Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,183 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,183
Hads: 4,169
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 179
Gots: 915 | FT: 52
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: 1,183 | Hads: 4,169
Photo of JamesMN
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Super hazy copper/orange color with some floating bits debris. Very thin off-white head.

Aroma: Hoppy with a distinct honey-like aroma. Hops contribute a piney, near-grapefruit like character and there is a smoothness to the aroma that suggests the oak-aging.

Taste: Starts smooth with a soft caramel flavor from the malt. The bitterness begins to creep in by the second half and peaks at a moderate bitterness on the finish. The hop flavor is not well defined because the aging process has forgone most of the citrus or truly piney flavors that seem to fade the quickest. What's left is a slightly earthy flavor that is more bitterness than anything else which helps to balance out what would otherwise be a very sweet beer. The 9.8% ABV is slightly detectable during the finish but doesn't present itself at any time in the taste. The yeast seems to have contributed hints of raisin and plum. Those flavors develop as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body. Mellow carbonation and average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I couldn't detect any molasses in the flavor, but Curmudgeon Old Ale is pretty much as advertised. If you like Old Ales and Barleywines but don't want the big bitterness that goes along with them then I'd recommend it. The oak-aging has really smoothed out the hops and given an interesting mix of flavors. Would I drink it again? Unlikely, too many other beers to try at this point. (1,434 characters)

Photo of mychalg9
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into globe

A - Not a lot of head despite fairly vigorous pour. Color is a deep reddish-brown color. Thinner looking than it seems it would be. A very nice looking old ale. It lets you know it's a sipper.

S - Not a whole lot in the nose. No noticeable hops. A bit of dark fruits - fig, plum

T - Juicy dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, maybe a touch of leather. Excellent finish with a slight alcohol burn

M - I like the body of this one despite the thin appearance. Carbonation is just right, a little on the low side.

O - Another score for Founders. I tend to feel like they get the styles "just right", and this is no exception. Well done! (664 characters)

Photo of boomer31
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

A - Burnt orange transparent with thin white head that briefly sticks to glass

S - Sweet and sugary caramel malts

T - The malt is very sweet. Sugar and a touch of toffee flavor. No bitterness at all. Perhaps some wood here

M - Thin and soft carbonation. The sugary malt sticks to your mouth. Not overwhelminly sweet but very close

D - Very sweet and sugary. A sipper for sure.

Overall this is an interesting beer. It reminds me of a sweet English B-wine after a year or so in the bottle (506 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

[Suggested Glassware: Snifter]

The pour was a murky caramel brown with a slight reddish hue and an average (1-2 fingers) off white creamy head that was mostly lasting, reducing to a puddled film and medium collar with excellent sheets of sticky lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted biscuit malt and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, dark fruit (raisons & cherries), oak cask and a little above mild scent of alcohol.

The taste was malty sweet with a decent touch of caramel and toffee early on, and then progressed with a mild yeast presence, a light fruitiness, a hint of oak and had a sweet alcohol finish. The flavor lasted an average duration after the swallow, with the malty sweetness and a slight alcohol warming left to linger on the taste buds a bit longer.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and syrupy in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall what is there to be said but 'This brewer does it again". This is a really good brew, with a great balance and awesome taste...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (1,056 characters)

Photo of berkey
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured and reviewed from my usual tulip glass 10/05/10.

Pours a dark reddish amber color. Doesn't form much of a head but some decent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as I rotate it.

Just a hair hoppier than typical for an old ale but the main aromas are of caramel with some slight toffee notes. Flavor adds a difficult to identify 'cookie'-like character and some slightly acrid bitterness. Pleasant enough but missing some of the richness and complexity I look for in the style.

This somehow manages to remain pretty easy drinking even though the alcohol isn't all that well hidden. A decent beer but not quite sure I can really say it's anywhere near some of the great Founders brews I've tried. (723 characters)

Photo of czoch75
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this one last night and was expecting a little more but still somewhat satisfied. This one really packs a punch! ABV states 9.3 but feels much more than that.

A: poured into glass and noticed a cloudy amber color. Absolutley no head retention whatsoever and looked a little syrupy.

S: smell was really sweet and a bit of the bourbon comes through.

T: really smooth to start off and a bit of a warming to it. Can really pick up the bourbon taste to it, never had one this prominent before but rather tasty!

