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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,194 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,194
Hads: 4,242
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 183
Gots: 956 | FT: 55
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,194 | Hads: 4,242
Photo of fx20736
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of slym
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer... this is something special. Just cracking the bottle, I could sense fruits, malt, & hops. Nose was the same on the pour, wth a finger-width head that dissipated to a thin film after a minute or so. The first sip... it was like Bacchus poured his best beer right in my mouth himself. The first thing that hit me was dark fruits, fig & plum and dark berry. Then, vanilla and molasses rush up on the palate, with the whole thing finishing with both malty sweetness and a slight hoppy bite.

This beer is amazing... truly a well-crafted and nicely balanced (for a sweeter beer) beer.

A must-buy!

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Photo of ken3c
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of Buebie
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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!

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

I just LOVE this beatiful beer!

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

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

As I said - Beatiful!

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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

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Photo of blodgetm
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
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

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Photo of puboflyons
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on May 8, 2014.

The pour is a handsome looking copper to dark amber or more akin to mahogany with a modest, long lasting off-white head. A tad foggy.

The aroma is generally subtle or muted but I do pick up a nice character of roasted caramel malts, oak, molasses, and only a hint of booze, which I thought might be more predominant for a 9.8% fresh old ale.

Medium to full body but also smooth.

The taste is what makes it all worthwhile as the molasses and caramel malts are voracious in their presentation with only a vague alcohol burn. You would get more booze in a malt liquor. Mildly bitter finish. Wonderfully drinkable for what it is.

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Photo of Givemebeer
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 4/19/12.

This pours a ruddy copper the color of an old tarnished penny with light large bubbling atop.

As it warms there's an aroma of toffee, candied orange, a hint of tobacco and leather, and hop aroma. It’s died down after 2 years but there's still a bit of a pronounced bitterness on the palate. I taste candied orange, tobacco, malty caramel and toffee, and a hint of something nutty on the finish. Tasty.

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Photo of sjones5045
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Well, hard to describe how it pour other than a dark reddish brown with sub avg head. If you are drinking on tap it pours very clean, an extremely fresh bottle will have tiny sediment and a bottle that in your fridge for a month or so will have thick sediment and if not poured carefully will leave you with snot looking sediment floating at the top. Had to scoop out the snot on the drink I'm reviewing.

Smell is a sweet malty nose. I personally enjoy it cause its so different than most other beers out there. I enjoy the fresh hoppy smell of other beer but this is the antitisis of that which provide a complete different experience than most beers.

So the taste is a home run. About as malty as they come. Some sweetness breaks through as well as some fruit that reminds me a little of a scotch ale.

I would not say smooth but its an enjoyable bit with each sip. Once again a completely different experience than most beers which I enjoy the creativity.

Overall, the best old ale that I've tried. It's an underapprecited and under brewed class of beer in my opinion. This is perhaps the top of the class when it comes to old ales, and definitely worth having around when you want a break for a hoppy beer.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Founders Curmudgeon is best served at cellar temperatures (45-50F) in a "bubble-type" glass or a large brandy snifter. This potent elixir pours up smart & simple with just the perfect amount of carbonation. The gorgeously, inviting chestnut-ruby brown body is capped nicely with a small, persistent, cream colored head. This beauty even shows a bit of leg. The big, sweet caramel (e.g. caramel apple, toffee bits/molasses chips, muscovado sugar) aroma is wonderfully complex with hints of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Frangelico & Madeira. The flavor starts off luciously rich & somewhat chewy with lots of burnt caramel, toasted nuttiness and dried fruit. The bitterness never quite seems to catch-up to the huge maltiness, but the warming alcohol plays nicely into the whiskey laced finish. This medium-full bodied old ale is smooth & creamy with a straight-forward complexity that will bring color to any occasion. This is another finely crafted brew from Founders. Here's to the crusty "ill-tempered' Curmudgeon!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of MikeyMikee
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first old ale, I'm pretty excited.

12oz. bottle poured into an Ithaca Sampling glass, poured at fridge temp.

A- Hazy copper color, with a small quickly dissipating head. Descent lacing.

S- Heavy caramel and molasses, slight orange rind and maybe a little bit of tart cherry.

