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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,186 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,186
Hads: 4,200
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 176
Gots: 942 | FT: 53
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: 1,186 | Hads: 4,200
Photo of kdmcguire10
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (715 characters)

Photo of joeskirkie
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (379 characters)

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (445 characters)

Photo of TheBear11D
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (729 characters)

Photo of wchesak
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
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 (547 characters)

Photo of sjverla
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.77/5  rDev -5%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.01/5  rDev +1%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of ken3c
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (1,309 characters)

Photo of Jade
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle of Curmudgeon in a brandy snifter.

A - Light amber color, cloudy (unable to see through) with very little head. Bubbles fizzing up on the sides of the glass.

S - Yum! Caramel, candy malts with hints of molasses and a sour smell of sorts

T - Very malty. Bitter backend, drying on the tongue. Oak and caramalized malts. Gets better as it warms...gets sweeter and tastier more in line with the smell.

M - Medium thick, with litlle carbonation feel. Not the smoothest beer.

O - A decent old ale. A nice sipper, but not my favorite style. Definitely worth a try. Relax and enjoy on a cold evening! (615 characters)

Photo of LI_PO12
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip Bottle dated 4/13/12

Appearance- Deep copper, burnt orange, 1 finger white head, hazy with some particle foating around

Aroma- Dates, figs, raisons, appricot, caramel malt, toffee, some alcohol, very nice

Flavor- Same fruits as the aroma though more subdued with more of a caramel malt sweetness coming forward, creamy, full, its not overly sweet, slight sherry, alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel- Full, thick, medium carbination, alcohol warmth

Overall- This aged well, one of my favorites of the style, its got everything im looking for. It mellowed and allowed more complexity to show with some age. An awesome sipper (634 characters)

Photo of cvaypai
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to imperial pint. Bit of age on this one.

Appearance - Amber brown see through, not much to speak of, what it should look like. Little to no head, cap came off pretty easy.

Smell - This is a different smell to me, wood, raisins, molasses, and alcohol. This has that founders smell to it. I am finding it hard to find different smells in here.

Taste - Whoa, tons of different tastes going on here, let me try and explain. I taste milk, caramel, tons of dark fruits and a bit of fig and raisin. At the end I get a small bite, and then a sugary taste after. Last thing that remians is an alcoholic burn. This is quite a taster.

Mouthfeel - This is surprisingly smooth, reminds me of milk at the beginning. Not bad for a beer of its stature.

Drinkability - One is good enough for me to sip and enjoy. This is an interesting beer. (849 characters)

Photo of crewfan16
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New to the style here, but have found all Founders beer to be enjoyable, so here goes nothing. Poured from a bottle to a pint glass

a-pours a deep amber/brown color. sort of mahogany or oak color. about an inch of foam that is slightly cream colored and descends with some light lacing.

s-oak, caramel sweetness, malty smell. not nearly as strong as I had anticipated

t-more oak. a little bit of bitter hoppiness, some caramel and lots of malt

m-for 9.8% abv, it doesn't taste too boozy. there is a little tingle on the tongue, but nothing more. carbonation seems a tad light, but it goes down very easily, very drinkable.

my first try at an old ale and I am sort of on the fence about it. It doesnt seem terribly balanced, as the oak is sort of overbearing. We will see if I like it more as the 4-pack dwindles, but presently, there are other founders brews i would rather reach for. (889 characters)

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - a gentile pour yielded a tiny head atop a cloudy copper brew.

S - Malty, Toffee overtakes any alcohol smells.

T - Strong molasses and toffee malt. Some alcohol warmth as expected. A great deal of sweetness aftertaste. A bit over the top for my liking.

M - smooth, simple.

Bursts of molasses and malty sugars create a unique experience, but one lacking in complexity. (376 characters)

Photo of Flyer
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry red, hazy, with good head but minimal lacing. Aroma of whiskey. This ale has a wonderul bourbon whiskey flavor, as much as you could possibly want, yet without coming across as a "whiskey wannabe" -- it's an ale all the way. Additional notes of coconut, brown sugar, oak, some cherry. Nice alcohol warmth. I'm a variety lover, yet this is one of the few beers I feel like I could enjoy every day. (416 characters)

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

Tiny bubbles, but hardly any of them on top of this medium brown beer, which is almost opaque. Just a bit of golden glow around the edges of my glass.

Smells of toasty saltines, whiskey and healthy malt with that touch of strawberry jam that I like so much about old ales.

Woo. Sipping bourbon and sweet toffee malt taste, but barely out in front of the 9.3 percent ABV. Just the tiny bit of bitter in there, but it's drowned out. Malt. Alcohol.

It's a tongue full. Leans toward think in the mouth, and brings the heat with just a sense of the sparse carbonation.

Big, big beer. A mistake on this evening, parked in front of a fan while braving the last of a humid 90-degree day. But don't go far, old man. I will be looking for you the moment the snow falls. (772 characters)

Photo of JustinAniello
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy dark copper with a half-finger head. Minimal lacing and cap as the head quickly dissipates.

