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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,903 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2903
Reviews: 1042
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%


Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,903 | Reviews: 1,042 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nortmand
nortmand

Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper pour with a thin off white head.

Resiny hops and whisky dominate the nose.

Sweet through midtongue, ends with a lingering bitter kick and an alcohol burn.

Fantastic old ale, smooth and light carbonation, strange release date, though. Would age nicely.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2006 01:26:25 | More by nortmand
Photo of Fugazme
Fugazme

Nebraska

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Redhaze!

from notes... I'm finally catching up on these!

Very cloudy brown... tiny head falls to a great cap... looks "thick"

Sweet, sweet licorice/anise with a pine-scented nose... grassy... strawberry... maple... vanilla... touch of wood... quite complex and wonderful. One of the best noses on a beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and almost oily... in a good way.

Malty upfront on the taste... sweet, licorice... honey with a mild hop character.

Another great one from a great brewery...

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 16:18:44 | More by Fugazme
Photo of froggyfrog
froggyfrog

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A damn ambrosial old ale...

This gem pours from a dust-covered bottle plucked from the depths of this reviewer's cellar. The twist-off cap pops off with a low hiss under the weight of a BA-branded opener.

Cloudy, make that chunky, brackish brown liquid fills the glass. Gold-yellow swirls edge the deeper brown of the depths. A scummy tannish head proves tough enough to remain present to the end.

Somewhat surprisingly, given the abused-toilet-bowl-look of this beer in a glass, is the distinctive and entirely enticing smell. A lively bouquet of dried fruits, dates and figs is followed closely by a strong spicy alcohol nose and loads and loads of caramel and brown sugar. The intricate aroma also showcases leather and honey, cinnamon and toasted nuts.

Fortunately for those finding themselves quaffing this treat - the flavor delivers on the promises of the nose. Served at cellar temperature, as this bottle was, the flavors come off as caramel-covered raisin and honey-roasted nuts with strong undertones of soft- dried apples and plums.

The beer hits the tongue with a cooling wetness and spreads through the mouth warming with its spicy alcohol as it passes. This rather unique mouthfeel is complex without being sweet, heavy or cloying. There is a subtle bitterness in the finish.

I expected this to be good, yet it was much better than I had hoped. It really shines as a stellar old ale/ English-style barleywine. Don't miss this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 05:54:21 | More by froggyfrog
Photo of t2thebro
t2thebro

Iowa

4.61/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-medium amber in color very little carbonation.

S- oak, caramel, sweet alcohol. Raisins, ripe apricot.

T- strong alcohol presence, blended with the perfect balance of sweet caramel and spicy hop bitterness.

M- medium heavy body, a bit of a syrupy feel great for this style!
Very drinkable for a big beer.

O- this is the first (old ale) I've had this is the best of what I could have expected.
Big beer, great flavor, very drinkable.

Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 04:15:10 | More by t2thebro
Photo of geexploitation
geexploitation

Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and coffee colored with minimal head. Bright mahogany highlights. Assertive aroma of bourbon-vanilla and chocolate-covered bananas. Sumptuous. Hits the palate with authority. Bourbon, vanilla, bananas again, along with sweet cream and coffee all make appearances. Just a touch of hop bitterness shows up in the finish. Very thick on the palate, as one would expect. Quite rich, flavorful, interesting old ale. Up there with the best of the American microbrewed old ales.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2006 03:59:27 | More by geexploitation
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Founders continues to impress me. This beer is amazing. Pours to a nice dark brownish amber, almost black. The head is off-white, and fairly thin. Recedes to a ring and a film, as to be expected from a high gravity old ale.

The smell is awesome. Very complex. Has notes of bourbon, sea salt, black anise, and a nice sweet maltiness.

The flavor is just as great. Starts off with a nice sweet molasses flavor, followed by a brilliant vanilla and oak bourbon flavor. A bit briny, with a sea salt flavor; but unlike other briny old ales I've had, this one doesn't taste the least bit spoiled. None of that soy sauce flavor associated with brininess. Simply amazing

The body is fairly full. Starts off with an intense sweetness but drops off with an intense dry sea salty flavor. Surprisingly little aftertaste. Nonetheless, if I put this beer down for too long, I begin to crave it.

