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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

3,568 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,568
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 137
Gots: 664 | FT: 48
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: 3,568 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mychalg9
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
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!

mychalg9, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

first off, whoever took the 'bottle photo' is an art pimp. the trees are great. what a nice touch! this bottle was snatched up at julio's in mass.

pours a cloudy blood red into my rapscallion snifter. accentuated gently by dense foam rings and sticky, sparse lacing. aroma carries lots of bourbony booze and fusel-boosted yeast mutations. vanilla lingers in the air trapped by the tulip. old ale at its oldest, most crotchety.

the woody cream character really translates strongly into the dominant flavor of this beer, not too far from what i expect an old ale to be but somewhat one-dimensional. perhaps its not warm enough, let's wait and see...

after the crowd-friendly southampton old ale, this beer maintains an adversely crotchety attitude with a starchy, raw malt profile that doesn't quite invite the same level of drinkability. the flavors are all there in a sublime richness.. however this IS your grandpa's old ale. a cigar would be nice right about now. toasted vegetal huskiness meets caramelized burnt sugars in a buffalo trace barrel, producing some interesting effects.

what do i think overall? tough call. like a stinky old man, you have to respect the work that went into its culmination, regardless of how gritty his current situation might be. recommended, oddly.

goodbyeohio, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of Auracom
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly fresh bottle picked up from MSCM. 12 oz. poured into a CBS snifter on June 3rd, 2012.

A - Looks a bit like Backwoods Bastard, meaning lighter (than expected) cognac clarity and coloring with minimal eggshell head. Mostly amounts to edge-clinging bubbles. Marginal retention and lacing. Low to moderate alcohol legs.

S - Absolute must to get this one at cellar (or even room) temp, otherwise it's just too mellow. I get a mix of Quadruple and Old Ale/Barleywine aromas. Maple syrup, light molasses. Dark, winter fruit - figs and plums moreso than raisins. Slight spicyness. The oak barrel lies on the fringe of the nose. No alcohol presence.

T - Very little sweetness overall. This leans much more in the direction of ripened dark fruit and rich chocolate bitterness. Moderate to heavy rye spice and breadiness from mid palate through the back end. Maple wood, earth, lightly-charred oak barrel, and further syrup. Balanced aftertaste of bitter resin and malt grains. Minimal alcohol warming through the finish.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, somewhat smooth, semi-dry finish with barrel-like finishing qualities.

D - I like this. It has a lot of the elements I would hope for in a well-made English-style Barleywine/Old Ale and seems to do just fine without the addition of some form of liquor or wine barrel. The taste is noticeably better than the aroma. I'm not sure this has enough body to stand the test of time in a cellar and show significant improvement, though I think it's worth the gamble.

Auracom, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of herman77
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange with some brown. Slight haze to it. Light tan head. Decent amount of fine bubble/spider web lacing.

S: Malt. Honey, oaky, slight whisky/alcohol. Strong dates smell as well.

T: Honey, oak/woody. Very strong candied toffee and carmel malt. Maple syrup? No real sign of hops or bitterness. It kind of tastes like a candied walnut. Boozy near the finish. Alcohol is present, but not overly present. Its defiantly there though. A malty bomb for sure.

M/D: Medium to fuller body. Pretty smooth over the palate. Low, and very soft carbonation. Drinkability is pretty low for this since its a malt bomb. Intense woody and candied malt flavors and the alcohol factor bring down the drinkability. More of a sipper. Something about this makes me think of fall. Its good, but I can't see myself ever having more then one in a night.

herman77, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of kmeves
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy copper/brown with a small beige head. Aroma is sweet raisin, caramel, cherry, nutty, light chocolate, smoke, butterscotch andwood. Flavor is cherry, caramel, raisin, light pineapple and light nutty. Finish is a bit hot and also has some bourbon notes. Full bodied, sticky texture. Low carbonation.

kmeves, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of thirdeye11
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ktown67 for bringing this to me for an in person trade!

Presentation: Pours an absolutely gorgeous deep orange/rust color with no head at all from a vigorous pour, some bubbles rise to the top but don't stay around long. Laces the glass extremely well.

S: Smells very sweet. Lots of caramel in this one. Not complex, but straightforward and nice. Maybe even a little sweet smelling for a guy who loves sweet beers. Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose too.

