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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,613 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,613
Reviews: 1,105
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 140
Gots: 681 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
50 IBU
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,613 | Reviews: 1,105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy mahogany. Very small tan head even with a rigorous pour. Not much lacing to speak of. The nose is VERY rich. There are amber malts, dark fruits (most notably black cherries), vanilla, and some very mild piney hops. Taste begins with piney hops, more than the nose hinted at. It's followed by raisiny-sweet amber malts and a touch of whiskey/bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a very rich and full bodied, very light on the carbonation...I would have liked a bit more carbonation though. Alcohol is present, it definitely warms you on the way down. This is a pretty intense beer - first that I have had of this style. Can't say that I could drink a lot of these, but was nice for a night when you're in the mood to kick back and enjoy a beer.

Jayli, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of thequeen711
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ale from Founders that pours a golden/coppery colour. The frothy pour leaves a light lacing after settling. Very smooth mouthfeel, sweet fruity taste, and somewhere in the aroma I detect oak and vanilla. The ABV is well hidden, didn't realize it until I stood up!
Another keeper from Founders

thequeen711, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of WanderingFool
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Founders Crumudgeon pours a slightly hazy dark copper color into the glass. A small off white head on top quickly fades away leaving a ring around the surface of the beer and some spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is oak, vanilla, dark fruits like cherry or plum, orange peel and alcohol. Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and slightly chewy. Carbonation is low to moderate giving a tingle on the sides of the tongue.

The flavor is much like a barleywine without all the hops. Caramel malt, oak, dark fruit, vanilla and molasses dominate. Also present is a citrus flavor of orange peel. At the end alcohol flavors move in which gives the beer a very mild burn as it goes down the throat. Once gone the molasses and oak flavor lingers on the palate.

This is definitely a sipping beer that grows more complex in aroma and flavor as it warms.

WanderingFool, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of SFLpunk
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass twist-top. No date.

Appearance: Tawny orange/brown. No head to speak of, and somewhat cloudy (no sediment though).

Nose: Sweet raisin bread, apricots, toasted cashews, deep caramel, milk chocolate, dried figs.

Palate: Medium- to full-bodied with loads of sugar up front. Dried fruits (figs, raisons, prunes) mingle with a layer of light milk chocolate (low cocoa %), and some flavors that remind me of tawny/colheita ports and malmsey madeiras. Rich and somewhat thick, there is a moderate edge from the hop bitterness.

Notes: A well made Old Ale, will improve over short-term ageing, but I don't think it's made to go for more than 3 years with improvement. I would like to see more hop character for longer ageing. The hops show themselves and try to contain the HUGE sweetness, but it's just bursting at the brim with sugar. A little more contained than the Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog, though.

SFLpunk, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of BeerImmediately
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle to chalice at 50 degrees from cellar.

Aggressive pour yields short head - decent lacing on down. Beautifully opaque orange color when held to the light.

Smell is purely seductive. Barleywine-esque. Cinnamon spice, bready, and sharp orange peel in my book.

Taste is ballsy. Barley, candied sugar, vanilla, n fair amount of alcohol, but well balanced. Found this to be much sweeter on the tongue than the nose.

Rich, sticky, chewy mouthfeel.

Take this puppy one sip at a time, and enjoy. Not recommended for the beach in July.

BeerImmediately, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of Zippie9999
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Bottle from a 4 pack purchased at Table and Vine in W. Springfield, MA. (Damn, CT limited beer availability!)
A: Pours a reddish, brown, orange color w/ nice foamy head retention.
S: Sweet, molasses, vanilla, with almost a red-wine quality to it.
T: Sweet, bready, with traces of molasses, burnt sugar, and subtle vanilla.
M: Nice full, and frothy.
D: Phenomenal. A great beer that hides the fact that it's 9.3% Be careful, the ABV on this sucka will sneak up on you and kick you in the ass!

