Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,755 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,755
Reviews: 1,112
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 145
Gots: 713 | FT: 45
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: 3,755 | Reviews: 1,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.95/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. The liquid is a transparent mahogany with some suspended sediment and a slow stream of bubbles rising up. The pour kicks up a modest khaki head that dissipates to a film with a ring around the surface quickly.

Aroma is really strong - you can almost smell it from across the room! Sweet caramel, brown sugar, raisins, dates, and a bit of alcohol heat. Would make a wonderful bread pudding.

Taste follows the nose, with a bit more alcohol presence. Starts out with caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, and dark fruit. Some oakiness comes in after a second, along with a bigger alcohol burn and an ever-so-slight bite of hop bitterness to keep it from being too cloying. The finish is clean, with a tightrope-like balance of sweet and bitter, and then the aftertaste is creamy caramel again. Not incredibly complex, but perfectly put-together. The sweetness, alcohol, and bitterness are all calibrated to precise levels to complement each other perfectly.

Mouthfeel is nicely thick and creamy without being syrupy. There's some nice crisp carbonation that takes a second to kick in, giving your tongue a second to luxuriate in the thick body before coming in to temper it. It's somehow perfectly timed with the flavor progression - before the carbonation kicks in you're focusing on the caramel and vanilla, then the prickliness comes in at the exact same time as the alcohol and hops to dial back the sweetness.

Overall, one of my favorite beers from Founder's, or any beer period. It's a great dessert beer for when you don't want a BA stout - it treads the same waters, but is much less heavy. It kind of reminds me of what a super-easy-drinking bourbon would be like, with the caramel, oakiness, and robust alcohol presence. Such an incredible beer!!

Photo of csrbv
4.95/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very little head despite a strong pour. Has a hazy copper color and a small, cream colored head.

S: The smell of bourbon barrels is apparent as soon as I pour this beer. Also has a sweet malty scent to it with a bit of alcohol as well.

T: The taste is sweet, caramel malts and a bit of honey are the main flavors up front. The oak barrels come through as well with some alcohol bursting through in the finish.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation. Awesome mouthfeel.

D: Another quality brew from Founders! It's hard to find anything that I don't like from them. The oak barrels are a nice touch giving this beer some nice flavor.

Photo of taez555
4.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured an amber/brown body with an almost non existent tan head.

Nose was simple breathtaking. Whiskey, wood, oak, burnt oak, whiskey barrels, malt, rich malt, cherry and vanilla fruit smells. I could sit back and just smell this beer all day.

Taste was very near to the nose but even better. Rich malt and very smooth. Whiskey, cherries, raisins, vanilla, malt, oak, some slight charred flavors and some very very mild touches of chocolate. It's so perfectly balanced from start to finish without a big hop kick or bitterness. Just wave after wave of rich malt, fruits and whiskey.

Wow!!!! What an amazing beer. I dig the oak aged thing, but this by far one of the best. It's so well balanced I could drink it all day long.

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.88/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a pal in Illinios. Thanks Tay.

Pours a deep and dark clouded burgundy with sticky lace and respectable head given it's strength.

The smell is vanilla syrup, oak, tabacco, and booze soaked fruits.

Taste is sweet and rich. The alcohol is so well hidden on this insulin-needed sweet-as-hell brew. Very complex and the flavors just explode. It's a barrage of slightly smokey-oaked-boozey and candied fruit flavors.

THe feel to me doesn't get much better than this. So silky smooth, lets call it "velvety". the perfect size:large body. perfect for savoring every SIP.

Wow! I continue to be impressed by the brews coming from Founders, but this may be the best. I can't wait to age a few of these bad boys.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The bottle has been in my cellar for about 2 years.
With a gentle pour there is a creamy eggshell white head of 1 cm that fades quickly to a thin ring edge layer and wispy islands in the beer.
The color is a rich mahogany hue with deep garnet highlights on the sides of the glass.
Thick with particles from the pour even with an effort to decant, the particles dont settle readily and are suspended as if they are prehistoric insects in amber.
Aroma is rich malt with molasses and bourbony booze notes mixing with a bit of vanilla and brown sugar. I dont get any hops but do expect this to be a sipping beer!
First sip reveals a smooth creamy textured body with almost no carbonation. Very easy to drink on the physical side, and with the flavor kickin in it only enhances my thirst.
I get brown sugar and molasses, some vanilla and a bit of plum and raisin fruitiness. No hops and even the ~10% booze is very well hidden. This beer is drinking like nectar and I wish I had more of it to consume. This is a rich malty brew that I am glad to have sampled and would purchase again on the spot. Highly recommended, maybe even age for a year, this bottle is excellent!

Photo of cooncat
4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving from a 12 oz. bottle.

A vigorous pour produces a small tan colored head, but that is to be expected for this style. The head disappears almost immediately, but also to be expected. Color is almost an opaque dark ginger brown .. very dark. Nose is incredible with many mixed fruit aspects, including plums and apricots. Very sweet smelling, with some hint of the alcohol in the nose. First sip is like tasting ambrosia; wonderful fruit maltiness, with a hint of piney hops. The flavor is HUGE, and the alcohol presence is notable. The finish is sweet to the last drop, with no lingering after taste. Mouth feel is so full its almost 'chewy'. This is a perfect Winter Warmer, dessert beer, or excellent finish to a session.

Well done, Founders!
Prost!

Photo of dmgallag
4.81/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - dark ale with good lacing that slides down the glass.

