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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
89
very good

1,218 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,218
Hads: 4,341
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 193
Gots: 1,003 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,218 | Hads: 4,341
Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color with slight ruby accents and a small tan head on it that quickly dissipated into nothing and left no lacing. The smell is dominant of dark fruits (plums and raisins) and caramel malt. I consider this a "malty" nose, and I like it on this cool fall evening. The flavor profile hits heavy with all of the caramel malt in the nose coming full force on the palate with other flavors or dark fruit, banana, and a spot of sweet molasses, but the alcohol in this offering also comes through in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation and a good shot of warming alcohol is present. The drinkability is very good on this beer, and I could have easily drank another one.

Another great beer from Founders.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dumped into a Duvel tulip a dark honey red with a thin film of head. This one's actually an old Old Curmudgeon, had it hiding in wait from last year, but I'm glad I've two more of these malcontents locked up for future assessment.

A whiff pulls up lightly boozy caramel, some raisins and liquorish.

A sip is grassy pine hops quickly assaulted with a malty dark caramel then raisins and alcohol that's port-like in warmth. Light carbonation - slick and smooth throughout, really clinging to the mouth. This is a sipper - it still seems hot and aggressive even for an old ale. There's already a lot going on, especially as it warms up. I think I preferred Black Biscuit more, but this is really enjoyable overall and I can't wait for it to become a more sedate, institutionalized old curmudgeon.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four-pack at my local Stein's Liquor. The bottled on date suggests this beer is about six months old. Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

L: Pours a ruddy copper with about a half-inch of off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly, leaves a nice ring, and provides little lacing on the glass. Lazy, infrequent visible carbonation.

S: Caramel malt notes, with a bit of clear alcohol, molasses, and some mild raisin. Just a bit of nuttiness coming through, as well.

T: Sweet caramel and bready malts at the outset. There's a bit of tartness that appears with some of the clear alcohol flavor. The middle sees the development of the molasses flavor, as well as some nice, albeit subtle, raisin and nut flavors. The warming alcohol builds a bit throughout this stretch, but the taste remains quite sweet. The back end is sweet malts and more of that warming alcohol, with just a bit of that lingering molasses, raisin, and nut.

F: Medium-bodied and more creamy than syrupy, which I tend to enjoy. There's is just a bit of stick to the finish, as those flavors remain on the palate for a while. Nice level of carbonation.

O: Well, this is the second Old Ale I've tried tonight. I have to say, Curmudgeon is a far more drinkable brew than North Coast Old Stock Ale. This one doesn't has as complex or well-developed a flavor, but it certainly seems to have a bit more balance. I wish some of the raisin and nut were more assertive, but this is definitely a beer I would return to again.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
2.77/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Color is a rather unattractive orange-brown, and the lack of any head or lacing doesn't help the appearance. Scents of dark fruits and molasses are nice if a bit weak, and there's a bit of a boozy smell too. Caramel and molasses are up front in the taste, with a punch of booziness in the finish that I don't find particularly pleasant. High pucker factor and plenty of burn going down the throat. This is not one of Founder's better offerings.

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Photo of bman13
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

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

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Photo of JoeBloe
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

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Photo of hops202
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage Bottle poured into a game of thrones snifter.

A - ruby with hints of gold and bronze.

S - certainly malt and yeast present. Some sort of fruit - possibly apricot and oak from the barrels are present.

T - vanilla and slight caramel in there. Flavors of oak as well mixed in with the sweetness. Bitterness at the end to balance everything out well.

M - medium carb with full body.

O - a decent showing here by the (OLD) curmudgeon. May he age with the best of them.

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Photo of Krakistophales
2.74/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice ruby red color with lively carbonation and no lace...but there's a glob of sediment/protein/whatever it is floating around on top, and that's just disgusting. Had to remove before I could start drinking.

S: Not much going on here. Some malt sweetness, the slightest hint of dark fruit, not much else.

