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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

3,548 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,548
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: 3,548 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pecan
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Pecan, May 01, 2013
Photo of ONUMello
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
A: Burnt orange color; 1/2 finger head that quickly dissipates.
S: Toasted malt, caramel; improves dramatically as it warms, more fruit especially prunes come out.
T: Initial caramel and toffee notes lead into raisin/prune.
M: It may be influence from reading other notes, but this does almost come across as liquid gelatin. Hard to describe- not thick or thin, light or heavy, pleasant or off-putting.
O: Without looking through my notes to be sure, I think this is my first old ale. I will search for more in this style, and am glad I tried this, but personally this particular bottle is not for me.

ONUMello, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of bnes09
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first old ale so I'm really not sure what to think going in. It pours a translucent orangish brown color with a creamy white head. Good head retention and some dots of lace.

Emits lots in intriguing aromas. Alcohol spice with a distinctive scotch quality. Sweet and caramely with just a touch of hops in the nose.

Flavors are even more complex. The most prominent is the hugely dynamic sweetness. I can honestly describe it as honey, caramel, brown sugar, maple and a touch of molasses each appearing at different times during the same sip. Hints of toffee and almond come to mind as well. There is a strange underlying flavor here that is very hard to pick out, it almost tastes like buttery, eggy, sugary cookie-dough, different but not necessarily bad. Mild piney and floral hops fight to be noticed. Solid alcohol spice dominates the finish and warms the throat.

Sticky on the tongue with a full-bodied, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Fairly low carbonation, which seems to fit well.

One of the most interesting beers I have tried to date. It was bottled in 02/2010 giving it about 8 months to age. I would like to try it again both fresh and after aging at least 12 months. Enormous amount of malt flavor and aroma while hops do a nice job of keeping it interesting without dominating the senses. This one is definitely worth a try.

bnes09, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Camjmorton
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Camjmorton, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of geexploitation
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and coffee colored with minimal head. Bright mahogany highlights. Assertive aroma of bourbon-vanilla and chocolate-covered bananas. Sumptuous. Hits the palate with authority. Bourbon, vanilla, bananas again, along with sweet cream and coffee all make appearances. Just a touch of hop bitterness shows up in the finish. Very thick on the palate, as one would expect. Quite rich, flavorful, interesting old ale. Up there with the best of the American microbrewed old ales.

geexploitation, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a lovely copper amber with a quarter inch off-white head, nice lacing in dots, arches and spiderwebs. The aroma was a bit perplexing to me, for some reason full and boisterous one whiff, dull and receding the next. That said, plenty of woody port wine, some brandy, some dark fruits, some other stuff that my dysfunctional nose is having a hard time distinguishing.

Taste is full and malty, some nice alcohol warming drifts through. Some caramels mix with resinous hops, honey oozing around, rum soaked dark fruits through the finish. Mouth is full, warm, a bit slick with nice, fine carbonation. In all, quite a tasty beer, rather enjoyed it.

objectivemonkey, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of Troville1990
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Troville1990, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Cloaked_Phantom, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown screw cap bottle, nice label with best by date clearly marked

Appearance: Nice dark burnt orange beer with lots of very fine sediment in suspension and a very nice creamy ivory cap with good retention

Smell: There are HUGE malt tones here, burnt sugar (as in creme brulee), a bit of fruity alcoholic esters as well as some baking spice...this is sweet and vibrant...it's almost like liquid sticky toffee pudding...awesome

Taste: VERY sweet sticky toffee pudding, with big warming alcohol and malts, dark brown sugar, and some dark fruit as well...a bit of drier toasty malt on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Big, rich, and smooth

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: This is a great English-style Old Ale....it's got absolutely fantastic aromas, some really nice flavors, and overall makes me glad it's getting to be winter brew time...this is the way I like my Old Ales: Malt bombs where the hops stay in the background. I'm looking forward to aging one or two of these and seeing how it changes with time.