T: Taste is oddly up front with hops and caramel both, but somehow they're not really balanced. They're just both strong flavors and don't seem to play too well together. Despite this I find the beer highly enjoyable and like how it tastes.

M: Carbonation is really nice for the style, and the weight is just right too. I wish there had been some head to give this beer some creaminess though.

D: The alcohol presence in the flavor profile might lower this some. I could probably have drank 2 of them if I had more than one, but I think given its alcohol and sweetness the line would likely be drawn at 2.

I liked this beer; in fact it was extremely similar to a local barleywine we get called Sisyphus. In fact I would probably need to have them side by side to probably notice any differences.

thirdeye11, May 03, 2009
Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy mahogany. Very small tan head even with a rigorous pour. Not much lacing to speak of. The nose is VERY rich. There are amber malts, dark fruits (most notably black cherries), vanilla, and some very mild piney hops. Taste begins with piney hops, more than the nose hinted at. It's followed by raisiny-sweet amber malts and a touch of whiskey/bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a very rich and full bodied, very light on the carbonation...I would have liked a bit more carbonation though. Alcohol is present, it definitely warms you on the way down. This is a pretty intense beer - first that I have had of this style. Can't say that I could drink a lot of these, but was nice for a night when you're in the mood to kick back and enjoy a beer.

Jayli, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of pootz
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Something special for a great warmer on this cold October evening.

Poured an opaque dark brown ale in the glass with a 1 finger tan cap that reduced to a surface clinging lace .

Aromas of dark dried fruits, mustiness oak barreld whisky.

Thick malt spine, oily mouth feel, rich complex boozy character.

Up front you chew on some thick date muffins then a rush of complex layered flavors: raisins, vanilla with coconut, white chocolate, cherries in brandy over the smokey oak -earthy musty tones...finishes up long and wet where the hops attack the complexity and the alcohol shows up, the result is near an oak barreld burbon flavor in the finish.

This ale delivers quite a lot of strength and flavor and comes off like a burbon whisky flavored barley wine....very nicely done.

My sample was fairly young but I bet some time in the cellar would really mellow this and bring out even more complexity

pootz, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of Stunner97
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- very amber in color with little to no carbonation in terms of bubbles to be seen, head starts very thing and just about fades away to nothing

Smell- vanilla, malt, malt, malt, caramel and molasses, raison, very sweet malt based nose

Taste- though certain a beer with a decent amount of malt to it there is quite a bit more hop bitterness than I would of expected, slight vanilla and woody sweet ness is detectable from the oak, would be interesting to see what some age on this would do to the flavor profile, basically can be summed up in tons of up front malt with a firm and solid handed hop finish, finishes moderate to long, overally pretty enjoyable flavor and extremely balanced,

Mouthfeel- decently heavy thick and smooth, very strong drying finish,

Drinkability- easy drinking for sure as this beer walked way more of a balance then I even had expected with malt and hop, goes down dangerously fast hard to tell this is 9.8 percent at all, while this beer is certainly good not sure yet if I would call it great rather just solid, oak adds a nice touch and the heat of abv is minimal to none, I feel though it would made it less balanced I was almost hoping for a bit more malt from this than amount of hop they threw in, at very least I would certainly try this again

Stunner97, May 14, 2010
Photo of schroederm
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a snifter:

It's body is reddish with some amber in there. Pours with no head really, but it may have been too cold. Smells are inviting but subdued, and include cherry and generically estery. Quite sour. Bitter and tart finish with obvious alcohol. Cherry and molasses noteness. The sourness is overall very enjoyable. Good body, and well carbonated. The fact that the flavor is so overpowering diminishes drinkability a bit for me.

schroederm, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of DannyDan
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

DannyDan, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of Azeotrope
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

Azeotrope, Saturday at 03:01 AM
Photo of JasonL02
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

JasonL02, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of K-jack211
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

K-jack211, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of nrbw23
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy orange color with a decent tan head. There are plenty of floaters in this one as well. The head recedes to a layer of bubbles across the top and leaves some spotty lacing all over the glass.

S- At first I can pick up some malts both sweet and caramel. Can also find alcohol, a woody smell, and bourbon.

