The word ‘Bastard’ is rarely associated with anything positive. You may stub your toe and exclaim the word. You may have been slighted at work and felt the need to utter the sound. Hell, even Ol’ Dirty Bastard changed his name to Big Baby Jesus before his untimely passing.
In the case of Founders’ Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, however, the exact opposite is true. This sud will help you associate the words ‘Dirty Bastard’ with nothing but pleasant thoughts of a cold, malty and flavorful brew.
I first encountered Founders Scotch Ale inside of a trendy Manhattan restaurant named Flex Mussels. The Founders brew was highlighted as a great beer to pair with my salty oceanic meal. It was so good that a few days later I actively sought it out and purchased my first Dirty Bastard six pack. A few six packs later, I’d have a chance to review it.
A quick note about Scotch Ales – these are malt-forward beers, with hops usually being quite light. Hops were certainly grown in and around Scotland, but let’s just say that the climate isn’t the most accommodating for hop production. Founders’ Dirty Bastard however is unique in that it definitely offers a nice hoppy finish.
Once the cap has been popped off, the aroma is fruity with some caramel sweetness. The beer pours out a lovely rich brown color with a decent, bubbly one-finger head. Please do not be alarmed if you see some sediment floating in your beer glass. Founders does not filter their beer, much like Harpoon’s ‘Unfiltered Offering’ line.
The first sip is quite smooth and tastes like molasses and caramel. Once gulped, you get some punch from the hops. The beer’s taste is quite unique due to the 7 types of malts used – a lot of sweet flavors present themselves, ranging from caramel to vanilla to chocolate – however do not expect this beer to be as flavorful, sweet or smooth as a stout or porter.
After nursing this beer for a few sips you can feel your body temperature rise. A nice warm feeling envelopes you as you gulp down the 8.5 ABV ale. I would certainly not want to be sipping this by myself on the hottest day of the year in the Summer. Although available year-round, I would definitely purchase this one solely in the colder months of Autumn and Winter. This Scotch Ale lends itself to being a great after dinner sipper, perhaps by the fireplace engaging in some deep meaningful conversation about what a sud truly means to you.