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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

1,196 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,196
Hads: 4,247
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 185
Gots: 961 | FT: 55
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: 1,196 | Hads: 4,247
Photo of dmgeng
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this in the back of a local liquor store from last year's release.

A - Deep amber color. Crystal clear with small white head and light lacing.

S - Full aroma with malt, caramel, alcohol and some fruit present. This is a very complex aroma with rich malt and alcohol battling it out for supremacy.

T - Matching the smells, the flavor is very complex like a whiskey. The rich malty character is first with the sweet caramel and then the alcohol to blend it together. There is some light fruitiness and a molasses in the middle. The finish is more dry with the alcohol warming.

M - Medium to light mouth-feel with light carbonation. Really is more like a sweet rum than a true beer. Soft on the palate and not harsh but enough alcohol to warm you.

Overall, a very good old ale. It is a unique experience with all the flavors blending together with a sweeter and more alcoholic beer. It is thinner and not as full flavored as a wee-heavy but much more flavor and body than a whiskey or smaller scotch ale. I would recommend this if you are not afraid of some alcohol flavor.

Glass- Snifter

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

Had this on cask previously enjoying it many times from the bottle.

L: It pours a nice orange tinted brown with a small white head that dissipates quickly.

S & taste:The smell is strong on the malts and has a bit of molasses/other things going o. Initial taste is the same with a nice bit of fruit with some oaky bitterness coming in.

F: Extremely smooth and easy to drink, had a slight heaviness to it but in a good way (like a nice porter)

It was great value at €6 a pint but deceptively strong at 9.8%. Pity is is only ever in the pub for 5 days at most a year.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours to a murky dark copper orange. Forms a quickly dissipating half finger of off white soapy head.
S - Malts malts and more malts. No hop profile to this beer whatsoever. Has milk stout qualities in the aroma. Once allowed to warm up a bit, more oak and molasses notes shine through in the aroma.
T - Once again, a ton of malts and no hops. Has a sweet boozey flavor with a little bitter oak in the back to round off the sweetness. Molasses is a bit faint but present. Beer is simple and rounded, malty sweetness with oak bitterness at the end. Extremely smooth and deceptively sessionable.
O - A quite good beer, not amazing, but very good. Definitely worth a try.
V - Medium value, standard 4 pack Founder's pricing.

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

Poured from a bottle to a nonic glass.

L: Medium brown with a compact, sturdy tan head. Tight lacing. Cloudy.

S: Vanilla, light Caramelly Malts, bit of burnt sugar. Complex nose, but not very heavy.

T: Taste follows the nose: caramelly, vanilla malts right up front followed by mild piney hops at the end. Some rasiny and dark fruit notes. Nice bit of sweet woodiness throughout. Bit of brown sugar with very mild brown bread at the end. I don't taste molasses, per se; I taste a deep, sweet earthiness. It's not a heavy flavor, but one that adds fullness. I can feel the alcohol, but it's not noticeable on my palate.

F: Like velvet. Medium, creamy mouthfeel.

O: I've yet to be disappointed by Founders. I wish this weren't seasonal! Nice balance and depth without being too heavy. Almost sessionable if it weren't for the ABV!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mom and dad got this one for me in Michigan on a recent visit. Cheers guys!

From a bottle into a snifter
IBU: 50
Old ale with molasses and aged in oak barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger, creamier white head with excellent retention. Clear maroon red or burnt orange in color with medium levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a nice full cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A good wisp remains and leaves some touches of lacing as the glass empties.

SMELL: Caramel, red fruits, oak, some vanilla from the barrels and touches of floral hops on the nose.

TASTE: Lots of caramel malts with toffee and sweet fruits up front. Flavorful beginning. Bold finish of sweet malts, oak, touches of vanilla with a light floral bitterness that adds the necessary balance to all the sweet toffee, fruit and berries. Some lightly spicy alcohol lingers as well. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Good stuff. Lots of sweet flavors and a good dose of bitterness for balance. Really enjoyed how all the flavors and characteristics blended together to form a coherent whole on this one. Something I’d gladly drink again if I had the chance. Thanks again guys! Always appreciate the brews.

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Photo of VTR
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The smell on this was very nice. Malts, whiskey, oak, sweet smelling molasses, and some dark fruits. The taste somewhat followed the nose but in my opinion was a lot better. It is definitely an old ale. The strong ale hits you first followed by the oak/whiskey flavor but then fades quickly into a kind of sweet aftertaste. I think the molasses helped balance it out. This is not a sweet beer it is dry and kind of bitter but I thought the bitterness subsided as the beer warmed. This is definitely a sipper beer with some good friends or some good old alone time. I do not think it would be enjoyed with food. Overall, I have purchased every bottle I have seen and can not wait to seek this out again in the spring. I still have two bottles in my cellar from this year. I was fortunate to drink more than my fair share this year! Seek this out I can not see how you could be disappointed.

