Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,183 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,183
Hads: 4,166
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 178
Gots: 914 | FT: 52
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: 1,183 | Hads: 4,166
Photo of BillRoth
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting comparing to earlier reviews. I have very little to add.
There is a prominent nose of fruit/malt with hints of wood and aging. Raisins and a touch of alcohol. Warming, and robust as you move through the bottle. An excellent winter warmer. As noted by others the classic modest carbonation of Founder's brews appears again. Fortunastely, for me this what I love any time of year. To me contrary opinions suggest this would say that I wouldn't want another glass of a full cab, or that I wouldn't be having a vintage port in the summer. Folks, this is an awesome sipping beer for any time. I agree with previous reviewer that I will age a few. For those who enjoy a full, warming sipper to enjoy as you relax at end of day...rush to purchase! (752 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep amber orange color with a smallish off white head that dissipates quickly to wisps of foam on the surface. The aroma is sugary and malty with a clear bit of ethanol. Brown and caramelized sugars among dark pitted fruit and a solid hit of alcohol with little to no hop nose. The flavor is sweet with the rich dark sugars that were present in the nose. Added bonus is rich milk chocolate melded with dark fruits and again tempered with a hit of ethanol. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Good beer, I could drink it, but I was expecting a bit more from Founders, this one didn't wow me. (661 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5/20/2012

On tap at Urge.

A: Dark orange with good clarity. An inch of off-white foam. Sheets of lacing cling to the glass.

S: Rich candied sweetness with big caramel and toffee notes. Orange and grapefruit blend with prune, fig, date, and plum. Lightly earthy with a touch of alcohol. There's a whisper of smoke and maybe a little apple.

T: Rich caramel and toffee with sweet breads and a pervasive candied aspect. Fruit character is reminiscent of date, plum, and prune. There's a low earthy bitterness. I get a little citrus as well. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Lower full body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, silky, and full with substantial alcohol warming.

Overall: A big, rich, estery Old Ale. Well executed but definitely a sipper. (767 characters)

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the South Philly Taproom during Philly Beer week. While a fine beer, I think it suffered a bit in the company of beers like Backwoods bastard, hand of doom and KBS.

The beer pours a lovely reddish brown amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, one gets some sweet malt, vanilla and almost a sherry like quality, what one expects in an aged ale. The flavors on the palate replicate the nost almost exactly, though the beer is just a bit sweeter then I would like to have seen. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel, and the alcohol is pretty well disguised. Can't imagine drinking a lot of this stuff, but it wasn't too heavy, boozy or tiring on the palate.

A very solid beer, but unfortunately it was in he company of some heavyweights, and I don't think showed its very best. (811 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, rich, copper-ruby coloring with a good amount of bubbling in the beer that doesn't really move around much. Looks heavy. No head, but there is a ring of film around the edge of the surface. Aromas are rich and smooth, and extremely malty and layered. Some rich dark fruit and earthy highlights on the nose, also. Flavors are super smooth and rich, with a boozey, roasted, and old world fruit sweet in the backbone. Dates, raisins, and fig throughout the beer layer nicely with the heavier malt profiles of molasses. Earthy characteristics rough the beer up a bit and keep it interesting for your tastebuds. A slight peppery hopping at the end cleans the palate and prepares you to jump back in to the brew. The aftertaste is rich and slightly cloying, but pleasantly so. This one keeps stringing you along for more. The finish is rich and smooth, with a surprising cleanness at the end. Very tasty, and not overpowering despite the strong flavor profiles and increased ABV. (1,038 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the bottle. Poured with no head (even off a hard pour) A completely polluted appearence, clouded over, rusted over, brick copper colour. Smell is above above anything else strong! Easily guessed the barrel aged before being told. A fermented fruit, over-ripened character accompanied by rich wood dimension. Aroma is enough to entice a headache - but one well worthwhile! Aroma is very complex, hard to conceive! Mouthfeel is heavily influenced by the bourbon barrel aged, quite evident - adding a liquere (bourbon) complexity character. Very sweet! Some alcohol mixed in there. Dark spices make for a well rounded, but hard to appreciate flavour. Overly sweet maybe... I'd be happy to have again, perhaps aged, or by a fireplace!
Ripe full with complexity but not sure what else to say. Bourbon is so dominant! Leads to a strong taste despite alcohol being rather quiet. A sticky, toffee finish. Above all bourbon! Big thanks to HogTownHarry, a great finish to a fantastic tasting! (991 characters)

