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
89
very good

1,183 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 1,183
Hads: 4,166
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 178
Gots: 914 | FT: 52
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
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Reviews: 1,183 | Hads: 4,166
Photo of warnerry
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (1,077 characters)

Photo of JulioH
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (395 characters)

Photo of tekstr1der
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (376 characters)

Photo of Cresant
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of Stunner97
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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 (1,294 characters)

Photo of sleuthdog
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (892 characters)

Photo of ditch
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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). (575 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (679 characters)

Photo of projectflam86
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of herman77
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (838 characters)

Photo of thirdeye11
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ktown67 for bringing this to me for an in person trade!

Presentation: Pours an absolutely gorgeous deep orange/rust color with no head at all from a vigorous pour, some bubbles rise to the top but don't stay around long. Laces the glass extremely well.

S: Smells very sweet. Lots of caramel in this one. Not complex, but straightforward and nice. Maybe even a little sweet smelling for a guy who loves sweet beers. Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose too.

T: Taste is oddly up front with hops and caramel both, but somehow they're not really balanced. They're just both strong flavors and don't seem to play too well together. Despite this I find the beer highly enjoyable and like how it tastes.

M: Carbonation is really nice for the style, and the weight is just right too. I wish there had been some head to give this beer some creaminess though.

D: The alcohol presence in the flavor profile might lower this some. I could probably have drank 2 of them if I had more than one, but I think given its alcohol and sweetness the line would likely be drawn at 2.

I liked this beer; in fact it was extremely similar to a local barleywine we get called Sisyphus. In fact I would probably need to have them side by side to probably notice any differences. (1,266 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A- Super hazy orange/amber with almost no head to speak of with an aggressive pour. Awesome looking alcohol legs.

S- Smells of Molasses and lactose sugar, A slight bit of dark fruits as well.

T- A big bit of caramel up front followed by a wave of a light bitterness. A lot of the dark fruits come through in the middle of the mouth. A slight oakiness. No alcohol taste whatsoever.

M- Low carbonation and silky smooth, a creamy feel that goes down rather easily. Not too heavy and is easy to drink at 9.8, a slight warming. pleasant aftertaste.

O- Never had an old ale before and to be honest I was expecting a little more. I was expecting someting along the line of a barleywine and an imperial stout. This is however a nice sipping brew and I look forward to seeing how it does with age. (833 characters)

Photo of schroederm
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a snifter:

It's body is reddish with some amber in there. Pours with no head really, but it may have been too cold. Smells are inviting but subdued, and include cherry and generically estery. Quite sour. Bitter and tart finish with obvious alcohol. Cherry and molasses noteness. The sourness is overall very enjoyable. Good body, and well carbonated. The fact that the flavor is so overpowering diminishes drinkability a bit for me. (436 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy orange color with a decent tan head. There are plenty of floaters in this one as well. The head recedes to a layer of bubbles across the top and leaves some spotty lacing all over the glass.

S- At first I can pick up some malts both sweet and caramel. Can also find alcohol, a woody smell, and bourbon.

T- Again I'm blasted by malts here. Followed up by a woody, light bourbon taste and some darker fruits that I could pick up with the nose. Alcohol finishes this one up.

M- Medium to full in body and low to medium carbonation.

D- A sipper for sure but still fairly easy to drink. (601 characters)

Photo of drumrboy22
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. Beer was a dark, rusty brown color, with a one-finger head. Light carbonation and little lacing.

Aroma was rum, brown sugar, malt and booze.

Taste was vanilla, raisins, oak, caramel, malt and light bitter hops.

Medium, not too thick mouthfeel. Not as boozy as expected. A nice sipper. (343 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber body with reddish highlights. A thin but creamy white head caps the beer and sticks around for a while.

Aroma is very sweet, molasses up frond and just plain out malty in general.

Pretty much a malt bomb on the balate with just a bit of a lingering bitterness on the end. Sweet without being too sweet, and nice oaky flavor that I've come to really appreciate.

Mouthfeel is rather full and creamy. This really compliments the malt character well.

Overall a very interesting beer, and quite different from what most American breweries are putting out these days. Certainly one I'll have again, but not in the same night. (642 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of oak, dark fruits. Taste is oak, alcohol, dark fruits, malts, a light sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer. (241 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 04/19/2012. 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Dark red body. Slightly hazy with some sediment and slime rolling into the glass in the last ounce. One finger off white head settles into a thin cap. Great lacing and retention with alcoholic legs.

S - Molasses, toffee, oak, brown sugar, plums, and a touch of vanilla. A bit harsh with some alcohol notes but incredibly sweet and inviting.

