Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,196 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,196
Hads: 4,244
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 184
Gots: 956 | FT: 55
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: 1,196 | Hads: 4,244
Photo of ClavisAurea
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 1/13/15 served at cellar temps in a tulip glass.

Appearance: light red or copper with a nice one finger head that sank to a rim of foam. Love the bottle art of the old salty sailor.

Nose: malty and sugary sweetness, fruity hop aroma, scotch ale sweetness and malt character, found and full nose

Taste: rich and robust, fruity, slight hot alcohols rom the fusels, great mouthfeel and kinda referencing when freshly poured, coats the mouth when warmer and the carbonation has gone. Lingering fruity and slightly bitter finish.

Overall: hmmmm... I didn't get the molasses. I do see how the thick mouthfeel would suggest a thick and rich syrup. Missing key ingredient aside, I really liked this is a great old ale/barleywine. It is kinda annoying that American Brewers can't use the name barleywine. They have to say "barleywine-style ale". They say this can be aged for a bit for added complexity. The malty backbone and alcohol content suggest this is a good collaring candidate. I'll hold on to the remaining 3 for a while and see how things change.

 1,068 characters

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a single 12 oz of this guy after really being impressed by the Breakfast Stout. I really dig the artwork of the labels, and always love me a stubby bottle. Poured into an oversize snifter after letting it warm to room temp a bit.

Curmudgeon entered the glass a milk, honey brown. Head is basically nonexistent, which is a cause for concern for this particular bottle. A thin film around the edges, leaving very minimal lacing. Also leaving much to the imagination is a lack of much in the sell department. Though, in its defense, as it warms they come more alive. Gooey caramel, spiced fig, and other sweet candied notes come alive, in what is obviously going to be a nice big malt bomb.

And a big malt bomb it is. My eye lit up instantly. After beginning to be let down by this brew, the taste really came in guns blazing. Curmudgeon begins by coating your tongue with a rye bread, moving to the back of the mouth releasing the sweetest of old ale yeastiness. Tons of sweet sugar, a big carame punch, and dark fruits. The finish is balanced out with a slighty grassy bitterness. Finish also is quite dry, keeping your hand in constant swing for more.

While starting slow, this one finished with a bang. Technically this isn't my favorite, but for sure I'll be loading up my closet with these.

 1,309 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased way back in Indiana in August, only to let it age further in my cabinet and then my fridge until today. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a snifter. No bottling date - I'm still going to assume that this is 8-12 months old.

Pours a dark amber color, complete with about a half finger of frothy white head. Some large bubbles appear on the top, but due to the beer's age, soon dissipate. No bubbles show. Leaves behind good lacing, but no stickiness. Looks very viscous, and given the style and age on this thing, that's exactly what I'd expect.

Smells like a good sherry mixed with an English barleywine, and I'm most definitely going to credit the aging process in this case. No clue how this is fresh, but it's great as an old ale should be - notes of caramelized, dried raisins, dates, and apples meld with a an array of spices from the malts, yeast, and oak. Molasses is obvious, but cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg are pretty prevalent. Finishes with a dry, oak-laden sensation that reminds me of sherry - slightly oxidized, nutty, and bready. The hops are pretty much gone here, but the malt profile is shining. To be honest, this could only get better - the caramel and dried fruit notes are excellent, and more time will allow them to shine.

Tastes as smells, although the malty, bready finish does, in fact, remind me that this is a beer that I'm drinking instead of a sherry or marsala. Immediate notes of dried fruits, ranging from raisins to dates, and then a brief, bright showcase of caramel, toffee, and honey. Finishes wet, with some slight dryness from the oak and concentration of caramelized sugars. The brief molasses notes opens up a spicy, slightly bitter texture, and the oak notes at the end are filled with spices ranging from nutmeg to baking soda. Slightly lactic as well, as you would from a Chardonnay that's gone through malolactic fermentation. Finishes with an herbal, near cannabis tinged hoppy profile. However, the sugars are really subtle and only further compliment the dried fruit and bready (akin to fruitcake) characteristic that makes this beer unique. Very creamy and supremely easy to drink. Alcohol is very well hidden. Complex, but enjoyable.

Man, this is Founders' malt brilliance at full form here. I really wish I had tried the maple bourbon barrel aged version of this some years back. This is an excellent take on the old ale style, and it seems to only get better with age. A sipper, no doubt, but I should have had a damn cigar for this occasion. Absolutely, as with all of this brewery's malt forward beers, completely recommended.

