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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: 1,264 | Ratings: 4,596
Photo of pja786
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the bottle, I get fig/ cherry notes. Taste has a very bold and study maltiness. Hard to discern the hops, but they're present. Overall, this is a good beer and would suggest trying, but will unlikely buy again.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to, Bobby91w for this extra!!

Look was Dark red, almost black in the shadows. Poured with small head and no lacing.

Smell was sweet malt, Alcohol notes, raisins, carmel, Bourbon, Pineapple and oak wood.

Taste was smooth with a alcohol bite. Nicely hopped to balance the carmel hop notes but not overpowering, also subtle vanilla taste. Mouthfell was tart and creamy.

This was a very unique old ale. I would suggest trying this one it was very nice and warming.

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Photo of pjkelley82
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Have had this beer a few times and now it so happens I'm drinking one and seen I haven't reviewed it....

12oz 2014 bottle into snifter.

Pours a copper ruby color, almost dark amber or a honey chestnut. Thick one and a half inch antique white colored head that looked light a pillow-y. Left a thin ring throughout with a thin skin. Decent lacing and a wee bit of legs pops out.

Smell is malt and stoned fruit, dark fruit, oak and caramel.

Taste follows the nose with a super nice touch on the oak with a whiskey type alcohol touch that just makes this beer standout.

Full bodied and heavy, slightly creamy, semi sticky with a delicious drying touch at the end that makes you want more.

Overall a solid Old Ale. Are there better? To me, yes but for something that's available as this and with its own distinct touch to it I could argue dollar for dollar this is it. Founders is a great brewery who makes above average beers. Some world class but almost all of them are solid within its category. This is one of them.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a nice burnt orange / golden brown with about a finger of head. This recedes into a nice ring of foam around the edges with some lingering toward the center of the glass.

S: I get a dark fruits up front. Similar to the way a quad would smell. Also, some oak, and vanilla.

T: Tastes good. I get a slight oaky/vanilla. Again, some dark fruits with a malty / bread backbone. I also get some slight chocolate notes which become more apparent as the beer warms. Did not initially taste any alcohol, but again, as the beer warms, I very slightly feel the burn. A bit of dryness in the finish from the oak and the chocolate lingers. Raisins are present too. Though, not strongly; between low and medium.

M: Good mouth feel. Not overly carbonated. I am not overly familiar with the style, nor have I had many examples, but I like it. A slight dryness from the oak lingers.

O: This is a very good beer. I plan on drinking maybe one every 6 months to see how it changes. I don't know that it is worth the 12.99 I paid for the 4 pack.

Overall a delicious beer.

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Photo of RollBounce
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

bored with very little leasing slightly amber and cloudy notes smell is lately muted in glass with hints of cinnamon brown sugar and bread some tropical notes are found. Overall it is a white tropical compared to the aged old curmudgeon that I sat on for 2 years ahead papaya and mango now it's definitely better in the bottle but worth a try.

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Photo of liquidcraft
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dig the color, rich amber with an off white head that dissipated in a few minutes to film across the top of the beer. Couple of whiffs I pick up hints of caramel, vanilla and some gingery spice.

There is an initial bite of hops that comes back on the exhale but soothed midway by sweet caramel, molasses flavors. I'm getting through this faster than expected, the complexity makes each sip entertaining to dissect. The alcohol is disguised dangerously well. Smooth textures, carbonation struggles to get through the viscosity. As an old ale I find it over all very interesting, I wouldn't drink this with a meal its pretty filling and it's got a lot of flavors going on already.

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Photo of lastmango
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a medium reddish brown with a thin head that dissipated quickly. Moderate lacing. Aroma was very mild caramel. Sweet malt and caramel flavor forward with an immediate earthy oak mid-taste followed by a moderate hoppiness. Medium thickness without much carbonation. Watch the alcohol, it sneaks up on you.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Founders Crumudgeon pours a slightly hazy dark copper color into the glass. A small off white head on top quickly fades away leaving a ring around the surface of the beer and some spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is oak, vanilla, dark fruits like cherry or plum, orange peel and alcohol. Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and slightly chewy. Carbonation is low to moderate giving a tingle on the sides of the tongue.

The flavor is much like a barleywine without all the hops. Caramel malt, oak, dark fruit, vanilla and molasses dominate. Also present is a citrus flavor of orange peel. At the end alcohol flavors move in which gives the beer a very mild burn as it goes down the throat. Once gone the molasses and oak flavor lingers on the palate.

This is definitely a sipping beer that grows more complex in aroma and flavor as it warms.

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Photo of JayQue
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange color with a small white head. Head retention is less than average, fading quickly to a light covering and then a ring around the glass. No lacing. I read a few reviews and no one mentioned dark sediment. I hope I didn't just get a dirty bottle or poured it into a dirty glass.

Smell is impressive, mostly caramel malt, noticeable while the glass is still on the table and much stronger when held to the nose.

