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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,204 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,204
Hads: 4,296
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 187
Gots: 980 | FT: 54
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,204 | Hads: 4,296
Photo of Fenris244
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into my Duvel tulip

Pours a deep reddish orange, thin white head, little retention, good amount of lacing though. A little hazy but looks great none the less.

Smell is of dark fruits, plum and cherry with, boozy sweetness and some brown sugar and toffee like aromas.

Plum and cherry flavors are there as well, little bits of hop bitterness. Has an earthy quality too it and some sweet toffee and booze on the finish. The flavors balance well and it's never too sweet and the hops never overpower the other flavors, very satisfying to drink
Heavier in body, booze heats up the palate and you can definitely feel it, very enjoyable.

Overall, I'd love to be able to get more of this brew, I look forward to seeing founders in Texas one of these days!

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged bottle with a date of 4/26/12.

A - Poured out a one finger off white head that dissapated fast. Appears well carbonated with small bubbles streaming up. It is a reddish brown color that really looks lovely when held up to the light and gets a nice reddish dark ruby color. Slight lacing left behind on the glass.

S - Can you say malt bomb with sweet caramel, butter scotch, vanilla, and oak barrels. Not detecting alcohol at this point on this one.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty well with tons of malts - starting with caramel sweetness, vanilla, alcohol, toffee, and slight oak barrels. Still a little more boozy then I would like at this point being 7 months old. Leave an aftertaste of the alcohol, might be better in another year or so. However, still a rather pleasant beer.

M - This one is full bodied and really soft in the mouth with a good amount of carbonation to keep the flavors moving through your palate.

O - This is probably my least favorite beer from Founders, in yet I still enjoy it. I just wish it was slightly less boozy in the aftertaste. I will age some more of this for another year and see if the alcohol dies off. Could be an awesome beer with a couple of years on it, we shall see. Cheers!

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Photo of MrStark
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a hazy dark orange amber with a small off white head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is heavy with sweet malts right off the bat followed by some fruits, and a pretty good whiff of the alcohol. Certainly a sweet aroma.

Taste is centered around sweet, caramel malts right up front. There are hints of fruit, vanilla and only the slightest bit of bitterness. The alcohol isn't hiding and adds a little punch to the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and almost chewy with its creaminess.

Drinkability is good and pretty easy drinking considering the abv. I think its better as one a night sipping beer just because I feel the alcohol might creep up on you. Overall a pretty good brew! I would have another.

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Photo of johnd513
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into my Duvel glass, this beer has a hazy auburn color with an almost non existent head. Smells fruity and sweet with caramel and alcohol. Tastes of malt and sweet fruit with honey and caramel flavors. This beer is very smooth with a medium body and is nicely carbonated with alcohol at the end. Overall this is a great choice from Founders. I usually would not go for something as sweet as this but I am loving every sip of this one. A must try.

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Photo of JulioH
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Odd. This beer is a very dark ruby red. It looks like burnt sugar. There is almost no carbonation at all. It smells like old wood, probably aged in barrels, and like wine and fruits. Taste not like a beer in the traditional sense. Very flat and without fizz. It feels like drinking a fortified wine. Interesting to say the least. If Old Ale was not on the description, I would have dismissed it.

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Photo of LaneMeyer
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a blue glass. Hard to see the color clearly. Medium brown color, very little head.

Smells of raisins, moss, cinnamon, nutmeg, bit of rubbing alcohol, cherry, bourbon, hints of dark cherry chocolate.

Tastes a bit woody, tree bark, sticky raisin bread, rubbing alcohol is a bit too prominent and unbalancing, the bourbon notes are quite nice, subtle dark fruits towards the end,

Mouth feel is too watery and thin to be very enjoyable.

Overall a decent beer. Certainly not outstanding in my opinion. Don't love it, don't hate it. Probably wouldn't buy again but wouldn't refuse if offered.

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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 AppaZappa
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours honey color, great looking beer with nice lacing. Smell is dried fruit, molasses, alcohol, oak. Molasses and malt, sweet and smooth. Very nice sipper!

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Photo of Hokies
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a copper shade with some reddish hues and a decent one inch off white head. A little lace lasts and sticks to the side of the glass.

The aroma is filled with sweet caramel malts, molasses and oak.

The alcohol is quite warm with strong molasses and malt notes. Some dark fruits lie underneath the malt with some raisin notes. The oak does tend to mellow the alcohol but it would do well with some aging.

With the alcohol being quite hot on this one I would expect it to be tough to drink but gets better was it warms. Probably will buy again and age it.

