Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
4,722 Ratings
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Think classic seafaring ports, local pubs and weathered old fishermen. This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill. Then Oak-Aged. The result is a rich, malty delight that's deceptively smooth and drinkable.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,722
Reviews:
1,314
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
218
Gots:
1,169
For Trade:
52
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,722 |  Reviews: 1,314
Photo of Flyer
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry red, hazy, with good head but minimal lacing. Aroma of whiskey. This ale has a wonderul bourbon whiskey flavor, as much as you could possibly want, yet without coming across as a "whiskey wannabe" -- it's an ale all the way. Additional notes of coconut, brown sugar, oak, some cherry. Nice alcohol warmth. I'm a variety lover, yet this is one of the few beers I feel like I could enjoy every day.

 416 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the brewery, 12oz into a tulip. Bottled April 19, 2012.

Reddish brown, unfiltered with a light cream cap. Light lace and almost no retention. Nose of syrup, candy, caramel, sweet dark fruits and fantastic bready malt notes. Palate more syrup, honey, breads, light toastiness, slight booze and caramel again. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel - 'coating.' A fantastic beer all around, I'd revisit this time and time again.

 425 characters

Photo of gardner254
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ilovewaffles
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mitch3114
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Goosehunter75
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a brilliant coper with 1 finger tan colored head that is slow to form but really hangs around. There is a slight haze to the beer

S - Sweet malts, hints of coffee, cherry, toffee, and oak. Not as much aroma as I had anticipated, but a nice smelling beer nontheless.

T - The taste doesnt disappoint! A very malty beer. Lots of oak as well. Similar to the aroma, there are hints of coffee and cherry mixed throughout. Wonderfully tasty and complex

M - Extremely nice. Very thick beer but it goes down very smooth. Hints of alcohol leave the mouth feeling warm and dry.

O - Very impressive beer. Worlds of flavor in this beer that all seem to blend together perfectly. A good strong beer at 9.8 ABV but it manages to go down very smoothly leaving just a slight hint of alcohol behind.

 795 characters

Photo of Briken
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, dark red amber and thin tan foamy/frothy head with good retention. Yeast and sweet caramel barley aromas. Very malty vanilla, caramel, and nutty with a slight hop note. Alcohol warming with a slight taste. Creamy lactose finish. Very silky but thick and creamy mouthfeel.

An excellent blend of flavor, sweet with a light hop balance. Alcohol actually adds to the taste rather than detracts. Creamy taste really adds a nice dimension without distracting or overshadowing other flavors. Aroma is good but nothing too special like a barleywine. It also reminds me of Old Stock ale, though I may have enjoyed OS a little more.

 630 characters

Photo of Wolverine48092
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Brew33
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottling

I don't have a ton of experience with Old Ales but I enjoy the style.

Curmudgeon pours a deep, amber with a reddish glow. A beautiful beer to be sure. No head, just a few bubbles.

The aroma is spot on for the style. Malty, sweet, caramel, toffee, rum cake, booze. Really, really nice. But also very subdued. I'd have liked for the aroma to be a little bigger.

The flavor is excellent. Deep, rich, malty, and sweet. Toffee, peanut brittle, caramelized sugars, plum, figs. Complex as hell!

The mouthfeel could be fuller. It doesn't quite coat the tongue. But it's medium bodied.

Overall, I enjoy the crap out of this beer every year and I desperately need to try the barrel aged version. Another winner from Founders.

 739 characters

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.

 185 characters

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

Bright red body, murky, with plenty of near microscopic carbonation streams. Topped by a three finger loose light beige head, which quickly drops to one finger and stablizes. Light lacing traces.

Interesting light and clean fruity (grape?)aroma.

Lightly sweet beginning. Big burst of fruit. Citrus with a cherry finish. Alcohol firebomb in the belly. Clean finish.

Smooth slick medium plus mouthfeel. Alcohol fades quick which keeps drinkability high.

Nice change of pace here in big hop season. Takes the chill out of your bones.

 535 characters

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

Photo of Goatdavemac
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of RobertRuiz
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Metalmonk
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very little head and disappeared in seconds. Color is a very deep caramel brown. Small strings of lace appeared as the glass emptied.

