Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,138 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,138
Reviews: 1,200
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 173
Gots: 897 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,138 | Reviews: 1,200
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright red body, murky, with plenty of near microscopic carbonation streams. Topped by a three finger loose light beige head, which quickly drops to one finger and stablizes. Light lacing traces.

Interesting light and clean fruity (grape?)aroma.

Lightly sweet beginning. Big burst of fruit. Citrus with a cherry finish. Alcohol firebomb in the belly. Clean finish.

Smooth slick medium plus mouthfeel. Alcohol fades quick which keeps drinkability high.

Nice change of pace here in big hop season. Takes the chill out of your bones.

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an aged 2007 Curmudgeon I picked up at Flat Rock Saloon. Waited for a cold night to enjoy this one!
A: Dark amber color and hazy with mellow tan head that persists for awhile. Some sediment with this aged beer. Persistent tiny bubbles.
S: Aroma of dried black cherries soaked in bourbon, and sweet roasted malt with a touch of burnt honey. Some deeper dried fruit aromas combine with a hint of vanilla to smell delicious.
T: Burnt caramel and toffee malt sweetness with deep rich black cherry and dried currant esters. Some astringent chocolate malt bitterness is there midway. The follow up is a smooth vanilla bourbon barrel flavor which may or may not be intended. The vanilla is more apparent the further down this one goes. Alcohol becomes noticeable with this one. Not noticeable but for a hint of bitterness are the hops.
M: Medium bodied and smooth with small, sharp carbonation and a decent alcohol warmth on the palate.
D: Bang for your buck with this delicious beer! It has a smooth yet complex profile with plenty of alcohol to warm you on a cold winters night. Was glad to try this one more than a year aged.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky brown-amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, with hint of floral hops. The taste of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and a hop presence that is quite higher than the aroma indicates. There is also a nice hot alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is a touch lighter than full bodied, with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a wonderful old ale. I would really like to try this with some age on it.

Photo of EPseja
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature from a 12oz bottle in a snifter.

A - Translucent and glowing amber color with raspberry-orange highlights. Viscous pour with little bravado and a modest, light tan head that quickly subsides. Lacing is sporadic at best, but the legs are long.

S - Thick, caramel and sugar sweetness with juicy, grilled pineapple and vanilla overtones. Mature, warm floral hoppiness. Like a barleywine's older, wiser cousin.

T - Very round, warm and welcoming sweetness with a glow of oaky vanillin and golden raisin. Turns a bit toasty in the middle, both in taste and alcohol, with a light tartness. And my favorite part -- the finish leaves a taste of old varnished wood and worn book leather along with a dusty coating on the tongue.

M - Thick and slick coming in. Slowly grows to a froth with great fortitude and only a slight tingle on the tongue. Swallow is throat-coating and long.

D - Delicious. This beer covers all the different facets of the Old Ale style -- malt presence, warming alcohol, and the nuances of "old" including leather and wood. At almost 10%, this beer is not to be trifled with, even though it can easily lull you into a sense of pleasant comfortability like a seasoned sailor keeping you rapt with an old tale of the sea.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the South Philly Tap Room

Appears a deep orange with red highlights. A thin, off-white cap was reduced to remnants by the time it reached my table. Little to no lace.

Big caramel backbone with notes of toffee, dark fruit, and oak. A very pleasing, full nose.

Pretty much mimics the nose. Big toffee and caramel up front with dark fruits, oak and a hint of vanilla rounding out the profile. A tad bit of fusel alcohol on the finish.

A bit sticky and chewy in the mouth. Good carbonation, full bodied.

This guy is a sipper on a cold night. Enjoyable.

Photo of DrJay
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy caramel colour with a thin white head. As the foam settled to a ring of fine bubbles, it left some spotty lacing behind. The aroma was quite complex, with wood and vanilla up front, some caramel, plenty of fruit (grapes, orange marmalade), and a little alcohol. Mild bitterness when compared to the sweetness, with caramel and toffee center stage. Some oak and raisin notes were present as well, along with a bit of alcohol. It had a soft finish with a refined fruitiness. Full bodied with lightish carbonation, some creaminess yet still a bit dry. This was really interesting and highly drinkable. It had plenty of character, almost like tasting a different beer with each sip.

Photo of mjl21
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade...thanks Tom! 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Comes in at 9.8% and 50 IBUs. Bottled on 3/12/09.

A-Pours a hazy brown and is very reminiscent of a Belgian Dubbel. It has really no head. A small ring and some limited spotty film stay in the glass. It has minor lace.

S-It is a sweet smelling, big and malty beer. Get lots of rum soaked fruit. As it warms I get a lot of grape aroma.

T-Like the nose, this one tastes big and malty. Lots of sweetness from the malt along with rum soaked stone fruit. I get notes of vanilla and wood, partivularly oak, as it warms. I also get a little bit of earthy hops every few sips.

M-Thicker bodied with a perfect level of carbonation. It is creamy and leaves some residual stickiness on the lips.

D-It is a big beer. The high abv is well hidden. I wouldn't want to do more than one. It is definitely sweet, but not cloying.

Another great beer from Founders. I need to start doing a Founders collection in my cellar.

Photo of Bay01
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from 12oz bottle

A - Pours a cloudy orange/ amber with tinges of ruby in the light, two finger head with some sticky lacing

S - Smell is fruit, butter, molasses, and toffee. Fruitier smell than I was expecting

T - Fruity and buttery, the alcohol isn't noticeable at first but then is evident at the finish, some tobacco aftertaste.

M - Relatively high level of carbonation for an old ale, not syrupy but slight chewiness. Body is full and smooth.

D - Surprisingly high due to the pleasant and balances fruitiness, the alcohol doesn't feature prominently so I could have a few of these.

This is unexpected in a good way for the style, could be dangerous due to the ABV

Photo of jim102864
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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

Photo of natemort13
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

Photo of jbone78
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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

Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of TheFlern
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

Photo of Jho3325
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of Vogie
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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

Photo of paxchristi
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

Photo of WestMichiganWhaler
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of unclederby
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of gpcollen1
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!!

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,138 ratings.