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Photo of ebby82
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber into a tulip glass. Very little head, but even upon pouring, its viscosity is evident.

The aroma is definitely fruity: plum or figs, dark fruits in general.

The taste is strong, a little bit of the dark fruit flavor up front, with an almost smoky flavor in the back. The alcohol is very evident in the flavor as well.

This one is quite thick, and it burns. It's very tasty, but there is no way I'm drinking more than one. It's aroma and some of the taste remind me of a Belgian. Overall, it was an enjoyable beer.

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

A: Pours a semi translucent copper with auburn highlights. Minimal banana cream colored head that leaves tads of lacing when swirled. Looks like a barleywine or strong Dogfish head ale like the Fort.

S: Smell is sweet, fruity, all malt and alcohol. Smells just like a barely wine. Maybe some raspberry, raison, a little sweet cherry possible, who knows. It's just really sweet on the nose. As it warms, banana definitely comes through

T: Was expecting a big burst of sweetness here but it's surprisingly well balanced. Really malty and bready. Some banana flavor. Maybe some oak. A little spicy at the end. But that big hit of alcohol and sweetness I was expecting from the appearance and smell never hits, and that's a good thing. Never tasted something like this before. It's enjoyable.

M: Thick, slightly velvety but overall a very smooth and palette coating feel. Tiny bit of sharpness on the finish. Not sure if that is alcohol or spice working. Overall this is one of the strongpoints of the beer next to the taste.

D: This beer is not sweet in a cloying way, which I expected it to be from the poor. It's very well balanced somehow. I'm not sure I'd drink more than one of these in a sitting but can breeze through the first one quite easily. A good beer.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I paid $12.99 for a 4-pack of 12 oz bottles at Total Wine.

It's probably a bad omen that I'm the 666 reviewer of this brew.

Gorgeous deep copper color in the glass. There was almost no head but what did appear was a red/beige color that was evident by the ring and lacing.

It smelled of sweet malts, spices, raisins. Perhaps the label was suggestive, but it smelled like an old tavern.

Got a heavy bit of raisin and sweetish damp earthy malts.

It was a bit boozy with some scotch qualities. Fairly thick in the mouth

Not what I was expecting overall. It was good and had a level of complexity but I wasn't expecting such a heavy boozy ale.

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Photo of kdmcguire10
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Dark Red color, light tan head, about 1 inch thick. Gorgeous looking beer

Smell: This beer is a malt Bomb! Caramel sweetness with some hints of vanilla and you can get faint hints of the oak.

Taste: Massive dark fruits. Raisin bread. A little sugary sweetness, but not overly so. You can't taste the alcohol at all, but you get the warming of the back of the throat on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Rich and luxurious. Very little carbonation.

Overall: Perfect warmer-upper for a cold fall/winter day. Incredibly smooth beer for nearly 10%. Rich in flavor and a really nice sipper of a beer. I'm going to save a bottle of this for a year or two to see how it matures.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice dark golden honey color. Off white head with light lacing. Smells of sweet Ale and oak.
Taste is a strong, boozy, over sweet bourbon or oaky beer. Not a big fan of this one but thats my opinion. I prefer stouts aged with bourbon but thats me. Still, I respect Founder's and all their offerings. Hit or Miss...

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Photo of joeskirkie
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a snifter near-opaque copper. Not much in the way of head.

On the nose there are some dark fruit notes, some caramel, vanilla, and alcohol.

Taste is intense: creamy vanilla sweetness and alcohol. Hints of some dark fruits, but mostly vanilla.

It's really nice to to relax with. It's smooth like a Bailey's or a good bourbon.

I can see myself getting more of these.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice beautiful reddish amber with a nice head that quickly dissipates. Not much aroma. First sip is not much sweetness but you can definitely taste the oak barrel and finishes with a strong alcohol kick. Was looking for more maple goodness. As you drink more and the beer warms up, the maple and molasses start to come through. A very nice beer. Starts becoming like a fine cognac. Be careful as that almost 10% will kick you real quick.

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Photo of Jjski
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Old Ale= harsher and sharper than barley wine. Harder to easily quaff and slow sipper, winter warmer, with darker cocoa notes rather than sweetish barley wines.

IMHO a perfect example of Old Ale, as I find Old Stock Ale unpalatable until it's a least 4 years old. Drink this beer without expecting immediate gratification. It's a drawn out process of letting your palate attenuate to the harshness. Improves vastly aged at one year, with orange peel notes emerging from the hops while the malty spine remains strong.