Zippie9999, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the South Philly Taproom during Philly Beer week. While a fine beer, I think it suffered a bit in the company of beers like Backwoods bastard, hand of doom and KBS.

The beer pours a lovely reddish brown amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, one gets some sweet malt, vanilla and almost a sherry like quality, what one expects in an aged ale. The flavors on the palate replicate the nost almost exactly, though the beer is just a bit sweeter then I would like to have seen. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel, and the alcohol is pretty well disguised. Can't imagine drinking a lot of this stuff, but it wasn't too heavy, boozy or tiring on the palate.

A very solid beer, but unfortunately it was in he company of some heavyweights, and I don't think showed its very best.

John_M, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of discovolante65
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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.

discovolante65, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of Murchmac
2.53/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to zealot for this suprise beer in a trade, I think.

Pours a thick Honey Brown with lots of floaties in this bottle. Didn't know or look out to see sediment.

Smells like an old ale but kinda boozy. Like the drunk at the bus stop.

This might not be fair because all those yeasty floaties are giving it a very bitter taste??!! Not too good in my book.

I think this might not be too fair because the beer may have been poured wrong, but good beer should be idiotproof. The more I drink the worse it gets, so it might not be me. No soup for you!

Murchmac, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

RonfromJersey, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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.

GatorBeerNerd, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of coldmeat23
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours medium brown, with dark ruby tinting. Minimal head forms and quickly dissipates. Lacing is thick and fairly sticky.

Big malty sweetness. Slight buttery smell with a touch of vanilla. Somewhat bourbon or scotch like. Mild hints of dark fruits. Mild fusel alcohol.

Big malts dominate here, also. Sweet and rich. Dark bread notes. Raisins. Nice caramel notes. Alcohol presence cuts the sweetness and offers a very nice amount of balance.
Full flavored and not for the weak.
For those who like scotch ales, or just plain scotch whiskey, for that matter, this is highly recommended.

Thick, viscous and oily. This one definitely qualifies as 'chewey'. Yet still smooth.
Very low carbonation levels.

This one is a good example of why I like Old Ales so much. Also, why Founders is becoming one of my favorite breweries. So much of their line is just damn tasty.
I could drink alot of these.

coldmeat23, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of kbeals
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a viscous pour, very little head with a bit of lacing. Looks about the color of apple cider, some floaties. Smell is a bit citrusy with sweet malts, an alcohol smell makes quite a presence also. Tastes exactly like scotch, maybe a bit sweeter though, not much to this one. Chest is warmed up nicely from the alcohol, though. This is the first Founder's brew I probably would never buy again.

kbeals, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of Frosty80
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: clear copper and amber

Smell: very dense, sweet smell. perhaps a little bourbon cask hint. alcohol hides nicely. little buttery. maybe a hint of vanilla

Taste: great balance between flavors and alcohol. buttery and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: low-full body. little carbonation. very smooth and rich

Notes: huge fan of stock ales and barleywines. this one is just how i like these styles - strong, rich, sweet, and virtually no hops.

Frosty80, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of mmmbeer
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. stubby with no freshness date; unfiltered, 50 IBUs. The beer is a deep, dark crimson, filled with floaties, and capped with a thick finger of yellowed head. Very enticing aroma, with raisins and spices, sweet bread, caramel, brown sugar, fruitcake, a hint of diacetyl and suggestions of molasses, chocolate and pecans. Lots of spicy hop flavor and bitterness, balanced by fruity alcohol and a chewy, complex maltiness that imparts ripe raisin and sweet, dark bread. The body is thick and coating, powdery at times, and leaves a medium finish. This is a hugely malty beer with enough hops to balance, and makes for a delicious evening sipper.

mmmbeer, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of Keith238
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hints of caramel and vanilla in the nose. Very malty with a nice oak flavor. Could be a nice step up in alcohol and hoppiness for lovers of scotch ales. The alcohol and hops cut through the very thick maltyness of this brew and help bring it into balance. Very drinkable. Yet another great brew from Founders.

