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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

3,606 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,606
Reviews: 1,105
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 140
Gots: 678 | FT: 47
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: 3,606 | Reviews: 1,105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pizza Plant Transit. It was so good it was as if it was brewed right here. Dark boddy with thin head. Stouty roast aroma. Hoppy and spicy. Medium-full body. I like the style, it's more drinkable than a barleywine. The understated carbonation at this location does it justice.

Sammy, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -0.2%

t0rin0, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bsuedekum and SamuelJackson45 for each sending me a bottle of this one!

Pours a murky amber color with a 2 inch light orange head that fades to a thin cap. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of malt, caramel, and maybe some brown sugar. Taste is of malt, caramel, brown sugar, with a spicy hop bite. There is a little bit of bitterness that quickly fades after each sip. A very low level of carbonation makes for a thick and chewy mouthfeel that is a bit flat. Overall, this is a pretty good beer from Founders but the mouthfeel is not that great in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, May 30, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.2%

djrn2, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

zestar, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.2%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a nice white head. The aroma is that of dark and tart fruits mixed with sweet malt. The taste is quite sweet with a little bit of bread. A bit of the fruity sweetness as well. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very nice, and becomes a lovely sipper as it warms up.

Thorpe429, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -0.2%

nmann08, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is brownish-amber in color and didn't arrive to my table with that much of a head. It's difficult to see any rising bubbles in the glass.
S: A somewhat sweet smell is evident--most likely from the molasses--but it isn't all that strong.
T: The taste is very well balanced and starts off with malty sweetness followed by hop bitterness in the finish. You can definitely taste some of the alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate, smooth, and somewhat syrupy.
D: I don't think I could have more than one of these in a sitting but it's definitely a good beer to sip.

metter98, May 05, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Texasfan549, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a foamy head that fades away rather quickly but leaves a few dots and dashes

Smell: Toffee, stone fruit and vanilla

Taste: Opens with a big toffee flavor that adds a stone fruit and oak character, at first, and then a citrusy aspect by mid-palate, all laden with undertones of alcohol; after the swallow, the toffee sweetness and vanilla returns to mellow out the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: A very fine example of an old ale; not quite chewy enough to be a barleywine, but filled with complexity

brentk56, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky melted toffee with blurry orange and amber edges. The pour resulted in scant head formation, just one finger of brown sugar colored cream that doesn't look as though it's interested in leaving much lace. That's okay, the beer itself more than makes up for it.

I like the nose, but it could be deeper and more complex. Maybe warming will help open things up a little. I smell earthy caramel, dark fruit and a hint of cocoa. I've read that the 2006 vintage (this bottle) was aged in bourbon barrels. Unless something changes on the palate, I have my doubts about the barrel-aged bona fides of this batch.

Thankfully, Curmudgeon takes on more of a winning personality on the taste buds. I was beginning to think that Founders lost their touch for brewing great beer. No worries on that front. I love what I'm tasting at this point and should be blown away once the slight chill is lost. It tastes like one of those ales that likes to be at or near room temperature.

A prodigious amount of caramel malt is present, resulting in a 'sticky toffee pudding' flavor the likes of which I've rarely encounted. Accessory flavors include dark rum-soaked raisins and dark brown sugar-crusted bitter orange peel. What a fantastic confluence of sweet and bitter. Sweet wins handily, by the way.

Alcohol is beautifully integrated, while still providing a power and a presence that all old ales (the good ones anyway) need to have. I'm still reminded of rich, mellow dark rum, but thanks to the caramelized sugar and vanilla notes, I'm no longer scoffing at the possibility that this bottle is from one of the bourbon barrel-aged batches. Say that five times fast.

The mouthfeel is dangerously close to perfection. I've had bigger old ales and I've had sticker old ales, but I've haven't had too many that possessed this combination of size, smoothness and silkiness. This stuff is so easy to drink that I've almost drained the entire bottle when I thought I was only halfway through.

Curmudgeon is yet another outstanding beer from Michigan's best brewery (sorry Mr. Bell). There are very few beer artisans who nail each and every style like these guys do. That's why they're on my list of 'Top-10 American Craft Breweries' and will be for the foreseeable future. If you want a delicous old ale that is pretty close to the gold standard for the style, seek this one out.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I always feel bad when I rate an Old Ale that isn't very old. But, since it is on the shelves, I will drink, and I will rate. Gulp....yep, it needs more time. There are some really nice flavors going on, but the beer is everywhere. The nose brings out everything from candied malts to spicy hops to dark fruits to caugh syrup. The tastes closely mimic the aromas, but with emphasis on a candy sweetness, harsh alcohols, and raisons and licorice. The beer feels a bit too hot and scrubbing in the mouth with sugary stickiness. It will be nice to see how the beer develops over the next year or two, but it's not ready yet. Thanks Clvand0 for the bottle.

