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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

3,372 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,372
Reviews: 1,086
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 126
Gots: 606 | FT: 44
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: 3,372 | Reviews: 1,086 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby/orange color. A small bubbly white head forms with poor retention. No lace to speak of.
S: Smoky whiskey notes up front. Sweet vanilla and caramel. Some light nondescript dark fruits linger. Warm booze, and slightly oxidized.
T: Smoky and sweet with lots of alcohol. Vanilla and caramel again. A bit astringent. A lingering bitterness.
M/D: A full body that is syrupy and sticky. The alcohol is powerful. This is a bit rough around the edges.

Not bad, but not one of Founders better offerings. This almost seems like it was whiskey barrel aged, and the barrel has taken over. Considering this is not barrel aged, that is a little off putting. However, it is a nice beer for a night cap, and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 03:40:50 | More by champ103
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer like this is the reason snifters exist in the beer world.

After pouring into my snifter the half finger of head reduced in short time to a ring around the edge, but not before releaseing an impecable aroma.

Throughout the tasting i swirled the glass often just for the aroma.
The aroma lets you know right away that this will give you a bit of heat. i love that.

The sips are sooo smooth, with that bit of heat the smell warned you of, though the smell was a bit stronger.
The Oak and vanilla flavors aren't overpowering,but balanced nicely with the malt and low hop flavors.

When drinking this i kept thinking it would be a great beer for somebody who loves Cognac, with its bit of hotness, sweetness,loads of flavor, and smooth mouthfeel. This beer is what i personally want from an drink Old Ale, as i like a little hotness. I will buy this often.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2009 06:46:56 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of kiddynamite920
kiddynamite920

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Believe this ones from early 09. Still had the twist off top, and opened with quite a pop. Poured into a snifter, quite a bit of floating sediment. Dark brown with some amber highlights. Head faded quick and is remaining only as a soapy looking ring around the glass. Aroma is a malt bomb on this one, huge caramel presence. Some brandy aromas and a good booziness. The malts are forefront in this aroma. Exceptionally sweet and malty on the palate, super silky. The silky mouthfeel accentuates the maltiness of this brew. Has some tart flavors as well, almost like bing cherries. Big and sweet but with an underlying tartness. As stated before, the mouthfeel makes this beer what it is. So smooth and drinkable, must age well because from what I can tell, this is almost a year old.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 02:45:28 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from ShogoKawada (thanks!). Bottled February 2008? ABV is 9.8%. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Lightly chilled.

Persian red liquid with some particles in suspension. Buff-tinged beige head, thin but with good retention and heavy, messy, sandy lacing and thin, clear, sluggish legs.

Heady fruit aromatics, partly reconstituted and carmelized: figs, apricots, raisins, with a hint of flowers and very light and leathery sherry-like oxidation.

Faint brandy barrel leads the palate, with honey, lavender (soap?), chewing tobacco, caramel malt, and toffee. A touch of spice from the alcohol I think - hops are surprisingly intact, contributing notable bitterness. Long finish with a bit of leather and complex malt.

Medium-bodied, mildly astringent, very warming, and slightly sap-like mouthfeel.

I'm curious how this ages - there are some notes that if emphasized would render it undrinkable, while others would make a delectable curiosity. Fresh, it is the peer of many (though not all) British examples I've sampled. Probably not the normal place to start my Founders journey, but I'll take what I can get :-).

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 01:33:28 | More by augustgarage
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Nice dark brown colour with minimal head.

Aroma- Sweet and molasses smells. Can smell the alcohol a bit.

Taste- incredibly hoppy and malty. Very good flavour with a strong alcohol finish

Mouthfeel- A bit syrupy for my taste but great feel.

Drinkability- A bit too strong on the alcohol and too syrupy to make it very drinkable but quite tasty so its still very good :)

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 02:49:37 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.55/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this awful beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was the color of gasoline. The beer poured with no head at all. The beer smelled sour and had a sour taste that was not pleasant at all. Little bit of a burn to it and earthy tasting. I will not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 22:29:19 | More by Minkybut
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage

Pours deep amber with a short lived head. Looks like what I think an old ale should look like.

Complex nose with some nutty oxidized notes, vanilla, oak, and rich, sweet malt complexities.

The flavor is fairly sweet, low carbonation and has some viscosity. Has a certain English yeast characteristic with an oak aged feel. Raisiny, bubblegum fruitiness, loaded with intricate malt nuances.

Really a very good beer that, given a couple of years, should really round out and become even more enjoyable. We shall see.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 01:37:13 | More by brownbeer
Photo of jaluria
jaluria

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-opaque dark ruby-brown with a soft, subdued head that leaves behind little lacing. Aromas of honey, astringent, alcohol (boozy) and roasted nuts. The taste is dominated by alcohol and malt as would be expected for this style. Hints of ripened fruit, honey and dry herbs seem to come out in the finish. Make no mistake this beer is all about sugary, spicy malt. The mouthfeel is thick and succulent with plenty left for me to enjoy after a sip. The drinkability takes a hit because of the boozy nature of this beer but still an excellent example of this style and one that I enjoy in the winter.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 01:14:35 | More by jaluria
Photo of wanglaoshi
wanglaoshi

Michigan

4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this for $9.99/4 pack at Tiffany's in Kalamazoo, MI. This was the first time I tried this one.

