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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
90
outstanding

3,794 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,794
Reviews: 1,120
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 150
Gots: 737 | FT: 46
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

50 IBU
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,794 | Reviews: 1,120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of capra12
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed by myself this time without the Trifecta served out of a snifter glass.

Appearance: 3 fingers of tan head and amber in color

Smell: The alcohol in this is a distinct aroma as well as a hint of concord grapes and subtle malts.

Taste: This opens spicy with some malts and hops which comes through during the middle to end. This brew is rather smooth but the alcoholic finish comes fairly strong.

Mouthfeel: This is medium bodied and leaves a rather hoppy aftertaste but not enough to keep my from taking another sip.

Drinkability: Although it is hoppy I would have another but not on the same night.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.1/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. An extra courtesy of busch03 (and a second from onix1agr). Thanks guys!

A: Pours a murky chestnut-amber body with no head whatsoever. A smattering of bubbles and a light collar around the brew. No lacing to speak of. Kind of disappointing , but I have had this experience with Founders a number of times...

S: Leans toward the sweet, malty side with a dark raisin and cherry character. Some molasses, toffee, slight wood, and booze.

T: Sweet caramel malt with a thick raisin, maple syrup, and molasses flavor behind it. Progresses into a slightly nutty toffee character with some wood and cherries. The finish is brown sugar with booze. It could use some balance. It began to get very syrupy and cloying after a while.

M: Full-bodied, with low carbonation that brings out the flavor -- good for the style. Alcohol is apparent in the taste and has a warming effect on the way down.

D: Tastes like diabetes. Disgustingly sweet, and a drain pour about halfway through -- and this is from someone who is generally to cheap to waste beer. Yecch.

Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date apparent. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.60.

A: Burnt amber with thin 1/2-1 finger light beige head that reduces quickly to a thin cap with spots of lace left.

S: Aroma is reminiscent of cherry-banana cake with caramel frosting with a woody, light citrus edge. Very bready and sweetly fruity all at once with a flash of heat.

T: The flavor is also very fruity with loads of caramel with cherry, banana, and date/plum accents. There is some toasted maltiness lending a bready quality. Cocoa notes are plentiful as well. Hops are pretty much in the background and add a little leafy touch.

M: The mouthfeel is lightly syrupy if that's possible. It is keenly coating while retaining some lightness, probably due to the even, perfect carbonation. Aftertaste is long and woody and resembles a cherry cordial.

D: A highly drinkable (and good value) old ale/barleywine with well-hidden alcohol and succulent sweet notes that blend together exceptionally smoothly. Another hit for Founders.

Photo of halfP1NT
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass; the color is hazy, muddy, ruby brown with hardly any head to speak of. Some sediment floating about. A small white ring forms around the top of the beer.

The aroma is sweet and malty with hints of dark fruits. Cherries and apricots. There is also a very slight woody/oaky note.

Taste up front is sweet malts; then come the dark fruity flavors. The sip finishes with a little sticky sweetness, and a warming alcohol presence that lingers for awhile even after the sweetness fades. There is little carbonation in this medium-full bodied beer, and it makes a nice slow sipper. Reminiscent of a barleywine? I would have guessed that's what it was classified as if I didn't read it was an Old Ale. Very enjoyable, as everything from Founders has been so far.

Photo of johnnieoz
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, unknown bottling date. Brought back from Ann Arbor in May of this year - so it might the 2009 version, more likely the 2008.

A: Golden amber, off white head with lacing. Some sediment is visible.

S: Molasses, caramel, raisin and somewhat boozy.

T: Very tasty. Easy sipping - but also perfect for some hot n' spicy Gai Prik Khing (Thai green bean and chicken dish) and then to nurse afterwards. The taste buds were opened by the abundance of chilies and now I can really appreciate the sweet, malty complexity of the Old Curmudgeon.

M: Creamy, solid mouthfeel. Properly carbonated.

D: As noted above, best when sipped but it does pair well with foods other than Stilton cheese. They just have to possess some pizzazz!

Overall, one of the best Old Ales I've had the pleasure of quaffing. Prefer it to Bell's Third Coast Old Stock Ale...I think (need to check out that second bottle in my cellar closet).