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

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has an opaque auburn brown body with a soapy tan head that clings to the edges of the glass forming a creamy meniscus. There are little bubbles of carbonation that cling to the side of the glass.

S- The smell of pine wood with a sweet caramel malt aroma has notes of wet wood and perfumed oak. As it warms a bit there is notes graham in the malt. There is a smell of alcohol as it warms a bit.

T- The taste of oaky malt flavor with a toasted malt that is a bit more dry than sweet. The finish has a light alcohol bite. There is a faint hint of dark roasted malt in the background.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture.

D- This beer has a nice big complex woody flavor and will be great with some age. (788 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger very light tan head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose. Flavor is sweet roasted molasses. $3.90 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma. (258 characters)

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

A 12 oz bottle from a Dark Lord Day '07 trade with Sephiroth.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, akin to a black cherry cola. Head was sizeable, near two fingers, and looks to retain nicely. The ale is full of particles, suspended throughout and quite thick.

S: The nose, call me crazy, has the sickly sweet aroma of a bourbon barrel. The malts are concentrated to the near-strength of a barleywine, making the ale quite lush and thick.

T: You can't tell me that this isn't bourbon-barrel aged. I refuse to believe that a simple (relatively speaking, of course) malt bill can produce flavors of this depth. The malts are so strong that they create a sweet dry fruit flavor. The effect is most pronounced in barleywines but here is it near-extraordinary. Vanilla and alcohol warmth match the bourbon-like flavors, creating a very warm drink, a nice nightcap. I just can't get over the malt strength that creates that flavor, it is damn-near profound.

M: Dry green grapes, vanilla beans, sweet alcohol, this is one heck of a pleasing drink. This ale blurs the lines with a barleywine. Good drinkin'!

D: The ale's abv is high but the intense flavors create a beer that never disappoints in its power. Are you sure it isn't aged in a barrel? (1,251 characters)

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

Thanks to BuckEyeNation

Pours a cloudy brownish color, quick fizzy head, nice carbonation, left some little islands around. The nose is of malts, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is sweet slightly malty, very much bourbon, nice touch of vanilla. Medium body. Drinkable, quite a different old ale, but very tasty. Highly recommended. (334 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 1/28/13 bottling date.

Pours a dark amber color with a very light white head. Smell is quite appealing...very sweet notes if caramel and sweet candy. digging the nose on this one. Taste is more of the same... its very sweet tasting. Hints of caramel and toffee and laffy taffy flavor. Extremely sweet beer, but its not a bad thing in this case. It works quite well! Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, light carbonation. ABV is apparent in the belly and going down but not on the palate.

Overall this one is another good offering from Founders. You never know what to expect from Old Ales as they are all so different, but this one is a winner. (686 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/15/12
*From notes

-- Vintage 2010 / Consumed side by side with Curmudgeon's Better Half --

A: Cider brownish-crimson in color. A generous pour yields a 2.5 finger off-white head. Nice retention and lacing.

S: Stodgy sweetness. Hints of caramel and candied sugar own the nose, though it's not overly complex.

T: Mellow. In fact it's much more mellow then I prefer in an Old Ale. The alcohol has really toned down in the last eighteen months. There's a rather large gap missing on the mid where the hops used to be. A mild woodiness literally hits the fore and rolls right on to the finish, where a drying molasses and light char round this out.

M: No complaints here. Low key yet balanced carbonation and texture.

