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 Bone53
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as good as i expected from Founders. A little thin, weak, and not rich enough for the style. I also get very little oak character. More like a fairly good barleywine to me. I will not seek this one out again (211 characters)

Photo of riverotterrob
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's mahogany color, only issue in the appearance is the head, which is minimal and short lived. I like how the brewer used the oak's astringency coupled with the hops and alcohol. The Fact founder's only adds oak, not oak and bourbon is also nice because the oak only adds a note to the beer's overall profile, without dominating it. It's a good beer that's fairly unique. (373 characters)

Photo of kbwalters
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look = 4.5 Pours a clears amber/brown with 1.5 fingers of light brown head that fades to a cap. Good retention and great lace.
Aroma = 3.75 Subtle aroma but good; sweet, caramel malt notes dominate with some molasses notes and mild alcohol
Taste = 4.0 Malty sweetness upfront and the booze hits in the middle. A significant bitter finish with booze lingering in the aftertaste; it really comes out as it warms.
Feel = 4.0 Full bodied with low to medium carbonation, thickish feel, good for the style.
Drinkability = 3.75 Alcohol hurts some here.
Overall = 3.9875 An improved score here compared to last time; subtle aroma but pleasant, the feel was better for me this time. Overall not one of my favorites though. (713 characters)

Photo of AppaZappa
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours honey color, great looking beer with nice lacing. Smell is dried fruit, molasses, alcohol, oak. Molasses and malt, sweet and smooth. Very nice sipper! (156 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a transparent, crystal clear amber color and has nearly no head at all. Much lighter in color than I was expecting.

A fruit-like, maybe even wine-like aroma leaps out of the glass at me.

Flavor is immensely rich and strong. Malty characteristics combine with a sweet, almost syrupy flavor (not feel) and is flanked by a supreme bitterness on the sides of my tongue. That bitterness quickly gives way to a wine-esque alcohol warmth. Lingering sweetness and a mild bready flavor continue after tasting.

The mouthfeel is a little bigger than this beer's appearance leads on. And its nearly perfectly carbonated. (622 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy brownish red color with a small off white head and good carbonation. The odor is sweet, candy like, malty, dark fruits, berry, plum, raisin, vanilla, dry wood, oak, rich, slightly floral. The taste is woods, oak, dried fruits, plum, malty, sweet, spices, grapefruit. Bitter dry throughout. (307 characters)

Photo of MacMalt
4.79/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a beautiful honey color with thick, milky head and light lacing; a very attractive beer. The smell is complex with fruit and spicy oakiness. The initial taste is the molasses and malts but is quickly followed by a blast of bitterness. Medium-bodied, pleasant mouth feel. Overall, I really like this beer and stock up when it's released in the Spring. (361 characters)

Photo of oregonduck
2.58/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smell is different than the taste. Smells a bit odd and sour, with some spice. Yet taste is very malt forward and overwhelmingly sweet, with a bit of a spiciness. Sweetness lingers on the finish. No noticeable hop presence to balance it out. Hard to finish as it is so sweet and strong. WNBA. (297 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of oak, dark fruits. Taste is oak, alcohol, dark fruits, malts, a light sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer. (241 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Sovereign in Plainfield IL.
A - Pours amber colored with a small head but lots of lacing.
S - I did not notice much aroma at all.
T - Tastes like raisins or prunes, in a good way!
M - Medium thick mouth feel, low carbonation.
O - This is a very good winter beer. I'm sorry to say I've been walking past this beer at my local liquor store. (360 characters)

Photo of The_Dude_710
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage draft fill of a 32oz growler poured into goblets. Smell is Carmel and alcohol very pleasant tho. Look is a golden amber, lingering head. Beautiful beer. Taste is oaky, Carmely, and booze, it's great! It's a heavy beer at 9.8% abv. One of my favorite founders beers I've acquired to date. (300 characters)

Photo of Electros
4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was hands down one of the best beers I have ever had. It went down effortlessly. Beautiful colour, smell, but the taste blew it off of the charts. I have had most of Founders offerings, and I didn't think they could top the triple. They did, this was absolutely amazing!!! (277 characters)

Photo of pjkelley82
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Have had this beer a few times and now it so happens I'm drinking one and seen I haven't reviewed it....

