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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

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2,831 Ratings
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Ratings: 2831
Reviews: 1037
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%

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: 2,831 | Reviews: 1,037 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tpd975


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

Got this one in a trade like most I now forget where it came from.... Whoever sent it Thanks!

A: Pours a reddish brown hue with a thunderous head. Quite a few bubbles but very little lacing.

S: Very big. Tons of malt, oak, bourbon, cherries and vanilla. You could pass this off for a very nice snifter of Bourbon.

T: The smell defined the taste in this one. Tons of oak. Like fine barrel aged bourbon baby yet soo much more complex. Besides the oak the alcohol is present, there is also vanilla and chocolate candied covered cherries. Lovely Brew.

M: Medium bodied yet clingy. Takes hold of my mouth and throat with the strong oakiness, and burns its way down.

D: Like Bourbon and Whiskey I would drink this one only in small doses. It's a sipper, but a very fine one indeed. To be enjoyed one bottle at a time.

Overall: I have gotten into the Old Ales recently and this one is a perfect example. I would like to get another and age it a bit to see what it does to the flavor. If the alcohol taste died down a bit, that would be a plus but this is one very complex brew. Founder's is quite possibly my second favorite brewer out there and as I continue to taste more and more of their expertly crafted brews such as this one; they continue to gain on Stone which at this time is my first.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2007 20:00:39 | More by tpd975
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this from EvilKeith in a trade.

This one pours a dark copper amber with a little cherry to it. The head is a bumpy film of manila.

Smells like bourbon. This is good. There are also strong hints of vanilla with some gingersnap cookies and heavy caramel.

There’s lots of bourbon in the flavor too. This is riding on top of a scotch ale and pipe tobacco base with some nectarines, cherries, peaches and marshmallows. There’s a nice aromatic bourbon and smooth vanilla bean in the finish.

Feels dense and clean with a fuzzy carbonation with a little electric sting to my mouth.

I’m just going to assume this one’s spent some time in a bourbon barrel. It seems to be a good introduction to barrel beers if one was interested. Makes for a good sipper over all.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2007 13:26:34 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of mcallister


4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged in my cellar for one year wanted to see how this bad boy was doing and so far it seems to be doing very well.

Very dark caramel colored thick liquid with multitudes of tiny particles wondering aimlessly abound. What small head is there disspates nearly instantly, leaving very little trace lacing.

The nose on this has seemed to multiply in the depth of smell. Immensly complex aromas of coconut milk, coconut, bourbon, pure vanilla, pineapple, cream, caramel, toffee, a odd strawberry quick aroma, prune, layers of dried berries and nut trail mix. I really don't want to drink this as I'd be content just smelling this marvelous brew for the rest of the night.

Smooth is the name of this game. Thick, silky, viscous elixir with a two minute finish. Some bittering hops on the end make you pucker as well as a woodsy bourbony flavor that leaves a wine like tannin. I would say this beer easily has another year in her if not three. Full again of fresh chopped coconut, dried cranberry, white and red raisin, dates, prune, caramel and toffee. A celebration in a glass. Nutty mid palate with a maple brown sugar twist. Have three more of these too sample each of the next three years. Can't wait.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 22:22:52 | More by mcallister
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

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

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color without much of a head at all.

The smell is intense and dominantly bourbon, vanilla, cherries and a little coconut.

Medium bodied, the mouth is initially conditioned by the alcohol, but that effect doesn't linger. A hint of carbonation...and that's all this one needs. Definitely a warm ale and a sipper at that.

The flavor has the classic old ale caramel molasses thing going on, and the bourbon character complements it really well IMO. It's quite sweet but doesn't have that lingering, coating character.

Drinkability - This one is nicely done. I'm assuming that these would probably have a decent shelf life too

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2007 17:35:01 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of akorsak


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from a Dark Lord Day '07 trade with Sephiroth.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, akin to a black cherry cola. Head was sizeable, near two fingers, and looks to retain nicely. The ale is full of particles, suspended throughout and quite thick.

S: The nose, call me crazy, has the sickly sweet aroma of a bourbon barrel. The malts are concentrated to the near-strength of a barleywine, making the ale quite lush and thick.

