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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
89
very good

1,188 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,188
Hads: 4,207
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 177
Gots: 945 | 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: 1,188 | Hads: 4,207
Photo of supercolter
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite Old Ale to date- although I will admit I have only had a handful in this style.
Appearance- small head and some spiderweby lacing.
Smell is aggressive (more so than other founder's offerings) with a decent amount of alcohol and dry hops, well balanced with dry malt.
Taste is fairly similar, the hops are a bit heavier here and open up to a piney taste. The alcohol is more definative and definately has a whiskey flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with little carbonation.
Drinkability- its a sessionable beer, drink it slow and let it open up. (556 characters)

Photo of mwa423
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - An aggressive pour out of the bottle gave a single finger of head that died down to lacing that stuck through the rest of the glass. The color is dark brown with a hint of red when you hold it up to light.

S - Very sweet smell. There is a hint of malt, but it doesn't smell like the usual malt flavor, but of certain types of raw malt.

T - Very good style bitterness, really not complex at all but it gets it dead on for the style.

M/D - Very easy drinker, it just goes down easily and leaves a great aftertaste. While I doubt I would kill the four pack, it is something I wouldn't mind having regularly. (611 characters)

Photo of Buebie
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtasy of Philbe311

Poured from a brown stuby 12 oz bottle into a pub glass. The beer is a super hazy unfilteres little delight. The color is a darker copper, no transparency here. Produceing about an inch of tan whipped topping head.
Slowly reduceing to leave a thin cap of retention and lace rings all the way down.
All the old ale's I've ever had were quite a bit darker then this. I brewed one not to long ago and added black triacle. So to say this does not look like an old ale is kind of an understatement.

It smells like an old ale though...
Soaked whiskey barrel aroma, with an aged leathery aroma too. Huge amounts of malt here, with sweetness to back, unfermented honey, damn, the malts are just so pungeant and delicious smelling. Sourdough bread, butter, some grassy hops with a touch of pine in the distance.

The taste is probably one of the most candy laced malty beers I've come across in a long long time. The malts do a dance on my tounge, hops are present, the hops are not so much fruity, but more of a dry bittering, with plenty of aroma hops coming into effect with the first sip.
That whiskey and oak is also adding some deliciousness to the flavors. Each flavor not overwhelming the other flavors. This is an extremely well balanced brew.
More sourdough breadyness, butter, caramel, lots of hops kicking it up into the swallow, and malt just overwhelming me with joy through it all.
Finishing bitter and yet sweet. Hops linger as does the malt and some of its sweetness. Its a battle of flavors to the end. Each flavor coming out boldly but allowing me to taste all of them and they all linger this way after the swallow.
No hot flavors here, just a slight bit of warmth into the swallow.

It would better fit the Strong ale catagory, but what can you do. I feel like it was mislabled for the style, but its still fantastic. I'm rateing it for what I thought of it overall, not on style. If I were to rate it on style, I'd have to deduct alot of points. But this beer is too good to do that.

This beer is dangerous crazy awsome good! (2,074 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium golden color with a tight head of tan foam with some fair lacing. The smell is pretty light. Pale malt, light oak. Not getting any molasses anywhere here. Tastes of pale malt, maybe some dark honey sweetness. Noticeable, but lighter hop bite. Almost a lager type flavor. Clean. The end delivers vanilla notes from the oak. Very smooth beer in the medium body range. Overall, this is somewhat simple and straightforward, but at the same time complex. I really enjoy the overall taste of this one. (502 characters)

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque amber with very thin, whispy white head.
Smells strongly of malt, some bitter hop, and syrup.
Taste is incredibly smooth, I believe the maple heavy body coats the tounge and hides the 9.8% well, but it is very close overpowering.
The aftertaste is incredibly sweet and enjoyable.
Highly drinkable. (319 characters)

Photo of degerbah
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light amber with little head. Very little smell, the taste is unique in my tasting experience. Extremely sweet with very little bitterness. The bottle lists an ABV of 9.8% which is not apparent in the taste, not boozy at all. I can't put my finger on it, but I think this beer just has something that isn't doiing it for me. I greatly prefer almost every founders beer I've had to this one. The price $2.79 per bottle wasn't too bad, still not great. (458 characters)

Photo of jwhawkins81
2.87/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled Fresh

Aroma - Way sweet smell with no noticeable hop characteristics.

