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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
90
outstanding

4,055 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,055
Reviews: 1,182
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 166
Gots: 860 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,055 | Reviews: 1,182
Reviews by heygeebee:
Photo of heygeebee
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not too sure how many Old Ales I have had...

Looks good, deep copper body, one finger head... Immediately into sweet aromas and taste, almost like a cross between a Quad and an English strong ale. Lots of brown sugar and malts and yes molasses. Really quite sweet overall. The alcohol comes thru... Was not aware of the high ABV but on drinking port notes are evident, as is alcohol burn. Unwelcome slightly astringent note on back palate.

Odd in some ways, tho, almost like a base strong beer had a ton of sugar added. Very late.

One to cellar methinks.

More User Reviews:
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.06/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.26/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of doktorhops
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of tectactoe
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of ricke
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of brownbeer
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
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. :-)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pours into my glass a muddy brown with hints of amber shining through as well. A small head rises up and dies to a ring around the top just as quickly. A few particles floating around in there as well. Aromas of sweet bread, caramel and dark fruits meet upfront followed by a big vanilla aroma that is reminiscent of bourbon, although I don't believe this beer was barrel aged. Some sweet spiciness as well. I'm really enjoying the nose on this one, quite deep and complex.

First sip brings a dense sweet malt upfront with flavors of caramel and bread alongside dark fruits with a noticeable cherry. It flows down with a subtle yeasty spiciness and a good shot of vanilla yet again. Brandy and bourbon flavors come to mind with each sip. Finishes slightly sweet. The big, bold flavors in this brew really shine and make for quite an enjoyable drink.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat viscous with a middle of the road carbonation that suits the beer well. It grabs on nicely while still finishing clean. I really enjoyed this brew and I'm glad I have another bottle. I could see myself indulging in a couple in a sitting for sure and I plan on buying another four pack if I see it available. Founders has impressed me again with this one!

Photo of blitz134
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Always wanted to try this offering from Founders but never had it available to me. I'm only able to get it now by heading up the road to Mass.

Poured into my snifter. Basically no head, just a tiny ring around the edge of the glass. Brownish-amber body with reddish highlights throughout. Clear, even though some of the dregs made it in the glass. At 9.8 I dont expect much head, but a little more would be nice. Probably carbonated low to suit the style.

Overall, not much aroma. Again the low carbonation doesn't help here. Some light grain, but primarily a brandy-like alcohol with some fruity esters. Not much fusel, which is nice.

A little grain to start but then starts to transition into a lot of different flavors. The smooth alcohol hits first, then some raisin, dark fruit flavors, hints of cherry or plum, maybe. Some tobacco and tea leaf characteristics come through after the swallow, akin to a leafy hop flavor. A little sweetness prevails and lingers.

Good medium to full bodied beer. A touch of sweetness makes the flavor a bit sticky on the palatte. Super smooth, even given the high alcohol level. Low carbonation level works right in.

Overall a nice beer, not the best Old Ale I've had. Some interesting flavors throughout. Supremely drinkable given its size.

Photo of JasonA
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

in trade marvin, thanks!

Pours a translucent carmel. No head present. No real lacing. Uh oh

Sweet, deep malt. Slight hop character. Little citrus, some rum.

Earthy. Deep medium malt. ABV tastes great. Ends with oak and some bitter.

Well balanced. Smooth carbonation, not too sweet. Smooth hops throughout. Definately controlling the pallate.

Yummy. Doesnt look like a great beer, but overall I want to drink more. Cant get founders out my way, will continue to need to trade for em.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at When Pigs Fly. In a snifter the beer was a dark red/brown color. There was a medium-sized white head that left a good amount of sticky lace.

Nice aroma. Sweet malt/caramel. Oak. Dark fruit. On the boozy side.

Caramel/butterscotch taste. Plums and raisins. Still a noticeable amount of booze.

Nice beer. Maybe a little more boozy than I would have wanted.

Photo of BeerDreadz
3.34/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pour in to a pint glass out of a 12 onz bottle.

Dark Caramel color with very little foam.

High alcohol level smell.

Caramel, milk chocolate like, nice after taste.

Feels kind of weird on the mouth, kind of carbonated with a very nice aftertaste.

I believe this beer is kind of over-rated . Not what i expected.

Photo of warnerry
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mostly translucent amber color with a lot suspended debris, almost feels like being in chemistry class and accidentally precipitating something out of a titration with one too many drops of acid.

S - Tons of sweet caramel malt and an aroma like iced tea coming through.

T - Again the sweet caramel malts dominate,though alcohol is also very prevalent. Getting some hints of fruit (cherries?), vanilla, and some nice hops on the finish.

M - Pretty moderate mouthfeel for an old ale; alcohol is a bit too prominent for my liking.

