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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,188 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,188
Hads: 4,206
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 177
Gots: 946 | FT: 54
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,188 | Hads: 4,206
Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BuckEyeNation

Pours a cloudy brownish color, quick fizzy head, nice carbonation, left some little islands around. The nose is of malts, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is sweet slightly malty, very much bourbon, nice touch of vanilla. Medium body. Drinkable, quite a different old ale, but very tasty. Highly recommended. (334 characters)

Photo of bahumutx
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper with hardly any head.

Smell: Great aroma! Caramel, cream, dark fruit, vanilla and slight alcohol. There is also a brandy like aroma that is present.

Taste: Starts with a nice sweet malt flavor that resembles caramel. Goes on to an alcohol flavor and ends with a nice roasted malt flavor. There are some slight flavors of dark fruit and brandy.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel. Somewhat creamy with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Due to the higher alcohol and complexity of flavor this is definitely a sipper in my book.

Another great beer from Founders. I enjoyed this on a cold November night and it did the trick of warming me up. An great example of the style. (756 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that I've sat on for about 12 months, after a trade with ATPete, thx! Poured into my Delirium snifter, Old Curmudgeon is hazy rusty brown with an pretty dense light sand head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is sweet cured fruit, golden raisins and medjool dates, definitely a lighter feel then the more common raisin and prune notes. Softer at the cellar serving temp, the fruits really opened up more at room temp, some kiwi, which I thought was very distinct and enjoyable, before the caramel started to dominate, with some clean alcohol vapors coming through at the end.

Taste is pretty rich and sweet, there are some oak and vanilla notes that make me think this is barrel aged, although I really don't know anything about it. Very nice though, with some of the light tropical fruit notes from the nose, ABV well hidden for sure. Lots of depth and super tasty without being a palate buster, I'm super impressed.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy, medium bodied. On the drier side but not as spicy as I'd expect from the ABV.

Drinkability is high, wow. Super tasty, smooth, easy drinking, a killer old ale for sure. I can't believe how easy drinking this is with only a few months on it's belt, even it it had a few more when I bought it, it's still probably less then a year old. Wow, great beer! (1,325 characters)

Photo of Josh012012
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Must have drank hundreds of these. I Having said that, I feel these are best just above freezing and from the bottle. Sorry.

For me the drinkability of this old ale is what sets it apart from the crowd. These go down way too easy for me. I am usually a stout sipper but sometimes I just want to get drunk. When I am in that kind of mood this is my go to beer. Served just above freezing, these provide me with a great tasting malty beer that gets the job done quick. For me the best tasting most complex beer I can drink in large quantities. (542 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brown and thick-looking. small head that receeds to just a coating of small bubbles. looks like a glass of watered down maple syrup. sweet odor with hints of chocolate bars, ginger, pine, toffee, oak, ethanol and dates. Very delicious taste. sweetness is the first flavor along with kind of a sharp alcohol bite, but this quickly mellows to a fantastic mix of chocolate, cherries, oak, dates and a fudgey/caramelly blend. Extremely smooth mouthfeel. Way to go again, Founder's. Im looking forward to my first breakfast stout and my second kentucky breakfast, both of which are burning holes in my DBF. (601 characters)

Photo of chilidog
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd been waiting to stumble upon Old Curmudg for some time, I'm glad I finally got some. This is my second bottle of the four. A clean palate makes a differance.

It pours a toffee reddish murk. A good tan head that maintained well. Lace was wise like as it bearded the glass lightly.

The aroma was mild though malted vanilla and oak could be noticed. The flavors of the taste pop the hints of the nose.
Good caramel malts spashed in a rum like vanilla bean raisin.
Bourbon barral notes carry thru though the alcohol is mild given the 9.3%. Its very smooth and easy on the mouth.
The non-intrusive alcohol aids this very drinkable old ale.
A wise Old Ale indeed! (664 characters)

Photo of Converge
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into 16oz tulip.