BedetheVenerable, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a hazy dark red with a slightly off white dense, thick head with good retention.

The aroma was malty with hints of alcohol. The beer also gave off hint of sweetness, maybe some kind of fruit sugar and also some spices.

The taste has a heavy sweet malt flavor but was balanced well with hints of whiskey, which made me think that it may have been aged in barrels. It also gave off an astringent flavor, probably due to the high ABV.

The beer was rich, yet smooth, very creamy, nice bitter aftertaste, and easy to drink with a medium to heavy body. Not sure I would want to or could drink too many at a time, but probably could, but might be better as a dessert beer. Excellent beer, highly recommended.

PhillyStyle, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a viscous, candied/caramel-twinged shade of dark amber. The head never developed, maxing out at 3/4-finger in size. The small ring laces okay, though.

This is one sweet-smelling beer. The malts profile is giving off all kinds of hints of things. I detect vanilla, toffee, dark fruit, sugar, tobacco and cinnamon.

This beer is as sweet as the smell indicated. Phenol-city, baby. Dark fruits in abundance; cherries, too. Vanilla & toffee are present and they sort of highlight some wood flavors. Add some Belgian yeast to this and you could pass it off as a quadruppel. A small touch of brandy or port or something on the finish. Dessert beer, for sure.

The feel is thick, but not in a gloopy, cloying way given the tremendous sweetness. More like a creamy, dessert thickness. Drinkability is hampered with this beer; at close to 10% ABV, it makes itself known by the end of the first bottle (though the booze is hidden well under all of the sweetness). This is a super-sweet beer besides. I don't think many people are going to want to have multiples in one sitting.

This is a tasty brew, for sure. Lots of sweet flavors, decent complexity even if all the flavors (sans the wood) hit the same point on the tongue. Have one with dessert.

Reaper16, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of justinm4bama
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

justinm4bama, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of korguy123
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this.

A- Chill hazed chessnut colored pour. Slight reddish hue. Thin off white. Lacing just sheets the glass.

S- Caramel and toffee with hints of vanilla and brown sugar.

T- Fresh cooked toast, caramel, vanilla with a slight cherry taste. There is a toasted malt dry aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, subtle alcohol warmth, sticky on the lips.

O- Decent, nothing spectactular. Very solid

korguy123, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of beveritt
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Thanks to NavyMSC for passing this one my way. I have had this in my fridge for a while and am just now getting around to sampling it. Poured from a stubby 12 oz brown bottle into a snifter. Label depicts and somewhat stodgy looking old man in all black. Not sure of the age, but does it really matter?

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 finger of tan head. This settles to a thin coating of foam and a few small islands randomly dispersed throughout the glass. The beer itself is a the color of tarnished copper, maybe a little darker. Cannot see through it, partially because of color and partially because of some suspended particulate matter. Some sediment in the bottle, makes me think I might have wanted to decant.

Smell: Alcohol sweet smell with hints of brown sugar and oak.

Taste: Wow, if I didn't know better, I would say this is aged in a whiskey barrel, so strong are the alcohol and oak flavors. The alcohol flavor is not unpleasant, but it definitely makes itself known as a sweet and slightly bitter flavor upfront. Tiniest hint of bubblegum esters, but mainly the taste is dominated by strong caramel malt and oak and vanilla flavors.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, as expected from the style. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: A big and complex sipper. A little off-put by the floaties, but that could have been prevented by a proper decant. Alcohol is very forward, but not overwhelming. I imagine this would benefit greatly from some aging and I may have to throw some of this in the cellar with my North Coast Old Stock Ale.

beveritt, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of e30todamax
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

e30todamax, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of TKEbeerman
4.25/5  rDev +6%

TKEbeerman, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of Blanco
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Blanco, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Boston_Steve
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Boston_Steve, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 keg Pour is a nice orange color with a small white head. The smell is loaded with a nice crisp feeling, but balanced with a lot of sweetness.

