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

4,120 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,120
Reviews: 1,195
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 172
Gots: 890 | FT: 52
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,120 | Reviews: 1,195
Photo of azdback
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Dark ruby red colored and unfiltered. Not a lot of carbonation bubbles and the head says the same thing, very small and no retention. Lace isn't sticking.

Smell is sweet caramel and burnt sugars. Alcohol and medium roasted malts. Quite nice!

Taste is like chocolate and caramel nougat. With a huge alcohol burn after. The sweets are really fantastic. I wasn't expecting any chocolate or dark malts to this, but it is an interesting twist to an old ale/barleywine. As this warms there is even some coffee and charred wood. Really nice!!

Mouth is rich and chewy. Quite complex all the way to the end. The layers of this are so fantastic. Sticky sweet to alcohol burn are quite remarkable.

Overall I was very surprised by this. Kind of a barley wine meets the roasts of a barrel aged stout. That is a bit dramatic but not far off. Thanks to davesway10 for this extra.

Photo of ZBowden
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear deep honey brown small tan head, smells of molasses coffee and caramel, tastes of hops and slight coffee caramel malts bittered by oak and the high alcohol content, rich silky mouthfeel very light carbonation,

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish/amber color with about a finger of head, sticks around for a good long while, leaves a few small bits of lacing on the glass.

Smell has a nice caramel malt aroma with lots of other fruity scents, like raisins and maybe even a touch of orange.

Taste starts out sweet with caramel and toffee, hops are fairly muted but not entirely absent, bit of a bitter musty aftertaste, alcohol is very well hidden which is surprising considering it's a fresh batch and not aged, good body with a creamy finish.

Photo of larryi86
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 4/19/2013, poured into a snifter

A- A hazy ruby red with a small off-white head.

S- Toffee, caramel, molasses, oak, some alcohol, touch of earthiness.

T- Definitely oaky, molasses, toffee, caramel, some earthy bitterness in the finish, some alcohol that works very well with the taste, a faint cherry like fruitiness.

M- Smooth, full body, high carbonation.

O- My girlfriend just picked up a case of this for me and it is good fresh, but I can't wait to see how this ages!

Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks a bunch to cburian for this brew in my Secret Bunny package.

12oz. stubby brown bottle, poured into a snifter. Founders dating system is retarded.

A: Pours a dark shoe leather that's completely opaque. 1/2inch of tinted head forms and drops to some nice chunks. Decent lacing.

S: Nice strong alcohol aroma. Very appealing. Loads of spices though my weak nose is having trouble picking them apart. Rich sugary malts explode with a pleasant alcohol line. Really diggin' the spices.

T/M: Malts are intense. Very sweet, rich, oaky, sandy(?), plenty of spices. There's an assertive bitterness but that's all I'm getting from the hops. Body is nearly full but not heavy. Carbonation brings a nice smoothness. Again, the spices make this brew.

D: Slow sipper, indeed. Tasty and quaffable. I'd say night cap only. Is there a better brewery out there besides Founders? My other 2 favorites have some catching up to do(Surly and GLBC).

Photo of zoso1967
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TCgoalie for picking this one up for me. It had a screw-top and was bottled on 2/24/09.

Pours a gorgeous shade of dark orange amber. There was pretty much no head on this at all, but the slight ring of foam left on the glass leaves a very precise high water mark, like a ring around a bathtub. This makes me giggle. The aroma is very sweet with notes of caramel, golden raisins and sweet bread. There is also a bit of earthiness to it, but it's mostly just malt that I am picking up. The flavor is malty and wonderful. Plenty of caramel, brown sugar and toffee mix with a sharp hint of alcohol that works to further enhance the flavor. Also in the mix are raisins, sugary orange peel, some peppery earthiness and touch of honey. There seems to be just enough bitterness in this beer to keep it from being too malty. The mouthfeel is pretty damn impressive. It is not quite as full as one might expect, but also far from too thin. The finish a mile long, but not too sticky. A beer to savor, but a beer I would love to savor again. I am pretty sure my friend didn't purposely pick out an older bottle, but I am glad he did. I will have to seek out a fresher one for comparison.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled 4/13/11) into a snifter, pours a medium red brown with a short white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, quite cloudy

S: molasses, raisins, prunes, figs, caramel, toffee, oak, whiskey

T: sweet dark fruits, raisins, prunes, heavy on malt, oak, molasses, slight hop bitterness at the end

M: very heavy and oily, little carbonation, alcohol makes itself well known

O: sip this like you would brandy, it's sweet heavy and complicated

Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mild head that recedes a little too quickly to a single bubble layer. Very cloudy with lots of yeast chunks in the base of the glass. Milky but thin lace on the glass side. Lots of stickiness.

Toasty and malty in the nose. Lots of biscuit with a touch of chocolate. Very low hop bitterness.

Think thick and oily (from alcohol) brown ale. Nice hop finish, but the rest is all malt--rich and chocolatey. This is a beer that sticks to your ribs. There are sherry overtones and the biscuit flavor shows up in a subtle way.

This is a complex beer for the style, but rather than the hop/malt balance, this is more of a mystery tour of malt flavors.