A - Pours a deep and hazy reddish-copper color with a small, soapy beige head. The head quickly settles to a thin skiff, despite a hard pour. Spotty bits of suds cling to the glass, but no substantial lacing here. There's also a good amount of haze clouding the body up. It even looks pungent and flavorful.

S - A complex, pungent aroma of big earthy malt and assertive hops. Big caramel malt, molasses, toffee, treacle, a touch of musty wood, and some inviting oak. The hops lend both leafy and earthy notes, as well as some unripe stone fruits, namely apricots and tangerines. Light notes of smoke, maple, vanilla, and some boozy sweetness come through as well.

T - Pretty much follows suit with the nose. The first sip is a barrage of rich malty base and assertive, herbal hops. Earthy notes of wood and oak are balanced by sweet maple, vanilla, and toffee. Tons of caramel malt, and big rich sweetness, almost to the point where it becomes cloying. But this is quickly balanced by resinous earthy notes of smoke, molasses and wood. Finishes with a solid punch of hop presence, herbal, earthy, leafy, even some tropical fruits and pine. As my palate adjusts after the first sip, the balance really comes into play. While the flavor profile is huge with sweet malt and bitter hops, the balance really keeps it drinkable. There's a touch of warmth from the ABV in the finish, and some residual boozy sweetness as well. Overall, a delicious, drinkable, and unique flavor.

M - The body feel thick and full, and even a little creamy, but is balanced well by a carbonation done just right; nice and fine keeping the overall feel smooth. Doesn't finish too dry, but does give a little heat at the finish from the ABV. As with most beers of this nature, a sticky residue builds up as well.

D - Overall this was a real treat for me. To my inexperienced palate, the assertive presence of both malt and hops here sort of reads as a barley wine. However, I find this more accessible and drinkable than most barley wines because the hop presence and alcohol doesn't become too overbearing; this remains drinkable and very tasty throughout. While I probably wouldn't consider this much of an old ale by my standards, it's certainly a unique beer, and I certainly enjoyed it. (2,305 characters)

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Believe this ones from early 09. Still had the twist off top, and opened with quite a pop. Poured into a snifter, quite a bit of floating sediment. Dark brown with some amber highlights. Head faded quick and is remaining only as a soapy looking ring around the glass. Aroma is a malt bomb on this one, huge caramel presence. Some brandy aromas and a good booziness. The malts are forefront in this aroma. Exceptionally sweet and malty on the palate, super silky. The silky mouthfeel accentuates the maltiness of this brew. Has some tart flavors as well, almost like bing cherries. Big and sweet but with an underlying tartness. As stated before, the mouthfeel makes this beer what it is. So smooth and drinkable, must age well because from what I can tell, this is almost a year old. (783 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky melted toffee with blurry orange and amber edges. The pour resulted in scant head formation, just one finger of brown sugar colored cream that doesn't look as though it's interested in leaving much lace. That's okay, the beer itself more than makes up for it.

I like the nose, but it could be deeper and more complex. Maybe warming will help open things up a little. I smell earthy caramel, dark fruit and a hint of cocoa. I've read that the 2006 vintage (this bottle) was aged in bourbon barrels. Unless something changes on the palate, I have my doubts about the barrel-aged bona fides of this batch.

Thankfully, Curmudgeon takes on more of a winning personality on the taste buds. I was beginning to think that Founders lost their touch for brewing great beer. No worries on that front. I love what I'm tasting at this point and should be blown away once the slight chill is lost. It tastes like one of those ales that likes to be at or near room temperature.

A prodigious amount of caramel malt is present, resulting in a 'sticky toffee pudding' flavor the likes of which I've rarely encounted. Accessory flavors include dark rum-soaked raisins and dark brown sugar-crusted bitter orange peel. What a fantastic confluence of sweet and bitter. Sweet wins handily, by the way.