T- Again I'm blasted by malts here. Followed up by a woody, light bourbon taste and some darker fruits that I could pick up with the nose. Alcohol finishes this one up.

M- Medium to full in body and low to medium carbonation.

D- A sipper for sure but still fairly easy to drink.

nrbw23, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden brown color with a small white head. Aroma is full of sweet caramel and honey. There is also some fruit present.

Taste is sweet with caramel, honey, and raisins present. The finish is roasted, with almost a smokiness, and slightly dry and bitter. There is a hint of dark fruit in the background too. Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied.

hckyfn9999, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of drumrboy22
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. Beer was a dark, rusty brown color, with a one-finger head. Light carbonation and little lacing.

Aroma was rum, brown sugar, malt and booze.

Taste was vanilla, raisins, oak, caramel, malt and light bitter hops.

Medium, not too thick mouthfeel. Not as boozy as expected. A nice sipper.

drumrboy22, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of jamie2dope
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Grabbed a single of this in Cambridge. This will be my second time trying this brew, but the first as far as trying it from the bottle. Poured into my Stella glass a ruby color, with a small white heading. Smell is dominated by raisin, maple syrup, molasses and a bit of caramel. Taste is right along the same lines, with the maple syrup and raisins shining the most...is very sweet and sugary. Body is full and isn't afraid to throw its weight around with the alcohol. It is there and you will know it after a bottle. Great beer, but the intense flavors and in your face alcohol make it a difficult beer to drink. Reminds me a little bit of North Coast's Old Ale, which is also quite enjoyable. A beer to sit down and take your time with. Cheers

jamie2dope, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of inxy
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

inxy, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of MLaVioletteJr
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

MLaVioletteJr, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

tectactoe, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of cannabanaceae
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to, Bobby91w for this extra!!

Look was Dark red, almost black in the shadows. Poured with small head and no lacing.

Smell was sweet malt, Alcohol notes, raisins, carmel, Bourbon, Pineapple and oak wood.

Taste was smooth with a alcohol bite. Nicely hopped to balance the carmel hop notes but not overpowering, also subtle vanilla taste. Mouthfell was tart and creamy.

This was a very unique old ale. I would suggest trying this one it was very nice and warming.

cannabanaceae, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of marcobrau
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Curmudgeon pours a very hazy light brown color without much foam, but enough of a head that settles to a nice collar. The aroma is intoxicating (alcoholic) with a dusty sort of caramel-toffee character. This is a fairly tasty Old Ale for sure, albeit a very intoxicating one. It has the sugary sweet caramel notes that I like in an old ale, along with an interesting bourbon character, but could use some more fruitiness and not as much alcohol coming through. Perhaps this brew just needs some more aging. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and quite good, although the body is a touch thin. A highly alcoholic Old Ale for sure, but still good. One at a time is probably a good idea.

Thanks go to RedBaron for the bottle.

marcobrau, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of krantul
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

As we can perhaps discern from the label, this is an unapologetic, strong beer. It pours a dense, cloudy brown color, and has an oaky, almost scotch-like scent. It tastes like an english ale with a dollop of good whisky; although it has a certain pervasive boozy flavor, one that is certainly somewhat unbalanced, it's appropriate for the style. This is a full-bodied beer, almost to the point of chewiness. It's not what I'd call eminently drinkable, because of its kick; I found myself sipping it absently, like a neat whisky.

krantul, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of andylipp
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance -A deep orange amber pour with ¼ inch of head in my tulip. The head quickly dissipated to a thin slick. Coats the glass with each swirl.

Smell -Sweet malt, caramel, alcohol, wood, brandy and port.

Taste -A malty toffee sweetness quickly gives way to an extremely complex palate of dried fruits, oak, whiskey, some hoppy bitterness and a long, woody finish. A late hint of vanilla/caramel in the finish, also. Nice.

Mouthfeel -The body had some nice viscosity to it, yet the carbonation was a bit too skimpy for me. Warming alcohol as it goes down.

Drinkability- It's a sipper, to be sure. More than one at a sitting would be too much. It shows every bit of it's ABV in every sip, yet it is fairly smooth.

Comments- I wondering if a few months in the bottle might take the remaining edges off of this one (but the screw-off cap makes me hesitant to try it).

andylipp, Nov 30, 2008
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,568 ratings.