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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

1,188 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,188
Hads: 4,206
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 177
Gots: 946 | FT: 54
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: 1,188 | Hads: 4,206
Photo of andylipp
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
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). (889 characters)

Photo of joeskirkie
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a snifter near-opaque copper. Not much in the way of head.

On the nose there are some dark fruit notes, some caramel, vanilla, and alcohol.

Taste is intense: creamy vanilla sweetness and alcohol. Hints of some dark fruits, but mostly vanilla.

It's really nice to to relax with. It's smooth like a Bailey's or a good bourbon.

I can see myself getting more of these. (379 characters)

Photo of AltBock
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was able to try this Founders beer on tap courtesy of the High Street Grill. It was still on tap there around 11/29/2008. They served it to me in River Horse pint glass.

I saw the bartender pour it straight from the tap and it looked like he was pouring a slow thick molasses into my pint glass. When the beer settled, I saw that it was a hazy cranberry orange color. It had more cranberry than orange in it. On top of this hazy brew was a good 1/2 an inch head of pure white foam. This head of foam had decent retention that left behind a long lasting skim of white foam, a small string of white rings, and one streak of white lace. The aroma was no joke! This Old Ale was on the sweet side with roasted wheat, plenty of sweet black cherries, a touch of caramel, a subtle hint of grapefruit, lightly roasted pine needles, and a few dried herbal hops at the end. The taste was messing around either. The taste kicks off on the sweet side with toasted caramel malts, a speck of roasted wheat, and a splash of dried black cherries. Then after the black cherries leave the tongue, the taste then goes dry, bitter, and alcoholic with dried citrus hops, a few dried citrus fruits, quite a few pine needles, and a big bite of alcohol. Sometimes the hops and alcohol will mix together to make the taste a little harsh to drink. This was clearly a full bodied beer with a strong full flavored aftertaste of dried citrus hops, black cherries, a gentle touch of caramel, and plenty of alcohol. This strong aftertaste will linger on for some time. This beer doesn't even try to mask its high alcohol content. It was a nice lightly sweet big beer, but like I said before, it can get a little harsh to drink sometimes. Be careful with one. Take your time sipping this big beer. (1,768 characters)

Photo of Shumista
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle allowed to sit out of the fridge and warm for 20-25 minutes before being poured into my Chimay goblet.

A- Curmudgeon pours a dark amber, with a 1 inch creamy off white head.
S- Thick sweet malts, toffee, caramel, alcohol, and some woodiness.
T- Very unique. The backbone is certainly the huge sweet malts but there is a ton going on here. Molasses, caramel, dark fruits, some wood character, whiskey and a very noticeable alcohol presence that borders on being too much. I don't notice a lot of hoppy bitterness in the flavor but I'm sure it's there, intermingling with everything else.
M- Thick, creamy and very full bodied. As I said the alcohol presence is strong and noticeable.
D- The alcohol being as noticeable as it was took away from this beer's drinkability. One would be great to sip next to the fire on a cold winter night, but I don't think I would want another. Maybe I'd save one and pour it over my pancakes in the morning though. (963 characters)

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

Reviewed from notes as I enjoyed this on-tap at La cave Du Vin several weeks ago now. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a dark amber/copper color with a tan head that was about 1/2 inch thick when served. It eventually sets to a medium sized white ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing. Has a malty caramel aroma with strong hints of some dark fruit and oak. Has a caramel malt flavor along with the oaked flavor and some dark fruit which is a bit tart and maybe a hint of spice and a bit of alcohol. Has a very crisp, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink.

Eric (628 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12-ounce bottle served cellar-cool, poured into a small tulip glass yields a dark copper body capped with a half-finger-deep layer of creamy foam a shade darker than 'ivory'. The head recedes rather quickly into a medium-thick collar that leaves wispy lacing on the glass.

The smell is pretty mild overall, but there is a bit of cocoa-dusted caramel and toasty malt to keep me interested. A whiff of tangy unsulphured molasses emerges late in the drink

The taste is savory and toffee-sweet with a sizzle of cocoa bitterness and caramel-infused black coffee. Waves of dark brown sugar interspersed with with rich dark chocolate mostly cover a tangible alcohol note that comes off fresh, vanilla-like, and cleansing.

The drink is full-bodied with a tingle of carbonation and silky feel. Very good drinkability for style. (823 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of gmcfarre
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a surprisingly clear ruby color with a minimal off-white head. Minimal lacing. Beautiful color, not much else.