Try to yield, and the Curmudgeon reminds you: the easy road is not the path to seek. Accept the challenge and expand your perception . Cheese-wiz is easier to eat than extra-sharp cheddar. Which is better is up to you. If you opt for cheese-whiz, it pairs well with a wine cooler.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a nearly white head that leaves pretty decent lacing.

The aroma is quite enjoyable. Fairly malty up front with caramel and mocha as the standouts with a good amount of alcohol (bourbon?)

I pick up plenty of caramel malt goodness and bourbon. There is some citrus, perhaps orange, in the undertones of the flavor and make only a brief appearance. The mix of these flavors all hang around in the aftertaste with caramel and bourbon more profound.

Has a pretty thick body despite the high ABV which is delightful. This is almost thick enough to chew.

This is a delicious beer that I highly recommend you try. Founder's impresses me once again which at this point is no surprise.

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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 wchesak
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Abbaye du Val-Dieu glass

A - dark ruby brown, minimal head, some lacing beginning

S - dark fruit, cherry, alcohol becomes more noticeable as it warms but never overpowers

T - creamy, cherry milkshake with some malty chocolate notes, rum and port like, more rum though

M - great smoothness, no bite or hotness from the alcohol, hardly any after taste at all

D - this is surprisingly drinkable for the style and abv, i have been focusing on anything hoppy or pale for the most part and wanted something malty and this hit the spot

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Photo of sjverla
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Molasses, caramel and alcohol. Definitely raisins. Very faint whiff of banana bread. Deep and rich, balanced by mild solvency.

Appearance: Beautiful hazy copper, kicked up about a half-inch of head that settled fast. Appears to hold the sides well.

Taste: Raisin heavy. Mellow caramel and toffee. Alcohol spice. Chewey and rich witha hot finish. Very desserty and festive tasting.

Overall: A heart, uncompromising brew. Definitely looking forward to aging it a bit.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a translucent dark brown with a white head which quickly dissipates. Some lacing as well.

S - Wow the smell really packs a punch. Smells very sweet. I can really smell the molasses.

T - Based on the sweet smell, I wasn't expecting a balanced beer. I could not have been more wrong. Earthy, hoppiness balances out the sweet, malty flavor very nicely. Closes out with an expected alcoholic finish.

M - Full bodied, somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Low carbonation level.

D - While this might not exactly qualify as a session beer, I found this to be very drinkable. I think the high level of bitterness really helps offset the sweet, slightly syrupy aspects.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass in November 2015. Liked to see the bottled date on the bottle, and drank it 5 months after the bottling.

Appearance: Deep amber with dark tan head. Beer is clear and not cloudy. Head is thick, and leaves a thin film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and some hops. Nice variety and balance

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the hops. There is a little roasted coffee flavor, and I also get nice caramel flavors, balanced with a bit of hops. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Strong alcohol, which confirms the 9.8% on the bottle.

This is a smooth full-bodied Old Ale. It is an interesting combination of flavors, and I want to drink this again.

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Photo of ken3c
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a decent sized head but dwindles to a 1/4 inch island. Beautifull deep dark red tint refracts on the glass and on the table. This beer has legs and visible tiny bubbles.

Aroma is mostly roasted almond but also a slight sense of melon.

Taste is ripe cantalope with ripe bananas. The finish is oak tannin bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and plays interestingly with the strong sweet taste. There is a noticable sense of carbonation but not intrusive. smooth but not too smooth. warming.

This is a delightful suprise. This is a very tasty brew.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a single 12 oz of this guy after really being impressed by the Breakfast Stout. I really dig the artwork of the labels, and always love me a stubby bottle. Poured into an oversize snifter after letting it warm to room temp a bit.

Curmudgeon entered the glass a milk, honey brown. Head is basically nonexistent, which is a cause for concern for this particular bottle. A thin film around the edges, leaving very minimal lacing. Also leaving much to the imagination is a lack of much in the sell department. Though, in its defense, as it warms they come more alive. Gooey caramel, spiced fig, and other sweet candied notes come alive, in what is obviously going to be a nice big malt bomb.

And a big malt bomb it is. My eye lit up instantly. After beginning to be let down by this brew, the taste really came in guns blazing. Curmudgeon begins by coating your tongue with a rye bread, moving to the back of the mouth releasing the sweetest of old ale yeastiness. Tons of sweet sugar, a big carame punch, and dark fruits. The finish is balanced out with a slighty grassy bitterness. Finish also is quite dry, keeping your hand in constant swing for more.

While starting slow, this one finished with a bang. Technically this isn't my favorite, but for sure I'll be loading up my closet with these.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,204 ratings.