S - nice sweet molasses smell. Inviting, smells like a dessert beer.

T - not complicated. Very subtle...you get the hints of oak and molasses in perfect harmony. Neither overpowers the other. Very drinkable and easy going for my palate. This guy could get me in trouble.

M - velvety smooth. Really good.

O - some might knock it because of its lack of complexity....but that is exactly what I like about it. A sweet ale that tastes better as it warms to room temp... I'm sold

Photo of R3ason
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of TedTopfer
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of jcnd9803
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A nice medium brown color with minimal head, but laced the glass well.

Aroma: Sweet, with hints of molasses and some caramel. As it warms, you can get some of the alcohol.

Taste: I thought a well balanced hop and malt profile. A smooth taste upfront with some sweet follow-up.

Mouthfeel: Some may say it's syrupy, but I say it's creamy.

Drinkability: This review is on an 09 bottle. I'll say that when it's early, it can perhaps be too heavy on the alcohol. But with just a year, this thing gets really smooth and is one of my favorites by Founders.

Photo of ProChorus
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of toti1972
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of mcowgill
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy reddish color with no real head to speak of. Thin lacing around the edges is all.

S - I love how this beer smells. Great vanilla, oak, whiskey aroma.

T - It tastes just as damn good. A malty delight. The whiskey and vanilla comes through strong with hints of coconut.

M - Excellent mouthfeel, nice carbonation

D - Wow, I have been waiting to try this beer for awhile, not knowing what to expect. This is truly great. It's very drinkable to me.

Photo of beertunes
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish copper. Relatively low carbonation meant there was less than a thin cap of head yet somehow left a bit of pretty lacing.

The aroma is very malt based, sweet with a honeyish background and just a bit of hops present. There was some alcohol hotness at first, but it faded quickly. The flavors were very similar, thick sticky malt, some honey (and maybe maple) flavors, a touch of hops and a nice alcohol taste that fades quickly and leaves a warm glow.

The body is pleasantly full, just short of heavy, and tongue coating. Drinkability is excellent, as long as you're not in a hurry.

Overall, a great brew that compares favorably to the only beer I've given all 5's to, North Coast Old Stock, and is certainly worth your time.

Photo of Leeglauser
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of IntriqKen
4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an opaque mahogany amber with a faint head that disappears quickly. Pours almost like syrup.
Aroma will change with ever degree that it warms. Ripe bananas...vanilla...rum....bourbon...sweet and complex.
Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a nice ...no, wonderful warmth as you swallow.
Taste...ahhh...everything you smell along with some dark sweet fruits...plums...again vanilla, rum, boubon. Again, sweet and complex. As it warms even more ripe banana and rum and boubon flavors. Amazing. The oak or bourbon barrel aging done on this beer definitely works and works perfectly. All of the vanilla sweetness and richness you would expect from that is here and then some.
Aftertaste is chewy dark fruits and alcohol warmth.
Many thanks to CRJMellor for this trade.
EDIT:
Just had a second bottle of this on Nov 10th, 2006.
Everything that I found in the first except noticed a smokiness to the aromas this time I didn't note the first time.
This is an extremely complex Old Ale...sweeter than most and I love it.

Photo of CortexBomb
4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is hazy, coppery brown with no head to speak of. Not much lacing. I like the colour but otherwise the appearance isn't striking. Smell is strongly of malts...molasses dominant too...oak...hard liquor...vaguely reminds me of the Kentucky Breakfast Stout's whiskey-esque nose. Almost mossy forest tones also present. Quite complex.

Taste...the oak bomb from the nose comes through in spades on the flavour as well. Oak and molasses tones are huge with malts not coming up far short of them. The mossy aspect from the smell is also present in the flavour in the background, but still noticeable. Finishes with a strong oak shot. One of the most cask flavoured beers I've had...not of the liquor that was kept in the cask, but just the wood itself. Distinctive and tasty, one of my must buy old ales each year.

Drinkability is good.this is a big beer, and it doesn't conceal it, but I always am up for it. The flavour is as huge as the ABV, and it's meant to be a sipper. It is a reasonable buy at about 12 per 4 pack, and I always eagerly await its release each year. Of the domestically brewed Old Ales this is probably my favourite, especially since North Coast changed Old Stock a couple of years ago.

On the mouth the beer isn't as oily as I would ideally I like my old ales, but it is very close to the ideal. It offers up some nice back of the tongue tingle to keep me interested, and does have a full body to back up the huge smell and flavour.

The bottom line: A nice effort by Founders...truly distinct from the other old ales that are out there with a beautiful oak cask flavour that is worth trying out. One of my favourites from Founders, and I've had most of their portfolio on multiple occasions. In terms of its style, it's my favourite domestic offering, and the taste chracteristics here are almost scotch like in certain ways, which is, of course, excellent. If you like ole ales you must try this.

Photo of midaszero
4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks stopbarking for the bottle

A - Cloudy dark red brown with almost no head at all

S - can smell it from a distance. excellent mixture of dark fruits, caramel sweetness, oak, and also toffee. a little bit of boozes to be detected as well

T - Oak aged raisins covered in caramel and toffee sauce. Nice clean finish with some alcohol to be had in the back.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - WOW I could drink this all the time it is simply amazing.

Photo of nightfly9
4.76/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of mctizzz
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of richkrull
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of DrewSimm
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of GoGators
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of AricGresko
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,755 ratings.