Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Dirty Bastard

Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI

Style: Scotch Ale
ABV: 8.5%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Pair With:
First of all, I must say Nigel is a bit worried. Founders Dirty Bastard Scottish Style Ale is the second—that’s right, second—review done by yours truly of a beer inspired by the bloody Scots, and Nigel received an urgent, nasty telegram from Her Majesty the Queen soon after publishing the first, warning that my knighthood may be revoked if I ever heaped praise on the Scots again (even if it was only for their beer). So let me just say two things to help appease the Queen Mum before I begin my review: 1) it’s actually American beer (I believe they are still somehow our political allies … right?), and 2) it is called Dirty Bastard, which is an appropriate name for a brew inspired by the heathen Picts. I promise you, Queen Mum, should I ever knowingly praise anything else directly related to Scotland, I vow to wear a kilt commando-style, with my private parts straddling the icy waters of the Firth of Forth, waiting for Nessie to surface and turn me into a Scottish princess. Now, on to the review.

This is a very good beer. Having eloquently stated such, let it be known that this is only slightly better than average when compared to other craft Scottish ales, and we Beer Dorks have come to expect more from the masterful brewers at Founders. The beer pours a very dark amber color, with a mild tan head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is very faint (much like Scottish hopes for independence—zing!) with only a light nutty malt smell and no trace of hops, which is not unexpected with a Scottish, but disappoints Nigel nonetheless. The flavor is quite good—thick but smooth, a good mix of dark roasted malt flavor, with chocolate and molasses undertones tinged with a mild fruit balance. Certainly not too complicated, but a very warming (read: potent) beer nonetheless. Perhaps the high alcohol content of Scottish beers helps explain why the men wear dresses and the women have facial hair, but that’s pure speculation on my part. The aftertaste is quite strong, as the brew coats your tongue like fog on a 50-degree midsummer morning in Edinburgh (that’s Edinborough for those of us who speak English). All in all, a solid brew, definitely worth a try, but not quite up to the standards of many other Founders brews, and not unique enough to place it in the upper echelon of craft Scottish ales. Now for my sake, let’s hope the Queen doesn’t realize that I have yet to review any English-style ales, because Nigel would rather not seek political refuge in France. May God save the Queen.

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on December 27, 2006.
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