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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.
very good

1,203 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,203
Hads: 4,290
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 186
Gots: 980 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,203 | Hads: 4,290
Photo of currysage1
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Harpoon Leviathan glass (tulip?), cellar temp aged for 6 months.

Look is a really deep orange topped with a short lived off white head that drops to a ring and a wisp, alcohol makes this understandable.

Smell is brown sugar mixed with dark rum, allspice, clove, black pepper.

Taste is chocolate that gives way quickly to the molasses chewyness, a good level of hop bite, almost a plant like quality, almost like dried grass, theres that dark rum again.

Feel is pretty spot on for an Old, dense full slightly oily mouthfeel with low carbonation from the extended fermentation and high alcohol. Would certainly have again but one at a time. They definately keep the alcohol under wraps on this one.

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Photo of magpieken
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

355ml bottle. Pours an amber colour with a moderate densely packed, tan head. Excellent retention and good lace. Aroma of malt, caramel, raisins, oaky whisky. A lot going on in this one. A nice level of sweetness with some dry bitterness in the finish. Full body, soft carbonation, smooth yet sticky texture and soothing level of alcohol warmth. Grab a good novel, your smoking jacket and relax in comfy chair with this one.

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Photo of do_ob
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a somewhat hazy amber with about 1/2 a finger of off-white lacing. Pleasant aroma with notes of ginger, molasses, figs, raisins, dark fruit, leather, and syrup. Verynaweet and boozy smelling. Heavy weight, very dense and creamy on the mouthfeel. The taste is pretty much on par with the smell, only intensified. Sweet molasses, sugar, figs, and dark fruit. I'm tasting some alcohol near the middle. Finishes very smooth with a slight alcohol burn. Leaves the palate sweet and sticky, kind of like a cough medicine. A smokey, syrupy sweetness dominates the aftertaste.

Overall, very nice. I've wanted to try this one for a while and I'm glad I was able to find it. It's a bit dense and overpowering in terms of sweetness, but it's still plenty enjoyable, to me at least. It seemed to mellow out slightly after it warmed up a little. My bottle was pretty fresh, though, so I'd like to age a couple more of these and see how they are 6-12 months in.

Update: 10/20/15: After revisiting this beer, it is much better with some age on it. My bottle was right at 9 months and tastes great. Numbers and review adjusted.

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Photo of demcorhip
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A toffee coloured ale, a vigourous pour only resulted in a thin tan coloured head. Very mildly carbonated, and virtually no lacings. Not surprising considering the style and the alcohol content.

Big buttery toffee nose, pecan praline, alcohol, and a mild earthy spice all combine to get me pumped about this brew. Smells great!

Yup theres lots of buttery diacetyl here. Be warned, dont try this one if its a turn off to you. Big backbone of buttery toffee and a touch of treacle, the creamy pecan praline is also there, and its all complimented by the hint of earthy hop spice.

A rich, decadent, and warming due the alcohol, treat. A full bodied ale that while almost syrupy manages to avoid being cloying. Lots of rich flavours complimenting each other quite nicely in this old ale.

I found this to be a very drinkable, very rich, big ale. The big body and waming effect due to the alcohol make this a perfect choice for a cool winter night. May be a little too rich to be sessionable, but might be fun to try! Will definately be enjoying this tasty treat again.

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Photo of pschul4
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz into my Revolution taster

A- Pours something darker than orange but lighter than brown. Khaki head leaves excellent lacing

S- Some malts and booze, not much coming through here

T- This is like malt juice, in the best way possible. You'll have to try it to understand. Booze is much more subdued in the taste

M- Silky smooth, dare I say perfect

O- Best old ale I've ever had. Period

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Photo of srandycarter
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark honey, small lace, small head...not much head.

S - Caramel sweet. Hoppy outskirt.

T - Yum. Big caramel center, somewhat harsh alcohol burn, bitter hops do their job.

M - Medium bodied, good card, pretty perfect balance.

D - I really like this one. Can't believe I have not reviewed before.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L - Medium amber color with a 2-finger bubbly cream-colored head. Really good retention and excellent lacing. Clear with lots of bubbles - more carbonation than I was expecting.