M: a heavy drink, little carbonation but just right. Aftertaste was...you guessed it, bourbon/whiskey or spirit like.

D: this is a good one to sip on, a little over the top on the Bourbon taste but pretty good. Should probably let sit for a year to mellow out the taste. I think I will go buy some more before it's too late and let it sit in my cellar. (882 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

A: Amber copper cloudy with half centimeter chunks of off white and other particles floating within, a finger of creamy yellow tinged head, a fair amount of super fast rising small bubbles.

S: Glue, caramel, barley wine like alcohol quality, toffee cake, light fruity banana bread.

T: Banana bread, floral, reminiscent of barley wine, thick and bready, definite alcohol presence on the back of the tongue, light bitter hopping. Carnival like caramel and floral like candy floss.

M: Thick syrupy and bready body, medium low carbonation.

O: More thick and syrupy than I like, and reminds me of a barley wine which I am no fan of. Well done, but in my opinion not the best Old Ale out there, a little thick and overly sweet. Even so, has some good old ale qualities of maltiness, light colour, etc. Drank on June 14, 2014. (830 characters)

Photo of JCaweinstein
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/4/11
Deep amber colored, clear but with some suspended particles. There was a very attractive, one finger creamy white head that dissipated way to quickly. There was little carbonation.
A very sweet malty beer that tasted like honey, caramel, and I could also taste the alcohol.
It smelled like it tasted, sweet, notes of honey and alcohol.
This beer was silky smooth, mouth coating and added some alcohol heat on the finish. A very nice combination that added to the overall complexity.
I enjoyed this beer. I'm not as familiar with the style but enjoyed Curmudgeon enough to explore the style more thoroughly. I have one more 2011 left that I'll be holding on to till next year. (691 characters)

Photo of Arch578
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Appearance: Deep amber with a very thin, light tan head that dissipated after not much time. Slightly hazy.

Aroma: Very malty, with a hint of spiciness (closest to resembling either allspice or cinnamon). The molasses and oak are both present, though the oak only slightly.

Taste: Definitely on the sweeter side, with notes of caramel, molasses, and a rum-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Above average thickness, but not overwhelming. Surprisingly high carbonation for something that tastes so syrupy, but it's soft, not harsh.

Overall: Makes for an excellent sipping beer, and reminds me of a Belgian Dubbel without that distinct Belgian yeast character. My first experience with the style, but I will definitely seek out more to try. I could see this pairing very well with a sweet, creamy cheese like brie, or with anything gingerbread to bring out the molasses flavors in both. (881 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Phew. Two-finger, tan, foamy rippled head rises from the depth of a burnt red brew; lots of brown and yellows. Clarity is very weak and lots of sediment is present, even with a conservative pour.

No sure what to think of the nose. It's pungent. It's fierce. It's awe-taking-ly malty and kicked with hops. Sugary, tangerine, and biting.

Tons of roasty (near burnt) sugary (not suager bomb) flavors... A bit like a B-wine.. Light carbonation, wet, refreshing, and no heat.

I'm not sure this brew is a proper representation of an Old Ale, but it's still quite good. Thank you Matt for the wonderful extras! (609 characters)

Photo of DannyDan
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours out an amber hue with a thick white head that quickly disappears leaving minimal retention and hardly any lacing.
S. I get molasses, some fruits and sweet malts in the nose.
T. The taste starts with some raisins followed by molasses, oak, and finished with sweet malts and has a slight alcohol taste throughout.
M. The mouthfeel is sticky, but easy to drink. It also leaves the mouth somewhat dry.
O. Overall it is a nice enjoyable beer to enjoy while relaxing or before going to bed. (494 characters)

Photo of SummitVA
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

101 degrees today in the D.C. area, but season be damned--I'm opening an old ale.

A - Bottle opens with a low hiss. Hazy ruby brown pour with very little carbonation.

S - Burnt brown sugar; sweet caramel; molasses; spicy woody scent, suggesting faint smoke; tobacco; plenty of sweet malt as well.

T - Brown sugar sweetness dominates, with molasses and burnt sugars and tobacco in the finish. Herbal bitterness compliments the sweet components nicely; in fact, it is more bitter than I anticipated. As the glass warms, this herbal character becomes more tannic, lending a black tea-like flavor. Some astringency really gives it a very dry finish.

M - Light side of medium. Goes down really easy for a nearly 10% brew.