O: Founders Curmudgeon isn't quite the beer I remember when fresh, when I feel it drinks a bit better. It's a good beer, but not a great beer, as there are better in-style that I'd recommend before this. An above average offering in general, though it's a middle of the road entry in Founders world class portfolio. (1,079 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the brewery, 12oz into a tulip. Bottled April 19, 2012.

Reddish brown, unfiltered with a light cream cap. Light lace and almost no retention. Nose of syrup, candy, caramel, sweet dark fruits and fantastic bready malt notes. Palate more syrup, honey, breads, light toastiness, slight booze and caramel again. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel - 'coating.' A fantastic beer all around, I'd revisit this time and time again. (425 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this one in a surprise box from Kbeals... Very cool Kevin, I thought for sure I reviewed this one before.

Pours with a pretty thin off white head.. the brew is slightly hazy deep orange/amber.

Nose is rich maltiness that shows deep toast and pretty heavy caramel... fair amount of boozy raisiny fruit.

Flavor is vanilla toffee atop toasty biscuits... golden raisins.. a bit peppery ... good medium body given the ABV... carbonation is nice and lite.

Thanks again Kevin... Thanks again Kevin.

3.5/4/4/4.5/4 (519 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Head quickly fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is average, both somewhat expected for the style. Aroma is vanilla oaky alcohol, possibly over the top, but the variety of flavors is enough to possibly overcome the somewhat exceptional intensity. Taste is also vanilla and oak, with strong alcohol throughout and a warming close. Wish there was a bit more of a malt sweetness background to support all the strong flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth, even if the drinkability is somewhat limited by the flavor harshness, in my mind. Age might help this mellow a bit and make a winner. (749 characters)

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

Poured in to Founder's tulip glass.

A - Medium translucent amber colour with one finger of bubbly off-white head.

S - Caramel, raisins, toffee, brown sugar. Not getting any oak.

T - Caramel, toffee, oak, brown sugar and a touch of vanilla.

M - Medium to full body, chewy. Light carbonation. Great mouth feel. (315 characters)

Photo of beertunes
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish copper. Relatively low carbonation meant there was less than a thin cap of head yet somehow left a bit of pretty lacing.

The aroma is very malt based, sweet with a honeyish background and just a bit of hops present. There was some alcohol hotness at first, but it faded quickly. The flavors were very similar, thick sticky malt, some honey (and maybe maple) flavors, a touch of hops and a nice alcohol taste that fades quickly and leaves a warm glow.

The body is pleasantly full, just short of heavy, and tongue coating. Drinkability is excellent, as long as you're not in a hurry.

Overall, a great brew that compares favorably to the only beer I've given all 5's to, North Coast Old Stock, and is certainly worth your time. (781 characters)

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

A: Poured a dark Brazilian cherry with a non-developing head and a good haziness of micro particles that drifted lazily about within the drink. Effervesce was limited to one or two bubbles visible at any given moment that rose at a fairly rapid rate to the surface. The coloring was perhaps the most intriguing here.

S: The aroma was quite odd and hard to identify at first. A fuzzy navel was the first to come to mind (a mixture of orange juice and vodka). Along came a fresh fruitiness of apricots, honey, and a sweet sugary grainy nature that was followed by a dry burbon backing that was light to medium in strength. Overall a quite odd, but intriguing aroma keeps you guessing and sniffing for more.

T: The flavor starts out with sweet sugary caramel and dry burbon. There is a fruity booziness at the very beginning of oranges and apricots that is sweet and brief before giving way to a dry caramel and dry burbon alcohol booziness that lingers on well after the swallow (4-5 seconds) creating a good warmth of sweet, boozy dry nature.

M: medium full, very slick and smooth texture wise with an incredibly light, almost absent carbonation presence makes this slide around the tongue with ease.

D: good, a bit boozy and dry drinking much bigger then its advertised 9.8% abv. Your not gonna be drinking to many of these at one time, best sampled by itself in a chalice or goblet at a moderately warm temp (55-60F) on a chilly winter night. (1,451 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Golden. A lot of sediment.