Appearance - Cloudy reddish brown with no I mean no carbonation.

Taste - Sweet cherries and then the bite of alcohol. This beer really needs to be sipped and also needs to hit the tip of your tongue. I got some raisin flavors near the end.

Mouthfeel - Not a light beer. Without carbonation this beer just lays there.

Drinkability - I can't imagine drinking more than one of these at a time. I hope this beers improves over the next three years in my cellar. (540 characters)

Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a good hazy amber with a small tan head. The head last fairly well for being thin. Lacing is good. Aroma is honey and a big presence of alcohol. Almost has a whiskey like aroma. Has a light carbonation. A good mouthfeel. The flavor is well blended and the alcohol aroma doen't hold up the alcohol is well hidden. Has a full body. A real good finish and a good aftertaste. This is a good beer, a touch strong but a good beer. (437 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 5/11/09.

A - Rusty orange/copper-colored body with moderate carbonation and two fingers of fluffy beige foam that left decent lacing, which ultimately slid down the sides of the glass.

S - Initial aroma smells of caramel and toffee malt notes with a hefty waft of alcohol. As the liquid warmed up a bit, a subtle dark fruit tang emerged suggesting raisins, plums and dried apricots.

T - Rich, sweet and malty with a prevalent dark fruit character hinting at dried, tangy fruits. Malt character features sweet caramel and toffee notes. Finishes with a touch of earthy bitterness and some mild alcohol notes.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and mild carbonation. Fairly slick mouthfeel with a warm alcohol presence, but pretty mild overall. Finish is quite sweet.

D - Pretty smooth for a 9.3% Old Ale, and certainly not as hot as the ABV would imply. While not a favorite style of mine, this was one of the better Old Ales I've had in my travels. (989 characters)

Photo of aggiearcher13
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pour an amber-orange with a little bit of foam that disappears quickly.

S: Boozy caramel.

T: Hops, caramel, and and herbal sweetness. Too sweet for me, to the point of being cloying.

M: Very nice mouthfeel, great carbonation. Heavy body to it.

D: Take it easy on this one, I think it's a one per night kind of beer. (323 characters)

Photo of jsh420
2.71/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottled 3/5/09

pours dark clear amber with small white/tan head that fades fast with no lacing

smell is all sweet candy carmel and alcohol - i could tell this was going to be a hot one

taste - i picked up some banana carmel and too much booze

mouthfeel was good light carbonation but not flat - body is on the a tad heavy and sticky

drinkability - not good this one need to sit a while

overall this beer is nowhere close to fresh old stock (which i love) but time might be on this ones side - i will check back in a year (526 characters)

Photo of thirdeye11
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ktown67 for bringing this to me for an in person trade!

Presentation: Pours an absolutely gorgeous deep orange/rust color with no head at all from a vigorous pour, some bubbles rise to the top but don't stay around long. Laces the glass extremely well.

S: Smells very sweet. Lots of caramel in this one. Not complex, but straightforward and nice. Maybe even a little sweet smelling for a guy who loves sweet beers. Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose too.

T: Taste is oddly up front with hops and caramel both, but somehow they're not really balanced. They're just both strong flavors and don't seem to play too well together. Despite this I find the beer highly enjoyable and like how it tastes.

M: Carbonation is really nice for the style, and the weight is just right too. I wish there had been some head to give this beer some creaminess though.

D: The alcohol presence in the flavor profile might lower this some. I could probably have drank 2 of them if I had more than one, but I think given its alcohol and sweetness the line would likely be drawn at 2.

I liked this beer; in fact it was extremely similar to a local barleywine we get called Sisyphus. In fact I would probably need to have them side by side to probably notice any differences. (1,266 characters)

Photo of drcarver
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Virtually no head, but what limped to the top was an off white color. The murky full body was a medium red.

S - Moderately malty with hints of cookie and nuts. Lightly yeasty with the smell of dough.

T - Sweet, bitter, and acidic at the start. The sweetness carries through the beer. An average finish that is very clean.