Alcohol is beautifully integrated, while still providing a power and a presence that all old ales (the good ones anyway) need to have. I'm still reminded of rich, mellow dark rum, but thanks to the caramelized sugar and vanilla notes, I'm no longer scoffing at the possibility that this bottle is from one of the bourbon barrel-aged batches. Say that five times fast.

The mouthfeel is dangerously close to perfection. I've had bigger old ales and I've had sticker old ales, but I've haven't had too many that possessed this combination of size, smoothness and silkiness. This stuff is so easy to drink that I've almost drained the entire bottle when I thought I was only halfway through.

Curmudgeon is yet another outstanding beer from Michigan's best brewery (sorry Mr. Bell). There are very few beer artisans who nail each and every style like these guys do. That's why they're on my list of 'Top-10 American Craft Breweries' and will be for the foreseeable future. If you want a delicous old ale that is pretty close to the gold standard for the style, seek this one out. (2,366 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Fireworks Pizza

A-Brown appearance with a small tan head and light lacing.

S-Aroma of caramel, molasses, dark malts, chocolate, earthy hops, oak, dark fruit, toffee and licorice.

T-Similar flavor, rich and malty with medium sweetness and minimal to light bitterness.

M-Full body, slick and smooth with soft carbonation.

O-Pretty surprised, very enjoyable, great sipper. (392 characters)

Photo of allergictomacros
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy dark amber. Good head of light brown foam. Creamy and sticky.

S - Very floral. lots of oranges, apples and alcohol with some toffee. Very pungent.

T - Tons of flavor. Big alcohol complexity, sweet apple cider and bracing finishing bitterness. Creamy orange taffy.

M - Heavy thick feel.

D - Reminds me of candy but with a bit bitter finish. Tasty but really heavy and sweet, almost cloyingly so. (409 characters)

Photo of njmoons
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden red, with a nice head that dissipated slowly. An exceptional looking beer.

Smell of quality Ale yeast with apple, dark cherry notes and a hint of vanilla.

Taste was just what i am looking for in an Old Ale, malty ale with hints of dark cherry and apple. These flavors are present at the start remain through the middle of the sip. The ale finishes with a light alcohol burn and a typically ale tartness.

I found this highly drinkable for a high alcohol beer, and could have easily had a second. (513 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - It pours a ruby-russet hue, quite translucent, with a short-lived white head and not much lace.

S - Caramel, toffee, and naked barley are balanced by a slightly floral hop. I can't really recall how this is any different than Dirty Bastard, though hit seems a bit more well-rounded. The nose becomes less appealing as it airs out, though.

T - In addition to the character expressed in the nose, there are elements of vanilla and a perceptible earthiness. This brew tastes like the stepping stone between Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard, to put it simply.

M - Silky and smooth, slightly larger than medium-bodied, and with a booziness the leaps out beyond the finish.

D - Quite nice, though I prefer my Old Ale to be bitterer (and therefore hoppier.) Believe it or not, 'bitterer' is a word (according to MicrosoftWord) and it is more preferable in usage than 'more bitter'. So please go back, fellow BAs, and correct your verbiage in prior reviews, as I have done here. (981 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pours into my glass a muddy brown with hints of amber shining through as well. A small head rises up and dies to a ring around the top just as quickly. A few particles floating around in there as well. Aromas of sweet bread, caramel and dark fruits meet upfront followed by a big vanilla aroma that is reminiscent of bourbon, although I don't believe this beer was barrel aged. Some sweet spiciness as well. I'm really enjoying the nose on this one, quite deep and complex.