S - Heavy sweetness with a medley of notes; browned caramel, chocolate, malt, and even some dark fruit. A slight burn of alcohol if you inhale deeply.

T - Milk chocolate and burnt caramel, very sweet at first. Turns to dark fruit and grapes, quick hit of piney hops on the swallow. Lingering bitterness with a hint of and alcoholic bite in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Goes well with the flavors.

O - An interesting beer and my first old ale, great show for the style. Nice flavor and aroma profile. The alcohol isn't harsh but shows through enough to warn you that this beer means business. A great beer to sip through the night. (765 characters)

Photo of midnite2sixman
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish red with a caramel colored head. Decent finger of foam doesn't leave a ton of lacing behind.

Smells roasty with a whiff off autumn.

Taste, a bigger beer, with a bit of an alcohol taste and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth, after the first sip, finishes with a caramel taste.

Drinkability is high on this one my friends, although it is a heavy beer it is excellent for sipping on cool autumn nights when the bats are flying overhead. (457 characters)

Photo of jlandis
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy copper with one finger white head that slowly fades into a thin ring. The aroma is very inviting with caramel and toffee with a hint of sweet cherries and brown sugar. The taste is much more complex than I was expecting from the aroma. There is the predominant caramel and toffee sweetness with a great cherry sweetness. In the background there is a tobacco and oak that mingles with the alcohol to make a fantastic presentation. The carbonation is light and the rich.

This is a solid beer. I remember the first time that I had it I absolutely hated it, but now with a second go around and a better understanding of what an "old ale" is I can really appreciate this one. Perfect for a cooler autumn evening. (730 characters)

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

Bottled 04/09/11, poured into a snifter.

Clear red-mahogany in color.  One finger creamy head that settles.

Nose is malty and woodsy, sweet caramel, prunes, a little vanilla, boozy, and a faint fine cigar smoke.

First tasting seems hot, but a second later there's no alcohol burn.  Strong oak aged flavor, I guess that's the woodsy nose I smelled.  Big malty backbone and some bittering hops.  I'd say I taste caramel before I do molasses.

Mouthfeel is medium body and leaves a residue.  Carbonation is very good for an old ale.  Drinkability is really good.

Overall this is a nice oak aged beer.  It's good, but I suspect much better once aged. Overall a B/B+ (672 characters)

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

A big beer for sure.

The appearance was dark mahogany with a light head that laced the glass slightly.

The smell had notes of a smoky scotch. Interesting stuff so far.

The taste was of vanilla, bourbon, coconut, and creme. A great old ale, and recognizable to the style. Alcohol is present and noticable, but not totally overwhelming. The mouthfeel was smooth. The drinkability is as good as a beer with this ABV can be.

Great stuff. Founders has not dissapointed me yet, with their beers ranging from solid to excellent. (533 characters)

Photo of eljefe21
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours thick and flat. Some thin lacing. Dark reddish copper in color.

S: Sweet maltly goodness. Hints of honey, toffee and vanilla. You know where this is going.

T: Malty flavor up front that melts into an amazing vanilla sweetness.

M: Thickish silky mouthfeel that evaporates into dryness on the back of the tongue.

D: A big malty sweet brew perfect for the winter as a late night drink. Warming, calming and relaxing.

Served: in an oversized wine glass. (464 characters)

Photo of apbarwood
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coppery color with a thin wisp of head. Very little retention with pretty much no lace. The aroma is sweet with toffee, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch all swirling around though overall it was leaning towards the weak side. Those aromas show through in the flavor that is heavily toffee-like with a sturdy butterscotch note in the background. The mouthfeel was pleasant. The sweetness was restrained and I didn't find it overly sticky and a fair amount of carbonation helped to lift the heavy body off the palate. It was good overall but I found myself wanting more. It lacked a certain wow factor to bring it over the top but I was happy to drink it. (654 characters)

Photo of abraxel
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised it took me so long to try this beer; I've been a fan of both Founders and old ales for a while.

A - This is an attractive beer. A sort of translucent brownish amber with a pillowy, thick head that clings to the side of the glass and takes forever to subside.

S - Smells like toffee-like malt, but not very sweet. Hints of citrusy hops. For some reason it also reminds me of grapes... but maybe I'm making that part up.

T - Complex, rather sweet malts (lots of toffee and caramel, but so much more than that in a way that's hard to describe) with a fair amount of hoppy bitterness -- the hops blend in at first, then take over halfway through the sip. I really like it before the hops dominate, then it declines to just "good".

M - Not very thick, but it lingers quite a while on my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Satisfying, but not stunning.

O - I like it. Not my favorite old ale (but that's unfair considering I don't live far from Kuhnhenn), but it's good. I think I'd like it more if the hops were a bit more subdued so the awesome, complex malts could shine. It makes me think the Kaiser Curmudgeon (this beer aged in bourbon/maple syrup barrels) must be just about perfect... (1,204 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,186 ratings.