Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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89
very good
1,243 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,243
Ratings:
4,473
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
20.1%
 
 
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,243 | Ratings: 4,473
Photo of Krakistophales
2.74/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice ruby red color with lively carbonation and no lace...but there's a glob of sediment/protein/whatever it is floating around on top, and that's just disgusting. Had to remove before I could start drinking.

S: Not much going on here. Some malt sweetness, the slightest hint of dark fruit, not much else.

T: Better than the smell, but still pretty average. Malt sweetness at first, with a touch of tartness of what might be cherries, a zing of some other dark fruits, and a slightly hoppy aftertaste, but underwhelming all the same.

O: Probably the worst I've had from founders. I've had KBS and Dirty bastard, which were both fantastic, so this one must be a hiccup.

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Photo of nandemo1
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy copper. Tried giving it an aggressive pour when I saw minimal head developing, but still couldn't get much more than a light lacing across the top.

Ice cold, this is a delicious molasses bomb, in both smell and taste. As it warms up the nose get some fruity/flowery notes on top of caramel, but there wasn't much change in the taste Sweetness is there, but it's definitely offset by bittering hops. There is a small alcohol burn on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is heavy and sticky.

This is my second Curmudgeon, and I've enjoyed it both times. A nice sipping beer for a nightcap. I am going to age a few to see if any additional flavors develop over time.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes written on 1-6-11.

Into a snifter gifted to me by my lovely girlfriend, Curmudgeon pours a cloudy, amber-orange with a medium khaki, one-finger head which retains nicely. I could have decanted this a bit better, as many little yeasties are floating about in the beer. The carbonation appears low and slow and the lacing is attractive, with hilltops and dots.

The smell is very malt-forward with aromas of caramel, brown sugar, and cinnamon, which all meld together well. When swirled aggressively, the woodnotes of the oak aging are very evident, along with a slightly peppery aroma. The more I inhale, the bigger the cinnamon contribution is. Founders website says that this is brewed with molasses- I can smell a little of that, as well.

The taste is somewhat spicier and woodier than I thought it would be, with a very earthy undertone on my tongue. Those flavors couple with a heavy malt presence of caramel and brown sugar, with some cinnamon spice taste in addition. The molasses adds a molasses cookie taste. The finish is nicely dry from the oak and bittering hops and just a little alcoholic heat soaks into my tongue at the end of the sip.

The mouthfeel is silky, creamy, and buttery on the tongue, but with a fine balancing nip on the sides from the oak- aging, hops, and alcohol. The finish is fairly clean for such a syrupy beast. I think the mouthfeel is the highlight of the beer.

I like this crotchety old fella and will have it again, but I've also had other Old Ales that I like a bit better. It is definitely not sessionable, but makes for a good sipper. This is another fine offering from Founders, but certainly not their best.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A pretty bland brown with reddish tints. Lovely auburn highlights when held up to direct light. Not much head to speak of.

S: Butterscotch! Some plain ol' scotch as well, along with caramel and alcohol.

T: I taste some alcohol almost right away, but then the lovely butterscotch and caramel come in. Tastes thin out towards the end, and the aftertaste is mildly phenolic.

M: First half is a soft buffeting of bubbles, second half is creamy. A tad bit thinner than I would have expected.

D: I'm not loving the aftertaste, but that english barleywine-like flavor and not too thick body keeps me interested in taking more sips.

A fairly good, but green beer. I think that as it ages the alcoholic notes will be replaced by malty richness, and this will be delightful in a few years' time.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a medium brown color, but glows almost iridescently amber when held to the light. A finger of off-white head forms but fades quickly. Small amounts of lacing on the glass. Bubbles drift up very slowly indicating this is an uber-viscous ale.

S - Smells of mild spices, figs, and a boozy whiskey-barrel vanilla aroma. There are also light hints of cocoa and an estery presence reminiscent of overripe bananas.

