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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

3,609 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,609
Reviews: 1,105
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 140
Gots: 680 | FT: 47
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: 3,609 | Reviews: 1,105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of korguy123
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this.

A- Chill hazed chessnut colored pour. Slight reddish hue. Thin off white. Lacing just sheets the glass.

S- Caramel and toffee with hints of vanilla and brown sugar.

T- Fresh cooked toast, caramel, vanilla with a slight cherry taste. There is a toasted malt dry aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, subtle alcohol warmth, sticky on the lips.

O- Decent, nothing spectactular. Very solid

korguy123, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Horbar
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Horbar, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of Burkbom23
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Burkbom23, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of GuttaMane138
4/5  rDev -0.2%

GuttaMane138, May 05, 2014
Photo of ZachKelly
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

ZachKelly, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of kkipple
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I dumped this into my snifter and was... uh, rewarded with a languid, billowy and sticky tan head that rose majestically atop this thick lookin' brew. Curmudgeon is a dirty rust-amber color with a ton of sediment suspended in the mix. Looks like something illiterate Cape Cod fishermen would drink out of lead cups to stave off pneumonia. I dunno. It's ugly, but somehow commands respect.

Not quite sure where to start on the nose here... let it warm, first off. A lot of subtle malt nuance going on here... sweet and smooth caramel notes, a hint of nut, and a VERY reserved juniper-pine hop note that reminds me of good Dutch gin. There's something woody and vanilla here, but it again is distant and quiet. The alcohol warmth is detectable but reserved for a 9% brew. A touch of lime citrus and oxidized booze (sherry) blend into the mix, and the result is a super smooth, old-tasting... old ale. Huh. I am really enjoying smelling this!

The flavor is likewise reserved and ultra-smooth. Big toasted grain-sugar malt notes are blended with smooth sherry, vanilla, grape tannins and spruce into a deliciously smooth and whiskey-like brew. Yes, I know there is no bourbon here, but it brings to mind some of the best small batch spirits I've had. This is what your crotchety, war-vet uncle wouldn't let you have as a kid. It is an adult beverage in every sense of the word. Old and rewarding, but it takes time.

The mouthfeel is superlative. Smooth, sticky and very lightly carbonated; this beer practically glides down your throat. Once more, this tastes like it has 5 years on it. The finish is brown-sugar sweet with sherry and just enough pine hop bitter to balance. Lingering, pleasing and smooth.

Curmudgeon is a beer to sip and savor. A wonderful nightcap, Founders has taken the old ale to dizzying heights. This is one of the best I've had. On those cold winter nights in front of a fire when you reflect on your life's failures, Curmudgeon will be right there with you, glaring and mumbling and somehow making everything seem a little bit better. Highly recommended.

kkipple, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Buebie
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtasy of Philbe311

Poured from a brown stuby 12 oz bottle into a pub glass. The beer is a super hazy unfilteres little delight. The color is a darker copper, no transparency here. Produceing about an inch of tan whipped topping head.
Slowly reduceing to leave a thin cap of retention and lace rings all the way down.
All the old ale's I've ever had were quite a bit darker then this. I brewed one not to long ago and added black triacle. So to say this does not look like an old ale is kind of an understatement.

It smells like an old ale though...
Soaked whiskey barrel aroma, with an aged leathery aroma too. Huge amounts of malt here, with sweetness to back, unfermented honey, damn, the malts are just so pungeant and delicious smelling. Sourdough bread, butter, some grassy hops with a touch of pine in the distance.

The taste is probably one of the most candy laced malty beers I've come across in a long long time. The malts do a dance on my tounge, hops are present, the hops are not so much fruity, but more of a dry bittering, with plenty of aroma hops coming into effect with the first sip.
That whiskey and oak is also adding some deliciousness to the flavors. Each flavor not overwhelming the other flavors. This is an extremely well balanced brew.
More sourdough breadyness, butter, caramel, lots of hops kicking it up into the swallow, and malt just overwhelming me with joy through it all.
Finishing bitter and yet sweet. Hops linger as does the malt and some of its sweetness. Its a battle of flavors to the end. Each flavor coming out boldly but allowing me to taste all of them and they all linger this way after the swallow.
No hot flavors here, just a slight bit of warmth into the swallow.

It would better fit the Strong ale catagory, but what can you do. I feel like it was mislabled for the style, but its still fantastic. I'm rateing it for what I thought of it overall, not on style. If I were to rate it on style, I'd have to deduct alot of points. But this beer is too good to do that.

This beer is dangerous crazy awsome good!

Buebie, May 20, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a hazy dark red with a slightly off white dense, thick head with good retention.

The aroma was malty with hints of alcohol. The beer also gave off hint of sweetness, maybe some kind of fruit sugar and also some spices.

