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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,203 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,203
Hads: 4,289
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 186
Gots: 979 | FT: 53
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 1,203 | Hads: 4,289
Photo of FBGordon
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on draft into an Irish pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful copper with amber highlights, has an off-white head that laces nicely.

S: Notes of caramel and some piney hops with a touch of toffee.

T: Some hops out of the gate, notes of apricot and bread crust with some bitterness settling on the back end.

M: Medium body with good carbonation, a little bitterness on the back end.

O: A solid, enjoyable ale. Don't let the "Old Ale" style deter you, this is a style and a beer that you need to try. It's a big, heady beer at 9.8%, so drink responsibly!

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass in November 2015. Liked to see the bottled date on the bottle, and drank it 5 months after the bottling.

Appearance: Deep amber with dark tan head. Beer is clear and not cloudy. Head is thick, and leaves a thin film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and some hops. Nice variety and balance

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the hops. There is a little roasted coffee flavor, and I also get nice caramel flavors, balanced with a bit of hops. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Strong alcohol, which confirms the 9.8% on the bottle.

This is a smooth full-bodied Old Ale. It is an interesting combination of flavors, and I want to drink this again.

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Photo of DrSpaceman
4.56/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Thick head with good retention on top of beautiful clear amber. Smell is lacking in the oak, just malt. Taste is amazing, perfectly done old ale. Just the right amount of oak to bring it all together. Body is thick, and holds up strong to the 9.8% abv. I think I have found a new favorite old ale, rich and buttery perfection.

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Photo of Jjski
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Old Ale= harsher and sharper than barley wine. Harder to easily quaff and slow sipper, winter warmer, with darker cocoa notes rather than sweetish barley wines.

IMHO a perfect example of Old Ale, as I find Old Stock Ale unpalatable until it's a least 4 years old. Drink this beer without expecting immediate gratification. It's a drawn out process of letting your palate attenuate to the harshness. Improves vastly aged at one year, with orange peel notes emerging from the hops while the malty spine remains strong.

Try to yield, and the Curmudgeon reminds you: the easy road is not the path to seek. Accept the challenge and expand your perception . Cheese-wiz is easier to eat than extra-sharp cheddar. Which is better is up to you. If you opt for cheese-whiz, it pairs well with a wine cooler.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle, Brewers Droop, Bristol - Pours clear amber with a large white head. Nice lacing. Medium carbonation. Smell - Light caramel with hints of roasted coffee. Taste - Very sweet with a hint of caramel and light malty boozy finish. Nice strong slow easy driniking ale even through the sweetness but definitely a sipper for cold winter nights.

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Photo of ZAP
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L-Chestnut colored....minimal head..

S-Excellent. Big chewy caramel and nougat.....vanilla...

T-The flavor does not bring as much intensity as I hoped for from the aroma. You get some oak/vanilla, caramel and nougat but in lighter doses and there is a bit of alcohol bite on the back end.

F-Pretty boozy and sharp. Alcohol is not hidden in this one.

O-I like this but had higher hopes off the initial smell.....a bit too sharp with the grain alcohol like impression for my tastes...

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Photo of craftcraver
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a clear amber color with a finger thick cream head that falls over about a minute.

S: A reserved nose with hints of coffee, toffee and malt.

T: What wasn't there in the nose jumps out on the palate. M+ carbonation, big toffee, vanilla and cream notes. Slight coffee and hoppy bitterness. Starts off creamy and has a long complex bitter finish.

O: Another great heavy beer by founders. The complexity is well balanced but the richness of this beer demands some sippin.

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Photo of lastmango
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a medium reddish brown with a thin head that dissipated quickly. Moderate lacing. Aroma was very mild caramel. Sweet malt and caramel flavor forward with an immediate earthy oak mid-taste followed by a moderate hoppiness. Medium thickness without much carbonation. Watch the alcohol, it sneaks up on you.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.1/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass at ~45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear ruddy amber, and forms almost no head. What does form vanishes completely in short order, in a puff of fizzing.

Smell: The aroma is subtle, barely there, likely due to the wide-mouth glass. It is mild caramel and sweetness, with very soft hints of oak.

Taste: And alas, my hop sensitivity strikes. This has an earthy, ashy bitterness to it which becomes virtually all I can taste. I can faintly, oh so very faintly, make out wispy ghosts of sweet caramel beneath the dirty ashes, but that's it.

Mouthfeel: Acrid and harsh are the only things I can describe this as, like most beers that trip my hop sensitivity trigger.

Overall: This is a beer I'd cite as an example of where "old ale" and "English barleywine" are not necessarily synonyms - I've run into fewer English barleywines that I can barely drink than old ales. This may very well be a tasty beer, but it's one I can't enjoy.

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Photo of cab4514
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to an amber look with a good head. Smells oaky with a little malt. Love the taste. As an earlier reviewer put it, definitely a boozier beer. Looking forward to drinking this in the winter.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red with orange highlights and a two finger off white head. Aroma is molasses, alcohol, dark fruit, and a touch of cough syrup. Taste is dark fruit, molasses, a bit of cough syrup, alcohol, and a hint of oak. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall an interesting beer, and a style I could get into for winter.

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Photo of jeffdr123
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a short head thar disappears - a reminder that it's a thick beer with not a lot of carbonation.
Smells like brown sugar and oak.
Tastes exactly like the label says it will: "old ale brewed with molasses and oak aged." A brown ale taste with more hops. Mellows as it warms. The higher alcohol slipped up on me.

