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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,186 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,186
Hads: 4,202
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 176
Gots: 942 | 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
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Reviews: 1,186 | Hads: 4,202
Reviews by Enola:
Photo of Enola
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a nice cloudy brown with a small head. The smell is hops, dried apricots, raisens and alcohol. The taste is somewhat nutty, caramel and molasses. But the dominating thing is the abv. Mouthfeel is smooth but with a whiskey like aftertaste and drinkability is fine on a cool day. This beer is barleywine-like and will certainly warm your ears. A decent beer that I would revisit. (390 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of doktorhops
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Founders Curmudgeon, are you as amazed as I am that I haven’t reviewed you yet you misanthropic old geezer? ... didn’t think so. Well anyway here we are. I decided long ago I would make my way through the hundred odd beers that Founders brews and this is number 5 for me. Never has knowing you’ve got a mountain to climb looked so fantastic from the bottom, and with that thought - Founders Curmudgeon, an Old Ale, brewed with molasses and oak aged? Brilliant move Founders, brilliant move, time to see if that move pays off (he said knowing it will).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy russet body with a caramel-tinged half centimetre head that dissipates to a light lacing. The fact that it even has a head at all at 9.8% ABV is surprising enough (in a good way). 9/10.

S: MO-LASS-ES! And plenty of it on the nose, don’t think I’ve ever whiffed so much molasses in a brew before. Aroma-wise there’s not much more to say - this could be another FBS where they give you a single aroma and pack in a massive face-punch of flavour - I hope that’s what Founders is doing right now with this curmudgeon. 8/10.

T: And that is precisely what Founders have done. This is one creamy gooey molasses and caramel extravaganza, with characters of: Molasses, caramel, butterscotch, brandy with a dry/earthy hop and woody finish (it’s in the oak, yo). There is a decent amount of booze knocking about giving off a fusel (hot) alcohol note that the sugar, try as it might, it cannot hide. However it is still a tasty Old Ale with more complexity as it “opens” up. 9/10.

M: Heavy bodied, quite viscous, like some sort of molasses-flavoured beer molasses, with a light but very dense carbonation. This is a beer that wants to coat your tongue in its sticky-gooey majesty. Bring it on I say. 9/10.

D: What Founders have done with this, and FBS and Centennial IPA and FIS, et al. is craft a distinctly heavy-rich brash-bold in-your-face experience with every style they seemingly encounter. Not yet have I had a Founders beer and gone “that’s a bit average/bland” they seem to know where the envelope is, how to push it, and extract the maximum from every beer, and I man-love* the bastards for their no-compromise outlook on brewing, cheers Founders! 10/10.

Food match: Roast pork, roast vegetables, ROAST EVERYTHING!

*Which consists solely of a well-timed fist bump. (2,405 characters)

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes written on 1-6-11.

Into a snifter gifted to me by my lovely girlfriend, Curmudgeon pours a cloudy, amber-orange with a medium khaki, one-finger head which retains nicely. I could have decanted this a bit better, as many little yeasties are floating about in the beer. The carbonation appears low and slow and the lacing is attractive, with hilltops and dots.

The smell is very malt-forward with aromas of caramel, brown sugar, and cinnamon, which all meld together well. When swirled aggressively, the woodnotes of the oak aging are very evident, along with a slightly peppery aroma. The more I inhale, the bigger the cinnamon contribution is. Founders website says that this is brewed with molasses- I can smell a little of that, as well.

The taste is somewhat spicier and woodier than I thought it would be, with a very earthy undertone on my tongue. Those flavors couple with a heavy malt presence of caramel and brown sugar, with some cinnamon spice taste in addition. The molasses adds a molasses cookie taste. The finish is nicely dry from the oak and bittering hops and just a little alcoholic heat soaks into my tongue at the end of the sip.

The mouthfeel is silky, creamy, and buttery on the tongue, but with a fine balancing nip on the sides from the oak- aging, hops, and alcohol. The finish is fairly clean for such a syrupy beast. I think the mouthfeel is the highlight of the beer.