T: You can't tell me that this isn't bourbon-barrel aged. I refuse to believe that a simple (relatively speaking, of course) malt bill can produce flavors of this depth. The malts are so strong that they create a sweet dry fruit flavor. The effect is most pronounced in barleywines but here is it near-extraordinary. Vanilla and alcohol warmth match the bourbon-like flavors, creating a very warm drink, a nice nightcap. I just can't get over the malt strength that creates that flavor, it is damn-near profound.

M: Dry green grapes, vanilla beans, sweet alcohol, this is one heck of a pleasing drink. This ale blurs the lines with a barleywine. Good drinkin'!

D: The ale's abv is high but the intense flavors create a beer that never disappoints in its power. Are you sure it isn't aged in a barrel?

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 23:26:21 | More by akorsak
Photo of orbitalr0x


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

12oz bottle pours into my glass a muddy brown with hints of amber shining through as well. A small head rises up and dies to a ring around the top just as quickly. A few particles floating around in there as well. Aromas of sweet bread, caramel and dark fruits meet upfront followed by a big vanilla aroma that is reminiscent of bourbon, although I don't believe this beer was barrel aged. Some sweet spiciness as well. I'm really enjoying the nose on this one, quite deep and complex.

First sip brings a dense sweet malt upfront with flavors of caramel and bread alongside dark fruits with a noticeable cherry. It flows down with a subtle yeasty spiciness and a good shot of vanilla yet again. Brandy and bourbon flavors come to mind with each sip. Finishes slightly sweet. The big, bold flavors in this brew really shine and make for quite an enjoyable drink.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat viscous with a middle of the road carbonation that suits the beer well. It grabs on nicely while still finishing clean. I really enjoyed this brew and I'm glad I have another bottle. I could see myself indulging in a couple in a sitting for sure and I plan on buying another four pack if I see it available. Founders has impressed me again with this one!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 01:30:58 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of montageman


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

Poured into a snifter.

A: Deep, cloudy amber/brown color with moderate white, foamy head that leaves a ton of lacing. A decent amount of carbonation bubbles are making their way to the surface as well.

S: Tropical fruit? Some coconut & pineapple? Doesn't seem likely, but that's what I'm sensing. There's definitely some fruit here as well as some sweetness. Finally, there's a bit of grape (wine), also. Very intriguing,

T: The complexity of the nose leads to disappointment in the taste. By no means is this bad, but the fruitiness just doesn't translate. There is some fruity sweetness and nice dry, creamy roasted finish.

M: Slight chewiness, which is nice for this style. The body is definitely full with some creaminess and good carbonation.

D: For an old ale at 9.3%, this is quite nice. A good sipping beer for a lazy afternoon or an after dinner treat. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2007 18:56:29 | More by montageman
Photo of chadspivey


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sephiroth for the chance to try this beer. It has been aged for one year.

A: pours a dark copper/rust color with a small half finger offwhite head. I can see “pulp”-like stuff floating around.

S: kinda malty, but also dark fruits. I can smell the alcohol

T: definitely some dark fruit action going on here, but its mostly covered up by the malt. The yeast could be belgian? I dunno maybe it’s american. Wait a second, did I just taste cinnamon...ginger spices too? Woah...Nice.. What a complex beer.

M: meduim bodied, the alcohol takes its place in the taste and on the mouth and throat.

D: I like it. I’d say for 9.3 percent, I feel like I could drink a lot of these.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2007 04:05:04 | More by chadspivey
Photo of flexabull


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

According to the notch, this appears to have been bottled in March or April of last year.

Pours a muddy brown color, cloudy, and with a faint head.

Aromas are of cherries, dust, and a bit of booze.

Beer tastes quite boozy. A very whiskey like quality. Tastes of oak, dark fruits, and alcohol. Underneath all of that, is a creamy malt flavor. Not overpowering, it's a bit subtle, and actually quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Particularly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is good. It's a pretty good Old Ale. Not the prettiest to look at. But it tastes good, and is a pleasure to sip.

Bottle courtesy of nlmartin... thanks again!

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 00:01:59 | More by flexabull
Photo of Flyer


4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry red, hazy, with good head but minimal lacing. Aroma of whiskey. This ale has a wonderul bourbon whiskey flavor, as much as you could possibly want, yet without coming across as a "whiskey wannabe" -- it's an ale all the way. Additional notes of coconut, brown sugar, oak, some cherry. Nice alcohol warmth. I'm a variety lover, yet this is one of the few beers I feel like I could enjoy every day.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 02:32:36 | More by Flyer
Photo of Fugazme


4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Redhaze!

from notes... I'm finally catching up on these!