T: Better than the smell, but still pretty average. Malt sweetness at first, with a touch of tartness of what might be cherries, a zing of some other dark fruits, and a slightly hoppy aftertaste, but underwhelming all the same.

O: Probably the worst I've had from founders. I've had KBS and Dirty bastard, which were both fantastic, so this one must be a hiccup.

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Photo of nandemo1
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy copper. Tried giving it an aggressive pour when I saw minimal head developing, but still couldn't get much more than a light lacing across the top.

Ice cold, this is a delicious molasses bomb, in both smell and taste. As it warms up the nose get some fruity/flowery notes on top of caramel, but there wasn't much change in the taste Sweetness is there, but it's definitely offset by bittering hops. There is a small alcohol burn on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is heavy and sticky.

This is my second Curmudgeon, and I've enjoyed it both times. A nice sipping beer for a nightcap. I am going to age a few to see if any additional flavors develop over time.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - light brown reddish tints. thin head that dissipated quickly

S - Caramelized dates, brown suger, strong brandy, caramelized peach whiskey. Strong alcohol spiciness.

T - brandy, brown sugar, grape skin tartness is bogged down by intense thick sugar. Not quite as complex as the nose would suggest, but still strong in sweetness and alochol, with some spice. Very heavy. Difficult to drink at a regular rate, no one has to tell you this is a sipper.

M - thick syrupy, cloying. Sticky, silky, but still smooth. minimal carb. I originally gave 4.25 but knocked it to 3.75 because it's so heavy it becomes a chore to drink less than halfway through

Overall, definitely different than most beers. Reminds me of Samiclaus Helles, which in my craft beer infancy was my favorite. just so incredibly heavy, it's overbearing. tastes like it will go well with a cigar.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes written on 1-6-11.

Into a snifter gifted to me by my lovely girlfriend, Curmudgeon pours a cloudy, amber-orange with a medium khaki, one-finger head which retains nicely. I could have decanted this a bit better, as many little yeasties are floating about in the beer. The carbonation appears low and slow and the lacing is attractive, with hilltops and dots.

The smell is very malt-forward with aromas of caramel, brown sugar, and cinnamon, which all meld together well. When swirled aggressively, the woodnotes of the oak aging are very evident, along with a slightly peppery aroma. The more I inhale, the bigger the cinnamon contribution is. Founders website says that this is brewed with molasses- I can smell a little of that, as well.

The taste is somewhat spicier and woodier than I thought it would be, with a very earthy undertone on my tongue. Those flavors couple with a heavy malt presence of caramel and brown sugar, with some cinnamon spice taste in addition. The molasses adds a molasses cookie taste. The finish is nicely dry from the oak and bittering hops and just a little alcoholic heat soaks into my tongue at the end of the sip.

The mouthfeel is silky, creamy, and buttery on the tongue, but with a fine balancing nip on the sides from the oak- aging, hops, and alcohol. The finish is fairly clean for such a syrupy beast. I think the mouthfeel is the highlight of the beer.

I like this crotchety old fella and will have it again, but I've also had other Old Ales that I like a bit better. It is definitely not sessionable, but makes for a good sipper. This is another fine offering from Founders, but certainly not their best.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A pretty bland brown with reddish tints. Lovely auburn highlights when held up to direct light. Not much head to speak of.

S: Butterscotch! Some plain ol' scotch as well, along with caramel and alcohol.

T: I taste some alcohol almost right away, but then the lovely butterscotch and caramel come in. Tastes thin out towards the end, and the aftertaste is mildly phenolic.

M: First half is a soft buffeting of bubbles, second half is creamy. A tad bit thinner than I would have expected.

D: I'm not loving the aftertaste, but that english barleywine-like flavor and not too thick body keeps me interested in taking more sips.