 2,593 characters

Photo of brewdoc75
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a huge fan of a good old ale. As I am planning to brew one this weekend, I thought I'd give this a try. I have a four pack squirreled away for aging. This is about 6 months old. I'm sure it gets better with age.

A: Amber to brown with beautiful amber hues. A minimal white head sits on top, but dies to nothingness quickly. Carbonation is light to medium.

S: Caramel, toffee, raisins, and plums. This is followed by a hint of oak and vanilla. Nice and complex. Very inviting.

T: Starts out with velvety caramel and toffee. This shifts to raisin and plum fruitiness. The end is full of vanilla and oak. The aftertaste has a hint of bourbon like flavors. The hops balance out the bitterness and add just a hint of citrus. Just enough alcohol to keep it warm and complex. Finishes with moderate, brown sugar sweetness. A very flavorful old ale.

M: Velvety, smooth, lightly carbonated and rich. Very nice.

D: This is a very nice old ale. Definitely one of my favorites. This one is a bit young, but still fantastic. I bet it will age with the best of em. The toughest part about aging this beer will be the waiting. It may not make it another year or two. If I see another 4-pack, I'm picking one up.

 1,206 characters

Photo of beveritt
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Thanks to NavyMSC for passing this one my way. I have had this in my fridge for a while and am just now getting around to sampling it. Poured from a stubby 12 oz brown bottle into a snifter. Label depicts and somewhat stodgy looking old man in all black. Not sure of the age, but does it really matter?

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 finger of tan head. This settles to a thin coating of foam and a few small islands randomly dispersed throughout the glass. The beer itself is a the color of tarnished copper, maybe a little darker. Cannot see through it, partially because of color and partially because of some suspended particulate matter. Some sediment in the bottle, makes me think I might have wanted to decant.

Smell: Alcohol sweet smell with hints of brown sugar and oak.

Taste: Wow, if I didn't know better, I would say this is aged in a whiskey barrel, so strong are the alcohol and oak flavors. The alcohol flavor is not unpleasant, but it definitely makes itself known as a sweet and slightly bitter flavor upfront. Tiniest hint of bubblegum esters, but mainly the taste is dominated by strong caramel malt and oak and vanilla flavors.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, as expected from the style. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: A big and complex sipper. A little off-put by the floaties, but that could have been prevented by a proper decant. Alcohol is very forward, but not overwhelming. I imagine this would benefit greatly from some aging and I may have to throw some of this in the cellar with my North Coast Old Stock Ale.

 1,573 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Dark amber with a slight creamy head.
smell: Very nice malty, buttery, port like nose. Aged in oak? That's obvious in the nose.
taste: Oh man, the taste delivers what the nose projects and then some. Smooth oh yeah. I'm puttin a few of these back. What will a little time do to this beauty?
mouthfeel: full, creamy, silky.
drinkability: This one is dangerous. Almost too drinkable.
Is Founders great or what?

 421 characters

Photo of notafood
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown, thin off-white head with slight lacing.

A very complex nose. Sweet and malty, very fruity, with a caramel molasses feel. A perfume-ish sweetness on this one, vanilla probably. The alcohol, while I couldn't really smell it per se, it was detectable, it warmed my nose a bit. The thing is, everything blends so well. Smells like a really well made porter.

Rich malty sweetness with a bitter oaky finish. Kind of reminds me of the Podge Belgian Imperial Stout, which remind me of a stout/barleywine. Pretty dynamite stuff.

MF is very full, very heavy, a little bit sticky.

Drinkability - A great slow paced beer. Maybe not for everyone (my girlfriend - "That's, um, interesting") but will likely be a constant in my stock. I have a soft spot for Old Ales and I particularly liked this one more than some of the others I've had. Another excellent beer from Founders.

 891 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Caracole tulip. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a cloudy, dark-amber color. Sitting on top is a 3/4 finger of creamy, off-white head that leaves ample lace behind.

S: Subtle aromas of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and a touch of alcohol. Some caramel and sweet fruit as well.

T: Wonderful sweet caramel mixed with rich bourbon. Also noticed were dark fruit, coconut, chocolate, oak, apple, and vanilla. Whoa!

M: Very creamy and slippery. Oily and sweet, but just this side of being syrupy.

D: The alcohol is so well hidden, I wondered if it really was 9.3%. Heather said it reminded her of Backwoods Bastard. I'd definitely agree. This is much better than I remember from years past.

 729 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.3%
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 +9.5%
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 +9.5%
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 +9.8%
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 +9.8%
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 +9.8%
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.

 1,145 characters

Photo of KeefD
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
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

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.