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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

1,218 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,218
Hads: 4,341
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 194
Gots: 1,003 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 1,218 | Hads: 4,341
Photo of bashiba
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy orange amber with a very thin white head. No retention or lacing at all.

Has a big sweet malty bourban barrel smell.

The flavor is big and full with hints of sweet brown sugar and caramel malts, a thick smokeyness and cedar, vanilla and whiskey, plus a big citrusy and pine hop finish along with some old ale musty yeast to balance it out very nicely.

The mouthfeel is thick and warm, even a bit oily.

Another great beer from founders, they just seem to make one winner after another!

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Photo of ybnorml
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean dark amber beer. Has a small off white head. There is a sweet candy toffee note that dominates the aroma hiding a hint of alcohol in the background. The sweet toffee note hits the tip of your tongue while the alcohol sweeps over the middle. The finish has a coffee/tobacco character and then the toffee and alcohol join hands for a smooth aftertaste.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great name and great label.

This ale pours an amber hued brown with murky particles of what I assume are yeast. Khaki colored collar sits atop the beer. Smells rich and malty of figs, brown sugar, plum, caramel, raisin, and a kiss of alcohol. Wonderful bouquet.

Tastes similarly sweet with a spiced alcohol finish. The fruit is more subtle and less obvious than in the nose. Very rich and full mouthfeel. Great all around.

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Photo of beerorRIP
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

poured to a pint glass gives a one finger-ish head, a somewhat hazy orange / amber body. sediment is almost dancing in the glass (didn't decant this one) as active bubbles race to the top and keep the yeasts moving around. the head reduces in size, but a thin layer hangs around. this leaves some patches of lace throughout the enjoyment.

smells boozy... sweet malts, alcohol. they combine and nearly form an aroma of bourbon. nice.

the taste is not surprisingly like the aroma. i catch the sweet malts right away. the slight hot flash of alcohol combined with the nearly tingling feeling really makes me think bourbon now. the carbonation helps to move the flavor well, but it's more heavy malts characteristics are what stand out. there is hop bitterness that certainly helps to balance this guy, otherwise it would be sickeningly sweet.

the mouthfeel is medium, which is actually a nice thing. if it were more thick and syrupy, i think it would detract from what's presented here. perhaps if it weren't a bigger beer, that would be more to the old ale style.

due to my liking the taste, aroma, and rather medium easy to drink body, this is surprisingly drinkable. not a fast gulper, but not a sipper either... somewhere in-between. then the high abv starts to remind me i should have taken smaller tastes. or am i just tired and this beer is simply escorting me to dreamland?

founder's is a brewery that i've been impressed with, and this is only first real review of one of their beers. i'll be back with more.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber orange with a thin off white head.Aroma of sweet caramel malts ,honey,and some woody tones.Flavor is awesome,malty caramel,sticky honey,rasins,dates spruce, and burbon. Smooth creamy mouthfeel,a little sticky in a good way. Loads of lacing all the way down the glass,a nice warming effect. Very good

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Photo of KeefD
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doing a side by side with Bell's Third Coast Ale. This one was up first.

Poured into a snifter a dark orange color, bordering on rust, with no foam despite a hard pour and no lacing. Sediment was left in the bottle. Nice deep aroma of caramel, ripe fruits, and light booziness. Flavor is a nice mixture of toffee and caramel with only lightest bit of hop bitterness on the finish. Very sweet, brown sugary, hints of licorice, lightly spicy. Caramel apple is a good comparison. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden for such a high ABV, but a slight warming can be felt as it warms up. Caramely delicious brew. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of JamesS
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice light copper color, but with no head and almost no lacing. Strong scent, but it's a hodge-podge of aromas; a huge maltiness with an interesting hop scent, with hints of cinnamon, caramel, and jerky, as well as alcohol. Strong, deep taste, but it has an odd varnish flavor to it, to go along with a deep pine malt. Goes down fine, with a bit of alcohol roughness. Not the best old ale I've ever had, or the best Founders; although I would never turn one down, either.

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Photo of TMB0424
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a murky, burnt copper body with a very small head that reduces very quickly. Leaves minimal lacing.

Smell is of vanilla, caramel malts, some citrus hops, sweet honey. Slight nutty/chocolate aroma as well.

Tastes of creamy caramel malts with an oaky, alcohol followthrough. Vanilla is prevalent, goes well with the rum-like flavors. Finishes with a slight bitter hoppiness, burnt citrus almost. Smokey aftertaste. The only downfall is that it's just a little too sweet.

