Founders Dirty Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

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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:
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Reviews: 1,847 | Ratings: 7,255
Photo of BlindPig
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- About a 1/4" tan head on a very dark body and when held to light its a light cloudy ruby red.
S- A nice blend of malts comes through nicley. Caramel and earthy tones really come through along with hints of alcohol, dark fruits, toffee, light roasted malts, and almost a light hint of a hard alcohol.
T- A very nice balance and complexity is the first thing that comes to mind. Hints of caramel, toffee, roasted malts, hints of plums and raisins, alcohol, almost a cream like feel, earthy notes, medium to big bitterness just lingers around. Everything is just very well blended together.
M- Cream and silk feel to it. Full body with low carbonation.
D- I think this is an amazing beer. I think I will have to buy a 6-pack off line. Everything just seems like it is meant to be there and it all comes together VERY nicely.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look is dark brown and hazy with no head.

Smell is rich roast malt and a molasses sweetness.

Taste is sweet from the malt but definitely a hop bite, lives up to the name.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Out of the bottle it's a bubbly, very dark reddish brown with a thin, quick dissipating off-white head.

Smell: At my first sniff, I'm blown away. Fruits, caramal, molasses, a little bit of a roasted/burnt aroma, and much more. Highly complex, subtle, yet still balanced. An amazing sniffer.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Instantly rich, full-bodied and complex. The malts are the obvious focus, and are vast in flavor, complex, and strong, but balanced out by a nice bit of hop bitterness. A tiny bit of a tart tinge right before it goes down the throat. Finishes clean, a little sweet, and smooth. Full-bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: Now this is what I call a killer wee heavy. This one is amazing, I wish we could this locally here. But, alas, we can't, but next time we make it up to Michigan we'll definitly have to get more. Highly recommended.

Glass: St. Bernardus oversized brandy snifter
Music: "Caukazoid Germ" by Sixtoo

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Photo of maddamish
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My thanks to my co-worker Rob M for scoring this beauty for me.

Appearance: Small head that laces nicely. Clear copper in color.

Smell: "Wow" was the first thing that came out of my mouth. Notes of caramel, Cherry, Sugar and Malt. The aroma coming off of this beer is complex and pleasant. One of the better smelling beers I have had.

Taste: caramel, cherry and malt

Drinkability/Notes: II was very impressed with this brew. I wasn't expecting much and got the world. Should have known better considering it is a Founders beer.

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Photo of 2Cents
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured in a standard beer glass at about 50 F.

A: Rusty, ruby with a small beige head and decent lacing.

S: Butterscotch, peat, slight chocolate, malts, Phenol alcohol and slight yeast esters.

T: Malty goodness with a hint of chocolate, butter scotch caramel and a slight hop bitterness.

M: Medium mouth feel, moderate but adequate carbonation and a slight alcohol bite.

O: This is the best We-Heavy that I have tried, there may be other great ones out there but this one is a winner!

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

Appearance- Rich dark brown, almost black color. Moderate foamy head atop lingers around for a bit, then settles to a few spots. Decent lacing throughout.

Smell- Malts, coffee, caramel. Some other less obvious tones as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium to thick body on the palet. Just a slight hint of carbonation hits the tongue. Somewhat chewy the longer it is allowed to linger.

Taste- Somewhat heavy. Coffee and caramel on the front. Malts are what primarily make up this beer. Has a somewhat smokey flavor to it. Leaves a bit of alcohol on the end. Aftertaste leaves a somewhat bland stale flavor. Burly is the word that comes to mind when drinking this beer.

Overall- Very nice beer. Even nicer is its availability, at least here in Cleveland. Basic flavors surround this beer and seems to fit well to its style. Overall a good drink for the seasoned beer drinker, may ward off those who aren't.

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Photo of professorninja
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of this at Drinks Over Dearborn, and it was awesome. Dark, slight whiskey flavor. Rich, smooth and the kind of beer that sticks with you after you drink one. Something I would pair with steak.