D - Decent drinkability for almost 10% abv, but due to the flavor profile I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

Photo of pja786
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the bottle, I get fig/ cherry notes. Taste has a very bold and study maltiness. Hard to discern the hops, but they're present. Overall, this is a good beer and would suggest trying, but will unlikely buy again.

Photo of Guden
3.21/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Looks perfect. Ruby amber with a one inch head that only fades after drinking and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Some light cherry and raisin with a bit of toffee mixed in. Not overly strong but nice and refreshing.

T- Meh. The nose is entirely lost in hops. The hoppiness comes on with piney, herbal and earthy notes with prickly deep bitterness on the end. Not what I look for in an old ale, this one might be better after a few more years. As it warms some cherry character becomes more prominent and a bit of alcohol presence develops but still not hot.

M- Pretty smooth and creamy but the carbonation is a bit high which, when mixed with the hoppiness, comes off with an impression far from what I had hoped for or really enjoyed.

D- I didn't hate this beer but it was far from what I was going for in an Old Ale. The hops really cover up most of the complexity that it might be able to have, I would like to see how it ages but I don't know where to get a bottle.

Photo of merlin48
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled into a snifter, this really hits the spot as an old ale. Appearance is a rusty mahogany, quite hazy. Very little head, as little carbonation is apparent. Aroma boasts smoky Scotch whiskey and burnt caramel. Wafts of vanilla suggest a vague fruitiness that I cannot pinpoint. More smokiness hits the nose as it warms. Very woodsy and earthy. Interesting!
Mouthfeel is creamy, and has a charred oak feel. Charcoal certainly comes to mind.
Very much an old ale in taste. Malty toffee is nice and sweet, but tastes burnt(in a pleasant way). Boozy Scotch and Bourbon, with a hint of good Brandy. Oak woodsiness adds interest, and there is a nice bitter hops presence that is earthy and woodsy. Overripe McIntosh apples provide the fruity component here, almost overly bitter and near rotten(but not). Very nice execution.
This one really shows a lot of complexity at room temperature. Very nice sipper. The smokiness evokes the taste of burning a caramel apple over an outdoor campfire, deep in the Upper Penninsula woods. Age a few of these and save for deep winter!! You'll be glad you did.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to malty for this one...
Cloudy cherry rust color with less than 1/4 finger of off-white head...disappears before the pour is finished and leaves some thin, sporadic lacing.
Vanilla oak scent with a faint candied fruit finish...a bit off when served even slightly chilled, but real attractive at room temp.
Rum soaked raisins up front with quite a fruity hop profile bittering up the finish...rock candy comes to mind and an earthy aftertaste.
A bit too sweet up front for my liking, but as it warms, it becomes so much more balanced. Alcohol is well hidden...although the rum flavor really makes you think that what you are drinking is much stronger than it is...I like that.
Mouthfeel is nice and the carbonation is where I like it.
This would be a one and done for me...would be much more enjoyable in the colder months, but I had to try it fresh. Hopefully more will make its way into my possession to see how it changes in six months.
Not my favorite Founders brew...still a nice offering.

Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, small head, cloudy, some sediment, high carbonation

Smell: malt, pineapple, currants, dried dark fruit, and a touch of hazelnut

Taste: malt, pineapple, currants, earth, and wood

Mouthfeel:sweet start with a bitter finish, medium heavy, slick, next to no feel of carbonation

Drinkability: A well balanced old ale, this is very good for the style and one of the better ones I have had. If I am looking for this style, I will seek this one out. One is about the max due to abv.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with an off-white head. The aroma has a lot of caramel and dark fruit notes, as well as a good dose of alcohol. The flavor is similar. The caramel malt is pretty strong and provides a decent amount of sweetness. It is accompanied by some dark fruit and dark cherry notes, as well as some tobacco and alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Kashdonkey
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got on tap at Bryant Lake Bowl. Not picking up a lot of aroma on this one... but a lot of good things happening once i tasted it. Aftertaste was fantastic with a lot of carmel and roastiness with mayble a little brown sugar. Mouthfeel was great on tap... very good creaminess.

Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Slightly hazy dark amber-brown, almost has a pinkish-red tint in the light. Thin head, slight lacing.

Smell: Sweet and malty - dark fruits (plum?, raisins?) and bourbon. Some alcohol and English hops detected.

Taste: Sweet malt goodness. Caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, plum and raisins with a slight English hop counterbalance, which is most noteworthy on the aftertaste. After warming more, I swear I tasted coconut.

Feel: Low carbonation, with a full, smooth, slightly chewy body. Nice warming effect.

Drinkability: Another good sipping beer from Founders, who continues to impress me. Watch out Bell's!

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,055 ratings.