Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

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Reviews: 1,300 | Ratings: 4,687
Photo of car2052
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to snifter.
A: Hazy garnet, maybe from being in the freezer beforehand. Tan 1/2 in. head.
S: Caramel, bit of a lager yeast smell, strong rum and bourbon notes, and grape.
T: Smoky, with heavy doses of caramel and a strong rum and whiskey note.
M: Heavy but not syrupy.
O: Very nice and not too unbalanced. Nice.

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Photo of Benish
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark red color with an off white head. The aromas were very mild and with zero hop presence. Picked up sweet floral notes of honey and molasses. The flavors are spot on. Honey, molasses, and some oak with a huge malty sweetness. Again no hop presence, however it has a very mild bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Overall this is a very easy beer to drink. Not to the extreme of a barelywine yet still so rich and flavorful. I love hops but it's great drinking these beers that break away from the trend of over-hopping. Just had one bottle and I'd definitely enjoy another.

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Photo of vikinggary28
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into chilled glass mug. This is my first old ale and since it comes from Founders, which happens to be my favorite non Cali brewery (sorry but I gotta usually stick with my home state), I have high expectations. Colour is a beautiful dark amber which looks great holding up to a light. Head is foamy off white with some lacing. I took a whiff and got a nose full of malty caramel. Taste is molasses, caramel, vanilla, oak, and every thick malty taste you can think of. This is definitely a sipping beer and with a 9.8 abv you should be sipping it. Probably a great beer to enjoy with a rich BBQ'd meat. Prost!

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

P- Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a Large Funky Buddha snifter.Bottled on 12/30/16 (almost 4 months old). First non Florida beer on my last night in Florida.

L- Creamy light khaki colored head that stands a half finger tall,with moderate retention and super sticky lacing.Slightly hazy ruby colored body,with moderate retention and distorted light showing through the glass.Low amount of carbonation,and moderate amount of sediment.

S- On the nose I get heavy amounts of sweet molasses,caramel malt,smoked oak,and slight alcohol notes.

T- The palate follows the nose with sweet molasses up front,caramel malt in the middle,and smoked oak on the back end with some undertones of alcohol,and some bitter hops.

F- The mouth feel is medium / heavy with a sticky texture.Low amount of oxidation on the tongue,with a surprisingly smooth finish.A little bit of alcohol warming after the sip.

O- This is a pretty damn good beer.To be perfectly honest I don't have much experience with this style,but I like it.I would definitely drink it again,and recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Keg dated 3.2.15 (2 years aged)
32 oz growler poured into a snifter.
Purchased at Trenton Road Take Out in Levittown, PA.

Bright ruby red. Very short head that dissipates quickly. Light carbonation.

Cherry, molasses, toffee, caramel, tobacco, and vanilla.

Caramelized sugars, maraschino cherry, molasses, toffee, and vanilla. Tobacco and a slight earthiness. Suggestions of concord grape, raisin, and prune. Has a touch of oak and a warming alcohol presence.

Medium bodied, silky, smooth, and warming.

Old Ales don't get much better than this!

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Photo of Maestro0708
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Bottled 12/30/16.

Pours a deep amber color with a one-finger white head that leaves gorgeous lacing around the glass.

Aroma is sweet molasses, oak, vanilla, and alcohol.

Taste follows the nose with molasses, oak, and vanilla. The smooth, sweet start is balanced by the slightly noticable alcohol and a surprising hop bitterness.

Mouth feel is full bodied and smooth with low carbonation.

Overall, this is a really nice old ale. Perfect for sipping.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a single-serve.

Pours a dark amber with not much head, but excellent sticky lacing throughout.

The aromas are very unique and diverse. The best part of the brew. "Dark" notes like molasses and dark fruits, mixed with floral notes and vanilla. Hints of bourbon.

The taste is elusive and more like a barleywine than an OA. Sweet at the very front (similar to the nose--molasses, burnt sugar, vanilla, bourbon), but with a good punch of hoppy bitterness, and oaky and boozy elements at the finish. Enough going on to be "complex" but it comes across as a rather muddled assemblage of flavors, not a symphony. It is almost like there are three or four different concepts going on and they aren't blended into one cohesive theme.

