Founders claims its Dirty Bastard Scotch ale is “so good it’s almost wrong.” Not since the release of Dick Cheney’s memoir War Makes Me Hard has there been such truth in advertising. If I’ve ever had a better beer in my life, it would have to have been another Founders standout, the Breakfast Stout. But even then, we’re talking a neck-and-neck race. The Dirty Bastard is ridiculously, outrageously, impossibly delicious. The moment I tasted one bottle, I knew I’d have to buy an entire case. I literally danced in my man cave when I found out there was a distributor in town that carried it.
Featuring seven varieties of imported malts, the Dirty Bastard seems a candidate to come off disgustingly sweet. Forget it! All those glorious malts are balanced by notes of smoke and peat and a healthy dose of hops. End result: flavor perfection. This is what a “high-end” beer should taste like – not too sweet, not too hoppy, not too roasty, but rather a great combination of all three elements. Scotch ales, due to their lengthy boiling process, tend to be distinct from other ales. They are traditionally sweet, high in alcohol, and roasty caramel-ish in flavor. The Dirty Bastard is all of those things and more. While I sometimes get just a little bored with mega-malty wintertime ales, the Dirty Bastard has got way more going on – and all of it good! Sure, the malt sweetness and boozy flavor are up front in full force. When the caramel and dark fruit notes hit, they hit hard. But the malts are as roasty as they are sugary, and 50 IBUs of piny hops provide a much-needed bitter finish. And at that risk of sounding like a wine geek, I’ve gotta say this stuff smells great! The chocolate and caramel notes are such heaven to sniff that even my cat had her nose in my glass last night!
One thing I always notice about drinking a Dirty Bastard is how fast it goes down. I like to sit down with a beer every night while I’m watching a ball game or a TV show and really enjoy it. I like to take my time and truly savor a good beer. But I just can’t do that with a Dirty Bastard. I take my first sip; and before I know it, my glass is empty. At 9 percent alcohol, this sure ain’t a session beer. But it’s so freaking delicious that it ought to be.