S - Alcohol on the front end. Riesling, hints of limeade.

T - Sweet alcohol downshifts into mild grapefruit and resiny hops. Raisins and malt in the aftertaste.

M - Boozy up front then smoothes out pretty quickly, but enough alcohol hangs around to keep your mouth warm throughout the drink.

D - The alcohol lets you know it's there, and delays you from pouring a second. (407 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. There is also suspended sediment. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, strong alcohol, slight oak, and slight citrus hops. Fits the style of an Old Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, oak, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, overly strong in the alcohol, not very complex, but definitely warming. (468 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice orange-brown hue with a ton of haze. Head poured about a finger of frothy tan foam because of a vigorous pour; this subsided quickly, but this was not particularly detrimental to the appearance.

Smell: I don't think I've ever had a "biscuit bomb" quite like this before. It's a bit prickly and spicy to me, since this is among my least-favorite malt characteristics. That said, it's a clean maltiness which I can respect even if I can't appreciate.

Taste: our biscuit bomb continues! Biscuit from the first sip, followed by a dry biscuit middle and a bitter biscuity finish. Bitterness is rock solid, even a little high for an old ale, but good. There's a tiny little diacetyl here, too, which might work better with a sweeter malt profile (butter on biscuits is tasty, except in beer). In no way is this bad, really, but it's just far away from my personal preference. Kind of like an "Imperial Fat Tire".

Mouthfeel: big body with a somewhat decent carbonation. It is okay, but it lacks both creaminess *and* silkiness, at least one of which it ought to have. Still, it is not bland, just ... not inspiring.

Overall: man, I came into this beer wanting to love it, and instead I have rated it dramatically low. If you love a biscuity malt flavor; if Fat Tire is your favorite beer ever; if you ever wonder why they make anything other than Victory malt, then this beer may be for you. It is not, however, for me. (1,477 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy caramel colour with a thin white head. As the foam settled to a ring of fine bubbles, it left some spotty lacing behind. The aroma was quite complex, with wood and vanilla up front, some caramel, plenty of fruit (grapes, orange marmalade), and a little alcohol. Mild bitterness when compared to the sweetness, with caramel and toffee center stage. Some oak and raisin notes were present as well, along with a bit of alcohol. It had a soft finish with a refined fruitiness. Full bodied with lightish carbonation, some creaminess yet still a bit dry. This was really interesting and highly drinkable. It had plenty of character, almost like tasting a different beer with each sip. (683 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of oak, dark fruits. Taste is oak, alcohol, dark fruits, malts, a light sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer. (241 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Murky orange pour with a hefty amount of micro sediment floating super still through the whole body. Thin white lacing.

S - A nose full of oak bourbon barrel. Spicy ammonia like whiskey notes. Some malt sweetnes.

T - First thing is sweet oak barrel aged whiskey tang. Warming shot of alcohol and lots of oak and vanilla notes. Sweet throughout and spiced hard alcohol. Malt sweetness mellows the whiskey punch and creates a nice taste.

M - Soft and smooth on the mouth, this beer has some crispness up front. The carbonation is medium.

O - When I smelled this, I was afraid it would have too much bourbon flavor. Im really not fond of whiskey or anything of the flavor but this beer was pleasantly flavorful yet not overbearing in this regard. The sweetness balanced the bite. (784 characters)

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

Picked up at Archer Liquors in Chitown, thanks Randy!

Pours a cloudy brown/amber, thin tan head forms, nice thick lace ring around the glass, good retention, looks like a sipper! Smell is nice, bourbon, vanilla, raisin/date goodness, toffee, some chocolate, coconut, very nice. Taste is toffee, some bourbon, vanilla oak, coconut, very rich and malty, bit of roast, nice clean bitterness in the finish, just right. Mouthfeel is full bodied, low carbonation, nice heat going down. I could sip this for hours. (510 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.