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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

1,196 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,196
Hads: 4,244
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 184
Gots: 958 | FT: 55
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
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Reviews: 1,196 | Hads: 4,244
Photo of craftcraver
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a clear amber color with a finger thick cream head that falls over about a minute.

S: A reserved nose with hints of coffee, toffee and malt.

T: What wasn't there in the nose jumps out on the palate. M+ carbonation, big toffee, vanilla and cream notes. Slight coffee and hoppy bitterness. Starts off creamy and has a long complex bitter finish.

O: Another great heavy beer by founders. The complexity is well balanced but the richness of this beer demands some sippin.

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Photo of lastmango
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a medium reddish brown with a thin head that dissipated quickly. Moderate lacing. Aroma was very mild caramel. Sweet malt and caramel flavor forward with an immediate earthy oak mid-taste followed by a moderate hoppiness. Medium thickness without much carbonation. Watch the alcohol, it sneaks up on you.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.1/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass at ~45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear ruddy amber, and forms almost no head. What does form vanishes completely in short order, in a puff of fizzing.

Smell: The aroma is subtle, barely there, likely due to the wide-mouth glass. It is mild caramel and sweetness, with very soft hints of oak.

Taste: And alas, my hop sensitivity strikes. This has an earthy, ashy bitterness to it which becomes virtually all I can taste. I can faintly, oh so very faintly, make out wispy ghosts of sweet caramel beneath the dirty ashes, but that's it.

Mouthfeel: Acrid and harsh are the only things I can describe this as, like most beers that trip my hop sensitivity trigger.

Overall: This is a beer I'd cite as an example of where "old ale" and "English barleywine" are not necessarily synonyms - I've run into fewer English barleywines that I can barely drink than old ales. This may very well be a tasty beer, but it's one I can't enjoy.

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Photo of cab4514
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to an amber look with a good head. Smells oaky with a little malt. Love the taste. As an earlier reviewer put it, definitely a boozier beer. Looking forward to drinking this in the winter.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red with orange highlights and a two finger off white head. Aroma is molasses, alcohol, dark fruit, and a touch of cough syrup. Taste is dark fruit, molasses, a bit of cough syrup, alcohol, and a hint of oak. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall an interesting beer, and a style I could get into for winter.

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Photo of jeffdr123
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a short head thar disappears - a reminder that it's a thick beer with not a lot of carbonation.
Smells like brown sugar and oak.
Tastes exactly like the label says it will: "old ale brewed with molasses and oak aged." A brown ale taste with more hops. Mellows as it warms. The higher alcohol slipped up on me.

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Photo of slusk
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Pours a hazy dark amber with a short-lived off white head

S: Big oaky aroma with a definite molasses profile. Nice malt aroma, bread crust and a bit of an earthy hop. Some orange peel and raisin with a bit of an ESB flair.

T: Oaky with sweet malt and brown sugar. Spicy, nutmeg flavor with a bit of earthiness. A bit of a smoky flavor in the background. Decent bitterness, but little hop flavor. A bit of an alcohol bite but the sweetness hides it well with a bittersweet finish.

F: Medium body, slick oily. Low carbonation

O: A nice cold weather warmer. Big oak flavor with a sweet malt backbone. Not too heavy. I'll have another.

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Photo of CincyBrewTull
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Curmudgeon is a boozy thick beer and that becomes ever more apparent as it warms. At first its smooth and tastes of caramel and toffee with hints of molasses. As it warms slight vanilla and oak notes begin to hide behind the alcohol.

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Old Ale for an old man! Can't wait until it's socially acceptable for me to rock in my chair all day and drink Curmudgeon. Good smell and great mouthfeel on this one. Thick and chewy, just the way it should be. The beer was on the sweet side for me; I was getting a lot of caramel in there. The booze was a little too in my face; I prefer a more subtle booziness in my old ale... the kind that catches up with you and you awake in the neighbors yard being poked with sticks by the twins who live across the street.

