Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,138 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 4,138
Reviews: 1,200
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 173
Gots: 897 | FT: 53
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,138 | Reviews: 1,200
Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm never clear on where the line is drawn between an old ale and a barleywine - this beer could happily land in either category. Body is a bit syrupy, redolent with dark, aged fruit flavors - prune most apparentl A boozy edge is a slight detraction. Finish is smooth with a lasting caramel note.

Photo of tzieser
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this on tap @ sunset grill and tap in Brighton.

Poured a deep dark brown with a very small head that simmered into almost no lacing

Smelled extremely malty and oak-y. Extreme malt smells, with some hints of alcohol. Hops are practically non-existent

Tastes great. I don't have much experience with Old Ales (save for Ola Dubh), but I'd imagine they would taste very similar to this. Very, very malty...probably caramal malts that have turned into a very unique taste with age....very very woody, oak-y taste dominates the pallate. No hops here. I liked the old flavor very much. It tastes musty-- like an old attic would smell like (if you could imagine). The 10% abv is well-hidden by the way

Mouthfeel was good, a little oily, but I'd imagine thats what the style is supposed to be

drinkability is pretty bad. the beer tastes great, i just could'nt imagine coming back for more....especially at 8.99 a 13ouncer

Overall- I was gonna get this, but at 15 bucks a 4 pack-- I backed off. I had to get it when I saw it on tap. I'd say definitely get it if you see it on tap, but don't bother getting a 4 pack....unless you love old ales...

Photo of Etan
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stout glass.

A: Pours a murky caramel color with a nice tuft of egg-shell foam. Good retention and lacing.

S: Tangerine, molasses, caramel, green grape skin, woody spice.

T: Huge sweet molasses, tangerine, big coconut and mild vanilla, brown sugar, sweet hop resin, ripe grapes, solvent alcohol, brown bread, a bit of burnt grain and pleasantly warming alcohol on the end. Sweet molasses and oak lingers.

M: Soft, almost light-bodied. Bit of creaminess from the carbonation.

O: Very sweet from the molasses, almost overly so. Pretty decent.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky copper color, hard pour yields not much more than a quarter inch of quickly receding head.

Smell is caramel with deep wood and alcohol notes. Floral hops are quite pungent as well.

Taste starts off with some nice caramel malts and oak, but a little bit of mustiness creeps in and prevents the flavor from really shining to its true potential. Lots of bitter pine hops on the back end. Tastes sort of like an aged american barleywine, the musty aspect is the only real negative.

Medium bodied, some alcohol burn in the finish. Perhaps needs some time, I was surprised at hotness of this one.

Nice beer, the alcohol heat is the downfall in terms of drinkability though. Worth buying maybe once a year, but I wouldn't want it much more than that.

Photo of crossovert
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Bottled 2/10/10.

Pours into my snifter a beautiful clear reddish orange with a creamy ivory head that lasts for a good amount of time before slowly receding and leaving some nice lacing.

The smell is luscoius. There is tons of caramel and butterscotch. It is also earthy with a touch of hops. There is also a stark dark fruit scent. It is a very luxurious looking and smelling beer.

The taste isn't as good as the other two but it is very good. It is alot more bitter than expected with a nice hop bite. The malt is here too and it is almost cloyingly sweet. There is an abundance of caramel on the palate.

The mouthfeel is thick but has a nice, smooth carbonation, it is slightly cloying but not overly form the sugar and alcohol.

The alcohol in this one isn't perfectly hidden but it works well and makes this one feel like a strong barleywine going down.

Overall it is one beautiful looking and beautifully scented brew, the taste is good but not spectacular.

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color with slight ruby accents and a small tan head on it that quickly dissipated into nothing and left no lacing. The smell is dominant of dark fruits (plums and raisins) and caramel malt. I consider this a "malty" nose, and I like it on this cool fall evening. The flavor profile hits heavy with all of the caramel malt in the nose coming full force on the palate with other flavors or dark fruit, banana, and a spot of sweet molasses, but the alcohol in this offering also comes through in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation and a good shot of warming alcohol is present. The drinkability is very good on this beer, and I could have easily drank another one.

Another great beer from Founders.

Photo of kmeves
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy mahogany. Very small tan head even with a rigorous pour. Not much lacing to speak of. The nose is VERY rich. There are amber malts, dark fruits (most notably black cherries), vanilla, and some very mild piney hops. Taste begins with piney hops, more than the nose hinted at. It's followed by raisiny-sweet amber malts and a touch of whiskey/bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a very rich and full bodied, very light on the carbonation...I would have liked a bit more carbonation though. Alcohol is present, it definitely warms you on the way down. This is a pretty intense beer - first that I have had of this style. Can't say that I could drink a lot of these, but was nice for a night when you're in the mood to kick back and enjoy a beer.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Curmudgeon has a brownish-red body and a finger or so of tan head that has good retention and minimal lacing.

Tons of malt in the nose with a lot of warmth as well.