I like this crotchety old fella and will have it again, but I've also had other Old Ales that I like a bit better. It is definitely not sessionable, but makes for a good sipper. This is another fine offering from Founders, but certainly not their best. (1,673 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ruby amber color as poured into a stout glass. Off-white head appears low and creamy. Smells of sweet aged wood.
Tastes of creamy vanilla oak-aged beer, slightly boozy but balanced and , most importantly, quite tasty.
This succeeds in being sweet but not cloying, and ending with flavorful citrus hops as well as an oaky bite you'd expect from a beer aged as such. There's vanilla, and the molasses plays a lighter, nice role in the flavor to me.
Feels medium-full, smooth, slightly sticky.
I enjoy this old ale. I'm sure age can only work wonders for it. (559 characters)

Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had a bottle from 2012, which had been left on the shelf at the beer store.

Enjoyed it. Mouthfeel was very rich and sticky. Lots of malt. Definitely got lots of dark fruits and some maple.

Would be interesting to compare to a bottle fresh. (242 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I always feel bad when I rate an Old Ale that isn't very old. But, since it is on the shelves, I will drink, and I will rate. Gulp....yep, it needs more time. There are some really nice flavors going on, but the beer is everywhere. The nose brings out everything from candied malts to spicy hops to dark fruits to caugh syrup. The tastes closely mimic the aromas, but with emphasis on a candy sweetness, harsh alcohols, and raisons and licorice. The beer feels a bit too hot and scrubbing in the mouth with sugary stickiness. It will be nice to see how the beer develops over the next year or two, but it's not ready yet. Thanks Clvand0 for the bottle. (652 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours to a murky dark copper orange. Forms a quickly dissipating half finger of off white soapy head.
S - Malts malts and more malts. No hop profile to this beer whatsoever. Has milk stout qualities in the aroma. Once allowed to warm up a bit, more oak and molasses notes shine through in the aroma.
T - Once again, a ton of malts and no hops. Has a sweet boozey flavor with a little bitter oak in the back to round off the sweetness. Molasses is a bit faint but present. Beer is simple and rounded, malty sweetness with oak bitterness at the end. Extremely smooth and deceptively sessionable.
O - A quite good beer, not amazing, but very good. Definitely worth a try.
V - Medium value, standard 4 pack Founder's pricing. (729 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Was given a bottle of this by a friend recently, having never had this before. This seemed like the typical Old Ale but because it was so strong, could have been easily confused with being a a Barleywine. Not a fast sipper, there was a lot of complexity to this under the surface and it was so well-crafted that I had to take my time going through this, not even taking into account how potent it was!

Nice pour to this as the beer had a dark copper hue to it, a good amount of clarity, and a moderate tan head that quickly settled. No lacing seen on the side of the glass as this beer had a relatively thin consistency to it. Lots of booze and molasses in the nose, which were even more pronounced when I gave this a sip. Lots of current and cherry under that, which complemented the smoky oak beautifully. Warming and somewhat thin, this went down smooth but not easily as the burn from the alcohol and the wood took a bit of getting used to. Hard to pick out the hops here but there was an ever slight hint of bitterness in the back, which had a blood orange tinge to it. The carbonation was good even if the bubbles themselves weren't visible.

Yes, this was strong and it felt every bit of it from the opening of the bottle to the last drop. The complexity of this is what made it stand out and it was on par with the other beer that I've had from Founders. Just chewy enough without being cloying, the body was full enough to counterbalance the wonderful range of complex flavors without detracting from them. Take a good half hour and more to enjoy this - it's worth it and one of the best examples of this style that's widely available. (1,645 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic a clear rich auburn color with a thinner but well sustained white head.Alcohol dipped fruit and vanilla stand out most in the nose with a hint of brown sugar,its warming at malt driven.Mouthfeel is a little sticky and a little thinner than expected,flavors are sweet up front with some cherry-like fruitiness and vanilla and the alcohol gives a little burn,there is a racey drying hop finish with is nice and balanced.A sipping brew, a nice warmer on a day like yesterday. (492 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a shiny almost glazy kind of brown in color with a beautiful brown head.

