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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,695 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,695
Reviews: 1,110
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 142
Gots: 708 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
50 IBU
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,695 | Reviews: 1,110 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bspain5
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

bspain5, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of sleepyteacher
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

sleepyteacher, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of DTown
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

DTown, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of vicsju1991
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

vicsju1991, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

chippo33, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of ScottStache
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

ScottStache, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of fullmoonbeer
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

fullmoonbeer, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of Bloodbuzz99
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Bloodbuzz99, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Color is a rather unattractive orange-brown, and the lack of any head or lacing doesn't help the appearance. Scents of dark fruits and molasses are nice if a bit weak, and there's a bit of a boozy smell too. Caramel and molasses are up front in the taste, with a punch of booziness in the finish that I don't find particularly pleasant. High pucker factor and plenty of burn going down the throat. This is not one of Founder's better offerings.

DeltaGolfSierra, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of falloutsnow
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle, spring 2013 release
Glass: Founders snifter

Founders' Curmudgeon is a rather disappointing old ale, featuring a good, but fairly uncomplicated dark brown caramel-like sweetness with a bit of oak, both of which are rather quickly subsumed by the ethanol content of the beer. The alcohol becomes excessively apparent with warmth, detracting from the overall experience and enjoyment of this beer. I find myself asking, "was this intentional, or just a too-hot and quick fermentation/bottling/shipping schedule?" Founders suggests that this beer is "deceptively smooth and drinkable," on the 4-pack, but I'd heartily disagree. Nowhere near comparable to the effortless smoothness (that is, non-ethanol-detectable) and more complex flavors in, say, Hair of the Dog releases. Not one I'd pick up again.

Pours a 0.5cm tall head of beige-colored, small-sized bubbles, with below average retention of about twenty seconds, barely enough time to register that the head looked a bit frothy. The head fades to a thin ring around the glass, and leaves good lacing, a more than moderate number of large dots cling to the glass' sides. Beer's body is a dark golden orange color, almost brown, with reddish highlights; light brings out brighter golden orange hues with yellow highlights. Carbonation visible through the slightly hazy (20-30% opacity) body, low in number and moderate in activity.

Aroma of fairly heavy caramel-like sweetness, ethanol, and oak, only moderately robust, not nearly as expressive or complex as I was hoping.

The most notable flavors of the beer are heavy/syrupy brown caramel-like sweetness, a touch of toasted bread and oak, and big ethanol, which becomes more apparent the longer the sip lasts in the mouth. The front of the palate tastes moderate oak, medium-strong brown caramel-like sweetness, and light ethanol. Mid-palate detects flavors of strong ethanol, heavy/syrupy brown caramel-like sweetness, a touch of toasted bread and oak, but the somewhat harsh ethanol largely steamrolls the other flavors. Back of palate is largely of heavy/syrupy brown caramel-like sweetness with a bit of oak, which is quite pleasant, but then the ethanol largely obscures this with its flavor and heat. Aftertaste is primarily of ethanol, with a bit of light caramel sweetness hidden in the background.

Beer's body is medium-heavy, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a lightly foamy (1/4), mostly smooth (3/4) mouthfeel that is appropriate for sipping a beer of this style. Unfortunately, ethanol is easily felt as heat in the nostrils and across the palate, and as a burning sensation on the throat. Though "only" 9.8% ABV, this feels like a much stronger beer; ethanol not well-hidden. Closes dry, with heavy stickiness lingering on the palate and lips.

falloutsnow, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of jwhawkins81
2.78/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled Fresh

Aroma - Way sweet smell with no noticeable hop characteristics.

Appearance - Cloudy reddish brown with no I mean no carbonation.

Taste - Sweet cherries and then the bite of alcohol. This beer really needs to be shipped and also needs to hit the tip of your tongue. I got some raisin flavors near the end.

Mouthfeel - Not a light beer. Without carbonation this beer just lays there.

Drinkability - I can't imagine drinking more than one of these at a time. I hope this beers improves over the next three years in my cellar.

jwhawkins81, May 16, 2009
Photo of kohoutek
2.8/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep ruddy amber without filtration. This bottle sat for three days in the fridge and it is still very cloudy. Head is light caramel in color with a short life and little persistent lace.

The aroma is wild: overoaked, over bourboned, malty, wheaty sweetness with a touch of fresh morning urine. Where is the piss coming from and why won't it leave?

The beer is large, sweet and boozy with an oakiness that would make a late 90's Cali-Chardonnay jealous. This is an oak bomb!
Butter, Bourbon and a sweet malty mess.

Mouthfeel: Well, for a 9.3% beer, I would understand sweet, but everything about this beer is over the top. Bittering hops perform like an underly confident supporting actor in the middle school production. They try, but they cannot step up to the immensly expulsive and overconfident quickly maturing and painfully overcompensating female lead(s).

After 20 min of swirling and smelling the urine is beginning to subside but the bourbon sweetness is increasing.

Edit: I stopped swirling for two minutes and the urine is back.

kohoutek, May 10, 2006
Photo of Krakistophales
2.8/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice ruby red color with lively carbonation and no lace...but there's a glob of sediment/protein/whatever it is floating around on top, and that's just disgusting. Had to remove before I could start drinking.

S: Not much going on here. Some malt sweetness, the slightest hint of dark fruit, not much else.

T: Better than the smell, but still pretty average. Malt sweetness at first, with a touch of tartness of what might be cherries, a zing of some other dark fruits, and a slightly hoppy aftertaste, but underwhelming all the same.

