Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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very good
1,244 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,244
Ratings:
4,477
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
20.1%
 
 
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,244 | Ratings: 4,477
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Founders- Curmudgeon

A- Thick reddish orange with a big thick white head. Small lacing.
S- Sweet fruity malt (cherry and prune) with sugar and a dusting of chocolate.
T- Very sweet cherry/ plum malt with a touch of cocoa powder.
M- Again sweet with a dried fruity body and a tart finish.

Overall- Very sweet with big doses of dried fruits and a big alc. warmness made this an enjoyable 1 pinter.

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Photo of socon67
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found a 4 pack tucked away in the local distributor. With anticipation of how well Founder's brews are rated I gave it a try.

A - Dark amber, with a decent cream colored foam. A noticably low amount of carbonation.

S - Lots of different things going on. Very strong whisky smell with hints of toffee and vanilla. A very complex combination.

T - Besides the tastes of what I smelled there was also some butterscotch. I find the potency of this style a bit too much; it overwhelms the other flavors. Too bad.

M - The lack of carbonation makes this an easy beer to work on. Given the high ABV that is a welcome thing.

D - One of these is enough at a time. It is an enjoyable experience, but I doubt I'd get the same kick out of a second. Not a session beer; enjoy this baby one at a time and let the others age.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. Thanks to lnashsig for this bottle.

Appearance - Deep amber body with little head and only a bit of lacing. Sediment floating about as I look throuh the body. Tough for these types of beers to really look appealing.

Smell - Apples! I smell lots of apples. It kind of reminds me of Short's Good Samaritan. It has an earthy maltiness to the aroma. Not a sweetness that I expect.

Taste - The taste really follows the aroma, but with the addition of hops in the finish. Apple flavor at the start with other malt flavors. A bit of caramel and some brown sugar, but it's definitely an apple fruit flavor I get most. The finish is an odd bitterness that I do not expect from an Old Ale. The hoppiness pushes it towards the barleywine category, but not too much.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation for the style. The bitterness in the finish is the lingering taste. It's also a bit astringent. Not my favorite characteristic.

Overall - Not really what I was expecting from an Old Ale, but not bad. The apples aren't what I want in an Old Ale. I want strong malts, caramel and vanilla. Still, I didn't seem to have any difficulty finding a home for the beer once it got into the glass.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, unfiltered amber red color (hazy), no head retention but some lacing

Nose: Sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit, slightly metallic

Taste: Biscuits and toasted bread, roasted malt and wood, fading into an early/dark fruit taste

Mouth: flowing but a bit short in the carbonation

Overall: A great old ale, but I've come to expect more from Founder, I was a bit disappointed

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a light reddish color, clear, with a small half inch head, and a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells like brown sugar, caramel malt, and some dark fruits.

The taste is similar. Not quite as strong of a flavor as I'd expect with an oak-aged old ale brewed with molasses, but it's still decently nice. Tastes like caramel, toffee, and burnt brown sugar. Some dark fruits as well.

Medium bodied, slightly thinner than I'd like. Low carbonation, almost none whatsoever.

A decent ale, but not one I'd clamor to try again.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very hazy amber with only a slight head -- orange on pour but settling out to an off white ring of bubbles around edge of glass. Low carbonation.

S & T = Smells of maple syrup, coconut and vanilla, with tastes of the same. I get a really strong flavor of coconut and a hint of sweet pineapple, almost like a Pina Colada. Also some flavors of spices and hay. Relatively sweet, good long finish.

M = Medium-heavy body, very good mouthcoating, low carbonation not quite as luxurious as I would like, but decent.

D = It tastes good and goes down easily but it also gets a bit cloying, so I cannot recommend it as having high drinkability.

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Photo of cvaypai
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to imperial pint. Bit of age on this one.

Appearance - Amber brown see through, not much to speak of, what it should look like. Little to no head, cap came off pretty easy.

Smell - This is a different smell to me, wood, raisins, molasses, and alcohol. This has that founders smell to it. I am finding it hard to find different smells in here.

Taste - Whoa, tons of different tastes going on here, let me try and explain. I taste milk, caramel, tons of dark fruits and a bit of fig and raisin. At the end I get a small bite, and then a sugary taste after. Last thing that remians is an alcoholic burn. This is quite a taster.

Mouthfeel - This is surprisingly smooth, reminds me of milk at the beginning. Not bad for a beer of its stature.

