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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.
very good

1,203 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,203
Hads: 4,291
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 186
Gots: 980 | FT: 53
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: 1,203 | Hads: 4,291
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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Photo of tempest
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of labattblueribbon
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of spunk509
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of kdmcguire10
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Boodoggy
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of discovolante65
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a red / caramel / amber color. A sweet malty smell. Can detect the alcohol in the smell. Crisp clean taste.. fairly balanced but actually on the bitter side. Fairly bitter finish but not overwhelming. For its strength, this is very drinkable and smooth.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Slightly hazy red-brown with a one-finger, off-white, creamy and foamy head that lasted several minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Dark fruit, alcohol, and oak.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Oak and vanilla, then alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth, warm, and alcoholic.

O: This beer looks really nice in my snifter. And the oak and vanilla taste is interesting. I don't have much experience with old ales, but I like this one.

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Photo of russpowell
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to czoch75 for this one! Thanks Clint, enjoying this as the Saints/Bears game goes to OT!

Pours an effervescent caramel with some sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Superb oaky bourbon notes, then a a whiff of dirt??

T: Bourbon soaked toffee, some caramel & a bit of smokeyness up front. Dryness dominates as this warms, along with boozey butterscotch & marmalade, vanilla & drambuie (sic). Finishes with some boozey oak, & butterscotch

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation & some stickyness, thickens up as it warms

Drinks pretty easy, considering the style, ABV & dryness. This was on the verge of greatness, but needed more body or aging to pull it together

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Photo of oelergud
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chubby 12oz brown glass bottle with a twist off cap and a label showing what I assume is a curmudgeon. 9.8 abv per the label.
Nice ruby body with next to no head, on agitation a tan cramy head appears briefly hence no lace.
Very inviting scent. Sweet malts with vanilla and a note of scotch, alcohol and wood.
Creamy vanilla hoppy flavor with plenty of wood notes, very nice flavor again with scotch notes. The aftertaste is long lasting and full of vanilla wood.
Medium full body with good coating and a nice sticky feel from residual sugars.
Excellent drinkability, far from your run of the mill craft beer. This ale will make any old curmudgeon crack a grin.


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Photo of The_Dude_710
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage draft fill of a 32oz growler poured into goblets. Smell is Carmel and alcohol very pleasant tho. Look is a golden amber, lingering head. Beautiful beer. Taste is oaky, Carmely, and booze, it's great! It's a heavy beer at 9.8% abv. One of my favorite founders beers I've acquired to date.

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Photo of Jade
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle of Curmudgeon in a brandy snifter.

A - Light amber color, cloudy (unable to see through) with very little head. Bubbles fizzing up on the sides of the glass.

S - Yum! Caramel, candy malts with hints of molasses and a sour smell of sorts

T - Very malty. Bitter backend, drying on the tongue. Oak and caramalized malts. Gets better as it warms...gets sweeter and tastier more in line with the smell.

M - Medium thick, with litlle carbonation feel. Not the smoothest beer.

O - A decent old ale. A nice sipper, but not my favorite style. Definitely worth a try. Relax and enjoy on a cold evening!

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Photo of 404UGA
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was slightly disappointed when pouring this beer into the glass, as it had a small, fleeting head and was a clear reddish color. After beginning to sip, however, my disappointment left about as quickly as the beer's head. The beer smelled had a pleasant, alcohol laden smell. Kind of had a hint of whiskey to it. The taste is maltier than I expected given the color, but its not overwhelming. Again, kind of reminds me of a good bourbon. It isn't the smoothest beer in world, but is still pleasant. Very drinkable, and overall a great beer. Would gladly have another.

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer like this is the reason snifters exist in the beer world.

After pouring into my snifter the half finger of head reduced in short time to a ring around the edge, but not before releaseing an impecable aroma.

Throughout the tasting i swirled the glass often just for the aroma.
The aroma lets you know right away that this will give you a bit of heat. i love that.

The sips are sooo smooth, with that bit of heat the smell warned you of, though the smell was a bit stronger.
The Oak and vanilla flavors aren't overpowering,but balanced nicely with the malt and low hop flavors.

