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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

1,188 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,188
Hads: 4,206
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 177
Gots: 946 | FT: 54
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
Reviews: 1,188 | Hads: 4,206
Photo of BarrelO
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy reddish-brown body. Head fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Caramel, vanilla, and booze.

T: Strong malt, vanilla, and oak. Kind of like a mini-bourbon. Becomes cloying after a while.

M: Medium-bodied with little carbonation.

D: A total malt bomb with oak to intensify the effect. It was a bit much for me. If you like whiskey, though, it might be up your alley. (418 characters)

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into cervoise. From notes. Bottled Feb 10, 2010

A - Pours a ruddy brownish amber with beige head. Decent retention of a while but didn't remain after the first 1/4 of the glass.

S - Grainy, minor pine hops, caramel and toffee sweetness, sugar

T - Heavy on the malts - bready, sweet, very grainy. Caramel and toffee do come through as well as some minor fruitiness (plums, raisins). Minor woodiness to it but I didn't find any molasses, too bad.

M - full medium to light heavy. Somewhat flat. Boozy

O - An average old ale, a bit extreme on some of the flavours caused some imbalance. I would have it again with another year or two on it. Not bad, average. (679 characters)

Photo of degerbah
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light amber with little head. Very little smell, the taste is unique in my tasting experience. Extremely sweet with very little bitterness. The bottle lists an ABV of 9.8% which is not apparent in the taste, not boozy at all. I can't put my finger on it, but I think this beer just has something that isn't doiing it for me. I greatly prefer almost every founders beer I've had to this one. The price $2.79 per bottle wasn't too bad, still not great. (458 characters)

Photo of ToddT
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Hazy Amber color with an off white head. It took a hard pour to produce the head but it last for a while and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet malt and subtle notes of candied fruit.

T- Sweet from beginning to the finish, candied fruit is the dominate note. There is some heat from alcohol at the finish, not a burn but more of a building warmth.

M- Medium in body and low in carbonation, finish is sticky and a little oily.

O- The 9.8% ABV is not well hidden, the finish isn’t that clean, and it a little sweet. OK for an old ale, but there are much better examples out there. (599 characters)

Photo of FrognutUnl
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours blurry nut brown in color (a little lighter than I would have expected) with a single finger head that dissipates to a foamy swirl. Nose is deep caramel and vanilla, not much else going on here. Taste is much like the nose with the addition of some hop bitterness and a slightly woody taste. The alcohol is very present, but not overly so for the style. The mouthfeel is a little thin compared to other old ales I have had. Drinkability is only so so on this one, the hops seem oddly placed, perhaps in another six months this will improve. (546 characters)

Photo of Guden
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of Mojo
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Well this is the first Founders offering I just didn't like. It pours a hazy copper with about a one finger head and no lacing. Smell is apples, other sweet scents and alcohol. Mouthfeel is very thick. Taste is sweet with lots of alcohol on the finish. I don't mind high gravity beers, but I just feel the alcohol could have been better hidden. I felt like I was drinking bourbon. Sorry, but I don't really recommend this one. (426 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.22/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on 12-11-07

Pours a super cloudy (and supery yeasty) red brown color. A filmy head sits in top, leaving rings of lacing.

Smell is sweet and earthy, with a complex quality that adds a huge amount of depth. Fruity, and slightly boozy.

Taste is an absolute shock. Thick, sour apple cider gives way to a sizable bourbon kick. I was not expecting this flavor at all, and it absolutely dominates the beer.

Mouthfeel is very good, super thick. You can taste the bourbon forever.

Drinkability is not so good, a hugely intense beer.

Overall, unexpected. The standard dark fruit flavors of an old ale were covered up entirely by the alcohol bourbon flavor. Maybe I'll enjoy the next one more, when I can see it coming. (722 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.22/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Fat Tire snifter. No head forms. A cloudy, iced tea color beverages emerges. The faintest wisp of head is on top along with a small ring around the top of the beverage.

Smells strongly of bourbon whiskey. Smells almost like a bourbon and coke with a dash of coke. Some malty characteristics. Slight hints of vanilla and banana. Stong alcohol aroma as well. Smells a bit overwhelming but complex.

Bourbon and alcohol. Definitely needs to mellow.

Full bodied, dry finish. This was my first Old Ale, and I dont think I was ready for it. I love scotch, but was in the mood for beer. One of these, and I'll tap out, thank you.

Thanks to flyingbison for this Curmudgeon. (703 characters)

Photo of timmay41
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. The four-pack carrier claims it's 9.8% abv (vs. the 9.3% recorded here on the site).

A: Pours an intense, almost lurid dark orange-amber hue. Topped with a thin (less than one finger) bright white head.

S: Deep bourbon scents on the front of the nose, followed by almost simultaneous big malts, fruit sweetness, thick molasses, and a little hop character. There's a lot going on here, but it's almost too busy. Hard to distinguish or truly get a feel for. Making me rethink my previous experiences with this style and how Founders is trying to negotiate its way within those parameters.

