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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

3,608 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,608
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: 3,608 | Reviews: 1,105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep orange, slight haze, but clear enough to see some tiny bubbles rising. No true head, faint ring of white bubbles around the rim.

Really trying here. Got my nose in the pint, getting a faint sweet fruit smell, some alcohol, maybe some caramel. Got more aroma as this warmed a bit, but still damn faint. In a bar room with food /stale cigarette abound, you'd get nothing from this pint. My rating is very very generous here.

Nice toasty malt and some burnt sugar, and a little stone fruit, but this is immediately kicked aside by a strong chemical alcohol taste. As the booze fades, some full hop bitterness, then chemical bitterness. This is not beer for the tame. A true grown-up drink here.

Full bodied, with some carbonation - and it is needed to clear for the next sip. And that is how this drinks -- a pure sipper. This is not summer beer, but winter in the easy chair or fireside in the fall. This one is a bit hot (alcohol), almost to a fault. If the booze was toned down, I could see having more than one at a time. Since it isn't, I'm one and done. Decent beer, but to be had as a change of pace or a seasonal treat.

OtherShoe2, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured into my glass to a small light tan head. It is a ruddy amber color. I get a nice toasted caramel scent along with some alcohol. It also has a bready smell in there, too. The taste is pretty much the same with the tasted caramel malt, but it does lack the alcohol in the taste that I got on the nose. The mouthfeel is exactly what I like, nice and viscous. Overall, it is a pretty solid beer.

buschbeer, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brass Rail today during lunch. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass it appears a clear amber color with some lighter orange colors around the edges and a thin lacing of yellowish tanned head. Spotty amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of sweet malty grains with a touch of orange character. Taste has a welcoming warmth of alcohol that is also solvent in flavor upfront with a sweet malty caramel backing and light citrus hop bitterness that mingles with a flavor of bitter orange rind. The hop bitterness lingers in the mouth with a bit of a resine-like piney flavor. Medium to heavy body with a light amount of carbonation. Other flavors of grain linger in the mouth. As it warms, more residual sugars come out in the taste much like dark sugar akin to caramel that has somewhat of a smokey quality about it. Overall pretty decent but doesn't have the wowing factor that I have come to expect from most Founder's offerings.

stakem, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Bottled 2/10/10.

Pours into my snifter a beautiful clear reddish orange with a creamy ivory head that lasts for a good amount of time before slowly receding and leaving some nice lacing.

The smell is luscoius. There is tons of caramel and butterscotch. It is also earthy with a touch of hops. There is also a stark dark fruit scent. It is a very luxurious looking and smelling beer.

The taste isn't as good as the other two but it is very good. It is alot more bitter than expected with a nice hop bite. The malt is here too and it is almost cloyingly sweet. There is an abundance of caramel on the palate.

The mouthfeel is thick but has a nice, smooth carbonation, it is slightly cloying but not overly form the sugar and alcohol.

The alcohol in this one isn't perfectly hidden but it works well and makes this one feel like a strong barleywine going down.

Overall it is one beautiful looking and beautifully scented brew, the taste is good but not spectacular.

crossovert, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of beertunes
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish copper. Relatively low carbonation meant there was less than a thin cap of head yet somehow left a bit of pretty lacing.

The aroma is very malt based, sweet with a honeyish background and just a bit of hops present. There was some alcohol hotness at first, but it faded quickly. The flavors were very similar, thick sticky malt, some honey (and maybe maple) flavors, a touch of hops and a nice alcohol taste that fades quickly and leaves a warm glow.

The body is pleasantly full, just short of heavy, and tongue coating. Drinkability is excellent, as long as you're not in a hurry.

Overall, a great brew that compares favorably to the only beer I've given all 5's to, North Coast Old Stock, and is certainly worth your time.

beertunes, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of hoppymcgee
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY. Served in a 12oz. tulip glass.

A: Cool amber color, light for an old ale. Thin layer of a bubbly head, sticky.

S: Boozy, caramel malts, and grains.

T: Nice smooth mellow toffee notes, bitter, slightly boozy. This beer really opens up as it warms up.

