Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,183 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,183
Hads: 4,167
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 179
Gots: 915 | FT: 52
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: 1,183 | Hads: 4,167
Photo of pnelting
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (241 characters)

Photo of drunkenmess
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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...
Cheers! (331 characters)

Photo of Buck89
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (248 characters)

Photo of Myotus
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled 19Jan15) into a Rona snifter. 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. Has mild flavors of green apples, figs, cherries, oak, molasses, and a hint of alcohol and red grape aromas. Initial taste is of strong molasses, fig, cherry, and alcohol 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. Full-bodied, smooth, almost no carbonation, with a very dry finish. This was a good old ale. I don't like the taste of alcohol and unfortunately, the alcohol wasn't hidden in this one. Hide the alcohol better, and I'd rate this higher. That's just me. (956 characters)

Photo of 98green
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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 (186 characters)

Photo of rockaroo
4.74/5  rDev +19.4%
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. (348 characters)

Photo of lwillitz
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.01/5  rDev +1%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of DelMontiac
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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! (1,263 characters)

Photo of Stebbimacdaddy
4.01/5  rDev +1%
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. (422 characters)

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,509 characters)

Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.56/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (166 characters)

Photo of labattblueribbon
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (204 characters)

Photo of E-McFarden
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of Knilas
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice pour! Great flavor, although I thought it could be a lil more balanced. Looks awesome in the glass, and held up well to the cigar I was smoking that evening. That?s a plus for me! (189 characters)

Photo of Hardsell
4.78/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Great, great beer. Received it on draft in a snifter. The presentation was excellent, with a perfect head ratio by the time it reached the table. The taste gave a very heady, feverish impression. It is supposed to have a high malt presence, and with further analysis I can definitely taste this, but on first impression, the strong malts combine with the high alcohol level, the hops, and the added flavors to create a candied almond-like impression. To some, it might evoke memories cherry tussin, but it's so much more nuanced and interesting than that. It's definitely not fruity, but I might call it floral. The smell is also very evocative of almond, and much less evocative of cherry. This beer definitely strikes me as one that intentionally emphasizes its alcohol content, and as hard as its feverishness is to handle initially, as soon as the palate contextualizes it, it is a near-perfect experience. (910 characters)

Photo of ljbonadonna92
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cloudy copper color with no head. Strong oak character in both nose and taste. Subtle roast notes on the finish along with slight hop character. Alcohol heat definitely present. When it warms up i get hints of honey. (216 characters)

Photo of ZBowden
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear deep honey brown small tan head, smells of molasses coffee and caramel, tastes of hops and slight coffee caramel malts bittered by oak and the high alcohol content, rich silky mouthfeel very light carbonation, (221 characters)

Photo of LaneMeyer
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a blue glass. Hard to see the color clearly. Medium brown color, very little head.

Smells of raisins, moss, cinnamon, nutmeg, bit of rubbing alcohol, cherry, bourbon, hints of dark cherry chocolate.

Tastes a bit woody, tree bark, sticky raisin bread, rubbing alcohol is a bit too prominent and unbalancing, the bourbon notes are quite nice, subtle dark fruits towards the end,

Mouth feel is too watery and thin to be very enjoyable.

Overall a decent beer. Certainly not outstanding in my opinion. Don't love it, don't hate it. Probably wouldn't buy again but wouldn't refuse if offered. (622 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Founders Curmudgeon, are you as amazed as I am that I haven’t reviewed you yet you misanthropic old geezer? ... didn’t think so. Well anyway here we are. I decided long ago I would make my way through the hundred odd beers that Founders brews and this is number 5 for me. Never has knowing you’ve got a mountain to climb looked so fantastic from the bottom, and with that thought - Founders Curmudgeon, an Old Ale, brewed with molasses and oak aged? Brilliant move Founders, brilliant move, time to see if that move pays off (he said knowing it will).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy russet body with a caramel-tinged half centimetre head that dissipates to a light lacing. The fact that it even has a head at all at 9.8% ABV is surprising enough (in a good way). 9/10.

S: MO-LASS-ES! And plenty of it on the nose, don’t think I’ve ever whiffed so much molasses in a brew before. Aroma-wise there’s not much more to say - this could be another FBS where they give you a single aroma and pack in a massive face-punch of flavour - I hope that’s what Founders is doing right now with this curmudgeon. 8/10.

