes and breads, with a touch of nuttiness. It's all there. Small note of floral hop has a time announcing itself, but shows up on occasion.

A nice, clean, and rich malt character is the first impression; overlaid with a smokey and tart EtOH character. Toffee and shortbread all day long, with those fruit characters (cherry, strawberry) playing light players. Hint of smoke may come from the booze or somewhere else, but adds ever-so-subtly to the beer's overall impression- which is that of deft balance. Epitomizes what I love about the style- the strong malty notes, alcohol warmth, and depth create a comforting, corner-of-the-bakery climate inside the drinker.

Mid-full body, creamy, and mouth-filling. Absolutely wonderful and well-matched to the flavors on display. Hell of a sipper, with the perfect amount of carbonation and alcohol sharpness.

Tremendous, tremendous beer.

 1,334 characters

Photo of drmeto
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

-pours a dark brown with ruby tinges and a medium,foamy,beige head
-cooked potatoes,herbal,plums,figs,raisins,caramel,chocolate,licorice,syrup
-medium to high,lingering bitterniss for the style
-low to medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-alcohol noticeable
This is pretty great.sweet ale with a strong English Hop Presence.

 398 characters

Photo of Fee
4.71/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Rich deep brown with a good head. This smell of this beer prepares you for the maltiness of this scotch ale. Tart aftertaste indicates just the right level of hops. This is a well balanced scotch ale.

 200 characters

Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 7,440 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.