Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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89
very good
1,244 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,244
Ratings:
4,475
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
20.1%
 
 
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202
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1,078
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55
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,244 | Ratings: 4,475
Photo of gcamparone
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Bottled 4/19/12

A- pours a hazy khaki body with a light mocha 1" head that sticks around for a while.

S- sweet caramel, toffee, vanilla, sugar cookies. Bourbon-like.

T- starts out with some caramel, dark cherry, and vanilla notes and ends with a smokey, toasted malt and cocoa flavor. All of these notes go together quite well. No booze.

M- medium heavy body, medium low carbonation

I was really impressed with this brew. It's a super smooth, highly drinkable, complex old ale. As always, founders really nailed this one.

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Photo of hdrider
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a 1/2" orangish head and liquid is a redich orange. Good lacing. smells of molasses, brown sugar and dried fuit.
tastes of molasses, caramel, dries apricots maybe even vanilla. Good alcohol burn in the belly, but hidden well by the full rich flavors.
I like it alot in the late fall and winter at the fire.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/6/2012. Pours fairly cloudy red-orange color with a small dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, oak, biscuit, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with great complexity and balance of malt notes with light-moderate oak character that does not overwhelm. Taste of raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, biscuit, nuttiness, oak, light chocolate, light clove, floral, and toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, toffee, biscuit, molasses, oak, nuttiness, light chocolate, and light earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of malt notes with moderate oak presence; with a fair amount of hop balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible old ale! Awesome complexity and balance of malt flavor with moderate oak presence; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, dirty, orange/brown color with a small, tan , foamy head. It left soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel, some malt and boozy alcohol. Overall, a very sweet smelling nose.

T - The first fews sips were like drinking Brach caramels. Delicious! As it continued to warm the caramel flavor mellowed and it had a slight fruity taste emerge. A boozy alcohol flavor starts to come through as well.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is possibly the best old ale that I've ever had. It was sweet and delicious. It only gets a 4 on drinkability because it is so sweet and so potent.

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Photo of kkipple
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I dumped this into my snifter and was... uh, rewarded with a languid, billowy and sticky tan head that rose majestically atop this thick lookin' brew. Curmudgeon is a dirty rust-amber color with a ton of sediment suspended in the mix. Looks like something illiterate Cape Cod fishermen would drink out of lead cups to stave off pneumonia. I dunno. It's ugly, but somehow commands respect.

Not quite sure where to start on the nose here... let it warm, first off. A lot of subtle malt nuance going on here... sweet and smooth caramel notes, a hint of nut, and a VERY reserved juniper-pine hop note that reminds me of good Dutch gin. There's something woody and vanilla here, but it again is distant and quiet. The alcohol warmth is detectable but reserved for a 9% brew. A touch of lime citrus and oxidized booze (sherry) blend into the mix, and the result is a super smooth, old-tasting... old ale. Huh. I am really enjoying smelling this!

The flavor is likewise reserved and ultra-smooth. Big toasted grain-sugar malt notes are blended with smooth sherry, vanilla, grape tannins and spruce into a deliciously smooth and whiskey-like brew. Yes, I know there is no bourbon here, but it brings to mind some of the best small batch spirits I've had. This is what your crotchety, war-vet uncle wouldn't let you have as a kid. It is an adult beverage in every sense of the word. Old and rewarding, but it takes time.

The mouthfeel is superlative. Smooth, sticky and very lightly carbonated; this beer practically glides down your throat. Once more, this tastes like it has 5 years on it. The finish is brown-sugar sweet with sherry and just enough pine hop bitter to balance. Lingering, pleasing and smooth.

Curmudgeon is a beer to sip and savor. A wonderful nightcap, Founders has taken the old ale to dizzying heights. This is one of the best I've had. On those cold winter nights in front of a fire when you reflect on your life's failures, Curmudgeon will be right there with you, glaring and mumbling and somehow making everything seem a little bit better. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Archer Liquors in Chitown, thanks Randy!

Pours a cloudy brown/amber, thin tan head forms, nice thick lace ring around the glass, good retention, looks like a sipper! Smell is nice, bourbon, vanilla, raisin/date goodness, toffee, some chocolate, coconut, very nice. Taste is toffee, some bourbon, vanilla oak, coconut, very rich and malty, bit of roast, nice clean bitterness in the finish, just right. Mouthfeel is full bodied, low carbonation, nice heat going down. I could sip this for hours.

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Photo of BBP
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber brown with a decent head, but very weak on the retention. Slight lacing.

The aroma is of candied sugars and raisins.