But then I got a bottle at D4, and it was flat and kind of dulled of flavor. I don't know if it was just an old bottle they had lying around, or what. I'm assuming as much, because I really liked the bottle I had bought from the store, and plan on getting some more.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders imperial pint.
8.5% ABV, 50 IBUs, Bottled 01/21/14

A - The sexy and deep ruby-hued mahogany color pours with clarity, glugging into the glass to form some brief carbonation cascading, which builds the dense cream-filled coffee colored head. Stupendous retention eventually gives way to sheets of lace left clutching the glass.

S - Caramelization of the malts opens up a deep complexity of sweetness. Semi-melted caramel cube and brittle toffee fills in the gaps left by the profound toastiness that overruns the lightly grassy hop nuances.

T - Offset slightly by earthy hoppiness and dry roasted qualities, the sweet malt comprised toffee slivers bobbing in melted caramel also brings a drizzle of chocolate over thick sliced, lightly toasted, soft rye bread.

M - Dirty Bastard has a super smooth, almost creamy medium-full bodied feel that lingers with balanced sweetness, never becoming cloying. It's alcohol level impressively glides by almost fully unnoticed save for the gentle warming finish.

O - One of the most quintessential stateside Scotch Ales, Founders' Dirty Bastard is full-flavored and nearly full-bodied but isn't 'intense' as most of the style reflect. Instead, the sweet caramelized wort opens up nuanced complexity of sweets and bread, carefully balanced by hops and alcohol dryness for a smooth beer that can quickly sneak up on you!

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Photo of MarkBlackout
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent brew. This is for true malt-heads obsessed with sort of sick-sweet rich caramel malt flavors with a high abv. and faint hop spice. Can't beat it in the winter. I've drank a ton of these and didn't make u p my mind about it until recently. I kept buying it once in awhile because I seemed to remember something positive about its maltfunk onslaught. Not lambic funky, but fruity leather ale funky. Hides the alcohol just enough. I love this shit! Good price!

EDIT: this give this style a good name, but unfortunately have had few others that stood out in any way. This is where it's at.

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Photo of paxchristi
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into wine glass. This particular brew is somewhere between a wee heavy and an -80 Schilling. May not be big enough to be a wee heavy but definitely bigger than an -80 Schilling.

Appearance: Pours a dark, reddish color with a bubbly head that totally dissolves in a minute or so. Where the light penetrates, I get some very dark, crimson, honey hues. I don't expect much head from a Scotch Ale, so I can forgive it. Looks great.-- 4.0

Smell: A real malt bomb. Very medium malts come through very strong. Pretty intense really. Not lacking on the nose whatsoever. In fact, I get a slight burn in the nose after a good swirl in the tasting glass. Phenol alcohols for sure-- pretty obvious. Its hard to hide booze when there's not much hops. Hopheads are weird about that, but its appropriate for the style. Its an ale thats supposed to have some real pop and burn to it. And there is some ever so faint bitter chocolate malt with perhaps the faintest amount of some dark fruit (dates?)-- 4.5

Taste: Boozy, bready, malt bomb. Mouth justifies the nose. It's every bit as strong and boozy as the nose. Burns the palate after a little while. Big yeasty breads in this one. Perhaps a bit of biscuit. I get some raisins and dark fruits as well. Perhaps the slightest hint of hops bitterness. Fills your head pretty well. BOOM!-- 4.5

Mouth: Burns a bit. Carbonation moderate and appropriate for the style. Almost chewy. Brings out the boozy bread qualities.

Overall: Founders never disappoints. It's like drinking a big fresh loaf of booze soaked yeasty raisin bread-- toasted slightly dark. Don't get the hate this one has received lately. It's spot on for its style, and it requires it not be mocked, ya wee lad! ;-)

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Photo of Tim9m1r
4.66/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Nearly opaque dark cherry color with a one finger medium-thick frothy cream colored head

Smell - Sweet toasted malt immediately followed by dark fruit, fig, and sweet alcohol with hints of caramel and toffee.