A - Translucent dark brown with a white head which quickly dissipates leaving some lacing. Sediment, yes; cloudy, no.

S - Smells very sweet. Molasses very prominent.

T - Came at me totally from left field. Hoppiness balances out the sweet, malty flavor very nicely. Somewhat heady alcoholic finish.

M - Just what I like: Full-bodied, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Low carbonation level.

D - This took a little while to get used to, but very drinkable. The slightly higher level of bitterness helps offset the sweet, syrupy characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 19:00:35 | More by wanglaoshi
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A very slight creamy tan head rises post pour and fades away almost immediately leaving an extremely thin veil of lace and a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass... A murky medium brown color with hints of aubergine... A couple of very small, very slow paced carbonation bubbles can be seen rising towards the top of the glass... Some minor lacing clings to the side of the snifter...

S - Sweet red grapes... Caramel... Brown Sugars... Golden raisins... Fig... Rum...

T - The sweetness eluded to by the nose continues on the palette... Rum soaked raisins... Fig... Butterscotch... Honey... Raisins... Sweet grapes... A very minor medicinal presence...

M - Medium to full bodied... Syrupy and sticky... A tad chewy... Just a very very slight carbonation on the tongue... A slight alcoholic warmth...

D - This beer is slightly over the top in terms of sweetness... Oddly though that only seems to add character of this brew... Founders makes one brew after another that push boundaries and this is not exception...

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 03:06:32 | More by philbe311
Photo of LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque toffee-brown-ish color with small head and little lacing. Smell is sweet with some raisons, toffee, and a bit of alcohol. Taste is really good and near the same level as Adam. Dark fruit, caramel, molasses, and vanilla all make this one tasty. Very creamy and full-bodied. Delicious. A great sipper that will warm you up, more great stuff from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 02:35:16 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of aubuc1
aubuc1

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best before 10/6/14 poured in to a snifter.

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a thinning tan head.

Smell is ripe fruit with some light sweet malt and a little bit of funky oddity.

Taste is a slightly bitter, smooth sweet malt. Great big boozy finish without any flavor overpowering.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy and nice.

Considering the abv, the drinkability is very good. Can't wait for this to age.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 01:20:36 | More by aubuc1
Photo of hckyfn9999
hckyfn9999

Missouri

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden brown color with a small white head. Aroma is full of sweet caramel and honey. There is also some fruit present.

Taste is sweet with caramel, honey, and raisins present. The finish is roasted, with almost a smokiness, and slightly dry and bitter. There is a hint of dark fruit in the background too. Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 04:30:37 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of josefnewsong
josefnewsong

New York

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber/ruby with decent head and significant lacing. Smells of alcohol, toffee, and wood. Taste has a heavy alcohol presence with hints of wood, caramel, toffee, and bourbon. Mmm it warms the December soul.

This one is worth holding on to for a while.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 23:52:29 | More by josefnewsong
Photo of hdrider
hdrider

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a 1/2" orangish head and liquid is a redich orange. Good lacing. smells of molasses, brown sugar and dried fuit.
tastes of molasses, caramel, dries apricots maybe even vanilla. Good alcohol burn in the belly, but hidden well by the full rich flavors.
I like it alot in the late fall and winter at the fire.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 19:32:51 | More by hdrider
Photo of bonsreeb85
bonsreeb85

Colorado

4.88/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a pal in Illinios. Thanks Tay.

Pours a deep and dark clouded burgundy with sticky lace and respectable head given it's strength.

The smell is vanilla syrup, oak, tabacco, and booze soaked fruits.

Taste is sweet and rich. The alcohol is so well hidden on this insulin-needed sweet-as-hell brew. Very complex and the flavors just explode. It's a barrage of slightly smokey-oaked-boozey and candied fruit flavors.

THe feel to me doesn't get much better than this. So silky smooth, lets call it "velvety". the perfect size:large body. perfect for savoring every SIP.

Wow! I continue to be impressed by the brews coming from Founders, but this may be the best. I can't wait to age a few of these bad boys.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 02:15:16 | More by bonsreeb85
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review is on a bottle-pour into a tulip glass. It pours a warm shade of amber that runs from honey to ruby throughout. It appears slightly viscous but with pretty good clarity. The short, 1/2 finger 0ff-white head fizzles out immediately to a swirling white skim atop the liquid and light rings of delicate, sticky lace along the walls of the glass. Very characteristic for the style, though it seems a little thinner visually than expected.

Nose is pretty on for the style. There's a deep and sweet chewy aroma of dark fruits, incredibly syrupy and honeyed. Amidst the very caramelized malt and sharp pinch of alcohol hides something a little surprising - I daresay I detect a grassy, herbal hop note. It is very subtle, but seems to grow as the beer warms.

