Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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Dirty BastardDirty Bastard
7,843 Ratings
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:
Brewed with 7 varieties of malt (varies over the years).
50 IBU

Added by Mitchster on 01-03-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,843 |  Reviews: 1,999
Photo of ypsifly
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz stubby twist top purchased at Village Corner in Ann Arbor and poured into a pint glass. No dates on the bottle.

Small yellowish tan head hat slowly fizzles to a thin ring with almost no lace.

The nose is all sweet and musty malts. Butterscotch liqeur and powdered sugar that reminds me of Pixie Stix candy.

Sweet malts again dominate the taste with rich caramel, toffee and a touch of butterscotch. Some wood flavors blend in through the middle into a malt flavored finish that suggests chocolate.

Medium full in the body with just the right amount of carbonation to wash everything clean. One of the best examples of the style.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.78/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ugh. Just far too medicinal. Reminds me of the gnarly cough syrup my Mom used to make me take asa kid. Poured a brick-reddish brown in color. Thin head that all but dissolved. Nose is malts and a putrid/rotten peat aroma.

Rather like cherry cough syrup. Kind of tingles too. Black licorice. The peat tastes like it has turned. Slightly slick mouthfeel that tries to cling to my teeth. Full body though. Jut not so sure about this beer.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brown with reddish highlights. 1-2 fingers of creamy reddish-tan head.

Nose is caramel malt. A litle bit of almost whiskey smokiness, too.

Wow! This is really a malt-bomb. Serious levels of smoky, peaty malt dominate every sip. A light snap at the finish lets me know that there are some hops involved. Really a great-tasting brew.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, bordering on chewy.

Drinkability is very good. So rich, and yet easy to drink.

Overall, the best Scottish Ale I have had since Robert the Bruce, maybe even better. I need a side by side tasting to decide. Try it!

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Photo of nmyers
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer from Founders and is one of there flagship beers. This is a great Scotch Ale and it is fun to order "Give me a Dirty Bastard” Like it I said it is fun to say.

With a dark ruby color and little head it has a nice appearance.

The blend of hops, whisky, dark citrus fruits, and a touch of carmel the aroma of the bastard is great.

This beer has a complex taste, with hints of the dark citrus, and a little touch of piney hops.

This is a great beer and is very easy to drink, but watch out for the 8.3% ABV.

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Photo of taez555
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a brown/slight ruby body with a tan head that died rather quickly.

Nose has a very sweet big malt smell with touches of caramel and even some dark fruits. There's a sting of alcohol giving the indication of a big beer.

Medium to full bodied with a very water type mouth feel at first that ends with a bit more girth in the finish. Dark roasted malts and even some dark coffee like bitterness. Full caramel malts, touches of peat moss (without the smoke), dark ripe fruits, prunes, raisins and definitely alcohol. Hops don't jump out at you but there are some leafy and even citrus flavors that give the malt a nice contrast. Bitterness is on the down low here but as with the hop taste gives just enough to balance.

One of the best non brewpub scotch ales I've had. For such a big beer it's surprisingly watery, but beyond that all the flavors are there and in your face. A fantastic scotch ale.

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Photo of Brian700
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one a long time ago. I drink this all the time. It pours a deep reddish/brown garnet color with a small head if poured with a little aggression. There is a little bit of lacing going on.

The aroma is malty sweet with scotch and dark fruits in the mix. Caramel notes are there as well.

The flavor is of dark fruits, caramel, scotch, sweet malt...maybe just a touch medicinal.

The mouth feel is full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a beer that I come back to time and time again. I say it is very drinkable.

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Photo of hoffman
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours up pretty nice, takes a bit of vigor to get a nice head but once it is there this beer looks great. Head is composed of nice frothy small bubles that trap in large pockets of air. This one places a ring for every notch down the glass. The head just sticks there...Very interesting I like what I see.

The smell is sweet, of dark fruits, carmel, chocolate and some toasty malts. The taste is quite complex. There is a nice malty sweetness on the middle of the tongue, while there is more of a biting tartness on the sides....interesting to yield to two flavors at the same junction. There is also some burnt notes in the flavor, rosted grains...the mouthfeel is full and inviting. Overall the drinkability is good....I think the alcohol sneeks in a bit in the finish this hurts the beer's overall character.

Damn nice....go get it.

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Photo of bignick
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased at Bauer Wine and Spirits in Boston. Poured into a pint glass.

Mmm, yummy. I think Founders did a really nice job with this one. While the body is a bit thin for the style, it is very drinkable and enjoyable. It pours a very clear brown with minimal carbonation and a small head. It taste of roasty malt with caramel and toffee undertones. For such a malt monster, the coffee and chocolate flavors are minimal. On the whole, I would say that it is spot on for the style.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Samuel Smith oversized pint glass. No freshness dating.

A - Cloudy ruby brown with a 1 finger light tan head that falls quickly but stays whispy. Minimal lacing effect.

S - Roasted malt begins as most prominent, but as it warms the earthy caramelized sugar scent dominates.