T - Sweet dark chocolate and bitter cocoa up front mixing with a heavy, syrupy dark fruit flavor (raisins, figs, prunes). Booze and esters come through the middle and provide a warming sensation. Bitterness arrives toward the finish and it is somewhere between hoppy and coffee-like. Just enough to prevent this old ale from being a sugar bomb. Becomes much more boozy as the beer warms.

M - Thick body. Syrupy to the last sip. Mild carbonation. Perfect amount for the style. Leaves the mouth feeling sticky.

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Photo of danedelman
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-strong reddish hue with little head.

S-get a sweet tobacco smell, dried fruit and booze. Hint of oakiness or scotch.

T-very similiar to nose with an added depth of Vanilla bean and dried cacao nibs. Very nice. Bit hot at this point.

M-very crisp with a medium body and dry aftertaste. Very good.

O-may not be the hype this one is put up to but very good though. I love old ales and this may be my 2nd favorite. (I never had my favorite yet) so I always say.

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Photo of E-McFarden
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light tan head that doesn't rise in the glass with a robust pour, and beer is a brilliant amber brown. Smell is subdued with biscuits and caramel mixed with some nutty tones. Taste lends an initial deep raison and nutty flavor, this is followed by an earthy rustic oak finish. This beer is significantly heavy on the palate and finishes wet, the alcohol is very powerful and remains as the final flavor on the palate between drinks. Overall its true to its name, and the flavors work quite well together. I like the addition of molasses to achieve the higher abv here.

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Photo of Josievan
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Curmudgeon is not as dark as expected. It's an amber color with hints of ruby. When held to the light, it takes on a maroon hue, almost royal purple. This makes for a very alluring looking beer indeed.

Smell: Wow, this is potent stuff! It's very alcoholic and somewhat medicinal. There also seems to be some dark fruit in the works. The best way to describe the aroma is alcoholic candy medicine!

Taste: With the first few sips, the alcohol really tingles the tongue. After the palate adjusts to the alcohol, a malty sweetness shows up, which is not unlike that of a doppelbock. Dark fruits come through as the beer warms, giving the taste a candylike quality. In this way, the taste very much follows the smell, minus the medicinal element.

Mouthfeel: This Curmudgeon definitely has a bite to him, but this mellows slightly with warming. Apart from the alcohol sting, this medium-bodied brew goes down relatively smooth, a staple of Founders beers.

Drinkability: It's no session beer, that's for sure. Still, it doesn't take long to finish my half of a split 12 oz. bottle.

Notes: Curmudgeon is another winner from Founders! This was my first old ale, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. To me, this beer seems kind of like a combination of a quadrupel and a doppelbock. This description makes Curmudgeon sound like a deviously tasty concoction, which it is!

However, Founders brews several beers that are arguably my favorite of each's respective style (Breakfast Stout, Red's Rye, and Porter), so I'm not sure I could bring myself to purchase it over those other more sessionable beers. Although, I will certainly be excited if it's offered to me again! I'd love to try some of this stuff with some age on it.

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Photo of MDekker
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Is it Curmudgeon Old Ale, or Old Curmudgeon Ale? Regardless...

It pours out a hazy dark orange, with a small head of tiny bubbles. What's there looks creamy. Woo-ee! A potent, sweet alcohol aroma socks me in the nose. Smells oily, with caramel notes and a little banana, too. A little like Southern Comfort. The taste packs a punch, too. The caramel is there, along with alcohol, and not much bitterness - just a little in the aftertaste. In the mouth it's good - creamy, smooth, and thick. Nice. This was a good brew, but the high alcohol and the powerful presence of it would make it hard to down more than one of these. I'm still reeling some.

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Photo of Shumista
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle allowed to sit out of the fridge and warm for 20-25 minutes before being poured into my Chimay goblet.