This is a good thick blood warming old ale; you should definitely give this one a try.

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Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Chill hazed brown colored beer with next to no head formation.

Smells strongly of malt and quite sweet.. Floral scent but I really don't smell any oak. Little bit of vanilla.

Starts out quite malty with a bit of vanilla and syrup flavor. Oak flavor and the taste of grapes. Carmel and a taste of rum. Mild bitterness not harsh at all.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a tasty big beer that doesn't really taste like it is as strong as it is.

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Photo of bonesTdog
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Similar to other reviews, Carmel, molasses, yest, cedar and oak. A bit boozy for my taste but some interesting layers of flavor. Beautiful rich roasty brown color and nice body. Enjoyable but not my favorite compared with other barrel aged beers.

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Photo of pnelting
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Deep amber color with an off white head. Nose was caramel and molasses. This one is on the sweet side with taste following the nose. Alcohol is present. Rich sticky mouth feel. It's one to sip on for sure.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice dark golden honey color. Off white head with light lacing. Smells of sweet Ale and oak.
Taste is a strong, boozy, over sweet bourbon or oaky beer. Not a big fan of this one but thats my opinion. I prefer stouts aged with bourbon but thats me. Still, I respect Founder's and all their offerings. Hit or Miss...

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Photo of Buck89
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color with an off white head. Smells of caramel, molasses, cedar and oak. Taste is comples with caramel, mollases followed by earthy bitter notes and oak. Finish is thick and long, with sweet oak and caramel. Very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Myotus
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled 19Jan15) into a snifter.
LOOK: Pours with half a finger's worth of off-white foam that dissipates into a line of foam within 30 seconds. Brownish red in color with a red tint. There are no visible bubbles once head settles and the beer is full of small, white particles floating around.
SMELL: Has mild aromas of green apples, figs, cherries, oak, molasses with a hint of alcohol and red grape aromas.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong molasses, fig, cherry, and alcohol (what happened to the hints in the aroma?!) flavors. Mild green apple and oak flavors along with a hint of red grape flavors enter immediately after initial flavors as they all somewhat gradually fade and blend into an amalgam of a slightly exciting taste. FEEL: Incredibly full-bodied (I like that) and smooth (I love it). Almost no carbonation is present (I really love it!) and ends with a very dry finish (aaaaand my love is gone).
NOTE: This was a good old ale. The alcohol wasn't hidden in this one. Hide the alcohol better, and I'd rate this higher. That's just me.

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Photo of 98green
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My first run with an Old Ale. The complexity is as billed from prior reviews. You won't be pounding this one. Not sure I'd seek it out, but if I'm up for a slow sip this is a good choice

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Photo of rockaroo
4.74/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Most beers at the store are trendy and copycat but this one is in the >5% genius beer recipe should be around for decades category.
Not by go to style in any season and the branding is not too sexy either but the flavors are great for such a drinkable (vs. sippable) beer. Great reviews here on the flavor notes from guys who know how to nail it.

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Photo of lwillitz
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - thin khaki head over a cloudy body of deep orange/copper, residue suspended throughout

S - wood, dark fruits, caramel sweetness, touch of alcohol

T - wood, dark fruits, caramel/molasses sweetness, booze in the finish with a touch of grassy bitterness

M - thick full body, low/medium carbonation, smooth and syrupy

O - Curmudgeon is an excellent ale! Smell and taste are complex and delicious. Feel is big and smooth. Definitely worth a try if you like your beers big and malty.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a beautiful copper with one finger of off-white head. Head dissipates quickly into a thin ring, and lacing is minimal.

S: Caramel, sweet malts, molasses, cherry, and raisin.

T: Caramel, sweet bready malts, molasses, raisin, vanilla, oak, and some nice hop bitterness to hold it all together.

M: Medium bodied, low to mid carbonation, creamy and semi-thick on the finish.