It has a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Very chewy and thick. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, as it adds a nice warmth towards the finish.

It's a solid brew from a great brewery - definitely a sipper. Like I said before, it's just a little too sweet in my opinion. I would only really 'enjoy' one of these in a sitting. I also rated it a little lower because if I didn't know any better (I guess if I was illiterate) I would have sworn this was a Barleywine opposed to an Old Ale - even though they are similar styles. Nevertheless, a very good beer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed orangeish brown with a thin head that becomes a wisp. Some vanishing lace sticks.

The smell is of honey, caramel, nuts - reminiscent of honey-covered walnuts dipped in caramel. There is a fruitiness towards dates/prunes.

The taste is sweet - honey and caramel - not catching the 50 IBU's. Sweetness balanced by an ashy smokiness that leaves a burnt aftertaste. The burnt character shows in some sips more than in others, oddly enough. Not digging that part, which puts a dent in the flavour. Alcohol present, but not too sharp or overwhelming.

Full-bodied and a bit sticky. Mild carbonation does cut through the thickness.

Considering booziness and burnt notes in the aftertaste, it does glide down pretty easily. Since the style is so varied, I would say it fits the style well enough. An interesting brew that is quite good, though getting rid of burnt edges would go a long way.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree...
Appearance: Light-brown, rosy hue... minimal head minor lacing slight carbonation that soon fades...
Smell: Heavy on the malts, some honey and caramel...
Taste: Sweet, laden with brown sugar, caramel, rich, chewy malts... As far as an Old Ale goes, this is the real thing... Bursting with flavor... Slight alcohol noticeable on the tongue, as would be expected from a 9.3% ABV...
Good stuff... Not sure about making this beer my single choice for the night, but certainly one for the colder weather...
Recommended...

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Photo of ncvbc
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep ruby brown with thinnish head, murky and scary. Big notes of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and the like. Malt sweetness blanketing a somewhat juicy, citrusy hop character underneath. Holy mother, more of the same for the taste. Lots of vanilla sweetness to the point that it's overbearing and masks the rest of the brew. A bit spicy and warming for sure. Big, full, and creamy in the mouth. A faint burn but not in an entirely distracting sort of way. The bourbon essence is just too much for me. I can handle one and one only, if that. I believe there are better choices out there, even though Founders doesn't ever really steer me wrong. Worth a try but a bit more one dimensional than I expected.

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Photo of BirdFlu
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with a bit of burgundy when light passes through, very little head developed..
Aroma is SUPER malty, really nice.. a bit caramel-like, and a little smokey..
Tastes very malty but with a bit of bitterness in the back of the mouth and the aftertaste. Has hints of bitter chocolate and a bit smokey, like a racuhbier, again. Some apple cider-esque flavor and a bit of hops in the back end of the flavor and the aftertaste. Aftertaste is like burnt bread a little bit. Mouth is moderate, really sweet up front then bitterness follows for the aftertaste. Nice bite of carbonation, a little thick and smokey.
Drink is very tasty, a nice malty beer with aenough hop to keep it from being too sweet. A little syrupy in the sweetness, but very good.

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Photo of cokes
2.65/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Rusty peach-brown colored with little head development or lacing and loads of suspended particles.
The nose brings dry toffee, apricot, pineapple. But these are all muted by the papery, peppery oak. This also brings sub-bourbon notes of vanilla cream, butter, and hazelnuts. Muted is the key word, as paper/wood/oak and grain booze are the two major aromas, everything else is fleeting, indistinct, and ephemeral.
Caramel shows up more in the mouth, along with walnuts, and peanut skins. Oak brings burnt butter, vanilla, and bourbon-esque black cherry. But once again, the flavor profile thins immediately. Oak is more responsible for paper and bland pepperiness. Booze is notable, and seems to suggest sherry, but is equally devoid of gumption. Late black tea and cigarette ash notes.
Full bodied, lowly carbonation. So, basically how an Old Ale should be. I wish this was the norm rather than the exception.
I feel like I'm drinking this through a flavor-filter. A 9+% oak aged Old Ale, and all I can experience is paper, water-logged butter-caramel, and grain alcohol. It's like that very last, weakest sip of a Beam of the rocks.

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Photo of beveritt
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Thanks to NavyMSC for passing this one my way. I have had this in my fridge for a while and am just now getting around to sampling it. Poured from a stubby 12 oz brown bottle into a snifter. Label depicts and somewhat stodgy looking old man in all black. Not sure of the age, but does it really matter?