A- Curmudgeon pours a dark amber, with a 1 inch creamy off white head.
S- Thick sweet malts, toffee, caramel, alcohol, and some woodiness.
T- Very unique. The backbone is certainly the huge sweet malts but there is a ton going on here. Molasses, caramel, dark fruits, some wood character, whiskey and a very noticeable alcohol presence that borders on being too much. I don't notice a lot of hoppy bitterness in the flavor but I'm sure it's there, intermingling with everything else.
M- Thick, creamy and very full bodied. As I said the alcohol presence is strong and noticeable.
D- The alcohol being as noticeable as it was took away from this beer's drinkability. One would be great to sip next to the fire on a cold winter night, but I don't think I would want another. Maybe I'd save one and pour it over my pancakes in the morning though.

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Photo of degerbah
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light amber with little head. Very little smell, the taste is unique in my tasting experience. Extremely sweet with very little bitterness. The bottle lists an ABV of 9.8% which is not apparent in the taste, not boozy at all. I can't put my finger on it, but I think this beer just has something that isn't doiing it for me. I greatly prefer almost every founders beer I've had to this one. The price $2.79 per bottle wasn't too bad, still not great.

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Photo of matttttYCE
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little head and lacing, probably because I poured it really slow and pretty cold (because I was looking out for snot like goop in my beer). Dark copper orange color, lots of sediment. Aromas of sweet dark fruit, caramel malts, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, nutty/pecan notes, and hints of oak and vanilla. Tastes much the same with all those dark fruit toffee molasses caramel brown sugar old ale notes with some nuts, tea, hops, and light oak. Medium body and smooth consistency. Light carbonation works well. Smooth finish.

Overall not the best old ale I've had, but a pretty good one. Only detractor is the appearance, with watching out for snot and lots of sediment it wasn't the best looking of brews either. But still good. Worth a try and I'd be Curmudgeon's Better Half is fantastic after having tasted this.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - dark copper murky beer, no head and therefore no lacing
S - musty, leather, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butterscotch
T - musty, leather, dark fruits, tobacco, caramel, vanilla, bitter earthy hops
M - heavy, alcohol completely covered, aftertaste is musty, old, wholesome malts
O - great beer, bottled 1/14/15 drank 12/12/15, age is good for this one

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Photo of thequeen711
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ale from Founders that pours a golden/coppery colour. The frothy pour leaves a light lacing after settling. Very smooth mouthfeel, sweet fruity taste, and somewhere in the aroma I detect oak and vanilla. The ABV is well hidden, didn't realize it until I stood up!
Another keeper from Founders

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Photo of drcarver
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Virtually no head, but what limped to the top was an off white color. The murky full body was a medium red.

S - Moderately malty with hints of cookie and nuts. Lightly yeasty with the smell of dough.

T - Sweet, bitter, and acidic at the start. The sweetness carries through the beer. An average finish that is very clean.

M - Full dry body that finished watery. Very soft on the palate. A slight dirness and moderate alcohol finish.

D - Keep it slow and keep it easy. A thicker beer, but it is definitely one that goes down nose and easy.

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Photo of abfraser
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep opaque mahogany with a nice sized white head.

S: Caramel malt, candi sugar, dark fruits (cherry) and coconut

T/M: Damn is this good. Alcohol and sugar soaked cherries. Big malt profile. Lingering spice and maybe some toffee. Full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. This is awesome stuff

D: I could drink this all night even though it would leave me horrendously hung over. It just might be worth it.

An awesome beer. I actually prefer this over the Breakfast Stout, which while a great brew, is a little overrated in my book. For those that like old-style ales, this one is worth seeking out.