Taste is caramel malt with an additional sweet taste - either mollasses or maple syrup. There is also a little dark fruit and spices in the taste, with a light alcohol bite at the end.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Drinkability is ok, between the high abv and the overall sweet taste and alcohol presence, this is a one-and-out nightcap type of beer.

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Photo of jakecattleco
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 01/04/16 into a tulip glass. Pours a copper amber with two fingers of variable density white head that left nice lacing. Nose is sweet, definitely hints of molasses. Taste reminds me of a Wee Heavy, definitely wanted more barrel character. Mouthfeel is good, very easy drinking, carbonation fine, and the finish slightly sweet and lingers. Not sure what to make of this one. Its good, but left me wanting much more barrel influence.

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Photo of tburkhart
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start this review by saying the Old Ale style is not something I am overly familiar with, but I figured I give this one a shot coming from Founders.

The appearance is a hazy dark orange with little to no head. What little head is there clings to the side of the glass leaving no lacing what-so-ever.

Smells of slightly roasted raisins and quite possibly some toffee and other dark fruits. Carmel malts come at you front and center.

Many carmel malts come through on the back of the palate. Almost a acidic bitterness. Very "bitey". Notes of the alcohol come through as well.

This is definitely not a session beer. A few of these in a night could put you right to sleep. All and all, not a huge fan of this style, but will try some others to be certain.

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Photo of IronLover
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with no head and a murky weathered copper color. Very thin wispy off white lacings lay on top after the pour. Sweet caramel malt, ripe apple, spice and oak aromas. Combined with the hint of alcohol, the smell is reminiscent of a light, sweet bourbon. Medium to full bodied with a thick mouth feel as the latent carbonation slowly comes to life. Sweet caramel malt and ripe apple flavors, hints of spice, finishes with an alcoholic burn and a pine hop flavor. Definitely a sipper that warms the soul.

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Photo of bnes09
3.87/5  rDev -3%
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.

 1,349 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased before it was supposed to be released. thanks glunz!

A- dark amber, almost ruby body with almost no head. what little there is is quite sticky.

S- malty and fruity. cherries, plums, and red grapes. a slight hint of alcohol. not as intense as i was expecting.

T- very sweet and fruity. very barleywine like. the alcohol taste is there for sure. warms the throat all the way down.

M- a little thin for what i was expecting. somewhat creamy.

D- great for a cold winter night indoors. not so good in the summer. one is probably enough. its pretty potent. ill be curious to see what this develops into.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at RnH in nyc. served in a tulip glass.

Pours a syrupy clouded burnt orange color with darker brown hues. A thinner white head fades quickly, leaving a faint layer of film and hardly any lacing.

Plenty of burnt sugar in the nose with caramel, thick breadyness, and molasses. Softer fruit flavors and lighter hop bitterness with an alcohol flair.

Begins with a bite of hop bitterness, quickly followed by layers of syrupy sweetness. Burnt sugar, caramel, and molasses all swirl together for a fairly rich, sweet base. Thick malts with boozy warmth. Another note of pine hoppiness towards the finish with some more heat.

Full bodied, lighter carbonation, sticky and syrupy on the tongue. Drinks pretty well, although its definitely a bit on the warm and sweet side of things.

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Photo of bpw28
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: One finger bone white-very light tan head that died off fast, lacing is spotty, a hazy copper color (about a 23 SRM), pretty steady stream of carb.

Smell: Fresh dark fruits (plum, maybe fig), oaky, light dried lemon skin, nice sweet grass note, light alcohol

Taste: Grassy- earthy notes on the tongue, black pepper, strong woody, dark fruits, light coffe/roasty malt on the mid, alcohol is makes its presence but not overpowering, semi-dry finish. Body is medium.

Final Thoughts: Good beer. I've kind of hyped this one up and heard about it alot so I'm a bit let down that it didn't blow me away, but it is pretty good on the overall level. I know they tried to tone down the body to give it more "drinkability" but it just feels unnatural for me. A definite try, but I wouldn't go nuts looking. Maybe some age would make this a really outstanding brew.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- No head to speak of, instead you get a thin film that floats atop a clouded deep red beer with lots of floaties in suspension.

S- I can already tell this is going to be a malt bomb. The nose is full of sweet malts. Dark fruits, raisins, cherries, currants and alcohol.

T- Same story as the smell. Malty and sweet. Cherries, butterscotch and raisins are noted. There is a slight bite of hops and alcohol on the back.

M- Almost no carbonation. Its really thick, syrupy and smooth.

D- This is a sipper for me. The alcohol is there. This beer is just too chewy to make it possible to have more than one.

This is a pretty good beer. Nice and full bodied and warming.

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Photo of dtivp
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber color with a very slim off white head which disappeared very quickly.

Sweet malty aroma with molasses and oak.

Big roasted malt taste , with vanilla and dark fruit. Slight taste of alcohol. As the beer warmed the sweeter dark fruit taste became more prevalent.