T: Strong bourbon & alcohol bite dominates. I keep trying to find more subtle notes, but I'm having trouble. Big malt, a little bitter on the aftertaste.

M: Sticky sweet and thick, but not too thick. The mouthfeel doesn't distract from the brew at all.

D: I was excited to find this Founders offering and have generally liked the old ales I've come across, but this one didn't meet my expectations. Might try again down the road because it might be my palette, but not a favorite right now. (1,107 characters)

Photo of adamette
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Live Review. Poured from the 12 oz. single that I bought at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $3.55 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A 3 inch creamy light brown head over a liquid caramel translucent body. Good look overall and it has that thick, syrupy look of all of the other Old Ales that I have tasted and rated. Edit: bump from 3.5 due to the nice lacing on the inside of the glass. 4.0

S Bready malt sweetness. It is like bread with maple sryup on top with an alcohol scent in the background. Not bad but pretty well in line with other Old Ales that I have experienced. 3.5

T The bread and sweet malt along with a warmth of alcohol show up in the taste just as they did in the taste. This is the classic taste of an Old Ale. 3.5

M Warm, full feeling beer with plenty of syrupy stickiness and depth and breadth. Again here, a fine aspect of the beer but one that I have come across often in the style. 3.5

D Not very drinkable to me with the huge feel (appropriate to the style but huge none the less) and the rather high ABV. 2.0

Notes: Pretty average version of an Old Ale. (1,152 characters)

Photo of r0nyn
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my DFH snifter. Shared with fellow BAs infi, brun, NYManc and several others.

A coppery amber hue fills the glass, hazy but not cloudy, with a touch of gold around the edges. A modest quarter-inch head rises briefly before receding into the surface of the beer, leaving some loose, spotty lacing. From the first inhalation, the hefty booziness is evident, as it permeates the nose, but thankfully doesn't mask the rest of the aromas. Sweet and peaty nuances are detectable, ostensibly from the molasses, along with light hints of caramel and a little hint of vanilla.

Starts off with a mild bitter punch from the hops, followed by that distinct oak flavoring then... nothing. No alcohol, no malts, no anything. That's it. I might as well have been drinking water. There's a bit of a dry smack left on the tongue, but little else to remind you that you've been drinking a beer, one with close to 10% ABV, no less. Really quite in conundrum. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with the aforementioned dryness, but that's really about it. Not quite as ephemeral as the taste, but there you go.

Old Curmudgeon is a mixed bag for me. Looks good, smells nice, but just kinda mails it in tastewise. Not sure if that's what it should always taste like, but given what other people have said, it might be that I had a dodgy bottle. Will have to revisit this brew properly some other day. (1,401 characters)

Photo of aggiearcher13
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pour an amber-orange with a little bit of foam that disappears quickly.

S: Boozy caramel.

T: Hops, caramel, and and herbal sweetness. Too sweet for me, to the point of being cloying.

M: Very nice mouthfeel, great carbonation. Heavy body to it.

D: Take it easy on this one, I think it's a one per night kind of beer. (323 characters)

Photo of crewfan16
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New to the style here, but have found all Founders beer to be enjoyable, so here goes nothing. Poured from a bottle to a pint glass

a-pours a deep amber/brown color. sort of mahogany or oak color. about an inch of foam that is slightly cream colored and descends with some light lacing.

s-oak, caramel sweetness, malty smell. not nearly as strong as I had anticipated

t-more oak. a little bit of bitter hoppiness, some caramel and lots of malt

m-for 9.8% abv, it doesn't taste too boozy. there is a little tingle on the tongue, but nothing more. carbonation seems a tad light, but it goes down very easily, very drinkable.

my first try at an old ale and I am sort of on the fence about it. It doesnt seem terribly balanced, as the oak is sort of overbearing. We will see if I like it more as the 4-pack dwindles, but presently, there are other founders brews i would rather reach for. (889 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Curmudgeon, full pint at Vintner Wine Market.

Appearance: Filled to the brim, with just under one finger of foamy and persistent head. Never dies! Tonsa lacing, great retention. Color is a slightly transparent chestnut-amber, shiny and engaging.

Smell: Quite a disappointment compared to the looks, with only a slight toasted feel, an odd metallic backup and some spice.

Taste: Follows nose, with a nice bread-and-biscuit feel and a spicy boozy end. Raw honey, a mellow hop touch and crème brulee. Vanilla. Odd but good mixture of sweet and tasty. Oak? None.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, flavor and carbonation. Spicy dry finish. Alright but average.