Photo of Seanniek91
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Redhook limited edition tulip.

Appearance- Reddish/copper with zero head and quite a bit of yeast floating around in the glass.

Smell- Fruity, bourbony, honey sweetness. Malty and delicious smelling.

Taste- Cherry, molasses, caramel malts, and yeasty/bready flavors. For almost 10%, the ABV is well hidden (which alone is a feat).

Mouthfeel- A good amount of carbonation balances out the viscosity of the beer. Pretty damn smooth.

Overall- This is a nice smooth beer from Founders. I bet it's awesome with some time on it.

Photo of eljefe21
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours thick and flat. Some thin lacing. Dark reddish copper in color.

S: Sweet maltly goodness. Hints of honey, toffee and vanilla. You know where this is going.

T: Malty flavor up front that melts into an amazing vanilla sweetness.

M: Thickish silky mouthfeel that evaporates into dryness on the back of the tongue.

D: A big malty sweet brew perfect for the winter as a late night drink. Warming, calming and relaxing.

Served: in an oversized wine glass.

Photo of ndekke39
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with a March bottled-on date.

A: Pours a hazy reddish-brown with twinges of violet around the edges. Very small white head with no retention.

S: Strong sweetness, rich roasted barley. Smells like bourbon. A bit singular.

T: Mostly sweet flavors, no hops to be tasted. Strong center of sweet barley. Again, the bourbon, woody flavors.

M: Thick mouthfeel, complements the rich and sweet flavors very well.

D: A good hearty Old Ale. The 9.3% ABV will sneak up on you. But another strong offering from Founder's.

Photo of Sark
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- brown orange glow with bits of sediment dancing in the carbonation, a beige-tan head that slowly accumulates, laces down the glass

Smell- magnificent whiff of grainy breads with sweet malt undertone, light hop tinge

Taste- Excellent caramel and toffee malt sweetness with a breaded mid palate and slight hop-oiled finish. Notes of ripe fruits become apparent after a few sips (plums, dates). Slight yeasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, velvety smooth

Overall- Really, really impressed with this brew. I heard a lot about Founders and this was my first try from the brewery. I can't wait to try others. This old ale is really big on flavor.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled 2/14/09. A year old and it's the first Founders I've seen with a twist-off cap, as they are new here in Georgia.

Pours amber/copper/brown with a very small off-white head that maintains only a ring on the ege. Leaves some spots of lacing. Looks like a barleywine.

Aroma is sugary sweet, caramel malts, spiced, vanilla, dark fruits, some bread and yeast, along with a healthy dose of alcohol.

Alcohol is better hidden in the flavor that starts with sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, a lot of brown sugar, vanilla, a touch of fruit and bread.

Mouthfeel is full and silky, low to medium carbonation, more carbonation than a typical barleywine.

This is very good, I want to age some but the twist offs make me leary.

Photo of DocJitsu
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden color with an off white head. The beer was poured very carefully, so there was very little head. The aroma was mild with notes of vanilla. Oak barrel and vanilla flavors are accentuated by the silky smooth mouthfeel. This is a very mild, pleasant, drinkable beer despite it's higher ABV.

Photo of emyers
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy deep amber-red with a thin off-white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Rich caramel and toffee, figs, raisins, hints of chocolate. Some alcohol heat which works perfectly with the rest of the aroma. Some molasses in there as well. Aroma is complex and very rich overall. Excellent.

Taste: Similar to the smell with big caramel and toffee flavors along with some dark fruits, although not quite as rich and layered. Alcohol heat is actually hidden very well - you can tell the alcohol is there, but it never really comes of as "hot."

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, rich, and smooth. Low carbonation level. Excellent.

Overall: Founders kills it again. This is a great example of an old ale done right.

Photo of Bendurgin
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Centennial sent me this one. Thanks Steve, you're a stand up dude. Poured into a snifter. This one pours a clear maple brown with a finger of white head.

Sweet and delicious smelling. Toffee and maple aromas with hints of cinnamon and some spices like cloves. Hints of cedar and honey. Sweet maple flavor here with cinnamon. Sweet and malty here.

The body is heavy and sticky with soft carbonation. A little bit coarse on the finish. Overall this one is pretty outstanding; as are most of the Founders line up.

Photo of DIM
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a: This one is a clear golden amber color. A violent pour produces a medium sized off-white head that quickly fades to a lacey ring around the glass.

s: The aroma here is highly alcoholic, but it isn't overwhelming. It blends extremely well with the perfumed flowery hops, and the sweet, peaty malts. Along with some plum smells, this all adds up to smelling quite a bit like brandy.

t: The taste mirrors the smel for the most part, but it is perhaps a bit sweeter here. Flavors of caramelized plums, sweet peaty grains, and dry flowery hops are all blanketed by a warming brandy like alcohol. This is very good now, but I think some time in the cellar would make this even better.

m: The carbonation is gentle, making for a perfect silky, but thick, body.

d: This is a great sipper on a cool evening. Thanks to hoppymeal for this outstanding extra.

Photo of tempest
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single from the Main Party Store in Ann Arbor for $4 and change.