M - Full dry body that finished watery. Very soft on the palate. A slight dirness and moderate alcohol finish.

D - Keep it slow and keep it easy. A thicker beer, but it is definitely one that goes down nose and easy. (546 characters)

Photo of nsmartell
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a thin white head that doesn't stay for long.

Smell: Malty, sweet, alcohol and some whiskey.

Taste: Bready-malts, sweet and a hint of alcohol. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Very good old ale. Would definitely seek out and drink again. (421 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Is there no cure for mudgeon? Pours a mostly hazy brown color with a light toffee haze to it. A soft white head with ok retention, although didn't last through the tasting, and limited lacing.

The nose has a good malt backing with decent complexity. Some sweeter caramel and a lighter melonodian aroma. Some minor bready and a light cocoa aroma. Some esters and phenols are prevalent. Big sweet plum and light raisin notes. Some minor herbal and earthy hop aromas but limited overall. The alcohol really comes out with some fusel notes.

The taste is similar but not as complex as the nose would indicate. The malt comes out with a slight grainy, slight bready and a more sweet caramel. Very distinct in its flavors. Would have liked more depth and complexity overall. The hops are on the light side but still detectable. More of an earthy, English style. Stronger esters come out, mostly raisins with a hint of figs. Noticeable alcohol with a slight fusel-esk nose. Could be a bit cleaner.

The body is more to the full side than moderate. But as mention before, the mouthfell is a bit lacking and I am looking more some more depth. Some heat and fusel notes are a bit of a distraction. The carbonation is light but ok. Overall a decent barleywine but some age could work magic on this beer. (1,293 characters)

Photo of schroederm
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a snifter:

It's body is reddish with some amber in there. Pours with no head really, but it may have been too cold. Smells are inviting but subdued, and include cherry and generically estery. Quite sour. Bitter and tart finish with obvious alcohol. Cherry and molasses noteness. The sourness is overall very enjoyable. Good body, and well carbonated. The fact that the flavor is so overpowering diminishes drinkability a bit for me. (436 characters)

Photo of dondeez21
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a snifter.
A: Deep Amber/ Rusty with lots of yeast floaties. Very thin head that was gone withing seconds. No lacing on the glass either.
S: Initial smell is Oak. It seems this smell gets stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Oak with a slight warming feel from alcohol. Not any hop charecter. This beer is all malt with oak.
M: Sticky Thick and warm.
D: This beer drinks pretty easy for almost weighing in @ 10%. One of the biggest charecteristics is the Oak flavor. (492 characters)

Photo of citan133
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A rusty-brown color, gets a little golden when held to the light. Very little head on mine, just a slight film almost over the top, kind of bubbly, that quickly went away and lefts just a slight halo around the edges of the glass. Some little sediment floaters drifting around at the bottom, too.

Doesn't really give much beyond some malt and sweet honey scents until it warms up a bit. initially thought this was pretty mellow in the nose but as it warms there are lots of scents i'm not picking up on. some overripe fruits, dark fruits, nice nose. Still a thing or two in there I can't put my finger on.

Some nice sweetness, getting some of the honey I had in the nose, nice mellow malt, kind of like a light barley-wine. Little bit of alcohol on the back, nothing too strong though. Some bitterness in the back too, i think its coming from the alcohol.

Light for the style, actually goes down pretty easy. I wouldn't go as far as to say it was light in the mouth but it definitely goes down easy, especially for the flavor profile and alcohol. A little more syrupy as it warms.

I was kind of expecting a little more from this. It's a good beer, dangerously drinkable but it doesn't have enough to make me want to come back to it too often (1,245 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that I've sat on for about 12 months, after a trade with ATPete, thx! Poured into my Delirium snifter, Old Curmudgeon is hazy rusty brown with an pretty dense light sand head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is sweet cured fruit, golden raisins and medjool dates, definitely a lighter feel then the more common raisin and prune notes. Softer at the cellar serving temp, the fruits really opened up more at room temp, some kiwi, which I thought was very distinct and enjoyable, before the caramel started to dominate, with some clean alcohol vapors coming through at the end.