The taste lives up to the smell, but there's also a slight grassy and spicy hop presence. When fresh it tasted supremely balanced and smooth. After a little bit of age, it's even smoother, but it leans towards the sweetness a bit more. It almost tastes like honey with some age.

The mouthfeel is Medium full, and medium heavy, and fairly creamy on top of that. The finish is moderately dry and sticky.

Overall, this is one of the most smooth drinks I've had yet. The blending was done very tastefully. I prefer it fresh due to the more noticeable hop presence, but it's still a treat aged.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby/brown/orange color with minimal head and nice ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet malts, oats, some sweet fruit, a pinch of hops, honey, cinnamon, and a bit of alcohol. Great scent, there is a lot going on here, but not too much, and the alcohol is balanced very well and not overpowering.

Taste of oats, honey, molasses, sweet malts, cinnamon, and some alcohol. Finishes with oak and some bourbon. As impressive as the scent, for being so fresh this is impressive to have such depth and strength, being balanced and complex already I can't wait to see how this is aged.

Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and harsh. A strong mouthfeel for a strong beer, good stuff.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky light mahogany, with a moderately building off- white head.
Bashfull carbonation recedes to a ring around the glass quickly, with only a trace of lace.
Aromatics start off with a "wow". Substantial amounts of bourbon, oak, cherries, brown sugar, and vanilla.
Boozy and rich, fruity and approaching vineous.
Alcohol is warming and the Curmudgeon becomes more approachable as he warms up.
Thickish and syrupy mouthfeel, slick and chewy.
Pallet is a bit brash and aggresive.. Subtle, is not.
Loads of residual malt, alcohol-soaked fruit, oaky tannins, toffee, caramel, and bourbon.
Bitterness to check, and alcohol is apparent and flattering, not overpowering.
Finishes a bit sweetish with warming bourbon notes and an oaky dryness.

A large example of the style, and should benefit greatly from extended cellaring.
Kickass.

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Photo of alexgrahamlv
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with a strong hint of redness in it. Very cloudy and cannot see through it. No head retention in this beer. In aromas there are cherries as well as raisins. On the taste there are cherries perhaps a slight brown sugar taste. There is almost a stale fruit taste but not in a bad way whatsoever. Full bodied, not heavily carbonated but produces a tingly sensation on the edge of the tongue. I actually enjoy this beer quite a bit. This beer is 9.8% but not a strong alcohol taste at all. Enjoy!

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Photo of argock
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date apparent. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.60.

A: Burnt amber with thin 1/2-1 finger light beige head that reduces quickly to a thin cap with spots of lace left.

S: Aroma is reminiscent of cherry-banana cake with caramel frosting with a woody, light citrus edge. Very bready and sweetly fruity all at once with a flash of heat.

T: The flavor is also very fruity with loads of caramel with cherry, banana, and date/plum accents. There is some toasted maltiness lending a bready quality. Cocoa notes are plentiful as well. Hops are pretty much in the background and add a little leafy touch.

M: The mouthfeel is lightly syrupy if that's possible. It is keenly coating while retaining some lightness, probably due to the even, perfect carbonation. Aftertaste is long and woody and resembles a cherry cordial.

D: A highly drinkable (and good value) old ale/barleywine with well-hidden alcohol and succulent sweet notes that blend together exceptionally smoothly. Another hit for Founders.

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Photo of tpd975
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one in a trade like most I now forget where it came from.... Whoever sent it Thanks!

A: Pours a reddish brown hue with a thunderous head. Quite a few bubbles but very little lacing.

S: Very big. Tons of malt, oak, bourbon, cherries and vanilla. You could pass this off for a very nice snifter of Bourbon.

T: The smell defined the taste in this one. Tons of oak. Like fine barrel aged bourbon baby yet soo much more complex. Besides the oak the alcohol is present, there is also vanilla and chocolate candied covered cherries. Lovely Brew.

M: Medium bodied yet clingy. Takes hold of my mouth and throat with the strong oakiness, and burns its way down.

D: Like Bourbon and Whiskey I would drink this one only in small doses. It's a sipper, but a very fine one indeed. To be enjoyed one bottle at a time.