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 finger of tan head. This settles to a thin coating of foam and a few small islands randomly dispersed throughout the glass. The beer itself is a the color of tarnished copper, maybe a little darker. Cannot see through it, partially because of color and partially because of some suspended particulate matter. Some sediment in the bottle, makes me think I might have wanted to decant.

Smell: Alcohol sweet smell with hints of brown sugar and oak.

Taste: Wow, if I didn't know better, I would say this is aged in a whiskey barrel, so strong are the alcohol and oak flavors. The alcohol flavor is not unpleasant, but it definitely makes itself known as a sweet and slightly bitter flavor upfront. Tiniest hint of bubblegum esters, but mainly the taste is dominated by strong caramel malt and oak and vanilla flavors.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, as expected from the style. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: A big and complex sipper. A little off-put by the floaties, but that could have been prevented by a proper decant. Alcohol is very forward, but not overwhelming. I imagine this would benefit greatly from some aging and I may have to throw some of this in the cellar with my North Coast Old Stock Ale.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky dark brown color with little foam, just a layer of fine bubbles

S - aromas of caramel, brown sugar, overall a sweet smell

T - caramel sweetness with just a hint of alcohol that hits you later on

M/D - medium bodied brew that is very drinkable despite the ABV. The alcohol is present but doesn't overwhelm.

Reviewed again on 12/30/11 as part of the blind bif

A - poured from a short 12 oz. bottle, its a murky chestnut brown with a few soapy bubbles forming a ring around the glass but thats it
3
S - lots of plums and dark fruit in this one along with a sweet malt smell.
4
T - brown sugar, burnt toffee and caramel, a bit sweet with a nuttiness to it, I like it but its a bit too malty sweet for me.
3.5
M - smooth and creamy, with very light carbonation, a bit of a syrupy feel to it
3
D - it has a good flavor but becomes cloying to me after a while.
The impression i'm getting is that this is an aged beer, so i'll rip it open and see...

Founders Old Curmudgeon
hmm, I remember this not being a favorite of mine in the past, but its nice to try again. Its a twist off cap and there is an 07 on the bottle, is it an aged bottle?

Interesting second beer. I really want to tear into the next bottle but i don't know, first a 12% and now a 9.3%, I could be in some trouble, I like this!

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Photo of Bung
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. A fairly clear clear orange/amber pour. Miniscule off white head. Nice malty aroma, increases as it warms. Tons of malt flavor, some toffee, brown sugar with a little raisin. A small amount of hop presence. Nice and sticky and lingering. A little bit young I think, I bet the other three will age very nicely. Right now I'd say the Ola Dubh version I've had are a little bit better, but they're aged. This should have no problem competing with some age and at a bargain of a price comparitively. Actually bought a couple 3rd Coast Old Ales with this 4 pack, curious to see how they compare, even though they are considered barley wine.

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Photo of Mdog
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear orange-amber, almost no head.

Smell: At first it reminded me of leather mixed with cough syrup. But later smells remind me of whiskey but with less alcohol, woodiness and vanilla are very prominent.

Taste: Earthy toffee flavors at first. Later sips remind me of whiskey, lots of wood flavor and a nice caramel sweetness.

Drinkabilty: Definitely grew on me as I went through the glass.

Another single bottle special from Wisconsin. A complex beer that I could have sworn was barrel-aged, but I can't find anything on Founder's site that says that it is. Quite tasty.

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Photo of russpowell
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to czoch75 for this one! Thanks Clint, enjoying this as the Saints/Bears game goes to OT!

Pours an effervescent caramel with some sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Superb oaky bourbon notes, then a a whiff of dirt??

T: Bourbon soaked toffee, some caramel & a bit of smokeyness up front. Dryness dominates as this warms, along with boozey butterscotch & marmalade, vanilla & drambuie (sic). Finishes with some boozey oak, & butterscotch

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation & some stickyness, thickens up as it warms

Drinks pretty easy, considering the style, ABV & dryness. This was on the verge of greatness, but needed more body or aging to pull it together

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this brew recently from Bobby91w, kryptic, and joe1510...thanks guys!!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a murky deep copper hue with a one finger off-white head that falls to a thin creamy layer of foam. A decent amount of lacing remains clinging the sides of the glass. Smells of rich caramel malts, molasses, and alcohol warm the nostrils. Sweet spices and earthy hops in the nose as well as fig and prunes. Taste begins and ends quite boozy. Rum, dates, leather, and gooey caramel to start things off in the mouth followed by tingling hops. Toffee and bark flavors emerge midway finishing with a lingering vanilla bean sweetness. Medium body with a prickly feel on the cheeks. A tad above average carbonation for the style, could be a bit smoother. I'd take 4th Dementia over this in a heartbeat, but who wouldn't?

