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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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3,529 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,529
Reviews: 1,102
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 135
Gots: 651 | FT: 48
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: 3,529 | Reviews: 1,102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%

Why, oh, why has it taken me so long to grab one of these? Heaven knows I've been eying it up long time, coveting it. (sigh) I gotta get a 4-pack of this ole shit.

Pale tawny hue, rich glow, with plenty specks of sediment. That's fine. 1/8" head - gone quick.

Damn wonderful aroma - toffee, caramel, and toasty crystal malt - rich, dense maltiness - with a sweet liqueur booziness pushing it all up into my noseholes, lathering my brain.

Sometimes old ales do, but this doesn't immediately recall a barleywine. Strong British pale all the way. Toffee, booze, sweet dessert wine (not vinous/red/port) highlight the flavors. Assertively malt forward, which is great. And this is the kind of barrel-conditioning I can get behind - the faint essence of oak lingers throughout. Bourbon, be gone!

I don't taste the molasses they mention having included, but it could have certainly contributed to the mouthfeel. Speaking of which, while sporting a micro drop of dry, musty oxidation, is nearly silky smooth, falling quite short of syrupy. Goddamn does it massage the palate while conjuring one of the most soothing warming feelings I've been treated to. The booze is softened expertly by the malt and semi-viscous body. They balanced the shit out of this ale. A winner!

Bouleboubier, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%

This one pours a dark honey-brown color with a fingers worth of off white colored head. Leaves walls of lacing as the head dissipates. The nose brings notes of bready, dark, caramel and sweet malts with the high ABV well masked. The taste follows the nose quite closely here. Sweet caramel, roasted toffee, bready malts. 0 hop characteristics. No bitterness. The mouthfeel is creamy and fulfilling as it coats the palate.

Bottom Line: This brew is very well balanced and offers some great sweet tastes that aren't seen in many other brews. The intensity and richness make this one a sipper but with the superbly masked ABV, this can be hard to do. I do wish it was cheaper but you get what you pay for 10 fold here with Curmedgeon.

ChugginOil, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%

Poured to NB globe.
Bottled: 02/04/10

A: Pours a firey orange. No head until I agitate, then a thin sheet of off white foam. Pretty beer.

S: One of the oakiest beers I've ever smelled. Smells like the barrels didn't even have anything more than light toast. Woody.

T: Bitter, caramel, oak, wood. Very, very woody. Wow, dunno if I'm gonna be able to finish this one. Not because it's bad, it's just so strong.

M: Medium body, low carb. nearly flat.

D: It's a bigger beer than I had anticipated. However, I think with an additional year under the belt, this beer would even out nicely.

harrymel, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of warnerry
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

A - Mostly translucent amber color with a lot suspended debris, almost feels like being in chemistry class and accidentally precipitating something out of a titration with one too many drops of acid.

S - Tons of sweet caramel malt and an aroma like iced tea coming through.

T - Again the sweet caramel malts dominate,though alcohol is also very prevalent. Getting some hints of fruit (cherries?), vanilla, and some nice hops on the finish.

M - Pretty moderate mouthfeel for an old ale; alcohol is a bit too prominent for my liking.

D - Decent drinkability for almost 10% abv, but due to the flavor profile I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

warnerry, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of hwy61mb
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%

I poured this brew from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter. The reddish-brown color with a touch of sediment reminded me of the way apple cider would look in a snifter. There is very little head, with a little bit of lacing upon taking a few sips. It definitely smells sweet. A little bit like caramel. The taste is also sweet. Starts off a little bit sweet and I think I taste some hoppiness at the end, but it really isn't bitter at all, the aftertaste is still bit sweet. This is a thick, syrupy, sticky beer with a high alcohol content and I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting, but this is what I have come to expect from the style and I think it's delicious.

hwy61mb, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Snow81
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%

Appearance: dark amber, orange, unfiltered

Smell: a bit sweet malty, carmal, heat, hoppyness

Head: after first poor, head goes down to only a little ring around the glass

Taste: get a bit of heat right of the bat, hops hit right after that and moves into carmalness, stickyness then some more heat then all over and sticking around with hops

Weight: a bit on the lighter side but it is a old ale not a barleywine

Finish: this one lingers for quite some time with hops, and carmal sickyness

Snow81, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Nice and tasty take on an old ale.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Label with a illustration of an old man in a baroque? garment holding some notes as he leans on a chair. Shows bottling date (03/10/10), IBUs (50), and Alc. by Vol. (9.8%). Served in a snifter.