Very cloudy brown... tiny head falls to a great cap... looks "thick"

Sweet, sweet licorice/anise with a pine-scented nose... grassy... strawberry... maple... vanilla... touch of wood... quite complex and wonderful. One of the best noses on a beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and almost oily... in a good way.

Malty upfront on the taste... sweet, licorice... honey with a mild hop character.

Another great one from a great brewery...

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 16:18:44 | More by Fugazme
Photo of jtell


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

Pours a red with slight caramel coloring. Little to no head and no lacing. Smell is of pure bourbon. Vanilla, oak, malt, and sweet. Its all there. If I hadnt poured this out of a small bottle I would have guessed it was a bourbon. Taste is exactly like the smell. Strong, oaky, little to no carbonation. This is a great after dinner sipping beer. Couldnt really imagine having more than one of these but I will definitely enjoy the one that I have. I had this about 1 year ago and it was very sweet and tasted like bubblegum. It has aged into a sweet, but not cloying beer. It is a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 01:40:43 | More by jtell
Photo of Phatz


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

Allowed to warm and served in a Snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours opaque brown with a two finger tan head that fades fast. A tan color remains around the rim.

Smell: fruity. First thing that came to mind was mango. Honey malty milk balls, raisins dark fruit and a touch of booze; finally a very appealing woodiness in the aroma.

Taste: Warm caramel, maple and wood flavors with vanilla oak and fruit salad. Very tropical and fruity but not quite all dark fruits; there is a bit of plum but then more fruit flavors like mango and papaya soaked in spiced rum with a sprinkling of spices and shavings of coconut. The aftertaste is delightfully spice and lingers for a long long time.

Mouthfeel: Particularly soft. Really there is no reason to drink this beer to cold. the smooth texture only improves as the temperature rises so... I say drink it at cellar temp or up. IMO.

Drinkability: I sipped this beer for hours tonight. It has long since reached room temp and is every bit as enjoyable as when I started. It just so happened it mad a perfect sipping beer while I was working on other projects.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 06:53:00 | More by Phatz
Photo of bjohnson


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thin one finger off white head that dissipates quickly leaving only a tight circle of skim in the center of the glass and a nice soft looking rim around the edge. Some floaties, but I don't mind. Licorice and butterscotch notes. Earthy, woody, and spicy. Aged in bourbon barrels? Bourbon notes are actually quite strong, but not boozy. Vanilla aromas also are present.

Vanilla and dark fruit notes (figs and raisins) are the first to cross the taste buds. Bourbon barrel notes are noticeable but subtle like. Coconut flavors with a sweet softness. Citrus fruit notes aren't very big, but are noticeable as the brew warms up a bit. Nice spicy alcohol laden thickness, like that of a cloud, emanates from the walls of the mouth. Smooth mouthfeel. Booze is very present, but not the main player--it's big, but still subdued. An interesting and complex brew. One that I'm thankful for getting the chance to try.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2007 00:17:00 | More by bjohnson
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

Picked up at Archer Liquors in Chitown, thanks Randy!

Pours a cloudy brown/amber, thin tan head forms, nice thick lace ring around the glass, good retention, looks like a sipper! Smell is nice, bourbon, vanilla, raisin/date goodness, toffee, some chocolate, coconut, very nice. Taste is toffee, some bourbon, vanilla oak, coconut, very rich and malty, bit of roast, nice clean bitterness in the finish, just right. Mouthfeel is full bodied, low carbonation, nice heat going down. I could sip this for hours.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2007 22:36:38 | More by Viggo
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bourbon color with a 1/2" yellowish beige head that quickly recedes to a film on top. Thin wet lacing and lot's of carbonation in the head. The head fizzes on the pour.
Smells like a fine bourbon with some dates or muscadine aromas.
Taste just like a bourbon. Maybe a little bit sweeter.
Mouthfeel is creamy and velvety. Very smooth.
Good drinking beer but it's strong.
Received this in a trade. I really like this style but have a hard time destinguishing the difference between old ale and an English Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2007 06:05:10 | More by wcudwight
Photo of gpcollen1


4.33/5  rDev +8%
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!!