Photo of gatornation
2.95/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a dark orange thick looking brooding ale with minimal head and lacing..the smell is strong its malts and caramel with some banana and vanilla bean smells the taste is strong its a malt driven ale with a strong alcohol taste almost to me like a liquor i detect some bourbon and toffee its thick ..the mouhfeel is full bodied malty and sweet with the b4 mentioned tastes and smells.founders is an outstanding brewery with many on my rotation.. this old ale is a sipper and not my style or preference..all though i can tell its well made its just not my thing low scores are due to this not the quality of this ale or the brewer

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale Stem Glass. Bottled 2/24/09. Thanks to Sweemzander for this brew.

A - Lightly hazy amber with yellow and orange highlights. A light tan thick head floats on top. Moderate to low retention that left a thin right and tiny spots of lacing. Legs from the abv too.

S - Strong aroma coming fourth. Rich malts with a funk to them. Fruity - dark fruity - esters and despite 50 IBUs, no hop aroma. Brown sugar and molasses sweeten the aroma also. The finish is semi-spicy with moderate alcohol.
The weird thing about the aroma is that it smells EXACTLY like the smell that pours out of the vents at the body shop of the dealership I work at. I don't know what that is although, being the vents, it's probably either paint or clear-coat and my guess is clear-coat. (It has always smelled good to me anyway.)

T - Musky amber and caramel malts with a complex, almost indecipherable fruitiness to them and molasses with brown sugar sweetness finishing with a lightly bitter hoppy kick to the teeth. Mild spiciness from the alcohol and warming follows.

M - Smooth and creamy with ample carbonation (ample for the style but low) and a crisp, light alcohol burn on the way down.

D - Funky for most and definitely a sipping beer. It took me about 40 minutes to finish this and when I did my face felt like it was on fire. I want to get more of this gem but I think I'll wait for a cold winter day to continue enjoying this.

Photo of eljefe21
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of bsp77
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Slightly hazy dark amber-brown, almost has a pinkish-red tint in the light. Thin head, slight lacing.

Smell: Sweet and malty - dark fruits (plum?, raisins?) and bourbon. Some alcohol and English hops detected.

Taste: Sweet malt goodness. Caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, plum and raisins with a slight English hop counterbalance, which is most noteworthy on the aftertaste. After warming more, I swear I tasted coconut.

Feel: Low carbonation, with a full, smooth, slightly chewy body. Nice warming effect.

Drinkability: Another good sipping beer from Founders, who continues to impress me. Watch out Bell's!

Photo of bamadog
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this for a while, so I figured tonight is as good of a night as any. I've been really interested in old ales lately, so hopefully this one will live up to the rest of the Founders line. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with a ton of amber highlights pouring through; with a really hard pour I manged to get a near 1 finger head out of it that fades almost immediately to a thin and uneven skim with a thick ring around the edge of the surface; body is hazy and looks thick and viscous and there is some sediment floating throughout;

Smell: Deep, rich caramel and burnt sugary maltiness and strong presence of alcohol

Taste: Wow... Very nice -- sweet caramel and burnt sugary malts just like in the nose and a very potent presence of alcohol that is blended quite well with the strong malty flavors; a hint of spiciness and a milt hoppy bitterness sneaks in as well; as it warms a bit I feel like I'm picking up on some oak/vanilla as well -- is this aged in a barrel to any degree?

Mouthfeel: Very viscous and chewy; leaves a very thick coating all over the palate; mouth is warm and tingly from the higher ABV, as is the throat and stomach - a very potent beer.

Drinkability: Well, this is a sipper. Big and bold flavors and bigger alcohol would prevent this from being something that's especially drinkable. A great tasting offering though, doesn't quite rank up there with the Old Stock in my estimation, but still pretty damn good.

Photo of dino213aa
2.63/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Since I have no authority to speak on what an "old ale" should taste like, consider this a mild observation.

A: an attractive clear, burnished wood glow that fades golden near the edges. minimal lacing.

S: licorice, roasted malts, bourbon

T&M&D: This beer has a strong, bourbon like flavor that will smash you in the balls and give you a good talking too (especially at 9.8%ABV). Because of the strength of this ale- both in flavor and ABV, I can't imagine drinking more that one.

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

Not much of a head, but minor lacing. As you swirl the glass you can see the carbonation seep out.

Smells of oakie caramel.

