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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

3,547 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,547
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 135
Gots: 656 | FT: 48
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: 3,547 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KarlHungus
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

KarlHungus, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of kmeves
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy copper/brown with a small beige head. Aroma is sweet raisin, caramel, cherry, nutty, light chocolate, smoke, butterscotch andwood. Flavor is cherry, caramel, raisin, light pineapple and light nutty. Finish is a bit hot and also has some bourbon notes. Full bodied, sticky texture. Low carbonation.

kmeves, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of chaz410
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a beer, I mean really, what a beer!! This beer pours cloudy and thick and seems like it's gonna be some sort of imperial brown ale. The smell is really sweet and smoot and has a crisp after effect. I love the tast of this beer, it is laced with vanilla and oak notes along with heavy malts. Caramel malt really rings out in this monster beer, it's really smooth too. I love this beer, share it with a friend and enjoy!

chaz410, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of johnd513
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into my Duvel glass, this beer has a hazy auburn color with an almost non existent head. Smells fruity and sweet with caramel and alcohol. Tastes of malt and sweet fruit with honey and caramel flavors. This beer is very smooth with a medium body and is nicely carbonated with alcohol at the end. Overall this is a great choice from Founders. I usually would not go for something as sweet as this but I am loving every sip of this one. A must try.

johnd513, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of MacDomer
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - A bit of an aggressive pour results in a huge two and a half finger thick, pillowy head which lasts forever. The color is a very nice dark saturated amber/rust color with some deep blood-orange highlights. Just gobs of sticky white lacing.

S - Very appealing nose. Loads of vanilla and sweet rum-soaked fruitcake, hints of bourbon and wood. Some faint hops at the end. It's complex, but could be a bit bigger or more powerful than it is. Not that it's weak, but it would easily be able to handle a larger nose.

T - Again, vanilla, light bourbon and wood, light and medium fruits. Sweet, like brown sugar and browned-butter baked peaches. Lots and lots of caramel. Both fruity and spicy mid-palate and nice warming alcohol at the end.

M - Really great mouthfeel! Fuller body, super creamy and smooth. Low carbonation. Finishes pretty clean with a long finish. This is super, super silky.

D - Pretty high considering the ABV. Very tasty brew and the flavors don't get tiring, and with the great mouthfeel, I had no problem drinking this beer and could easily drink another one or two.

Another great one from Founders.

MacDomer, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Curmudgeon pours a thick, lightly carbonated, warm deep reddish amber color.

S - Brown sugar caramelizing in sweet butter. Malt sneaking up from behind.

T - I think this is just my sweet tooth talking and that I might be biased here, but I absolutely love the taste. Sweet, caramel, with sort of a spicy frontend.

M - Bubbly and on the thick end of medium.

D - Fantastic but very brown sugary sweet, maybe not for everyone.

HeyItsChili, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of tastybeer
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep hazy auburn, woody color, with some semi-discernible floaty bits if you look carefully enough. Head is far smaller than that of any other Founders brew I've had. There's about a 1/2" of creamy white bubbles initially which turns to a thin layer. Aroma is appealingly intriguing. Orange peel, lemon, cranberries, wood and leaves, grapes, softly liquor-like, phenolic and flowery. A lot to take in for sure but also well blended. Taste is also a lot to behold. Whiskey soaked fruits, again orange and cranberries, chocolate, tobacco, sweet caramel malt and cream/lactose, with nice bitterness through the finish. This is intense but tasty. The body + texture are extra nice. Thick and full, not overly syrupy, smoothly slick and perhaps creamy. The carbonation is subtle and just right for this also. Its a slow drinker but appropriately so.

This would certainly be welcome one at a time, once in awhile. Probably better off after dinner rather than before or during.

tastybeer, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Founders- Curmudgeon

A- Thick reddish orange with a big thick white head. Small lacing.
S- Sweet fruity malt (cherry and prune) with sugar and a dusting of chocolate.
T- Very sweet cherry/ plum malt with a touch of cocoa powder.
M- Again sweet with a dried fruity body and a tart finish.

Overall- Very sweet with big doses of dried fruits and a big alc. warmness made this an enjoyable 1 pinter.

NJpadreFan, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of andylipp
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance -A deep orange amber pour with ¼ inch of head in my tulip. The head quickly dissipated to a thin slick. Coats the glass with each swirl.

Smell -Sweet malt, caramel, alcohol, wood, brandy and port.

Taste -A malty toffee sweetness quickly gives way to an extremely complex palate of dried fruits, oak, whiskey, some hoppy bitterness and a long, woody finish. A late hint of vanilla/caramel in the finish, also. Nice.

Mouthfeel -The body had some nice viscosity to it, yet the carbonation was a bit too skimpy for me. Warming alcohol as it goes down.

Drinkability- It's a sipper, to be sure. More than one at a sitting would be too much. It shows every bit of it's ABV in every sip, yet it is fairly smooth.

Comments- I wondering if a few months in the bottle might take the remaining edges off of this one (but the screw-off cap makes me hesitant to try it).

andylipp, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of joeskirkie
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a snifter near-opaque copper. Not much in the way of head.