O - Really happy to finally score a 4-pack of this. Nose promises a much more complex beer, and I feel like the body is a bit thin, even when considering the style. I'm not a huge fan of the herbal hop character here, but all this being said, I still think this is a really solid beer, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this ages. Can imagine it will be divine when the hops fall off and with a little oxidation sweetening it up all the more. Enjoy! (1,180 characters)

Photo of Phinner
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very unique flavor is imparted by the oak barrel aging. Not quite sure about it at first, but it rewards the drinker with subtle flavors when given the chance to present itself on a clean palate. I could see how this may turn-off some, but I would not hesitate to consume it as a night cap. (290 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque medium brown with copper and caramel tones and a modest khaki head that leaves sheets of lacing and a thin layer of foam.

Sweet, doughy, yeasty malt, caramel, and floral hops form the initial aroma. Plums, hints of raisins, dates, and figs add complexity.

Rich, sweet caramel malt provides a nice brown sugar opening, with bready toasted, and nutty notes surfacing mid palate. There's an earthy bitterness throughout, preventing the malt from becoming cloying. Prunes, dates, and figs underlie the malt subtly.

Body is syrupy and thick, with low carbonation and noticeable, but not overwhelming, alcohol warmth. There's a slight harshness in the finish.

Not as complex as the best of the style, and a touch on the sweet side. I don't know if there's enough there to improve with age. Guess I'll have to find out. Rich malt backbone. (852 characters)

Photo of inxy
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Little to no head, poured into a pint glass. Looks thick in the pour. Reddish brown color similar to a vienna lager. No real lacing, just typical hiccups of small foamy bubbles meagerly clinging to the wall. It's hazy, the carbonation looks similar to the haze of tap water. No real movement.

S - I'm not picking up much more than a faint sweetness, ginger, and definite alcohol.

T - I'm liking it. Reminds me of a bourbon mixed drink someone made me once. Oatmeal, bourbon, vanilla, tiny bit of ginger spice. Faint smoke in the finish.

M - Thick, almost syrupy heaviness. Carbonation is persistent throughout, but it isn't harsh. Feels cloudy. Alcohol lightly warms my mouth and chest.

D/Overall - I actually am enjoying it. It's above average, thats for sure. Founders seems to be consistently delivering for me. Higher alcohol, my second beer for the night, and I'm already feeling it halfway through my glass, so probably my last. Nice warm beer for the weird winter we're having in Michigan. (1,006 characters)

Photo of MichPaul
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

As I'm working through all the beer that Founders has to offer in my first year of craft enjoyment, this is one I really wanted to try. I have never had anything out of the "Old Ale" style, so it was new to me.
This beer pours a dark amber color, with not much of a head at all to speak of. Even the aroma was slight.
High malt to this beer, and goes down smooth despite the high ABV.
Overall, I liked this beer, but to be honest, it didn't meet the satisfaction level of the excitement I had to try it.
Myself, I probably won't spend the money on this again, it was quite pricey. (581 characters)

Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Many thanks to Dan!

Pours a decent bubbly head, with an amber, rubinred color.

Aromas of caramel malts with a lot of toffee and a small raisin infusion, while cane sugar and molasse build the foundation with hints of vanilla and rum on top.

Begins sweet, with bready hints, which get swallowed by even sweeter sugar and molasse. These stay in balance with wooden, leathery, heavy malts, wrapped up by a slick bitterness. Has an oily, spicy maltiness to it, with vanilla and cream underneath, which defines the character of this brew. It is still pretty sweet on the palate, but without loosing its balance, as it finishes with a gentle, hoppy bitterness of matured hops and oaky hints. The alcohol gets perfectly hidden by the sweet malts, creating a smooth mouthfeel with a slick finish, while being medium-bodied. (820 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 4/26/2012, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a nice amber brown, produces no head at all, zero, just a few bubbles.

S- Sweet aroma of caramel, fruit, and nuts, as it warms it becomes quite boozy.

T- Similar to the nose, very sweet and malty, lots of caramel, some honey, fruit and malty nuttiness, some bitter hops towards the finish. Has a strong alcohol flavor and accompanying burn towards the end.

M- Medium to full bodied, low carbonation, has a slick feel with alcohol burn.

O- A pretty decent beer, might need some more age on it, not my favorite from Founders by a long shot. (611 characters)

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY. Served in a 12oz. tulip glass.

A: Cool amber color, light for an old ale. Thin layer of a bubbly head, sticky.

