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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,841 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2841
Reviews: 1037
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%


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: 2,841 | Reviews: 1,037 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2006 05:11:18 | More by Sammy
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UCLABrewN84

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 03:33:09 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2007 15:24:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 23:34:17 | More by mikesgroove
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womencantsail

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 06:17:29 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 01:47:31 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2007 21:36:26 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 16:49:25 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2009 18:34:54 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2010 12:53:13 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2010 16:44:20 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 13:19:35 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Honestly, this so-called "Curmudgeon" doesn't seem all that misanthropic to me. Just a colder-climate version o' good ol' Santiago. Something like that. Anyway, the beer pours a clear ruby, tinted slightly toward amber, topped by a short head o' ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises biscuits, walnuts, rich caramel, and a stinging underbelly of bright fruit. A healthy boozy feel slices through dully, marring the nasal proceedings. The taste continues the malty tradition set forth in the smell, in the process transmogrifying the fruit into a hoppy bitterness, strong and dull. A touch of leather rules the aftertaste. I can't call this a balanced flavor, but I won't go so far as to declare a state of koyaanisqatsi either. Hell, that damn droning is just annoying (and kinda boring after a while, too). Ahem. The body is a hefty medium, with a light carbonation and a very slight mouth-coating feel. Overall, an OK brew, but not one I would regularly pursue by any stretch of the imagination.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 04:47:16 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque magenta appearance, slim, thinnish head...likeable, for the style.

Wicked aroma, twisted, thick with dark fruit, port wine, brandy, anise, a bit woody, alcohol evident...fading a touch from the first...but a formidable presence right off the bat. Strong in all aspects.

Tastin'...Thick, clingy, full,old, huge, massive...what, again? A little sweet, and deliciuos,...yum...yum, yum, yum...Gets to mellowing here, and there, but still a magnificent presence. Nice barleywine, I mean "old ale". I mean, "whatever", all the way around.

Sweetness succeeds in the end, emboldened by the great fruity flavor and matched up with the booze. I love it. That's a fine compliment, from one curmudgeon to another.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 10:41:26 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky brown color with no head and no lace.

S: The smell is of caramel, malt and alcohol.

T: The taste is sweet and boozy. It has the caramelized malt flavor & dark fruits along with the alcohol warmth. For all of its sweetness, it leaves a slightly bitter after-taste.

M: Very smooth for a beer with such a high ABV, light carbonation, medium-to-heavy body, finish is dry but leaves a little stickiness behind.

O: This one is a sipper and not a pounder but I could sip it for a while. It doesn’t fill you up but gets you going in a hurry.

I had been looking forward to trying an Ole Ale and I was looking forward to trying something from Founders, so I killed two proverbial birds with one proverbial stone. I’m now looking forward to trying more of both.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 03:53:50 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

^That is a beautiful picture ^
Aged bottle, first release? 12oz. shared with kmpitz2, thanks!

It pours a tawny reddish brown, murky with suspended particles. Light gets through a little bit. Some spotty lace is left, and at the very least a ring around the edge.

Aroma is mellow, sweet toffee and caramel, I can tell this is a beefy one. As it warms, more depth is apparent.

Toffee flavors, with an oak nuance behind it. Very cohesive and mellowed, it doesn't feel alcoholic at all. Caramel and wood, sturdy and balanced. Age has worked wonders on this beast. Rich and fairly well carbonated, it has a divine feel to it. Seek it out...

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2008 05:30:39 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to czoch75 for this one! Thanks Clint, enjoying this as the Saints/Bears game goes to OT!

Pours an effervescent caramel with some sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Superb oaky bourbon notes, then a a whiff of dirt??