S - Lots going on here. Toasted and caramel malts, molasses, dark fruits like cherries and plums, raisins, and some chocolate, vanilla, and woody aromas. Maybe a touch of alcohol noticeable.

T - Sweet with flavors of caramel malts, dark fruits, molasses and vanilla. Finishes with a woody and alcoholic dryness.

F - Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a creamy and mouth-coating feel, and a very dry, almost astringent finish. Woody dryness lingers and complements the drying and throat-warming sensation brought on by the alcohol.

O - This beer was delicious and an awesome example of an old ale. It tastes and smells great with a variety of malt and dark fruity ester aromas and flavors. The molasses and oak-aging really add a lot of flavors, aromas, and character to this beer in my opinion. Another great offering from Founders.

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Photo of brdc
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks hoppymeal for this one; small capped bottle, poured into a snifter.

Fairly dark amber, with glowing, reddish highlights, very little light tan head, some surface coating on its way down.
Aroma is boozy, caramels soaked in port wine, dark fruits. Not very strong.
Full bodied, vinous, feels like a port wine and frequently tastes like one. It also nice waves of bitterness and sweetness, with a propensity towards sweet; caramel, toffee, raisins, lots of warming alcohol, spiciness likely coming from this alcohol that if it not well hidden, it is pleasant.

A very good old ale, not my favorite, but quite close.

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Photo of benito
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fascinating brew. A still, bright amber with virtually no head and a bouquet full of vanilla, bourbon, and alcohol. Curmudgeon has a strong coconut and vanilla flavor that is balanced by a bourbon-alcohol sting and a peppery dryness on the back of the tongue.

The interplay of flavors is exceptional, and they come together to create an overall character that is slick, fruity, and very heavy-hitting. This is a beer to sip and a fine complement to a big Thanksgiving (or other holiday) dinner.

Highly recommended; this is one of the most complex Founders beers I've had--and that says a lot.

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Photo of ryantho00
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a red and brown hue with a buttery fluffy head that stays sticky throughout the drink.

Hints of oak, caramel, syrup, wood, sweet malt, dried dark fruits, bourbon-esque hints.

I get a nice medium mouthfeel with a ton of wonderfully blended flavors intertwined perfectly. I get that distinctive founders water taste, fresh oak, sweet deep malts, a wonderful molasses, dark plum, some slight bitterness from a low alpha hop, caramel, nice old aged taste, some biscuit, marshmallow and cotton candy, superb sweetness blended with the alcohol.

Overall, a great balanced beer, nothing short of what I've come to expect from my favorite brewer.


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Photo of Wiggedout40
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very surprising. Lots of toffee and brown sugar sweetness both in the nose and taste. Hints of dried fruit as well (raisins and fig). Appearance is deep brown to red in color with a thin head that settles slowly. The alcohol is not overpowering but is present in the flavor. Smooth mouth-feel. Could drink this all day if the ABV was lower.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served in a snifter.

A: Pours a magnificent clear amber color forming a small but medium bubbled light yellow head. Low retention and only few spotty lacings left in the glass

S: Impressive smell sherry and woody. Delicious. Very sweet and fruity as well. Strong notes of oak, bourbon, toffee and caramel malts. Strong English Old Ale character. Notes of grapes and raisins

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Strong notes of oak, toffee, caramel malts, crystal malts, bourbon, grapes and dry raisins. Light hops bitterness as expected by the style

M: Heavy, creamy and molasses body. Low carbonation. Sweet malts and woody aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Classic English Old Ale. Just another masterpiece brewed by Founders

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is murky brown with almost no head (the little foam that did exist was light tan colored). The smell was rich, malt + plums/raisins. The taste was even richer, a little like a really strong version of an English barleywine. Lots of dark fruits (mainly raisins) and malty sweetness, with a little alcohol burn. Thick mouthfeel, substantial beer, easy to see why it's rated highly. Old ales aren't my favorite, they're good once in a while, I pretty much tried this one because it was made by Founders. As usual they did a great job.

