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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.
very good

1,204 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,204
Hads: 4,296
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 187
Gots: 980 | FT: 54
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

Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,204 | Hads: 4,296
Photo of jonnyybp
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not really my style but great beer nonetheless. Sweet, with the molasses, which hides some of the booze. Would like to try it again with some age on it

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Photo of Nctide
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep bronze color with an off white head. It has a sweetness reminiscent of cherries soaking in scotch whiskey. The taste has a surprising spicy component with a slight alcohol tinge on the finish. Overall this is a decent balanced ale.

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Photo of do_ob
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a somewhat hazy amber with about 1/2 a finger of off-white lacing. Pleasant aroma with notes of ginger, molasses, figs, raisins, dark fruit, leather, and syrup. Verynaweet and boozy smelling. Heavy weight, very dense and creamy on the mouthfeel. The taste is pretty much on par with the smell, only intensified. Sweet molasses, sugar, figs, and dark fruit. I'm tasting some alcohol near the middle. Finishes very smooth with a slight alcohol burn. Leaves the palate sweet and sticky, kind of like a cough medicine. A smokey, syrupy sweetness dominates the aftertaste.

Overall, very nice. I've wanted to try this one for a while and I'm glad I was able to find it. It's a bit dense and overpowering in terms of sweetness, but it's still plenty enjoyable, to me at least. It seemed to mellow out slightly after it warmed up a little. My bottle was pretty fresh, though, so I'd like to age a couple more of these and see how they are 6-12 months in.

Update: 10/20/15: After revisiting this beer, it is much better with some age on it. My bottle was right at 9 months and tastes great. Numbers and review adjusted.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark orange ruby color with almost no head.

Smells like wood, raisins, dark fruits, and some booze.

If this is chilled, the flavors are muted to raisins and malt. As it warms, figs, oak, maple, dates, graham cracker, caramel, candy, and more. The complexity takes on a life of its own.

The beer goes down really smooth with just slight booze on the back end. It's thick and creamy.

Overall this beer is wonderful: I love the sweetness it brings on. I'm going to age one and check in in a year!

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Photo of maedhros09
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark ruby amber with big fluffy off-white head that takes some times to settle.
Smell: Definitely needs to warm up to pick up on the subtle aromas here. Caramel malt, molassas and a smidge of fruity alcohol...
Taste: I'm finding it hard to describe the taste. Partly its because it is so seamless - you can't tell where one fllavor ends and the next begins - but also it's kind of muted. Its this smooth sweetness that comes and goes, with a gentle afterglow of herbal hops. I imagine part of this is the barrel-aging. The alcohol is somewhere in there, obviously, but it isn't too obvious below cellar temps.
Feel: Medium body, very smooth slightly syrupy mouthfeel with subdued carbonation thanks to the high alcohol.

Overall: The Curmudgeon is mysterious in the way it keeps me coming back and trying to understand it. It is big, yet mellow. Strong, yet subtle and thin in a way. It definitely goes against Founders' reputation as makers of brash beers. All in all, though, it's hard to feel like I'm not missing something. I finish it feeling vaguely unsatisfied. Maybe it's the style. For malty goodness I have to admit I would rather crack open a Dirty Bastard.

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Photo of Ri0
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured 12oz bottle into chalice. Bottled 4/1/14

A - Dirty caramel brown with amber flecks. Minimal half finger head and no lacing.

S - Thick malty scents of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, butter scotch and bread. Reminds me of a scotch ale.

T - This is mighty tasty with chewy sweet malts of caramel and brown sugar. Very sweet bread and butter scotch give it some depth. The taste has a familiarity of scotch ale, yet it includes notes of dark fruit.

M - Medium bodied with a thicker mouthfeel. Very rich and smooth with lower carbonation.

O - This is a very nice ale. If you like scotch ales or dopplebocks, you will certainly enjoy this one.

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent beer from Founders. Just a slight notch below CBS, KBS and Breakfast Stout but still a superb beer. Wonderful flavor and very drink able.