Taste - Rich toasted malt followed by dark fruit, fig, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol with a caramel-toffee finish

Mouthfeel - Smooth and balanced with a medium-thick slightly syrupy viscosity and fine creamy carbonation. Very light alcohol throughout, light bitterness as you would get from dark chocolate, and a warm finish.

Overall - Very flavorful, filling, and overall a great beer, It is one of my favorite beers that I have had.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep yet clear amber color with a vanilla head. Lots of sticky lacing.

On the nose, is it strange that I'm getting a ton of sweet milk chocolate? Toffee and caramel are also present. As the beer was pouring I got huge whiffs of scotch like alcohol. Still though, predominately getting sweet milk chocolate.

Milk chocolate sweetness is present on the tip of the tongue as well with a slightly alcoholic finish. Full body rich and complex with some added notes of toffee, caramel, and cinnamon. Big vanilla presence as well. The hop and alcohol presence does an amazing job of balancing off the finish for an incredibly smooth drink.

Drinks like a carbonated scotch with impeccable smoothness.

The layers of flavors are immense and unmeasurable due to the amazing concentration. Quite the beer. And for it's complexity and abv, it's something I could have more than a few of.


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Photo of J_Dub
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Deep reddish copper pour. A nice amount of head with really good lacing as well

S-I smell malt right away. Dark fruit and molasses as well. You can almost smell a certain sweetness in it. Wonderful smell

T-Like the nose, I was assaulted with malt at first. However, after a few sips I really started to note a lot more flavors. Dark fruits, brown sugar, some hops at the end. Very "earthy". There was a lot of bitterness at first but as I had a few sips the bitterness faded. Absolutely fantastic.

M-Not too much carbonation. Feels as if it going to be syrupy on your tongue but surprisingly clean finish.

I'm happy to finally have Founder's in Texas. I actually confused this brew with backwoods bastard and was a little disappointed at first when I realized my mistake. However, this beer does not disappoint. It was fairly harsh at first but I think that was just because it was my first beer of the day. This beer is just wonderful. Beautiful pour and aroma. The taste is similar to the aroma but even more complex. I can't really compare this to other Scotch ales as I haven't had many but Dirty Bastard is good no matter the category. Buy it and don't look back.

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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.

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Photo of gotweid
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This brew is a must try! Great job, Founders! Poured a very dark brown with a slight reddish tone. Thin, off white head, but very thick and strong. Long lasting, excellent lacing. Not much carbonation. Smelled of strong, roasted, toasted, luscious malt. I loved the smell. Despite the heavy, roasted malt, this is a very smooth, creamy, dreamy brew. Extremely smooth. I can't express that enough. Full bodied, but still light on the tongue and throat. Starts out a little bitter, but finishes smooth and rich with a strong tasting, roasted malt aftertaste that makes you yearn for more and also my pipe (legal tobacco). Warm, rich, relaxing feeling .Would make a great, crisp autumn or winter brew. Extremely drinkable, even with the 8.3% abv. Beers like this are so enjoyable and are what great beer is about. Cheers and enjoy.

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Photo of berliner07
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was a great surprise. Not a usual fan of the style, but this one delivered. The malt profile was so much more complex than a usual Scotch Ale. Wonderful sweetness was met with a touch of smoke and a sensational mouthfeel. A real treat to drink all the way. I'll definitely get another.

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Photo of AEK
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

355ml brown bottle poured into a Gordon's Finest Gold thistle glass.

A. Burgundy coloured ale with a foamy off-white head that shrank to thin foam.

S. Syrupy, strawberries, figs, bananas, strawberry jam, cough candy and a hint of cola.

T. Vine fruits, syrup, good alcohol presence but without the accompanying warmth.

M. Full bodied.

D. A rather nice interpretation of a Scotch style ale but lacks something that McEwan's No1 ale has.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany with a light brown head.

