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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

3,548 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,548
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 136
Gots: 657 | 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: 3,548 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wcudwight
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bourbon color with a 1/2" yellowish beige head that quickly recedes to a film on top. Thin wet lacing and lot's of carbonation in the head. The head fizzes on the pour.
Smells like a fine bourbon with some dates or muscadine aromas.
Taste just like a bourbon. Maybe a little bit sweeter.
Mouthfeel is creamy and velvety. Very smooth.
Good drinking beer but it's strong.
Received this in a trade. I really like this style but have a hard time destinguishing the difference between old ale and an English Barleywine.

wcudwight, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of gpcollen1
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a modest brown with some golden highlights into my Lees Harvest Ale shortie. A modest head arrives with the pour and quickly disperes to barely a ring around the glass. Aromas of oak and bourbon top the glass with additional hints of vanilla beans steeping in cream and bourbon splashing back in.

Taste is sweet and smooth, riding oak across the tongue and dragging bourbon and vanilla behind. The vanilla is very subtle and tied up in sweet dried plums. Finishes with a splash of alcohol hitting the back of the throat.

This is a fantastic way to officially end the work day and move on into getting dinner ready for the family. I had no expectations in diggin in to this brew but am pretty impressed in its relative simplicity and drinkability. Thanks Vance!!

gpcollen1, Mar 07, 2007
Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one with me. thanks eric!

12oz bottle

pours slightly cloudy reddish amber with a small tan head that drops very fast and leaves a little spotty lace.

aroma is nice. tons of oak and vanilla. bourbon. raisin and date. alcohol. toffee and caramel. crackery malt.

taste is great. strong bourbon character, but without being overpowering. lots of oak and vanilla. alcohol is noticeable but not too strong. cracker malt. nice toffee and caramel sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation and a nice medium body.

drinkability is great. well balanced and very enjoyable. just the right amount of bourbon and vanilla to make them obvious but not overpowering (and i'm usually not a huge fan of either).

grub, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of kirok1999
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very light copper, nice white head that quickly fades.
Smells of nice sweet malts, vanilla, oak.
Tastes even better than the smell. Super nice carbonation makes this very smooth. Nice dark fruits, raisins, caramel, vanilla. The alcohol is well hidden, hardly noticed it at all in the taste.
Exactly what an old ale should be. Thick, creamy and sweet. One of the best out there.

kirok1999, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy caramel colour with a thin white head. As the foam settled to a ring of fine bubbles, it left some spotty lacing behind. The aroma was quite complex, with wood and vanilla up front, some caramel, plenty of fruit (grapes, orange marmalade), and a little alcohol. Mild bitterness when compared to the sweetness, with caramel and toffee center stage. Some oak and raisin notes were present as well, along with a bit of alcohol. It had a soft finish with a refined fruitiness. Full bodied with lightish carbonation, some creaminess yet still a bit dry. This was really interesting and highly drinkable. It had plenty of character, almost like tasting a different beer with each sip.

DrJay, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of ndekke39
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with a March bottled-on date.

A: Pours a hazy reddish-brown with twinges of violet around the edges. Very small white head with no retention.

S: Strong sweetness, rich roasted barley. Smells like bourbon. A bit singular.

T: Mostly sweet flavors, no hops to be tasted. Strong center of sweet barley. Again, the bourbon, woody flavors.

M: Thick mouthfeel, complements the rich and sweet flavors very well.

D: A good hearty Old Ale. The 9.3% ABV will sneak up on you. But another strong offering from Founder's.

ndekke39, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of cooncat
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving from a 12 oz. bottle.

A vigorous pour produces a small tan colored head, but that is to be expected for this style. The head disappears almost immediately, but also to be expected. Color is almost an opaque dark ginger brown .. very dark. Nose is incredible with many mixed fruit aspects, including plums and apricots. Very sweet smelling, with some hint of the alcohol in the nose. First sip is like tasting ambrosia; wonderful fruit maltiness, with a hint of piney hops. The flavor is HUGE, and the alcohol presence is notable. The finish is sweet to the last drop, with no lingering after taste. Mouth feel is so full its almost 'chewy'. This is a perfect Winter Warmer, dessert beer, or excellent finish to a session.

