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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

3,801 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,801
Reviews: 1,120
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 151
Gots: 738 | 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: 3,801 | Reviews: 1,120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
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?

Photo of smakawhat
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled April 8th 2011 off we go.

A very small but creamy light tan creme colored head of maybe one finger off the pour. Body is cloudy... maybe hazy... a classic dark amber color almost looking like the beer is frozen. No lacing at all.

Big malted body, and sweet brown sugar. Seems thick almost like molasses syrup.

Sugar sweet, and thick malt. Finish is an almost barleywine sense of chocolate and heat. Some mild hop bitters mix with the milk chocolate sense making this really interesting in terms of taste and feel.

Overall fairly solid, just out of the bottle the beer looks kind of lifeless.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has an opaque auburn brown body with a soapy tan head that clings to the edges of the glass forming a creamy meniscus. There are little bubbles of carbonation that cling to the side of the glass.

S- The smell of pine wood with a sweet caramel malt aroma has notes of wet wood and perfumed oak. As it warms a bit there is notes graham in the malt. There is a smell of alcohol as it warms a bit.

T- The taste of oaky malt flavor with a toasted malt that is a bit more dry than sweet. The finish has a light alcohol bite. There is a faint hint of dark roasted malt in the background.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture.

D- This beer has a nice big complex woody flavor and will be great with some age.

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a bottled on date of Jan. 2013.
Pours hazy, orange-brown with a small, weak head.

Aroma: sweet and boozy with a clear trace of oak. hints of citrus and toffee.

Flavor: Mildly sweet; hints of over-ripe soft fruits and toffee; pretty good until the finish and aftertaste, then notably better.

Feel: medium-full body; slightly harsh (ABV); warming.

O: interesting strong ale.

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger very light tan head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose. Flavor is sweet roasted molasses. $3.90 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Photo of tdm168
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a thin, white layer of head that fades quickly

S - caramel, cake batter, sweet, bread, toffee, faint alcohol

T - caramel, bread, fruit, faint bitterness

M - medium to full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated

This is a nice, malty beer that is very enjoyable. The malts are very nicely balanced and the bitterness is more like a coffee-like bitterness rather than hop-like. My only disappointment is that the sweetness from the nose didn't follow in the taste. Honestly, that's only because I have a fondness for cake batter sweetness in beers. Ultimately, this is an enjoyable, drinkable beer with a nice flavor profile. It's well worth a try.

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +6%

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 rab53
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +6%

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

I like the bottle. Poured with no head (even off a hard pour) A completely polluted appearence, clouded over, rusted over, brick copper colour. Smell is above above anything else strong! Easily guessed the barrel aged before being told. A fermented fruit, over-ripened character accompanied by rich wood dimension. Aroma is enough to entice a headache - but one well worthwhile! Aroma is very complex, hard to conceive! Mouthfeel is heavily influenced by the bourbon barrel aged, quite evident - adding a liquere (bourbon) complexity character. Very sweet! Some alcohol mixed in there. Dark spices make for a well rounded, but hard to appreciate flavour. Overly sweet maybe... I'd be happy to have again, perhaps aged, or by a fireplace!
Ripe full with complexity but not sure what else to say. Bourbon is so dominant! Leads to a strong taste despite alcohol being rather quiet. A sticky, toffee finish. Above all bourbon! Big thanks to HogTownHarry, a great finish to a fantastic tasting!

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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.

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5/20/2012

On tap at Urge.

A: Dark orange with good clarity. An inch of off-white foam. Sheets of lacing cling to the glass.

S: Rich candied sweetness with big caramel and toffee notes. Orange and grapefruit blend with prune, fig, date, and plum. Lightly earthy with a touch of alcohol. There's a whisper of smoke and maybe a little apple.

T: Rich caramel and toffee with sweet breads and a pervasive candied aspect. Fruit character is reminiscent of date, plum, and prune. There's a low earthy bitterness. I get a little citrus as well. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Lower full body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, silky, and full with substantial alcohol warming.

Overall: A big, rich, estery Old Ale. Well executed but definitely a sipper.

Photo of ShanePB
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Having not had this beer in well over 1.5 years, I decided to give this another try. Served on-tap at, poured into a 12 ounce goblet.

A: Ruby copper colored body, fairly clear but definitely has a bit of haze. Small off-white head that didn't last too long, nor did it leave any real lace on the glass. To style, it looks alright; nothing spectacular but touches above average.

S: Deep dark, rich caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses and a definite boozy element. Not overwhelmed by any one quality but towards the end the oak is more noticeable. Fresh, matured oak wood creates an additional layer of depth but doesn't take the aromas deep enough, in my opinion.

T: Initially there's nothing on the front of the palate, instead it's consumed by the boozy bite from the swallow. Another sip, along with some palate adjustment, brings forward the dark and rich flavors. Molasses, burnt sugar and dark fruits (fig, raisin) are halfway in. The back end and finish leaves with a strange astringency from the oak. Overly woody and a bit out of place it seems. The alcohol doesn't fuse with the wood notes like other great wood/barrel-aged beers do.

M: Fairly well carbonated and a bit thinner on the palate than I would have recalled or liked. Not watery but not the feel I was hoping for in an Old Ale.

For me, this style is certainly hit or miss and while I don't think this was a complete miss, it wasn't a dead-on hit either. There are some really nice complexities in the beer but also some very tangent flavors. There doesn't seem to be a mastered balance in the flavor profile, but it still does have qualities that make it enjoyable.

Photo of billab914
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky brown red color with a thin white scattered lacing floating on top of the beer. It left some great spotty lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has some dark fruit, raisin & plum like flavors to it. It has a sweetness to it as well in the nose. Some alcohol comes through as well but not too bad. Pretty nice overall.

The taste has a nice malty, dark fruit characteristic to it. It's moderately sweet and also bready. It finishes with more of the dark fruit flavors as well as a bit of a warming alcohol presence. Very nice and flavorful beer overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Drinkability is good, it was a very nice beer to sip on tonight after dinner. It had some great malty flavors to it and the alcohol wasn't bad at all for the abv%. Very enjoyable beer overall.

Photo of ppoitras
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Head quickly fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is average, both somewhat expected for the style. Aroma is vanilla oaky alcohol, possibly over the top, but the variety of flavors is enough to possibly overcome the somewhat exceptional intensity. Taste is also vanilla and oak, with strong alcohol throughout and a warming close. Wish there was a bit more of a malt sweetness background to support all the strong flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth, even if the drinkability is somewhat limited by the flavor harshness, in my mind. Age might help this mellow a bit and make a winner.

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of sendbeer
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,801 ratings.