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Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to snifter pours a reddish amber brown, cream colored head faded to lacing - looks nice

smells of oaky caramel spice, barley, sweet and deep, slight alcohol heat - amazing!

taste is of bourbon, oak, caramel, creamy smoothness, very balanced, vanilla, slight alcohol heat, hops are nice - subdued but not lacking, bitterness pops out the most, flavor is blended nicely

mouthfeel is slightly hot and oily but not overtly, loads of flavor, yum! makes me want to age more

way better than last years batch :D

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Photo of Greggy
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a creamy 1 finger head in my mid-sized snifter. What I really like is the red-orange color with ample yeasty sediment. Speckled lacing coats the glass.

S- Some deep toffee, caramel, some buttery notes, a bit of alcohol can be felt. Additional notes of apple and dark fruit.

T- Starts out with some nice apple, caramel and toffee notes. There is a nice warming alcohol to it but it's cloying. I get some nice woody/oaky notes to it with a nice buttery, malty finish. Deep into the finish there is some nice oaky nuttiness. There is some nice dry hoppy notes to this brew but the malt is more prevalent.

M- Little to no carbonation. Huge thick feel.

D- This is quite drinkable especially given the ABV. It can't be had in MN but if you come across it someplace, definitely pick one up.

Thanks to KarlHungus for the bottle!

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Photo of jerrytrey
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a huge fan of Founders but generally do not find Old Ales that I like out there. That made the Old Curmudgeon an interesting and bold purchase for me personally. The blend of overall sweetness along with the thickness in feel and overall complex flavors to old ales has made it difficult for me to find one I love.

I poured a 12oz bottle medium speed into a beveled 16oz NERAX pint glass. The beer poured out showing a strikingly perfect color for my tastes in a beer like this: a blend of brown caramel and burnt pumpkin orange colors surrounded the glass while at an angle looking upwards towards the thin head I see a deeper brown, almost like a stained mahogany. I know this is a "thick" beer and I haven't had a taste. Smell was of slight vanilla, caramel and raisin. No single smell seemed outright dominant. Extremely pleasurable smell in this beer. Upon first taste I am almost overwhelmed. First opinion was that this was indeed a "thick" beer. The mouthfeel was a tad surprising at first but soon I adjusted and the thickness of the beer was preferred. I soon realized how wonderfully balanced tasting a beer of this complexity is. Malty to my tastes, but not in a bad way. Just the right amount of caramel and mild malt balances things out by cutting the smack you get from the strength of the beer. This makes this beer very, very drinkable despite the punch it packs. I'm not 100% sold that I want a beer with this much action in the mouthfeel (initial lip hit, tongue fall of the beer, the follow-up coating of the tongue with thickness of the malt) but if you know you want an Old Ale, this has to come recommended. I think this is a solid A- on my personal scale. Only reason I say it can improve is the mouthfeel to me at this young age is still really thick. I have 3/4 of the pack down in the cellar for aging. I strongly believe this is a candidate with some aging and will be researching to see just how long people have been holding this for.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky brown-amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, with hint of floral hops. The taste of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and a hop presence that is quite higher than the aroma indicates. There is also a nice hot alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is a touch lighter than full bodied, with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a wonderful old ale. I would really like to try this with some age on it.

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Photo of kmeves
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy copper/brown with a small beige head. Aroma is sweet raisin, caramel, cherry, nutty, light chocolate, smoke, butterscotch andwood. Flavor is cherry, caramel, raisin, light pineapple and light nutty. Finish is a bit hot and also has some bourbon notes. Full bodied, sticky texture. Low carbonation.

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Photo of chaz410
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a beer, I mean really, what a beer!! This beer pours cloudy and thick and seems like it's gonna be some sort of imperial brown ale. The smell is really sweet and smoot and has a crisp after effect. I love the tast of this beer, it is laced with vanilla and oak notes along with heavy malts. Caramel malt really rings out in this monster beer, it's really smooth too. I love this beer, share it with a friend and enjoy!

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.