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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

3,748 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,748
Reviews: 1,111
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 144
Gots: 713 | FT: 45
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: 3,748 | Reviews: 1,111 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber, almost orange color with a thin off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, burnt toffee scent that's rich and full of alcohol. The taste is good as well. It has a dry, alcohol driven feel that's loaded with caramel malt and burnt toffee sweetness. It goes down slow and easy with a nice bit of warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very solid old ale. It's brewed to style and drinks well.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice style glass.

Pours a dark ruddy brown with light off-white head. A careful pour will leave the yeasties in the bottle which only makes it look nice in a glass.

Aromas are heavy and sweet with aromas of dark fruit and esters. You get the feeling this is going to be heavy just by the smell.

The flavors are primarily sweet with malt, but not cloying. The malts really don't have to fight anything bitter as they are the star of the show. Very heavy mouthfeel but, again, not cloying. The finish is smooth with a nice warming sensation. Very enjoyable.

As for drinkability, the first glass went down way to easy, and I was well into my second glass when the gravity of this brew sank in. Probably a good idea to sip it, but it's pretty good if you don't too. :-)

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

Thanks to tendermorsel for this bottle. I've been holding on to it for several months and have been meaning to crack it for awhile.

A: The pour is a dark, dark mahogany color with a lot of yeast floaties, and a thin ring of cream colored head.

S: The nose is quite rich with notes of sherry, dark fruit (raisins in particular), caramel, vanilla, and alcohol.

T: The sweet caramel malt is the primary flavor component with some sweet, dark fruits, vanilla, and quite a bit of alcohol. There's also a mild bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

D: A very nice old ale and a good beer to sip on throughout an evening.

Photo of ekardz
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish/brown. No head, light carbonation. Not the most appealing ale I've seen.

Smell: Smells better than it looks. Hoppy, caramelly. Some smokey smells come out of this one.

Taste: Tastes like an IPA. Very good flavor, hoppy and oaky. Lots of malty flavors, but not overpowering. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: light and thin. not much carbonation here.

Drinkability: VERY Drinkable! Easily drink a 4 pack. 9.8% Alcohol and NO BURN?! Watchout!

Photo of rajendra82
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The rust colored body was clear, quite still, and was topped by a small layer of bubbles. The smell was bready and honey sweet, with a late spicy flourish. The taste was very sweet as expected, with the flavors evoking hard candy, pears, and maple syrup. Very rich on the tongue due to the high sugar content. Alcohol was not as evident as I was anticipating. Not much hop presence. The sweetness pretty much overpowered all other senses and drove down the drinkability a bit.

Photo of techfed87
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an adequate-sized level of head.

Color is dark amber with heavy particulate circulating throughout.

Smell is of sharp, dark malt. It's almost salty in its sharpness of the overall scent.

First sip is covered by an almost caramel-like malt presence It's sweet, yet at the same time very carbonic in nature.

A very malty beer to be sure, but also a very nuanced one at the same time. Try it sometime!

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

12oz bottled 2/14/09. A year old and it's the first Founders I've seen with a twist-off cap, as they are new here in Georgia.

Pours amber/copper/brown with a very small off-white head that maintains only a ring on the ege. Leaves some spots of lacing. Looks like a barleywine.

Aroma is sugary sweet, caramel malts, spiced, vanilla, dark fruits, some bread and yeast, along with a healthy dose of alcohol.

Alcohol is better hidden in the flavor that starts with sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, a lot of brown sugar, vanilla, a touch of fruit and bread.

Mouthfeel is full and silky, low to medium carbonation, more carbonation than a typical barleywine.

This is very good, I want to age some but the twist offs make me leary.

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

Older twist-top bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A- A normal pour left a 1/2 finger, tan head that drops to a thin foam leaving good spots on the glass. The body was a murky, brown-red with some sediment floaties.

S- Boozy goodness. Raisin and caramel aromas initially. There was almost a warming sensation in the the aroma alone. The complexity left something of tobacco, spices, and vanilla at different times. With a little warmth, the caramel became more of a maple scent.

T- Much as the aroma suggests, I got a complex combination of raisins, caramel, and a boozy burn in the finish. Lighter hopping gives something of a citrus and pine quality. There's some maple as the beer warms slightly.

M- It's nicely viscus with low carbonation. There's a little hop bite with a good dose of alcohol at the back of the throat.