The taste has a heavy sweet malt flavor but was balanced well with hints of whiskey, which made me think that it may have been aged in barrels. It also gave off an astringent flavor, probably due to the high ABV.

The beer was rich, yet smooth, very creamy, nice bitter aftertaste, and easy to drink with a medium to heavy body. Not sure I would want to or could drink too many at a time, but probably could, but might be better as a dessert beer. Excellent beer, highly recommended.

PhillyStyle, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky copper color, hard pour yields not much more than a quarter inch of quickly receding head.

Smell is caramel with deep wood and alcohol notes. Floral hops are quite pungent as well.

Taste starts off with some nice caramel malts and oak, but a little bit of mustiness creeps in and prevents the flavor from really shining to its true potential. Lots of bitter pine hops on the back end. Tastes sort of like an aged american barleywine, the musty aspect is the only real negative.

Medium bodied, some alcohol burn in the finish. Perhaps needs some time, I was surprised at hotness of this one.

Nice beer, the alcohol heat is the downfall in terms of drinkability though. Worth buying maybe once a year, but I wouldn't want it much more than that.

alcstradamus, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of theminutemen
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

theminutemen, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of jakea
4/5  rDev -0.2%

jakea, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of Pecan
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Pecan, May 01, 2013
Photo of Budinetz
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%

Budinetz, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of Wobbly
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Wobbly, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of geexploitation
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and coffee colored with minimal head. Bright mahogany highlights. Assertive aroma of bourbon-vanilla and chocolate-covered bananas. Sumptuous. Hits the palate with authority. Bourbon, vanilla, bananas again, along with sweet cream and coffee all make appearances. Just a touch of hop bitterness shows up in the finish. Very thick on the palate, as one would expect. Quite rich, flavorful, interesting old ale. Up there with the best of the American microbrewed old ales.

geexploitation, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a lovely copper amber with a quarter inch off-white head, nice lacing in dots, arches and spiderwebs. The aroma was a bit perplexing to me, for some reason full and boisterous one whiff, dull and receding the next. That said, plenty of woody port wine, some brandy, some dark fruits, some other stuff that my dysfunctional nose is having a hard time distinguishing.

Taste is full and malty, some nice alcohol warming drifts through. Some caramels mix with resinous hops, honey oozing around, rum soaked dark fruits through the finish. Mouth is full, warm, a bit slick with nice, fine carbonation. In all, quite a tasty beer, rather enjoyed it.

objectivemonkey, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -0.2%

megamass, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of abcdefghijkyle
3/5  rDev -25.2%

abcdefghijkyle, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Cloaked_Phantom, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown screw cap bottle, nice label with best by date clearly marked

Appearance: Nice dark burnt orange beer with lots of very fine sediment in suspension and a very nice creamy ivory cap with good retention

Smell: There are HUGE malt tones here, burnt sugar (as in creme brulee), a bit of fruity alcoholic esters as well as some baking spice...this is sweet and vibrant...it's almost like liquid sticky toffee pudding...awesome

Taste: VERY sweet sticky toffee pudding, with big warming alcohol and malts, dark brown sugar, and some dark fruit as well...a bit of drier toasty malt on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Big, rich, and smooth

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: This is a great English-style Old Ale....it's got absolutely fantastic aromas, some really nice flavors, and overall makes me glad it's getting to be winter brew time...this is the way I like my Old Ales: Malt bombs where the hops stay in the background. I'm looking forward to aging one or two of these and seeing how it changes with time.

BedetheVenerable, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of Lanstrum
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Lanstrum, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a viscous, candied/caramel-twinged shade of dark amber. The head never developed, maxing out at 3/4-finger in size. The small ring laces okay, though.

This is one sweet-smelling beer. The malts profile is giving off all kinds of hints of things. I detect vanilla, toffee, dark fruit, sugar, tobacco and cinnamon.

This beer is as sweet as the smell indicated. Phenol-city, baby. Dark fruits in abundance; cherries, too. Vanilla & toffee are present and they sort of highlight some wood flavors. Add some Belgian yeast to this and you could pass it off as a quadruppel. A small touch of brandy or port or something on the finish. Dessert beer, for sure.

The feel is thick, but not in a gloopy, cloying way given the tremendous sweetness. More like a creamy, dessert thickness. Drinkability is hampered with this beer; at close to 10% ABV, it makes itself known by the end of the first bottle (though the booze is hidden well under all of the sweetness). This is a super-sweet beer besides. I don't think many people are going to want to have multiples in one sitting.

This is a tasty brew, for sure. Lots of sweet flavors, decent complexity even if all the flavors (sans the wood) hit the same point on the tongue. Have one with dessert.

Reaper16, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of Hophead717
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Hophead717, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of cyrushire
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

cyrushire, May 22, 2014
Photo of baklo
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

baklo, Apr 21, 2014
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,609 ratings.