The taste really isnt too sweet, but it follows suit. Solid sweet backbone really tried to come forth, but cant really take over. Theres a dryness that takes over, and not in a bad way. The dryness really balances the sweetness and malt backbone.

EDIT

So I had a year old keg at a tap takeover, but Ive got fresh bottles, and I couldnt resist. Pour is like a good barleywine-bright orange with no head. ok now this is the biggest compliment ever. It reminds of Regulator Doppelbock at Bull City Burger and Brewery. Grassy Earthy malt dominates like crazy. Feels crisp, but in an insanely good way. Maybe its the style, but its unique for sure. Very earthy malt, hints of caramel, and a nice bit of scotch barrel. Very smooth caramel and syrupy notes.

VncentLIFE, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of yamar68
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doing a quick '11 and '12 side-by-side. Both poured from 12oz bottle to blank pint glasses. Scores will reflect the fresh bottle. The '12 was bottled 11 days ago. The '11 was bottled 386 days ago.

Appearance

'12: Bright, clear ruby/tangerine with minimal beading. Two fingers of healthy, sticky slightly off white head. Lacing is evident immediately.

'11: A bit of clarity is lost. Head is much looser and less stubborn. Lacing is equally impressive.

Smell

'12: Toffee, vanilla, simple syrup, faint wood, definitely a good dash of hops.

'11: Seemingly more pungent... The same base notes are there with a hint of bourbon or some other sweet booze. No discernible hop presence.

Taste

'12: Quite nice. Fresh caramel and burnt sugar. Hops take a back seat to a wide range of malty bits. Booze is pretty tame.

'11: Wow, I don't think I could stress enough how vastly different this is. A whole family of tastes have surfaced - leather, scotch, some oxidation, sherry, nearly overwhelm the flavors that I appreciate in its fresher counterpart.

Mouthfeel

The '12 goes down much easier than its elder. It really is an entirely different beer. I was unsure if I would be too interested in the differences between these two but, alas. All in all, I'd recommend the fresh Curmudgeon over an aged version 9 times out of 10.

yamar68, May 01, 2012
Photo of CloudStrife
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled 01/18/13.

A: Pours a hazy amber ruby with a mostly white head. Too opaque to see any visible carbonation. Leaves some spots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Malt forward beer with a nice oak quality. Sweetness from the molasses. Roasted malts give off some fruit like qualities.

T: Mellow brew with a well balanced flavor. Starts off with some sweetness, then the malts come in to say hello. Still a touch of alcohol on the backend after 10months.

M: Medium body with a creamy aspect to it. Low carbonation with a smooth finish. Can be a bit hot fresh.

Overall a solid beer that can be enjoyed by all types of beer lovers. Molasses adds some sweetness to counteract the bold malt flavor while oak comes in to mellow it all out.

CloudStrife, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of JackieTH
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper-mahogany with 1" of khaki foam. Smells malty, sweet, nuts- pecans, vanilla-bourbon.

Taste: Malt and then more malt...caramelly. Mild sweetness. Earthy. Leather and vanilla. Warming.

Mouthfeel was semi-slick, perfectly carbonated (low)

Overall: This old ale tasted more like a malt-foward barleywine. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Good stuff and will age nicely one hopes.

JackieTH, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of ksimons
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours an amber color with almost no head. Visible carbonation bubbles

S-sweet and malty. Smells of vanilla and something sort of earthy, maybe the oak

T-very similar to the smell, sweet and full of malt. As Founder's says an insane focus on the malt, which is very true! Towards the middle/end you taste a very light bitter hops which helps even it out very nicely.

M-medium to full body, minimal carbonation, very smooth, thick, and dry

D-very good Old Ale, I would get it again. Not sure I could have more than one at a time, but it is great for what it is

ksimons, May 30, 2010
Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -0.2%

megamass, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of lunarbrew
4.25/5  rDev +6%

lunarbrew, Apr 11, 2013
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,548 ratings.