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Photo of Young_John
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So good, I get misty while writing this review. It pours the color of clover honey. Crystal clear and yet somehow gives the impression of high viscosity. Thin merengue head. Smell of malt and molasses. Thick mouth feel. Rich finish and not the least bit bitter. This is a stout lovers ale for sure. First sip - is like coming home to mom's cooking... Even if you've never had this before, you instantly get the sensation that you've been missing it for a very long time without knowing it. Difficult to enjoy slowly, but at nearly 10% abv and $14/4-pack, you'll have to try.

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Photo of MadeInTheMitten
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A quarter of a way through and I can tell its heartburn waiting to happen. Which is a shame! Still a good beer!

After finishing this one, my lips are sticky as hell. Take that for what it's worth.. The heartburn never came, but I'm still feeling like I drank a heavy stout.. Must be the molasses.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Rich amber, 1-1/2 fingers of opaque white head.

Smell: The oak is present, but the molasses and toffee aromas sneak in to make your mouth water.

Taste: The oak takes a vanilla flavor, and the molasses and toffee flavors balance that perfectly. This is a traveshamockery good dessert beverage, if you choose to go down that path.

Feel: Nice carbonation for a beverage this big, the malt bill is a syrupy balance that fits this beverage very well.

Overall: I have a bottle of KBS aging in my beverage fridge that I just assumed would go to the head of my Founders class. That is no longer a safe assumption after enjoying this magnificent Old Ale. Well done by an iconic American brewer.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours as a dark (but not black) old ale. Pours cloudy and an orangey amber with a moderate head. Sweetish but not overly so, it is an enjoyable beer. Enjoyable.

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Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Re-reviewed for a bottle that had been cellared for upwards of 16 months and it made a world of difference. Much sweeter, richer, smoother, no boozy taste and well worth the wait. I have a new bottle and it's going straight into the cellar for next year.

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Photo of tedvr
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber, with a white medium head. Smells are of sweet malt and mild caramel. Tastes are caramel with a malt backbone. Somewhat carbonated with an interesting finish. Overall and interesting beer that I wonder what it would be like if it was aged.

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Photo of Ian_B
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am so conflicted because this tastes like a beer version of CocaCola, but unfortunately is almost as sweet and less carbonated. Definitely still better than Cola, though lacking some bitterness to balance while still being pretty tasty.

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Photo of mchegash
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Darker shade of red-brown, which has a particularly vibrant bright red dimension if you hold it up to the light right. Fairly clear, but defintely a little hazy and particles can be seen in the beer. A finger of light-tan head which dissipates down to a thin layer. A slightly lower than average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 4/5
Sweet fruity flavors, sweet and roasty malts. A noticeable cinnamon spiciness. Has some earthy and citrusy elements as well. A little oakiness and booziness as well.

Taste - 4.25/5
A complex mix of delicious rich malts, along with some fruit notes, strong cinnamon-esque spiciness, bubblegum, oak, and boozy flavors as well.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, light carbonation. Fairly smooth, more creamy than crispy.

Overall - 4/5
Overall this is a great beer, with a quite distinct taste. Would highly recommend it.

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Photo of mynie
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can't believe I never reviewed this. This was the first weird, high-ABV beer I ever regularly consumed. This was back when spending, wait for it, TEN WHOLE DOLLARS on a six pack was considered extravagant--so extravagant, in fact, that this would sit on shelves for ages.

Then, similar to BCBS, they upped the price even further, triggering some weird Thorstein Veblen impulses in our nation's monied classes that actually drove up demand. I hadn't seen it sitting on a shelf in ages, and since I'd had so many in the past, I never really felt like seeking it out.

But it was just sitting there the other day, a mere three times more expensive than the last time I sampled it. I couldn't resist.

Pours dark red and very limp. Smells like honey, spices, and booze. Little hints of whiskey, I guess. Some vanilla. Not nearly as intense as I remember, but that's what a decade of scorching your pallet will do to you.