M: Good carbonation, tingly and zippy on the way down (this is probably due to it being from the tap).

D: Easy to take this serving down rather quickly.

Overall, a really nice and readily available (now that Founders is in NY!) beverage.

hoppymcgee, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a bubbly semi-transparent dark honey golden - the way it was poured I wasn't able to comment on the head. Malty aroma has a honey-sweet overtone. Malty, lively flavor has hints of spice, a nice alcohol bite and a hoppy undertone. Edgy, fizzy texture has a fierce, brandy-like bite.

Cyberkedi, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of baos
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Jar.

A: Thick body with a thin head. Not too much lacing going on.

S: I smell the whiskey barrel.

T: Barrel booziness with dark fruit preserve goodiness.

M: Now this beer has body. Not quite 30-w but a lot more than diesel fuel.

D: Pretty strong brew but good enough to have a few.

baos, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of ksimons
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours an amber color with almost no head. Visible carbonation bubbles

S-sweet and malty. Smells of vanilla and something sort of earthy, maybe the oak

T-very similar to the smell, sweet and full of malt. As Founder's says an insane focus on the malt, which is very true! Towards the middle/end you taste a very light bitter hops which helps even it out very nicely.

M-medium to full body, minimal carbonation, very smooth, thick, and dry

D-very good Old Ale, I would get it again. Not sure I could have more than one at a time, but it is great for what it is

ksimons, May 30, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a cloudy orangish red with a beautiful head to it. The smell is amazing. Sweet malts with vanilla and a slight fruitiness. I also get a hint of whiskey. I'm not sure how this beer is made, but I could swear that it's aged in whiskey barrels, because I get such a strong whiskey taste after sipping it. It's delicious. Sweet cherries, vanilla, and whiskey in this wonderfully complex ale. Love it!

DovaliHops, May 28, 2010
Photo of Avagadro
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Curmudgeon sports a red body that is fairly clear save for the sediment that floats in it. Head is creamy in color, and doesn't rely stick around long.

S: malty to the core, the bouquet offers caramel, vanilla, and a touch of rum.

T: flavor follows the bouquet's lead, with heavy vanilla notes followed by caramel and molasses.

M: full bodied and creamy. Carbonation is barely noticeable.

D: a great sipper if there ever was one. This brew shows the oak well, with heavy vanilla notes. This is one of my favorite Old Ales/Barleywines out there.

Avagadro, May 27, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with a good amount of indistinct spiciness and lighter amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes fairly similar to how it smells. Sweet and slightly grainy caramel malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip they sweeten a bit and are joined by earthy, leafy, and lightly spicy hops. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending. The sip also warms a bit as it heads down the gullet.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was a very well done old ale and does a great job of hiding the alcohol. Worth a shot.

glid02, May 26, 2010
Photo of liquidcraft
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dig the color, rich amber with an off white head that dissipated in a few minutes to film across the top of the beer. Couple of whiffs I pick up hints of caramel, vanilla and some gingery spice.

There is an initial bite of hops that comes back on the exhale but soothed midway by sweet caramel, molasses flavors. I'm getting through this faster than expected, the complexity makes each sip entertaining to dissect. The alcohol is disguised dangerously well. Smooth textures, carbonation struggles to get through the viscosity. As an old ale I find it over all very interesting, I wouldn't drink this with a meal its pretty filling and it's got a lot of flavors going on already.

liquidcraft, May 20, 2010
Photo of Stunner97
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- very amber in color with little to no carbonation in terms of bubbles to be seen, head starts very thing and just about fades away to nothing

Smell- vanilla, malt, malt, malt, caramel and molasses, raison, very sweet malt based nose

Taste- though certain a beer with a decent amount of malt to it there is quite a bit more hop bitterness than I would of expected, slight vanilla and woody sweet ness is detectable from the oak, would be interesting to see what some age on this would do to the flavor profile, basically can be summed up in tons of up front malt with a firm and solid handed hop finish, finishes moderate to long, overally pretty enjoyable flavor and extremely balanced,

