Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,183 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,183
Hads: 4,170
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 179
Gots: 918 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,183 | Hads: 4,170
Photo of jim102864
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a trade with Hoppymeal. Cloudy, burnt orange appearance in my Chimay goblet. I poured a little fast which mixed in some yeast, not that I mind it. It's 9.8 abv in a small 12 0z bottle.

Not much of anything in the nose but what a buttery, semi-sweet flavor with a slight alcohol burn in the finish. It takes a while but a butterscotch nose appears as it warms. I like this. Slight butterscotch and vanilla and while the hops are muted, they add a tangy bitterness still. Creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

This could be a session beer if you've got nowhere to go and yer UConn Huskies or Red Sox are one the plasma. A real smooth finish yet well balanced and flavorful. A worthy brew that I hope to score again (715 characters)

Photo of natemort13
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy mahogany copper color. Head is tan and what head there is recedes quickly.

Nose is carmel, oak, booze, slight floral notes, molasses, smells like whiskey.

Taste follows the nose but presents bigger notes of cherry and more oak. Super malty beer, super boozy. Notes of fig and raisin as well. Long oaky finish.

Mouthfeel is full and slightly syrupy. Carbonation is detectable but not super present.

Overall this is a delicious big old ale! (455 characters)

Photo of jbone78
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got these through trade with marvin312.I have had this one since March 9. This is the date I wrote on the bottle. I am drinking it because I noticed a small amount of oxidation and I recommend waxing Founders bottles.

A- It looked clear in the bottle. It poured muddy orange/red into my snifter. Small amount of head, laces ok.
S- Very oaky smell. I really like the smell of oak in a beer.
T- Oak, spice, sweet malt favors. I like the taste of this beer, but not sure it fits the Ole ale genre. Maybe it does? Either way, I like it.
M- Not super malty, smooth, unlike Ole ales.
D- Very easy drinking beer. I am only going to call this one ale from now on. I deserves it!
Nice ALE!

-Bye (693 characters)

Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky copper color with a very weak head. Has a malty aroma, with light hints of fruit. Feels heavy like molasses, and has a lightly sweet molasses and malty flavor. There is a hint of bitterness at the end to offset the subtle sweetness. Very enjoyable, complex ale. (275 characters)

Photo of TheFlern
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks MaxSpang

Appearance: A beautiful amber. White head dissipates to a thin layer with poor lacing. Not really what I expect from the style.

Smell: Its sweet, a little fruity perhaps pear? Sort of like a Belgian yeast? Not sure. The oak comes through a lot. The molasses is in very good balance with the oak. Just how it should be for this beer imo. For the style this is pretty good.

Taste: Follows the nose. More sweet than oak which is disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Light, sweet, low carbonation, low bitterness, goes down quick. Not what I would expect from the style so I'm going to score it lower. However, I find it very drinkable for the ABV, wow.

Overall: Not something I'd go out of my way for. However, if you haven't tried it before then don't pass it up! (774 characters)

Photo of Jho3325
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Release 12 oz bottle poured aggressively into a pint seidel.

A: This ale appears light amber to red. A full two fingers of dense foam created a moderate lasting head. There was strong lacing throughout the mug. The overall look, however, did not quite do this full bodied ale it's proper justice.

S: The rich caramel malt was apparent as was the oaky nature of this ale. Notes of coffee and roasted malt hit the nostrils with a hint of the sweet molasses and almost a fruity twinge.

T: This ale is quite complex. The oaky, smokiness gives way to richly roasted malty goodness. As it warms, the sweet molasses and toffee flavor come out and a touch of citrus was a delightful twist. This is a very smooth, drinkable ale but was a touch hot on the tongue and a bit boozy. I did not find it bitter at all.

M: This ale was appropriately carbonated on the tongue and had a nice body that coated the mouth and throat.

O: This was a very pleasant ale that was quite complex. I appreciated the balance between the rich malty tones, sweet molasses, and oaky notes. The brew was a bit boozy, but overall, it was very drinkable. A good ale for the malt lover and Perfect for a cool evening.

Would recommend. (1,208 characters)

Photo of Vogie
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates leaving some lacing around the edges of the glass. Smell is sweet and complex. I am getting notes of brown sugar, toffee, dark fruits, a slight hint of molasses, and oak rich malts. Taste is very smooth with an explosion of malt, figs, dark fruit, and a warm alcohol finish. Hops are non-existent but there is some lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is very balanced and heavy.