A fairly good, but green beer. I think that as it ages the alcoholic notes will be replaced by malty richness, and this will be delightful in a few years' time.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a medium brown color, but glows almost iridescently amber when held to the light. A finger of off-white head forms but fades quickly. Small amounts of lacing on the glass. Bubbles drift up very slowly indicating this is an uber-viscous ale.

S - Smells of mild spices, figs, and a boozy whiskey-barrel vanilla aroma. There are also light hints of cocoa and an estery presence reminiscent of overripe bananas.

T - Sweet dark chocolate and bitter cocoa up front mixing with a heavy, syrupy dark fruit flavor (raisins, figs, prunes). Booze and esters come through the middle and provide a warming sensation. Bitterness arrives toward the finish and it is somewhere between hoppy and coffee-like. Just enough to prevent this old ale from being a sugar bomb. Becomes much more boozy as the beer warms.

M - Thick body. Syrupy to the last sip. Mild carbonation. Perfect amount for the style. Leaves the mouth feeling sticky.

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Photo of classixIII
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark copper, fair amount of bubbles but little to no head. Sweet molasses and oak definitely come through in the smell and taste. Hit of alcohol and bitterness at the finish. Nice Old Ale!

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Photo of danedelman
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-strong reddish hue with little head.

S-get a sweet tobacco smell, dried fruit and booze. Hint of oakiness or scotch.

T-very similiar to nose with an added depth of Vanilla bean and dried cacao nibs. Very nice. Bit hot at this point.

M-very crisp with a medium body and dry aftertaste. Very good.

O-may not be the hype this one is put up to but very good though. I love old ales and this may be my 2nd favorite. (I never had my favorite yet) so I always say.

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Photo of Josievan
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Curmudgeon is not as dark as expected. It's an amber color with hints of ruby. When held to the light, it takes on a maroon hue, almost royal purple. This makes for a very alluring looking beer indeed.

Smell: Wow, this is potent stuff! It's very alcoholic and somewhat medicinal. There also seems to be some dark fruit in the works. The best way to describe the aroma is alcoholic candy medicine!

Taste: With the first few sips, the alcohol really tingles the tongue. After the palate adjusts to the alcohol, a malty sweetness shows up, which is not unlike that of a doppelbock. Dark fruits come through as the beer warms, giving the taste a candylike quality. In this way, the taste very much follows the smell, minus the medicinal element.

Mouthfeel: This Curmudgeon definitely has a bite to him, but this mellows slightly with warming. Apart from the alcohol sting, this medium-bodied brew goes down relatively smooth, a staple of Founders beers.

Drinkability: It's no session beer, that's for sure. Still, it doesn't take long to finish my half of a split 12 oz. bottle.

Notes: Curmudgeon is another winner from Founders! This was my first old ale, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. To me, this beer seems kind of like a combination of a quadrupel and a doppelbock. This description makes Curmudgeon sound like a deviously tasty concoction, which it is!

However, Founders brews several beers that are arguably my favorite of each's respective style (Breakfast Stout, Red's Rye, and Porter), so I'm not sure I could bring myself to purchase it over those other more sessionable beers. Although, I will certainly be excited if it's offered to me again! I'd love to try some of this stuff with some age on it.

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Photo of LeRose
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from undated 12 oz bottle into snifter.

Appearance was a very hazy, dark orange. No appreciable head, and what there was vanished quickly. Aroma was sweet, slight alcohol, raisin date fruit notes, some breadiness, some caramel, whiff of vanilla. Immediate taste was bitterness with some acidity underneath, then sweetness. Malty, caramel, maybe fig, sweet grapes, maple syrup notes, and more vanilla than the nose. Sweetness builds, vanilla and maple notes linger. Soft and smooth on the palate, not too carbonated, some tingle from the alcohol. Some syrupy sticky sweetness stays on. Overall, warming and fun to drink. A lot going on, but seems well blended. As it warmed, cleared and had many tiny bubbles. Also became very brandy like in character. Liking this a lot.

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Photo of MDekker
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Is it Curmudgeon Old Ale, or Old Curmudgeon Ale? Regardless...