It could stand to be a little more drinkable, but that would probably take away from the wonder that is this beer. Founders is quickly becoming one of my favorite brewers.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 05:19:34 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of WakeandBake
WakeandBake

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 18:07:01 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of Buebie
Buebie

Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 20:27:26 | More by Buebie
Photo of blodgetm
blodgetm

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders is one of the few things that makes me glad to live in Grand Rapids. The brewery is absolutely fantastic, and for producing such great beers as this I give them two thumbs up. The brewers at Founders have been working on this brew for a couple years now, finely tweaking it until absolutely perfect to put into a bottle. Well, here it is, Curmudgeon old ale is definately the result of years of planning and tinkering.

A: medium brown and unfiltered

S: definite sweetness to the nose due to the malt bill, but also presence of bourbon and a spice of oak

T: a very complex and malty brew, with high levels of whiskey/bourbon taste and a small amount of maybe anise towards the end

M: wonderful, nice and rich, heavy bodied beer with a fine carbonation

D: I would drink this brew all night if I could, but with the high ABV and price, it gets alittle hard.

I would recommend this beer to anyone who fancies high gravity beer with that fantastic bourbon creme taste

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 03:48:54 | More by blodgetm
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A musky glowing russet brown with a slim capping of tanned froth. Keeps a good collar with a few straggly branched arms of lace sticking across the glass.

Astounding aroma of maple, honey, oak soaked bourbon. Heavy, heavy, inviting as hell, warm whiskey tone to this sucker. Wow. Wonderful.

Smooth and warming with a good source of whiskey tones behind some maple, honey, vanilla, and white grape accents. Tenderly toasted malt background but huge in malted girth and warmth of gooey rich and thick caramel, maple, toffee, and minor fruityness all encompassed by one very nice powering warmth of whiskey oaken woodyness. No real finishing qualities however as it slides off the back end with an unwanted speed before the warmth sets in with just a slight backburst of crisp vanilla and left over whiskey wood.

Feel is warm, and more warm, and more warm. Strange how some beers with more then 9.3% seem to have no omff while this screams it. Big, bold, and beautiful; rich, smooth, and full. The only set back is the forementioned finish which is escapingly ghostly and parting in a manner that throws a curve in its overall, powering presence.

Be that as it may, that is what makes this quite a drinkable, dandy treat. For if it were all but power and strength, this would not be as easy to handle and may as well just be whiskey at that point.
A very nice Old Ale. Fulfilling and dreamy.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2006 02:15:18 | More by tavernjef
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a shiny almost glazy kind of brown in color with a beautiful brown head.

Smell – The big, huge, boozy coconut and stiff oaky barrel must have left stains on the inside of my nose. The malts were broken down well so the wood and fruit really opened up nicely. It is such a unique aroma and nothing like anything else I have ever smelled.

Taste – The sharp oaky coconut from the smell was just as potent at the taste. It is an amazingly smooth liqueresque flavor with a light, dusty taste.

Mouthfeel – This is thinner than medium-bodied but bigger than light. It is incredibly smooth with no stinging sensation whatsoever from the big alcohol.

Drinkability – This went down about as well as a high-ABV beer can.

Comments – Thanks to my good friend and temporary landlord skyhand for putting me up for a few nights while I was in town and feeding me this exceptional dessert.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2006 01:50:16 | More by RoyalT
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged in my cellar for one year wanted to see how this bad boy was doing and so far it seems to be doing very well.

Very dark caramel colored thick liquid with multitudes of tiny particles wondering aimlessly abound. What small head is there disspates nearly instantly, leaving very little trace lacing.

The nose on this has seemed to multiply in the depth of smell. Immensly complex aromas of coconut milk, coconut, bourbon, pure vanilla, pineapple, cream, caramel, toffee, a odd strawberry quick aroma, prune, layers of dried berries and nut trail mix. I really don't want to drink this as I'd be content just smelling this marvelous brew for the rest of the night.