First sip brings a dense sweet malt upfront with flavors of caramel and bread alongside dark fruits with a noticeable cherry. It flows down with a subtle yeasty spiciness and a good shot of vanilla yet again. Brandy and bourbon flavors come to mind with each sip. Finishes slightly sweet. The big, bold flavors in this brew really shine and make for quite an enjoyable drink.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat viscous with a middle of the road carbonation that suits the beer well. It grabs on nicely while still finishing clean. I really enjoyed this brew and I'm glad I have another bottle. I could see myself indulging in a couple in a sitting for sure and I plan on buying another four pack if I see it available. Founders has impressed me again with this one! (1,262 characters)

Photo of prototypic
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a very hazy, garnet tinted brown color. The head is off-white and about a finger and a half deep. Retention was short lived and light lacing lined the glass. I suspect the 9.3% abv got to it.

Smell: It's very sweet and malty smelling. Mostly smells like caramel malts. There's a healthy dose of dark fruit there as well. Raisin and plum aromas are strong. Alcohol is no doubt present. Very prominent. There is a very unique aspect to the nose here. Something about it just reminds of standing on a wharf taking in the smell. It's not exactly fishy. I can't quite put my finger on it. But, it's very unique and I like it.

Taste: Loads of caramel malt hit the palate first. Very sweet and malty. Really nice base for this beer. There's are some plum and raisin flavors, but they're not quite as strong here. They play a nice complementary role however. There's a slight bit of spice to it. Not strong, but a nice touch. Slight vanilla taste emerges late. Alcohol is actually blended very well and is not as noticeable here. Slight warming effect though. I can't say there's any single, unique flavors that jump out here as one did before. But, this is a really great tasting beer nonetheless.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's thick and incredibly smooth. Carbonation is pretty and really helps it attain a smooth, creamy feel. Drinkability is good, though somewhat limited by the high abv and big feel. It's truly a big, filling beer.

Old Curmudgeon's a kick ass old ale. Founders makes awesome beer. I'm really in awe of their seasonal/limited releases. They're easily one of the top brewers out there. If you're into big, thick, flavorful beers, this one's for you. Highly recommended. (1,706 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allowed to warm and served in a Snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours opaque brown with a two finger tan head that fades fast. A tan color remains around the rim.

Smell: fruity. First thing that came to mind was mango. Honey malty milk balls, raisins dark fruit and a touch of booze; finally a very appealing woodiness in the aroma.

Taste: Warm caramel, maple and wood flavors with vanilla oak and fruit salad. Very tropical and fruity but not quite all dark fruits; there is a bit of plum but then more fruit flavors like mango and papaya soaked in spiced rum with a sprinkling of spices and shavings of coconut. The aftertaste is delightfully spice and lingers for a long long time.

Mouthfeel: Particularly soft. Really there is no reason to drink this beer to cold. the smooth texture only improves as the temperature rises so... I say drink it at cellar temp or up. IMO.

Drinkability: I sipped this beer for hours tonight. It has long since reached room temp and is every bit as enjoyable as when I started. It just so happened it mad a perfect sipping beer while I was working on other projects.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,145 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doing a side by side with Bell's Third Coast Ale. This one was up first.

Poured into a snifter a dark orange color, bordering on rust, with no foam despite a hard pour and no lacing. Sediment was left in the bottle. Nice deep aroma of caramel, ripe fruits, and light booziness. Flavor is a nice mixture of toffee and caramel with only lightest bit of hop bitterness on the finish. Very sweet, brown sugary, hints of licorice, lightly spicy. Caramel apple is a good comparison. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden for such a high ABV, but a slight warming can be felt as it warms up. Caramely delicious brew. I really enjoyed this one. (669 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a lovely copper amber with a quarter inch off-white head, nice lacing in dots, arches and spiderwebs. The aroma was a bit perplexing to me, for some reason full and boisterous one whiff, dull and receding the next. That said, plenty of woody port wine, some brandy, some dark fruits, some other stuff that my dysfunctional nose is having a hard time distinguishing.

