Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,754 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,754
Reviews: 1,112
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 145
Gots: 713 | FT: 45
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: 3,754 | Reviews: 1,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FreshZ
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of bnes09
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first old ale so I'm really not sure what to think going in. It pours a translucent orangish brown color with a creamy white head. Good head retention and some dots of lace.

Emits lots in intriguing aromas. Alcohol spice with a distinctive scotch quality. Sweet and caramely with just a touch of hops in the nose.

Flavors are even more complex. The most prominent is the hugely dynamic sweetness. I can honestly describe it as honey, caramel, brown sugar, maple and a touch of molasses each appearing at different times during the same sip. Hints of toffee and almond come to mind as well. There is a strange underlying flavor here that is very hard to pick out, it almost tastes like buttery, eggy, sugary cookie-dough, different but not necessarily bad. Mild piney and floral hops fight to be noticed. Solid alcohol spice dominates the finish and warms the throat.

Sticky on the tongue with a full-bodied, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Fairly low carbonation, which seems to fit well.

One of the most interesting beers I have tried to date. It was bottled in 02/2010 giving it about 8 months to age. I would like to try it again both fresh and after aging at least 12 months. Enormous amount of malt flavor and aroma while hops do a nice job of keeping it interesting without dominating the senses. This one is definitely worth a try.

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy amber brown color with a thin film of off white head. Glows orange against the light. Strawberry jam and chocolate covered raisins on the nose. Dark fruits and caramel sweetness. Lots of carbonation for an old ale. Some burnt roasted malts come through on the back end which hides the alcohol rather well. Despite the taste being hidden alcohol coats the throat.

Sticky caramel covered fruit like sweetness up front with plums, figs, and dark berries. Carbonation makes the body feel thinner however the stability of the flavors through all the effervescence is impressive. Tootsie roll like chocolatiness comes through somewhere in the middle. Flavors blend well together but have a kind of order to them as well. The body thins out slightly near the finish (not that it's a thin body in anyway) which takes away from the beer slightly.

Some of the burnt qualities dont blend as well with the beers sweet character and some of the fruit and chocolate flavors are slightly offset of one another. Very good beer but could use some improvements. It wants to have big roasted qualities and big fruity characteristics but it's torn between choosing one side or the other leaving for a slightly confused beer.

This leaves for very good balance however.

Still another swell drink from founders though

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a nice burnt orange / golden brown with about a finger of head. This recedes into a nice ring of foam around the edges with some lingering toward the center of the glass.

S: I get a dark fruits up front. Similar to the way a quad would smell. Also, some oak, and vanilla.

T: Tastes good. I get a slight oaky/vanilla. Again, some dark fruits with a malty / bread backbone. I also get some slight chocolate notes which become more apparent as the beer warms. Did not initially taste any alcohol, but again, as the beer warms, I very slightly feel the burn. A bit of dryness in the finish from the oak and the chocolate lingers. Raisins are present too. Though, not strongly; between low and medium.

M: Good mouth feel. Not overly carbonated. I am not overly familiar with the style, nor have I had many examples, but I like it. A slight dryness from the oak lingers.

O: This is a very good beer. I plan on drinking maybe one every 6 months to see how it changes. I don't know that it is worth the 12.99 I paid for the 4 pack.

Overall a delicious beer.

Photo of kodt
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of KeefD
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doing a side by side with Bell's Third Coast Ale. This one was up first.

Poured into a snifter a dark orange color, bordering on rust, with no foam despite a hard pour and no lacing. Sediment was left in the bottle. Nice deep aroma of caramel, ripe fruits, and light booziness. Flavor is a nice mixture of toffee and caramel with only lightest bit of hop bitterness on the finish. Very sweet, brown sugary, hints of licorice, lightly spicy. Caramel apple is a good comparison. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden for such a high ABV, but a slight warming can be felt as it warms up. Caramely delicious brew. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of silentjay
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a bit lighter than i expected with a nice sized light tan head made up of large bubbles that laces well.

rather light aroma of raisins, some vanilla and oakiness, toffee, and caramel.

flavor starts with raisins, dark fruits, a bit of a metallic sensation, but is smoothed out a subtle oakiness with some smooth caramel sweetness that gives way to a slight alcohol heat on the finish.

a bit thin with very little carbonation.

I thought it would be a bit stronger in aroma and flavor with a thicker feel, but its still tasty.

Photo of bort11
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Slow to activate off white head. Good head retention but no lacing. Color is a dark yet clear red amber.

Smell has strong vanilla bean and oak sweetness. Taste has a mild bitter chocolate and cardamom spice. Sweet herbal spices mulled. A little hint or orange rind.

Mouthfeel is slick and a little sticky. While individual characters are nice, as a whole it wore out it's welcome a bit. Not bad, but not one I will go back to.