The two words that describe Curmudgeon best are definitely sweet and boozy. A touch of hops comes through with some earthy flavors and a punch of citrus as well as a bit of bitterness, but it's all malt after that. Big notes of molasses mix with caramel and toffee. All three are well represented here and combine to give the beer a flavor that is something like pudding. Dark fruits come next, and they taste as if they were soaked in booze. A little bit of powdery cocoa dries things out a bit, as well as a spicy oak flavor, but mostly this one is all sweet and heat. The finish is quite hot actually.

Hot on the tongue, with a body that is a touch thinner than I would expect, but still solid.

Curmudgeon is somewhere between Old Ale and Barleywine, and although it is drinkable, the nearly 10%ABV is unsurprising.

Photo of pootz
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Something special for a great warmer on this cold October evening.

Poured an opaque dark brown ale in the glass with a 1 finger tan cap that reduced to a surface clinging lace .

Aromas of dark dried fruits, mustiness oak barreld whisky.

Thick malt spine, oily mouth feel, rich complex boozy character.

Up front you chew on some thick date muffins then a rush of complex layered flavors: raisins, vanilla with coconut, white chocolate, cherries in brandy over the smokey oak -earthy musty tones...finishes up long and wet where the hops attack the complexity and the alcohol shows up, the result is near an oak barreld burbon flavor in the finish.

This ale delivers quite a lot of strength and flavor and comes off like a burbon whisky flavored barley wine....very nicely done.

My sample was fairly young but I bet some time in the cellar would really mellow this and bring out even more complexity

Photo of jamie2dope
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Grabbed a single of this in Cambridge. This will be my second time trying this brew, but the first as far as trying it from the bottle. Poured into my Stella glass a ruby color, with a small white heading. Smell is dominated by raisin, maple syrup, molasses and a bit of caramel. Taste is right along the same lines, with the maple syrup and raisins shining the most...is very sweet and sugary. Body is full and isn't afraid to throw its weight around with the alcohol. It is there and you will know it after a bottle. Great beer, but the intense flavors and in your face alcohol make it a difficult beer to drink. Reminds me a little bit of North Coast's Old Ale, which is also quite enjoyable. A beer to sit down and take your time with. Cheers

Photo of BeerTruth
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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?

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008. Poured from a short 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours a light golden color but fills the glass on the reddish side. Leaves a light tan and small creamy head that dissapates quickly. Light fizzy quick sliding lacing. Appearance is hazy with tons of setiment floating around.

Aroma is mild, but semi-sweet, malty, and dark over-ripe fruits...perticularly raisins. Very slight booze...similar to bourbon.

Wow,hmmm...I don't think this is aged in bourbon barrels, but definitely has a bourbon like flavor. Raisin flavor is a little strong. Medium body, high carbonation...boozy. This beer has some resemblences to Bad Habit Quad by Founders. Overall, a good beer...but closer to a Belgian style dark ale than an Old Ale in my oppinion.

Photo of thequeen711
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ale from Founders that pours a golden/coppery colour. The frothy pour leaves a light lacing after settling. Very smooth mouthfeel, sweet fruity taste, and somewhere in the aroma I detect oak and vanilla. The ABV is well hidden, didn't realize it until I stood up!
Another keeper from Founders

Photo of warnerry
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mostly translucent amber color with a lot suspended debris, almost feels like being in chemistry class and accidentally precipitating something out of a titration with one too many drops of acid.

S - Tons of sweet caramel malt and an aroma like iced tea coming through.

T - Again the sweet caramel malts dominate,though alcohol is also very prevalent. Getting some hints of fruit (cherries?), vanilla, and some nice hops on the finish.

M - Pretty moderate mouthfeel for an old ale; alcohol is a bit too prominent for my liking.

D - Decent drinkability for almost 10% abv, but due to the flavor profile I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

Photo of alleykatking
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from growler. Thanks Luke for once again sharing!

A- Poured a dark caramel color. Very little head pops up and turns into skim on the top of the beer. No real lacing but coats the glass...hmm.

S- Big time sweet malts in this one. Some brown sugar or molasses. As it warms up some vanilla somes into play. Light toffee and darker fruits make up the aroma.

T- Lots of sweet malts in the upfront of this both caramel and toffee. The darker fruits come in next but mix with a alcohol presence very well. Light oak flavor along with vanilla. A sweet alcohol in the backend of this.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little off and made the beer feel more heavy than what it was. Tons of malt left on the palate with some alcohol soaked plum in the aftertaste. Flavors were big and bold. Left my palate very dry after each sip.

D- This beer is always a struggle for me and I don't know why. I enjoy the taste but it is always a sipper for me. It is always a welcome for me but sometimes too much for me to finish. One of a few beers that is like that for me.

Photo of JulioH
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Odd. This beer is a very dark ruby red. It looks like burnt sugar. There is almost no carbonation at all. It smells like old wood, probably aged in barrels, and like wine and fruits. Taste not like a beer in the traditional sense. Very flat and without fizz. It feels like drinking a fortified wine. Interesting to say the least. If Old Ale was not on the description, I would have dismissed it.