The mouthfeel is fairly unremarkable and perhaps the most disappointing part of the brew. Rather flat, and lacking in a describable finish.

There are some good intentions here, but this is a miss for me.

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Photo of EMH73
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep Amber color with a one inch head that left little lacing. Smells of bourbon, oak and molasses. Taste gets significantly better and richer as it warms with dominant flavors of molasses and oak with additional notes of vanilla, bourbon, cherries and caramel. Lightly carbonated, medium to thick mouth feel, smooth, a real sipping beer.

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Photo of Vicarious
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber color with little lacing. Small off white head that disappeared quickly. Strong molasses smell and taste, leaving lips sticky after finishing. Good beer, would buy again.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: This looks like a solid DIPA, coppery, with an off white head. Decent lacing.
S: Sweet. Candy, molasses, caramel and ash.
T: Follows the aroma with some vanilla.
F: Thick, smooth with mild carbonation.
O: I had this for the first time a couple of years ago and I thought it was a pretty decent beer. I had it today on tap at a "Founders Event" at a nearby watering hole. I guess tastes can change. This is one terrific beer. I need to find a case. Soon!

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Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This reminded me of North Coast Old Stock, but, perhaps a tad hoppier and drier. Dried brown fruit skins, lemon and orange peel, ginger, vanilla, and bourbon, In a weird way, it sort puts me in mind of an Old Fashioned, which is my absolute favorite cocktail.

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Photo of Impfan
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very complex flavors featuring plums, cherries, mangoes, mandarin orange zest, vanilla, and bourbon.

The body is medium creamy, and the finish is of lengthy duration, and surprisingly dry.

This is definitely not what I was expecting, but I found it to be quite appealing, in a Gale's Prize Old Ale kind of way.

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Photo of darktronica
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

At this point, it's fair to call Curmudgeon a classic old ale. Rich amber in color with good acidity and strong malt backbone. When fresh, the molasses imparts a touch of sweetness to counter the sharpness of the base beer without producing a sugar bomb; some of the intensity is also due to the ageing, which imparts nice flavors of sassafras root and birch bark. Strong in flavor while remaining balanced and complex, all at a favorable price point.

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Photo of andrewh995
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Never had an old ale until now and I did not expect it to taste like that. Molasses, molasses, molasses, caramel. While I did enjoy it thoroughly I would probably not purchase it again. I am curious to see what other old ales are like though.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12/30/2016 12 ounce bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. Nice Amber color with decent sized head. Smelled the molasses and the oak. Had nice complex flavors on each sip and as it warmed up it just seemed richer. Plan on aging the remaining three. A nice addition to my old ale faves to be enjoyed in late winter.

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Photo of challenja
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Refrigerated 12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass
L: A Cloudy, thick burnt orange with some left over floating particulates left from the bottle.
S: - Deep long wiffs of caramelized molasses, powerful sugar alcohols,maple syrup, hints of oak soaked in vanilla beans.
T: - Follows the nose perfectly. Delicious, and mesmerizing. A true one of a kind for any serious beer lover out there.
M: Viscous full and round, with the perfect amount of carbonation that is felt when you swish it around your mouth.
O: This is one of my favorite rare finds that I hunt out every year. This is one serious beer that should be enjoyed one beer at a time. More than one and you are asking for a head pounding nightmare the next day.

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Photo of BJB13
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 01/11/16 printed on label. Cellared and enjoyed on St. Patrick's Day '17
12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Two fingers of tan foamy head that was fine around the edges but held large bubbles in the middle sat upon a thick, deep caramel pour that didn't let much light through. I could smell the oak before I even raised the snifter, followed by molasses, sweet malts and just a touch of booziness. The flavor matched the nose, sweet, molasses, caramel and kind of a toasted marshmallow flavor. The bitterness is low. I'm no expert but I would say that it has definitely lowered from 50 IBU. The high ABV is well masked, there was only a small amount of boozy flavor/ feel. Less than I expected as it finished smooth with a slight tang. The body was full and the carbonation low, otherwise smooth and a little frothy.