Blipped "Curmudgeon" by Nirvana

Photo of jakea
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Zonian1
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of tastybeer
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep hazy auburn, woody color, with some semi-discernible floaty bits if you look carefully enough. Head is far smaller than that of any other Founders brew I've had. There's about a 1/2" of creamy white bubbles initially which turns to a thin layer. Aroma is appealingly intriguing. Orange peel, lemon, cranberries, wood and leaves, grapes, softly liquor-like, phenolic and flowery. A lot to take in for sure but also well blended. Taste is also a lot to behold. Whiskey soaked fruits, again orange and cranberries, chocolate, tobacco, sweet caramel malt and cream/lactose, with nice bitterness through the finish. This is intense but tasty. The body + texture are extra nice. Thick and full, not overly syrupy, smoothly slick and perhaps creamy. The carbonation is subtle and just right for this also. Its a slow drinker but appropriately so.

This would certainly be welcome one at a time, once in awhile. Probably better off after dinner rather than before or during.

Photo of BUNZILLA
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of hopkrid
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Docrock
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of drbenderdo
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of zoso1967
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TCgoalie for picking this one up for me. It had a screw-top and was bottled on 2/24/09.

Pours a gorgeous shade of dark orange amber. There was pretty much no head on this at all, but the slight ring of foam left on the glass leaves a very precise high water mark, like a ring around a bathtub. This makes me giggle. The aroma is very sweet with notes of caramel, golden raisins and sweet bread. There is also a bit of earthiness to it, but it's mostly just malt that I am picking up. The flavor is malty and wonderful. Plenty of caramel, brown sugar and toffee mix with a sharp hint of alcohol that works to further enhance the flavor. Also in the mix are raisins, sugary orange peel, some peppery earthiness and touch of honey. There seems to be just enough bitterness in this beer to keep it from being too malty. The mouthfeel is pretty damn impressive. It is not quite as full as one might expect, but also far from too thin. The finish a mile long, but not too sticky. A beer to savor, but a beer I would love to savor again. I am pretty sure my friend didn't purposely pick out an older bottle, but I am glad he did. I will have to seek out a fresher one for comparison.

Photo of rrski198
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby chestnut brown with tons of tiny suspended particles visable. Slight finger of fine tan foam that quickly melts and leaves very little lace behind. The nose is oaked vanilla, molasses, beet sugar and toffee maltiness. The flavor is sweet and complex, woody caramelized brown sugar with a touch of minty tasting hops struggling to balance. The high ABV is extremely well hidden. Mildly carbonated with a medium heavy, bordering on syrupy mouthfeel. Be careful with the curmudgean, he's a sneaky bastard, this beer is way to easy to drink at 9.8%.

Photo of RobertColianni
2.25/5  rDev -44%

Photo of browniewithnuts
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours beautiful with an inch and a half of light tan head with foamy bubbles and nice retention. Body is a ruby brown mix that beckons to be drank. Nose has a nice combination of toasted almonds, rum, and dark fruits equaling a very robust feel. Enters the mouth with a resin like nutty oak character. Dark ripe fruits appear on the back of the tongue. Slight spicyness sparkles on the tailend of the palate. A rich spicey thick mouthfeel is the result. Sweetness is all over this beer and it is very bold with a smokey feel. Alchol is well hidden but the belly tells you it is there. Drinkability is decent.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Founders continues to impress me. This beer is amazing. Pours to a nice dark brownish amber, almost black. The head is off-white, and fairly thin. Recedes to a ring and a film, as to be expected from a high gravity old ale.

The smell is awesome. Very complex. Has notes of bourbon, sea salt, black anise, and a nice sweet maltiness.

The flavor is just as great. Starts off with a nice sweet molasses flavor, followed by a brilliant vanilla and oak bourbon flavor. A bit briny, with a sea salt flavor; but unlike other briny old ales I've had, this one doesn't taste the least bit spoiled. None of that soy sauce flavor associated with brininess. Simply amazing

The body is fairly full. Starts off with an intense sweetness but drops off with an intense dry sea salty flavor. Surprisingly little aftertaste. Nonetheless, if I put this beer down for too long, I begin to crave it.

It could stand to be a little more drinkable, but that would probably take away from the wonder that is this beer. Founders is quickly becoming one of my favorite brewers.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.17/5  rDev -46%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours an opaque dark sienna color with absolutely no head. If I really excite the beer - and I mean practically stick this sucker ion a paint shaker, then I get about a half finger of head. It will leave tiny specks of lacing on the glass.

S - Oak, butter, caramel malt, alcohol and vanilla - in that order.

T - A smokey sweet bourbon oak flavor meshed with a caramel malt. These have a lot of buttery diacetyl and a fair amount alcohol underneath.

M - Very thick, a little harsh and actually a little parching. (Can something be a little parching?) It has a buttery texture that coats my mouth with a film.

D - I'm not a fan, but it is something I can handle. It isn't a terribly unpleasant experience either. It just isn't for me. I won't have this again. The closest beer I can think to compare this to is Avery's Samael's Oak Aged Ale. This doesn't come close in pleasantness though, it lacks all the pleasant fruit flavors and has a shitload of butter. It also reminds me a bit of Weyerbacher's Prophecy, but not as offensive, at least in my opnion anyway. This is just way too buttery throughout. If you like drinking bourbon butter, then drink this. Otherwise avoid it.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,754 ratings.