Keith238, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. The four-pack carrier claims it's 9.8% abv (vs. the 9.3% recorded here on the site).
Poured an almost dark orange color, I liked the way it looked. There was a lot going on in the smell. This being my first real old ale, I didn't know what to expect, but I got sweet smells from all over the spectrum. Caramel, fruit, etc. Interesting, but a little cloying. Fortunately, the taste wasn't so sick, yeah it was intense and really sweet, but the alcohol cut through the sweetness just enough to make it pretty darn good. All in all, I wasn't in a hurry to have another one and I move on for the remainder of the evening, but I did enjoy this beer and would have another some other time. Founders is studly, they just crank out hit after hit.

SwiftyMcBeer, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of stumac
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
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...

stumac, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of Mauerhan
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into my sam adams better glass. a rusty orange color. a nice one and a half finger head. small bits of soapy lacing.

smells sweet. slightly citrusy. candied sugar.

taste is smooth. a nice malt presence. subtle hop bitterness.

Well balanced. Smooth carbonation, not too sweet. Smooth hops throughout. Definately controlling the pallate.

not my favorite old ale but it is still pretty good. I would like to see what it would be like with a bit of age.

Mauerhan, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, dirty, orange/brown color with a small, tan , foamy head. It left soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel, some malt and boozy alcohol. Overall, a very sweet smelling nose.

T - The first fews sips were like drinking Brach caramels. Delicious! As it continued to warm the caramel flavor mellowed and it had a slight fruity taste emerge. A boozy alcohol flavor starts to come through as well.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is possibly the best old ale that I've ever had. It was sweet and delicious. It only gets a 4 on drinkability because it is so sweet and so potent.

zeff80, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of timmay41
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. The four-pack carrier claims it's 9.8% abv (vs. the 9.3% recorded here on the site).

A: Pours an intense, almost lurid dark orange-amber hue. Topped with a thin (less than one finger) bright white head.

S: Deep bourbon scents on the front of the nose, followed by almost simultaneous big malts, fruit sweetness, thick molasses, and a little hop character. There's a lot going on here, but it's almost too busy. Hard to distinguish or truly get a feel for. Making me rethink my previous experiences with this style and how Founders is trying to negotiate its way within those parameters.

T: Strong bourbon & alcohol bite dominates. I keep trying to find more subtle notes, but I'm having trouble. Big malt, a little bitter on the aftertaste.

M: Sticky sweet and thick, but not too thick. The mouthfeel doesn't distract from the brew at all.

D: I was excited to find this Founders offering and have generally liked the old ales I've come across, but this one didn't meet my expectations. Might try again down the road because it might be my palette, but not a favorite right now.

timmay41, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Shane for throwing this extra in. I wasted no time chilling this and poured it into my snifter as soon as I was done reading corporate tax law. This is just what I needed.

A: Pours a magnificent ruby red with some dark caramel brown hues peeking through. Held up to my desk light I can see tons of brown, clumpy yeast floaties in the bottom of the glass. The head is about a half finger and tan that dissipates into a very thin ring.

S: Smell is spectacular. The initial smell is bourbon soaked raspberries with a caramel toffee background. Smell is sweet, but the bourbon and fruits definitely come to the forefront.

T: Bam! This one is flavorful. Tons (but not over the top) of bourbon notes mixed with the aforementioned raspberry puree, sweet caramel and toffee.

Overall, this is a great ale. I am not the biggest bourbon fan, but this one does it right. Thanks again Shane!

treyrab, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of jim102864
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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

jim102864, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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.

tmoneyba, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of bjoyce12
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Overpowered by the bourbon taste. Not much carbonation, which could have offset the high ABV. Maybe I got an old bottle, but alcohol burn very present. Can't get past the bourbon taste, both in the initial flavor and aftertaste. Very much like Old Grand Dad. Founders must use some of their bourbon casks in the brewing process.

bjoyce12, Feb 08, 2009
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,613 ratings.