Dirty Bastard is a Scottish-style Ale by Founders Brewing Co. that’s malty and sweet with a complex balance of bitterness.

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Dirty Bastard is a Scottish-style Ale brewed by Founders Brewing Co. For the purposes of this craft beer review, this Scotch ale was aged one year and then served in a nonic pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

Packaging art for the Dirty Bastard by Founders Brewing Co.

Packaging art for the Dirty Bastard by Founders Brewing Co.

What You Need to Know

This is the beer that saved Founders from bankruptcy (read more below). Its rich body comes from seven types of malt that’s been balanced with peat, smoke, and hops. So how was it? Let’s get to the review.

Appearance

Dirty Bastard pours a somewhat clear chestnut brown that shows ruby highlights when it’s set against the light. The ale is topped by a thick cap of dense, pock-marked cream-colored foam that shows great retention. Once the head reduces, a soapy collar and streaks of residue round the glass.

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Aroma

The Scotch Ale’s aroma consists of caramel and toffee with a hint of flowery hops. A note of buttered biscuit appears as the beer warms.

Flavor

Its palate is predominantly malty and begins with flavors of toasted bread and caramel. The finish is complex and mildly bitter with notes of earthy woods, peat, and floral hops. That bitterness is balanced by a mellow undercurrent of sweet chocolate, toffee, and dark fruits mixed with buttery biscuit.

Label art for the Dirty Bastard by Founders Brewing Co.

Label art for the Dirty Bastard by Founders Brewing Co.

Mouthfeel

The feel of the Scotch Ale is velvety smooth and chewy with a full body and low carbonation.

Overall

The Dirty Bastard presents nicely and has a lovely aroma. Aging the brew lends to a lovely balance that’s enhanced further by its decadent feel. Yes, this brew has a high ABV but it isn’t even noticeable at all. And so if you store a Dirty Bastard in your fridge for a while, you’ll have a mellow and tasty easy-drinker.

On the Verge of Collapse

Founders opened in 1997 and less than two years later the brewery was struggling financially. The owners’ only income was coming from bartending tips. By the next year they were on the verge of bankruptcy with the landlord threatening to lock them out due to unpaid rent. But they hung in there and in 2002 they produced the Dirty Bastard and the next year released the KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout). Those beers put Founders on the map and ultimately saved the brewery. And since that time Founders has seen tremendous growth while winning numerous awards and accolades. It’s safe to say they’re one of the finest breweries in the world. Read more about the Founders Brewing success story here.

The Backwoods Bastard

If you’re looking for a Scottish Ale that’s stronger and even more complex, check out Founders Brewing’s bourbon-barrel version, Backwoods Bastard.

Have You Tried the Dirty Bastard?

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