D- It has great flavor and makes for a nice winter sipper. It's very nicely done.

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

Appearance: Curmudgeon is not as dark as expected. It's an amber color with hints of ruby. When held to the light, it takes on a maroon hue, almost royal purple. This makes for a very alluring looking beer indeed.

Smell: Wow, this is potent stuff! It's very alcoholic and somewhat medicinal. There also seems to be some dark fruit in the works. The best way to describe the aroma is alcoholic candy medicine!

Taste: With the first few sips, the alcohol really tingles the tongue. After the palate adjusts to the alcohol, a malty sweetness shows up, which is not unlike that of a doppelbock. Dark fruits come through as the beer warms, giving the taste a candylike quality. In this way, the taste very much follows the smell, minus the medicinal element.

Mouthfeel: This Curmudgeon definitely has a bite to him, but this mellows slightly with warming. Apart from the alcohol sting, this medium-bodied brew goes down relatively smooth, a staple of Founders beers.

Drinkability: It's no session beer, that's for sure. Still, it doesn't take long to finish my half of a split 12 oz. bottle.

Notes: Curmudgeon is another winner from Founders! This was my first old ale, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. To me, this beer seems kind of like a combination of a quadrupel and a doppelbock. This description makes Curmudgeon sound like a deviously tasty concoction, which it is!

However, Founders brews several beers that are arguably my favorite of each's respective style (Breakfast Stout, Red's Rye, and Porter), so I'm not sure I could bring myself to purchase it over those other more sessionable beers. Although, I will certainly be excited if it's offered to me again! I'd love to try some of this stuff with some age on it.

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A pretty bland brown with reddish tints. Lovely auburn highlights when held up to direct light. Not much head to speak of.

S: Butterscotch! Some plain ol' scotch as well, along with caramel and alcohol.

T: I taste some alcohol almost right away, but then the lovely butterscotch and caramel come in. Tastes thin out towards the end, and the aftertaste is mildly phenolic.

M: First half is a soft buffeting of bubbles, second half is creamy. A tad bit thinner than I would have expected.

D: I'm not loving the aftertaste, but that english barleywine-like flavor and not too thick body keeps me interested in taking more sips.

A fairly good, but green beer. I think that as it ages the alcoholic notes will be replaced by malty richness, and this will be delightful in a few years' time.

Photo of jcnd9803
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A nice medium brown color with minimal head, but laced the glass well.

Aroma: Sweet, with hints of molasses and some caramel. As it warms, you can get some of the alcohol.

Taste: I thought a well balanced hop and malt profile. A smooth taste upfront with some sweet follow-up.

Mouthfeel: Some may say it's syrupy, but I say it's creamy.

Drinkability: This review is on an 09 bottle. I'll say that when it's early, it can perhaps be too heavy on the alcohol. But with just a year, this thing gets really smooth and is one of my favorites by Founders.

Photo of crosamich
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer however this seems more like a barleywine than an old ale. Has a distinct oxidized sherry, raisin flavor. The nose is a bit off-putting but flavor in the mouth is much more agreeable. Drinks very well for nearly 10%. Body is lighter than expected. The others tasting this commented that they wouldn't drink more than one but I surely could down several

Photo of semibaked
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Well this is my first review of a beer and I am sure it won't be very good. :)

A - Maroonish Brown color and very little head

S - Smells a little like floor cleaner with light grape juice

T - Tastes much better than it smells, good raisin and caramel flavors, there is kind of a sharp funky taste that is a little off putting though.

M - Very good, smooth and creamy

D - Glad I only bought a single, definitely something I am thankful for trying but certainly 1 will be enough for me.

Photo of Gehrig
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I perused the frequently aforementioned Neil St. Piccadilly, I wondered aloud to the great manager JD if I had ever tried Curmudgeon Ale, feeling that I had yet somehow not remembering it. "Old Ale with dense raisin and caramel; delicious" was his immediate response. It suddenly dawned on me that I probably had NOT tried it, that although I had seen it so many times with the other great Founders beers displayed, I might simply have thought I had tried it from having seen it so frequently--that sight memory imbricated memory of (not) tasting it.

It came home, it saw my Duvel tulip, and it conquered my palate. Holy wow.

Thin finger of slightly tan foam atop a cloudy brown body; decent lacing, however. Dense nose, rife with raisin and fig, and tons of caramel with a hint of dark chocolate. Splendid.