T - Nice roasted malt with a roasted spiciness kick as it finishes. Nicely sweet. Definitely has the "tea-like bitterness" listed on the style page.

M - Not very carbonated. Smooth and full bodied with a bitter finish.

D - No taste of alcohol, but I can feel it after a pint.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a small off-white foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of strong malt, caramel and a light touch of smoke. Taste is also dominated by the strong malt presence with sweet caramel with a subtle touch of peat. Body is quite full and carbonation is low. Very interesting take on the style.

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Photo of waldowin
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark burgundy, with an off-white head, which fades very quickly to just a ring. Solid lacing.

Smells of malts, caramel, peat, and milk. Fairly sweet, very pleasant.

Taste is golden raisins, candy, caramel, and a very small hint of coriander in the finish. Very smooth, sweet, mildly spiced, and wonderfully tasty. Malts everywhere!

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, big, and sweet up front with a mildly astringent finish, just leaves you ready for more malts.

Frighteningly drinkable for me. The ABV would slow me down, but I'd make a good run at it.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin creamy tan head over a deep mahogany body. Aromas of rich caramel malt greet the nose while the pint is just sitting on the table. No detectable hops upon closer olfactory inspection, just quaff after quaff of sweet sweet malt and maybe a faint trace of peat. It’s no surprise that rich malt flavors dominate the flavor as well. Notes of dark fruit, biscuits and smoky peat join the predominately roasted caramel flavor. A decent helping of sweetness, but its not cloying due, in part, to the mild bitterness in the background. Hints of the rather generous ABV level. Rich and full bodied with low carbonation. Fairly smooth in the mouth although its verges on being slightly slick at times. Mildly drying finish.

A well-executed high shilling ale. There is just a kiss of smoky peat, which I find to be the perfect amount in a Scotch ale. I find too many American versions of this style tend to go overboard with the peated malt. This one does not. True to style, it lets the malts take center stage with the hops lending just enough support to make sure it isn’t cloying.

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Photo of heyitsbyron
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a single from Woodman's in Madison into an imperial pint glass.

Poured a deep ruddy brown with a very minimal, but tan head. Looks very slick and laces well.

Smells like fruity (prunes, etc) and boozy. By smell alone, I'd guess this was an imperial stout.

I was really taken aback by how hoppy this was. It's a malt bomb all right, but it's well balanced with a hoppy bitter flavor at first; then the after taste is very toasty. Has that creepy bubblegum taste-- a taste that always implies booze-- whose origins I can't quite figure. The hops and the toastiness keep it from getting that sickly syrup taste that Scotch ales often do as they warm.

Nice and slick going back, but a bit caustic and bubbly compared to the ideal. Full bodied, tongue-coating, but not unpleasantly syrupy.

It's one of those beers than you can infer has a lot of booze though you can't really taste it. That, to me, just screams drinkable. Good beer, I'd buy it again, and love to have it around the house or at the bar.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Founders Dirty Bastard
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a reddish amber color. Attractive head on top that leaves spotted patterns of sticky lace. The head turns to a thin lace around the glass.

Interesting aroma of candy sugars, malt and an overall sweetness.

Sweet and juicy malt mouthfeel. Strong hints of liquid candy sugar, caramel and dark fruits with a thick malt backbone. Nice hop presence on the finish. Much hoppier than most Wee Heavy beers that I've had. Extremely drinkable at a surprising 8.3% ABV.

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Photo of ZAP
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a great looking cherrywood...nose is dark fruits, slight peatiness...dark fruits on the taste too but the dominant flavor is cocoa...a little earthiness to this as well...has some vodka like booziness to it...body is medium to full....creamy...

A nice scotch but not one I would rush to find again....despite my score a slight disappointment to me as I expected this to be one of my favorite wee heavys.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brownish barleywine appearance. Aroma whaffing of alcohol, also barleywineish and some spice and roast. Taste well balanced though followed by tongue numbness. Hops at finish with roast. Very well malted, some sweet rather than bitter chocolate, and cinammon, and a touch of smoke. and an easy drink.

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Photo of JiminKY
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite style of stronger beers, and I have liked each of the few examples I've had of the style. This is one that I highly recommend.

A- This beer is a beautiful chestnut color, pours with a half-inch head that quickly dissipates, and has a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Label does not have any type of freshness date or indication, and does not state the alcohol content, though it does refer to it being strong.

S- The aroma is sweet and pungent.

T- The taste is superbly sweet and malty at first, followed by a nice slightly bitter "zing" as it passes over the tongue. Seems to be spot on for--and certainly holds its own against--the best examples I've tasted of the style. Alcohol content is well-hidden.

M- Smooth, mildly slick mouthfeel that envelops the tongue and coats the lips with lingering flavor.

D- Superb drinkability. Incredibly well disguised alcohol content. I had no idea it was an 8% beer until I read it here--could be dangerous. Goes down incredibly smoothly and begs for another to replace it.