On the nose there are some dark fruit notes, some caramel, vanilla, and alcohol.

Taste is intense: creamy vanilla sweetness and alcohol. Hints of some dark fruits, but mostly vanilla.

It's really nice to to relax with. It's smooth like a Bailey's or a good bourbon.

I can see myself getting more of these.

joeskirkie, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was able to try this Founders beer on tap courtesy of the High Street Grill. It was still on tap there around 11/29/2008. They served it to me in River Horse pint glass.

I saw the bartender pour it straight from the tap and it looked like he was pouring a slow thick molasses into my pint glass. When the beer settled, I saw that it was a hazy cranberry orange color. It had more cranberry than orange in it. On top of this hazy brew was a good 1/2 an inch head of pure white foam. This head of foam had decent retention that left behind a long lasting skim of white foam, a small string of white rings, and one streak of white lace. The aroma was no joke! This Old Ale was on the sweet side with roasted wheat, plenty of sweet black cherries, a touch of caramel, a subtle hint of grapefruit, lightly roasted pine needles, and a few dried herbal hops at the end. The taste was messing around either. The taste kicks off on the sweet side with toasted caramel malts, a speck of roasted wheat, and a splash of dried black cherries. Then after the black cherries leave the tongue, the taste then goes dry, bitter, and alcoholic with dried citrus hops, a few dried citrus fruits, quite a few pine needles, and a big bite of alcohol. Sometimes the hops and alcohol will mix together to make the taste a little harsh to drink. This was clearly a full bodied beer with a strong full flavored aftertaste of dried citrus hops, black cherries, a gentle touch of caramel, and plenty of alcohol. This strong aftertaste will linger on for some time. This beer doesn't even try to mask its high alcohol content. It was a nice lightly sweet big beer, but like I said before, it can get a little harsh to drink sometimes. Be careful with one. Take your time sipping this big beer.

AltBock, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of Shumista
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle allowed to sit out of the fridge and warm for 20-25 minutes before being poured into my Chimay goblet.

A- Curmudgeon pours a dark amber, with a 1 inch creamy off white head.
S- Thick sweet malts, toffee, caramel, alcohol, and some woodiness.
T- Very unique. The backbone is certainly the huge sweet malts but there is a ton going on here. Molasses, caramel, dark fruits, some wood character, whiskey and a very noticeable alcohol presence that borders on being too much. I don't notice a lot of hoppy bitterness in the flavor but I'm sure it's there, intermingling with everything else.
M- Thick, creamy and very full bodied. As I said the alcohol presence is strong and noticeable.
D- The alcohol being as noticeable as it was took away from this beer's drinkability. One would be great to sip next to the fire on a cold winter night, but I don't think I would want another. Maybe I'd save one and pour it over my pancakes in the morning though.

Shumista, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of neenerzig
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes as I enjoyed this on-tap at La cave Du Vin several weeks ago now. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a dark amber/copper color with a tan head that was about 1/2 inch thick when served. It eventually sets to a medium sized white ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing. Has a malty caramel aroma with strong hints of some dark fruit and oak. Has a caramel malt flavor along with the oaked flavor and some dark fruit which is a bit tart and maybe a hint of spice and a bit of alcohol. Has a very crisp, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink.

Eric

neenerzig, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12-ounce bottle served cellar-cool, poured into a small tulip glass yields a dark copper body capped with a half-finger-deep layer of creamy foam a shade darker than 'ivory'. The head recedes rather quickly into a medium-thick collar that leaves wispy lacing on the glass.

The smell is pretty mild overall, but there is a bit of cocoa-dusted caramel and toasty malt to keep me interested. A whiff of tangy unsulphured molasses emerges late in the drink

The taste is savory and toffee-sweet with a sizzle of cocoa bitterness and caramel-infused black coffee. Waves of dark brown sugar interspersed with with rich dark chocolate mostly cover a tangible alcohol note that comes off fresh, vanilla-like, and cleansing.

The drink is full-bodied with a tingle of carbonation and silky feel. Very good drinkability for style.

cvstrickland, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy orange color with a decent tan head. There are plenty of floaters in this one as well. The head recedes to a layer of bubbles across the top and leaves some spotty lacing all over the glass.

S- At first I can pick up some malts both sweet and caramel. Can also find alcohol, a woody smell, and bourbon.

T- Again I'm blasted by malts here. Followed up by a woody, light bourbon taste and some darker fruits that I could pick up with the nose. Alcohol finishes this one up.

M- Medium to full in body and low to medium carbonation.

D- A sipper for sure but still fairly easy to drink.

nrbw23, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of gmcfarre
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a surprisingly clear ruby color with a minimal off-white head. Minimal lacing. Beautiful color, not much else.

S - Intense sweetness with a nice woody flavor for balance. Plum, raisin and dark currants with some smooth vinous qualities. Alcohol is a strong component.

T - Smooth with strong sweetness from beginning to end. Not to say that its not complex. Loads of dark fruit flavor: plum, raisin, dark grapes. Vanilla and a delightful earthy, wood flavor. Strong alcohol bite develops at the finish as this beer warms. Beautifully complex, and true to its name.

