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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(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 marcobrau
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Curmudgeon pours a very hazy light brown color without much foam, but enough of a head that settles to a nice collar. The aroma is intoxicating (alcoholic) with a dusty sort of caramel-toffee character. This is a fairly tasty Old Ale for sure, albeit a very intoxicating one. It has the sugary sweet caramel notes that I like in an old ale, along with an interesting bourbon character, but could use some more fruitiness and not as much alcohol coming through. Perhaps this brew just needs some more aging. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and quite good, although the body is a touch thin. A highly alcoholic Old Ale for sure, but still good. One at a time is probably a good idea.

Thanks go to RedBaron for the bottle.

Photo of krantul
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

As we can perhaps discern from the label, this is an unapologetic, strong beer. It pours a dense, cloudy brown color, and has an oaky, almost scotch-like scent. It tastes like an english ale with a dollop of good whisky; although it has a certain pervasive boozy flavor, one that is certainly somewhat unbalanced, it's appropriate for the style. This is a full-bodied beer, almost to the point of chewiness. It's not what I'd call eminently drinkable, because of its kick; I found myself sipping it absently, like a neat whisky.

Photo of andylipp
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance -A deep orange amber pour with ¼ inch of head in my tulip. The head quickly dissipated to a thin slick. Coats the glass with each swirl.

Smell -Sweet malt, caramel, alcohol, wood, brandy and port.

Taste -A malty toffee sweetness quickly gives way to an extremely complex palate of dried fruits, oak, whiskey, some hoppy bitterness and a long, woody finish. A late hint of vanilla/caramel in the finish, also. Nice.

Mouthfeel -The body had some nice viscosity to it, yet the carbonation was a bit too skimpy for me. Warming alcohol as it goes down.

Drinkability- It's a sipper, to be sure. More than one at a sitting would be too much. It shows every bit of it's ABV in every sip, yet it is fairly smooth.

Comments- I wondering if a few months in the bottle might take the remaining edges off of this one (but the screw-off cap makes me hesitant to try it).

Photo of tzieser
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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 TheodorHerzl
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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 zeledonia
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled April 2012. Tasted 8 November 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a medium dusty amber brown. Can't see through it, but I can see far enough into it to detect some little particles suspended in it. Surprised by that, as I can't remember another Founders beer that had yeast or floaties in it. Half finger of yellowish head, gone fast little lacing. Not the best on appearance.

Smell is malty and rich, full of dark fruit. Slightly smoky. Also has a light alcoholic air.

Taste is definitely in the realm that I'm looking for, but it's not much beyond that. Malty, semi-sweet, and tasty, but lacking real depth. I don't know, I guess I was expecting more from this beer. Alcohol presence was big at first, but faded as it warmed. It reminds me a great barleywine that's had the best of it sucked out.

Medium-heavy body, kinda weighing on my tongue. Medium-low carbonation. Feel is just fine.

This beer is close to being really good, but it's lacking the punch, the depth, the pronounced flavors that I was hoping for. Not bad, but for a big malty beer (which I tend to love), it didn't wow me.

Photo of tburkhart
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start this review by saying the Old Ale style is not something I am overly familiar with, but I figured I give this one a shot coming from Founders.

The appearance is a hazy dark orange with little to no head. What little head is there clings to the side of the glass leaving no lacing what-so-ever.

Smells of slightly roasted raisins and quite possibly some toffee and other dark fruits. Carmel malts come at you front and center.

Many carmel malts come through on the back of the palate. Almost a acidic bitterness. Very "bitey". Notes of the alcohol come through as well.

This is definitely not a session beer. A few of these in a night could put you right to sleep. All and all, not a huge fan of this style, but will try some others to be certain.

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of breakingbland
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured in to a pint glass.

A scant off-brown/tan head developed and dissipated quickly. The beer is a dramatic reddish gold with hints of ruby.

The aroma is not particularly strong -- malty sweet and no hops presence.

The main flavor component is malty, roasty sweetness. It has the characteristic oak-aged flavor: vanilla and bourbon -- but not too strong in either -- plus some tobacco. It's a high ABV beer, but the alcohol is well integrated with the other components. The hops take a back seat to the sweetness at first but then linger for a while at the end.

The body is full, bordering on being thick, and the carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, this is a very nice beer -- fun to drink as there's a lot going on in it (it's oak aged and contains molasses). It has a good balance between the sweetness and the hops. It's a good dessert beer, but would probably pair well with the right foods.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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 gford217
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of hoppymeal poured into a snifter.

Pours a murky reddish orange with a creamy off-white head that lingers as a thin cap for quite a while and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is heavy on sweet caramel malts and dark sweet fruits. There is definitely a wood and bourbon presence but not overpowering. There are some floral hops up front as well.

The taste is boozier than the aroma with lots of bourbon and oak throughout. The flavor has the sweetness of the caramel malts and molasses but it takes a back seat to the barrel character. The flavors meld a bit better as it warms.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth but with good carbonation. Just coats the mouth wonderfully.

