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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,803 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,803
Reviews: 1,120
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 150
Gots: 739 | FT: 46
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: 3,803 | Reviews: 1,120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beertunes
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish copper. Relatively low carbonation meant there was less than a thin cap of head yet somehow left a bit of pretty lacing.

The aroma is very malt based, sweet with a honeyish background and just a bit of hops present. There was some alcohol hotness at first, but it faded quickly. The flavors were very similar, thick sticky malt, some honey (and maybe maple) flavors, a touch of hops and a nice alcohol taste that fades quickly and leaves a warm glow.

The body is pleasantly full, just short of heavy, and tongue coating. Drinkability is excellent, as long as you're not in a hurry.

Overall, a great brew that compares favorably to the only beer I've given all 5's to, North Coast Old Stock, and is certainly worth your time.

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY. Served in a 12oz. tulip glass.

A: Cool amber color, light for an old ale. Thin layer of a bubbly head, sticky.

S: Boozy, caramel malts, and grains.

T: Nice smooth mellow toffee notes, bitter, slightly boozy. This beer really opens up as it warms up.

M: Good carbonation, tingly and zippy on the way down (this is probably due to it being from the tap).

D: Easy to take this serving down rather quickly.

Overall, a really nice and readily available (now that Founders is in NY!) beverage.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a bubbly semi-transparent dark honey golden - the way it was poured I wasn't able to comment on the head. Malty aroma has a honey-sweet overtone. Malty, lively flavor has hints of spice, a nice alcohol bite and a hoppy undertone. Edgy, fizzy texture has a fierce, brandy-like bite.

Photo of baos
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Jar.

A: Thick body with a thin head. Not too much lacing going on.

S: I smell the whiskey barrel.

T: Barrel booziness with dark fruit preserve goodiness.

M: Now this beer has body. Not quite 30-w but a lot more than diesel fuel.

D: Pretty strong brew but good enough to have a few.

Photo of ksimons
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours an amber color with almost no head. Visible carbonation bubbles

S-sweet and malty. Smells of vanilla and something sort of earthy, maybe the oak

T-very similar to the smell, sweet and full of malt. As Founder's says an insane focus on the malt, which is very true! Towards the middle/end you taste a very light bitter hops which helps even it out very nicely.

M-medium to full body, minimal carbonation, very smooth, thick, and dry

D-very good Old Ale, I would get it again. Not sure I could have more than one at a time, but it is great for what it is

Photo of DovaliHops
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a cloudy orangish red with a beautiful head to it. The smell is amazing. Sweet malts with vanilla and a slight fruitiness. I also get a hint of whiskey. I'm not sure how this beer is made, but I could swear that it's aged in whiskey barrels, because I get such a strong whiskey taste after sipping it. It's delicious. Sweet cherries, vanilla, and whiskey in this wonderfully complex ale. Love it!

Photo of Avagadro
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Curmudgeon sports a red body that is fairly clear save for the sediment that floats in it. Head is creamy in color, and doesn't rely stick around long.

S: malty to the core, the bouquet offers caramel, vanilla, and a touch of rum.

T: flavor follows the bouquet's lead, with heavy vanilla notes followed by caramel and molasses.

M: full bodied and creamy. Carbonation is barely noticeable.

D: a great sipper if there ever was one. This brew shows the oak well, with heavy vanilla notes. This is one of my favorite Old Ales/Barleywines out there.

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with a good amount of indistinct spiciness and lighter amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes fairly similar to how it smells. Sweet and slightly grainy caramel malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip they sweeten a bit and are joined by earthy, leafy, and lightly spicy hops. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending. The sip also warms a bit as it heads down the gullet.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was a very well done old ale and does a great job of hiding the alcohol. Worth a shot.

Photo of liquidcraft
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dig the color, rich amber with an off white head that dissipated in a few minutes to film across the top of the beer. Couple of whiffs I pick up hints of caramel, vanilla and some gingery spice.

There is an initial bite of hops that comes back on the exhale but soothed midway by sweet caramel, molasses flavors. I'm getting through this faster than expected, the complexity makes each sip entertaining to dissect. The alcohol is disguised dangerously well. Smooth textures, carbonation struggles to get through the viscosity. As an old ale I find it over all very interesting, I wouldn't drink this with a meal its pretty filling and it's got a lot of flavors going on already.