Well done, Founders!
Prost!

cooncat, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BuckEyeNation

Pours a cloudy brownish color, quick fizzy head, nice carbonation, left some little islands around. The nose is of malts, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is sweet slightly malty, very much bourbon, nice touch of vanilla. Medium body. Drinkable, quite a different old ale, but very tasty. Highly recommended.

Wasatch, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance
A toffee coloured ale, a vigourous pour only resulted in a thin tan coloured head. Very mildly carbonated, and virtually no lacings. Not surprising considering the style and the alcohol content.

Aroma
Big buttery toffee nose, pecan praline, alcohol, and a mild earthy spice all combine to get me pumped about this brew. Smells great!

Taste
Yup theres lots of buttery diacetyl here. Be warned, dont try this one if its a turn off to you. Big backbone of buttery toffee and a touch of treacle, the creamy pecan praline is also there, and its all complimented by the hint of earthy hop spice.

Mouthfeel
A rich, decadent, and warming due the alcohol, treat. A full bodied ale that while almost syrupy manages to avoid being cloying. Lots of rich flavours complimenting each other quite nicely in this old ale.

Drinkability
I found this to be a very drinkable, very rich, big ale. The big body and waming effect due to the alcohol make this a perfect choice for a cool winter night. May be a little too rich to be sessionable, but might be fun to try! Will definately be enjoying this tasty treat again.

demcorhip, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of Jdiddy
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with very little head and a ton of floaties. Initial smell of sulphur (?), raisins, molasses, brown sugar. Very smooth brew. Very velvety. Definite Barley Wine qualities to ths one with a lacing that runs the whole glass. Drinkable but I would not have 2 or 3. I would stick with one and move on. A great beer though.

Jdiddy, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a small light tan head, this beer smells of alcohol, dark semi-sweet fruits, and woodiness (No idea if it touched wood or not).

very hoppy, almost spicy initial taste, with very notable malt undertone which never really shines. the spiciness reminds me most of the front end of barbeque sauce or something similar, without the ketchup. Pleasant beer, i don't taste wood so much in the taste at all. the alcohol is not really notable in the taste here.

Pleasant beer, worth trying though it is not my favorite old ale by far. Thanks again to MABZ for this and the other beers he recently sent.

dogfooddog, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.17/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours an opaque dark sienna color with absolutely no head. If I really excite the beer - and I mean practically stick this sucker ion a paint shaker, then I get about a half finger of head. It will leave tiny specks of lacing on the glass.

S - Oak, butter, caramel malt, alcohol and vanilla - in that order.

T - A smokey sweet bourbon oak flavor meshed with a caramel malt. These have a lot of buttery diacetyl and a fair amount alcohol underneath.

M - Very thick, a little harsh and actually a little parching. (Can something be a little parching?) It has a buttery texture that coats my mouth with a film.

D - I'm not a fan, but it is something I can handle. It isn't a terribly unpleasant experience either. It just isn't for me. I won't have this again. The closest beer I can think to compare this to is Avery's Samael's Oak Aged Ale. This doesn't come close in pleasantness though, it lacks all the pleasant fruit flavors and has a shitload of butter. It also reminds me a bit of Weyerbacher's Prophecy, but not as offensive, at least in my opnion anyway. This is just way too buttery throughout. If you like drinking bourbon butter, then drink this. Otherwise avoid it.

mrasskicktastic, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour creates a huge, thick crop of nicotine stained beige head. The retention of the oversized head is very good. The body of the beer is scarlet red. Aroma is a bit toxic and fruity. Like spiked punch. The taste, it turns out, is not toxic at all. Rather smooth and velvety. Very nice taste. Very little sign of alcohol. And very easy to drink. This is a solid Old Ale. Malts are so smooth on the palate. Fruitiness is very evident, but not overly estery in nature. Bits of caramel and toffee. This one got better as it warmed up and finished fabulously.

Bighuge, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of benito
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fascinating brew. A still, bright amber with virtually no head and a bouquet full of vanilla, bourbon, and alcohol. Curmudgeon has a strong coconut and vanilla flavor that is balanced by a bourbon-alcohol sting and a peppery dryness on the back of the tongue.