Smell – The big, huge, boozy coconut and stiff oaky barrel must have left stains on the inside of my nose. The malts were broken down well so the wood and fruit really opened up nicely. It is such a unique aroma and nothing like anything else I have ever smelled.

Taste – The sharp oaky coconut from the smell was just as potent at the taste. It is an amazingly smooth liqueresque flavor with a light, dusty taste.

Mouthfeel – This is thinner than medium-bodied but bigger than light. It is incredibly smooth with no stinging sensation whatsoever from the big alcohol.

Drinkability – This went down about as well as a high-ABV beer can.

Comments – Thanks to my good friend and temporary landlord skyhand for putting me up for a few nights while I was in town and feeding me this exceptional dessert. (914 characters)

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of tectactoe
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Oak Cafe. Pours a dense copper color with a small-ish, off-white head that leaves a bit of lacing at first but fades away about halfway through the glass. The smell is rather basic and just a tad plain, full of malts, caramels, and roasted toffee. The taste delivers a bit more than the smell would lead on - up front with a nice, malty base, a warm, toasty flavor, heavy oak on the tongue with a slight bourbon taste and burn on the back of the tongue and the sides of the mouth. About halfway through the sip, some intense sweetness arrives, in the form of tart apple, grapes, and ripe raisins. All the while, some subtle cinnamon spices are dangling around in the background. The sip ends with a light splash of floral hops and a lasting bitterness that balances out the sweetness as the flavor slowly fades away. Thick and overall pretty smooth body, medium amount of carbonation.

This beer was pretty good. Not much on the nose, but really quite a complex flavor profile ranging from warm to sweet to spicy to bitter. Not something I'd drink more than one of, but definitely worthy of trying. (1,112 characters)

Photo of ricke
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber with a small off-white head that leaves a ring of lacings.

S: The smell is malty (caramel and fudge) with notes of ripe fruit (grapes, strawberries?) vanilla and spices. It's a rather rich smell. It's good, but something seems off, like it's going downhill or something.

T: A malt-forward beer with a pleasant taste of caramel and toffee. Lots of fruity notes. The taste is sweet but balancing spicy notes level the sweetness. Here's also an interesting note of vanilla. The finish has some nice bitterness to it and notes of wood and malts.

M: Medium body with a rather creamy and slick texture.

D: A decent beer. But Old ales raise my expectations and this one didn't really meet them. There are far better examples of the style. (750 characters)

Photo of DavyJones
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of brownbeer
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage

Pours deep amber with a short lived head. Looks like what I think an old ale should look like.

Complex nose with some nutty oxidized notes, vanilla, oak, and rich, sweet malt complexities.

The flavor is fairly sweet, low carbonation and has some viscosity. Has a certain English yeast characteristic with an oak aged feel. Raisiny, bubblegum fruitiness, loaded with intricate malt nuances.

Really a very good beer that, given a couple of years, should really round out and become even more enjoyable. We shall see. (531 characters)

Photo of npala86
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of woodchipper
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of readicculus
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice style glass.

Pours a dark ruddy brown with light off-white head. A careful pour will leave the yeasties in the bottle which only makes it look nice in a glass.

Aromas are heavy and sweet with aromas of dark fruit and esters. You get the feeling this is going to be heavy just by the smell.

The flavors are primarily sweet with malt, but not cloying. The malts really don't have to fight anything bitter as they are the star of the show. Very heavy mouthfeel but, again, not cloying. The finish is smooth with a nice warming sensation. Very enjoyable.

As for drinkability, the first glass went down way to easy, and I was well into my second glass when the gravity of this brew sank in. Probably a good idea to sip it, but it's pretty good if you don't too. :-) (809 characters)

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,186 ratings.