O: A very enjoyable Old Ale. This seems like it would be a good sipper for a cold winter night, or a perfect complimentary brew to a nice grilled steak. I'm going to cellar a couple of these for a bit and see what happens.

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Photo of DelMontiac
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I ran across Old Curmudgeon at Brown's in Stillwater, OK - the best beer store in this part of OK. Since I'm a little gun shy when it comes to Old Ales, I decided to pick one in the store's mix-a-six deal so I could try it on for size.

I was pleased with the clear copper color, but not the wispy thin white foam that all but vanished before I could get a pic with my phone camera. Kind of expected for the style and abv.

I caught a whiff on the pour and I could tell that this beer was going smell fantastic. It did - molasses, sweet grapes, apples, cherries, all simmering together with donuts afloat.

Flavors align with the nose, but there's a slight alcohol presence and hop twist in there. All the sweetness, alcohol, and hop bite held together with that oak wood vanilla in the background. Very nice.

I know higher abv beers are not well endowed with bubbles, but I wish this old ale had a little more punch in that area. The medium body is great with a grilled steak. That's what I did with the second half of the glass. Good steak beer.

Overall, this is the best of the style I've encountered and style aside, it's just a great beer. Not something I'd seek out often, but I will buy a 4 pack with each new year from now on. Drink good beer!

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Photo of Stebbimacdaddy
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper nearly opaque with little to no head on a vigorous pour. Looks delicious. Aromas are sweet syrupy molasses and raisins. Taste follows nose with sweetness at first followed by warming alcohols. Mouthfeel is thinner than I'd like with minimal carbonation. Overall this is a nice beer, alcohols may be to out front for some, and I personally like more hop flavors but this is a very nice venture off the IPA path.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four-pack at my local Stein's Liquor. The bottled on date suggests this beer is about six months old. Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

L: Pours a ruddy copper with about a half-inch of off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly, leaves a nice ring, and provides little lacing on the glass. Lazy, infrequent visible carbonation.

S: Caramel malt notes, with a bit of clear alcohol, molasses, and some mild raisin. Just a bit of nuttiness coming through, as well.

T: Sweet caramel and bready malts at the outset. There's a bit of tartness that appears with some of the clear alcohol flavor. The middle sees the development of the molasses flavor, as well as some nice, albeit subtle, raisin and nut flavors. The warming alcohol builds a bit throughout this stretch, but the taste remains quite sweet. The back end is sweet malts and more of that warming alcohol, with just a bit of that lingering molasses, raisin, and nut.

F: Medium-bodied and more creamy than syrupy, which I tend to enjoy. There's is just a bit of stick to the finish, as those flavors remain on the palate for a while. Nice level of carbonation.

O: Well, this is the second Old Ale I've tried tonight. I have to say, Curmudgeon is a far more drinkable brew than North Coast Old Stock Ale. This one doesn't has as complex or well-developed a flavor, but it certainly seems to have a bit more balance. I wish some of the raisin and nut were more assertive, but this is definitely a beer I would return to again.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.56/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth and thick, sweet with that barrel aged tang. Curmudgeon's aroma makes you think it's not going to be as easy drinking as it is. An old ale to end all old ales.

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Photo of labattblueribbon
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer is crazy delicious, molasses and caramel notes and the smoothness of the oak make this like candy. took a chance on this beer and was blown away, STRONG recommendation to new and old BA's alike.

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Photo of E-McFarden
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light tan head that doesn't rise in the glass with a robust pour, and beer is a brilliant amber brown. Smell is subdued with biscuits and caramel mixed with some nutty tones. Taste lends an initial deep raison and nutty flavor, this is followed by an earthy rustic oak finish. This beer is significantly heavy on the palate and finishes wet, the alcohol is very powerful and remains as the final flavor on the palate between drinks. Overall its true to its name, and the flavors work quite well together. I like the addition of molasses to achieve the higher abv here.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.