Smooth is the name of this game. Thick, silky, viscous elixir with a two minute finish. Some bittering hops on the end make you pucker as well as a woodsy bourbony flavor that leaves a wine like tannin. I would say this beer easily has another year in her if not three. Full again of fresh chopped coconut, dried cranberry, white and red raisin, dates, prune, caramel and toffee. A celebration in a glass. Nutty mid palate with a maple brown sugar twist. Have three more of these too sample each of the next three years. Can't wait.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 22:22:52 | More by mcallister
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one in Grafton IL with my buddy Joe V.

A - Greyish black in the glass, this one looks like liquid smoke on top of melted tar. That sounds horrid, but I love weird looking brew! This is like some sort of witches brew.

S - Burnt rubber, liquid smoke, doused campfire, and cured meat. This smells extremely interesting... when I ordered this one, I was expecting a barleywine but this is more akin to a rauchbier; albeit with less sausage and jerky notes and more chemical-y smoke aromas. This smells like old wet moldy wood, roofing tar, freshly laid asphalt on a hot summer day. Awesome. I could sniff this for hours.

T - Tobacco, cured ham, Maduro wrapped cigar smoke, some hints of soy sauce, and salmon grilled on a cedar plank. Damn, this is one helluva complex brew!

M - Full bodied, but not as heavy as I would expect for the heavy flavor profile. This is a little too carbonated for what it is, but it feels nice enough.

D - A little too odd to have more than one at a time. This is definitely a weirdo brew for sipping and picking apart all of the crazy rubbery smoke flavors, not pint after pint sessioning.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 14:40:50 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of ken3c
ken3c

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a decent sized head but dwindles to a 1/4 inch island. Beautifull deep dark red tint refracts on the glass and on the table. This beer has legs and visible tiny bubbles.

Aroma is mostly roasted almond but also a slight sense of melon.

Taste is ripe cantalope with ripe bananas. The finish is oak tannin bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and plays interestingly with the strong sweet taste. There is a noticable sense of carbonation but not intrusive. smooth but not too smooth. warming.

This is a delightful suprise. This is a very tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 03:55:07 | More by ken3c
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crisp deep amber almost brown with no head, just a ring. The aroma is loads of malts with slight underlying hops. The taste is wonderfully complex, burnt caramel, dried fruits, and molasses all blend nicely. The beer is slightly heavy but the alcohol is not overbearing. This is a very enjoyable beer, especially as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 22:50:23 | More by atsprings
Photo of atpben
atpben

Texas

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Founders brewery. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark reddish orange color. Very flowery in the aroma with caramel and light vanilla creeping in. The taste was just amazing coconut and toffee combined - wow. Later on molasses and caramel apples came in. A very uniquely tasting beer. Mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. A nice smooth finish. A great night cap beer or after dinner beer. Founders needs to be in Texas NOW!!!

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2009 17:51:37 | More by atpben
Photo of carlborch
carlborch

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, beautiful dark amber with a tightly knit tan head. The head is reasonable persistent, but does start to dissipate. Nicely developing Belgian lace. Rich, winy nose, with hints of cognac. Caramel, toffee, sherry, and dried fruits. Very moderate, but noticeable, hoppiness, with lingering caramel and malt notes on the palate. The roof of the mouth gets a sense of the level of alcohol, however, the alcohol level is not fully evident. Thus "caveat bibor" is appropriate. This is not a session beer or a vorspiel beer. Medium body with a sweet, long lingering. This is a multidimensional old ale. If I had the patience and cellar, I would attempt to age the Old Curmudgeon a few years to see how it develops. It should age well. A great ale to accompany hearty food and BBQ. The richness and residual sweetness would also work well with spicy food.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 20:07:26 | More by carlborch
Photo of mdwalsh
mdwalsh

Iowa

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark orange/copper/amber/golden color with a two finger, small bubbled head. Some active carbonation, and food lacing/head retention.

S: A good strength, not weak but not overwhelming. Very fruity and effervescent. Maybe a little hoppy, herbal if anything. I sort of hoped for a little something darker and fuller, but still good.