This beer definitely shows different dimensions throughout the drink as it warms to room temperature and warms the palate. Its definite focus is the syrupy, slick and viscous mouthfeel full of caramelly malts, cracked grains and syrupy prunes. The malts are not only caramelized, but also speak a little of bittersweet chocolate. Those hops that sneak into the aroma are definitely present in the taste as well, mostly apparent when the beer is swished a little then swallowed off the heat of the vapors of the alcohol that always seems present but isn't overwhelming. There's a heaviness that is missing from this beer that I normally find in old ales, but that characteristic has made it much more drinkable than others in the style.

This is an old ale I'd recommend for anyone getting into the style. Its ABV is actually moderate for the style, and it doesn't need a ton of age to go down smoothly while still being quite flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 01:34:58 | More by kels
Photo of Casey10
Casey10

Maine

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was not familar with old ale style so it was a pleasure to try this.

A - Red copper look. light bubbles and small ammount of lacing on the sides.

S - I am picking up chocolate notes maybe slight malts mostly the chocolate.

T - Again mostly a dry chocolate taste smooth finish.

M - lingering dry afterfeel, tartness make the feel prickly.

D - Really liked this the ABV is well hidden and while not having too many would definately have another.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 02:13:02 | More by Casey10
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that has been aged about a year and a half. Pours a hazy amber color with a fine-bubbled cream colored head. Never gets above 2 fingers worth, even with an aggressive pour. Retention is ok and leaves sticky spots of lacing on the glass.

Smell is very malty, sweet malted milk balls with a bit of oxidation that seems to work well for most Old Ales. Somewhat fruity with a bit of red grapes and figs. Not much in the way of hoppy or yeast aromas.

Mmmm, this beast is dangerously drinkable...so smooth. Sweet malts are deliciously caramel and toffee. Really good brew! Just a touch of hop bitterness rounds things out on the back end and there is a whole wheat bread yeastiness that comes through nicely. I dont see how this could get too much better with more aging as it is drinking so good right now. Alcohol is camouflaged so well, barely detectable until you feel a little belly warming. Pretty amazing beer, another winner from Founder's.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 14:56:21 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of bonk0076
bonk0076

Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish amber color, hazy, with a moderate head. Aroma is of hops, with citrus and fruity notes as well as molasses. Taste is very sweet - molasses and caramel, with a slight hint of pine. Fills the mouth with a full flavor. But offers a quick finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 03:09:39 | More by bonk0076
Photo of BostonBrewins
BostonBrewins

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 22:07:14 | More by BostonBrewins
Photo of apbarwood
apbarwood

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 21:45:28 | More by apbarwood
Photo of bbeane
bbeane

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a snifter... amber colored, very cloudy with some decent sized pieces of sediment. Very little head and no lacing

S- Smells of sweet fruits, malts, and alcohol

T- Starts out very sweet... malts, fruits... plum, cinnamon... finishes a bit dry with some definate alcohol presences

M- Pretty watery... light to medium bodied with very little carbonation. Bit of alcohol aftertaste

D- Tastes great... not the best beer to be drinking hard, but a nice sipping beverage and worth buying more IMO

CHEERS!!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 22:12:30 | More by bbeane
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One finger of orange-tan hued head, mostly dense foam but all kinds of bubble sizes found, foamy lacing as well, clings then slowly slides downwards. Brick red, rust color to more dark amber orange further out, warm and murky glow throughout. Sweey, jiggling jelly roll of a nose, brown sugar and molasses, sure, also coconut shavings, orange marmalade, crème brûlée and French vanilla ice cream, satisfyingly sweet but not insipidly ingratiating, firms up as it sits in your nostrils. Medium-bodied and actually a lot lighter in its feet than one might expect given the sweetness factor. Molasses, caramel, cocoa, cinnamon and coconut cream waste no time in asserting themselves, soft and inviting, at the same time the carbonation subtly lifts things up and prods them forward. Rich peach, apricot, nectarine fruit flavors too while tangerine and pink grapefruit citrus abounds. Full finish that fills the belly and makes you want to refill the empty glass.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 23:00:00 | More by farrago
Photo of ibbjamin
ibbjamin

California

2.25/5  rDev -44%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $3.49 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I pour into a snifter to review.

A thick brownish orange elixir pours from the bottle. No head or carbonation.

Bourbon-like boozy nose with candied raisin, oak and caramel malt. Has an organic earthiness to it and even some slight butterscotch hints.

Taste is more reminiscent of a boozy barleywine than an old ale. A bit hot from the alcohol which is poorly hidden. Fermented dark fruits, bourbon, oak some caramel malt.

Almost no carbonation detected in the mouth. Medium-full body with an almost chewy texture and long finish.

Even taken as a boozy sipper, it really is not all that great. If I wanted to sip on booze, I'd go for some fine bourbon on the rocks, not a boozy old ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 02:06:27 | More by ibbjamin
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,372 ratings.