When drinking this i kept thinking it would be a great beer for somebody who loves Cognac, with its bit of hotness, sweetness,loads of flavor, and smooth mouthfeel. This beer is what i personally want from an drink Old Ale, as i like a little hotness. I will buy this often.

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Photo of Jjski
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Old Ale= harsher and sharper than barley wine. Harder to easily quaff and slow sipper, winter warmer, with darker cocoa notes rather than sweetish barley wines.

IMHO a perfect example of Old Ale, as I find Old Stock Ale unpalatable until it's a least 4 years old. Drink this beer without expecting immediate gratification. It's a drawn out process of letting your palate attenuate to the harshness. Improves vastly aged at one year, with orange peel notes emerging from the hops while the malty spine remains strong.

Try to yield, and the Curmudgeon reminds you: the easy road is not the path to seek. Accept the challenge and expand your perception . Cheese-wiz is easier to eat than extra-sharp cheddar. Which is better is up to you. If you opt for cheese-whiz, it pairs well with a wine cooler.

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Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

^That is a beautiful picture ^
Aged bottle, first release? 12oz. shared with kmpitz2, thanks!

It pours a tawny reddish brown, murky with suspended particles. Light gets through a little bit. Some spotty lace is left, and at the very least a ring around the edge.

Aroma is mellow, sweet toffee and caramel, I can tell this is a beefy one. As it warms, more depth is apparent.

Toffee flavors, with an oak nuance behind it. Very cohesive and mellowed, it doesn't feel alcoholic at all. Caramel and wood, sturdy and balanced. Age has worked wonders on this beast. Rich and fairly well carbonated, it has a divine feel to it. Seek it out...

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dropped a bottle of this into a Duvel snifter.

A: Looks like heavy apple cider.

S: thick, rich, spicy, orange and alcohol

T: Reminded me of some brews from Unibroue (Maudite, Don de Dieu) but a little heavier/more dense and without the yeastiness; fruity caramels with booze

M: medium-bodied, very drinkable; great aftertaste

O: I miss it since its gone; this is a great beer for slow drinking (preferably near the sea). One of the least barleywine-ish old ales I've had - almost has some Imperial IPA and tripel qualities.

Think deeply of the ocean and keep a four-pack in a cooler as the waves lap the shores at night. Be one with the seas and stars.

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Photo of bevoduz
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I bought a few 4 packs of this several years and wasn't too impressed, but I held on to them, and am I glad I did! Several months ago I opened up a 2011 and was very happy I did. I actually had to fish the bottle out of the trash to make sure it was the beer I thought I had just opened. Fortunately it was still readily available on the shelves so I picked up a few more, knowing I'd then be able to enjoy them in a few years!

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle poured into a snifter- no date on label

Founder's Curmudgeon Ale poured opaque dark amber [almost like dark apple cider] that produced a limited almost non-existent head. The aroma is of dark malt and fruits, with some caramel coming through. The flavor was heavier than the smell. The taste is sweet; of rum soaked dark fruits, a little smoky with a slight burnt after taste. The flavor really develops as this ale gets closer to room temperature...so don't drink it too cold. Mouth feel is smooth and a little sticky with light carbonation.

A Curmudgeon is defined as a crusty, ill-tempered stubborn old man that finds fault with all things. I tried being a Curmudgeon [as I have been known to act like on occasion] when I reviewed this ale; however, I could not find any faults when I reviewed the brew.

A good sipper for a nightcap - goes well paired with chocolate cookies.

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Photo of stumac
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

this brew pours up a cloudy amber color with a nice thin layer of yellow-tan head. great lacing, baby. the nose is subtle chocolate chip cookies, a little yeast, mint, sweet malts. the taste is the same as the nose. yeast, caramel, hop bitterness in the finish, buttery, delicious. leaves a sticky coating in your mouth. medium carbo, low low carbo. good ol' Founders...

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Photo of BadmouthBrews
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

draft from flying saucer in Nashville.
Pours a dark caramel color, kind of like maple syrup. Which makes sense because it is brewed with maple. You can smell it and taste it. Great complexity and smooth tasting for such a high abv.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,203 ratings.