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a good hazy amber with a small tan head. The head last fairly well for being thin. Lacing is good. Aroma is honey and a big presence of alcohol. Almost has a whiskey like aroma. Has a light carbonation. A good mouthfeel. The flavor is well blended and the alcohol aroma doen't hold up the alcohol is well hidden. Has a full body. A real good finish and a good aftertaste. This is a good beer, a touch strong but a good beer.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from 4/6/2012

A: pours a deep amber hue with a finger of off white head that quickly fades to a small collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of alcohol, a bit of caramel, and some slight fruitiness
T: a bit of caramel, toffee, molasses, some alcohol, a bit of spice, and a slight fruity flavor. swallow is slightly toasty with more caramel, toffee and alcohol and a slight bitterness
M: full in the mouth but not overly viscous. carbonation is soft but adequate
O: a very good beer. solid complexity and good flavors without any noticeable flaws

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a (2013) bottle into snifter.
Appearance was a dark amber color with a 1 in off-white head.
Aroma was of maple and oak
Mouthfeel was a light syrup consistency
Taste-malty, biscuity, a hint of maple sweetness
Overall- a great beer, similar to a Barleywine. Booze is well hidden here. For $16 a four pack, I can’t say I would buy more than one a year but its a nice pick up.

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Photo of dank203
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ale with good medium fruity sweet sugary notes and definitely oaky notes. hints of cinnamon and nutmeg spice. hint of an apple or some lighter fruit. pretty complex and drinkable, not overly sweet. well balanced and just really nice, well rounded beer, not much hop presence

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.26/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very little head and disappeared in seconds. Color is a very deep caramel brown. Small strings of lace appeared as the glass emptied.

There's a sweetness to the aroma that reminds very much of pineapple. Malt is there but dominated by the prickly, citrusy element and also some rotting dark fruits. Alcohol comes on stronger as it warms.

Flavor is an earthy mixture of malt and hops, still reminding and dominated by pineapple. Also some overripe banana. A little grassy and recalling watermelon schnapps as it warms.

Buoyant and effervescent in the mouth, and only slightly syrupy, with enough thickness to give it a nice heft.

This is a unique ale. That exotic sweetness will have you tasting things you don't usually get in beer (to my senses pineapple and watermelon liqueur), but it maintains good balance and depth too. Glad to have experienced this one...thanks to BA jabocu for the trade.

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Photo of morimech
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark caramel color with a small head that quickly settled to a thin skim of bubbles. A little sticky lacing is left on the glass. Some particulate matter that settles to the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Things really pick up now. A lot caramel and toffee notes. Smells sweet and fruity. Alcohol is detected but does not seem intimidating.

Taste- Overall sweet but not overboard in sweetness. Nice toffee and rum flavors up front. A touch of vanilla as well. The alcohol is well integrated and adds some warmth and kick. There is a hop flavor and bitterness that detracts from the wonderful malt flavor. The deeper I got into the glass, the hops became even more noticeable and lowered the score a little. I would of preferred a much milder hopped ale here but this is still a damn near perfect flavored Old Ale. This might of been influence by the hop crazed beer culture as it would of been better with half the IBUs.

Mouthfeel- Soft, silky smooth texture. Full bodied and rich. Perfect.

Drinkability- My bottle has a date of 02/24/09. Should of waited a little longer and let the hops fade some more. But still a very good example of the style.

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Photo of Erish
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. No freshness date.

A: cloudy cider-colored, pours a caramel-colored head that quickly falls into a thin head with scant lacing. About what I expect from a wood-aged beer of this strength.

S: molasses, vanilla, toffee, dried/ripe fruit; apples, figs, raisins.

T: the caramel sweetness and fruit are thick up front, and the woodsy/vanilla character slowly reveals itself, and finally a lightly mineral bitterness opens up with an herbal and floral hop character, and a slow, boozy alcoholic heat also emerges.

M: Full-bodied, velvety, almost syrupy texture, light carbonation.

O: Is it an Old Ale or Barleywine? Who cares! It is tasty, tasty stuff.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Tawny ruby color with a medium sized, smooth, creamy, off-white head. Fairly tight head that disappears fairly fast. Leaves a nice thin layer of lacing.