A - Lightly hazy medium to deep amber pour with a 1/3" bubbly and creamy cap with low retention, fair surface memory dash and ring, and minimal lacing.

S - Caramel, malt, nice boozy fruity sense, not too complex but rather pleasing.

T - Nice long compact flavor, malty with plenty of caramel coating the fresh fruity sense. Roasted dash, with a long sugary sense, touch of spice, and alcohol laden fruity sense, cherry and orange.

M - Medium to medium/full body maybe more held by the emerging and warming booze in the finish, small but constant carbonation with a nice tingle, slight please stickiness as it closes.

D - Hmmm, this is surprisingly flowing easy. It might be my moment, but for something planned as a sipper this went all too quickly.

Notes: Nice brew, add the barrel aging and do we have the Backwoods Bastard? Not quite but there is something rather pleasing that reminds of that brew, and that stands very well on its own.

Daniellobo, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of chainsfan1
4.05/5  rDev +1%

Nice copper/amber color with minimal white head.

Sweet malt smell with a hint of alcohol.

Small oak flavor that slowly turns into nice smooth malty goodness with a small burn that passes quickly.

Carbonated front with a silky smooth end.

I would recommend this beer as a great night cap eather after a long hard day of working outside in the elements or just to relax this is the beer to choose.

chainsfan1, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of phiberoptik
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a hazy copper/amber with a creamy head. Pours almost flat until the very end.

I do not get a lot of notes from the smell of this beer.Other than some yeasty aromas and I keep thinking maraschino cherries, caramel, etc.

It tastes heavy on alcohol up front of course and a bit metallic. I get some yeast and malts and a hint of piney hops.

Mouthfeel is ok as it fizzes on the tongue a bit. Slightly resiny.

Its a fairly drinkable beer. A bit big on alcohol but it gets much smoother with every sip Definitely nice with it being 20 degrees out.


phiberoptik, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of IronCitySteve
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

A: Pours a hazy orange amber color with a small off white foam head. There is some spotty lacing.

S: Lots of sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, alcohol and oak. Really becomes more apparent as it warms up a bit.

T: Not as sweet as I expected, no complaints about that. A nice blend of malty sweetness and the oak. The oak rounds off the sweetness which makes this quite enjoyable.

M: Slick and creamy. Nice medium body.

D: A higher ABV makes this a sipper by the fire. A very well put together Old Ale.

IronCitySteve, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

Served on tap in a taster glass at the Haymarket Founders event.

Appearance: A dark cherry color, existing between hazy and transparent. An off-white head fades to a ring but leaves layers of lace.

Smell: Brandy and ethyl alcohol kick, with an earthy covering to the sweet dark fruit and malt aromas.

Taste: Sweet brandy, caramel malt, and some dark fruits. Figs, raisins, and plums. Sweet all the way through. Some light earthy flavors slowly coat the tongue, adding some depth and complexity. This definitely gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, brandy-like, with light to medium carbonation. Sticky, with a fuller than medium body.

Drinkability: A fun and complex beer. Sweet, with lots of bite, so I am not sure I could drink this all night.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
2.98/5  rDev -25.7%

On tap at Haymarket into a 4oz tasting glass...Pours a deep amber with orange notes, a decent tope head, looks good...The aroma is pretty good very sweet with lots of caramel, honey, spice and a little oak. Good start...The taste just doesn't translate, this is borderline horrible. Almost all bitter alcohol from start to finish, oak, and honey try to help out but they can't do enough. I had a hard time finishing this. I just can't believe how bad this is.