Medium body beer with slight carbonation. Alcohol isn't over powering , however, if you didn't sip the first one, you should consider sipping the second. A nice ale by Founders

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby color with a creamy off white head. Decent retention with some clingy lacing.

Sweet aroma overall. Dark fruit and molasses are picked up easily up front. Oak aged also has left its mark on the smell.

Big malt up front. Sweet thick maltiness you can expect from an old ale. Warming alcohol is noticeable but not overly done. There is an earthiness imparted from the oak. Dark fruit flavors are there but not as dominate as the smell would suggest.

Medium bodied and low carbonation. Does drink smooth but is definitely a sipper.

Very enjoyable to brew to enjoy over time. Not one to go back to after finishing the first.

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Photo of cratez
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from International Beverage in Grands Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a murky copper-brown hue with amber edges, a sliver of eggshell white foam, and several dots of lacing on the snifter. Solid appearance, especially for a high gravity beer.

Smell is vanilla, molasses, oak barrel, brown sugar, hazelnut, English fruit cake, table cream, red apple, cinnamon, milk chocolate, nutmeg, spruce, hint of sherry, fig, and ethanol. Unbelievably rich and layered aromas.

Taste is good, but does not live up to the nose. I get dried fruit, toffee, brown sugar, milk chocolate, caramel, and raisin with an astringent bitterness and some oak wood on the cough. Decent enough.

Mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied, higher than average carbonation, a little foamy, medium tingly bitterness transitions to a drying finish. Alcohol warms the insides while eluding the taste buds.

Overall, Curmudgeon makes for a pleasant night cap, but I would probably buy Hibernation, the Ola Dubh series, and North Coast Old Stock before grabbing this one again. A serviceable Old Ale that falls short of the greats.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Samichlaus (name dropping) snifter.

A: Pours with no head and very minimal lacing and a deep amber color, one of the prettier beers I've seen in a glass. It just looks like an amazing beer. There was a good bit of sedimentation floating around my glass, which doesn't usually bother me but it was a bit extreme in this case & coagulated in a nasty way. Is this a bottle conditioned beer?

S: Sweet: milk chocolate notes, molasses, alcohol (9.8%).

T: Loads of malt. Very smooth considering the high gravity, not too boozy. Some hints of oak and earth.

M: Medium to light body, especially since I anticipated it being very heavy.

D: What you'd expect from Founders, a very good beer.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

I had this a couple of years back and felt the urge to revisit with it being in New Mexico.

Flavor and aroma treat me to raisiny, dried fruit and light flora notes. Very consistent from nose to tongue. Funny that this has molasses added because I think more of maple. Either way, there's a sticky, dry sweet flavor there.

There's a pretty potent hop profile on the finish that takes things grassy and herbal. Age would probably tone that down and serve this beer well.

This beer feels like something I need about six ounces of maximum.

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Photo of Nctide
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep bronze color with an off white head. It has a sweetness reminiscent of cherries soaking in scotch whiskey. The taste has a surprising spicy component with a slight alcohol tinge on the finish. Overall this is a decent balanced ale.

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Photo of Chasmill70
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - a beautiful beer. Head dissipates rapidly, probably because of the alcohol content.

s - the most disappointing part of the beer. Very light malty aroma or oak character here. Does have the characteristic treacle aroma, but I would have liked more complexity.

t - delicious, with dark fruit, malt and some oak character in the finish. The hot alcohol flavor and hop bite in the finish detract from the enjoying of the flavor, however.

m - velvety and smooth.

o - another fine offering from Founders! I'm hoping aging will mellow the hot alcohol flavors...they definitely have a "headache" flavor. I hope it relaxes into the body in a few months.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a cloudy murky orangish red

S - I honestly can't tell if this beer is bad or not. At times, especially at the start, it smells bad, that it has turned.. Other times not. It smells malty, sugary, with faint alcohol.

T - buttery, malt, molasses, honey. spices, maybe nutmeg.

M - smooth, slippery.

O - I believe I had this beer once on tap in MN and was fascinated by it. The bourbon notes, the strange sweetness, the 10% heaviness.. I dont recall the odd off putting smell, though. Maybe chalk it up to too much light on the shelf life?

Above review- 12-18-2011

Below is the re-review- just got around to checking it out again. Bottled on 4/13/12.

A - more clear, but noticeable particulates. Little to no head, similar to first review, although I failed to mention it.

S - same as above, without the oft putting smell. Leads me to believe the last time I around I had a bad batch (a Total Wine more than random occurrence, unfortunately).

T - Same notes as above, though the butter and nutmeg seem more upfront. More bourbon notes come thorugh as well . Also no strange sourness.

M - same as above

O - I kept thinking I had to come back to this one, but for one reason or another (the bad original four pack most likely) I did not. Without the semi turned smell, it makes for a much better experience. This 4 pack was from Frougles. Recommended.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,596 ratings.
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