O: Probably the worst I've had from founders. I've had KBS and Dirty bastard, which were both fantastic, so this one must be a hiccup.

Krakistophales, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of ummswimmin
2.8/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at a special Founders event at the local bar.

The bar served this in a mini goblet. This beer is the proper tan/brown that you would expect from an old ale. The head was minimal and there was nice alcohol feet.

The foam yielded down to a simple scum on the glass. You could see minimal carbonation on this, which isn't a surprise for the style.

I smell tobacco, caramel, yeast, and some malt. It smelled very rich.

Curmudgeon really fell off with the first taste. There was a ton of alcohol in it. It really wasn't pleasant. You get a little bit of scotch. I had a ton of burn from the alcohol and visibly winced with each sip. The after-taste was all alcohol throughout my mouth.

I really didn't care for this beer. It was surprising since I enjoyed so much Founders in the past.

ummswimmin, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of seedyone
2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

05/19/14 From bottle. As I'm on a barrel aged kick lately, no stone shall go unturned. Here is a fine example of how pervasive oaking can be..until, of course it meets something just as persuasive as the molasses used here. Not a lot on the nose & no head to speak of so that leaves the battle on the tongue between the oak & the treacle. Each as it's moment but neither comes out a winner. I enjoyed it but could not get past the novelty effect. I suspect a draft portion...or better yet, a nitro pour could lift this to another level.

seedyone, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of Itoclown
2.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from Ladd's in Muskegon. Drank on January 28th out of a Duvel tulip.

Look: Dark red with lots of haze. No head.
Smell: Malty. Also, light hints of scotch whiskey.
Taste/Mouthfeel: The longer this one cools, the more it tastes like beer mixed with whiskey. It's thick and heavy. Hints of caramel and dried fruit... maybe some raisons? Smooth on the tongue.

Overall/Notes: This beer was difficult for me. Not used to this style. Plus the smell and taste weren't very apparent for a while. The scotch whiskey taste was overwhelming after the beer warmed up. And after a while the alcohol came out as well.
Not a fan of this beer and I think I will avoid it in the future. Least favorite Founders brew.

Itoclown, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of bjoyce12
2.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Overpowered by the bourbon taste. Not much carbonation, which could have offset the high ABV. Maybe I got an old bottle, but alcohol burn very present. Can't get past the bourbon taste, both in the initial flavor and aftertaste. Very much like Old Grand Dad. Founders must use some of their bourbon casks in the brewing process.

bjoyce12, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of maxpower
2.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a dark amber color with a nice off white head with large bubbles that leaves some lacing in my glass. Strong bourbon aromas, vanilla, oak and bourbon flavors, a bit to strong for me. Full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry. The whiskey flavor is about all I get from this.

maxpower, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of Shedbrewery
2.88/5  rDev -28.4%

Shedbrewery, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of brewmudgeon
2.88/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

curmudgeon

a 4-4.5 generally clear rosy amber. one inch creamy head slowly settles to a cap, decent lace. a very typical founders look.

s 3-3.5 rather gentle on the nose. cherries, light breadyness. the cherry unfortunately has sort of an artificial, cough drop quality. also a fair amount of alcohol in the nose.

t 2.5-3 for a big beer this is very delicate, kinda belgian trippel-like. that applies mostly to the mouthfeel, really, but the mouthfeel dominates the flavor in this one. if it weren't for the ultra creamy mouthfeel, the alcohol notes would boldly overwhelm, not being accompanied by other bold flavors to tame them. there is a hint of toastyness, a touch of the cherry coughdrop essence, not a lot going on. pretty disappointed in this one.

m 4-4.5 delicate and creamy, so soft it's like a latex pillow. not what i was expecting from an old ale, but nice in its way. if only it had better flavor embedded in it.

o 2.5 had hoped for much more. not expecting age to work miracles, but i will wait and see with the other bottles.

brewmudgeon, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of Dontelle392
2.88/5  rDev -28.4%

Dontelle392, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of ahking
2.93/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy copper - raisins and malty yeast aroma, so nice and comforting - quite hoppy for the style making it a unique ale - rich and complex - boozy in the middle - dried cherries/raisin/touch of vanilla/bourbon - finishes a little too sweet for my liking

ahking, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of godfathermg57
2.93/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at hunahpu's day

A: Deep red with a thin head. Looked like it should have been a good drink...

S: Lots of honey and alcohol. Little hints of fruit

T: Not very good. I definitely taste honey but also wood, alcohol, and viney taste that does not taste good.

M: I guess it's good enough. Not enough to make up for the taste though.

D: If you like the taste then I guess drinkable. For me I had to labor.

godfathermg57, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.93/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/05/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours a cloudy orange. Aroma of sweet malt and vegetal notes. The flavor is equally gross (although slightly mellower) but still lots of sweet sticky malt and vegetation. This beer was not my thing at all...

LilBeerDoctor, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of gatornation
2.95/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a dark orange thick looking brooding ale with minimal head and lacing..the smell is strong its malts and caramel with some banana and vanilla bean smells the taste is strong its a malt driven ale with a strong alcohol taste almost to me like a liquor i detect some bourbon and toffee its thick ..the mouhfeel is full bodied malty and sweet with the b4 mentioned tastes and smells.founders is an outstanding brewery with many on my rotation.. this old ale is a sipper and not my style or preference..all though i can tell its well made its just not my thing low scores are due to this not the quality of this ale or the brewer

gatornation, Jul 17, 2009
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,695 ratings.