Overall this is another outstanding beer from Founders. Very complex and rich with new flavors coming through in each sip. I couldn't see myself having more than one and that's ok. At 9.8% this baby has all you need. Full of flavor and satisfaction. I see this beer better suited for a seasoned craft beer drinker. The complexity of this brew might be a bit much for a newbie.

Cheers! (834 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a foamy head that fades away rather quickly but leaves a few dots and dashes

Smell: Toffee, stone fruit and vanilla

Taste: Opens with a big toffee flavor that adds a stone fruit and oak character, at first, and then a citrusy aspect by mid-palate, all laden with undertones of alcohol; after the swallow, the toffee sweetness and vanilla returns to mellow out the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: A very fine example of an old ale; not quite chewy enough to be a barleywine, but filled with complexity (595 characters)

Photo of paxchristi
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy, medium to darkish orange to red colors. 1/2" white bubbly head that settles in a minute or so. High alcohol and barrel-aged so you can expect this with the head. Totally classic.

Nose: Malt bomb! No hop characters whatsoever in the nose. Molasses, oak, brown sugar, maybe some figs and semidark fruits, and perhaps the slightest hint of vanilla on the end. The oak gets bigger on the end as it warms. Warming alcohol deep in the sinuses. Very very good.

Mouth: Nose justifies the mouth, but is perhaps a bit bigger in the mouth than the nose. HUGE MALTS! Quite possibly the maltiest beer i've had to date. Caramel, toffee, and maybe the slightest hint of hop bitterness and then its gone. Thick in the mouth but no where near sticky. Very pungent and very strong, and yet very well blended. in many ways, it reminds me alot of the Dirty Bastard but with sweeter malts, and an overall bigger malt bill in general. And it is certainly much more powerful. Very Very good, and very VErY complex. Unbelievably complex in fact!

Overall: Not a beginners brew. This is definitely a cult beer, but Old Ales generally are a cult style. This is one worth seeking out, but you must prepare yourself for it. A little age does this one better justice. 100%, absolutely mastercraft, but this beer is HUGE! (1,312 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A hazy peach glass holds a thin blond head and collar that gives a little lace and shows a little leg. Funny, it looks thick and viscous, moves slowly in the glass when I swirl.

Smell: Slaps the nose with a heavy alcoholic hand. Deep malt and a bit of peat. An earthy hop leaf quality; English, maybe a touch of leather.

Taste: A flash of a cola taste before the malt bomb goes off. Middle is sweet but finishes with a bitter edge of the earthy hops. Heavy flavors melt together to keep the malt from going cloy. Alcohol shows up in the finish, I can feel it evaporating into my sinuses.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with some chew and a lingering coat. Carbonation is low but gives a lively feel.

Overall: Great Old Ale, pretty much bang on in style (oh look, it's a BJCP example). Warming, full flavor makes for a great sipper, even on a summer's eve.
Cheers to Illudium for the sample! (898 characters)

Photo of WestMichiganWhaler
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Overpowering molasses that lingers. Although complex, the smokey, spicy, oakey, boozy components are all dwarfed by the molasses. A very good beer but not my favorite from Founders. (181 characters)

Photo of unclederby
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottling date, still i'm certain this is from the 2006 release. Poured a nice mahogany into the tulip, with a thin layer of tan, creamy foam clinging to the edges of the glass. Bits of floaties were in abundance as were splatches of carbonated activity.

I give it a swirl and take a whiff and am greeted with a noseful of sweetness. Bourbon and rum-like simultaneously, with notes of vanilla, bananas, cherries, and over-ripe plums, molasses and alcohol.

Taste is somewhat fruit-cake like: sweet and estery with just a hint of spiciness... and alcohol. Cake-i-ness.

Full-bodied and robust is the best way to describe this ale as it crosses your palate, with a good bit of chewiness.

Tasty, this beer is best suited as a sipper and a nightcap i think; as it is a slightly agressive beer flavor-wise (rich), and i'm sure the ABV would catch up to one rather quickly. (879 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours apricot-orange in color. Head is thick and soapy with slight lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, nuts, and tropical fruit. Woody, with earthy hops.