Taste is pretty rich and sweet, there are some oak and vanilla notes that make me think this is barrel aged, although I really don't know anything about it. Very nice though, with some of the light tropical fruit notes from the nose, ABV well hidden for sure. Lots of depth and super tasty without being a palate buster, I'm super impressed.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy, medium bodied. On the drier side but not as spicy as I'd expect from the ABV.

Drinkability is high, wow. Super tasty, smooth, easy drinking, a killer old ale for sure. I can't believe how easy drinking this is with only a few months on it's belt, even it it had a few more when I bought it, it's still probably less then a year old. Wow, great beer! (1,325 characters)

Photo of AtlasBrew
3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz stubby bottle (Think Sierra Nevada's bottles), A fantastic label with a painted portrait of, what else, an old curmudgeon looking scholar/sailor.

Color: Brown, I wouldn't say deep brown. Head is a beige pillowy head, with medium retention.

Smell: Alcohol, Malty Sweetness, little hops

Taste: Malty alcohol that hints at some hops. That aged flavor that hints of bourbon. But always alcohol, the kind that leaves you dry and wondering "...is this really only 9.8% ABV?"

Overall: Eh, I could have done without it the 9.8% ABV. I appreciate the work and effort that was put into this Ale but let's face it; at this high of an alcohol content you may just as well have a barley wine. Not my favorite. (705 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. Appears a mildly cloudy deep, dark amber color with about an inch of light ecru foam. Smells and tastes of sweet caramelized malts, a touch of brown sugar, and alcohol. Rich in body with medium carbonation. Worth a try if you are a fan of the style. (312 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single bottle into a regular snifter late at night.

A- Curmudgeon is a dark amber color with some brown hints. Not much of a head but some tan foam reaches half an inch than fades. No lacing plus some sediment is seen floating.

S- This old ale has a deep smell of rich sweet malts giving off caramel, plus some burnt sugars. This years version has more of a hop aroma than I remember it, but they fade as this warms. Some oak/vanilla and dark fruit such as plum. A nice smell of raisins.

T- A really nice balance between the sweet malt giving off a bready vibe and dark fruits consisting of mainly dates and raisins. I got some hops on first sips but that faded as I got more into it. The little hint of vanilla is a nice touch. Some alcohol seeps through. Has some vinious hints here and there. Nice.

M- A very sweet and thick oily texture while this is somewhere above medium bodied. A bit of hotness from the alcohol but well contained for a near 10% old ale plus fairly fresh. Very faint bitterness from the hops, nothing major. A good one to let marinate on the tounge.

D- I usually take my time with big abv beers but this went down without a hitch. The alcohol is barely noticable in taste yet the flavors are just so full this becomes too inviting almost. Not my favorite founders beer but a great stab at the old ale category and worthy for repeat visits and slight aging. (1,391 characters)

Photo of saintwarrick
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy and dark rust red with a pretty substantial, fluffy white head. Aroma is extremely malty, sweet, and vinous but boozy at the same time. Taste is slightly sweet, same caramel taste and light butter rum; it comes off as sweet but never sugary as a nice warming alcohol takes over and a bitter kick gives it a great balance. I wish it were a little bigger at the end, but this is a very easy drinking brew for the style. (435 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber in color with orange hues and lots of sediment. The head is small and doesn't linger.

Stong smells of caramel and I pick up a bit of cinnamon. There are also slight hints of the alcohol to come.

Very spicy with the first taste but this just mellows out as the beer warms and this just melts on my tongue. The mouthfeel and the after taste are just amazing; lots of caramel and a sweet malt/bready character.

There is a toffee and sweet caramel note in the finish which is great. The alcohol is subtle. This is really a nice beer. (544 characters)

Photo of alexgrahamlv
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with a strong hint of redness in it. Very cloudy and cannot see through it. No head retention in this beer. In aromas there are cherries as well as raisins. On the taste there are cherries perhaps a slight brown sugar taste. There is almost a stale fruit taste but not in a bad way whatsoever. Full bodied, not heavily carbonated but produces a tingly sensation on the edge of the tongue. I actually enjoy this beer quite a bit. This beer is 9.8% but not a strong alcohol taste at all. Enjoy! (498 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,188 ratings.