Taste is full and malty, some nice alcohol warming drifts through. Some caramels mix with resinous hops, honey oozing around, rum soaked dark fruits through the finish. Mouth is full, warm, a bit slick with nice, fine carbonation. In all, quite a tasty beer, rather enjoyed it. (665 characters)

Photo of waltonc
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle with Joey Schlitz. This beer is carefully calibrated to cause me to love it. I had this after drinking a bottle of Angel's Share, and the flavors were somewhat similar, though mouthfeel and appearance are significantly different. Curmudgeon allows light to pass through it, and has significantly less carbonation.

Taste: Curmudgeon gathers all of the best elements of a good barleywine, without the unpleasant heat and unnecessary hopping of some (which I acknowledge is a very controversial viewpoint that many will not agree with, especially on the west coast). Sweet, thick, carmel, malts, toffee, fruits. This is a dessert beer. I want more. (661 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Delicious on-tap. Poured a hazy chestnut with a short, creamy head, and some rough lacing. Smells sweet with some brandied eggnog aromas. Tastes similar. Very long flavors, sweet and creamy and rich with notes of vanilla, nutmeg, cinammon, and cardomom, with a pleasant boozy note. Very creamy and smooth as well as rich in the mouth. Big and delicious. (353 characters)

Photo of jpro
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Northbridge Piggly Wiggly... Poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

A: Pours a gingerbread brown, with a light tan, pinky-width head; retention fades to a thin ring that leaves no lace (as expected at 9.8%).

S: Wow... A very rich aroma... heavy caramel malt; rum cake; maybe a touch of brown sugar; nutmeg (?); some alcohol aroma floats the nose, too, giving it a little heat.

T: Poppy seed cake; sweetbread; fig; pretty impressive hop finish - a lot of citrus / earthy / leafiness on the end; complex.

M: Medium-full body; higher carbonation; a touch syrupy / oily on the palate.

O: A very nice old ale - one of the better one's I've had; on the same level as Bell's Third Coast old ale; really good stuff. (721 characters)

Photo of ChugginOil
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark honey-brown color with a fingers worth of off white colored head. Leaves walls of lacing as the head dissipates. The nose brings notes of bready, dark, caramel and sweet malts with the high ABV well masked. The taste follows the nose quite closely here. Sweet caramel, roasted toffee, bready malts. 0 hop characteristics. No bitterness. The mouthfeel is creamy and fulfilling as it coats the palate.

Bottom Line: This brew is very well balanced and offers some great sweet tastes that aren't seen in many other brews. The intensity and richness make this one a sipper but with the superbly masked ABV, this can be hard to do. I do wish it was cheaper but you get what you pay for 10 fold here with Curmedgeon. (732 characters)

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle served in a snifter. Poured a clear reddish copper with a finger of off white head. Big complex aroma of malt, oak, and some hops. Full bodied and rich. Flavors of chocolate and vanilla from the oak. A bit hoppier than an British style old ale. Long finish with more oak and chocolate. A big, rich flavored beer with a lot of different flavors going on. Nice! (377 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque magenta appearance, slim, thinnish head...likeable, for the style.

Wicked aroma, twisted, thick with dark fruit, port wine, brandy, anise, a bit woody, alcohol evident...fading a touch from the first...but a formidable presence right off the bat. Strong in all aspects.

Tastin'...Thick, clingy, full,old, huge, massive...what, again? A little sweet, and deliciuos,...yum...yum, yum, yum...Gets to mellowing here, and there, but still a magnificent presence. Nice barleywine, I mean "old ale". I mean, "whatever", all the way around.

Sweetness succeeds in the end, emboldened by the great fruity flavor and matched up with the booze. I love it. That's a fine compliment, from one curmudgeon to another. (720 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brownish amber with a small white head.

The smell is molasses,caramel and spices.

The taste is malty, caramel, brandy, vanila with a touch of alcohol.

The mouthfeel is is fairly thick with medium carbonation.

This is a tasty beer, rich and full of flavour. Pretty sweet like a brandy liqueur. (315 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,188 ratings.