The interplay of flavors is exceptional, and they come together to create an overall character that is slick, fruity, and very heavy-hitting. This is a beer to sip and a fine complement to a big Thanksgiving (or other holiday) dinner.

Highly recommended; this is one of the most complex Founders beers I've had--and that says a lot.

benito, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NucularGeorge for this one. Early 2006 I can only assume as there is no identifiable date on the bottle.

A: Looks how I'd expect it to. Deep, unfiltered toffee color with almost no head. The beer is very still, no bubble movement. Head has fallen to the smallest possible ring around the glass.

S: A lot of bourbon on the nose. With that comes oak, vanilla and caramel. Overall malty with hints of powdered cocoa and blackberry.

T: Begins very fruity with obvious bourbon notes. More caramely than toffee with surprisingly apparent hops. Moves towards a butterscotch aspect which is quite pleasant. Finishes lightly bitter with lingering vanilla/butterscotch flavors. The alcohol doesn't try to hide, its pretty much upfront and in your face. Aftertaste of caramel buttercreme stays long with the drinker

M: Full and syrupy with a touch of cream. Fitting for the style.

D: Very nice and tasty. I love me bourbon aged beers. But with 2-3 years under its belt, this beer would be a force to be reckoned with. Most beers of this caliber get very cloying after a period of time, this one doesn't. I would actual consider drinking another one of these right now.

Westsidethreat, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour of this 12-ounce bottle into a New Belgium chalice produced a small tan head over a cloudy hazy dark amber-walnut body. Head quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

Smell is boozy sweet caramel malt and sweet vinous fruitiness of raisins and prunes. I like it.

Taste is a firm sweet caramel malt foundation with a heavy citrus hops bitterness. Great balance, and lots of fruit. Reminds me a dark-chocolate covered orange-rind. Mmmm. I like the depth and complexity of this.

Great sticky mouthfeel that keeps the malt flavor going as the hops bitterness lasts.

This is really good, but it's a sipper at 9.3%.

ColoradoBobs, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of Cresant
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this undated 12 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip. Minimal head was achieved and it quickly melted to a thin collar. Particulates cloud the reddish-brown body.

Smell was of bourbon. Kool-aid powder grape. Rich fruits.

Tasted of alcohol. Malty. Cherry cough syrup. Bourbon. Wood. Strong but never overpowering.

Mouthfeel was smooth and rich. Mildly carbonated. I found this one to be filling and too bourbon-like for my beer drinking tastes to it drink regularly.

Cresant, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
2.55/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Thin off white head. Cloudy brown body with a bit of amber in it. Basically no lacing.
S- Strong alcohol. Almost like perfume. Some rich fruits and other rich smells. Can't really pin point it since it's not a pleasant smell at all.
T- The taste really follows the smell. Not in a bad way. Light alcohol. Has the perfume taste. It's really different and not to good.
M- Medium to full body very light carbonation.
D- Don't like this at all and don't see me making it all the way through.

BlindPig, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of MDekker
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Is it Curmudgeon Old Ale, or Old Curmudgeon Ale? Regardless...

It pours out a hazy dark orange, with a small head of tiny bubbles. What's there looks creamy. Woo-ee! A potent, sweet alcohol aroma socks me in the nose. Smells oily, with caramel notes and a little banana, too. A little like Southern Comfort. The taste packs a punch, too. The caramel is there, along with alcohol, and not much bitterness - just a little in the aftertaste. In the mouth it's good - creamy, smooth, and thick. Nice. This was a good brew, but the high alcohol and the powerful presence of it would make it hard to down more than one of these. I'm still reeling some.

MDekker, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of xav33
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale
12 oz bottle
Bottled 03/05 (?), grouched over 10/06
Medium pour in a snifter

Poured murky brown with a small beige fizzy quickly diminishing head and minimal ring of lacing.

Smelt strongly of raisins, figs, brandy, and light tutti frutti.

Taste was upfront strong sweet apple, candied fruits, figs and raisins, with a hint of spiciness, maybe cloves, followed by a moderate sweet sherry with hints of perfumey hops on an average finish that is reminiescent of dried apricots, with a light bitter grassy kick. Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied, silky, softly carbonated, and light cozy alcoholic warmth and slight astringency.