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Photo of ahking
2.98/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy copper - raisins and malty yeast aroma, so nice and comforting - quite hoppy for the style making it a unique ale - rich and complex - boozy in the middle - dried cherries/raisin/touch of vanilla/bourbon - finishes a little too sweet for my liking

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Photo of Decker
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 bottle. A: Amber clear body, no head and very little lacing.
S: malt and molasses that do very little to mask the booze. No hops.
T: Mellowed out molasses and malty sweetness that grow quietly as it warms. Alc. becomes more noticeable as well, but isn't a deterrent. Oak flavor is almost non-existent. Finishes mildly bitter with a feathering sting of alcohol.
B: Body is medium-thin, minimal carbonation that allows the molasses and booze to show up more. A little syrupy and sticky too.
O: just a whelming beer. Nothing extraordinary, but not insufficient either. A pleasant sipper that'll be curious to revisit with age.

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Photo of techfed87
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an adequate-sized level of head.

Color is dark amber with heavy particulate circulating throughout.

Smell is of sharp, dark malt. It's almost salty in its sharpness of the overall scent.

First sip is covered by an almost caramel-like malt presence It's sweet, yet at the same time very carbonic in nature.

A very malty beer to be sure, but also a very nuanced one at the same time. Try it sometime!

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Photo of JasonA
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

in trade marvin, thanks!

Pours a translucent carmel. No head present. No real lacing. Uh oh

Sweet, deep malt. Slight hop character. Little citrus, some rum.

Earthy. Deep medium malt. ABV tastes great. Ends with oak and some bitter.

Well balanced. Smooth carbonation, not too sweet. Smooth hops throughout. Definately controlling the pallate.

Yummy. Doesnt look like a great beer, but overall I want to drink more. Cant get founders out my way, will continue to need to trade for em.

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Photo of mhatters
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at TND

Pours an amberorange color with some chestnut notes. Small, thin head that did not persist.

Lots of alcohol in the nose, whiskey dominates. After this dissipates some, the burnt sugar and caramel notes came through. A bit harsh.

Very sweet, raisin and dates come through too. The alcohol never far from the front, a bit too hot form me.

The sweetness, hotness, and fruitiness are too much for my liking - not bad, just not my taste.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a beautiful copper with one finger of off-white head. Head dissipates quickly into a thin ring, and lacing is minimal.

S: Caramel, sweet malts, molasses, cherry, and raisin.

T: Caramel, sweet bready malts, molasses, raisin, vanilla, oak, and some nice hop bitterness to hold it all together.

M: Medium bodied, low to mid carbonation, creamy and semi-thick on the finish.

O: A very enjoyable Old Ale. This seems like it would be a good sipper for a cold winter night, or a perfect complimentary brew to a nice grilled steak. I'm going to cellar a couple of these for a bit and see what happens.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red with orange highlights and a two finger off white head. Aroma is molasses, alcohol, dark fruit, and a touch of cough syrup. Taste is dark fruit, molasses, a bit of cough syrup, alcohol, and a hint of oak. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall an interesting beer, and a style I could get into for winter.

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Photo of TheFlern
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks MaxSpang

Appearance: A beautiful amber. White head dissipates to a thin layer with poor lacing. Not really what I expect from the style.

Smell: Its sweet, a little fruity perhaps pear? Sort of like a Belgian yeast? Not sure. The oak comes through a lot. The molasses is in very good balance with the oak. Just how it should be for this beer imo. For the style this is pretty good.

Taste: Follows the nose. More sweet than oak which is disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Light, sweet, low carbonation, low bitterness, goes down quick. Not what I would expect from the style so I'm going to score it lower. However, I find it very drinkable for the ABV, wow.

Overall: Not something I'd go out of my way for. However, if you haven't tried it before then don't pass it up!

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Photo of keanex
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear deep amber with red tinges. No head to speak of and very little signs of carbonation.

S: Sweet and oaky with a smell of alcohol on the nose, perhaps some dark fruits.

T: Very sweet, almost like maple syrup with an oaky flavor to it. Slight fruit hints, but I can't pick them out.

M: Thick and creamy with little signs of carbonation.

O: Interesting beer, I like it, but I don't think I will buy it again, it's very sweet though not in a sickening way.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,243 ratings.