Overall: I have gotten into the Old Ales recently and this one is a perfect example. I would like to get another and age it a bit to see what it does to the flavor. If the alcohol taste died down a bit, that would be a plus but this is one very complex brew. Founder's is quite possibly my second favorite brewer out there and as I continue to taste more and more of their expertly crafted brews such as this one; they continue to gain on Stone which at this time is my first.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage poured into founders snifter

Two finger off-white head dissipates over several minutes to a very fine layer and bubbles relegated to the ring around the glass -- what's there is a bit fluffy, but minimal. Red/copper coloring, with floating particles. Smell is delicious -- vanilla, molasses, malt, and hints of the oak in which it was aged. Love the smell. Taste follows the nose very similarly, except for sweetness. It's very sweet and for me, not particularly drinkable, meaning I don't think I can drink this every day. Vanilla is prominent, with malt and molasses; the sweetness somewhat masks the oak. Mouthfeel is smooth, syrupy, medium bodied, with some carbonation. Aftertaste is sweet and vanilla. Over I really like this beer -- it gets better with age. I look forward to tasting my 2011 vintage later this fall when it has 18-20 months on it.

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Photo of jtell
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a red with slight caramel coloring. Little to no head and no lacing. Smell is of pure bourbon. Vanilla, oak, malt, and sweet. Its all there. If I hadnt poured this out of a small bottle I would have guessed it was a bourbon. Taste is exactly like the smell. Strong, oaky, little to no carbonation. This is a great after dinner sipping beer. Couldnt really imagine having more than one of these but I will definitely enjoy the one that I have. I had this about 1 year ago and it was very sweet and tasted like bubblegum. It has aged into a sweet, but not cloying beer. It is a very nice beer.

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Photo of Mavigo
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this a few times before. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a sumptuous ruby, mahogany color that is accompanied by a 1/4 inch tan head that lingers for a few minutes before dissipating completely. Has a few patches of lace but not much.

S: Incredible aroma, smells of licorice, oak, honey, caramel, plums, yeast, molasses, cinnamon, malts, spices

T: A quite sweet and flavorful beer. It's a bit syrupy but not overtly so, honey, oak, molasses predominate with tinges of plums, yeast, and cinnamon coupled with a slight alcoholic kick at the end.

M: Full bodied, slightly carbonated, very thick and rich. Drink slowly.

O: Conforming to all my other experiences with Founders beers, this was incredible. I rarely drink old ales, I know this is not my first but I can't remember my last but this one will always stick with me. Expensive yet it's nose and mouth candy, got to have this one.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color without much of a head at all.

The smell is intense and dominantly bourbon, vanilla, cherries and a little coconut.

Medium bodied, the mouth is initially conditioned by the alcohol, but that effect doesn't linger. A hint of carbonation...and that's all this one needs. Definitely a warm ale and a sipper at that.

The flavor has the classic old ale caramel molasses thing going on, and the bourbon character complements it really well IMO. It's quite sweet but doesn't have that lingering, coating character.

Drinkability - This one is nicely done. I'm assuming that these would probably have a decent shelf life too

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - carmel, amber, no head, unfiltered, fine lacing.

S - fig, plum, oak, spices, malt, honey.

T - sweet fruit, honey, molasses, bread, with oak/smoky and mild bitter + tart finish.

M - medium/heavy body, velvet smooth, light carbonation to hold

D - Big sipper and mighty fine brew. This gets better as is reaches closer to room temperature. I will hoard the 4 pack I bought for special occasions over the next year and share with worthy beer geeks. This beer once again proves to me why I love Founders, just damn fine complex and delicious beer.

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Photo of ksimons
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours an amber color with almost no head. Visible carbonation bubbles

S-sweet and malty. Smells of vanilla and something sort of earthy, maybe the oak

T-very similar to the smell, sweet and full of malt. As Founder's says an insane focus on the malt, which is very true! Towards the middle/end you taste a very light bitter hops which helps even it out very nicely.

M-medium to full body, minimal carbonation, very smooth, thick, and dry

D-very good Old Ale, I would get it again. Not sure I could have more than one at a time, but it is great for what it is

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Photo of tedsox31
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The color is a darker amber color with a medium head that dissipates stubbornly and leaves some lacing down the side.

Smells of caramel, spices, toffee, and some fruit. Smells good.

The taste is sweet, of malt, caramel, and coriander. There is not much of a hop presence until after I swallow, in which it then lingers. The coriander comes through as it warms, and I do not taste much of an alcoholic presence despite the abv.

This is a clean, medium-carbonated feel, and not too heavy.

A very quaffable beer. Probably wouldn't want more than a couple because of the deceptive abv. More of a "sipper". I'll be enjoying the rest of this 4 pack.

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Photo of mpedara429
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured out a copper color with one finger of a orangy tan head. Not much lacing or retention to speak of.

S: A very sweet caramel and oak aged smell. There are also some fruity notes like raisins and over-ripened strawberries.

T: Very much like the smell, but not as sweet and potent. There is a nice earthy hoppiness balancing out the immense sweetness that could've been imagined by the smell. There is a fair amount of booziness.

