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

4,125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,125
Reviews: 1,198
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 172
Gots: 891 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,125 | Reviews: 1,198
Photo of ultralarry2006
1.2/5  rDev -70.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a slight head that quickly dissappeared into just a ring at the edges. Body was medium brown.

Smell - bourbon, it actually smells like I've poured a glass of bourbon, not beer. It's really bad for me so far. Some diacetyl as well ( which I sort of expected, but not the bourbon ) .

Taste - bourbon, some diacetyl, more bourbon. Aftertaste of bourbon.

Mouthfeel - full, not smooth, low carbonation, alcohol astringency.

Drinkability - not at all. I do not like bourbon.

Photo of mattcrill
1.22/5  rDev -69.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Stubby brown twist-off bottle. No useful label information.

Aroma: Bourbon, oak, and alcohol...this could be ugly for me.

Appearance: Cloudy brick red pour with a thin wispy white head. The head quickly fades to a perfect ring around the glass.

Flavor: Vanilla bean and oak. Gimme a break. No malts, hops, or anything that resembles a beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall impression: Drain pour. Glad I bought a single. Would someone please STOP the barrel-aging, over-oaked, over-bourboned silliness??? It's tired and it does nothing to showcase a brewer's talent or anything that fine beer ingredients can provide in terms of flavor. Avoid.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.42/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer pours a very cloudy copper with no head or lace. The aroma is of grapefruit, caramel, and bread crust. The flavor leads with a bitter grapefruit smack, like an IPA, followed through with a cloying, sticky sweet caramel with a medicinal warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is sticky and sickeningly sweet. Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) is a disappointing beer, not recommended.

Photo of Phyl21ca
1.57/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy brown color ale with a small foamy head with small rings of lacing. Aroma is super sweet, almost disgustingly so with some notes of alcohol. Taste is a huge mess between some intense sweetness, oily texture with some cloying notes of alcohol. I couldn’t find anything close to old ale but more of an American barleywine with some unbalance feature. I usually love product from this brewery but this beer did not profit from barrel-aging.

Photo of wardough
2.03/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

As a fellow Michigander, I was disappointed by this beer. Founders makes some great beers, so this must be an anomaly. It poured a beautiful dark amber into my glass. It poured very dense, almost like syrup, which is very inviting. It foams up to 1 finger then dissipates down to a light, white lacing. Smells is of vanilla and raw coconut. The coconut flavor overwhelms the smell of the beer. Taste is a little better. Hops, then raw coconut and vanilla, followed by a heavy alcohol finish. Mouthfeel is heavy, but lightly carbonated. The coconut flavor of the beer was so strong that this beer is not drinkable. Perhaps this would be alot better if it were better balanced.

Photo of bobhits
2.15/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

cloudy thick dark amber. LARGE pieces of debree. Thin off white head.

Strong alcohol and malt explosion in the nose.

One dimensional beer. Strong malty flavor, carmel, off tasting candy, some hops in there just barely. Barrel aging can be great, but this one looses flavor and lacks complexity.

The mouth needs more carbonation, and well the flavor just doesn't ask to be consumed. The alcohol kicks fairly hard and doesn't work well for me.

This beer just either needs age or just is a rare strike for founders. I think most beer lovers will enjoy this beer, but it's just not up to par.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.2/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours an opaque dark sienna color with absolutely no head. If I really excite the beer - and I mean practically stick this sucker ion a paint shaker, then I get about a half finger of head. It will leave tiny specks of lacing on the glass.

S - Oak, butter, caramel malt, alcohol and vanilla - in that order.

T - A smokey sweet bourbon oak flavor meshed with a caramel malt. These have a lot of buttery diacetyl and a fair amount alcohol underneath.

M - Very thick, a little harsh and actually a little parching. (Can something be a little parching?) It has a buttery texture that coats my mouth with a film.

D - I'm not a fan, but it is something I can handle. It isn't a terribly unpleasant experience either. It just isn't for me. I won't have this again. The closest beer I can think to compare this to is Avery's Samael's Oak Aged Ale. This doesn't come close in pleasantness though, it lacks all the pleasant fruit flavors and has a shitload of butter. It also reminds me a bit of Weyerbacher's Prophecy, but not as offensive, at least in my opnion anyway. This is just way too buttery throughout. If you like drinking bourbon butter, then drink this. Otherwise avoid it.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.21/5  rDev -45%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. An extra courtesy of busch03 (and a second from onix1agr). Thanks guys!

A: Pours a murky chestnut-amber body with no head whatsoever. A smattering of bubbles and a light collar around the brew. No lacing to speak of. Kind of disappointing , but I have had this experience with Founders a number of times...

S: Leans toward the sweet, malty side with a dark raisin and cherry character. Some molasses, toffee, slight wood, and booze.