Mouthfeel- decently heavy thick and smooth, very strong drying finish,

Drinkability- easy drinking for sure as this beer walked way more of a balance then I even had expected with malt and hop, goes down dangerously fast hard to tell this is 9.8 percent at all, while this beer is certainly good not sure yet if I would call it great rather just solid, oak adds a nice touch and the heat of abv is minimal to none, I feel though it would made it less balanced I was almost hoping for a bit more malt from this than amount of hop they threw in, at very least I would certainly try this again

Stunner97, May 14, 2010
Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark honey color with a smallish tight head that settles into a ring. The aroma is faint, did not pick up much, perhaps a touch of scorched caramel & toffee. The taste has a very mellow toffee and vanilla flavor, nothing sharp, quite smooth and sweet. The flavor is different from most old ales, seems to focus on vanilla. I worried that it might be cloying but it never does, very good. A moderate feel with tingly carbonation which helps cut the potential cloyingness of the brew. The ABV is no where to be found. This is a very tasty old ale. I like the vanilla profile. I am interested to see what some age does to this brew.

Gmann, May 14, 2010
Photo of BillRoth
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting comparing to earlier reviews. I have very little to add.
There is a prominent nose of fruit/malt with hints of wood and aging. Raisins and a touch of alcohol. Warming, and robust as you move through the bottle. An excellent winter warmer. As noted by others the classic modest carbonation of Founder's brews appears again. Fortunastely, for me this what I love any time of year. To me contrary opinions suggest this would say that I wouldn't want another glass of a full cab, or that I wouldn't be having a vintage port in the summer. Folks, this is an awesome sipping beer for any time. I agree with previous reviewer that I will age a few. For those who enjoy a full, warming sipper to enjoy as you relax at end of day...rush to purchase!

BillRoth, May 14, 2010
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Dark amber with a slight creamy head.
smell: Very nice malty, buttery, port like nose. Aged in oak? That's obvious in the nose.
taste: Oh man, the taste delivers what the nose projects and then some. Smooth oh yeah. I'm puttin a few of these back. What will a little time do to this beauty?
mouthfeel: full, creamy, silky.
drinkability: This one is dangerous. Almost too drinkable.
Is Founders great or what?

cindyjeffsmith, May 12, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A dark orange, ruby brown color with huge head that recedes slowly and laces like a maniac.

S - So unique. I'm new to this kind of beer. Vanilla bean? Caramel malts. Smokey. I'm very confused by this brew and I like it.

T - Wow. Like nothing I've ever tasted. Vanilla bean indeed with some light spice. Maybe some figs or dates or dark cherry in these as well. Toasty bitter hops on the end. This is pretty strange and unique. I'm intrigued.,

M - Full indeed. Roasted and packed with flavor.

D - On the mouthfeel still, the carbonation is pretty limited and this is an area Founders routinely excels in - they never overcarbonate their beers and they don't have to. The flavors and uniqueness of all their brews speak for themselves. Another - not only great - but spectacular beer from Founders. It's very filling though and you probably can't have more than 1. One of my very favorite breweries. Will be buying this again very soon.

jmerloni, May 12, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008. Poured from a short 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours a light golden color but fills the glass on the reddish side. Leaves a light tan and small creamy head that dissapates quickly. Light fizzy quick sliding lacing. Appearance is hazy with tons of setiment floating around.

Aroma is mild, but semi-sweet, malty, and dark over-ripe fruits...perticularly raisins. Very slight booze...similar to bourbon.

Wow,hmmm...I don't think this is aged in bourbon barrels, but definitely has a bourbon like flavor. Raisin flavor is a little strong. Medium body, high carbonation...boozy. This beer has some resemblences to Bad Habit Quad by Founders. Overall, a good beer...but closer to a Belgian style dark ale than an Old Ale in my oppinion.

ShadesOfGray, May 10, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from growler. Thanks Luke for once again sharing!

A- Poured a dark caramel color. Very little head pops up and turns into skim on the top of the beer. No real lacing but coats the glass...hmm.

S- Big time sweet malts in this one. Some brown sugar or molasses. As it warms up some vanilla somes into play. Light toffee and darker fruits make up the aroma.