M: Medium, sticky body that is a bit creamy. Medium-light carbonation. Surprisingly lighter and smoother than expected.

O: Better than some of the other Old Ales I've had. I like the lack of sweetness in the taste of Carmudgeon. Old Ales tend to be very sweet for me, but this one had a nice balance to it. Normally, I'd be one and done with an Old Ale, but I could see myself wanting a couple of these in a session.

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Photo of mikecharley
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out of the twist top into a balloon glass. Appears dark and murky copper, with a twinge of red. Really no head to speak of, save a ring of tan around the edge. Leaves no lace, however the style rarely does.

Nose is of sweet malts and some brandy-ish alcohol (only a little). Also some dark fruits are present(very subtle). Prunes, figs, raisins, some plum and cherry in there too.

The taste is wonderful. There's some wood in there as well... Gotta love this. Dark fruits as the nose would suggest. Some subtle vanilla as well.

The feel is right on for the style. Just in between medium and full bodied. Seriously perfect.

The 9.8 gets to you by the end of the glass, and the alcohol presence should mask itself after a while in the cellar to improve this aspect.

Overall a great brew. I am going to immediatly seek out a case for the cellar to see how this champ does!

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle (Denotes brewed with molasses and aged in Oak, where other years did not say this on the bottle) Poured from a bottle into a 50W tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color, that almost appears amber when held to the light. At onset there appears to be very little head and then a billowing, off-white head rushes up quickly and clings to the side of the glass, eventually leaving a nice frothy, latte-like rim around the top.

S: Strong caramel wofts. Butterscotch, malts, vanilla, some oakiness, and molasses shines well. The smell is extremely complex.

T: Boozy. The caramel and molasses character are very present. Some dark fruit sweetness, balanced with some vanilla. Strong malt character and heavy oakiness to also balance out the sweetness.

M: Medium-Full body, but definitely closer to the full body. Creamy. Boozy, but smooth. Dangerous.

O: This one tastes a little different with every drink. Great complexity, but not all over the place. The balance of sweet, but not being overly sweet with some bitterness and the oak character was done really well. Glad I have a couple to age as well - I'm interested to see what happens with some age.

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Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Tulip Glass at the Blue Dog, Chalfont- (number 9 in a series of tastings for the 2010 Holiday).

A- Deep amber, with a fluffy bone-colored one finger head. Good lacing, nice retention.

S- very interesting aroma- malt, with a nice sweet edge. Thoughts of hard candy come to mind in a subtle way.

T- Malt, sweet toffee, hint of hops, and a slight alcohol nip. All play well together to present a very balanced strong ale that's not over the top.

M- robust, light fizz, medium to strong body. Good presence.

D- One of the best strong ales I've sampled- will likely get better over time, but in a young form it's not "in your face" strong and very repeatable.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

hazed slightly murky dark brown beer with very little head. pretty much what one expects from an old ale.
the aroma contains tangy vanilla, caramel, something like a roasted coconut, soft bourbon, toffee, a little booze, that nice "aged" aroma (don't know how better to describe it, but it's not oxidation), oak and some fruity vinous characteristics maybe like raisins... in no particular order.
the taste moves in about exactly the direction i want it to judging form the smell. vanilla bourbon oak, but not in the overdone, masking way that it seems to be used sometimes. caramel and toffee make their appearance spiced raisin flavors here to,but pretty minimal taking a back seat to a lot of maltyness.
soft, slick coating mouthfeel, medium bodied, with minimal carbonation.
good drinkability the alcohol is present, but never burns or becomes abrasive, it just stays pleasant and warming.

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Photo of MacDomer
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - A bit of an aggressive pour results in a huge two and a half finger thick, pillowy head which lasts forever. The color is a very nice dark saturated amber/rust color with some deep blood-orange highlights. Just gobs of sticky white lacing.

S - Very appealing nose. Loads of vanilla and sweet rum-soaked fruitcake, hints of bourbon and wood. Some faint hops at the end. It's complex, but could be a bit bigger or more powerful than it is. Not that it's weak, but it would easily be able to handle a larger nose.

T - Again, vanilla, light bourbon and wood, light and medium fruits. Sweet, like brown sugar and browned-butter baked peaches. Lots and lots of caramel. Both fruity and spicy mid-palate and nice warming alcohol at the end.

M - Really great mouthfeel! Fuller body, super creamy and smooth. Low carbonation. Finishes pretty clean with a long finish. This is super, super silky.

D - Pretty high considering the ABV. Very tasty brew and the flavors don't get tiring, and with the great mouthfeel, I had no problem drinking this beer and could easily drink another one or two.

Another great one from Founders.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,244 ratings.