T: Sweet caramel malt with a thick raisin, maple syrup, and molasses flavor behind it. Progresses into a slightly nutty toffee character with some wood and cherries. The finish is brown sugar with booze. It could use some balance. It began to get very syrupy and cloying after a while.

M: Full-bodied, with low carbonation that brings out the flavor -- good for the style. Alcohol is apparent in the taste and has a warming effect on the way down.

D: Tastes like diabetes. Disgustingly sweet, and a drain pour about halfway through -- and this is from someone who is generally to cheap to waste beer. Yecch.

Photo of ibbjamin
2.27/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $3.49 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I pour into a snifter to review.

A thick brownish orange elixir pours from the bottle. No head or carbonation.

Bourbon-like boozy nose with candied raisin, oak and caramel malt. Has an organic earthiness to it and even some slight butterscotch hints.

Taste is more reminiscent of a boozy barleywine than an old ale. A bit hot from the alcohol which is poorly hidden. Fermented dark fruits, bourbon, oak some caramel malt.

Almost no carbonation detected in the mouth. Medium-full body with an almost chewy texture and long finish.

Even taken as a boozy sipper, it really is not all that great. If I wanted to sip on booze, I'd go for some fine bourbon on the rocks, not a boozy old ale.

Photo of Michands
2.3/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Common, I really never judge on appearance.

S- Negativity bitterness of oak flavor

T- Awry for old ale and oak aged. Too bland.

M- Nothing much exciting. Nearly none flavor except flavor of oak

O- Wouldn't recommend. So bland. Except high ABV which is benefit for NASCAR redneck fans.

Photo of Steasy66
2.44/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Half a 12oz bottle into a small snifter

A- Deep garnet, zero head
S- Smells like a European macro-lager, really surprising for a beer this big.
T- Starts sweet, finishes crisp, a bit of vanilla in the middle. Not bad, just nothing noteworthy here.
M- Fairly thick, good carbonation
O- This beer is just bland. A big surprise from such a great brewery. I had a 3 year old version of this a few weeks back and thought it was terribly bland but figured it was past its prime. Its a bit better fresh, but not much.

Photo of Korbynlehr
2.52/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

Too much scotch or bourbon

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.52/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

From twelve ounce bottle states bottled 04/13/12.

This beer is a New style for me and I was not sure what to expect. Also, from the date, perhaps too old old ale! That said,
Aroma was a boozy, sweet caramel. Poured headless , cloudy ruddy body. Holding to light shows floating particulates. Taste is alcoholic and bitter/acidic. Overall : Nasty!

Photo of Minkybut
2.55/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this awful beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was the color of gasoline. The beer poured with no head at all. The beer smelled sour and had a sour taste that was not pleasant at all. Little bit of a burn to it and earthy tasting. I will not buy again.

Photo of BlindPig
2.56/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Thin off white head. Cloudy brown body with a bit of amber in it. Basically no lacing.
S- Strong alcohol. Almost like perfume. Some rich fruits and other rich smells. Can't really pin point it since it's not a pleasant smell at all.
T- The taste really follows the smell. Not in a bad way. Light alcohol. Has the perfume taste. It's really different and not to good.
M- Medium to full body very light carbonation.
D- Don't like this at all and don't see me making it all the way through.

Photo of oregonduck
2.58/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smell is different than the taste. Smells a bit odd and sour, with some spice. Yet taste is very malt forward and overwhelmingly sweet, with a bit of a spiciness. Sweetness lingers on the finish. No noticeable hop presence to balance it out. Hard to finish as it is so sweet and strong. WNBA.

Photo of Murchmac
2.6/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to zealot for this suprise beer in a trade, I think.

Pours a thick Honey Brown with lots of floaties in this bottle. Didn't know or look out to see sediment.

Smells like an old ale but kinda boozy. Like the drunk at the bus stop.

This might not be fair because all those yeasty floaties are giving it a very bitter taste??!! Not too good in my book.

I think this might not be too fair because the beer may have been poured wrong, but good beer should be idiotproof. The more I drink the worse it gets, so it might not be me. No soup for you!

Photo of corby112
2.61/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky dark chestnut brown color with a slightly yellowish jaundiced looking hues with a thin beige head that quickly disappears leaving no lacing.

Very earthy, swampy aroma with a little bit of creek water and old boot. Slight chocolate maltiness with subtle hops and a sweet alcohol presence which is very strong.

Again, the flavor is very earthy and leathery with a strong sweet alcohol presence, leathery maltiness, subtle hops, slight chocolate, brown sugar and dirt. There's also a strange vegetable presence with is quite unpleasant and a dirty bitter finish.

This was quite a disappointment for me especially since I love pretty much everything from Founders and enjoy the occasional old ale. I will have to revisit again in the future.

Photo of dedrinker
2.64/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Dark amber color. I smelled like caramel and cocoa butter.

The flavor was a mash up of Nutella, vanilla, cheap milk chocolate and caramel, more cocoa butter, macadamia nuts etc.

