Glassware: Rich malty aromas are on full display in Dirty Bastard and are the centerpiece for this delicious beer. Glassware that allows the beer to warm to room temperature will help to fully unlock the magical aroma, also rich pub tradition plays in with this beer. The first choice is a thistle glass; reminiscent of a tulip glass, which will suit the beer. A snifter is a great choice. However, there is something to be said about enjoying a great Scotch ale from a traditional nonic pint glass.
Description: Dirty Bastard pours a deep rich mahogany hue with creamy beige head that leaves a think layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very malt forward with notes of caramel, toffee, roasted malts and traces of smoke. The taste is on par with the nose but the sweetness from the malts comes across the palate a bit more. Toffee and caramel are the most dominant flavors but have backing against the malts and smoke with a very subtle earthy hop bite. There is a lot going on within this beer but all the flavors are kept in balance without one taking over the entire experience. There is no appearance of the 8.5 percent ABV so be forewarned this beer can be dangerous. The moderate carbonation and smooth body make for an exceptionally easy drinking beer. Dirty Bastard is another delicious world class beer from a world class brewery.
Food Pairing: The best pairings for a Scotch ale will depend on what flavor profile you wish to highlight. If you are a fan of barbecue, the beer is a natural go-to for pairing. The smoke from the dish will highlight the subtle smoke within the beer while showcasing the sweet malt profile to melt flavors into one another. The best barbecue choices to pair with Dirty Bastard are ribs, pulled pork and sausage. Do not be afraid to pile on the barbecue sauce. If you are looking for a dish that will cut through the beer and help round out the character of it, try some pungent cheeses. Try Maytag blue cheese, Camembert, Roquefort, or if you are a little less daring Brie makes for a great pairing. Not surprisingly with the strong sweet malt profile Dirty Bastard also makes a wonderful pairing with desserts, the more decadent the better. Try pairing with carrot cake, chocolate lava cake, triple chocolate brownies, vanilla bean cheesecake or any other dessert will be perfect with this delicious beer.
The Final Word: Founders needs no introduction to craft beer lovers as many of their beers are permanently on top 10 lists of craft beer drinkers everywhere. However, Dirty Bastard is a beer that deserves its place in fridges everywhere! The current craft beer climate is dominated by hop forward beers, which are delicious, but an aggressively malt forward beer such as this is just as enjoyable. Many Scotch ales can be off-putting to those who are not familiar with the taste profile, however Dirty Bastard, while aggressive in flavor, is still balanced and enjoyable to all beer lovers. If you have not tried Dirty Bastard or have tried other Scotch ales but decided the style was not for you, do yourself a favor and get some today, it is the perfect beer for the cold winter and, after all, who doesn’t love a Dirty Bastard?
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Beer: Dirty Bastard
Style: Scotch Ale