To call your beer a dirty bastard, one must have the utmost confidence that it will, in truth, not be a dirty bastard, but instead a bottle of liquid hell yeah. Founder’s Dirty Basted is indeed a bottle of hell yeah, with a dash of fist pump, and a heaping scoop of kick ass, all wrapped up in plaid – it’s a Scotch Style Ale after all. But, alas, I’m getting ahead of my self – I need to share with you all just what makes Dirty Bastard such a deliciously dirty bastard. So don your kilts and get your drinking faces ready, it’s beer time.
Dirty Bastard’s aroma begins the split second you pry the cap from the bottle. Huge notes of boozy malts rise from the pour like the inebriated ghost of William Wallace. Placing your face in the path of this oncoming cloud reveals a sweetness consisting of raisins and slightly burnt caramel. Beneath, hints of smoky peat arrive at the outskirts of each breath, alongside teasing vapors of whiskey barrel – oak, vanilla, and a touch of char. As the bouquet continues, the sweetness continues to grow, helped along by a continuing dark fruit vibe of raisins and currants, as well as earthier sweet tones such as the caramel, brown sugar, and toasted toffee. As the breath comes to a close, hints of almonds and cherries rest on the final aromatic breeze before sinking back into the massive malten cloud. Visually, it pours a beautiful ruby-brown beneath a thick, khaki head that takes its time in fading.
On the palate, this brew defines the term “wee-heavy”. Beginning thick and silky smooth, a tide of boozy malts will be the first to wash over your tongue, inundating your mouth with richness galore. As in the aroma, raisins, currants, and caramel sweetness arrives next, followed by brown sugar and toffee. This brew is continuous countering of rich and savory bass with sweet and syrupy treble. The malts continuously grow, becoming smoked and roasty near the cheeks while the notes of aged oak swirl towards the back, complete with char and vanilla as an entourage. And then, like a Scotsman lifting his kilt in front of you, the beer surprises you with a sudden bloom of bitterness. This bitterness arrives via bittering hops that contribute little flavor, as well as the same smoke and char, now devoid of any sugars. It’s a wonderful turn that keeps your tongue on its toes and your mouth in a state of bliss. Couple that with the warm and alcoholic buzz that almost audibly hums with each drink, and you’ve got a big, boozy bastard of a brew.
Founder’s Dirty Bastard is not for the faint of heart. Though it stands at only 8.5% ABV, one should not tread lightly in the face of such a brew. It’s strength does not shy away, and its power will greet your tongue with a headbutt and a punch to the stomach as soon as you begin drinking. Having said that, its massive flavor will ensure you don’t care how your tongue is treated. Huge malt savoriness, syrupy sweetness and a back-end of bittering strength culminates in layers of tasty complexity. Price is no concern here – if you see it, buy it. Just be sure to prepare yourself for barely contained power.
There’s really no bad time for drinking this beer. With meat, with bread, in the afternoon, relaxing in the evening. You could even drink it for breakfast. Go ahead, you’re an adult. You know what, do exactly that. Make a massive stack of pancakes, three pounds of bacon, six eggs, and a mug of Founder’s Dirty Bastard. While you’re passed out with a food coma, at least you’ll be content with the knowledge that your beer of choice earned an A from the Daily Beard. Play us off, Bagpipe Cat!
Lasting Strength: 10/10
Overall: 9.5/10 A