Avoid for me.

jrallen34, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%

Pours a cloudy, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. There is also suspended sediment. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, strong alcohol, slight oak, and slight citrus hops. Fits the style of an Old Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, oak, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, overly strong in the alcohol, not very complex, but definitely warming.

Tone, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of Pellinore1
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours deep, cloudy amber, producing minimal head, which quickly fades to some light lacing.

The aroma is all malt, and makes me think of bread, fruit, and honey.

I taste all of the sweet malt foretold by the smell. Fruit, caramel, and biscuits are all here, followed by just a touch of alcohol warmth.

This beer is thick and smooth, with a bit of carbonation to lighten things up. Reasonably drinkable, considering the ABV, but I wouldn't want to have too many.

Pellinore1, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
4.33/5  rDev +8%

A - carmel, amber, no head, unfiltered, fine lacing.

S - fig, plum, oak, spices, malt, honey.

T - sweet fruit, honey, molasses, bread, with oak/smoky and mild bitter + tart finish.

M - medium/heavy body, velvet smooth, light carbonation to hold

D - Big sipper and mighty fine brew. This gets better as is reaches closer to room temperature. I will hoard the 4 pack I bought for special occasions over the next year and share with worthy beer geeks. This beer once again proves to me why I love Founders, just damn fine complex and delicious beer.

BeerLover99, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Phinner
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%

Very unique flavor is imparted by the oak barrel aging. Not quite sure about it at first, but it rewards the drinker with subtle flavors when given the chance to present itself on a clean palate. I could see how this may turn-off some, but I would not hesitate to consume it as a night cap.

Phinner, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Tucquan
3.73/5  rDev -7%

Had this on 2010-06-10 in Lynchburg, VA (from tasting notes)

A - Hazy caramel color with almost no head

S - Mild fig, plum and alcohol

T - Dark roasted grain, sour, light candy sugar, light grapefruit, no pine, alcohol. Nice taste but not my favorite from Founders.

M - Light body and carbonation

D - A good sipper. One is enough for me.

Tucquan, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev -0.2%

bottle stamped bottled on 3/12/09. poured into snifter glass

appears a hazy dark copper color, thin white head that fades into a thin ring. a little lacing.

aroma is of boozy fermented fruit, brown sugar. sweet flavorful caramelly taste up front, but somewhat of a dry chalky finish that detracts a bit from the taste.

lower carbonation, sticky body, but not too thick. the almost 2 years of aging has mellowed out any alcohol burn.

jmdrpi, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.93/5  rDev -2%

Thin, bubbly head over a translucent caramel colored beer. No lace but a stubborn clump of bubbles gather and ride down to glass bottom.

Hop aboard the sugar train! Sugar coated honey glaze with sugar coated dates and sugar coated orange rind in a sugar coated toffee pudding. Sugar. If this tastes as sweet as it smells I can't imagine it's drinkable...

...but it is! The sugar train continues as gooey toffee and rum raisin dance like sugar plum fairies upon the palette. I want to pour this stuff on waffles. Bullish alcohol (perhaps the reason for the namesake?) beat me up by the end of the bottle. Mouthfeel isn't as full as I would have hoped and even comes across as juicy at times.

Once I recovered, about mid-beer, from initial sugar shock I kinda got sick of this beer. A good night time reading companion but I couldn't ever imagining having more than one. Unless I put it on waffles.

donkeyrunner, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%

Served in a Tulip Glass at the Blue Dog, Chalfont- (number 9 in a series of tastings for the 2010 Holiday).

A- Deep amber, with a fluffy bone-colored one finger head. Good lacing, nice retention.

S- very interesting aroma- malt, with a nice sweet edge. Thoughts of hard candy come to mind in a subtle way.

T- Malt, sweet toffee, hint of hops, and a slight alcohol nip. All play well together to present a very balanced strong ale that's not over the top.