S - Intense sweetness with a nice woody flavor for balance. Plum, raisin and dark currants with some smooth vinous qualities. Alcohol is a strong component.

T - Smooth with strong sweetness from beginning to end. Not to say that its not complex. Loads of dark fruit flavor: plum, raisin, dark grapes. Vanilla and a delightful earthy, wood flavor. Strong alcohol bite develops at the finish as this beer warms. Beautifully complex, and true to its name.

M - Rich and full body with a smooth mouthfeel. Sharp alcoholic bite at the finish.

D - Delicious flavor stays accurate throughout. High alcohol in flavor doesn't necessarily translate to high alcohol in effect and drinkability. A terrific brew from Founders. (889 characters)

Photo of FrognutUnl
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours blurry nut brown in color (a little lighter than I would have expected) with a single finger head that dissipates to a foamy swirl. Nose is deep caramel and vanilla, not much else going on here. Taste is much like the nose with the addition of some hop bitterness and a slightly woody taste. The alcohol is very present, but not overly so for the style. The mouthfeel is a little thin compared to other old ales I have had. Drinkability is only so so on this one, the hops seem oddly placed, perhaps in another six months this will improve. (546 characters)

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a single 12 oz of this guy after really being impressed by the Breakfast Stout. I really dig the artwork of the labels, and always love me a stubby bottle. Poured into an oversize snifter after letting it warm to room temp a bit.

Curmudgeon entered the glass a milk, honey brown. Head is basically nonexistent, which is a cause for concern for this particular bottle. A thin film around the edges, leaving very minimal lacing. Also leaving much to the imagination is a lack of much in the sell department. Though, in its defense, as it warms they come more alive. Gooey caramel, spiced fig, and other sweet candied notes come alive, in what is obviously going to be a nice big malt bomb.

And a big malt bomb it is. My eye lit up instantly. After beginning to be let down by this brew, the taste really came in guns blazing. Curmudgeon begins by coating your tongue with a rye bread, moving to the back of the mouth releasing the sweetest of old ale yeastiness. Tons of sweet sugar, a big carame punch, and dark fruits. The finish is balanced out with a slighty grassy bitterness. Finish also is quite dry, keeping your hand in constant swing for more.

While starting slow, this one finished with a bang. Technically this isn't my favorite, but for sure I'll be loading up my closet with these. (1,309 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.85/5  rDev -3%
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. (856 characters)

Photo of craytonic
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright golden orange-amber. Amazing bubbles.

Smell: Light and dark raisins, toffee, brown sugar

Taste: Sweet bread, honey, caramel, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar. A hint of bourbon. Maybe some marshmallows as well?

Mouthfeel: Near-perfect. A tad sticky from the sugar, like candy almost.

Drinkability: It opens up as it warms. Much more drinkable than a barleywine. It is a very full-bodied beer and makes it known. Very good, I would like to try it again. (471 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of afterexile - thanks!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yet bright amber, with great orange and reddish hues and a tan but fast-fading one-finger head. The lacing is glittery, fine, but alcohol-retarded like the head. A really nice color on this one, but a little to be desired with the retention and lacing.

Aroma: That's more like it. The malt bill is intensely aromatic, lending a nice amount of buttery toffee, caramel, marshmallow, sweet breadiness. Fruits come through a little more as things warm. Hints of wood and vanilla - was this one barrel aged? Very nice.

Taste: Nice, although a little hot. A really great malt profile is obviously the backbone of any solid old ale, and this one's no different: perhaps more buttery than many, but with a huge dose of roasted, caramel malts, toffee, slight maple syrup. A slight dose of fruits, mostly darker fructose notes, but a few lighter esters sneak through the EtOH shroud.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation in a relatively heavy (but not too heavy) body lends a nice, smooth feel to everything. A slight alcohol prickle - perhaps enhanced by the 50 IBUs - hardly distracts from the pillowy evenness.

Drinkability: Founders continues to be one of my favorite breweries, and this one really comes into its own as it warms. Yeah, it's a little hot and could do with being laid down for a year or two (an older ale?), and the abv% is high regardless - approaching double-digits - but there's a ton of great stuff here. (1,521 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 avalon07
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a good quarter inch of foamy head and solid lacing.