Taste is malty and earthy as the nose suggested. Sweet caramel malt is prominent initially but is quickly eclipsed by the nutty earthy character. Light fruit, notably apple, apricot and melon. Finish holds lingering musty earthy hop bitterness and sweet brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Slightly chewy.

A well made, complex ale. This is a winner with a great depth of fruit and earthy notes. Flavor is pleasant and unified, missing some of the alcohol harshness that is often present in an Olde Ale. In my opinion, this detracted from the score. Still, this is a tasty treat. (737 characters)

Photo of gpcollen1
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a modest brown with some golden highlights into my Lees Harvest Ale shortie. A modest head arrives with the pour and quickly disperes to barely a ring around the glass. Aromas of oak and bourbon top the glass with additional hints of vanilla beans steeping in cream and bourbon splashing back in.

Taste is sweet and smooth, riding oak across the tongue and dragging bourbon and vanilla behind. The vanilla is very subtle and tied up in sweet dried plums. Finishes with a splash of alcohol hitting the back of the throat.

This is a fantastic way to officially end the work day and move on into getting dinner ready for the family. I had no expectations in diggin in to this brew but am pretty impressed in its relative simplicity and drinkability. Thanks Vance!! (774 characters)

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single purchased for me by a friend at Jungle Jim's in Ohio. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy light brown color with some orange highlights and a fair amount of floaties. It has a light covering of bubbles that disappear almost as fast as they arrive. The ring of bubbles leaves a tiny amount of lacing until they finally disappear.

S: The main aroma is of bourbon. Is this one barrel aged? Luckily I love bourbon, because I am not picking up much of anything else in this one.

T: A nice caramel malt sweetness when it initially hits the tongue. Just a slight about of hop bitterness to balance the malt. Hints of bourbon in the flavor add a bit of complexity. This is a good example of an Old Ale that definitely has some individuality over its barleywine cousins.

M: Nice medium body with a creamy carbonation that makes it smooth.

D: Compared to the few Old Ales I have had, this one goes down extremely easy. No alcohol burn at all. (965 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 keg Pour is a nice orange color with a small white head. The smell is loaded with a nice crisp feeling, but balanced with a lot of sweetness.

The taste really isnt too sweet, but it follows suit. Solid sweet backbone really tried to come forth, but cant really take over. Theres a dryness that takes over, and not in a bad way. The dryness really balances the sweetness and malt backbone.

EDIT

So I had a year old keg at a tap takeover, but Ive got fresh bottles, and I couldnt resist. Pour is like a good barleywine-bright orange with no head. ok now this is the biggest compliment ever. It reminds of Regulator Doppelbock at Bull City Burger and Brewery. Grassy Earthy malt dominates like crazy. Feels crisp, but in an insanely good way. Maybe its the style, but its unique for sure. Very earthy malt, hints of caramel, and a nice bit of scotch barrel. Very smooth caramel and syrupy notes. (901 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark hazy brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Heavy sweet malty and small alcohol aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Heavy sweet flavor with a heavy bitter small alcohol finish of long duration.

This is a standout beer. (289 characters)

Photo of Skidz
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out copper-brown and sits a murky ruby-brown in the glass with a deep beige head, fading to a faint skim with few lacings.

Smells sweet and malty, big, ripe rounded raisins and prunes seasoned with black pepper and charry oak. Distinct whiskey on the nose, with spicy hops tending to the nose hairs.

A full-on malt assault from sip one. Nerf-like bombardments of caramel and deep, dark brown sugar...but lacks sweetness, or is at least extremely packed in with ultra-assertive hops with miles of pepper and grassy spiciness. The two sides are so balanced, in fact, that it is a struggle to pick out any particular flavor without stumbling into another one, which is then covered by another, and so on until you die. Finishes with as much staggering of attributes as Dr. Jekyl at an all you can drink BYOB mixer.

Mouthfeel is beyond description....rediculously soft, creamy, yet firm in composition. Like a down pillow made from the feathers of only the youngest of fowl. I have no idea how to describe this. Ultra-fine carbonation and a full body...I think.

Good good good. I can't see myself reaching back into the cooler to get another fix like the good old Kentucky Breakfast Stout made me do several times, but this here is good stuff Maynard. (1,265 characters)

Photo of NuckleDragger
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pretty brownish/red copper color

S: Caramel and molasses. Almost like a fruitcake. Ripe bananas.

T: The molasses and wood age come through great. Taste like you're eating a piece of grandmas banana nut bread.

