Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, Mich. was on the verge of bankruptcy not long after they were founded. That changed when they went from boring beers to a more robust lineup with flavors that stood out. Few stand out more than their year-round offering Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale which is up for review today.
Dirty Bastard pours a dark brown with a tan head that stood about one finger high at its tallest. The aroma is one of malt, some smoky peat which almost smells of black licorice, some hops, and a sweet note that lingers in the background. There isn’t much carbonation seen because of the darkness of the beer.
The first sip offers a little smoky peat followed by malt, a touch of hops, caramel, and then toasted grains on the back end. This is a pretty unique flavor profile. One sip might offer a hint of caramel, another a hint of chocolate, while yet another sip might hint at some vanilla. None dominate like the malt and peat, however. It is medium-bodied with a light amount of carbonation. It finishes smooth and slightly dry. There is some nice lacing on the glass which was a little surprising given how little head there was. There is enough lacing there to make Prince proud.
Overall this was a really enjoyable beer to sip. It is definitely a sipping beer as it clocks in at 8.5% ABV. However, there is very little taste of alcohol. They did a really nice job of brewing a beer that packs a punch but doesn’t offer an overwhelming alcohol taste. The flavor profile is complex and intriguing and makes you want to go in for another sip as soon as the first is done. Even though different notes were encountered the flavor profile didn’t change much. The smoky peat gives it some nice aromatics while giving it a pleasant smoky flavor that doesn’t drown out the malt and its flavors. I would definitely have this again.