Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 5 (7/29/2011): Dirty Bastard by Founders Brewing Company

I've always been partial to Founders. Being a Michigan boy who went to undergrad in Grand Rapids, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for both them and Bells. Though I didn't appreciate them enough when I lived there, they both have been mainstays in my beer rotation.

I've never been partial to Scotch ales, though. In fact, I rarely buy them and can probably count the number of them that I've tried on one hand. The sweetness always seems a bit cloying and the strange metallic scent/flavor present in many of them always seemed strange to me. I figured I would give this one a chance, though.

This one pours a relatively translucent brown-red with a white head that dissipates quickly. Looks about how I would expect for the style. It smells of caramel and butterscotch, and leads me to believe that this is going to be a sweet one. There is no hop smell at all, all malts here. The typical metallic smell, which has been present in every other Scotch ale I've tried before, is here. Can anyone tell me what in the brewing process makes it smell/taste this way?

The taste is definitely the caramel and butterscotch in the smell, along with molasses and dark fruits (raisins, prunes). The metallic (iron?) taste is present in the background. It's not unpleasant, just different. This is definitely a sweet beer, but is never cloying. The sweetness is countered with a slight hop bite on the finish. The contrast between the sweetness up front and the hoppy, dry finish is really nice.

The mouth feel is really nice and smooth, medium-low carbonation with a somewhat thick body. The alcohol is almost entirely hidden, only the smallest burn.

This is a solid beer from one of my favorite breweries. I'm still not a huge fan of the style, but Founders definitely brewed this one right. If I was in the mood for something on the sweeter side, I'd definitely consider picking one of these up.

I give Dirty Bastard by Founders Brewing Company a B+.

Style: Scotch ale
ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 50
Beer Advocate: A-
Ratebeer: 98/97

Picked up a single bottle from Party Source for $1.89. You can also get a six pack there for a little under ten bucks plus tax. You can find this pretty much anywhere that sells Founders beer. It is available year round.


  1. Usually that metallic taste comes from a hint of peat malt, I believe, and a occasionally some smoke.

  2. I knew I could count on you for some info. ;)