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Photo of slusk
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Pours a hazy dark amber with a short-lived off white head

S: Big oaky aroma with a definite molasses profile. Nice malt aroma, bread crust and a bit of an earthy hop. Some orange peel and raisin with a bit of an ESB flair.

T: Oaky with sweet malt and brown sugar. Spicy, nutmeg flavor with a bit of earthiness. A bit of a smoky flavor in the background. Decent bitterness, but little hop flavor. A bit of an alcohol bite but the sweetness hides it well with a bittersweet finish.

F: Medium body, slick oily. Low carbonation

O: A nice cold weather warmer. Big oak flavor with a sweet malt backbone. Not too heavy. I'll have another.

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Photo of CincyBrewTull
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Curmudgeon is a boozy thick beer and that becomes ever more apparent as it warms. At first its smooth and tastes of caramel and toffee with hints of molasses. As it warms slight vanilla and oak notes begin to hide behind the alcohol.

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Old Ale for an old man! Can't wait until it's socially acceptable for me to rock in my chair all day and drink Curmudgeon. Good smell and great mouthfeel on this one. Thick and chewy, just the way it should be. The beer was on the sweet side for me; I was getting a lot of caramel in there. The booze was a little too in my face; I prefer a more subtle booziness in my old ale... the kind that catches up with you and you awake in the neighbors yard being poked with sticks by the twins who live across the street.

This is a good thick blood warming old ale; you should definitely give this one a try.

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Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Chill hazed brown colored beer with next to no head formation.

Smells strongly of malt and quite sweet.. Floral scent but I really don't smell any oak. Little bit of vanilla.

Starts out quite malty with a bit of vanilla and syrup flavor. Oak flavor and the taste of grapes. Carmel and a taste of rum. Mild bitterness not harsh at all.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a tasty big beer that doesn't really taste like it is as strong as it is.

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Photo of bonesTdog
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Similar to other reviews, Carmel, molasses, yest, cedar and oak. A bit boozy for my taste but some interesting layers of flavor. Beautiful rich roasty brown color and nice body. Enjoyable but not my favorite compared with other barrel aged beers.

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Photo of pnelting
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Deep amber color with an off white head. Nose was caramel and molasses. This one is on the sweet side with taste following the nose. Alcohol is present. Rich sticky mouth feel. It's one to sip on for sure.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice dark golden honey color. Off white head with light lacing. Smells of sweet Ale and oak.
Taste is a strong, boozy, over sweet bourbon or oaky beer. Not a big fan of this one but thats my opinion. I prefer stouts aged with bourbon but thats me. Still, I respect Founder's and all their offerings. Hit or Miss...

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Photo of Buck89
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color with an off white head. Smells of caramel, molasses, cedar and oak. Taste is comples with caramel, mollases followed by earthy bitter notes and oak. Finish is thick and long, with sweet oak and caramel. Very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Myotus
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled 19Jan15) into a snifter.
LOOK: Pours with half a finger's worth of off-white foam that dissipates into a line of foam within 30 seconds. Brownish red in color with a red tint. There are no visible bubbles once head settles and the beer is full of small, white particles floating around.
SMELL: Has mild aromas of green apples, figs, cherries, oak, molasses with a hint of alcohol and red grape aromas.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong molasses, fig, cherry, and alcohol (what happened to the hints in the aroma?!) flavors. Mild green apple and oak flavors along with a hint of red grape flavors enter immediately after initial flavors as they all somewhat gradually fade and blend into an amalgam of a slightly exciting taste. FEEL: Incredibly full-bodied (I like that) and smooth (I love it). Almost no carbonation is present (I really love it!) and ends with a very dry finish (aaaaand my love is gone).
NOTE: This was a good old ale. The alcohol wasn't hidden in this one. Hide the alcohol better, and I'd rate this higher. That's just me.

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Photo of 98green
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My first run with an Old Ale. The complexity is as billed from prior reviews. You won't be pounding this one. Not sure I'd seek it out, but if I'm up for a slow sip this is a good choice

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Photo of rockaroo
4.74/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Most beers at the store are trendy and copycat but this one is in the >5% genius beer recipe should be around for decades category.
Not by go to style in any season and the branding is not too sexy either but the flavors are great for such a drinkable (vs. sippable) beer. Great reviews here on the flavor notes from guys who know how to nail it.

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Photo of lwillitz
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - thin khaki head over a cloudy body of deep orange/copper, residue suspended throughout

S - wood, dark fruits, caramel sweetness, touch of alcohol

T - wood, dark fruits, caramel/molasses sweetness, booze in the finish with a touch of grassy bitterness

M - thick full body, low/medium carbonation, smooth and syrupy

O - Curmudgeon is an excellent ale! Smell and taste are complex and delicious. Feel is big and smooth. Definitely worth a try if you like your beers big and malty.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a beautiful copper with one finger of off-white head. Head dissipates quickly into a thin ring, and lacing is minimal.

S: Caramel, sweet malts, molasses, cherry, and raisin.

T: Caramel, sweet bready malts, molasses, raisin, vanilla, oak, and some nice hop bitterness to hold it all together.

M: Medium bodied, low to mid carbonation, creamy and semi-thick on the finish.

O: A very enjoyable Old Ale. This seems like it would be a good sipper for a cold winter night, or a perfect complimentary brew to a nice grilled steak. I'm going to cellar a couple of these for a bit and see what happens.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,203 ratings.