12oz 2014 bottle into snifter.

Pours a copper ruby color, almost dark amber or a honey chestnut. Thick one and a half inch antique white colored head that looked light a pillow-y. Left a thin ring throughout with a thin skin. Decent lacing and a wee bit of legs pops out.

Smell is malt and stoned fruit, dark fruit, oak and caramel.

Taste follows the nose with a super nice touch on the oak with a whiskey type alcohol touch that just makes this beer standout.

Full bodied and heavy, slightly creamy, semi sticky with a delicious drying touch at the end that makes you want more.

Overall a solid Old Ale. Are there better? To me, yes but for something that's available as this and with its own distinct touch to it I could argue dollar for dollar this is it. Founders is a great brewery who makes above average beers. Some world class but almost all of them are solid within its category. This is one of them. (1,029 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this in the back of a local liquor store from last year's release.

A - Deep amber color. Crystal clear with small white head and light lacing.

S - Full aroma with malt, caramel, alcohol and some fruit present. This is a very complex aroma with rich malt and alcohol battling it out for supremacy.

T - Matching the smells, the flavor is very complex like a whiskey. The rich malty character is first with the sweet caramel and then the alcohol to blend it together. There is some light fruitiness and a molasses in the middle. The finish is more dry with the alcohol warming.

M - Medium to light mouth-feel with light carbonation. Really is more like a sweet rum than a true beer. Soft on the palate and not harsh but enough alcohol to warm you.

Overall, a very good old ale. It is a unique experience with all the flavors blending together with a sweeter and more alcoholic beer. It is thinner and not as full flavored as a wee-heavy but much more flavor and body than a whiskey or smaller scotch ale. I would recommend this if you are not afraid of some alcohol flavor.

Glass- Snifter (1,097 characters)

Photo of dryndantheman
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask previously enjoying it many times from the bottle.

L: It pours a nice orange tinted brown with a small white head that dissipates quickly.

S & taste:The smell is strong on the malts and has a bit of molasses/other things going o. Initial taste is the same with a nice bit of fruit with some oaky bitterness coming in.

F: Extremely smooth and easy to drink, had a slight heaviness to it but in a good way (like a nice porter)

It was great value at €6 a pint but deceptively strong at 9.8%. Pity is is only ever in the pub for 5 days at most a year. (575 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours to a murky dark copper orange. Forms a quickly dissipating half finger of off white soapy head.
S - Malts malts and more malts. No hop profile to this beer whatsoever. Has milk stout qualities in the aroma. Once allowed to warm up a bit, more oak and molasses notes shine through in the aroma.
T - Once again, a ton of malts and no hops. Has a sweet boozey flavor with a little bitter oak in the back to round off the sweetness. Molasses is a bit faint but present. Beer is simple and rounded, malty sweetness with oak bitterness at the end. Extremely smooth and deceptively sessionable.
O - A quite good beer, not amazing, but very good. Definitely worth a try.
V - Medium value, standard 4 pack Founder's pricing. (729 characters)

Photo of PostRockandCats
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle to a nonic glass.

L: Medium brown with a compact, sturdy tan head. Tight lacing. Cloudy.

S: Vanilla, light Caramelly Malts, bit of burnt sugar. Complex nose, but not very heavy.

T: Taste follows the nose: caramelly, vanilla malts right up front followed by mild piney hops at the end. Some rasiny and dark fruit notes. Nice bit of sweet woodiness throughout. Bit of brown sugar with very mild brown bread at the end. I don't taste molasses, per se; I taste a deep, sweet earthiness. It's not a heavy flavor, but one that adds fullness. I can feel the alcohol, but it's not noticeable on my palate.

F: Like velvet. Medium, creamy mouthfeel.

O: I've yet to be disappointed by Founders. I wish this weren't seasonal! Nice balance and depth without being too heavy. Almost sessionable if it weren't for the ABV! (834 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mom and dad got this one for me in Michigan on a recent visit. Cheers guys!