T - Strong toffee notes with some molasses, brown sugar, and caramelized dark fruit sweetness. Smooth with some oak and vanilla on the end. Boozy warmth with a lasting malt bitterness.

M - Low carbonation. Body is lightly syrupy and big on the booze.

O - Excellent aroma and a great taste, but the booze creeps up fast and becomes a bit too much. Some aging would do wonders on this beer, but at a few months old its not terribly impressive. I do prefer Old Stock to this. (878 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly fresh bottle picked up from MSCM. 12 oz. poured into a CBS snifter on June 3rd, 2012.

A - Looks a bit like Backwoods Bastard, meaning lighter (than expected) cognac clarity and coloring with minimal eggshell head. Mostly amounts to edge-clinging bubbles. Marginal retention and lacing. Low to moderate alcohol legs.

S - Absolute must to get this one at cellar (or even room) temp, otherwise it's just too mellow. I get a mix of Quadruple and Old Ale/Barleywine aromas. Maple syrup, light molasses. Dark, winter fruit - figs and plums moreso than raisins. Slight spicyness. The oak barrel lies on the fringe of the nose. No alcohol presence.

T - Very little sweetness overall. This leans much more in the direction of ripened dark fruit and rich chocolate bitterness. Moderate to heavy rye spice and breadiness from mid palate through the back end. Maple wood, earth, lightly-charred oak barrel, and further syrup. Balanced aftertaste of bitter resin and malt grains. Minimal alcohol warming through the finish.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, somewhat smooth, semi-dry finish with barrel-like finishing qualities.

D - I like this. It has a lot of the elements I would hope for in a well-made English-style Barleywine/Old Ale and seems to do just fine without the addition of some form of liquor or wine barrel. The taste is noticeably better than the aroma. I'm not sure this has enough body to stand the test of time in a cellar and show significant improvement, though I think it's worth the gamble. (1,520 characters)

Photo of Hokies
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a copper shade with some reddish hues and a decent one inch off white head. A little lace lasts and sticks to the side of the glass.

The aroma is filled with sweet caramel malts, molasses and oak.

The alcohol is quite warm with strong molasses and malt notes. Some dark fruits lie underneath the malt with some raisin notes. The oak does tend to mellow the alcohol but it would do well with some aging.

With the alcohol being quite hot on this one I would expect it to be tough to drink but gets better was it warms. Probably will buy again and age it. (595 characters)

Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Appalachian Vintner in Asheville. 2010 vintage.

A: Murky, hazy amber with suspended sediment. An aggressive pour leads to a thin sliver of an off white head, which quickly recedes to bubbly puddles and a white thin halo. No visible carbonation in the body.

S: Caramel, molasses, boozy cider notes off the initial pour. As it warms, I get some candied sugar and raisins.

T: Molasses and caramel off the bat, followed by some vanilla. Some muted fruit notes: pear in particular. Bitter crabapple hop notes on the aftertaste.

M: Not great; actually quite average. Slightly watery, with a bit of carb and a touch of warming booze. Mediocre.

O: I was expecting a lot more depth from a vintage version of this--maybe I need to have it fresher. Not bad, but not worth the price tag. (796 characters)

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a translucent dark brown with a white head which quickly dissipates. Some lacing as well.

S - Wow the smell really packs a punch. Smells very sweet. I can really smell the molasses.

T - Based on the sweet smell, I wasn't expecting a balanced beer. I could not have been more wrong. Earthy, hoppiness balances out the sweet, malty flavor very nicely. Closes out with an expected alcoholic finish.

M - Full bodied, somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Low carbonation level.

D - While this might not exactly qualify as a session beer, I found this to be very drinkable. I think the high level of bitterness really helps offset the sweet, slightly syrupy aspects. (664 characters)

Photo of dheacck11
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice deep burnt orange color with thin head and scant lacing.

Honey, caramel, malt on the nose.

Little shot of scotch to start, followed by ripe wood, honeysuckle, some hints of molasses. Very gentle hoppiness. Not boozy at all

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little bite at the end. Ends up feeling thicker than it actually is at first.

A solid old ale example, but could be a little more complex with the scotch flavors. Would also have liked a little bit more body, and to taste the booze a little bit... (516 characters)

Photo of ne0m00re
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09/04/10- Had this on on-tap at the Founders brewpub.
A: Burnt orange, nice large cream head.
S: Spicy (almost pumpkin pie), cinnamon brown sugar. Not very strong.
T: Caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, sweet malt, with a green leafy hops finish.
M: Very creamy, frothy, and moderately syrupy.
D: One glass is good. It is a little too spicy. (352 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.