Drinkability - One is good enough for me to sip and enjoy. This is an interesting beer.

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Photo of citan133
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out to a dark amber colour. It produced a sugary looking tan cap that faded away with haste. I saw some gigantic chunks of matter plop down into the glass that were somewhat unappetizing, but nonetheless this is a decent looking glass of brew. A sloppy pour too.

The nose smells sweet and oak chipped. Candy like. Rind and sunned dark fruit aspects flourish. It seems to tread the line of barley wine which is expected among brutes such as this. It has the characteristics of a raw, high alcohol pulverizer for certain. These types of unfettered brutality usually do not suit my taste, but we'll see what happens here.

The taste is chock full of sweet, fermented fruit character. As far as old ales are concerned this is one. As far as I am concerned this is a bit much on my palate. Dark fruits come out with the decomposing and fermenting character that steers me away from such brews. This is admittedly a style that I am not a great advocate of. That being said this is not entirely too bad. I generally have a dislike for old ales due to the enormous gritty sugar tones I feel from them. There is typically a rotten aspect of fruit character that I perceive and it always manages to turn my stomach. I can find the house flavour within this one and it happens to be one I have grown fond of over the last few years. The oak aspects are not overbearing. Even for a style I loathe, you guessed it, Founders gave me one I nearly enjoy. There is no West Michigan pride here, just the simple truth. I am just lucky to have it close by.

Mouthfeel is thick. Approaching a grit, but ultimately a smooth character. Very slight on the carbonation. It surely proclaims itself as a big beer.

Drinkability is alright for the style. I would never sit down to a few of these. It is more of a hit and run type and nobody would likely dispute that. So, for a single serve I say what the hell, this is decent. You will not catch me filling my jug with this, but as an adventurous beer drinker it is worth a shot. If you are of barbarian blood and you enjoy a drink such as old ale, well step on up. You will most likely enjoy this creation.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

czoch75 sent me a bottle of this last year, and I figured this fine Sunday is a worthy occasion to crack it. IIRc, this is the 2008 release

The pour is a mostly clear ruby red, marred by a slightly careless pour that results in a bunch of floating particles in the beer. A thin, tan head rises briefly, settling into a ring rather quickly.

Sweet, rich and malty on the nose, with plums, raisins, rum, brown sugar, beets, honey and alcohol. Quite deep and rich, and thoroughly acceptable. Mild oxidation is noticeable with a combination of sherry and cardboard. Slight fusel aroma is present, with the spicy character associated with it.

Opens sweet, with a more straightforward sugary sweet character with honey and brown sugar dominating. The fruit character that I picked up on the nose isn't as noticeable, and there's a mild date character present. Rum and raisins with a spicy rye character is noticeable. I'm getting a little bit of toffee before the finish that's a sweet with a bit of alcohol and a little bitterness that's burnt caramel in character.

Medium-full in body with an excellent, lush, creamy carbonation, this beer feels pretty awesome on the palate. The finish is a little disappointing in that it isn't very flavorful.

A definite sipper, I'm actually liking this.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a burnt caramel/orangish/brown with a decently dense half inch of light mocha colored head with decent retention, pretty good lacing.

S - Some sweet caramel and vanilla type aromas, possibly brown sugar. Oaky/bourbon type presence. Some alcohol detectable. Some chewyness and dark fruit as well.

T - Very scotch/oaky brown ale flavor initially, but subtle hints of vanilla and a decent raisin/dark fruit come through giving this brew a pretty dynamic flavor. Alcohol at the finish.

M - Medium bodied or less, appropriate carbonation.

O - Pretty decent, a little thin for the abv with a little too much of a rummy/alcohol presence imo. I feel like most of the alcohol is not coming from the malts.

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Photo of hwy61mb
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this brew from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter. The reddish-brown color with a touch of sediment reminded me of the way apple cider would look in a snifter. There is very little head, with a little bit of lacing upon taking a few sips. It definitely smells sweet. A little bit like caramel. The taste is also sweet. Starts off a little bit sweet and I think I taste some hoppiness at the end, but it really isn't bitter at all, the aftertaste is still bit sweet. This is a thick, syrupy, sticky beer with a high alcohol content and I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting, but this is what I have come to expect from the style and I think it's delicious.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip. bottled on 04/06/12.

A: a hazy deep orange hue. bright. the head is thick and slightly off white. good retention and boatloads of sticky lacing.