Full bodied, and the finish just kept bringing on the flaver mentioned above to make a beer that I had to dump out.

the over all impression was one of numerous artificial flavors.

I bought two bottles, and I refuse to touch the other one.

Photo of cokes
2.65/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Rusty peach-brown colored with little head development or lacing and loads of suspended particles.
The nose brings dry toffee, apricot, pineapple. But these are all muted by the papery, peppery oak. This also brings sub-bourbon notes of vanilla cream, butter, and hazelnuts. Muted is the key word, as paper/wood/oak and grain booze are the two major aromas, everything else is fleeting, indistinct, and ephemeral.
Caramel shows up more in the mouth, along with walnuts, and peanut skins. Oak brings burnt butter, vanilla, and bourbon-esque black cherry. But once again, the flavor profile thins immediately. Oak is more responsible for paper and bland pepperiness. Booze is notable, and seems to suggest sherry, but is equally devoid of gumption. Late black tea and cigarette ash notes.
Full bodied, lowly carbonation. So, basically how an Old Ale should be. I wish this was the norm rather than the exception.
I feel like I'm drinking this through a flavor-filter. A 9+% oak aged Old Ale, and all I can experience is paper, water-logged butter-caramel, and grain alcohol. It's like that very last, weakest sip of a Beam of the rocks.

Photo of RichardMNixon
2.67/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Copper body with yellow-white lace. Enticing smells of oak, vanilla, toffee, and chocolate pudding. Taste is a let down. Reminds me of cheap bourbon: woody, stale, and soapy. Possibly the 'chewiest' beer I've ever had with a metallic twitch at the end.

Photo of dino213aa
2.68/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Since I have no authority to speak on what an "old ale" should taste like, consider this a mild observation.

A: an attractive clear, burnished wood glow that fades golden near the edges. minimal lacing.

S: licorice, roasted malts, bourbon

T&M&D: This beer has a strong, bourbon like flavor that will smash you in the balls and give you a good talking too (especially at 9.8%ABV). Because of the strength of this ale- both in flavor and ABV, I can't imagine drinking more that one.

Photo of wheelinshirt
2.7/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Excited to try this one for a while, not really sure what to expect. Picked it up at Abe's for $3 or so, poured into a pint glass.

Less dark than i was expecting, it looks like a mahogany color with lots of little tiny sediment particles, some visible carbonation and a modest light tan head that receded to a thin covering and left hole sections of the glass covered in solid lace.

Smell is boozy and full of sweet dark malts, some dark ripe fruit, some toffee notes. Pretty nice mix.

But here is where things start to turn ugly. The taste is immediately boozy and sweet, as expected, but the bitter roasted malts don't seem to meld very well with the sugar and alcohol. Also, the burnt toffee (i think that is how i would describe that) taste is pretty upfront and not really to my liking.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Pretty damn good, actually.

Drinkability is severely limited by the combination of flavors that I didn't particularly enjoy. Someone else, though, might have this same beer and absolutely love it. Definately interesting, i might even pick one up to age it for a couple years, but, fresh at least, it isn't really for me.

EDIT: as i got down about halfway and it had warmed enough it basically just started to taste like rum. Had to pour it out because it wasn't worth trying to choke down. Only the second or third time I have had to pour beer out. Very disappointing.

Photo of jsh420
2.71/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottled 3/5/09

pours dark clear amber with small white/tan head that fades fast with no lacing

smell is all sweet candy carmel and alcohol - i could tell this was going to be a hot one

taste - i picked up some banana carmel and too much booze

mouthfeel was good light carbonation but not flat - body is on the a tad heavy and sticky

drinkability - not good this one need to sit a while

overall this beer is nowhere close to fresh old stock (which i love) but time might be on this ones side - i will check back in a year

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.73/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a burnt sienna color with huge, oily-looking chunks of sediment plopping down into the glass. That plus very little head means this is one ugly-ass beer - almost to the point where I'm afraid to sip it.

S: Quite strong with molasses, mint, and caramel, while darker fruits help augment the malt backbone. Pretty nice smelling, and a lot more promising than the look of the beer.

T: The flavor is hard to describe. The first sip is loaded with caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, and a little finishing booze; a few sips later, the profile changes to that of slightly burnt pumpernickel bread. Not as sweet as I expected, probably due to the age of the bottle and the yeast eating some of the sugar - despite that, it's still a bit cough syrup-y at times. Kind of boozy, also. Just a weird, strange beer, one that I'm struggling to finish.

M: Thickly textured, with tannins helping to neutralize the finish somewhat. Nice creaminess to start, before the body itself finishes slightly coarse and sticky. Rather boozy feeling on the throat in particular.

O: Meh. In fairness, this is not a good late afternoon kind of beer, but I still found it rather mediocre despite that. A rare misfire from Founders, but it's not completely irredeemable.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,125 ratings.