Photo of Stunner97
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- very amber in color with little to no carbonation in terms of bubbles to be seen, head starts very thing and just about fades away to nothing

Smell- vanilla, malt, malt, malt, caramel and molasses, raison, very sweet malt based nose

Taste- though certain a beer with a decent amount of malt to it there is quite a bit more hop bitterness than I would of expected, slight vanilla and woody sweet ness is detectable from the oak, would be interesting to see what some age on this would do to the flavor profile, basically can be summed up in tons of up front malt with a firm and solid handed hop finish, finishes moderate to long, overally pretty enjoyable flavor and extremely balanced,

Mouthfeel- decently heavy thick and smooth, very strong drying finish,

Drinkability- easy drinking for sure as this beer walked way more of a balance then I even had expected with malt and hop, goes down dangerously fast hard to tell this is 9.8 percent at all, while this beer is certainly good not sure yet if I would call it great rather just solid, oak adds a nice touch and the heat of abv is minimal to none, I feel though it would made it less balanced I was almost hoping for a bit more malt from this than amount of hop they threw in, at very least I would certainly try this again

Photo of Gmann
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark honey color with a smallish tight head that settles into a ring. The aroma is faint, did not pick up much, perhaps a touch of scorched caramel & toffee. The taste has a very mellow toffee and vanilla flavor, nothing sharp, quite smooth and sweet. The flavor is different from most old ales, seems to focus on vanilla. I worried that it might be cloying but it never does, very good. A moderate feel with tingly carbonation which helps cut the potential cloyingness of the brew. The ABV is no where to be found. This is a very tasty old ale. I like the vanilla profile. I am interested to see what some age does to this brew.

Photo of BillRoth
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting comparing to earlier reviews. I have very little to add.
There is a prominent nose of fruit/malt with hints of wood and aging. Raisins and a touch of alcohol. Warming, and robust as you move through the bottle. An excellent winter warmer. As noted by others the classic modest carbonation of Founder's brews appears again. Fortunastely, for me this what I love any time of year. To me contrary opinions suggest this would say that I wouldn't want another glass of a full cab, or that I wouldn't be having a vintage port in the summer. Folks, this is an awesome sipping beer for any time. I agree with previous reviewer that I will age a few. For those who enjoy a full, warming sipper to enjoy as you relax at end of day...rush to purchase!

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Dark amber with a slight creamy head.
smell: Very nice malty, buttery, port like nose. Aged in oak? That's obvious in the nose.
taste: Oh man, the taste delivers what the nose projects and then some. Smooth oh yeah. I'm puttin a few of these back. What will a little time do to this beauty?
mouthfeel: full, creamy, silky.
drinkability: This one is dangerous. Almost too drinkable.
Is Founders great or what?

Photo of jmerloni
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A dark orange, ruby brown color with huge head that recedes slowly and laces like a maniac.

S - So unique. I'm new to this kind of beer. Vanilla bean? Caramel malts. Smokey. I'm very confused by this brew and I like it.

T - Wow. Like nothing I've ever tasted. Vanilla bean indeed with some light spice. Maybe some figs or dates or dark cherry in these as well. Toasty bitter hops on the end. This is pretty strange and unique. I'm intrigued.,

M - Full indeed. Roasted and packed with flavor.

D - On the mouthfeel still, the carbonation is pretty limited and this is an area Founders routinely excels in - they never overcarbonate their beers and they don't have to. The flavors and uniqueness of all their brews speak for themselves. Another - not only great - but spectacular beer from Founders. It's very filling though and you probably can't have more than 1. One of my very favorite breweries. Will be buying this again very soon.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008. Poured from a short 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours a light golden color but fills the glass on the reddish side. Leaves a light tan and small creamy head that dissapates quickly. Light fizzy quick sliding lacing. Appearance is hazy with tons of setiment floating around.

Aroma is mild, but semi-sweet, malty, and dark over-ripe fruits...perticularly raisins. Very slight booze...similar to bourbon.

Wow,hmmm...I don't think this is aged in bourbon barrels, but definitely has a bourbon like flavor. Raisin flavor is a little strong. Medium body, high carbonation...boozy. This beer has some resemblences to Bad Habit Quad by Founders. Overall, a good beer...but closer to a Belgian style dark ale than an Old Ale in my oppinion.

Photo of alleykatking
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from growler. Thanks Luke for once again sharing!

A- Poured a dark caramel color. Very little head pops up and turns into skim on the top of the beer. No real lacing but coats the glass...hmm.

S- Big time sweet malts in this one. Some brown sugar or molasses. As it warms up some vanilla somes into play. Light toffee and darker fruits make up the aroma.

T- Lots of sweet malts in the upfront of this both caramel and toffee. The darker fruits come in next but mix with a alcohol presence very well. Light oak flavor along with vanilla. A sweet alcohol in the backend of this.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little off and made the beer feel more heavy than what it was. Tons of malt left on the palate with some alcohol soaked plum in the aftertaste. Flavors were big and bold. Left my palate very dry after each sip.

D- This beer is always a struggle for me and I don't know why. I enjoy the taste but it is always a sipper for me. It is always a welcome for me but sometimes too much for me to finish. One of a few beers that is like that for me.

