Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Dirty BastardDirty Bastard
7,736 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 7,736 |  Reviews: 1,972
Photo of waughbrew
2.77/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chestnut body with a very small beige head that laces but does not stick around. Smell is cardboardy hops and bready malt with hints of alcohol, not unlike the Bigfoot aroma. Flavor is lightly cherry-like with some roasted grains providing the only interesting part. Very bland. Boring yeast leaves a dull finish. Medium body seems even bigger than it is because of the very low carbonation. Overall very lacking in flavor for a beer of this alcohol level.

Not bad, but not interesting either. Definitely below average. Not worth another shot.

 546 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Auch! Yeh've nary had such a bonny taste of heav'n since pullin' yer mouth off yer mammy's teet. With more highland bitties and flavours than yer grandmammy's haggis, Dirty Bastard Ale ain't fer the wee lads. And if it's too strong fer yer silk-wearin', poodle-walkin' arse, then it's back to the loch with you, nessy!"

--Dirty Bastard neck label

Turbid dark iced tea brown infused with a generous quantity of crushed raspberries (visually speaking) and topped with an almond-colored crown that is as densely creamy as any you're likely to see. Thick sheets of lace are clinging voraciously to the glass. Dirty Bastard looks like no other beer; amazing since I've seen hundreds in the past year or so.

The nose is heavily toasted malty with undercurrents of chocolate and dark, dried fruits. I'm a little disappointed that there are no obvious smoky or peaty elements to the aroma. Perhaps they're buried in the beer itself and will make an appearance on the palate.

Great stuff! This is one seriously creamy, almost chewy, flavor bomb of a beer. There's a lot going on here: sweet dark caramel, bittersweet chocolate, bourbon-soaked figs and toasted black walnuts are all members of the flavor profile. I truly love hops, but these sweet, malty Scottish/Scotch ales are growing on me in a big way.

The finish is long and malty with the barest hint of alcohol. I don't mind a bit since it's so well-integrated that it's just another facet of this multi-faceted jewel. The body is medium-full at least and the mouthfeel is reminiscent of heavy cream.

Founders has quickly become one of my favorite breweries and Dirty Bastard has done nothing but move them farther up the list. If you like Scotch ales or just like big, rich, interesting, delicious beer, then you have to seek this one out.

 1,798 characters

Photo of Realale
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear mahogany. Fine tight beige head settles to a thin complete cap. Just a beautiful beer.

Nose is really treacley over brown bread. All the richness is well-supported by a substantial whack of hops. It smells bitter. Not to style, but definitely keeps the nose from being cloying.

Quite full in the mouth with plenty of sweet malty goodness. The bitterness is there though to give it a remarkable degree of balance. Very soft water profile keeps from over-emphasizing the hops, and really brings a nice degree of integration.

Mouthfeel is quite pleasant, and there is surprising drinkability for a beer of this strength and maltiness. The hop level isn't to style, but it makes it a whole hell of a lot more interesting, and really improves the drinkability. Nice noveau strong Scottish.

 809 characters

Photo of nomad
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

*Re-review: Alright, because it is a bastard, this beer takes awhile to mellow out. I've found that if the first bottle is a bit much, give the others a few weeks or more to age and round out. Then the burly symphony begins...

Pours the murkiest mix of brown, auburn, black, and swamp water I've seen in awhile, but its head is big, strong, and thick in a tough way. Nice enough to look at but the murk is a bit unappealing.

Smells and tastes quite bittersweet with large caramel flavors covered in roasted barley and molasses like tones. A full mouth of malt but some butteriness and some flat-out strange flavors that I'd put in the are of "toffee" or something like that. I am baffled as to how to describe the barley murk in this beer, but its not bias because I love Scotch and Wee Heavies. Mouthfeel is big but round, not fat and sticky - nicely done.

I don't know, but after a six pack its pretty damn tough to finish just one bottle. Its mean to compare but this is a rough mix compared to, say, Orkney Skullsplitter. A nice beer to have everyone once in awhile, but a real mouth-kicker that slows the quaffing down.

 1,133 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a thick murky mahogany brown with a big creamy tan head leaves behind scattered specks of lacing. Aroma: Deep roasty caramel notes touch of smoked malts with chocolate edges and an herbal hop character just peeking in. Taste: Full flavored Scotch ale deep ripened fruit undertones with an nice chocolate and caramel roastiness, subtle hop profile just the way a Scotch ale should be. Mouthfeel: Full bodied gets even better as it warms mild carbonation allowing full enjoyment of all the flavor this brew has to offer. Drinkability: Decent one at a time brew, definitely wouldn't mind more access to some of the Founders lineup.

 646 characters

Photo of ybnorml
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown ale with amber hints. Has a very small dark beige head that leaves a small bit of lace. There is a nice caramel toffee sweetness to the aroma. Maybe even a light hint of smoke in the aroma also. Molasses, licorice, roasted malt bitterness all jump all over your tongue. A nice sweet carmel toffee flavor sits down on the back of your tongue for a smooth warm finish.

 379 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful tawny brown color, nice, thick, lasting tan head lies on top.
Malt dominates the nose, in abundance, thick, rich, with dark fruits, and spices holding sway...quite, quite nice.
Very plush on the mouthfeel as well, wonderful texture, full and devilish, flowing with uncommon delights, soft, yet sensuous, and very flavorful. Full bodied, long, fruity finish. Huge malt, little hop, butĀ unrelenting in the way of flavor. Gets a bit chocolatey in the middle...the wonders yet unfold...they did themselves proud with this one! Wow...a top-notch Scotch!
much thanks to TikiGodXXX for sharing this Grand Rapids treasure with me!

