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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

1,219 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,219
Hads: 4,342
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 194
Gots: 1,004 | 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
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Reviews: 1,219 | Hads: 4,342
Photo of Slowjamcdub
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good brew, Think classic seafaring ports, local pubs and weathered old fishermen. This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill, then oak-aged. Nice high Alc level. Best part about this beer and the label is cool.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served at cellar temperature from 355ml bottle into American nonic pint glass.

L) Chestnut to light brown colour, some big lumps of yeast, quite a few small bubbles rising. A thin off-white head.

S) Well, alcohol / scotch for a start! Bits of sweet milk chocolate too.

T) Smooth flavour; nothing huge there, bits of scotch, brown ale malt. Not much in the hops department. Raisins and dried fruit from the malt.

F) Very smooth, low carbonation, does not taste anywhere near 9.8% ! Only a slight dry bitterness on the aftertaste. Way too drinkable for a strong beer!

O) Again, the word that comes to mind is smooth. Easy drinking strong ale, glad I've tried it.

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

Thoroughly enjoyed form a growler via Jungle Jim's. This most excellent old ale pours a beautiful reddish amber with a thick head of khaki foam that settles to a beefy ring, pooling layer, and spotty lacing. Nose of light amber molasses, subtle oak, and serious booze. Flavors exceed the nose with a creamy amber molasses and zesty hop bitterness that has touches of woodsy oak that shows itself on the back with rum like notes and subtle cherry flavors. Vastly improves with warmth. Smooth and rich, this one keeps from being a malt bomb by the zesty herbal hops. Medium mouth feel with strong warmth. An excellent old ale.

Cheers

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Photo of Strike00
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Dark Amber with an off-white head and decent lacing.
S: You cant smell the alcohol and the distinct smell of oak aging.
T: you cane taste the slight sourness of the oak as well as an underlying sweetness. Prominent alcohol at the end.
F: light- medium bodies with minimal carbonation. Really smooth.

O: I really enjoyed this sipper. You can tell its a higher ABV but also has great oak flavor and sweetness to balance it out.

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Photo of CaptFrothy
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Meh, when I had this fresh thought the molasses was too forward, so stuffed the other three in the cellar. Now, over a year later, revisited. looks good, smells okay, the molasses taste has subdued.

But in general, yawn, nothing here stands out, just okay to my tasting buds, mouthfeel isn't silky from the aging, taste is unremarkable, can't really name any of the flavors I'm getting here. Color me unimpressed, more cellaring probably can't help this pedestrian liquid.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage, 1 year since bottle date, 12 oz bottle

Appearance- Pours an orangish amber color, transparent and glistens in glass. Half finger thick, soapy, off white colored head, dissipates quickly. Lots of alcohol legs and spotty head lacing.

Aroma- Rich, toasted bready malts. Molasses sweetness, raisins, berry fruits. Port soaked oak, dry astringency and subtle spices.

Taste- Sweet, smooth molasses, rich syrupy sweetness. Toasted, bready malts, subtle raisins and fruits. Lots of dry oak, earthy spice, and subtle vanilla notes.

Feel- Medium feel, syrupy and sticky. Leaves lots of dry astringency that lingers far into aftertaste. Lower to moderate carbonation.

Overall- Molasses coming forward a touch more with age, developing a real depth of malt sweetness with some fruits, and bready toastiness. Still a very forward presence of dry oak on the finish, tons of dry spices, and a real earthy feel. Wonderful sipping beer, just getting better.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Aged almost a year, this copper bodied old ale has a very thin head and an extra thick nose. Smells delicious, slightly malty with tons of caramel, molasses obviously. Full bodied and really goes down smooth, nice sweetness to it.

This to me is an almost perfect winter beer. Nice warming, smooth on the pallet... A+

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Photo of willic
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber or copper, medium dark head, appears thin
Aroma: Intense! Sweet dried fruits? Toffee?
Flavor: Come to mama! The intensity builds in your mouth! Oaky, creamy, complex
Mouthfeel: Thin in body, with smoooooth texture and fun carbonation
Overall: VERY impressive beer! I really enjoyed!!!