T: And that is precisely what Founders have done. This is one creamy gooey molasses and caramel extravaganza, with characters of: Molasses, caramel, butterscotch, brandy with a dry/earthy hop and woody finish (it’s in the oak, yo). There is a decent amount of booze knocking about giving off a fusel (hot) alcohol note that the sugar, try as it might, it cannot hide. However it is still a tasty Old Ale with more complexity as it “opens” up. 9/10.

M: Heavy bodied, quite viscous, like some sort of molasses-flavoured beer molasses, with a light but very dense carbonation. This is a beer that wants to coat your tongue in its sticky-gooey majesty. Bring it on I say. 9/10.

D: What Founders have done with this, and FBS and Centennial IPA and FIS, et al. is craft a distinctly heavy-rich brash-bold in-your-face experience with every style they seemingly encounter. Not yet have I had a Founders beer and gone “that’s a bit average/bland” they seem to know where the envelope is, how to push it, and extract the maximum from every beer, and I man-love* the bastards for their no-compromise outlook on brewing, cheers Founders! 10/10.

Food match: Roast pork, roast vegetables, ROAST EVERYTHING!

*Which consists solely of a well-timed fist bump. (2,405 characters)

Photo of Junkforadam
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Carmel color, poured with no head. Smells like molasses and mild alcohol. Finishes with mild malt and medium alcohol flavor. Maybe a bit too carbonated (151 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 1/13/15 served at cellar temps in a tulip glass.

Appearance: light red or copper with a nice one finger head that sank to a rim of foam. Love the bottle art of the old salty sailor.

Nose: malty and sugary sweetness, fruity hop aroma, scotch ale sweetness and malt character, found and full nose

Taste: rich and robust, fruity, slight hot alcohols rom the fusels, great mouthfeel and kinda referencing when freshly poured, coats the mouth when warmer and the carbonation has gone. Lingering fruity and slightly bitter finish.

Overall: hmmmm... I didn't get the molasses. I do see how the thick mouthfeel would suggest a thick and rich syrup. Missing key ingredient aside, I really liked this is a great old ale/barleywine. It is kinda annoying that American Brewers can't use the name barleywine. They have to say "barleywine-style ale". They say this can be aged for a bit for added complexity. The malty backbone and alcohol content suggest this is a good collaring candidate. I'll hold on to the remaining 3 for a while and see how things change. (1,068 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Was given a bottle of this by a friend recently, having never had this before. This seemed like the typical Old Ale but because it was so strong, could have been easily confused with being a a Barleywine. Not a fast sipper, there was a lot of complexity to this under the surface and it was so well-crafted that I had to take my time going through this, not even taking into account how potent it was!

Nice pour to this as the beer had a dark copper hue to it, a good amount of clarity, and a moderate tan head that quickly settled. No lacing seen on the side of the glass as this beer had a relatively thin consistency to it. Lots of booze and molasses in the nose, which were even more pronounced when I gave this a sip. Lots of current and cherry under that, which complemented the smoky oak beautifully. Warming and somewhat thin, this went down smooth but not easily as the burn from the alcohol and the wood took a bit of getting used to. Hard to pick out the hops here but there was an ever slight hint of bitterness in the back, which had a blood orange tinge to it. The carbonation was good even if the bubbles themselves weren't visible.

Yes, this was strong and it felt every bit of it from the opening of the bottle to the last drop. The complexity of this is what made it stand out and it was on par with the other beer that I've had from Founders. Just chewy enough without being cloying, the body was full enough to counterbalance the wonderful range of complex flavors without detracting from them. Take a good half hour and more to enjoy this - it's worth it and one of the best examples of this style that's widely available. (1,645 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ruby amber color as poured into a stout glass. Off-white head appears low and creamy. Smells of sweet aged wood.
Tastes of creamy vanilla oak-aged beer, slightly boozy but balanced and , most importantly, quite tasty.
This succeeds in being sweet but not cloying, and ending with flavorful citrus hops as well as an oaky bite you'd expect from a beer aged as such. There's vanilla, and the molasses plays a lighter, nice role in the flavor to me.
Feels medium-full, smooth, slightly sticky.
I enjoy this old ale. I'm sure age can only work wonders for it. (559 characters)

Photo of JavelinWZ
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The effect for me was the malt flavors of a doppelbock (tile Celebrator) with a dash of extra sweetness like a very subtle Crown and Coke. It improved as it sat, I thought, the booziness more pronounced as it warmed. Served in an English pub glass. (250 characters)

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.