S: Boozy, caramel malts, and grains.

T: Nice smooth mellow toffee notes, bitter, slightly boozy. This beer really opens up as it warms up.

M: Good carbonation, tingly and zippy on the way down (this is probably due to it being from the tap).

D: Easy to take this serving down rather quickly.

Overall, a really nice and readily available (now that Founders is in NY!) beverage. (544 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells sweet, malty, and rustic/earthy (the good parts of Earth). Taste sweet, malty, and a little musty. Dont get a bunch of the oak. It also comes across a little hot on the alcohol side. I know it is a strong beer, but it doesnt hide that fact well. I really think it could improve over time. If not, maybe dial it back a bit on the ABV. The alcohol is suppressing some of the flavors. It is still a very good beer that will kick you in the ass and warm you up on a cold rainy day. (485 characters)

Photo of jhartley
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. into a flute glass. Bottled on 04/13/2012.

A- Poured aggressively, no head what-so-ever. No surprise with a 9.8% abv. Cloudy floating sediment through out a reddish brown body. Small tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom. Filmy sediment left in the bottom of the bottle.

S- Malts, dark fruits. Molasses-sweet aromas coming out. Not really getting too much else.

T- Brown sugar molasses, caramel sweetness up front with a tangy bite. Booze comes out as it warms. Really like the taste of this, there's just a lot going on.

M- Smooth at first with a carbonation that is really light, some major complexity with this beer. Slight fruitiness on the tip of the tongue.

O- A real sipper here, to enjoy it ya got to take it slow, or that high ABV will put ya down quick! This is not a "first beer or the night" beer, definitely last one of the night to enjoy it. Really picking up on the molasses in it too. I put couple of these in the cellar to see what happens, they are already 9 months old so not sure how much longer to keep them or that I can wait. (1,078 characters)

Photo of gfreed
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is basically a somewhat dulled version of Founders' Backwoods Bastard, which itself is one of the finest bourbon Scotch ales made in the US. OC has most of the same features of BB-- heavy on the apricots and butterscotch, with just enough oak to make everything fat, round and happy-- only less by about 25%. But then, this is a good deal sweeter as well. If you like Founders' Dirty Bastard or Backwoods Bastard, you'll like Old Curmudgeon. For me, it's a tad sweet but still nice to be drinking as I sit in a small house on the beach in Truro, MA, watching hurricane Irene blow north. Things could be worse. (614 characters)

Photo of kajerm
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub, and easily the best beer on at the time. Pours deep red and surprisingly clear with a thin white head and not much lacing. Great color.

The aroma is classic Bigge Englishe Beer-- loaded with sticky toffee and caramel malts and dark fruit, with some clear oak and vanilla notes from the barrel-aging. Alcohol is evident but not excessive.

Tastes more or less exactly like it smells, but with the interesting addition of some stouty coffee notes on the finish. The barrel-aging on this beer is much subtler than a lot of the others I've tasted. As much as I like a vanilla-and-molasses oak bomb, it's nice to find a beer where the barrel is a part of the beer instead of running the show.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. In terms of drinkability, it's a sipper, but a fairly easy-drinking one. (816 characters)

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. The four-pack carrier claims it's 9.8% abv (vs. the 9.3% recorded here on the site).
Poured an almost dark orange color, I liked the way it looked. There was a lot going on in the smell. This being my first real old ale, I didn't know what to expect, but I got sweet smells from all over the spectrum. Caramel, fruit, etc. Interesting, but a little cloying. Fortunately, the taste wasn't so sick, yeah it was intense and really sweet, but the alcohol cut through the sweetness just enough to make it pretty darn good. All in all, I wasn't in a hurry to have another one and I move on for the remainder of the evening, but I did enjoy this beer and would have another some other time. Founders is studly, they just crank out hit after hit. (762 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottling date seems to have disappeared...but if I can remember correctly, this is about 8 months old.

A - a deep ruby body with hints of orange. A nice thing. A small white head and thick ring top it off.

S - pretty heavy on sweet caramel malts. some dark fruits and roast. Very sweet and malty.

T - a lot more roasted character than in the nose. biscuity, dry, earthy, fruity. Not so bad.

M - big and full and thick. Really good feel.

O - this is a pretty good beer, i think. It might do better with a bit more age, but it tastes pretty good and has a lot going on. (572 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.