S: Very potent smell of multiple sugars, malt, and some hops.

T: A nicely complex taste of malt, mild hops, caramel, toffee and some other sugars. The sugars almost overwhelm the taste, but it stays fairly balanced.

M: A pretty good amount of carbonation and a kind of slick finish. Full-bodied.

D: In some ways, this reminded me of a barleywine, probably because of the caramel. Overall, this is a drinkable beer, one good for the winter months. (598 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)

Photo of TexIndy
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with csmiley - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dating info) into a pint glass. This is my first Old Ale so excited to try it. It is a cloudy red orange with a ton of sediment floating about. Center carb fountain and no lacing. It barely had a head and that evaporated as quickly as it appeared.

The aroma was really good. Nice and oaky without the overwhelming bourbon smell I've come to associate with oak in beers. Also get dark fruits and wine. Very appetizing. The taste follows the aroma. Nice solid oaky, fruity taste. Goes down way too smooth for something with 9% ABV. You can taste the alcohol but is really well balanced so it doesn't overwhelm.

Overall, there is a really great beer that I highly recommend. Looking forward to trying some more in the style. (796 characters)

Photo of bahumutx
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper with hardly any head.

Smell: Great aroma! Caramel, cream, dark fruit, vanilla and slight alcohol. There is also a brandy like aroma that is present.

Taste: Starts with a nice sweet malt flavor that resembles caramel. Goes on to an alcohol flavor and ends with a nice roasted malt flavor. There are some slight flavors of dark fruit and brandy.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel. Somewhat creamy with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Due to the higher alcohol and complexity of flavor this is definitely a sipper in my book.

Another great beer from Founders. I enjoyed this on a cold November night and it did the trick of warming me up. An great example of the style. (756 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby color with a creamy off white head. Decent retention with some clingy lacing.

Sweet aroma overall. Dark fruit and molasses are picked up easily up front. Oak aged also has left its mark on the smell.

Big malt up front. Sweet thick maltiness you can expect from an old ale. Warming alcohol is noticeable but not overly done. There is an earthiness imparted from the oak. Dark fruit flavors are there but not as dominate as the smell would suggest.

Medium bodied and low carbonation. Does drink smooth but is definitely a sipper.

Very enjoyable to brew to enjoy over time. Not one to go back to after finishing the first. (637 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a quite foggy rubyhued amber with a thick creme head. Nose is minimal with caramel and dark fruits and a malty overall tone. Slight bit of booze. Flavor carries a kick of liquid aspects (boozy burn) with an earthy tone. Dark fruits. Sweet tone. Feel is thicker on liquid and low on carbonation. For an old ale, this seems a bit...young. It's nice, but I think 2-3 more yearsmight do it justice.

Thanks to spointon for this one! (434 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to fogdog for this bottle.

Appearance: Pours a murky, dark reddish-amber, with a slowly-coagulating, creamy, khaki-colored head. Lots of suspended yeast sediment floating around. Head doesn't last long; becomes a wispy ring of bubbles. Leaves decent lace.

Smell: Dark berries, molasses, oak, fruity esters, bready yeast, raisins and spices. As I sit here sniffing it, the dark fruits and bread aromas really start coming forth. Maybe a little bourbon as well. Great balance and mixing, though I wish it were a tad stronger.

Taste: Lots of warm bread, caramel, and spice. Dark fruit flavors are there but a bit subdued, especially when compared to the smell. Sweet molasses and bourbon flavors fill in very nicely. Flavors meld very well, just like in smell.

Mouthfeel: Slick and somewhat syrupy, yet watery. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels a bit gritty with all of the yeast sediment. Great mouth-numbing and good warming as well.

Drinkability: A milder flavor and smell than I'm used to, thus making it more than just a sipper. Not the best old ale I've had, but one that's worth a try. Wish there was a little more umph to it. (1,156 characters)

Photo of dschuster03
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For my first official BA review, I'm choosing the Founders Curmudgeon. Why? I have no idea. Ever since my middle school hay days I have loved the word, Curmudgeon - although at the time I was rather oblivious to its meaning, and merely fond of the similarly titled Nirvana B-side.