It pours out a hazy dark orange, with a small head of tiny bubbles. What's there looks creamy. Woo-ee! A potent, sweet alcohol aroma socks me in the nose. Smells oily, with caramel notes and a little banana, too. A little like Southern Comfort. The taste packs a punch, too. The caramel is there, along with alcohol, and not much bitterness - just a little in the aftertaste. In the mouth it's good - creamy, smooth, and thick. Nice. This was a good brew, but the high alcohol and the powerful presence of it would make it hard to down more than one of these. I'm still reeling some.

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Photo of Shumista
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of degerbah
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light amber with little head. Very little smell, the taste is unique in my tasting experience. Extremely sweet with very little bitterness. The bottle lists an ABV of 9.8% which is not apparent in the taste, not boozy at all. I can't put my finger on it, but I think this beer just has something that isn't doiing it for me. I greatly prefer almost every founders beer I've had to this one. The price $2.79 per bottle wasn't too bad, still not great.

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Photo of matttttYCE
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little head and lacing, probably because I poured it really slow and pretty cold (because I was looking out for snot like goop in my beer). Dark copper orange color, lots of sediment. Aromas of sweet dark fruit, caramel malts, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, nutty/pecan notes, and hints of oak and vanilla. Tastes much the same with all those dark fruit toffee molasses caramel brown sugar old ale notes with some nuts, tea, hops, and light oak. Medium body and smooth consistency. Light carbonation works well. Smooth finish.

Overall not the best old ale I've had, but a pretty good one. Only detractor is the appearance, with watching out for snot and lots of sediment it wasn't the best looking of brews either. But still good. Worth a try and I'd be Curmudgeon's Better Half is fantastic after having tasted this.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.8/5  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

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Photo of drcarver
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Virtually no head, but what limped to the top was an off white color. The murky full body was a medium red.

S - Moderately malty with hints of cookie and nuts. Lightly yeasty with the smell of dough.

T - Sweet, bitter, and acidic at the start. The sweetness carries through the beer. An average finish that is very clean.

M - Full dry body that finished watery. Very soft on the palate. A slight dirness and moderate alcohol finish.

D - Keep it slow and keep it easy. A thicker beer, but it is definitely one that goes down nose and easy.

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Photo of abfraser
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep opaque mahogany with a nice sized white head.

S: Caramel malt, candi sugar, dark fruits (cherry) and coconut

T/M: Damn is this good. Alcohol and sugar soaked cherries. Big malt profile. Lingering spice and maybe some toffee. Full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. This is awesome stuff

D: I could drink this all night even though it would leave me horrendously hung over. It just might be worth it.

An awesome beer. I actually prefer this over the Breakfast Stout, which while a great brew, is a little overrated in my book. For those that like old-style ales, this one is worth seeking out.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Description: Dark amber, almost ruby, color with just a trace of white head. Aroma is powerful in this and you immediately get bourbon, molasses, caramel and brown sugar. The bourbon is very present in the taste as is the molasses which adds a nice sweetener to the malt. Mouthfeel isn't really velvety but is quite smooth all the same.

Suggested food pairing: A hearty beef stew

If you like this beer then you should also try: Old Stock Ale

Ideal time to drink this beer: After a long but successful day of hunting whales off the coast of New England. And I don't mean "whales" in the sense of a hard to acquire beer, I mean real, swimming, get-your-harpoon-ready, whales.

Overall: 4.5 (This beer is very good and I would definitely drink it again) Emblematic of the big flavors you usually find in a Founders beer, this one is solid from top to bottom. The molasses is the real star of the beer for me in that it adds another element or layer of complexity that you don't always find elsewhere. Despite the complexity, this beer still has an everyday, familiar, favorite pair of jeans feel for me. Maybe I have a special affinity for this beer as I come from a long line of curmudgeons and could very well be a curmudgeon myself some day. Who knows? Get off my lawn.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.