Good stuff! A sweet and flavorful sipper that was very rich and filling. I have three more that I will be having for dessert over the next couple of weeks!

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Photo of Babalu614
4.91/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle to snifter. A reddish copper/amber color with the aromas of bourbon, carmel, and molasses. Great tastes of carmel, bourbon, oak and maybe some vanilla. Thick and smooth feel with little carbonation, the alcohol taste was well hidden. Overall I loved this beer, tasted as good as it smelled!

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into Snifter. Bottled on December 30th 2016.

L: Clear coppery amber, fingers width beige head, decent retention. Small amounts of lacing.

S: Figs, toffee, caramely notes. Boozy. Butter rum. Some fruity notes as well, maybe melon?

T: Lots of fruit and figs here. Melons for sure, almost a DIPA feeling here. Nice malt notes, buttery, toffee, caramel. Good bitterness.

F: Medium bodied and good carbonation, a bit thick.

O: An interesting Old Ale, and a very good beer.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I finally got my hands on one of these!
Out of the bottle it pours a copper/amber color with a bubbly and thumbnail length off white head. Retains well as it leaves some lacing and nice looking cloud like patterns of film.
I think the nose is my favorite part of this brew. Buttery, tofee, caramel and honey sweetness. There is a lot of fruitiness going on too; I detect honeydew, cantaloupe or melon in particular. There is also some toasted malt tones that fade in and out. Towards the end there is a mild grassy and clean alcohol aroma.
Overall the mouthfeel is sweet and with other complex elements to balance things out. It would be interesting to see how this ages. It tastes like spicy dark and tropical fruit soaked in alcohol; in this sense it has some DIPA or barley wine qualities. The sweetness is derived also from honey and caramel like qualities from the malt. Medium to full bodied and chewy. A sipper, yet drinkable at the same time. There is a touch of spicy hops in the finish, as well as alcohol warming, that becomes increasingly dry and moderately bitter.
This was a fun and tasty high ABV brew that is drinkable, albeit you can only really have one at a time. I will try to get another one as soon as I can so that I can experiment with aging.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying an "old ale". I love the idea of a malty, high ABV beer aged in oak barrels. Got it in a mix a six, I believe it was made in later 2016 (December).

Amber/scotch look to the beer, with a head that dissipates fairly quickly, occasionally becoming reinvigorated with a swirl and a nice sip.

Smell is a heavy malt, molasses, and smells a little of the barrels were imparted as well. Same could be said for the taste but the taste had extra vanilla bean or some sort of sweet release. Little bit of hops to round out what would've been an intense malt bomb (IBU coming in at 50).

This beer is really nice, and I love the way it was setup with barrels making it extra special and tasty in all the right ways. It is rare that one beer gets me a good buzz but this one sure did! I'm ready to try maybe one more then take it easy for a while.. Sunday night blues just got a whole lot better!

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Photo of jvgoor3786
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing a 2016 version. It pours a nice translucent brown with a small, light brown head leaving nice lacing. The smell is malt, molasses, and some vanilla. The taste is dark fruits first followed by some sweet molasses. There is a smooth, low carbonation mouthfeel. Overall this is a nice, easy to drink beer that I really enjoy.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.42/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/1/14; drank 4/12/15 @ the Yarchives.

Murky orange/plum appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice khaki head; nice lace.

Plum, baking soda & brown sugar notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Dried plum flavor up front; a dry baking soda finish. Booze heat emerged as this warmed. Not very good.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, deep bronzed-burgundy with two fingers of khaki head. Poured straight into the glass slowly. Head retention is good, with good lacing left behind. Head forms quickly and eagerly. Aroma is caramel, toffee, molasses, with toasted, nutty malts. Flavor profile is caramel, molasses, and toffee with toasted and nutty malts as well. Caramel and molasses are at the front, keeping it sugary, but well balanced with the nutty and toasted malts at the back. Mouth feel is medium-thick, with a slightly fizzy and grainy feel. Overall, a lively old ale with lovely notes throughout.

Served in a teku.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From cellared bottle dated 1/14/2015.

Extreamly smooth and mellow for a beer of this style. A little boring and watery, but the ABV warmness and barrel character do stand out.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,687 ratings.
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