M: Very full mouth feel with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: Another solid seasonal from Founders. Never tasted a beer with these specific traits. Excellent. Plus, it helped me pick out a new nickname for the old lady. (443 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into snifter. Thanks for sending me a few of these jbck109.

A: Pours a murky burnt orange with a thin cream colored head that faded to fuzzy lace.
S: Huge notes of vanilla with sweet hints of burnt caramel, raisins, spicy hops and mild cocoa powder.
T: Follows the nose with very smooth flavors of brown sugar, toasted malts, caramel, vanilla, peppery spices with a mild hoppiness in the finish. Sweet mild chocolate, a touch of dark fruits and candied sugar, figs, and chocolate brownies round off my list of nouns and adjectives. The aftertaste is lightly bitter with leafy hops. Really complex and delicious.
M: Alcohol is slightly warming in the finish over a full body, soft and sticky mouthfeel with fluffy soft carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this one. It was complex and very well integrated and balance. Very easy to drink, glad I have one more. Thanks again Jay! (890 characters)

Photo of drcarver
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Virtually no head, but what limped to the top was an off white color. The murky full body was a medium red.

S - Moderately malty with hints of cookie and nuts. Lightly yeasty with the smell of dough.

T - Sweet, bitter, and acidic at the start. The sweetness carries through the beer. An average finish that is very clean.

M - Full dry body that finished watery. Very soft on the palate. A slight dirness and moderate alcohol finish.

D - Keep it slow and keep it easy. A thicker beer, but it is definitely one that goes down nose and easy. (546 characters)

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby brown bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

A: Would have poured a clear dark copper, but with the extra yeast poured into the class it takes on a nice hazy copper, like a really really high ABV hefeweizen. The beer is topped with a one and a half inch frothy white head but bubbles down to a tight, thin cap with nice creamy lacing that does not last as long as I initially hoped it would have. Just the slightest bit bland looking.

S: Strong and sweet, heavy cream, vanilla, all brought together by strong, oaky, notes. Mild bouron, but is really more on account of the vanilla in the beer than anything else.

T/MF: Very smooth, like silk in the mouth but with a subtle carbonation that gives this beer a nice, almost chewy character. Big, oaky, opening. Sweet dark fruits, cherry is the most dominate here, but even this flavor is rather subtle, as though it is wrapped in a blanket of vanilla ice cream. Understated hop bitterness and once again demonstrates Founders' dedication to creating a uniquely balanced beer.

D: Incredibly smooth and balanced, not too sweet, just the right amount of bitterness, makes for an incredibly drinkable beer. If it just looked a bit prettier this beer would score a 5 in this category, but appearance still counts for me when it comes to drinkability. Still a fantastically drinkable beer. (1,351 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with csmiley - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dating info) into a pint glass. This is my first Old Ale so excited to try it. It is a cloudy red orange with a ton of sediment floating about. Center carb fountain and no lacing. It barely had a head and that evaporated as quickly as it appeared.

The aroma was really good. Nice and oaky without the overwhelming bourbon smell I've come to associate with oak in beers. Also get dark fruits and wine. Very appetizing. The taste follows the aroma. Nice solid oaky, fruity taste. Goes down way too smooth for something with 9% ABV. You can taste the alcohol but is really well balanced so it doesn't overwhelm.

Overall, there is a really great beer that I highly recommend. Looking forward to trying some more in the style. (796 characters)

Photo of Axic10
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber hue with two fingers of fluffy foam that settles after a while.

Smell: Malty sweetness that comes across with raisin, cinnamon, toffee. Great aroma.

Taste: Sweet bready malt, raisin, toffee, slight vanilla as it warms. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a slight stingy-alcohol burn at the end.

Drinkability: While I can't see this being an everyday beer, I definitely will enjoy this again. I have 3 bottles left from my 4 pack that I want to age a little bit. (549 characters)

Photo of supercolter
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite Old Ale to date- although I will admit I have only had a handful in this style.
Appearance- small head and some spiderweby lacing.
Smell is aggressive (more so than other founder's offerings) with a decent amount of alcohol and dry hops, well balanced with dry malt.
Taste is fairly similar, the hops are a bit heavier here and open up to a piney taste. The alcohol is more definative and definately has a whiskey flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with little carbonation.
Drinkability- its a sessionable beer, drink it slow and let it open up. (556 characters)

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.