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 23:37:38 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one with me. thanks eric!

12oz bottle

pours slightly cloudy reddish amber with a small tan head that drops very fast and leaves a little spotty lace.

aroma is nice. tons of oak and vanilla. bourbon. raisin and date. alcohol. toffee and caramel. crackery malt.

taste is great. strong bourbon character, but without being overpowering. lots of oak and vanilla. alcohol is noticeable but not too strong. cracker malt. nice toffee and caramel sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation and a nice medium body.

drinkability is great. well balanced and very enjoyable. just the right amount of bourbon and vanilla to make them obvious but not overpowering (and i'm usually not a huge fan of either).

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 18:58:33 | More by grub
Photo of kirok1999


4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very light copper, nice white head that quickly fades.
Smells of nice sweet malts, vanilla, oak.
Tastes even better than the smell. Super nice carbonation makes this very smooth. Nice dark fruits, raisins, caramel, vanilla. The alcohol is well hidden, hardly noticed it at all in the taste.
Exactly what an old ale should be. Thick, creamy and sweet. One of the best out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 05:33:07 | More by kirok1999
Photo of DrJay


4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 03:25:17 | More by DrJay
Photo of ndekke39


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with a March bottled-on date.

A: Pours a hazy reddish-brown with twinges of violet around the edges. Very small white head with no retention.

S: Strong sweetness, rich roasted barley. Smells like bourbon. A bit singular.

T: Mostly sweet flavors, no hops to be tasted. Strong center of sweet barley. Again, the bourbon, woody flavors.

M: Thick mouthfeel, complements the rich and sweet flavors very well.

D: A good hearty Old Ale. The 9.3% ABV will sneak up on you. But another strong offering from Founder's.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 03:24:43 | More by ndekke39
Photo of cooncat


4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving from a 12 oz. bottle.

A vigorous pour produces a small tan colored head, but that is to be expected for this style. The head disappears almost immediately, but also to be expected. Color is almost an opaque dark ginger brown .. very dark. Nose is incredible with many mixed fruit aspects, including plums and apricots. Very sweet smelling, with some hint of the alcohol in the nose. First sip is like tasting ambrosia; wonderful fruit maltiness, with a hint of piney hops. The flavor is HUGE, and the alcohol presence is notable. The finish is sweet to the last drop, with no lingering after taste. Mouth feel is so full its almost 'chewy'. This is a perfect Winter Warmer, dessert beer, or excellent finish to a session.

Well done, Founders!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 21:47:51 | More by cooncat
Photo of Wasatch


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

Thanks to BuckEyeNation

Pours a cloudy brownish color, quick fizzy head, nice carbonation, left some little islands around. The nose is of malts, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is sweet slightly malty, very much bourbon, nice touch of vanilla. Medium body. Drinkable, quite a different old ale, but very tasty. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 00:56:51 | More by Wasatch
Photo of demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A toffee coloured ale, a vigourous pour only resulted in a thin tan coloured head. Very mildly carbonated, and virtually no lacings. Not surprising considering the style and the alcohol content.

Big buttery toffee nose, pecan praline, alcohol, and a mild earthy spice all combine to get me pumped about this brew. Smells great!

Yup theres lots of buttery diacetyl here. Be warned, dont try this one if its a turn off to you. Big backbone of buttery toffee and a touch of treacle, the creamy pecan praline is also there, and its all complimented by the hint of earthy hop spice.

A rich, decadent, and warming due the alcohol, treat. A full bodied ale that while almost syrupy manages to avoid being cloying. Lots of rich flavours complimenting each other quite nicely in this old ale.

I found this to be a very drinkable, very rich, big ale. The big body and waming effect due to the alcohol make this a perfect choice for a cool winter night. May be a little too rich to be sessionable, but might be fun to try! Will definately be enjoying this tasty treat again.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 23:06:37 | More by demcorhip
Photo of Jdiddy

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with very little head and a ton of floaties. Initial smell of sulphur (?), raisins, molasses, brown sugar. Very smooth brew. Very velvety. Definite Barley Wine qualities to ths one with a lacing that runs the whole glass. Drinkable but I would not have 2 or 3. I would stick with one and move on. A great beer though.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 02:18:17 | More by Jdiddy
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,831 ratings.