For quite some time in my beer loving days I had searched high and low for this beer. I worked to set up a number of trades to pick just one up to try, each inevitably falling dead in their own tracks. Then one day, as if the gods themselves had been watching my search, it just showed up. And I'm not talking about a trip to Grand Rapids I took in search of the beer (to no avail), nor stops on the same trip to handfuls of local Michigan beer stores (again to no avail), and I'm not even talking about a happen-chance finding of a single bottle in the back room of a store no one would have ever thought to find the brew. No. I mean it just showed up. Seriously - right now, it's all over Cincinnati. I mean everywhere. How about that for serendipitous notion? But hey, I'm not complaining! And either way, it showed up, and then it found its way into my cellar - from the looks of it by the truckload at that.

But I digress. I poured this beer before even navigating to the review page here on BA and my taste buds are getting impatient. It is worthy to note that I have poured my Curmudgeon at cellar temperature into a deep stemless white wine glass - my glass of choice of lately for enjoying anything as particularly malty as this.

This beer pours a beautiful, deep red mahogany, and quickly gathers a finger and a half of light brown head. The head dissipates a little too quickly, but leaves an amoeba of lacing griping tight to the glass. There is a touch of standing sediment hanging out in the beer, but nothing to frown upon for this style.

The smell! This one knocks in with some thick, boozy notes that are backed up by caramel, molasses, deep grape, and, although I can't touch what this particular flavor is, I will describe the overall smell as "burnt sticky caramel corn." I am fighting the urge to find the correct words to describe this beer with my desire to toss this one down the hatch. And in that case... bottoms up!

Burnt Sticky Caramel Corn is pretty accurate if you ask me! The Old Curmudgeon hits the tongue with a quickly waning hit of fresh hops, grazes the tongue gracefully through its candy-like mid-body and rushes down the back of the throat almost like it wasn't even there. This one sits on the tongue after finish and simply bubbles for a while, asking for another sip. The sweetness sits with a light glaze through the mouth and reaffirms my newly coined burnt sticky caramel corn flavor profile. Plus some plum... yeah, a little bit of plum. Once it goes down, though, it's like I'm breathing fire here. Not like some crazy burn-down-the-house fire; more like a sitting by the campfire making s'mores (s'more what?) fire. The booze sits nicely and keeps the warming coming quite nicely. I could take this one out in 40 degree weather in shorts and a t-shirt and keep warm. I like that.

As much as I really like this beer, I'd love to have a little more variety in flavor aside from the aforementioned notes. For what is there, however, I can certainly appreciate the flavors, and there is nothing about this one that says, you can't have just one. On a good night with some good company, I could sip on these for quite some time. Well worth the wait to finally try these, and I am more than appreciative that I had quite a few more of these in my cellar.

Cheers! (3,594 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Autumn colored ale with a full white head. Very nice complex aroma has complexity from the malt as well as the barrel. Notes of vanilla, creme brulee, cookie, coconut as well as some spice nuances and barrel character. Flavor has some complexity from the original beer (caramel., toffee), as well as some light notes of whiskey, peat, toasted wood and vanilla. A fairly nice ale. (379 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original rating 11/3/2008 - 4.0/3.5/3.5/3.0/3.0 Overall - 3.35

Props to SirSketch for this LIF brew; 12 oz. bottle into a Delirium tulip.

Out of the light, Curmudgeon appears listless, brick red in color, and hazy. In the light, however, it takes on a vibrant, bloody-copper glow, and a trail of small bubbles can be seen rising up from the etched glass bottom. The faint custard head retreats almost as quickly as it forms, and leaves behind only a thin ring of foam around the top. The aroma smells great, I just wish there were more of it: crystallized sugar and cotton candy give way to a nutty, spicy yeast presence, while the hops add a kiss of floral grassiness to the mix.

The flavor starts off with hot alcohol and spices, a bit medicinal at times, but pulls back just before things get too overbearing. Alcohol warmth continues into the finish, delivering a sweet and bitter mix of brandy and cough syrup. Caramel malts and a slight hop edge are somewhere in the middle, but ultimately get overshadowed. Mouthfeel is sticky, syrupy, and hot with booze, while carbonation is almost non-existant. If I were to come across this again, I'd absolutely give it a few years in the cellar before unleashing it on unsuspecting palates. Too much alcohol, not enough restraint.

[EDIT: Tried a bottle on 12/28/2011 that was almost 2 years old. Very tasty, with subdued alcohol and a smooth, caramel maltiness. Dried fruits and a tinge of hops made for a well-rounded old ale. Leagues better than when this beer was fresh.] (1,525 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,188 ratings.