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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

1,186 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,186
Hads: 4,202
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 176
Gots: 943 | 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: 1,186 | Hads: 4,202
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (437 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
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 (560 characters)

Photo of maxcoinage
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (386 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
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 (274 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (729 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (909 characters)

Photo of morimech
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (1,169 characters)

Photo of Erish
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (1,710 characters)

Photo of Fenris244
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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! (760 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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! (1,572 characters)

Photo of Young_John
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So good, I get misty while writing this review. It pours the color of clover honey. Crystal clear and yet somehow gives the impression of high viscosity. Thin merengue head. Smell of malt and molasses. Thick mouth feel. Rich finish and not the least bit bitter. This is a stout lovers ale for sure. First sip - is like coming home to mom's cooking... Even if you've never had this before, you instantly get the sensation that you've been missing it for a very long time without knowing it. Difficult to enjoy slowly, but at nearly 10% abv and $14/4-pack, you'll have to try. (575 characters)

Photo of chaz410
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a beer, I mean really, what a beer!! This beer pours cloudy and thick and seems like it's gonna be some sort of imperial brown ale. The smell is really sweet and smoot and has a crisp after effect. I love the tast of this beer, it is laced with vanilla and oak notes along with heavy malts. Caramel malt really rings out in this monster beer, it's really smooth too. I love this beer, share it with a friend and enjoy! (427 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Curmudgeon pours dark copper with fine sediment in suspension. In the Dogfish Head snifter, the beer is dark amber with a late-erupting head. The cascade glistens cedar gold as it builds a fine, off-white, creamy head that lasts five minutes and leaves a coating of lace.

The aroma includes caramelized sugar, dried fig, prunes, and some whiskey.

Initial sweetness gives way to light bitterness. Dark fruits lead the way with raisins and dried figs. The finish is light and lingering. Warmth brings out light rum flavors and a progression of character.

A smooth body that is full, yet creamy, with light carbonation and, after four years in the bottle, a modest sense of warming alcohol.

Age has served this Curmudgeon well as the booziness from a young bottle is now well checked. This works well for sipping while reading.

This label is an example of how Founders artwork elevates beer. More importantly, scowl aside, the label reminds me of George :-) (959 characters)

Photo of Flyer
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry red, hazy, with good head but minimal lacing. Aroma of whiskey. This ale has a wonderul bourbon whiskey flavor, as much as you could possibly want, yet without coming across as a "whiskey wannabe" -- it's an ale all the way. Additional notes of coconut, brown sugar, oak, some cherry. Nice alcohol warmth. I'm a variety lover, yet this is one of the few beers I feel like I could enjoy every day. (416 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the brewery, 12oz into a tulip. Bottled April 19, 2012.

Reddish brown, unfiltered with a light cream cap. Light lace and almost no retention. Nose of syrup, candy, caramel, sweet dark fruits and fantastic bready malt notes. Palate more syrup, honey, breads, light toastiness, slight booze and caramel again. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel - 'coating.' A fantastic beer all around, I'd revisit this time and time again. (425 characters)

Photo of Goosehunter75
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a brilliant coper with 1 finger tan colored head that is slow to form but really hangs around. There is a slight haze to the beer

S - Sweet malts, hints of coffee, cherry, toffee, and oak. Not as much aroma as I had anticipated, but a nice smelling beer nontheless.

T - The taste doesnt disappoint! A very malty beer. Lots of oak as well. Similar to the aroma, there are hints of coffee and cherry mixed throughout. Wonderfully tasty and complex

M - Extremely nice. Very thick beer but it goes down very smooth. Hints of alcohol leave the mouth feeling warm and dry.

O - Very impressive beer. Worlds of flavor in this beer that all seem to blend together perfectly. A good strong beer at 9.8 ABV but it manages to go down very smoothly leaving just a slight hint of alcohol behind. (795 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, dark red amber and thin tan foamy/frothy head with good retention. Yeast and sweet caramel barley aromas. Very malty vanilla, caramel, and nutty with a slight hop note. Alcohol warming with a slight taste. Creamy lactose finish. Very silky but thick and creamy mouthfeel.

An excellent blend of flavor, sweet with a light hop balance. Alcohol actually adds to the taste rather than detracts. Creamy taste really adds a nice dimension without distracting or overshadowing other flavors. Aroma is good but nothing too special like a barleywine. It also reminds me of Old Stock ale, though I may have enjoyed OS a little more. (630 characters)

Photo of Brew33
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottling

I don't have a ton of experience with Old Ales but I enjoy the style.