 636 characters

Photo of StuFox
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is definitely one of the best scotch ales being made in the Midwest. It stands tall next to Three Floyd's Robert the Bruce, which I think is a good point of comparison. Thicker and more achoholic tasting, but less chocolately and complex. It's really too close to call between the Bobby the Bruce and the ODB. Either way, this is a very delicious beer which is able to keep a high level of drinkability despite the booze taste by compensating with a velvety mouthfeel.

 473 characters

Photo of edchicma
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep reddish brown with a two finger head that lasted a bit then dissipated into great lacing. Smell is heavy on the malt, but with distinct fruity quality, somewhat like cherries and plums. Initial sweetness lasted through mid-palate and the drifted into a light slightly dry and bitter finish that lasted and left a pleasant mouthfeel. For the high abv, quite drinkable, although a couple would mellow one out quite nicely. Alos, definitely let this one warm up...it improved greatly as it warmed.

 508 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head above the murky reddish brown brew. Head showed reasonable retention, and laces with a layer foam pretty much wherever it has been. Aroma is a sweetly malty, with an alcohol undercurrent, as expected. Taste follows the nose, heavily malty, and the alcohol packs quite a punch on the back of the throat. A bit overboard in that department for me. Mouthfeel is okay, as I said, the alcohol character could be abit more subdued, but it grows on you (or numbs you, perhaps). The drinkability is good enough to convince you drink more than you probably need...

 694 characters

Photo of xgrigorix
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown twist cap bottle - no dates.

Deep, dark amber hue. Topped by a dense beige head. Some spotty lace is left clinging to the glass.

An intense nose with huge fruity notes, followed up with smooth malt & hints of toasted grain.

Big, bold, & smooth. Intense malt drips all over the tongue. Some fruity accents weave in and out, and hints of chocolate come out as it warms. Just the slightest kiss of hops balance quite nicely. Medium bodied with modest carbonation.

 488 characters

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

Dark and thick caramel brown color, rusty orange edges, thin sized but thickly set and lumpy tan cap, keeps a skim and collar nearly the whole glass down; lacing moderately coats in strings and graceful sheeting. Aroma is chalked full of some really nice caramel, deep and inviting, nuances of brown sugar, vanilla, earthy roasted malts, smoked husks and hay. Taste is crispy and full, crunchy burntish cookies, maple and brown sugar sweetness with roasted grain, husky toasted edges. Has a caramel loaded middle and finish with a firm hold and feel of caramel malts with a crisp toasted grain dryness creeping around the surface late. Nice creamy body and fullness with just the right amount of roasty crispness and drying toasty grain bitterness. Slight dry hop background appears as it warms and where this beer really comes into its own. Letting this warm up some is ideal. Very approachable, very drinkable, very good stuff! One of the better American brewed Wee heavy's I've encountered.
Anudder U.P. danks to trbeer der don't cha'ya know!

 1,046 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep amber to brown liquid with a white foamy head. The head on this beer stayed for a long time, and there was a great amount of lace on the glass. Smells like a toasted malt, and not a whole lot alse. Nice toasty, to roasted malt, leaving almost a toffe like taste. Very little bitterness, and not much hop presence in this, this one is all about the malt. Medium body with low carbonation. Overall, this is a very good scottish/scotch ale. Pretty drinkable, and easy to enjoy.

 492 characters

Photo of beerinator
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Very dark. The head didn't last long, but it still left very nice lacing on the glass as I drank.

Aroma: Super smells. The roastyness was balanced by the sweet from the malts. Their was a touch of sweetness in the form of fruit, maybe cherry buried in the aroma.

Taste: Heavy up front malt. The roastyness adds bitterness in the form of bitter chocolate notes. There is a slight hint of cherry in the flavor as well, it's buried with the malt from the front of the tongue. The mouthfeel is very big, porter like.

Notes: This seemed like a fine Americanized Scottish style of beer. It seemed a bit too roasty to me, and less heavy on the caramel of the malt. But it's definately a good beer.

 718 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep hazy brownish-red color with one finger of off-white head. There is just a little lacing left on the glass. The smell is extremely malty, a little sweet. There are traces of caramel, honey, and alcohol present. The taste is also very malty, toffee and brown sugar, a sweet alcohol tang. Only a touch of hops on the finish. The mouthfeel is a little light for the style. The drinkability isn't too bad for an 8.3% brew. A fair American representation of a Scotch Ale.

 528 characters

Photo of beergeek279
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber, with a nice foamy beige head with nice retention. The smell is a nice strong caramel malt and alcohol. The taste is somewhat sweet, with a very smoky characteristic to it and a peaty bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very creamy. As for drinkability, probably a few more after this.

Not a bad Scotch Ale at all, especially for scotch whiskey lovers who would appreciate the very peaty smoked character to it. I personally prefer mine a bit more sweet, but this isn't bad at all, and I would have this one again. Thank you to trbeer for the beer!!

 632 characters

Photo of kwalters
3.4/5  rDev -16%
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.

 922 characters

Photo of moulefrite
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
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!

 772 characters

Photo of yankeeheel
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 642 characters

Photo of hustlemuscle
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

 806 characters

Photo of jtw5877
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

 309 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 477 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 260 characters

Photo of marc77
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 1,309 characters

Photo of ngandhi
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 483 characters

Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 7,736 ratings