From a bottle into a snifter
IBU: 50
Old ale with molasses and aged in oak barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger, creamier white head with excellent retention. Clear maroon red or burnt orange in color with medium levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a nice full cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A good wisp remains and leaves some touches of lacing as the glass empties.

SMELL: Caramel, red fruits, oak, some vanilla from the barrels and touches of floral hops on the nose.

TASTE: Lots of caramel malts with toffee and sweet fruits up front. Flavorful beginning. Bold finish of sweet malts, oak, touches of vanilla with a light floral bitterness that adds the necessary balance to all the sweet toffee, fruit and berries. Some lightly spicy alcohol lingers as well. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Good stuff. Lots of sweet flavors and a good dose of bitterness for balance. Really enjoyed how all the flavors and characteristics blended together to form a coherent whole on this one. Something I’d gladly drink again if I had the chance. Thanks again guys! Always appreciate the brews. (1,330 characters)

Photo of VTR
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The smell on this was very nice. Malts, whiskey, oak, sweet smelling molasses, and some dark fruits. The taste somewhat followed the nose but in my opinion was a lot better. It is definitely an old ale. The strong ale hits you first followed by the oak/whiskey flavor but then fades quickly into a kind of sweet aftertaste. I think the molasses helped balance it out. This is not a sweet beer it is dry and kind of bitter but I thought the bitterness subsided as the beer warmed. This is definitely a sipper beer with some good friends or some good old alone time. I do not think it would be enjoyed with food. Overall, I have purchased every bottle I have seen and can not wait to seek this out again in the spring. I still have two bottles in my cellar from this year. I was fortunate to drink more than my fair share this year! Seek this out I can not see how you could be disappointed. (901 characters)

Photo of magpieken
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

355ml bottle. Pours an amber colour with a moderate densely packed, tan head. Excellent retention and good lace. Aroma of malt, caramel, raisins, oaky whisky. A lot going on in this one. A nice level of sweetness with some dry bitterness in the finish. Full body, soft carbonation, smooth yet sticky texture and soothing level of alcohol warmth. Grab a good novel, your smoking jacket and relax in comfy chair with this one. (424 characters)

Photo of roubaixnorth
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Strong smells of honey, molasses, scotch, and whiskey. This is one smooth beer. A nice sipper and getting better with age. The ones I'm drinking now where bottled in the Spring of 2014.

Very little if any hop bitterness, these are going to be good on cold winter nights. refreshing finish and not too syrupy. (311 characters)

Photo of bman13
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Founders has come through yet again (surprise, surprise, right?). I've never had an old ale before this one and it tastes phenomenal. Very malt forward, (but not a malt bomb) with a heavy aroma of molasses and ginger snap cookies that carries through their taste and leaves a clean and heavy finish of malted molasses cookies. Love this (336 characters)

Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had a bottle from 2012, which had been left on the shelf at the beer store.

Enjoyed it. Mouthfeel was very rich and sticky. Lots of malt. Definitely got lots of dark fruits and some maple.

Would be interesting to compare to a bottle fresh. (242 characters)

Photo of BadmouthBrews
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

draft from flying saucer in Nashville.
Pours a dark caramel color, kind of like maple syrup. Which makes sense because it is brewed with maple. You can smell it and taste it. Great complexity and smooth tasting for such a high abv. (232 characters)

Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Many thanks to Dan!

Pours a decent bubbly head, with an amber, rubinred color.

Aromas of caramel malts with a lot of toffee and a small raisin infusion, while cane sugar and molasse build the foundation with hints of vanilla and rum on top.

Begins sweet, with bready hints, which get swallowed by even sweeter sugar and molasse. These stay in balance with wooden, leathery, heavy malts, wrapped up by a slick bitterness. Has an oily, spicy maltiness to it, with vanilla and cream underneath, which defines the character of this brew. It is still pretty sweet on the palate, but without loosing its balance, as it finishes with a gentle, hoppy bitterness of matured hops and oaky hints. The alcohol gets perfectly hidden by the sweet malts, creating a smooth mouthfeel with a slick finish, while being medium-bodied. (820 characters)

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