S - Starts out with a heavy dose of dark fruit. Mostly date and raisin with some dried fig. Subtle dried cherry but nothing too strong. Strong amount of molasses and brown sugar with a slight burnt aroma. As the beer opens up, the aroma get slightly sweeter with a syrupy/maple sweetness. Caramel and a slight butterscotch aroma also comes out. Faintest hint of oak/cask.

T - Compared to the nose, there is a bit stronger dried/dark cherry flavor. Very strong molasses and brown sugar base. Dark fruit jumps off that base. Date, raisin, and plum all present with a slight tartness that wasn't in the nose. Notes of leather in the background. Slight oakiness coms out at the finish. Nice kick on the finish of slight alcohol and slight barrel. Overall, it's like an rum-soaked fruit cake.

M - Medium, bordering on full body. Pretty smooth and surprisingly well carbonated.

D - Very nice sipping beer. Strong flavors and it has a slight kick of alcohol but not overpowering. Quite sweet but not cloying. Overall a nice example of the style.

Notes: Review on 5/2/14. Bottled 4/19/12. Overall this aged pretty well. I think it has a very slight edge over fresh. The flavors mellowed out a bit, the oaky flavors dropped off a bit. It seems like it is in a good balance with the sweetness, the woodiness, and the alcohol right now. Overall this is a great example of the style. Not overpowering wood aspects but it provides a nice extra note. Molasses on the other hand really comes out. Good fresh and aged and worth picking up and stashing a few away.

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Photo of Fenris244
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into my Duvel tulip

Pours a deep reddish orange, thin white head, little retention, good amount of lacing though. A little hazy but looks great none the less.

Smell is of dark fruits, plum and cherry with, boozy sweetness and some brown sugar and toffee like aromas.

Plum and cherry flavors are there as well, little bits of hop bitterness. Has an earthy quality too it and some sweet toffee and booze on the finish. The flavors balance well and it's never too sweet and the hops never overpower the other flavors, very satisfying to drink
Heavier in body, booze heats up the palate and you can definitely feel it, very enjoyable.

Overall, I'd love to be able to get more of this brew, I look forward to seeing founders in Texas one of these days!

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Photo of Ri0
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured 12oz bottle into chalice. Bottled 4/1/14

A - Dirty caramel brown with amber flecks. Minimal half finger head and no lacing.

S - Thick malty scents of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, butter scotch and bread. Reminds me of a scotch ale.

T - This is mighty tasty with chewy sweet malts of caramel and brown sugar. Very sweet bread and butter scotch give it some depth. The taste has a familiarity of scotch ale, yet it includes notes of dark fruit.

M - Medium bodied with a thicker mouthfeel. Very rich and smooth with lower carbonation.

O - This is a very nice ale. If you like scotch ales or dopplebocks, you will certainly enjoy this one.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass. This was received sometime in mid-2007 from a midwest trader as an extra; no date on the bottle...since it's an Old Ale (9.3%), I figured the unknown age wouldn't be much of a factor.

A: Very pretty hue...a toasty, reddish auburn that glows like an ember. Everything else is less attractive: a virtually still carbonation, many suspended bits of tiny yeast, a pencil-thin strand of light tan around the rim. No lace. Looks 'old'...but the color nudges this above 'average'.

S: Immediate aroma of raisins, cherries, and a boozy oaken bourbon. Citrus hopping, tons of malty toffee/sugar sweetness - this smells somewhat like a mellowed English barleywine.

A: So much of what's in the aroma comes forward in the flavor - very happy with that! The cherry/raisin/bourbon flavor is impressively complex, with a balanced hoppy spiciness and even some oak tartness. Why am I so convinced that this wood-aged, when there's nothing on the bottle or Founders website that indicates this? Both my wife and I tasted this barrel-like flavor first and foremost...

M: Certainly there's been some softening of the carbonation, which in turn gives a nice velvety quality. Not a huge body, nor a lengthy lingering aftertaste; this one is smooth and pleasantly warm in the mouth and down the throat.

D: Wonderful to drink at the moment. Whatever some extra aging has done to downgrade the appearance has been made up for in drinkability and texture. Well-balanced flavors and enticing aroma make for an ale I'd love to sip on again. Recommended!

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,203 ratings.