This is an interesting old ale and I think it would have been even better for me without the overpowering barrel presence in the taste. Nonetheless, a good sipper.

Photo of sleuthdog
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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 BeerTruth
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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 hardy008
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with no head. Smell is of sweet caramel malt, a variety of fruit, and a whiff of alcohol. This is a sweet beer with noticeable alcohol, and hop bitterness which makes this one nicely balanced. Can taste pears and dark fruits. Medium to full bodied, well carbonated. The drinkability is good, but the alcohol is more noticeable than I would like. This is still a good beer which I would buy again.

Photo of thequeen711
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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 cratez
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from International Beverage in Grands Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a murky copper-brown hue with amber edges, a sliver of eggshell white foam, and several dots of lacing on the snifter. Solid appearance, especially for a high gravity beer.

Smell is vanilla, molasses, oak barrel, brown sugar, hazelnut, English fruit cake, table cream, red apple, cinnamon, milk chocolate, nutmeg, spruce, hint of sherry, fig, and ethanol. Unbelievably rich and layered aromas.

Taste is good, but does not live up to the nose. I get dried fruit, toffee, brown sugar, milk chocolate, caramel, and raisin with an astringent bitterness and some oak wood on the cough. Decent enough.

Mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied, higher than average carbonation, a little foamy, medium tingly bitterness transitions to a drying finish. Alcohol warms the insides while eluding the taste buds.

Overall, Curmudgeon makes for a pleasant night cap, but I would probably buy Hibernation, the Ola Dubh series, and North Coast Old Stock before grabbing this one again. A serviceable Old Ale that falls short of the greats.

Photo of zac16125
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter
Bottled on: none, must have rubbed off

A: Pours a dark copper, nearly brown with just under 1 fingers width of tan head. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Tart apples, candied sugar, molasses, subtle caramel. Interesting, but not terribly complex.

T: Pretty big sweetness with caramel, candied sugar, and molasses. Some cocoa and oak notes. Subtle bitterness. Taste is more like an old ale than the aroma, and is quite good.

M/D: Medium bodied, a bit thinner than I anticipated. Carbonation on the heavier end. ABV is very well masked and drinkability is good.

O: Good, not great but certainly worth a drink. And with its mass availability its probably something I will visit a couple times a year.

Photo of jrenihan
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is reddish-brown in colour, with a small to moderately sized off-white head. Head fades quickly, but good lacing.

Nose contains molasses, oak, malt, toffee and a bit of dark fruit. The molasses and oak are strongest.

Taste also strongly contains molasses and oak. Burnt toffee, herbal flavours (I want to say juniper). Very "tree-like". Some booziness.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Astringent and a bit oily.

Overall, good, though not great. The molasses is a bit strong for my liking.

Photo of primaldiscord
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of ComatoseGI
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of prdstmnky
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 10/16/10*

Bottled on date: 2/4/10

After about 8 months in the cellar, decided to give this Old Ale a go. Pours a nice amber color w/ some mahogany hues, a 1/4 inch of creamy tan head and little retention. Very sweet nose, molasses, caramel, dark fruits (raisin, plum, cherry). Tastes just like it smells - sweet and malty, with hint of spiciness. Creamy and smooth in the mouth, could use a touch more carbonation though. I didn't take notes on this fresh, but less hot than i remember it being, so laying it down a bit atleast accomplished that.

Im not a huge fan of the style, but this is a solid take - A nice sipper on a cold night.

Photo of gcpanda
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber color, little to no head which quickly dissipates with very limited lacing. Strong oak and bread aromas. A definite sweet, thick, oak flavor with the thick consistency typical of a Founders brew, which doesn't quite hold up as well as the Stouts due to lesser complexity. Very subtle spice notes emerge through the alcohol and oak notes. Reminiscent of a good rye bread.

Photo of JoeBloe
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are intially light with bready and biscuity maltiness; a slight amount of fusel alcohols. As this warms, however, much more emerges. You can detect some nougat and caramels; almost dead on for a Milky Way candy bar.
The tastes begin with brown sugar and treacle/molasses; quite typical for the style. There is a hop presence, bitterness and flavors, but they are not decernable over the malt flavors. Slightly citrusy and earthy.
Mouthfeel is quite full with adequate carbonation. Overall this is a good example of an under-appreciated style of beer, if you purchase a fresh bottle I would recommend letting it cellar for a little because the alcohol was slightly detectable. Founders knows how to make strong beers well that's for sure.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found just one tucked in the back at Colonial Spirits. Acton, MA

Nice reddish-orange body. Minimal head.

Nose is rich toffee, molasses and a hint of bubblegum,.

Flavor is rich and sweet. Smooth and strong. Restrained hops are there, but this is about "Big Malt"!

Warms a bit. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall, drinkability is pretty good. This is really a winter sipper, but I wanted something to make my post-work Friday afternoon more enjoyable. Mission accomplished!

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