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 2/06/14.

Comes in a completely turbid and opaque reddish brown color. Almost no head is produced, but wisps of lacing are still left along the inside of the glass.
It smells like canned plums in syrup, honey, sweet and sour cherries, toffee, vanilla, and oak.
The palate smacks of huge dark fruit and complex malt flavors. Cherries, dates, figs, plums, and raisins meet caramel, toffee, honey, wood smoke, and beets. Oak and vanilla are also there, smoothing things out. There's some warmth of booze on the finish, followed by a lingering sweetness.
The mouthfeel isn't super thick, more medium, but oily. Lightly carbonated.

Wow. Another success from Founders. They can do no wrong in my eyes.

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Photo of Marius
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355 ml bottle. Clear ruby pour, little head. Smells of malted barley, caramel and caramelized fruit (cherries, prunes, stuff like that), raisins. Heavy caramel in the mouth, together with a hop bitterness and a metallic feeling in the background. Not one of the best old ales out there.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque amber producing 3+ fingers of frothy, lasting, beige head that leaves nice chunky rings & webs of sticky lace. Aroma is toffee/molasses & fruitcake, bready malts, candy apple, thin dark fruits, herbal hops, booze & a whiff of pine. Taste is a malty caramel & toffee/molasses, fruitcake, boozy, some dark fruits, roasted nuts, wood/vanilla with a boozy-sweet, woody finish & aftertaste of caramel, toffee, wood & alcohol spice. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, smooth, chewy & syrupy with prickles from front to finish. This is an absolute delight!

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Photo of havron
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled date of 02/05/2015. The man on the bottle looks a bit like my old college chemistry teacher, which is a bonus. Poured into a tulip and imbibed 12/18/2015.

L: Pours a slightly hazy dark amber-copper with a good khaki head that recedes to a thin persistent ring leaving slow downsliding lacing as a cavalcade of tiny bubbles continue to rise up through the elixir from the bottom of the glass.

S: Oak and toffee, with notes of molasses and dark fruits. Alcohol is perceptible but inviting rather than acrid.

T: Smooth oaky goodness for days, that only gets better and better as the beer warms. Over the continuous malty oak backbone a moderately alcoholic and carbonated pungency rapidly builds and then quickly recedes to reveal flavors of dark fruits and sweet molasses counterpointed by a background melody of earthy hops. Woody shades of oak linger long on the tongue. Quite pleasant.

F: Uncannily smooth, full-bodied with very little alcohol bite and absurdly quaffable for the ABV. Is this really 9.8%? Damn....yep. I am definitely feeling it toward the end of the glass. This stuff could be dangerous in the wrong hands.

O: Another solid ale from Founders. The premiere brewery from the state of my birth continues to represent the Pleasant Peninsula with first-rate brews. Rock on, you crafty ladies and gentlemen. Rock on.

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Photo of DaneBramage
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard to describe, lots of flavors involved here such as molasses, tobacco, chocolate, toffee, caramel, vanilla and burnt fruit. Very smoky but all of the flavors seem to coexist well together. Another solid effort from Founders.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - dark copper murky beer, no head and therefore no lacing
S - musty, leather, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butterscotch
T - musty, leather, dark fruits, tobacco, caramel, vanilla, bitter earthy hops
M - heavy, alcohol completely covered, aftertaste is musty, old, wholesome malts
O - great beer, bottled 1/14/15 drank 12/12/15, age is good for this one

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 3/1/2014. The body is a bright orange amber color with a short-lasting off white head. The smell is loaded with sweet malts, caramel, candied rum raisin, heavy oak, dark fruit, vanilla, brown sugar and molasses, maybe some leather or tobacco qualities. Mouth feel is on the fuller side of medium, there's some alcohol warmth felt after the swallow, dry finish, and not as sweet tasting as the smell would suggest. Very well balanced by the bitterness of the hops, which, by now, don't come through at all except for maybe an underlying earthiness. The flavor starts off with a sweet maltiness, honey, toffee, molasses, followed by a bitterness of the oak? some dark fruits, and toast. I enjoy this one more with at least a year on it.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle served at cellar temperature into a tulip. Bottled May 2, 2015.