T: Bourbon soaked toffee, some caramel & a bit of smokeyness up front. Dryness dominates as this warms, along with boozey butterscotch & marmalade, vanilla & drambuie (sic). Finishes with some boozey oak, & butterscotch

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation & some stickyness, thickens up as it warms

Drinks pretty easy, considering the style, ABV & dryness. This was on the verge of greatness, but needed more body or aging to pull it together

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 04:56:45 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber, almost orange color with a thin off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, burnt toffee scent that's rich and full of alcohol. The taste is good as well. It has a dry, alcohol driven feel that's loaded with caramel malt and burnt toffee sweetness. It goes down slow and easy with a nice bit of warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very solid old ale. It's brewed to style and drinks well.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 21:14:57 | More by WesWes
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drabmuh

Maryland

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extra from jsanford, thanks Jacob. Served in a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and hazy and forms a thin broken nearly non-existent head even after a rough pour. Looks OK.

Beer smells caramelly slightly alcoholic. Smell is really nice.

Beer is thick and syrupy. Very heavy. Its strong and heavy on the palate. This is much bigger than I expected but its still good. Overall an enjoyable big strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 03:37:51 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with an off-white head. The aroma has a lot of caramel and dark fruit notes, as well as a good dose of alcohol. The flavor is similar. The caramel malt is pretty strong and provides a decent amount of sweetness. It is accompanied by some dark fruit and dark cherry notes, as well as some tobacco and alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 04:08:19 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, dirty, orange/brown color with a small, tan , foamy head. It left soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel, some malt and boozy alcohol. Overall, a very sweet smelling nose.

T - The first fews sips were like drinking Brach caramels. Delicious! As it continued to warm the caramel flavor mellowed and it had a slight fruity taste emerge. A boozy alcohol flavor starts to come through as well.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is possibly the best old ale that I've ever had. It was sweet and delicious. It only gets a 4 on drinkability because it is so sweet and so potent.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2009 22:32:55 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 03:25:32 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed orangeish brown with a thin head that becomes a wisp. Some vanishing lace sticks.

The smell is of honey, caramel, nuts - reminiscent of honey-covered walnuts dipped in caramel. There is a fruitiness towards dates/prunes.

The taste is sweet - honey and caramel - not catching the 50 IBU's. Sweetness balanced by an ashy smokiness that leaves a burnt aftertaste. The burnt character shows in some sips more than in others, oddly enough. Not digging that part, which puts a dent in the flavour. Alcohol present, but not too sharp or overwhelming.

Full-bodied and a bit sticky. Mild carbonation does cut through the thickness.

Considering booziness and burnt notes in the aftertaste, it does glide down pretty easily. Since the style is so varied, I would say it fits the style well enough. An interesting brew that is quite good, though getting rid of burnt edges would go a long way.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 17:04:51 | More by jwc215
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RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 07:01:48 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky muddled ambrosia sits in my chalice large off white beige head that dwindles slow and leaves behind sparse lacing. Aromatics are the impressive part of the equation early on with herbal mint and pine scented incense, interesting spice mix almost like eating at an aromatic Indian restaurant. Malt highlights are deep alcohol infused ripened figs and plum with a touch of smoked peat whiskey highlights, talk about a cigar beer. By the way this thing never saw the barrel it's all malt, hop, water and yeast. Flavor provides excessive bitterness and massive malt, I love the mix. Alcohol esters with ripe big fruit profile includes hints of toffee with caramel infused tart apple, figs, and plum notes. Heavy pine lacquer bitterness, with vanilla oak and butterscotch notes. Heavy dry yeast tone with a soothing alcohol burn at 9.3%. Mouthfeel is full bodied yet doesn't hit the viscous level on my texture scale. Carbonation is natural smooth and cleansing between the brash bitterness and dry yeast profile. Ending notes on the palate are a blend of excessive malts and bitter earthy hop, great stuff. Drinkability, is excellent makes you overanalyze beer, for under three bucks this old ale may have pushed the style further than any other version I've had to date. Including the other famous Michigan version, this beats the pants off the Third Coast Old Ale, grab a Drew Estates Natural cigar and a four pack of this for an Old World experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 21:03:46 | More by WVbeergeek
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,841 ratings.