T- Lots of sweet malts in the upfront of this both caramel and toffee. The darker fruits come in next but mix with a alcohol presence very well. Light oak flavor along with vanilla. A sweet alcohol in the backend of this.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little off and made the beer feel more heavy than what it was. Tons of malt left on the palate with some alcohol soaked plum in the aftertaste. Flavors were big and bold. Left my palate very dry after each sip.

D- This beer is always a struggle for me and I don't know why. I enjoy the taste but it is always a sipper for me. It is always a welcome for me but sometimes too much for me to finish. One of a few beers that is like that for me.

alleykatking, May 09, 2010
Photo of JoeBloe
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

JoeBloe, May 08, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is brownish-amber in color and didn't arrive to my table with that much of a head. It's difficult to see any rising bubbles in the glass.
S: A somewhat sweet smell is evident--most likely from the molasses--but it isn't all that strong.
T: The taste is very well balanced and starts off with malty sweetness followed by hop bitterness in the finish. You can definitely taste some of the alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate, smooth, and somewhat syrupy.
D: I don't think I could have more than one of these in a sitting but it's definitely a good beer to sip.

metter98, May 05, 2010
Photo of CampusCrew
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: poured with low carbonation but had great rentention and lacing. a caramel dark brown complexion.

smell: lots of caramel malt, like a sweet pie, molasses, some goosberry

taste: hefty malted ale with a great hop presence. very balanced for style. lots of caramel flavor and a touch of sweetness but not to much. drinks like a minced meat pie. bring untensils.

mouthfeel: full bodied, chewy

drinkability: great winter warmer beer, enjoyed as usual with founders.

CampusCrew, May 04, 2010
Photo of morimech
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark caramel color with a small head that quickly settled to a thin skim of bubbles. A little sticky lacing is left on the glass. Some particulate matter that settles to the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Things really pick up now. A lot caramel and toffee notes. Smells sweet and fruity. Alcohol is detected but does not seem intimidating.

Taste- Overall sweet but not overboard in sweetness. Nice toffee and rum flavors up front. A touch of vanilla as well. The alcohol is well integrated and adds some warmth and kick. There is a hop flavor and bitterness that detracts from the wonderful malt flavor. The deeper I got into the glass, the hops became even more noticeable and lowered the score a little. I would of preferred a much milder hopped ale here but this is still a damn near perfect flavored Old Ale. This might of been influence by the hop crazed beer culture as it would of been better with half the IBUs.

Mouthfeel- Soft, silky smooth texture. Full bodied and rich. Perfect.

Drinkability- My bottle has a date of 02/24/09. Should of waited a little longer and let the hops fade some more. But still a very good example of the style.

morimech, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

A fairly delicate pour produces a deep copper-amber-tinged brew with a half-fingered head of off-white (leaning on beige) foam that recedes somewhat quickly before resting into a thin crown that leaves behind some light, splotchy lacing on the walls of the glass.

Some barrel aging is evident in the nose, as notes of vanilla and a hint of coconut mingle with sweet caramel and a whiff of alcohol as the beer warms.

Medium-full in body with a very light carbonation, the mouthfeel is neither thin nor heavy. Though some sweet caramel notes appear up front, at temperatures of 45 degrees F and up the middle is immediately taken over by a very bitter, resiny hop-and-alcohol character that is a bit overpowering. Mingling within are notes of oak, vanilla and burnt sugar, but the astringent nature of the middle is somewhat off-putting and carries through well into the finish with an almost solventy nature. The finish is extremely dry and displays more oak barrel notes of vanilla and woodiness.

I'm not sure if it's the temperature or if this is just a bad bottle, but the strong hoppy/solventy nature in the middle is quite overpowering and makes this a little bit of a chore to drink. It is reminiscent of Nemesis 2009, but in a bad way, as the barrel aging notes and the base character of the beer are a bit similar, but the strength of flavor that, with Nemesis 2009, works so well, in this beer works to its detriment. Perhaps I'll have to attempt another bottle, or maybe I just have an aversion to curmudgeons in general.

superdedooperboy, Apr 29, 2010
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,608 ratings.