Appearance - an aggressive pour leads to a dark ruby coloured beer capped with a finger of off-white head and good retention. A small thin curtain of lace cascades down the sides of the glass. The beer is just a bit cloudy and plenty of lively bubbles.

Smell - big time aroma of predominately molasses and treacle. Some related aromas of caramel, and butterscotch too, but mostly molasses.

Taste - huge malt flavours, molasses, treacle and even some liquorice for good measure. Great flavor combo that works well as a sipper. Bitterness is present but restrained although it prevents this old ale from becoming sweet. Alcohol flavours aren't too noticeable either.

Mouthfeel - smooth, with good carbonation and a thick body that is chewy like a piece of fine toffee. Body is definitely on the heavy side but it complements the flavours rather than detracting.

Overall - an awesome old ale, that I'm thankful I've tried. Huge body and molasses flavours make this not the most well rounded beer but the malt dimension is so great on this that it doesn't matter. Definitely a beer for all beer advocates.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.56/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

** from Old Notes, 4/18/2013
Musty. Aroma reminds me of the smell of old peoples houses that I recall from collecting as a paperboy. Great memories, terrible olfactories.Clear Copper, small head. Lasting lace.Quite sour. Overly bitter sour makes for a puckery feel. Endearing flavor, but takes a while to get into.Clean brew. Not smooth. After"feel" is "Pasta Starchy". Not quite a success; though I am still a big fan of Founders.

**

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Photo of FBGordon
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on draft into an Irish pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful copper with amber highlights, has an off-white head that laces nicely.

S: Notes of caramel and some piney hops with a touch of toffee.

T: Some hops out of the gate, notes of apricot and bread crust with some bitterness settling on the back end.

M: Medium body with good carbonation, a little bitterness on the back end.

O: A solid, enjoyable ale. Don't let the "Old Ale" style deter you, this is a style and a beer that you need to try. It's a big, heady beer at 9.8%, so drink responsibly!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass in November 2015. Liked to see the bottled date on the bottle, and drank it 5 months after the bottling.

Appearance: Deep amber with dark tan head. Beer is clear and not cloudy. Head is thick, and leaves a thin film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and some hops. Nice variety and balance

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the hops. There is a little roasted coffee flavor, and I also get nice caramel flavors, balanced with a bit of hops. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Strong alcohol, which confirms the 9.8% on the bottle.

This is a smooth full-bodied Old Ale. It is an interesting combination of flavors, and I want to drink this again.

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Photo of DrSpaceman
4.56/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Thick head with good retention on top of beautiful clear amber. Smell is lacking in the oak, just malt. Taste is amazing, perfectly done old ale. Just the right amount of oak to bring it all together. Body is thick, and holds up strong to the 9.8% abv. I think I have found a new favorite old ale, rich and buttery perfection.

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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 DJ-Hophead
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle, Brewers Droop, Bristol - Pours clear amber with a large white head. Nice lacing. Medium carbonation. Smell - Light caramel with hints of roasted coffee. Taste - Very sweet with a hint of caramel and light malty boozy finish. Nice strong slow easy driniking ale even through the sweetness but definitely a sipper for cold winter nights.

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Photo of ZAP
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L-Chestnut colored....minimal head..

S-Excellent. Big chewy caramel and nougat.....vanilla...

T-The flavor does not bring as much intensity as I hoped for from the aroma. You get some oak/vanilla, caramel and nougat but in lighter doses and there is a bit of alcohol bite on the back end.

F-Pretty boozy and sharp. Alcohol is not hidden in this one.

O-I like this but had higher hopes off the initial smell.....a bit too sharp with the grain alcohol like impression for my tastes...

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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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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,219 ratings.