Photo of JoeBloe
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is brownish-amber in color and didn't arrive to my table with that much of a head. It's difficult to see any rising bubbles in the glass.
S: A somewhat sweet smell is evident--most likely from the molasses--but it isn't all that strong.
T: The taste is very well balanced and starts off with malty sweetness followed by hop bitterness in the finish. You can definitely taste some of the alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate, smooth, and somewhat syrupy.
D: I don't think I could have more than one of these in a sitting but it's definitely a good beer to sip.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

appearance: poured with low carbonation but had great rentention and lacing. a caramel dark brown complexion.

smell: lots of caramel malt, like a sweet pie, molasses, some goosberry

taste: hefty malted ale with a great hop presence. very balanced for style. lots of caramel flavor and a touch of sweetness but not to much. drinks like a minced meat pie. bring untensils.

mouthfeel: full bodied, chewy

drinkability: great winter warmer beer, enjoyed as usual with founders.

Photo of morimech
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark caramel color with a small head that quickly settled to a thin skim of bubbles. A little sticky lacing is left on the glass. Some particulate matter that settles to the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Things really pick up now. A lot caramel and toffee notes. Smells sweet and fruity. Alcohol is detected but does not seem intimidating.

Taste- Overall sweet but not overboard in sweetness. Nice toffee and rum flavors up front. A touch of vanilla as well. The alcohol is well integrated and adds some warmth and kick. There is a hop flavor and bitterness that detracts from the wonderful malt flavor. The deeper I got into the glass, the hops became even more noticeable and lowered the score a little. I would of preferred a much milder hopped ale here but this is still a damn near perfect flavored Old Ale. This might of been influence by the hop crazed beer culture as it would of been better with half the IBUs.

Mouthfeel- Soft, silky smooth texture. Full bodied and rich. Perfect.

Drinkability- My bottle has a date of 02/24/09. Should of waited a little longer and let the hops fade some more. But still a very good example of the style.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

A fairly delicate pour produces a deep copper-amber-tinged brew with a half-fingered head of off-white (leaning on beige) foam that recedes somewhat quickly before resting into a thin crown that leaves behind some light, splotchy lacing on the walls of the glass.

Some barrel aging is evident in the nose, as notes of vanilla and a hint of coconut mingle with sweet caramel and a whiff of alcohol as the beer warms.

Medium-full in body with a very light carbonation, the mouthfeel is neither thin nor heavy. Though some sweet caramel notes appear up front, at temperatures of 45 degrees F and up the middle is immediately taken over by a very bitter, resiny hop-and-alcohol character that is a bit overpowering. Mingling within are notes of oak, vanilla and burnt sugar, but the astringent nature of the middle is somewhat off-putting and carries through well into the finish with an almost solventy nature. The finish is extremely dry and displays more oak barrel notes of vanilla and woodiness.

I'm not sure if it's the temperature or if this is just a bad bottle, but the strong hoppy/solventy nature in the middle is quite overpowering and makes this a little bit of a chore to drink. It is reminiscent of Nemesis 2009, but in a bad way, as the barrel aging notes and the base character of the beer are a bit similar, but the strength of flavor that, with Nemesis 2009, works so well, in this beer works to its detriment. Perhaps I'll have to attempt another bottle, or maybe I just have an aversion to curmudgeons in general.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a very dark amber using the Duvel glass. The taste is of roasted dark malts with dark fruits lingering in a delicious treat. The second best old ale I have had compared to 4th Dementia. This was very damn easy to drink as I didn't detect the 9.8% at all. Very smooth, and quite delicious. I will definately pick this beer up again.

Photo of bushbeer75
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of dtivp
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber color with a very slim off white head which disappeared very quickly.

Sweet malty aroma with molasses and oak.

Big roasted malt taste , with vanilla and dark fruit. Slight taste of alcohol. As the beer warmed the sweeter dark fruit taste became more prevalent.

Medium body beer with slight carbonation. Alcohol isn't over powering , however, if you didn't sip the first one, you should consider sipping the second. A nice ale by Founders

Photo of jjanega08
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= Pours a nice amber color with a little bit of floaties in it. The head is a half finger high head that is a strange yellow color with some decent lacing.

S= Excellent barrel notes in it. Really an exceptional barrel aroma. Nice coconut and vanilla notes in it. Oaky notes of wood. Really nice. A nice caramel nose to it.

T= The flavor is very similar to the nose. There is a nice oaky flavor to it. The oak notes are nice vanilla and coconut. Tons of caramel in it. Tasty as hell. I really like this one.

M= Nice and coating. A good thick feel to it.

D= Great Old ale! This is one of my new faves. I can't believe it isn't rated higher. This is an excellent brew.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,803 ratings.