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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

3,688 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,688
Reviews: 1,109
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 141
Gots: 704 | FT: 46
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: 3,688 | Reviews: 1,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
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...

emerge077, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

TMoney2591, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -0.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

zeff80, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

a really brilliant example of the style, and the time on oak really brings this to life. pours sort of a hazy burnt caramel color, and boasts a nice lathery off white head with outstanding retention. it smells extremely sweet, molasses and cane sugar, and a lot of alcohol. smells a lot like en English barleywine actually, with a similar malt profile. the flavor though is what makes this special. while it is intensely sweet, there is a lot more to it. there is some bready malt that reminds me of teacakes, there is a butterscotch character that coupled with the oak is simply sensational, and the alcohol, while strong, is also sort of inviting, its warming and friendly, easy up easy down, and that's hard to accomplish I think. very woody in the finish, and again very sweet. relaxed carbonation is ample, and the body is colossal. its not something I would drink everyday, that's for sure, but its a heck of a beer, really well built, and guilty of getting me pleasantly drunker than I anticipated. founders always rocks, and this old ale is true to form.

StonedTrippin, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +4%
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.

WVbeergeek, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -1%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Kegatron, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev -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!

RblWthACoz, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the stubby 12oz into a snifter. Picked this bottle up at Al's of Hampden.

A beautiful copper color w/ good clarity and visibly carbonated w/ 1/2 inch of light beige caps the ale w/ a tight bead and good amount of lace sticks. The aroma of sweet malt w/ hoppy esters and stone fruit blend with the mild pine element and slight citrus w/ a light alcohol scent. The feel is highly carbonated and pretty bitter for the style w/ moderately high level of sweetness w/ a warming of alcohol throughout.

The strong bitter note of piney hops is equalled by a strong caramel malt flavor with a candy like quality and slightly salty and acidic tinge from the high alpha hops with the flavors of alcohol and stone fruit essence. The hops have a woody character and mild acidity in the taste w/ a mild tanginess of grapefruit that is noted as it finishes. This old ale is a good beer, but I consider it slightly hop forward for the style. It is tasty and hoppy, but just misses the mark to be considered classic taste-wise. I enjoy it and the alcohol is mild which is nice, so it seem above avg all around to me.

Slatetank, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
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

russpowell, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -0.5%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

drabmuh, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +9%
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.

feloniousmonk, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

mendvicdog, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First had: ?
This review applies to a recent tasting on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Poured a slightly hazy mahogany color with a thin cap of ivory bubbles for a head; not much to speak of in the way of retention or lacing. Aroma of bready malts, caramel, molasses, and dried candied fruits. The taste reflects the aroma, with flavors of sweet malts, toasty, dark sugars, fruitcake, tangy alcohol warmth, with a tinge of citrus and hop bitterness in the finish. Very nice brew, heavy-medium mouthfeel, lots of flavor, easily drinkable, though can be a little on the hot side.

Rifugium, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of mactrail
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Public House in La Jolla. Butterscotch and sweet malt heated up by a delicious boozy flavor, followed by a dry and hoppy flavor. Attractive coppery amber in the Saison duPont nonic. Starts with a modest foam and flattens out, but a nice tangy flavor and carbonation.

Intensely barrel flavored with a distinct toffee taste. Better earlier on with the frothy foam. Maple, molasses, and sweet yams. Bitter aftertaste, but not overbearing. Great version of the old barrel trick.

mactrail, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -0.5%

MarkyMOD, May 30, 2012
Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -0.5%

beernads, May 09, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

WesWes, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Mora2000, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

jwc215, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mild head that recedes a little too quickly to a single bubble layer. Very cloudy with lots of yeast chunks in the base of the glass. Milky but thin lace on the glass side. Lots of stickiness.

Toasty and malty in the nose. Lots of biscuit with a touch of chocolate. Very low hop bitterness.

Think thick and oily (from alcohol) brown ale. Nice hop finish, but the rest is all malt--rich and chocolatey. This is a beer that sticks to your ribs. There are sherry overtones and the biscuit flavor shows up in a subtle way.

This is a complex beer for the style, but rather than the hop/malt balance, this is more of a mystery tour of malt flavors.

smcolw, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

oriolesfan4, Oct 06, 2013
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,688 ratings.