Curmudgeon pours a deep, amber with a reddish glow. A beautiful beer to be sure. No head, just a few bubbles.

The aroma is spot on for the style. Malty, sweet, caramel, toffee, rum cake, booze. Really, really nice. But also very subdued. I'd have liked for the aroma to be a little bigger.

The flavor is excellent. Deep, rich, malty, and sweet. Toffee, peanut brittle, caramelized sugars, plum, figs. Complex as hell!

The mouthfeel could be fuller. It doesn't quite coat the tongue. But it's medium bodied.

Overall, I enjoy the crap out of this beer every year and I desperately need to try the barrel aged version. Another winner from Founders. (739 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright red body, murky, with plenty of near microscopic carbonation streams. Topped by a three finger loose light beige head, which quickly drops to one finger and stablizes. Light lacing traces.

Interesting light and clean fruity (grape?)aroma.

Lightly sweet beginning. Big burst of fruit. Citrus with a cherry finish. Alcohol firebomb in the belly. Clean finish.

Smooth slick medium plus mouthfeel. Alcohol fades quick which keeps drinkability high.

Nice change of pace here in big hop season. Takes the chill out of your bones. (535 characters)

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an aged 2007 Curmudgeon I picked up at Flat Rock Saloon. Waited for a cold night to enjoy this one!
A: Dark amber color and hazy with mellow tan head that persists for awhile. Some sediment with this aged beer. Persistent tiny bubbles.
S: Aroma of dried black cherries soaked in bourbon, and sweet roasted malt with a touch of burnt honey. Some deeper dried fruit aromas combine with a hint of vanilla to smell delicious.
T: Burnt caramel and toffee malt sweetness with deep rich black cherry and dried currant esters. Some astringent chocolate malt bitterness is there midway. The follow up is a smooth vanilla bourbon barrel flavor which may or may not be intended. The vanilla is more apparent the further down this one goes. Alcohol becomes noticeable with this one. Not noticeable but for a hint of bitterness are the hops.
M: Medium bodied and smooth with small, sharp carbonation and a decent alcohol warmth on the palate.
D: Bang for your buck with this delicious beer! It has a smooth yet complex profile with plenty of alcohol to warm you on a cold winters night. Was glad to try this one more than a year aged. (1,129 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky brown-amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, with hint of floral hops. The taste of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and a hop presence that is quite higher than the aroma indicates. There is also a nice hot alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is a touch lighter than full bodied, with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a wonderful old ale. I would really like to try this with some age on it. (542 characters)

Photo of EPseja
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature from a 12oz bottle in a snifter.

A - Translucent and glowing amber color with raspberry-orange highlights. Viscous pour with little bravado and a modest, light tan head that quickly subsides. Lacing is sporadic at best, but the legs are long.

S - Thick, caramel and sugar sweetness with juicy, grilled pineapple and vanilla overtones. Mature, warm floral hoppiness. Like a barleywine's older, wiser cousin.

T - Very round, warm and welcoming sweetness with a glow of oaky vanillin and golden raisin. Turns a bit toasty in the middle, both in taste and alcohol, with a light tartness. And my favorite part -- the finish leaves a taste of old varnished wood and worn book leather along with a dusty coating on the tongue.

M - Thick and slick coming in. Slowly grows to a froth with great fortitude and only a slight tingle on the tongue. Swallow is throat-coating and long.

D - Delicious. This beer covers all the different facets of the Old Ale style -- malt presence, warming alcohol, and the nuances of "old" including leather and wood. At almost 10%, this beer is not to be trifled with, even though it can easily lull you into a sense of pleasant comfortability like a seasoned sailor keeping you rapt with an old tale of the sea. (1,286 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the South Philly Tap Room

Appears a deep orange with red highlights. A thin, off-white cap was reduced to remnants by the time it reached my table. Little to no lace.

Big caramel backbone with notes of toffee, dark fruit, and oak. A very pleasing, full nose.

Pretty much mimics the nose. Big toffee and caramel up front with dark fruits, oak and a hint of vanilla rounding out the profile. A tad bit of fusel alcohol on the finish.

A bit sticky and chewy in the mouth. Good carbonation, full bodied.

This guy is a sipper on a cold night. Enjoyable. (563 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,186 ratings.