M - Rich and full body with a smooth mouthfeel. Sharp alcoholic bite at the finish.

D - Delicious flavor stays accurate throughout. High alcohol in flavor doesn't necessarily translate to high alcohol in effect and drinkability. A terrific brew from Founders.

gmcfarre, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of FrognutUnl
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours blurry nut brown in color (a little lighter than I would have expected) with a single finger head that dissipates to a foamy swirl. Nose is deep caramel and vanilla, not much else going on here. Taste is much like the nose with the addition of some hop bitterness and a slightly woody taste. The alcohol is very present, but not overly so for the style. The mouthfeel is a little thin compared to other old ales I have had. Drinkability is only so so on this one, the hops seem oddly placed, perhaps in another six months this will improve.

FrognutUnl, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of bigkahunas4
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a single 12 oz of this guy after really being impressed by the Breakfast Stout. I really dig the artwork of the labels, and always love me a stubby bottle. Poured into an oversize snifter after letting it warm to room temp a bit.

Curmudgeon entered the glass a milk, honey brown. Head is basically nonexistent, which is a cause for concern for this particular bottle. A thin film around the edges, leaving very minimal lacing. Also leaving much to the imagination is a lack of much in the sell department. Though, in its defense, as it warms they come more alive. Gooey caramel, spiced fig, and other sweet candied notes come alive, in what is obviously going to be a nice big malt bomb.

And a big malt bomb it is. My eye lit up instantly. After beginning to be let down by this brew, the taste really came in guns blazing. Curmudgeon begins by coating your tongue with a rye bread, moving to the back of the mouth releasing the sweetest of old ale yeastiness. Tons of sweet sugar, a big carame punch, and dark fruits. The finish is balanced out with a slighty grassy bitterness. Finish also is quite dry, keeping your hand in constant swing for more.

While starting slow, this one finished with a bang. Technically this isn't my favorite, but for sure I'll be loading up my closet with these.

bigkahunas4, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of gford217
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of hoppymeal poured into a snifter.

Pours a murky reddish orange with a creamy off-white head that lingers as a thin cap for quite a while and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is heavy on sweet caramel malts and dark sweet fruits. There is definitely a wood and bourbon presence but not overpowering. There are some floral hops up front as well.

The taste is boozier than the aroma with lots of bourbon and oak throughout. The flavor has the sweetness of the caramel malts and molasses but it takes a back seat to the barrel character. The flavors meld a bit better as it warms.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth but with good carbonation. Just coats the mouth wonderfully.

This is an interesting old ale and I think it would have been even better for me without the overpowering barrel presence in the taste. Nonetheless, a good sipper.

gford217, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of craytonic
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright golden orange-amber. Amazing bubbles.

Smell: Light and dark raisins, toffee, brown sugar

Taste: Sweet bread, honey, caramel, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar. A hint of bourbon. Maybe some marshmallows as well?

Mouthfeel: Near-perfect. A tad sticky from the sugar, like candy almost.

Drinkability: It opens up as it warms. Much more drinkable than a barleywine. It is a very full-bodied beer and makes it known. Very good, I would like to try it again.

craytonic, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of afterexile - thanks!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yet bright amber, with great orange and reddish hues and a tan but fast-fading one-finger head. The lacing is glittery, fine, but alcohol-retarded like the head. A really nice color on this one, but a little to be desired with the retention and lacing.

Aroma: That's more like it. The malt bill is intensely aromatic, lending a nice amount of buttery toffee, caramel, marshmallow, sweet breadiness. Fruits come through a little more as things warm. Hints of wood and vanilla - was this one barrel aged? Very nice.

Taste: Nice, although a little hot. A really great malt profile is obviously the backbone of any solid old ale, and this one's no different: perhaps more buttery than many, but with a huge dose of roasted, caramel malts, toffee, slight maple syrup. A slight dose of fruits, mostly darker fructose notes, but a few lighter esters sneak through the EtOH shroud.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation in a relatively heavy (but not too heavy) body lends a nice, smooth feel to everything. A slight alcohol prickle - perhaps enhanced by the 50 IBUs - hardly distracts from the pillowy evenness.

Drinkability: Founders continues to be one of my favorite breweries, and this one really comes into its own as it warms. Yeah, it's a little hot and could do with being laid down for a year or two (an older ale?), and the abv% is high regardless - approaching double-digits - but there's a ton of great stuff here.

CrellMoset, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of EPseja
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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.

EPseja, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a good quarter inch of foamy head and solid lacing.

S: Very potent smell of multiple sugars, malt, and some hops.

T: A nicely complex taste of malt, mild hops, caramel, toffee and some other sugars. The sugars almost overwhelm the taste, but it stays fairly balanced.

M: A pretty good amount of carbonation and a kind of slick finish. Full-bodied.

D: In some ways, this reminded me of a barleywine, probably because of the caramel. Overall, this is a drinkable beer, one good for the winter months.

avalon07, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

ColForbinBC, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of TexIndy
4.33/5  rDev +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.

TexIndy, Nov 14, 2008
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,547 ratings.