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Photo of magpieken
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

355ml bottle. Pours an amber colour with a moderate densely packed, tan head. Excellent retention and good lace. Aroma of malt, caramel, raisins, oaky whisky. A lot going on in this one. A nice level of sweetness with some dry bitterness in the finish. Full body, soft carbonation, smooth yet sticky texture and soothing level of alcohol warmth. Grab a good novel, your smoking jacket and relax in comfy chair with this one.

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Photo of roubaixnorth
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Strong smells of honey, molasses, scotch, and whiskey. This is one smooth beer. A nice sipper and getting better with age. The ones I'm drinking now where bottled in the Spring of 2014.

Very little if any hop bitterness, these are going to be good on cold winter nights. refreshing finish and not too syrupy.

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Photo of bman13
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Founders has come through yet again (surprise, surprise, right?). I've never had an old ale before this one and it tastes phenomenal. Very malt forward, (but not a malt bomb) with a heavy aroma of molasses and ginger snap cookies that carries through their taste and leaves a clean and heavy finish of malted molasses cookies. Love this

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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had a bottle from 2012, which had been left on the shelf at the beer store.

Enjoyed it. Mouthfeel was very rich and sticky. Lots of malt. Definitely got lots of dark fruits and some maple.

Would be interesting to compare to a bottle fresh.

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Photo of BadmouthBrews
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

draft from flying saucer in Nashville.
Pours a dark caramel color, kind of like maple syrup. Which makes sense because it is brewed with maple. You can smell it and taste it. Great complexity and smooth tasting for such a high abv.

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Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Many thanks to Dan!

Pours a decent bubbly head, with an amber, rubinred color.

Aromas of caramel malts with a lot of toffee and a small raisin infusion, while cane sugar and molasse build the foundation with hints of vanilla and rum on top.

Begins sweet, with bready hints, which get swallowed by even sweeter sugar and molasse. These stay in balance with wooden, leathery, heavy malts, wrapped up by a slick bitterness. Has an oily, spicy maltiness to it, with vanilla and cream underneath, which defines the character of this brew. It is still pretty sweet on the palate, but without loosing its balance, as it finishes with a gentle, hoppy bitterness of matured hops and oaky hints. The alcohol gets perfectly hidden by the sweet malts, creating a smooth mouthfeel with a slick finish, while being medium-bodied.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I just LOVE this beatiful beer!

I poures hazy, dark amber/mahogny with a one finger high, beige head.

Nose: Caramel malt, brown sugar, syrup, fudge, biscuit, plum, molasses, oak and dried fruit. A really peasant nose!
Taste: Caramel, sweet cookies, malt, syrup, molasses, oak and plum.
Body: Full body and complex texture. Medium caarbonated. Smooth taste!

As I said - Beatiful!

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip (1/30/14)

A: Hazy relatively dark brown with almost no head on even a vigorous pour. There is a tinge of a head and a collar.
S: Sweet malts and the essence of pine. Some notes of oak as well with the strength of molasses.
T: This definitely needs to be had warm. Pretty un-distinct in that it just tastes like that catch-ale that is Old Ales and Strong Ales and what not. Not much or molasses in there, but a bit of oak. More oak comes out as it warms.
M: Smooth, but let it warm up first.
O: I'm normally a fan of this style, but it just doesn't wow me.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

A: Amber copper cloudy with half centimeter chunks of off white and other particles floating within, a finger of creamy yellow tinged head, a fair amount of super fast rising small bubbles.

S: Glue, caramel, barley wine like alcohol quality, toffee cake, light fruity banana bread.

T: Banana bread, floral, reminiscent of barley wine, thick and bready, definite alcohol presence on the back of the tongue, light bitter hopping. Carnival like caramel and floral like candy floss.

M: Thick syrupy and bready body, medium low carbonation.

O: More thick and syrupy than I like, and reminds me of a barley wine which I am no fan of. Well done, but in my opinion not the best Old Ale out there, a little thick and overly sweet. Even so, has some good old ale qualities of maltiness, light colour, etc. Drank on June 14, 2014.

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Photo of JohnL9013
3/5  rDev -24.6%

This reminds me a lot of the Arrogant Bastard Ale, or at least, the way Arrogant Bastard used to be - a little on the harsh side, except that this beer suffers from a startling lack of complexity and interesting flavors.

Appearance: Medium cloudy, brown

Smell: Primarily caramel with some hops

Taste: Bitter molasses and caramel with a slight medicinal aftertaste. Molasses less pronounced than I thought it would be. Perhaps this style just isn't for me, but I'm not the biggest fan of the taste here. Mainly I just don't like the aftertaste, it tastes like the beer is immature or too much bittering hops were added.

Mouthfeel: Doesn't go down easy. Pretty harsh.

I'm a big fan of Founders but I gotta call it like it is. This brew just isn't that great. It would be one thing if suffering through the harsh mouthfeel and weird aftertaste led to something great, but this beer is pretty one-dimensional.

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Photo of Arch578
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Appearance: Deep amber with a very thin, light tan head that dissipated after not much time. Slightly hazy.