Overall, the flavors and aroma are out of this world. The malt is showcased very admireably but well balanced. Very light feeling for such a strong abv. I want another!

xav33, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has an opaque auburn brown body with a soapy tan head that clings to the edges of the glass forming a creamy meniscus. There are little bubbles of carbonation that cling to the side of the glass.

S- The smell of pine wood with a sweet caramel malt aroma has notes of wet wood and perfumed oak. As it warms a bit there is notes graham in the malt. There is a smell of alcohol as it warms a bit.

T- The taste of oaky malt flavor with a toasted malt that is a bit more dry than sweet. The finish has a light alcohol bite. There is a faint hint of dark roasted malt in the background.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture.

D- This beer has a nice big complex woody flavor and will be great with some age.

rhoadsrage, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a thick, cloudy auburn brown with little or no head to speak of, leaves the faintest little beige ring of sticky lace. Moderate sediment floats about, can be seen with a reddish hue when held to the light. Smells deeply of sweet malt,grain, dark ripened fruits, earthen notes, walnuts. Taste is also sweet and malty, resinous woodiness and nutty. Figs and dates, along with brown sugary alcohol flavor. Leaves a slightly drying aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full bodied with very low levels of carbonation, viscous, syrupy like smoothness. Drinkability is decent, a little too sweet all around, nice level of complexity pairs with a hard to detect 9.3% abv. Not a bad old ale, but I've had better. Recommend trying.

danielocean03, Oct 14, 2006
Photo of biegaman
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the bottle. Poured with no head (even off a hard pour) A completely polluted appearence, clouded over, rusted over, brick copper colour. Smell is above above anything else strong! Easily guessed the barrel aged before being told. A fermented fruit, over-ripened character accompanied by rich wood dimension. Aroma is enough to entice a headache - but one well worthwhile! Aroma is very complex, hard to conceive! Mouthfeel is heavily influenced by the bourbon barrel aged, quite evident - adding a liquere (bourbon) complexity character. Very sweet! Some alcohol mixed in there. Dark spices make for a well rounded, but hard to appreciate flavour. Overly sweet maybe... I'd be happy to have again, perhaps aged, or by a fireplace!
Ripe full with complexity but not sure what else to say. Bourbon is so dominant! Leads to a strong taste despite alcohol being rather quiet. A sticky, toffee finish. Above all bourbon! Big thanks to HogTownHarry, a great finish to a fantastic tasting!

biegaman, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of unclederby
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottling date, still i'm certain this is from the 2006 release. Poured a nice mahogany into the tulip, with a thin layer of tan, creamy foam clinging to the edges of the glass. Bits of floaties were in abundance as were splatches of carbonated activity.

I give it a swirl and take a whiff and am greeted with a noseful of sweetness. Bourbon and rum-like simultaneously, with notes of vanilla, bananas, cherries, and over-ripe plums, molasses and alcohol.

Taste is somewhat fruit-cake like: sweet and estery with just a hint of spiciness... and alcohol. Cake-i-ness.

Full-bodied and robust is the best way to describe this ale as it crosses your palate, with a good bit of chewiness.

Tasty, this beer is best suited as a sipper and a nightcap i think; as it is a slightly agressive beer flavor-wise (rich), and i'm sure the ABV would catch up to one rather quickly.

unclederby, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an opaque mahogany amber with a faint head that disappears quickly. Pours almost like syrup.
Aroma will change with ever degree that it warms. Ripe bananas...vanilla...rum....bourbon...sweet and complex.
Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a nice ...no, wonderful warmth as you swallow.
Taste...ahhh...everything you smell along with some dark sweet fruits...plums...again vanilla, rum, boubon. Again, sweet and complex. As it warms even more ripe banana and rum and boubon flavors. Amazing. The oak or bourbon barrel aging done on this beer definitely works and works perfectly. All of the vanilla sweetness and richness you would expect from that is here and then some.
Aftertaste is chewy dark fruits and alcohol warmth.
Many thanks to CRJMellor for this trade.
EDIT:
Just had a second bottle of this on Nov 10th, 2006.
Everything that I found in the first except noticed a smokiness to the aromas this time I didn't note the first time.
This is an extremely complex Old Ale...sweeter than most and I love it.

IntriqKen, Oct 12, 2006
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,548 ratings.