Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

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very good

1,196 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,196
Hads: 4,244
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 184
Gots: 959 | 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
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Reviews: 1,196 | Hads: 4,244
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to fogdog for this bottle.

Appearance: Pours a murky, dark reddish-amber, with a slowly-coagulating, creamy, khaki-colored head. Lots of suspended yeast sediment floating around. Head doesn't last long; becomes a wispy ring of bubbles. Leaves decent lace.

Smell: Dark berries, molasses, oak, fruity esters, bready yeast, raisins and spices. As I sit here sniffing it, the dark fruits and bread aromas really start coming forth. Maybe a little bourbon as well. Great balance and mixing, though I wish it were a tad stronger.

Taste: Lots of warm bread, caramel, and spice. Dark fruit flavors are there but a bit subdued, especially when compared to the smell. Sweet molasses and bourbon flavors fill in very nicely. Flavors meld very well, just like in smell.

Mouthfeel: Slick and somewhat syrupy, yet watery. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels a bit gritty with all of the yeast sediment. Great mouth-numbing and good warming as well.

Drinkability: A milder flavor and smell than I'm used to, thus making it more than just a sipper. Not the best old ale I've had, but one that's worth a try. Wish there was a little more umph to it.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque amber with very thin, whispy white head.
Smells strongly of malt, some bitter hop, and syrup.
Taste is incredibly smooth, I believe the maple heavy body coats the tounge and hides the 9.8% well, but it is very close overpowering.
The aftertaste is incredibly sweet and enjoyable.
Highly drinkable.

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Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to snifter pours a reddish amber brown, cream colored head faded to lacing - looks nice

smells of oaky caramel spice, barley, sweet and deep, slight alcohol heat - amazing!

taste is of bourbon, oak, caramel, creamy smoothness, very balanced, vanilla, slight alcohol heat, hops are nice - subdued but not lacking, bitterness pops out the most, flavor is blended nicely

mouthfeel is slightly hot and oily but not overtly, loads of flavor, yum! makes me want to age more

way better than last years batch :D

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Photo of Litterbean
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Mission Dolores (Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Dark brown beer with a foamy full head. Smells malty, sweet, alcoholic, and heavy.

Taste is sweet with a hint of bitterness but mostly a biting alcoholic note that really ends warm on the tongue. Makes my head fuzzy right away and fills me with warm cheer. Great brew!

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Photo of thecheapies
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 04/19/12. Into a snifter.

Pours a translucent dark copper ruby color. Buttermilk-colored head of an inch with coarser bubbles in the surface middle. 4.0

Buttery toffee, rich caramel, booze, dried fig, cherry, and woody bitterness. Drier aroma than the '10 that I've had. This old ale is all dressed up for prom, so far. 4.0

Toffee sweet with buttercream, brandied fruits, mince meat, caramel sauce, throat lozenge, vanilla, light maple, swatches of oak barrel, hint of coconut, and spruce tips from the hops. A malt dream. The alcohol isn't overwhelming, and the hops are there but shadowed marvelously by rich fruity malts. Wonderful. 4.5

Mouth-filling body. Medium-thick. Light fizz, in accordance to style. I'm gulping this a little bigger than I ought to. 4.0

For a beer that I love and have enjoyed many times in the past, I believe this to be the first time I've ever had it fresh (not used to tasting prevalent hops in this beast). While it is sublime with a year and more, fresh Curmudgeon is its own wonder. In fact, fresh Curmudgeon reminds me a lot of aged Backwoods Bastard. Recommended! And, I can't wait to finally do that side-by-side. 4.0

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Photo of gotbeer
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big beer for sure.

The appearance was dark mahogany with a light head that laced the glass slightly.

The smell had notes of a smoky scotch. Interesting stuff so far.

The taste was of vanilla, bourbon, coconut, and creme. A great old ale, and recognizable to the style. Alcohol is present and noticable, but not totally overwhelming. The mouthfeel was smooth. The drinkability is as good as a beer with this ABV can be.

Great stuff. Founders has not dissapointed me yet, with their beers ranging from solid to excellent.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 ounce goblet - $9.00 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Dispensed into a simple, all-purpose goblet a hazed, mahogany-hued body with a scant, white head.

Smell: A rich, invitingly malty nose smelling of caramel, chunks of toast, and brown sugar stirred up into cake batter. Fruity notes of citrus, cherries, and green raisins punctuated by some stinging alcoholic wafts.

Taste: The lush, tempting sweetness of heavily caramelized sugars with additional tastes of toasted bread, light brown sugar, and spiced holiday cake. The fruitiness from the aroma is well-represented in a taste of raisins marinated in cherry liqueur and spiced with a bit of dried orange peel. Moderate bitterness provides a bit of balance, though this one remains fairly on the sweet side of things. Soft, sweet finish with plenty of alcohol warmth rolling in.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with a mouthfeel both smooth and a bit sticky. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Bold AND beautiful. A quality sipper, even on a day in South filled with 100-degree heat and 100-percent humidity.

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Photo of JRed
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours sediment-free, brown-amber hue with small white head. A gorgeous scent of cranberries, caramel, spice, slight egg nog, and a buttery, vanilla cream character. Whew! Tasty stuff. That buttery vanilla cream begins and lingers through to the aftertaste. Toffee, caramel, spice, dried apple skins, sweet alcohol seeps through the thick flavors during the finish mostly. Light carb in body with a mildy thick, syrupy mouthfeel. This is a dangerously tasty ale at over 9% ABV and wonderful to sit down with and consider closely.

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Photo of azdback
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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,

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of larryi86
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

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Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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).

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Photo of zoso1967
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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

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Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of eljefe21
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of ndekke39
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of Sark
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of emyers
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of DIM
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

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