Very strong alcohol. Vanilla oak, caramels and a strange bitter twang following. There is something about the twang that reminds me of a good blue cheese.

Thick creamy mouth feel; quite luscious. Leaves your mouth and lips with a sticky syrupy film.

Too much to handle. I had two in one night and felt like I had been drinking all day and night. Very strong.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.93/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/05/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours a cloudy orange. Aroma of sweet malt and vegetal notes. The flavor is equally gross (although slightly mellower) but still lots of sweet sticky malt and vegetation. This beer was not my thing at all...

Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, small head, cloudy, some sediment, high carbonation

Smell: malt, pineapple, currants, dried dark fruit, and a touch of hazelnut

Taste: malt, pineapple, currants, earth, and wood

Mouthfeel:sweet start with a bitter finish, medium heavy, slick, next to no feel of carbonation

Drinkability: A well balanced old ale, this is very good for the style and one of the better ones I have had. If I am looking for this style, I will seek this one out. One is about the max due to abv.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was intrigued by this bottle just from the picture. The fact that it's from founders lets me know it should be a solid choice.

It pours a orange amber color with very minimal head. The nose is rather interesting. I'm getting hints of caramel and fruit. It's fairly sweet smelling with the alcohol right there too. The taste was a WOW. It hit me right in the taste buds.It's very sweet and bitter at the same time. It has a malty carmel flavor with a good hop bite. The alcohol is present in every sip. It seems kind of thin in the mouth. The light carb helps. Needless to say this is a sipper. Not my favorite style but a nice beer none the less.

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

Apperance: Coppery pour with light head

Smell: Unique peppery, vanilla, smokey, dark cherry scent... the combination would make a good men's fragrance

Taste: Very port like with hints of hops and roasted malt and molasses

Mouthfeel: thick, viscous and almost medicinal

Drinkability: Like many of Founders beers, the complexity of the flavors make this a stand alone beer - wouldnt want to ruin the experience by drinking too much before or after.

Photo of carlborch
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, beautiful dark amber with a tightly knit tan head. The head is reasonable persistent, but does start to dissipate. Nicely developing Belgian lace. Rich, winy nose, with hints of cognac. Caramel, toffee, sherry, and dried fruits. Very moderate, but noticeable, hoppiness, with lingering caramel and malt notes on the palate. The roof of the mouth gets a sense of the level of alcohol, however, the alcohol level is not fully evident. Thus "caveat bibor" is appropriate. This is not a session beer or a vorspiel beer. Medium body with a sweet, long lingering. This is a multidimensional old ale. If I had the patience and cellar, I would attempt to age the Old Curmudgeon a few years to see how it develops. It should age well. A great ale to accompany hearty food and BBQ. The richness and residual sweetness would also work well with spicy food.

Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a dark, clear mahogany with some tan head. It smelled like a malty mix of toffee, brown sugar, old honey (like when it gets really thick and pasty), prunes, and fresh wheat, and a bit of orange. It tasted like honey wheat, toffee, raisins and prunes, and a bit of copper and orange and alcohol. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a mild bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a pretty good old ale with a nice, malty taste that was sweet but not over the top. It had good body too, and kept the alcohol mostly in check. So this was pretty easy to drink fresh, but I can easily see this improving with some age (1-3 years...maybe longer?). This is a solid beer, although it's not my favorite for this style. An oaked version of this could put it up there, but otherwise its personality was just not quite distinct enough.

Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a viscous, candied/caramel-twinged shade of dark amber. The head never developed, maxing out at 3/4-finger in size. The small ring laces okay, though.

This is one sweet-smelling beer. The malts profile is giving off all kinds of hints of things. I detect vanilla, toffee, dark fruit, sugar, tobacco and cinnamon.

This beer is as sweet as the smell indicated. Phenol-city, baby. Dark fruits in abundance; cherries, too. Vanilla & toffee are present and they sort of highlight some wood flavors. Add some Belgian yeast to this and you could pass it off as a quadruppel. A small touch of brandy or port or something on the finish. Dessert beer, for sure.

The feel is thick, but not in a gloopy, cloying way given the tremendous sweetness. More like a creamy, dessert thickness. Drinkability is hampered with this beer; at close to 10% ABV, it makes itself known by the end of the first bottle (though the booze is hidden well under all of the sweetness). This is a super-sweet beer besides. I don't think many people are going to want to have multiples in one sitting.