M- robust, light fizz, medium to strong body. Good presence.

D- One of the best strong ales I've sampled- will likely get better over time, but in a young form it's not "in your face" strong and very repeatable.

CraftAleRookie, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of stonermouse
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance is is a fairly deep copper color, with a fast-receding head and little carbonation. The body has a lot of floaties, which I didn't necessarily grade down for, because I'm not certain if it's part of the "Old Ale" style.

Smell is pleasant, with generic malt, booze, and a mild fruity aroma coming through.

The taste is nice, if a little boozy. Again, I'm not too familiar with the Old Ale style, but this thing mimics a barleywine in most ways. Perhaps it's an Old Ale because it has an old guy on the label; I have not idea. There is a touch of cherry flavor and a rye-like bite to it. Fairly complex, yet for all of the bold flavors it presents, it is surprisingly mild and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is solid; a little syrupy, but suits the flavors well.

Drinkability is excellent, as there a fair amount here to discover. One or two is good for a single sitting, which is good, because, in addition to Founders quality, they have the Founders price point.

stonermouse, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of dragonWhale
3.85/5  rDev -4%

a murky orange stirs, bubbles rise. A large pillar of foam rises in the center, gradually tucks away under itself to the sides. It is a stately affair, all the nobles are here. Foreign dignataries, the upper crust, Bono, of course, Bono. Stale and sweet fumes arise from the powdered wigs of the hallowed guests. Their breath is alcohol. This is an old ale for old money. A plate passes around the room, full or succulent grapes, fresh and dried, and dried apricots. Distinctly and with a stiff backbone, it slides down the throat, pricking with funk, the soul of James Brown. These old fogies can still get down. Get up (get on up). Long sweet finish, the harpsichord notes ring out, echoing in the high ceilings.

dragonWhale, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.85/5  rDev -4%

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours out a dark orange/brown in color. Similar to that of apple cider. Very little head that fades fast and no lacing.

S: Not too much on the senses, grainy malts in the back.

T: Sweet on the intake, little hop action in the middle, malts in the back. Heat from the booze finishes things off.

M: Medium body, little sticky action, abv noticeable, moderate carbonation.

D: A good sipper, I'll leave it at that. Would do better with some age on it.

BuffaloTapHugger, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%

A- Cloudy, muddy brown with a beautiful dirty tan head that leaves a foamy ring of lacing. Nice retention.

s- Booze in the front. Strong bourbon scent with caramel and smokey wood character.

T- Booze on the front with sweet malts and faint hops. Bourbon in the background. Strong.

M- Heat from the booze bite . Strong, heavy but smooth.

D- Its a sipper. Boozy bite makes it one to drink slow. Sweet and complex but strong and one to sip.

JayS2629, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of portia99
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%

12oz bottle (2007 vintage) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a muddy, particulate laden and well carbonated dirty amberish brown color. A skim coat of bubbles laces the surface with a small collar of fine tan bubbles rings the glass.

S - Smells very boozy, full of bourbon with richly caramelled malt. This smells very alcoholic...smells like a shot of bourbon in my glass more than anything. A bit of wood creeps into the aroma, but other than that, not much complexity.

T - Yep...pretty boozy here too. I get bourbon that is watered down a bit by some malty sweet beer. If I didn't see it poured from the bottle, I'd be skeptical of what I am drinking. This bottle is 3 yrs old and it still seems like it needs some more time to mellow.

M - Bourbony heat...definitely feeling a burn in my throat as this one goes down. Carbonation looks pretty lively in the glass, but I really don't get much of anything in the feel...seems almost still. Body is pretty full, but still less than I would expect out of a beer of this intensity.

D - One of these is plenty in a session. It isn't bad by any means, but it is purely one dimensional and I could have gotten roughly the same experience out of a bourbon and water. Wish I could say there is a bit more in here, but it is pretty basic in its complexity.

portia99, Dec 04, 2010
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,529 ratings.