T: Hmm, fruity and perhaps a little boozy. Not super smooth, but it works. The hops are much more evident. Though that mellows pretty quick. It reminds me of an aged DIPA. The malt profile is very interesting. At first it really helps push the sharpness of the hops, but then, as my tongue gets more used to that bite, it becomes much much more mellow and smooth. I really like it, I think it just needs to reach the right temp. I hesitate to call it perfect, because it's my first old ale, but I may revisit this guy.

M: Smooth and creamy, but pretty light. Low carbonation which is exactly what I wanted here. This is pretty much perfect to me. Light enough to not feel flat, but giving me not the slightest indication of gasiness.

D: Very, which makes it a dangerous brew at this ABV.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 02:44:14 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of Avagadro
Avagadro

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Curmudgeon sports a red body that is fairly clear save for the sediment that floats in it. Head is creamy in color, and doesn't rely stick around long.

S: malty to the core, the bouquet offers caramel, vanilla, and a touch of rum.

T: flavor follows the bouquet's lead, with heavy vanilla notes followed by caramel and molasses.

M: full bodied and creamy. Carbonation is barely noticeable.

D: a great sipper if there ever was one. This brew shows the oak well, with heavy vanilla notes. This is one of my favorite Old Ales/Barleywines out there.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 22:40:23 | More by Avagadro
Photo of Snow81
Snow81

Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark amber, orange, unfiltered

Smell: a bit sweet malty, carmal, heat, hoppyness

Head: after first poor, head goes down to only a little ring around the glass

Taste: get a bit of heat right of the bat, hops hit right after that and moves into carmalness, stickyness then some more heat then all over and sticking around with hops

Weight: a bit on the lighter side but it is a old ale not a barleywine

Finish: this one lingers for quite some time with hops, and carmal sickyness

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 04:54:16 | More by Snow81
Photo of dorianmarley
dorianmarley

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is opaque orange-brown with a light bubbly head and some lacing.

Nose is musty, with cherry juice and sweet, toasty malt.

Taste is buttery oak, with crusty bread, chewy malt, and a biscuit finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with plenty of carbonation.

Overall, it is a phenomenal blend of savory flavors.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2012 14:15:54 | More by dorianmarley
Photo of fitrock2112
fitrock2112

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Curmudgeon Old Ale into a 9oz snifter

A - Dark reddish hue or burnt orange

S - Candied fruit with sweet booze, some malty goodness on the back end

T - Smooth refined maltiness, some dark fruits , maybe some liquor with wood

M - Again smooth beer with a little alcohol on the mouth but very tasty

O - My go to Old Ale, just awesome beer that I highly recommend on any occasion

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 00:44:31 | More by fitrock2112
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served at fridge temp.

turbid ochre brown with a one finger khaki head.

cinnamon & sugar overlays toasted malt, like B&M Boston Brown Bread.

mouthfeel: smooth and soft.

taste: malty sweet with honey, dates and cinnamon, atouch of vanilla and some tartness like mango chutney.

notes: damn, this is like Backwoods Dirty Bastard only better, a tasty sipper bursting with flavor and aroma, awesome.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 23:14:09 | More by fx20736
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a almost clear coppery-brown color with a light tan head. Very little retention save a slight ring. No lace.
Smell is oak and malt with a light smoke note and some dark, alcohol soaked fruits.
Taste is malt, oak and smoke, with caramel and dark fruits. Well balanced.
Smooth and rich. Full bodied with a medium-light effervescence. This old ale is unlike most in that it doesn't need to warm to be great, it starts there. Warming does make it a touch smoother but not enough to make you want to wait. A truly great brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 03:01:37 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Givemebeer
Givemebeer

Vermont

4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon Curmudgeon just today though it is out of season so was happy to pay $13 for a 4 pack as everything Founders seems to be a winner

Curmudgeon is a great starter old ale in my opinion. Beautiful look and well balanced. Love the malt in it but the beauty is the hops showing themselves towards the end just enough so that you know they're there. Not overly sweet and simply delicious.

If you see it, buy it. Another winner from Founders. I will be purchasing this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 00:50:59 | More by Givemebeer
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,903 ratings.