I used to think I wasn't a big old ale fan, but this throws that idea out. This was both drinkable and delicious at over 9% alcohol. This beer reminded me of a lot of the wonderful flavors in a barrel-aged beer (minus the wood) for the smooth mixture of vanilla, spiced rum, and fruity malts. I'd say this one is near the top of the style. A must-try for old ale-lovers.

Photo of labattblueribbon
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer is crazy delicious, molasses and caramel notes and the smoothness of the oak make this like candy. took a chance on this beer and was blown away, STRONG recommendation to new and old BA's alike.

Photo of Immortale25
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Appalachian Vintner Asheville. Served in a tapered 12 oz glass.

A- Pours a somewhat murky dark amber color with a 1/8 inch head that doesn't retain very long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a honeycomb pattern behind.

S- Notes of raisin, vanilla and a touch of wood with a nice toastiness. A bit of a booze fume.

T- First thing noticed is a subtle maple sweetness that works well with the toastiness of the malt. Alcohol is certainly present but not overbearing. Actually, everything is very well balanced as there's a mild hop bitterness.

M- Slightly sharp from the alcohol and a tad sticky. Medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A very easy drinking high ABV old ale that has incredible balance but keeps me interested all the way to the last sip.

Photo of TBoneJones
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ruby amber color as poured into a stout glass. Off-white head appears low and creamy. Smells of sweet aged wood.
Tastes of creamy vanilla oak-aged beer, slightly boozy but balanced and , most importantly, quite tasty.
This succeeds in being sweet but not cloying, and ending with flavorful citrus hops as well as an oaky bite you'd expect from a beer aged as such. There's vanilla, and the molasses plays a lighter, nice role in the flavor to me.
Feels medium-full, smooth, slightly sticky.
I enjoy this old ale. I'm sure age can only work wonders for it.

Photo of spunk509
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Great clarity. Almost a dark copper or a mix of deep brass and red. Not much more than a thin wisp of a head but that's to be expected with this high of ABV.

S - I was a little surprised I didn't get more oak. Really the only smell that comes through is the light alcohol burn.

T - Almost like a less sweet, liquified version of brown sugar. There's a really nice malt bill as well that balances the sweetness. I honestly think this is better than Better Half. BH was just too sweet with the addition of the maple.

M - It's thin, but not in a bad way. You get a little warmth from the alcohol which is perfect.

O - Really a great beer that I think is under appreciated. This is a hard style to do because there isn't a lot to hide behind. In my mind this is the best high ABV style - better than barley wine. Much better balance overall. I think this is a beer that will only get better for at least a year. I look forward to it.

Photo of kdmcguire10
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Dark Red color, light tan head, about 1 inch thick. Gorgeous looking beer

Smell: This beer is a malt Bomb! Caramel sweetness with some hints of vanilla and you can get faint hints of the oak.

Taste: Massive dark fruits. Raisin bread. A little sugary sweetness, but not overly so. You can't taste the alcohol at all, but you get the warming of the back of the throat on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Rich and luxurious. Very little carbonation.

Overall: Perfect warmer-upper for a cold fall/winter day. Incredibly smooth beer for nearly 10%. Rich in flavor and a really nice sipper of a beer. I'm going to save a bottle of this for a year or two to see how it matures.

Photo of Boodoggy
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Lost Abbey Tulip.

Hazy deep amber, cooper in color. Thin quickly disapating head with minimal lacing.

Strong and sweet. I am getting honey and sweet dark fruit, toffee perhaps some caramel in the back.

I love the taste. Sweet and malty. This really follows through with the nose. Alcohol is present hops are taking a back seat on this one.

Thicker then expected. Malty and sweet. This is a sipper to be enjoyed on a cool evening.

Overall I really liked this beer. It delivered what it claimed to be on the label.

Photo of discovolante65
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel Tulip in an aggressive manner. Got a nice 1 inch head out of the deal. Lots of little floaties in here. Had to leave a splash in the bottle so I could swirl out the rest. I love crap floating in my beer, I really do. Nice honey brown color. Head that I forced out of it receded quickly but left a nice collar and lacing all the way down. Not too much, but some carbonation in there.

Smells like bourbon? WTF? I'm not sure. I smell some alcohol but it could be mixed with the other scents in there. Caramel, vanilla and possibly oak smells in there as well. definitely cherries, or a fig smell. It sort of had a cinnamon/raisin oatmeal smell to it.

Tastes big and strong. Nice caramel/ malt balance with some raisins and cherries in there. I was surprised to find that the first few sips while cold were very hot with alcohol. But as it warmed up it seemed to balance out, this is usually the opposite I think. After it warmed it balanced out perfectly. This reminded me a little of a scotch ale, and I love that.

I loved the way this felt. Thick, like a 40w oil viscosity. Chunky enough to chew on, but not oily and lingering. Very smooth and decadent.

Drinkability - I felt this one, and it was the only one I had. Had it been a weekend night I would have had more than one. I think this is a great representation of the style, maybe a little tiny bit too sweet though. All in All, I am happy to have several more of these to enjoy in the future. Another good one by Founders.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,120 ratings.