S: molasses, oak, vanilla. a chewy, wheat or munich aroma is present and provides a canvas for the molasses and oak to shine.

T: bits of smoke. fruit too. plums and pears. apricot. little bit of booze. bits of molasses in the finish. more and more vanilla comes out and more booze. ethanol really makes up the majority of this body.

M: mouthfeel consists of subtle carbonation on a full body.

D: flavor and the nose are good, not great. a little too much booze on this less than a month old example. i will certainly consider setting a few of these aside for a while and im sure that would make them that much better.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass twist-top. No date.

Appearance: Tawny orange/brown. No head to speak of, and somewhat cloudy (no sediment though).

Nose: Sweet raisin bread, apricots, toasted cashews, deep caramel, milk chocolate, dried figs.

Palate: Medium- to full-bodied with loads of sugar up front. Dried fruits (figs, raisons, prunes) mingle with a layer of light milk chocolate (low cocoa %), and some flavors that remind me of tawny/colheita ports and malmsey madeiras. Rich and somewhat thick, there is a moderate edge from the hop bitterness.

Notes: A well made Old Ale, will improve over short-term ageing, but I don't think it's made to go for more than 3 years with improvement. I would like to see more hop character for longer ageing. The hops show themselves and try to contain the HUGE sweetness, but it's just bursting at the brim with sugar. A little more contained than the Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog, though.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a viscous, candied/caramel-twinged shade of dark amber. The head never developed, maxing out at 3/4-finger in size. The small ring laces okay, though.

This is one sweet-smelling beer. The malts profile is giving off all kinds of hints of things. I detect vanilla, toffee, dark fruit, sugar, tobacco and cinnamon.

This beer is as sweet as the smell indicated. Phenol-city, baby. Dark fruits in abundance; cherries, too. Vanilla & toffee are present and they sort of highlight some wood flavors. Add some Belgian yeast to this and you could pass it off as a quadruppel. A small touch of brandy or port or something on the finish. Dessert beer, for sure.

The feel is thick, but not in a gloopy, cloying way given the tremendous sweetness. More like a creamy, dessert thickness. Drinkability is hampered with this beer; at close to 10% ABV, it makes itself known by the end of the first bottle (though the booze is hidden well under all of the sweetness). This is a super-sweet beer besides. I don't think many people are going to want to have multiples in one sitting.

This is a tasty brew, for sure. Lots of sweet flavors, decent complexity even if all the flavors (sans the wood) hit the same point on the tongue. Have one with dessert.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Golden. A lot of sediment.

S - Alcohol on the front end. Riesling, hints of limeade.

T - Sweet alcohol downshifts into mild grapefruit and resiny hops. Raisins and malt in the aftertaste.

M - Boozy up front then smoothes out pretty quickly, but enough alcohol hangs around to keep your mouth warm throughout the drink.

D - The alcohol lets you know it's there, and delays you from pouring a second.

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Photo of imscotty
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a 2012 vintage bottle.

A: A very pretty deep amber color. Very little white head that dies quickly, but has a fair amount of lacing that lasts a while.

S: light malt, hops, caramel

T: Initial taste is sweet caramel malt and then some honey flavors and slight oak. The finish is gently bitter and lasts a while with a little alcohol warmth in the throat. The flavors get bolder as the beer warms.

M: Not much body, fair amount of carbonation.

O: A tasty brew but not a lot of complexity here.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not too sure how many Old Ales I have had...

Looks good, deep copper body, one finger head... Immediately into sweet aromas and taste, almost like a cross between a Quad and an English strong ale. Lots of brown sugar and malts and yes molasses. Really quite sweet overall. The alcohol comes thru... Was not aware of the high ABV but on drinking port notes are evident, as is alcohol burn. Unwelcome slightly astringent note on back palate.

Odd in some ways, tho, almost like a base strong beer had a ton of sugar added. Very late.

One to cellar methinks.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, NoSignsOfPain!

Slightly hazed amber/ruby/brown with a moderately sized khaki head atop that leaves dots of stick to he glass. Pretty.

A somewhat sweet and boozy aroma, with notes of brandy certainly present, along with dark fruits, and sweet caramels and toffees. While this sounds particularly potent, it also seems even subdued and faraway. What's here is pleasant, I just wish there was a bit less alcohol and more fruit/caramel/malt character.

