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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

3,548 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,548
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 135
Gots: 656 | 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: 3,548 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
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 JasonL02
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

JasonL02, Thursday at 01:49 AM
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
Photo of tzieser
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this on tap @ sunset grill and tap in Brighton.

Poured a deep dark brown with a very small head that simmered into almost no lacing

Smelled extremely malty and oak-y. Extreme malt smells, with some hints of alcohol. Hops are practically non-existent

Tastes great. I don't have much experience with Old Ales (save for Ola Dubh), but I'd imagine they would taste very similar to this. Very, very malty...probably caramal malts that have turned into a very unique taste with age....very very woody, oak-y taste dominates the pallate. No hops here. I liked the old flavor very much. It tastes musty-- like an old attic would smell like (if you could imagine). The 10% abv is well-hidden by the way

Mouthfeel was good, a little oily, but I'd imagine thats what the style is supposed to be

drinkability is pretty bad. the beer tastes great, i just could'nt imagine coming back for more....especially at 8.99 a 13ouncer

Overall- I was gonna get this, but at 15 bucks a 4 pack-- I backed off. I had to get it when I saw it on tap. I'd say definitely get it if you see it on tap, but don't bother getting a 4 pack....unless you love old ales...

tzieser, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color with slight ruby accents and a small tan head on it that quickly dissipated into nothing and left no lacing. The smell is dominant of dark fruits (plums and raisins) and caramel malt. I consider this a "malty" nose, and I like it on this cool fall evening. The flavor profile hits heavy with all of the caramel malt in the nose coming full force on the palate with other flavors or dark fruit, banana, and a spot of sweet molasses, but the alcohol in this offering also comes through in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation and a good shot of warming alcohol is present. The drinkability is very good on this beer, and I could have easily drank another one.

Another great beer from Founders.

TheodorHerzl, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of zeledonia
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled April 2012. Tasted 8 November 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a medium dusty amber brown. Can't see through it, but I can see far enough into it to detect some little particles suspended in it. Surprised by that, as I can't remember another Founders beer that had yeast or floaties in it. Half finger of yellowish head, gone fast little lacing. Not the best on appearance.

Smell is malty and rich, full of dark fruit. Slightly smoky. Also has a light alcoholic air.

Taste is definitely in the realm that I'm looking for, but it's not much beyond that. Malty, semi-sweet, and tasty, but lacking real depth. I don't know, I guess I was expecting more from this beer. Alcohol presence was big at first, but faded as it warmed. It reminds me a great barleywine that's had the best of it sucked out.

Medium-heavy body, kinda weighing on my tongue. Medium-low carbonation. Feel is just fine.

This beer is close to being really good, but it's lacking the punch, the depth, the pronounced flavors that I was hoping for. Not bad, but for a big malty beer (which I tend to love), it didn't wow me.

zeledonia, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of tburkhart
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start this review by saying the Old Ale style is not something I am overly familiar with, but I figured I give this one a shot coming from Founders.

The appearance is a hazy dark orange with little to no head. What little head is there clings to the side of the glass leaving no lacing what-so-ever.

Smells of slightly roasted raisins and quite possibly some toffee and other dark fruits. Carmel malts come at you front and center.

Many carmel malts come through on the back of the palate. Almost a acidic bitterness. Very "bitey". Notes of the alcohol come through as well.

This is definitely not a session beer. A few of these in a night could put you right to sleep. All and all, not a huge fan of this style, but will try some others to be certain.

tburkhart, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of TwelveOunces
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A- Super hazy orange/amber with almost no head to speak of with an aggressive pour. Awesome looking alcohol legs.

S- Smells of Molasses and lactose sugar, A slight bit of dark fruits as well.

T- A big bit of caramel up front followed by a wave of a light bitterness. A lot of the dark fruits come through in the middle of the mouth. A slight oakiness. No alcohol taste whatsoever.

M- Low carbonation and silky smooth, a creamy feel that goes down rather easily. Not too heavy and is easy to drink at 9.8, a slight warming. pleasant aftertaste.

O- Never had an old ale before and to be honest I was expecting a little more. I was expecting someting along the line of a barleywine and an imperial stout. This is however a nice sipping brew and I look forward to seeing how it does with age.

TwelveOunces, May 08, 2012
Photo of breakingbland
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured in to a pint glass.

A scant off-brown/tan head developed and dissipated quickly. The beer is a dramatic reddish gold with hints of ruby.

The aroma is not particularly strong -- malty sweet and no hops presence.

The main flavor component is malty, roasty sweetness. It has the characteristic oak-aged flavor: vanilla and bourbon -- but not too strong in either -- plus some tobacco. It's a high ABV beer, but the alcohol is well integrated with the other components. The hops take a back seat to the sweetness at first but then linger for a while at the end.

The body is full, bordering on being thick, and the carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, this is a very nice beer -- fun to drink as there's a lot going on in it (it's oak aged and contains molasses). It has a good balance between the sweetness and the hops. It's a good dessert beer, but would probably pair well with the right foods.

breakingbland, May 07, 2014
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Curmudgeon has a brownish-red body and a finger or so of tan head that has good retention and minimal lacing.

Tons of malt in the nose with a lot of warmth as well.

The two words that describe Curmudgeon best are definitely sweet and boozy. A touch of hops comes through with some earthy flavors and a punch of citrus as well as a bit of bitterness, but it's all malt after that. Big notes of molasses mix with caramel and toffee. All three are well represented here and combine to give the beer a flavor that is something like pudding. Dark fruits come next, and they taste as if they were soaked in booze. A little bit of powdery cocoa dries things out a bit, as well as a spicy oak flavor, but mostly this one is all sweet and heat. The finish is quite hot actually.

Hot on the tongue, with a body that is a touch thinner than I would expect, but still solid.

Curmudgeon is somewhere between Old Ale and Barleywine, and although it is drinkable, the nearly 10%ABV is unsurprising.

Hojaminbag, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of gford217
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of hoppymeal poured into a snifter.

Pours a murky reddish orange with a creamy off-white head that lingers as a thin cap for quite a while and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is heavy on sweet caramel malts and dark sweet fruits. There is definitely a wood and bourbon presence but not overpowering. There are some floral hops up front as well.

The taste is boozier than the aroma with lots of bourbon and oak throughout. The flavor has the sweetness of the caramel malts and molasses but it takes a back seat to the barrel character. The flavors meld a bit better as it warms.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth but with good carbonation. Just coats the mouth wonderfully.

This is an interesting old ale and I think it would have been even better for me without the overpowering barrel presence in the taste. Nonetheless, a good sipper.

gford217, Nov 22, 2008
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,548 ratings.