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Photo of dbalsock
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

oh man, this was really good... thanks, joshd, for the bottle

appearance: pours dark brown with a brown head that quickly laces the side of the glass. an orange hue breaks through at the bottom of the glass, and as i drink the color goes more towards amber.

smell: the malts come through in full force in the smell providing an appetizing sweetness. there is also a hint of flowers in the smell that i appreciate.

taste: i find this to be very nicely balanced although it's very sweet. the malts take control of this brew while the hops provide subtle and welcome backup. as the beer warms i think i can pull out a buttery taste.

mouthfeel: great texture and the perfect consistency. it's not too syrupy nor too thinly bodied. i find this to suit my palate perfectly.

drinkability: yes... all day long...

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Photo of murphysbleachers
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tumbler pint:
Appearance: Red/mahogany color, tan head faded quickly, left some lacing on the glass.
Smell: Caramel and sweet malt.
Taste: Sweet caramel malt comes through the most. A hint of chocolate, and a hint of sweet (Maraschino?) cherries.
Mouthfeel: Coats the tongue a bit. The alcohol warms me up just a bit on the finish.
Drinkability: Very drinkable for 8.3%. Been featured as the "beer of the month" at my bar and I can put away more than a few without complaint. A good everyday colder weather beer.

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Photo of swid
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer #11 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Founders Dirty Bastard pours a dark brown color into my tulip glass; a dark ruby color can be found when holding this beer up to the light. Atop the near-completely opaque liquid sits a 1/4", light brown head that quicky dissipates. Low carbonation, no lacing. The smell is dominated by the caramelized malts; lesser amounts of chocolate, cherry-like fruit and alcohol aromas are also to be had. Hop presence is minimal.

The taste of this beer is, as expected, big and malty, with a nice caramelized sweetness. This beer manages to hide its alcohol content well, making it a bit more than an additional sweet flavor. Other flavors present include chocolate, a vaguely cherry/plum fruit, and a mild floral hop bitterness. The mouthfeel for this beer is spot-on; full without being thick, and very smooth. Finishes smoothly as well, with a lingering aftertaste of sweet malts and fruits, a hint of alcohol, and a mild bitterness.

Overall, an enjoyable Scotch ale; as usual, it's a shame I can't buy it around here.

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Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear cola brown color with a bountiful head that hangs around for the full term, leaving plenty of lacing behind as a momento

Smell: Complex combination of bittersweet chocolate, tobacco, peat and dark fruit

Taste: Starts out with deep chocolate malt flavors, bursting with leather and smoky peat nuances; mid-palate, a restrained hop flavor kicks in to balance the malts; long, satisfying finish of complex malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and viscous with moderate carbonation; some warming alcohol on the finish

Drinkability: A very good Wee Heavy, though the mouthfeel is a bit thick

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Photo of doctorjoeyboey
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is brown like a dark, hazy, undercarbonated root beer. The smell is sweet and like a weak version of the Sam Adams Triple Bock, scaring me immediately! The taste is actually pretty good compared to what the aroma prepares you for. It has a tomoto taste on the front palatte and a chocolate taste on the back. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and the beer is quite drinkable. This is a decent beer and definitely the most drinkable beer with “bastard” in the name that I have come across... it is also quite drinkable for it's high alcohol content. At the same time, I probably won't buy this beer again.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark but clear ruby red color with a small light-tan head. Rather fruity aroma, like black cherries, along with a sweet maltiness. Strong, sticky malt sweetness up front, with a component of caramelized fruit. Hops are moderate but with the strong malt remain mostly in the background. A touch of warming, peppery alcohol can be detected around the finish. Big bodied though with medium-low carbonation.

A dead-on American interpretation of the style.

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Photo of bearrunner44
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Murky, chocolate-brown overall color with shades of burnt orange. Minimal tan head.

Smell- Sweet, candy-like malt aromas. In the back, estery alcohol merges with slight hop scents to create a somewhat fruity aroma. A pleasantly sweet overall smell.

Taste- Heavy mouthfeel, very viscous. The alcohol is recognizable up front, but the toffee-like malt provides most of the flavor. A slight, wheat-like dryness cuts off the sweetness in the finish.

Verdict- Auch, laddie! Okay, the label is pretty cheesy, with the caricature of a Scotsman on it and the ScotchTalk ("It ain't fer the wee lads...") on the neck, but I like this beer. It's a tasty, hefty brew.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark red wine to coffee color, glows sunny crimson along the bottom edge. Coffee-stained peachy head; volatile with poor retention.

Smell: Dark malts, vodka-like alcohol, and some deep, slightly obscured estery hops. Sweetness of brown sugar or molasses.

Taste: Lots of coffee, woody and floral hops, quite nicely bittered, actually. Toasty flavors. Not as buttery or peaty as I'd expect from a Scotch ale... a unique take on the style. Alcohol sweetness is very present, like dark rum.

Mouthfeel: Cloying at times. Not full-bodied enough to warrant the stickiness - it should be a little more crisp or else a little less light.

Drinkability: Not my favorite Scotch ale, but pretty drinkable. I'd rather have a Belhaven.

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Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 7,843 ratings