Brew Review

Beer Review – Founders Dirty Bastard

Having already had, and thoroughly enjoying a Founders Red’s Rye PA, I was looking for another beer out of the Founders lineup, and selected their Dirty Bastard. I chose this beer partly for the packaging (I am far too susceptible to advertising), and partly for the style (I really like the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style). Founders has quietly become one of the best brewers in the world, and consistently places a great portion of their lineup among the best beers in the world. Their philosophy involves a concerted effort to not brew beer for the masses. Rather, they focus their efforts on crafting beers for a much smaller group that rewards experimentation, and places a premium on taste. Basically, they have chosen to brew beer with themselves as their target audience. If the folks at Founders like it, they reason that others will too. Clearly they believe that if they brew it, we will come.

Here is what Founders has to say about their Dirty Bastard:

So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads.

I found the Dirty Bastard to have the following characteristics…

  • Appearance: Reddish brown with little foam and good lacing.
  • Aroma: Sweet malt and fruit (raisins, grapes, plums).
  • Taste: Thin but flavorful with a hint of roasted almost burnt malt and a sweet, finish.
  • ABV: 8.5%

I thought the Founders Dirty Bastard was a very good beer. Once again, the folks at Founders have produced a top notch beer. If you like Scotch style ale, I would highly recommend you try a Dirty Bastard.

6 replies »

  1. I find myself confounded by Founders for several reasons (none of them having to do with the quality of their brews, which I, too, agree are typically excellent). Primarily, I’m confused by the reference to “founders” which in the vernacular of generally accepted understanding refers to “Our Founders”, i.e., the wigged or otherwise white/blue tint/grey haired gentleman best known for cavorting about our beloved Old City Section of Philadelphia seeking inspiration for the drafting of the Constitution. Of course, there were extracurricular exploits such as Franklin’s early version of Wii Lightning Bug.

    Anyway, it’s not as though Hamilton or Dickenson ever lined up with an A seating section assignment to board a plane to Detroit so I doubt any of “our founders” spent time in “their Founders'” bocce emporiums. I guess I’d be less confused if each 6 pack came with a pocket version of an excerpt from the Federalist Papers. I know I’m merely mirroring so many others feelings here so I won’t go on. I’m Jewish after all and we don’t do preaching to the choir all that well.

    Aside from that, Dirty Bastard is a solid Scotch Ale. Rich and malty with plenty of caramel, milk chocolate and vanilla. Could be a top 5 of the style for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with anything of theirs. The whispered insults and cleavage commentary that comes out as you open the bottle is a slightly unique twist too. I’m waiting for them to come out with Hawking Bastard which might emit strings of theoretical particle physics equations upon opening. Can’t think of a better way to start conversations at a bar than that.




  2. Nothing like coming back from vacation and finding a “brief” comment from the Monger.

    How do I even begin to frame a response?

    Your knowledge of the Founding Fathers while admirable (I had no idea Franklin invented the Wii) is somewhat misapplied. Although, you are correct in surmising that the neither Hamilton nor Dickenson would have flown on Southwest. They were after all on the federal payroll and, prior to the recent GAO scandal, would have jumped into first class.

    Also, I guess since you are Jewish, you wouldn’t preach to the choir but to a cantor and that just wouldn’t have the same impact.

    Finally, the Hawking Bastard may be a bit delayed as Founders first attempt at a Nobel quality beer (A Beautiful Bastard) didn’t sell as well as they had hoped.

    Thanks again for your comment but I might suggest a visit to the pharmacy and perhaps a slight adjustment to the meds.


    • Hey Hanrady,

      I never said Franklin invented the Wii – his lightning collection game was merely an early predecessor. I was lucky enough to get a sample of Beautiful Bastard and I have to say the overall balance was reasonably good. I was a bit put off by the maze of strings inside the bottle. It made the beer pour with far too much of a disturbance.

      I also didn’t understand why they put Michael Ontkean on the label. I’m all for random but that one was even tough for me to come to grips with.


      • My Dear Monger,

        As I sit in Starbucks stealing internet (I bought a cup of tea so I guess I am borrowing it), I have nearly fallen off of my stool with your response.
        Hanrady? Really? I hope that doesn’t make you DiCaprio!

        And, how does one play a lightning collection game? The winner isn’t electrocuted?

        Michael Ontkean? Thank you imdb! Abe Vigoda. Sure. But the guy from Slap Shot and the Rookies. That would be a random labeling.


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