Photo of tekstr1der
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It seems this thing needs to mellow while sitting for a while. As served, it was a murky light brown with quickly dissipating off-white foam. Smells of cooked sugar, booze, and wood. Flavors are too varied. Some sweet molasses with alcohol and oak. Slightly rough finish/linger of woodiness. The first disappointment I've had from Founders. Perhaps expectations are high here.

Photo of Cresant
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this undated 12 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip. Minimal head was achieved and it quickly melted to a thin collar. Particulates cloud the reddish-brown body.

Smell was of bourbon. Kool-aid powder grape. Rich fruits.

Tasted of alcohol. Malty. Cherry cough syrup. Bourbon. Wood. Strong but never overpowering.

Mouthfeel was smooth and rich. Mildly carbonated. I found this one to be filling and too bourbon-like for my beer drinking tastes to it drink regularly.

Photo of Stunner97
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- very amber in color with little to no carbonation in terms of bubbles to be seen, head starts very thing and just about fades away to nothing

Smell- vanilla, malt, malt, malt, caramel and molasses, raison, very sweet malt based nose

Taste- though certain a beer with a decent amount of malt to it there is quite a bit more hop bitterness than I would of expected, slight vanilla and woody sweet ness is detectable from the oak, would be interesting to see what some age on this would do to the flavor profile, basically can be summed up in tons of up front malt with a firm and solid handed hop finish, finishes moderate to long, overally pretty enjoyable flavor and extremely balanced,

Mouthfeel- decently heavy thick and smooth, very strong drying finish,

Drinkability- easy drinking for sure as this beer walked way more of a balance then I even had expected with malt and hop, goes down dangerously fast hard to tell this is 9.8 percent at all, while this beer is certainly good not sure yet if I would call it great rather just solid, oak adds a nice touch and the heat of abv is minimal to none, I feel though it would made it less balanced I was almost hoping for a bit more malt from this than amount of hop they threw in, at very least I would certainly try this again

Photo of sleuthdog
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured into tulip. Bottled 4/13/12

Appearance: What the hell is living in this one? A ton of sediment just suspended in the beer with no movement. Color is nice copper-orange and obviously not a transparent beer with all the sediment. Head was minuscule and off white.

Smell: Dark fruits, molasses, burnt sugar, caramel. Some oak and vanilla too with a mild nut in there as well.

Taste: A sweet beer for sure with caramel, molasses, toffee at first. Dark fruits such as raisins and figs with bitterness on the finish. I do get some oak and maybe a little vanilla.

Mouthfeel: I'd call this thick and creamy because it definitely does coat the entire mouth. It's surprisingly easy to drink at 9.8% abv but the alcohol does show itself as it produces a nice warming effect in the throat.

Overall: I like it. It's a nice beer if you are in the mood for a rather thick and sweet beer.

Photo of ditch
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark orangish red with an off white head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smells of roasted barley, raisin, oak, and a bit of vanilla.

Tastes of sweet barley, vanilla, dried dates, with a slight citrus and pine background. pretty well rounded.

Mouthfeel is a little weak. Low carbonation. Near the end of the glass it starts feeling oily.

All in all not a bad beer. Not something that will be on my list of keeping around the house. For the 10.99 a four pack, I would rather be drinking a Dirty Bastard for 8.99(which is quite delicious, by the way).

Photo of Vonerichs
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours very thick, bordering syrupy, and has a caramel color. There is very little head or lacing despite an aggressive pour.

This is weak in the smell department. It does have a caramel sweetness to it with a hint of vanilla. Even though the smell is faint, it is pleasant.

The dextrins give this a sweet smell of caramel and vanilla. There's a strange aftertaste of artificial sweetener. Up front and in the middle this is a good tasting ale, but the aftertaste is a little off-putting and resembles aspirin.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with a light cut of carbonation.

This has an alcoholic burn to it but it's expected at 9.3%. This is a sipper, but enjoyable.

Photo of projectflam86
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep murky orange/toffee color with a thin white foam head that leaves some scattered lacing.

S- Coconut, alcohol, and dark fruit are by far the easiest scents to pick out. Fairly musty.

T- A nice caramel/toffee flavor initially that gives way to fruit and coconut tastes in the finish. The alcohol is quite prominent and the aftertaste is similar to a coconut rum.

M- Decent carbonation and a medium/full body.

D- A decent brew that didn't quite live up to expectations.

Photo of herman77
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange with some brown. Slight haze to it. Light tan head. Decent amount of fine bubble/spider web lacing.

S: Malt. Honey, oaky, slight whisky/alcohol. Strong dates smell as well.

T: Honey, oak/woody. Very strong candied toffee and carmel malt. Maple syrup? No real sign of hops or bitterness. It kind of tastes like a candied walnut. Boozy near the finish. Alcohol is present, but not overly present. Its defiantly there though. A malty bomb for sure.

M/D: Medium to fuller body. Pretty smooth over the palate. Low, and very soft carbonation. Drinkability is pretty low for this since its a malt bomb. Intense woody and candied malt flavors and the alcohol factor bring down the drinkability. More of a sipper. Something about this makes me think of fall. Its good, but I can't see myself ever having more then one in a night.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,138 ratings.