Aroma: Very malty, with a hint of spiciness (closest to resembling either allspice or cinnamon). The molasses and oak are both present, though the oak only slightly.

Taste: Definitely on the sweeter side, with notes of caramel, molasses, and a rum-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Above average thickness, but not overwhelming. Surprisingly high carbonation for something that tastes so syrupy, but it's soft, not harsh.

Overall: Makes for an excellent sipping beer, and reminds me of a Belgian Dubbel without that distinct Belgian yeast character. My first experience with the style, but I will definitely seek out more to try. I could see this pairing very well with a sweet, creamy cheese like brie, or with anything gingerbread to bring out the molasses flavors in both.

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Photo of RexBanner
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Appearance: Silky brown to dark beige in color, very appealing. 2 finger head that dissipate quickly into a nice ring on top of the beer. Almost no carbonation is detected.

Aroma: Caramel sweetness, booze, metallic grains, hops, a fruity note as well, maybe purple figs?

Taste & Mouthfeel: Malty sweetness upfront then the alcohol jumps in to coat your taste buds. Next comes the bite of hops. Silky yet viscous mouthfeel. More hops on the backend. Finishes with a pleasant malt sweetness.

This is one of those beers that you can't help but look at the bottle after your first sip. It isn't as solid as North Coast old stock ale but it sure is a more than suitable alternative. Very much recommended!

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Photo of kkleu357
4/5  rDev +0.5%

From notes on 10/14/13

Tried this at a tasting in Amherst WI. I thought it was pretty good. My mom, who’s not much of a craft beer drinker, really liked it. She must have gone back for 5 or 6 glasses of it. Of course now I see that it is almost 10% ABV so I understand why she was acting a little loopy.

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Photo of bwood06
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%

A - deep amber in color. Slightly hazy with a very thin white head. Head dissipates rather quickly. 3.75/5

S - Sweet as well as toasty malt. Slight fruity smell reminding me of raisins and dates. No real hop profile to be seen here. 4/5

T - Very fruity as well as sweet malt. Roast malt flavors. Hops show up on back end with just a slight bitterness. Somewhat earthy. Alcohol content shows up at end with slight warming. Hints of caramel, vanilla, and oak. 4.25/5

M - Chewy and viscous. Coats tongue nicely. 4/5

O - Very enjoyable beer. Fairly complex with flavors standing out nicely. Some nice minor flavor undertones that make for a very nice drinking experience. 4.25/5

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Photo of FFreak
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into large tulip glass.

This is a beautiful deep copper beer with a very thin and quickly dissipating white head.

The aroma is what I (probably poorly) describe as candied dried fruit. It's a very distinct sweet, fruity aroma that is almost candy like, perhaps marmalade. Very interesting and unique.

The taste follows the nose, with the addition of caramel and butterscotch, and with a unique bitterness - not so much a hoppy bitterness, but slightly earthy and spicy. Again an interesting beer.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, with little to no carbonation and increasing booze as the beer warms.

Overall, an interesting beer - actually my first 'old ale'. It is a butt kicker in the buzz department - go easy! I enjoyed this and would probably try again.

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Photo of domfreego
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

A great beer that gets better with age, so cellar a few if you can.

Spice, fruit, and oak wash over you palate and very well balanced in this beer.

As other have mentioned the carbonation level is surprising low, the best thing I can compare its level to is that of a firkin aged beer.

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Photo of stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A wispy tan head covers this brown brew and some orange hues peek through.

Aroma is rich with brown sugar, cherry, and spice. Just as expected, and just right so far.

So flavorful with an abundance of ripened dark fruits, yeast, candy and spice followed by a striking alcohol heat, supporting bitterness and fleeting notes of vinegar in the end.

A potent, full-bodied, creamy sipper for finishing things off (whatever those things may be) on the right note.

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Photo of spoony
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From a 355 ml bottle into a snifter.

A-The beer is a reddish copper hue. There is no head, just a film of nearly-white foam and a spotty collar. The beer is still in appearance with a slight chill haze. Looks good.

S-The aroma is sweet with some apple juice complementing the malty caramel and toffee flavors. I can detect a bit of vanilla as well. Hops provide a bit of citrusy twang, but they are mostly background noise. Alcohol is well hidden here.

T-The taste is also sweet with golden raisin, apple juice, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. There is a bit more leafy, hoppy bite on the middle of my palate than the smell would indicate. The taste is a touch boozy with spicy, warming alcohol providing a nice long finish.

M-The feel is medium in body with a slightly syrupy taste and below-average strength carbonation.

O-This is a very solid old ale. The smell is plain, but the taste is more complex and provides more depth thanks to the more assertive hop flavors and kick of alcohol spice. The sweetness levels are high here, so I don't think I could drink a lot of this, but it makes for a fine dessert-type beer.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a deep reddish caramel with a thin ring of bubbles around the top of the beer. Smells strongly of brown sugar and dried fruits. Lots of fig and date. Flavor is big on brown sugar, dried fruits, cinnamon, vanilla, with a touch of coffee. Carbonation is soft. Body is full. This is delicious and very British.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.