This is a tasty brew, for sure. Lots of sweet flavors, decent complexity even if all the flavors (sans the wood) hit the same point on the tongue. Have one with dessert.

Photo of bort11
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Slow to activate off white head. Good head retention but no lacing. Color is a dark yet clear red amber.

Smell has strong vanilla bean and oak sweetness. Taste has a mild bitter chocolate and cardamom spice. Sweet herbal spices mulled. A little hint or orange rind.

Mouthfeel is slick and a little sticky. While individual characters are nice, as a whole it wore out it's welcome a bit. Not bad, but not one I will go back to.

Blipped "Curmudgeon" by Nirvana

Photo of blitz134
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Always wanted to try this offering from Founders but never had it available to me. I'm only able to get it now by heading up the road to Mass.

Poured into my snifter. Basically no head, just a tiny ring around the edge of the glass. Brownish-amber body with reddish highlights throughout. Clear, even though some of the dregs made it in the glass. At 9.8 I dont expect much head, but a little more would be nice. Probably carbonated low to suit the style.

Overall, not much aroma. Again the low carbonation doesn't help here. Some light grain, but primarily a brandy-like alcohol with some fruity esters. Not much fusel, which is nice.

A little grain to start but then starts to transition into a lot of different flavors. The smooth alcohol hits first, then some raisin, dark fruit flavors, hints of cherry or plum, maybe. Some tobacco and tea leaf characteristics come through after the swallow, akin to a leafy hop flavor. A little sweetness prevails and lingers.

Good medium to full bodied beer. A touch of sweetness makes the flavor a bit sticky on the palatte. Super smooth, even given the high alcohol level. Low carbonation level works right in.

Overall a nice beer, not the best Old Ale I've had. Some interesting flavors throughout. Supremely drinkable given its size.

Photo of mikecharley
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out of the twist top into a balloon glass. Appears dark and murky copper, with a twinge of red. Really no head to speak of, save a ring of tan around the edge. Leaves no lace, however the style rarely does.

Nose is of sweet malts and some brandy-ish alcohol (only a little). Also some dark fruits are present(very subtle). Prunes, figs, raisins, some plum and cherry in there too.

The taste is wonderful. There's some wood in there as well... Gotta love this. Dark fruits as the nose would suggest. Some subtle vanilla as well.

The feel is right on for the style. Just in between medium and full bodied. Seriously perfect.

The 9.8 gets to you by the end of the glass, and the alcohol presence should mask itself after a while in the cellar to improve this aspect.

Overall a great brew. I am going to immediatly seek out a case for the cellar to see how this champ does!

Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby chestnut brown with tons of tiny suspended particles visable. Slight finger of fine tan foam that quickly melts and leaves very little lace behind. The nose is oaked vanilla, molasses, beet sugar and toffee maltiness. The flavor is sweet and complex, woody caramelized brown sugar with a touch of minty tasting hops struggling to balance. The high ABV is extremely well hidden. Mildly carbonated with a medium heavy, bordering on syrupy mouthfeel. Be careful with the curmudgean, he's a sneaky bastard, this beer is way to easy to drink at 9.8%.

Photo of oelergud
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chubby 12oz brown glass bottle with a twist off cap and a label showing what I assume is a curmudgeon. 9.8 abv per the label.
Nice ruby body with next to no head, on agitation a tan cramy head appears briefly hence no lace.
Very inviting scent. Sweet malts with vanilla and a note of scotch, alcohol and wood.
Creamy vanilla hoppy flavor with plenty of wood notes, very nice flavor again with scotch notes. The aftertaste is long lasting and full of vanilla wood.
Medium full body with good coating and a nice sticky feel from residual sugars.
Excellent drinkability, far from your run of the mill craft beer. This ale will make any old curmudgeon crack a grin.

-Oelergud

Photo of atpben
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Founders brewery. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark reddish orange color. Very flowery in the aroma with caramel and light vanilla creeping in. The taste was just amazing coconut and toffee combined - wow. Later on molasses and caramel apples came in. A very uniquely tasting beer. Mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. A nice smooth finish. A great night cap beer or after dinner beer. Founders needs to be in Texas NOW!!!

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,794 ratings.