Overall: Nothing spectacular but quite drinkable. Closer to Dirty Bastard than Backwoods Bastard, sadly, and not up to the expectations. (791 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out to a tea like hazy ruby color with a small head of tan foam that quickly dissipated. Aromas of whiskey, malt, vanilla, fermented grain, earth. Nice. Taste is fair; complex notes of whiskey and wood, with hints of burnt malts permeate the palate. Touches of raw grain and vanilla are noted on the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and heavy. Drinkabilty is fair. One is more than enough for me. The bourbon flavors are too overpowering, making this more of a liquor like experience, than a beer like experience. (513 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2011 vintage; no date. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a bright hazy amber/orange, great color. Decent white head, I wish it was bigger, nice lacing. The nose is very subtle, but opens up as it warms up. I'm picking up some spices, cinnamon and all-spice? I know it sounds odd, but that's what I'm sensing. It can also be found in the flavors as well, mildly. There are hints of chocolate and caramel giving it a sweetness. There's also hints of brown sugar and molasses. The oak isn't too noticeable, IMO. There's a nice bitterness, but everything is in moderation. The balance is there. Unfortunately, the flavors aren't that interesting. Mouthfeel is nice, pretty light for a high gravity beer; slightly creamy and smooth; not overboard on the carbonation. Old Ale, Barleywine.. whatever you want to call it, it's safe, nothing spectacular.

This isn't a bad beer, but it definitely didn't grab my attention. Although it's well-crafted, I expected more from Founders. Average beer from an above average brewery. (1,035 characters)

Photo of hardysf
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Very good mouthfeel. Wonderful color that is clear. Smell of wood and molasses. Some hop spiciness shines through at the end. Too much oak flavor for me. Might be better with some age. (185 characters)

Photo of frankiepop
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer does not live up to the hype that it lays out in my opinion. So start at the beginning:

Looks: Kinda bland actually. Pretty reddish tan. Below ave head

Smell: Again a little flat and unexciting. I get hints of a little oak, smidgeon of bourbon and maybe the molasses.

Flavors: Again a nice mild oak and a hint of bourbon. I do taste a molasses flavor but its very feint though a little underwhelming. I prefer something more like the Scottish Traquair House Ale, which provides more oak and sweetness and the bourbon flavors remain only a background hint.

I also found this beer to be a bit hot. Lotsa carbonation and alcohol burn going down so I marked down the feel here.

So what goes well with this beer? Well maybe the music curmudgeon of all time. That is right. jazz saxophone player son of a bitch Phil 'fuck you' Woods. I recommend an illegal download of his "Live at the Showboat" or a good version of his version of the tune 'Freedom Jazz Dance' from the lp "Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series" (1,015 characters)

Photo of kbeals
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a viscous pour, very little head with a bit of lacing. Looks about the color of apple cider, some floaties. Smell is a bit citrusy with sweet malts, an alcohol smell makes quite a presence also. Tastes exactly like scotch, maybe a bit sweeter though, not much to this one. Chest is warmed up nicely from the alcohol, though. This is the first Founder's brew I probably would never buy again. (399 characters)

Photo of mhatters
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at TND

Pours an amberorange color with some chestnut notes. Small, thin head that did not persist.

Lots of alcohol in the nose, whiskey dominates. After this dissipates some, the burnt sugar and caramel notes came through. A bit harsh.

Very sweet, raisin and dates come through too. The alcohol never far from the front, a bit too hot form me.

The sweetness, hotness, and fruitiness are too much for my liking - not bad, just not my taste. (457 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Tick #200! Woohoo!

A- pours a murky, cloudy shade of orange with a half finger thick white head that fades pretty quickly. It looks really hideous, actually. Not a good start

S- smells pretty spicy actually, lots of toffee and roasted malts in there. Reminds me somewhat of a pumpkin ale...minus the pumpkin, of course. Interesting

T- very malty, lots of toffee and roasted malts...it almost seems to be too much. Little bit of an alcohol burn to it as well...not the biggest fan

M- decently thick. Maybe a little too much...

D- too malty and a little too boozy for my tastes. Definitely a sipper (641 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Honestly, this so-called "Curmudgeon" doesn't seem all that misanthropic to me. Just a colder-climate version o' good ol' Santiago. Something like that. Anyway, the beer pours a clear ruby, tinted slightly toward amber, topped by a short head o' ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises biscuits, walnuts, rich caramel, and a stinging underbelly of bright fruit. A healthy boozy feel slices through dully, marring the nasal proceedings. The taste continues the malty tradition set forth in the smell, in the process transmogrifying the fruit into a hoppy bitterness, strong and dull. A touch of leather rules the aftertaste. I can't call this a balanced flavor, but I won't go so far as to declare a state of koyaanisqatsi either. Hell, that damn droning is just annoying (and kinda boring after a while, too). Ahem. The body is a hefty medium, with a light carbonation and a very slight mouth-coating feel. Overall, an OK brew, but not one I would regularly pursue by any stretch of the imagination. (1,030 characters)

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Old Curmudgeon pours out a hazy brown color topped with a medium sized head. The aroma is tropical fruits, dates, spices, and bourbon characteristics like oak, vanilla, and coconut. Sweet, malty flavor with lots of coconut and fruit. Finishes harsh and metallic. Perhaps this beer could use some aging to mellow it a bit. The flavor is spicier than I like, but it's still a good flavor. Mouthfeel is medium. Decent drinkability. This is an interesting beer, but with all the quality old ales and barleywines out there, there are better choices. (561 characters)

Photo of BeerDreadz
3.34/5  rDev -15.9%
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. (315 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,188 ratings.