The flavor is nice, though not particularly aggressive or bold. There's very little alcohol presence, which is a nice surprise after I found some in the aroma. Sweet caramel, toffee, hints of brandy, and dark fruit (cherry and raisin) complement each other nicely.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

One of the easiest to drink old ales I've yet to have.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours beautiful with an inch and a half of light tan head with foamy bubbles and nice retention. Body is a ruby brown mix that beckons to be drank. Nose has a nice combination of toasted almonds, rum, and dark fruits equaling a very robust feel. Enters the mouth with a resin like nutty oak character. Dark ripe fruits appear on the back of the tongue. Slight spicyness sparkles on the tailend of the palate. A rich spicey thick mouthfeel is the result. Sweetness is all over this beer and it is very bold with a smokey feel. Alchol is well hidden but the belly tells you it is there. Drinkability is decent.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle received in trade with cfrancis - thanks!

Appearance - Hazy copper/brown colour with a below average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch/caramel, chocolate, peat

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with some caramel/butterscotch. There is also a bit of a dark fruit taste and a bit of anise, chocolate, and peat. It ends with a buttery/malty aftertatse with a slight bitterness.

Overall - More of a wee-heavy than a old ale. It tastes better than it smells and the mouthfeel needs a little boost of carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden and the aftertaste is the highlight for me. Not sure I'd have again with all of the great beers out there to choose from.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/15/12
*From notes

-- Vintage 2010 / Consumed side by side with Curmudgeon's Better Half --

A: Cider brownish-crimson in color. A generous pour yields a 2.5 finger off-white head. Nice retention and lacing.

S: Stodgy sweetness. Hints of caramel and candied sugar own the nose, though it's not overly complex.

T: Mellow. In fact it's much more mellow then I prefer in an Old Ale. The alcohol has really toned down in the last eighteen months. There's a rather large gap missing on the mid where the hops used to be. A mild woodiness literally hits the fore and rolls right on to the finish, where a drying molasses and light char round this out.

M: No complaints here. Low key yet balanced carbonation and texture.

O: Founders Curmudgeon isn't quite the beer I remember when fresh, when I feel it drinks a bit better. It's a good beer, but not a great beer, as there are better in-style that I'd recommend before this. An above average offering in general, though it's a middle of the road entry in Founders world class portfolio.

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Photo of bamadog
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this for a while, so I figured tonight is as good of a night as any. I've been really interested in old ales lately, so hopefully this one will live up to the rest of the Founders line. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with a ton of amber highlights pouring through; with a really hard pour I manged to get a near 1 finger head out of it that fades almost immediately to a thin and uneven skim with a thick ring around the edge of the surface; body is hazy and looks thick and viscous and there is some sediment floating throughout;

Smell: Deep, rich caramel and burnt sugary maltiness and strong presence of alcohol

Taste: Wow... Very nice -- sweet caramel and burnt sugary malts just like in the nose and a very potent presence of alcohol that is blended quite well with the strong malty flavors; a hint of spiciness and a milt hoppy bitterness sneaks in as well; as it warms a bit I feel like I'm picking up on some oak/vanilla as well -- is this aged in a barrel to any degree?

Mouthfeel: Very viscous and chewy; leaves a very thick coating all over the palate; mouth is warm and tingly from the higher ABV, as is the throat and stomach - a very potent beer.

Drinkability: Well, this is a sipper. Big and bold flavors and bigger alcohol would prevent this from being something that's especially drinkable. A great tasting offering though, doesn't quite rank up there with the Old Stock in my estimation, but still pretty damn good.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish red with a caramel colored head. Decent finger of foam doesn't leave a ton of lacing behind.

Smells roasty with a whiff off autumn.

Taste, a bigger beer, with a bit of an alcohol taste and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth, after the first sip, finishes with a caramel taste.

Drinkability is high on this one my friends, although it is a heavy beer it is excellent for sipping on cool autumn nights when the bats are flying overhead.

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Photo of DoctorB2B
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful copper with slight off-white head that was about a 1/4 inch. In looking at it more carefully, I find what looks like material suspended within the beer ... pretty cool.

S: First and only thing I really got was malt. No citrus to speak of, just malt

T: Alcohol smacked me in the face with the first sip. It wasn't overbearing, just didn't know it was coming. It's very thick and syrupy. Little bit of a fruit flavor, that I can't distinguish because of the overpowering warmth in my mouth.

M: Thick and viscous ... coated my mouth nicely.

D: I'll get another one and hold onto it for a long while .... let it get even older. I think perhaps this one was a bit too young.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,244 ratings.