T- Honey up front with some caramel, brown sugar and toffee. Theres an earthy, woodyness as well which is awesome. Some clean citrus hops that nicely integrates itself and is then cut by slight ethanol in the finish.

M- Awesome! Great Carbonation, viscous, chewy, sticky...its really all around awesome. There's a little bitterness as well which balances it out and there is also some warming from the alcohol.

O- Really great beer, especially the rich mouthfeel. The hop-malt balance is near perfect. The only problem is I drank it way too fast, I could easily drink a few of these in a single night. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Liked this from the bottle; love this on tap (Holy Hound Taproom, York PA into snifter). Pours a gorgeous clear, deep amber with a modest light tan head. Rich, full-bodied, sweet, chewy but not syrupy - a little bitterness but predominantly molasses. Alcohol definitely makes its presence known, but complements the flavors rather than detracting from them. Nice sweet aftertaste. One of my top ten beers of ANY style.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.51/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.51/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

BOD 4/13/13. Pours a deep amber with a heavy deep dark ruby hue. Weak head and lacing due to the alcohol content. Heavy nose of dark malt (caramel), molasses and dark fruit sweetness over alcohol with bourbon and oak notes. Light carbonation. Almost full bodied with a nice smooth creamy texture. The complex flavor profile is well balanced. It begins with sweet dark fruit flavors (fig, plum and raisin) which flow into a significant bourbon element. As the bourbon fades, oak and vanilla present themselves over a molasses note. The finish is smooth and leaves you with a light alcohol burn and a touch of hops. This is the Olde Ale standard, IMHO.

BOD 4/13/12. Similar head, but hazy with flocculants. The nose is similar, but quite subdued. Bourbon is the most prevalent while the dark fruits have receded. Same body and carbonation. Like the nose, flavors have also gone downhill. Age has decomplexed the flavor profile. While still outstanding, it just doesn't reach out and grab you. Everything is there, but in a subdued fashion and more of a blended presentation rather than a progression on the palate. On it's own, I would give the aged version a 4.1.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Bryant lake Bowl on tap.
A: Copper amber with a slight haze under a 1” off white clingy foam collar.
S: Herbal hop note, spice, toffee, raw sugar, malt.
T: Big flavors of caramel, toffee, cardamom, a hint of anise, cola, vanilla.
F: Chewy, creamy, some astringency from the oak.
O: a big bold beer for sipping.

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Photo of roubaixnorth
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

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

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

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Photo of 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 YCantWeNotBeSober
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged 8 months in bottle. I've had this beer fresh and it tasted young w/cloying hop bitterness. Aging for a while seems to help mellow out the hops, balance the beer, and bring out a lot more flavors.

A- Pours a majestic wood-like amber color. off-white head quickly dissipates, although lacing is present.

S- Sweet malt, Vanilla, Dark fruits (prunes), hop floral aroma, bread

T- Taste follows the nose, starting with sweet, cereal-like maltiness fading to flavors of dark fruit, some pear and other fruits. Finishes with a pleasant dry woodsy bitterness.

M- Full-bodied, chewy, almost a syrup like presence left on the tongue.

O- Another great seasonal beer from Founders. A good cellar beer to stock up and age if you have the patience.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours 2 fingers of a rich golden lightl orange mocha foam, body is a very opaque burnt orange amber with suspended sediments and lite carb, head dwindles to a solid cap and leaves a nice foam ring after each quaff.

Smell - Dark fruits, dark brown sugar, rich dark toffee, rich vanilla carmels, light oak, warm freshly baked fruit cake.

Taste - sweet over-ripe dark fruits, a slight sour plum cherry amaretto, dark carmels and toffee, some brown sugar and molasses, alcohol soaked vanilla bean and oak, finishes with light sour plumskins, complimentary alcohol and a touch of dry oak.

Mouthfeel - Nearly full and mouthcoating, carb is on the lighter side and silky smooth and soft across the tongue, leaves some very late edges at the very back of the tongue. Latent heat after each sip.

Overall - An excellent old ale, great balance and complexity, flavors are bold and distinct and all complimentary, nearly a perfect symphony, a pleasant warming alcohol heat after each sip. I've aged this one for 2 years before opening and it is silky smooth - fantastic!

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Photo of Avagadro
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of domfreego
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

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

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

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

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,194 ratings.