Tastes super sweet but balanced out nicely by a prominently boozy back end. Honey up front, malt syrup in the middle, vanilla, bread, and english toffee at the end. Very nice. It holds up even today.

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Photo of classixIII
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark copper, fair amount of bubbles but little to no head. Sweet molasses and oak definitely come through in the smell and taste. Hit of alcohol and bitterness at the finish. Nice Old Ale!

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Photo of ARoman
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a belgian tulip glass. The beer is a murky bronze orange color and is topped by a sparse, soapy white head that has a decent, messy retention and light lace. The initial aroma is a bright sugary toffee / molasses with some nuttiness. This evolves to a more bourbon maltiness with and alcohol touch and a hint of a floral spice and later settles on molasses and wood. The taste is a medium high sweet, complimented by a medium bitter finish. It's thick and malty with a sticky texture and light foam carbonation. The full body has a flavor profile that's nutty with molasses and a bourbon caramel and finishes with an alcohol warmth and wood quality with a spicy kick. The aftertaste is dry and cloying with a waxy citrus bitterness and spice and a hint of nuts amd caramel. It's a strong and lingering aftertaste but not offensive.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Bryant lake Bowl on tap.
A: Copper amber with a slight haze under a 1” off white clingy foam collar.
S: Herbal hop note, spice, toffee, raw sugar, malt.
T: Big flavors of caramel, toffee, cardamom, a hint of anise, cola, vanilla.
F: Chewy, creamy, some astringency from the oak.
O: a big bold beer for sipping.

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Photo of Bone53
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as good as i expected from Founders. A little thin, weak, and not rich enough for the style. I also get very little oak character. More like a fairly good barleywine to me. I will not seek this one out again

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Photo of riverotterrob
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's mahogany color, only issue in the appearance is the head, which is minimal and short lived. I like how the brewer used the oak's astringency coupled with the hops and alcohol. The Fact founder's only adds oak, not oak and bourbon is also nice because the oak only adds a note to the beer's overall profile, without dominating it. It's a good beer that's fairly unique.

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Photo of kbwalters
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look = 4.5 Pours a clears amber/brown with 1.5 fingers of light brown head that fades to a cap. Good retention and great lace.
Aroma = 3.75 Subtle aroma but good; sweet, caramel malt notes dominate with some molasses notes and mild alcohol
Taste = 4.0 Malty sweetness upfront and the booze hits in the middle. A significant bitter finish with booze lingering in the aftertaste; it really comes out as it warms.
Feel = 4.0 Full bodied with low to medium carbonation, thickish feel, good for the style.
Drinkability = 3.75 Alcohol hurts some here.
Overall = 3.9875 An improved score here compared to last time; subtle aroma but pleasant, the feel was better for me this time. Overall not one of my favorites though.

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Photo of AppaZappa
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours honey color, great looking beer with nice lacing. Smell is dried fruit, molasses, alcohol, oak. Molasses and malt, sweet and smooth. Very nice sipper!

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a transparent, crystal clear amber color and has nearly no head at all. Much lighter in color than I was expecting.

A fruit-like, maybe even wine-like aroma leaps out of the glass at me.

Flavor is immensely rich and strong. Malty characteristics combine with a sweet, almost syrupy flavor (not feel) and is flanked by a supreme bitterness on the sides of my tongue. That bitterness quickly gives way to a wine-esque alcohol warmth. Lingering sweetness and a mild bready flavor continue after tasting.

The mouthfeel is a little bigger than this beer's appearance leads on. And its nearly perfectly carbonated.

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Photo of Sandalwood
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy brownish red color with a small off white head and good carbonation. The odor is sweet, candy like, malty, dark fruits, berry, plum, raisin, vanilla, dry wood, oak, rich, slightly floral. The taste is woods, oak, dried fruits, plum, malty, sweet, spices, grapefruit. Bitter dry throughout.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,204 ratings.