Smells of caramel, crystal malt, and a slight piney scent in the background. The smell has depth and character.

Caramel, coffee, fresh baked bread in a harmony of goodness. Full bodied and chewy malt mouthfeel. It has some dark fruit plumb notes as well balanced by a bitter herbal/pine hop punch. This is an excellent beer. Best Scotch Ale I've had.

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Photo of MACrist
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11/05/15.
LOOKS: Poured into a snifter, leaves a half finger of quickly dissipating tan head. Great, tight bubbles when rocking the glass from side to side. Very dark woody amber/mahogany. Not much lacing down glass, some alcohol legs linger.
AROMA: Floral, Maraschino cherry, woody, and lots of rich dark dried fruit. Sweet and sherry like. No annoying rubbing alcohol smell. Malty for days.
TASTE: Exactly like aroma, can't do much better than that. Dark fruit fest!!
MOUHFEEL: Just enough carbonation, not huge like some Belgian beers, for example. Creamy texture, dry, at the very back end.
OVERALL: Sip and savor it. Malt City!

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Photo of chugalug06
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


A - Super awesome straw colored foamy head. Head looks very much like a latte. Brew is deep, deep purple with lots of brown and black. Mildly cloudy too. Some lacing sticks to the glass.

S - Lots of heavy peat, very well done. Nothing drones out the nose of the brew. Not overly sugary at all. Slightly sweet and bready. Very oat-y, almost oatmeal??? Interesting. Perhaps some maple syrup too.

T/M - Very smooth and delicious! Chalky and perfectly sweet. Very mellow and caramel. Some milk chocolate and delicate hops stand out; nothing citrusy. Awesome carbonation. No heat.

O - Awesome Scotch Ale! Just as they all should be. An awesome extra, please keep the good brews rolling in!!! I would love to try this one again in the future! Founders continues to impress me more and more with each brew I drink.

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Photo of chopp02
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First, I have to say that I love the color of this beer! It is one of the most unique I've seen: a light chocolate color and the texture of this beer is phenomenal! I absolutely love the Scotch flavor in this rich, dark beer. If you like your dark beers with a liquor taste, then give this one a try, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of mempath
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

looks good. deep amber-brown, dark, foreboding. already succumbing subjectively to the power of this brewery's output...consistently stellar so far...not much lacing but it's too heavy to dabble in fluff

in the nose, sweet dark fruit starting to ferment. some possible nuttiness.

in the mouth and it's just a rich orgy of sweetness, deep roasted, candied malts...amazing...hard to describe this nectar...would be so much more warming at this massive ABV in the fall and winter, but this is helping me look forward to my favorite time of the year. tho little carbonation at the surface, this is perfectly thick without any cloying sense. reminds me of various barleywine experiences...intense, balanced and drinkable as a session brew for anyone in a kilt!

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Photo of McNealc31
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a light brown color, almost like the darkest iced tea you've ever had. The flavor is very complex with a ton of different malt flavors going on. There is roastedness, piney, hoppy, a little bit of not very sweet maple, even a hint of scotch. It's very bold and has a long bitter, but not acrid, finish.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a lovely brown/red colour, but and a decent head that fades to lacing around the edge of the glass. The smell is lovely and malty but there is also some fresh hoppiness there too. This beer has a very complex taste. For me, this beer tasted fresh and citrussy up front but the malt quickly took over and it became sweet and syruppy. The finish is roasty and smooth. This is possibly my favourite beer. Taste this with your eyes closed and enjoy the ride.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a growler into a chalice, dark red-brown with a 1" light tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear, light stream of bubbles
S: caramel, toffee, molasses notes, earthy, robust, dark pumpernickle
T: sweet caramel notes up front with a big malt flavor, oaky earty notes, cherries, sweet lingering finish
M: full bodied with correct carbonation, alcohol makes itself known
O: a nice beer for cold weather, good complexity of flavors, pleasant sweet finish

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Founders Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 7,255 ratings.
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