BEERchitect, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -0.2%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
1.55/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy brown color ale with a small foamy head with small rings of lacing. Aroma is super sweet, almost disgustingly so with some notes of alcohol. Taste is a huge mess between some intense sweetness, oily texture with some cloying notes of alcohol. I couldn’t find anything close to old ale but more of an American barleywine with some unbalance feature. I usually love product from this brewery but this beer did not profit from barrel-aging.

Phyl21ca, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -0.2%

GRG1313, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 12 oz bottle that I received in a trade a long while ago, but never got around to actually trying. Served at cellar temperature in an over sized wine glass. Consumed on 07/22/2008.

Poured this one out in to the glass and it looked like a Barley Wine at first. Very hazy with a touch of sediment in the bottom. Dark amber color with some orange highlight and a minimal head. Nice side glass lacing through and a good bit of carbonation could be seen streaking up from the bottom.

The aroma was charged with alcohol. Really quite hot this surprised me. Brandy aroma was dominant. As it warmed through it did get a touch better and ended up with a nice malty aroma. Nice sweet smells of caramel and grain, some cereal like tones as well. A touch of spice in the flavor was evident right away, but the flavor was a touch hot as well until it warmed. Nice oak flavor running through here, with touches of cereal like grains and a nice all around profile. Bready in the middle with a drier, slightly hoped finish, but most of it was drown out but the rum like tasty and peppery flavor that ended it. The feel was very nice, with a good carbonation profile that just would not quite, and a medium body. A solid sipper, this one took me a bit to be able to finish as there was no way that this was going down all in one shot.

Overall a very solid beer, and a good example of the style, though I doubt this is anything that I would really seek out, as there are some much nice examples out there. Still though if it were sitting on the shelf near me I would definitely pick this one up.

mikesgroove, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6%

jaydoc, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tendermorsel for this bottle. I've been holding on to it for several months and have been meaning to crack it for awhile.

A: The pour is a dark, dark mahogany color with a lot of yeast floaties, and a thin ring of cream colored head.

S: The nose is quite rich with notes of sherry, dark fruit (raisins in particular), caramel, vanilla, and alcohol.

T: The sweet caramel malt is the primary flavor component with some sweet, dark fruits, vanilla, and quite a bit of alcohol. There's also a mild bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

D: A very nice old ale and a good beer to sip on throughout an evening.

womencantsail, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick off white head on a murky amber with golden hues body.

S: mostly toasted malts, light toffee, breads, molasses and some dark fruits, mostly of the fig and apricot variety.

T: sweeter than I was expecting, mostly from toffee, caramel and brown sugars. malt and bread heavy. the alcohol is well hidden. I fairly spicey finish.

M: creamy and smooth medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: The malt profile is excellent and adds a lot to the mouthfeel. Its a little sweet for how I like this style. Very drinkable for the ABV.

kylehay2004, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a dark brown color without much head on top. The smell of the beer was malty and pretty sweet smelling actually. There was also some boozy aromas that flooded the nose too. The taste of the beer was sweet and lightly roasted, lots of caramel flavors and some fresh wood in there too. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Overall this beer was pretty good, I feel it gets better with some age to it. Either way it's another good brew from Founder's.

Knapp85, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 ounce goblet - $9.00 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Dispensed into a simple, all-purpose goblet a hazed, mahogany-hued body with a scant, white head.

Smell: A rich, invitingly malty nose smelling of caramel, chunks of toast, and brown sugar stirred up into cake batter. Fruity notes of citrus, cherries, and green raisins punctuated by some stinging alcoholic wafts.

Taste: The lush, tempting sweetness of heavily caramelized sugars with additional tastes of toasted bread, light brown sugar, and spiced holiday cake. The fruitiness from the aroma is well-represented in a taste of raisins marinated in cherry liqueur and spiced with a bit of dried orange peel. Moderate bitterness provides a bit of balance, though this one remains fairly on the sweet side of things. Soft, sweet finish with plenty of alcohol warmth rolling in.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with a mouthfeel both smooth and a bit sticky. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Bold AND beautiful. A quality sipper, even on a day in South filled with 100-degree heat and 100-percent humidity.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic a clear rich auburn color with a thinner but well sustained white head.Alcohol dipped fruit and vanilla stand out most in the nose with a hint of brown sugar,its warming at malt driven.Mouthfeel is a little sticky and a little thinner than expected,flavors are sweet up front with some cherry-like fruitiness and vanilla and the alcohol gives a little burn,there is a racey drying hop finish with is nice and balanced.A sipping brew, a nice warmer on a day like yesterday.

oberon, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -0.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,606 ratings.