Britton: The first time I got this beer was at a local restaurant. It was a little awkward telling my young, energetic server that I would have a “Dirty Bastard.” What was even more awkward is that I know her from church. Now her pastor is asking her for a “Dirty Bastard.” With a name like that I didn’t know what to expect. When she brought out the beer that she referred to as the “Dirty B” with its dark, amber color, I took my first sip and was sold.
I was at the store picking up some beer for dinner because we were having friends over and saw it on the shelf. As much as I enjoyed this beer, it had been awhile since I had it and it sounded great. I knew it was a little bit of a risk since it is a unique beer but if they didn’t like it there was Bud Light in the fridge as backup.
This glass was just as good as my first encounter with the “Dirty Bastard.” The smell was full of caramel and chocolate notes. Many beers in this category overwhelm me with the taste of sweet caramel, lacking any other flavor. That is not the case with this beer. It is one of the most flavorful and complex beers I’ve had. Initially you taste the smoky caramel…then a little tangy with some dark fruits. All of a sudden some hops hit you. I loved the surprise of the bitter hops.
It’s very smooth with low carbonation. The thick coating sticks around the mouth for awhile. It’s a great beer but be careful, it’s 8.5% abv. It will sneak up on you. Grade: A
Tom: I actually had the Backwoods Bastard prior to sitting down to a glass of this brew. Knowing what an oak Bourbon barrel can add to a beer sort of set me up for a little disappointment. However, after my first sip I threw all preconceived thoughts out of my head. I have to grade this beer based on it’s own merits. Keeping that in mind, I approached this cloudy burnt-red brew in a more focused light. The head was dense possessing an orange-tan hue that laced as I drank.
The aroma was straight up malt. Deep caramel and toffee notes were present. I minor abv punch helped to lift the dark fruity notes up out of the glass. Hints of Heather, peat, biscuit malt, and a bready UK yeast strain filled my nose. There was also a jammy grape quality which provided some depth. The taste was pretty much the same as what I smelled. A little boozy towards the end of the each sip, but for the most part this malt forward beer was pretty much right on in terms of style. The mouthfeel was on the monderate-heavy side as expected as the yeast strain and malt really gave a bready full-bodied feel. Great for the cooler Fall months or with a hearty meal. Grade: B