I cannot rave enough about the taste--reminiscent of barleywine. It has that aged, vaguely musty aroma, ample caramelized sugars that scream boozy rum, but plenty of smooth caramel malt, dried fruit that blends impeccably--at times standing out and at times receding, plus a hint of berry in the finish. Brilliant.

The mouthfeel is a great combination of smooth and rough textures, occasionally funky, bitter, and a little gritty but overall very accessible and smooth. For the style and ABV (9.3%), this is more than a sipper, to me--though it unquestionably packs a punch.

My goodness, I am not sure whether to kick myself for going this long without having tried it, or to be grateful for my having snagged it and embedded it within, rather than presuming its place in, my memory. Just fabulous. Yet again, Founders has justified its ensconced place within my top five breweries around and, with all due respect to the tremendous Bell's, assumed its place in my mind as the best brewery in Michigan. Curmudgeon Ale is truly special, and I am on my way to nailing a couple four-packs for the fridge and the cellar.

A grand achievement.

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

Pours a hazy orange color with a small white head. Head retention is less than average, fading quickly to a light covering and then a ring around the glass. No lacing. I read a few reviews and no one mentioned dark sediment. I hope I didn't just get a dirty bottle or poured it into a dirty glass.

Smell is impressive, mostly caramel malt, noticeable while the glass is still on the table and much stronger when held to the nose.

Taste is caramel malt with an additional sweet taste - either mollasses or maple syrup. There is also a little dark fruit and spices in the taste, with a light alcohol bite at the end.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Drinkability is ok, between the high abv and the overall sweet taste and alcohol presence, this is a one-and-out nightcap type of beer.

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

poured 6oz agressively into a 13oz snifter.

A.) 1/4" head fades quiclky and moves to the edge of the glass leaving some lacing. Color is a medium reddish brown.

S.) This is all about the malts, with some caramel and molasses in mixed in and a touch of alcohol warmth in the finish

T.) just like the smell , sweet malts with strong tones of molasses and caramel

M.) Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation for the style

D.) Excellent for the ABV, I could easily enjoy one or two more, Unfortunately I only bought one :-(

Photo of bret27
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle in a trade several months back. I think it was from GCurlow but if someone reads this and it's wrong shoot me a BM for correction.

S: It smells so... old! It's just too... old!
Ok, first there is a faint whiff of corn, which dissapeared quickly. Then sweet dark fruits dominate. Pruiny, raisiny, vanilla, bread. booze.

A: Dark orange, almost no head at all. What little there is does make a nice lace though.

T: Maple syrupy, bready, vanilla, really sweet, perhaps a bit too sweet. Not sure if it was oak aged, but it kind of tastes like a bit of oak or age. Booze isn't all that overpowering, more of a warming sensation from the tip of the tongue to the top of the cardiac sphincter.

M/D: Fairly thick and syrupy. Pretty drinkable, but not for sissies. More for the curmudgeon type.

Overall: Complex + pretty tasty. Probably not for everyone, but a good sipper. Not an A+, but not a D- either by any means. (By the way the picture of the bottle on this site has a lovely background, it really brings out the grizzled old man on the bottle)

Photo of woosterbill
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: A vigorous pour produces an inch of tan foam atop a deep crimson-brown body with hazy swirls inside; pretty good retention and a decent amount of lace. Good looking beer.

S: Rich malty aromas of ripe fruit (raisins dominate, with sweet plums and ripe cherries as well), plus a distinct nuttiness (candied walnuts and pecans); no apparent signs of the 50 claimed IBUs, but I'm not complaining about such a powerful and appealing aroma.

T: More nutty and purely malty than fruity, with a decidedly vinous finish. A little bit of bitterness creeps in on the aftertaste, but it tastes more like residual booze than hops. Quite sweet overall, perhaps too much so.

M: Pretty thick, syrupy body with low carbonation.

D: Goes down pretty easily considering the high ABV, but would have been helped immensely by just a bit more carbonation. As it is, just a bit too cloying.

Notes: Hugely complex and enjoyable, this is definitely a beer worth trying. It would probably be worthwhile to see how a year or two affects matters. Solid brew.

Cheers!

