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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

1,218 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,218
Hads: 4,341
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 193
Gots: 1,003 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 1,218 | Hads: 4,341
Photo of Jjski
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Old Ale= harsher and sharper than barley wine. Harder to easily quaff and slow sipper, winter warmer, with darker cocoa notes rather than sweetish barley wines.

IMHO a perfect example of Old Ale, as I find Old Stock Ale unpalatable until it's a least 4 years old. Drink this beer without expecting immediate gratification. It's a drawn out process of letting your palate attenuate to the harshness. Improves vastly aged at one year, with orange peel notes emerging from the hops while the malty spine remains strong.

Try to yield, and the Curmudgeon reminds you: the easy road is not the path to seek. Accept the challenge and expand your perception . Cheese-wiz is easier to eat than extra-sharp cheddar. Which is better is up to you. If you opt for cheese-whiz, it pairs well with a wine cooler.

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Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

^That is a beautiful picture ^
Aged bottle, first release? 12oz. shared with kmpitz2, thanks!

It pours a tawny reddish brown, murky with suspended particles. Light gets through a little bit. Some spotty lace is left, and at the very least a ring around the edge.

Aroma is mellow, sweet toffee and caramel, I can tell this is a beefy one. As it warms, more depth is apparent.

Toffee flavors, with an oak nuance behind it. Very cohesive and mellowed, it doesn't feel alcoholic at all. Caramel and wood, sturdy and balanced. Age has worked wonders on this beast. Rich and fairly well carbonated, it has a divine feel to it. Seek it out...

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

Dropped a bottle of this into a Duvel snifter.

A: Looks like heavy apple cider.

S: thick, rich, spicy, orange and alcohol

T: Reminded me of some brews from Unibroue (Maudite, Don de Dieu) but a little heavier/more dense and without the yeastiness; fruity caramels with booze

M: medium-bodied, very drinkable; great aftertaste

O: I miss it since its gone; this is a great beer for slow drinking (preferably near the sea). One of the least barleywine-ish old ales I've had - almost has some Imperial IPA and tripel qualities.

Think deeply of the ocean and keep a four-pack in a cooler as the waves lap the shores at night. Be one with the seas and stars.

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

I bought a few 4 packs of this several years and wasn't too impressed, but I held on to them, and am I glad I did! Several months ago I opened up a 2011 and was very happy I did. I actually had to fish the bottle out of the trash to make sure it was the beer I thought I had just opened. Fortunately it was still readily available on the shelves so I picked up a few more, knowing I'd then be able to enjoy them in a few years!

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle poured into a snifter- no date on label

Founder's Curmudgeon Ale poured opaque dark amber [almost like dark apple cider] that produced a limited almost non-existent head. The aroma is of dark malt and fruits, with some caramel coming through. The flavor was heavier than the smell. The taste is sweet; of rum soaked dark fruits, a little smoky with a slight burnt after taste. The flavor really develops as this ale gets closer to room temperature...so don't drink it too cold. Mouth feel is smooth and a little sticky with light carbonation.

A Curmudgeon is defined as a crusty, ill-tempered stubborn old man that finds fault with all things. I tried being a Curmudgeon [as I have been known to act like on occasion] when I reviewed this ale; however, I could not find any faults when I reviewed the brew.

A good sipper for a nightcap - goes well paired with chocolate cookies.

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Photo of stumac
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

this brew pours up a cloudy amber color with a nice thin layer of yellow-tan head. great lacing, baby. the nose is subtle chocolate chip cookies, a little yeast, mint, sweet malts. the taste is the same as the nose. yeast, caramel, hop bitterness in the finish, buttery, delicious. leaves a sticky coating in your mouth. medium carbo, low low carbo. good ol' Founders...

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Photo of BadmouthBrews
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

draft from flying saucer in Nashville.
Pours a dark caramel color, kind of like maple syrup. Which makes sense because it is brewed with maple. You can smell it and taste it. Great complexity and smooth tasting for such a high abv.

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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

Appearance
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.

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

Taste
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.

Mouthfeel
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.

Drinkability
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.

Cheers!!

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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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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.