Photo of goblue3509
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark black like color with no head. The aroma is of a maple syrup and caramel malt backbone with dark fruits (raisins, dates, and figs) present and a touch of some breadiness. The taste is of a maple syrup backbone on top with dark fruits and some caramel with a slight taste of alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick with a slight amount of carbonation, it does sit a little heavy on the tongue. Overall the drinkability is okay for the style, it is very complex in nature and keeps you interested, a little thicker than some though.

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet...

A: Not much to describe really, pours a super viscous dark amber with hints of orange, entirely opaque, absolutely no head, looks like syrup in a glass.

S: Heavy maple syrup, rum, dark fruit (raisins primarily), faint bread aroma, slight boozyness, figs and dates as well. Wow, pretty complex overall. Nose doesn't jump out of the glass, but its solid.

T: As complex as the nose with added booze and caramel malt. Lots of fruit, heavy syrupy rum raisin character. Very nice overall, really complex and balanced, booze adds just enough kick but doesn't overpower the flavor profile.

M: Heavy body, like drinking carbonated syrup! For a cold winter day this is perfect. Slightly carbonated, just enough to wake up the tongue, surprised to find any carbonation with the lackluster pour...

D: At 9.3% this is big beer and fairly drinkable, the complexity and slight boozy quality makes it a little less drinkable, but pretty nice overall. Wish I had these guys around here....

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

A: Pours a burnt orange colour, with a small head after an aggressive pour. Tan, buttery bubbles mark the top. Some floaties can be seen.

S: Load of caramel malt, and roasted malt--giving it an almost "burnt" quality. Some citric hops and dark fruit are noticeable as well. Light smoky scent mixing in with the fusel alcohol.

T: Maple syrup coated raisins, rum, biscuit-coming across a bit sweet, not unlike pancake-y sweetness. Kind of "crusty," like a pie crust. Sugar cookie hides behind the syrupy caramel malt. Improves a good amount as it warms. Creamed corn comes out a little as it warms as well. Light floral element.

M: Low carbonation with a slightly syrupy body.

D: Slightly syrupy with a little bit of a medicinal edge--Hard to say if it will improve with age, probably worth a shot though.

Photo of inxy
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Little to no head, poured into a pint glass. Looks thick in the pour. Reddish brown color similar to a vienna lager. No real lacing, just typical hiccups of small foamy bubbles meagerly clinging to the wall. It's hazy, the carbonation looks similar to the haze of tap water. No real movement.

S - I'm not picking up much more than a faint sweetness, ginger, and definite alcohol.

T - I'm liking it. Reminds me of a bourbon mixed drink someone made me once. Oatmeal, bourbon, vanilla, tiny bit of ginger spice. Faint smoke in the finish.

M - Thick, almost syrupy heaviness. Carbonation is persistent throughout, but it isn't harsh. Feels cloudy. Alcohol lightly warms my mouth and chest.

D/Overall - I actually am enjoying it. It's above average, thats for sure. Founders seems to be consistently delivering for me. Higher alcohol, my second beer for the night, and I'm already feeling it halfway through my glass, so probably my last. Nice warm beer for the weird winter we're having in Michigan.

Photo of dedrinker
2.55/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Dark amber color. I smelled like caramel and cocoa butter.

The flavor was a mash up of Nutella, vanilla, cheap milk chocolate and caramel, more cocoa butter, macadamia nuts etc.

Full bodied, and the finish just kept bringing on the flaver mentioned above to make a beer that I had to dump out.

the over all impression was one of numerous artificial flavors.

I bought two bottles, and I refuse to touch the other one.

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

Pours a reddish orange with good head and lacing throughout...as usual pouring agressively. Smells of fruit and malts. I can sense the sweetness before tasting. Taste is very complex with cherry, raisins, and hops are prevelent. Mouthfeel is carbonated but not too much. Very drinkable as the higher ABV is so well masked almost as well as any high gravity beer I have ever sampled.

Photo of Goliath
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a thin layer of off white head. The head quickly disappears to a ring of bubbles.

The aroma is ok. There's a bit of vanilla and an earthy tea like aroma. There's loads of caramel available too.

The taste is ok. There's some nice dark malts with a load of caramel and an earthy hay like element. There's a slight touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice dose of fine carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. The ABV is relatively high, but well incorporated and easily managed. The flavor profile is decent, although it's not the best old ale I've run into. A nice drinker though.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,748 ratings.