There's a sweetness to the aroma that reminds very much of pineapple. Malt is there but dominated by the prickly, citrusy element and also some rotting dark fruits. Alcohol comes on stronger as it warms.

Flavor is an earthy mixture of malt and hops, still reminding and dominated by pineapple. Also some overripe banana. A little grassy and recalling watermelon schnapps as it warms.

Buoyant and effervescent in the mouth, and only slightly syrupy, with enough thickness to give it a nice heft.

This is a unique ale. That exotic sweetness will have you tasting things you don't usually get in beer (to my senses pineapple and watermelon liqueur), but it maintains good balance and depth too. Glad to have experienced this one...thanks to BA jabocu for the trade.

 909 characters

Photo of morimech
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark caramel color with a small head that quickly settled to a thin skim of bubbles. A little sticky lacing is left on the glass. Some particulate matter that settles to the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Things really pick up now. A lot caramel and toffee notes. Smells sweet and fruity. Alcohol is detected but does not seem intimidating.

Taste- Overall sweet but not overboard in sweetness. Nice toffee and rum flavors up front. A touch of vanilla as well. The alcohol is well integrated and adds some warmth and kick. There is a hop flavor and bitterness that detracts from the wonderful malt flavor. The deeper I got into the glass, the hops became even more noticeable and lowered the score a little. I would of preferred a much milder hopped ale here but this is still a damn near perfect flavored Old Ale. This might of been influence by the hop crazed beer culture as it would of been better with half the IBUs.

Mouthfeel- Soft, silky smooth texture. Full bodied and rich. Perfect.

Drinkability- My bottle has a date of 02/24/09. Should of waited a little longer and let the hops fade some more. But still a very good example of the style.

 1,169 characters

Photo of SFNC
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Branlott42
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ChipChaight
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle form Pioneer Supermarket on the UWS
Pours a hazy light amber with a ring of head and decent lacing, smell is dried fruits, dates, prune juice, toffee, roasted malts, taste is burnt honey, molasses, mellon rind, roasted squash, bourbon, this beer is velvety and full bodied with good carbonation. Comforting, warming, roasted bourbon goodness.

 354 characters

Photo of Erish
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. No freshness date.

A: cloudy cider-colored, pours a caramel-colored head that quickly falls into a thin head with scant lacing. About what I expect from a wood-aged beer of this strength.

S: molasses, vanilla, toffee, dried/ripe fruit; apples, figs, raisins.

T: the caramel sweetness and fruit are thick up front, and the woodsy/vanilla character slowly reveals itself, and finally a lightly mineral bitterness opens up with an herbal and floral hop character, and a slow, boozy alcoholic heat also emerges.

M: Full-bodied, velvety, almost syrupy texture, light carbonation.

O: Is it an Old Ale or Barleywine? Who cares! It is tasty, tasty stuff.

 704 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Tawny ruby color with a medium sized, smooth, creamy, off-white head. Fairly tight head that disappears fairly fast. Leaves a nice thin layer of lacing.

S - Starts out with a heavy dose of dark fruit. Mostly date and raisin with some dried fig. Subtle dried cherry but nothing too strong. Strong amount of molasses and brown sugar with a slight burnt aroma. As the beer opens up, the aroma get slightly sweeter with a syrupy/maple sweetness. Caramel and a slight butterscotch aroma also comes out. Faintest hint of oak/cask.

T - Compared to the nose, there is a bit stronger dried/dark cherry flavor. Very strong molasses and brown sugar base. Dark fruit jumps off that base. Date, raisin, and plum all present with a slight tartness that wasn't in the nose. Notes of leather in the background. Slight oakiness coms out at the finish. Nice kick on the finish of slight alcohol and slight barrel. Overall, it's like an rum-soaked fruit cake.

M - Medium, bordering on full body. Pretty smooth and surprisingly well carbonated.

D - Very nice sipping beer. Strong flavors and it has a slight kick of alcohol but not overpowering. Quite sweet but not cloying. Overall a nice example of the style.

Notes: Review on 5/2/14. Bottled 4/19/12. Overall this aged pretty well. I think it has a very slight edge over fresh. The flavors mellowed out a bit, the oaky flavors dropped off a bit. It seems like it is in a good balance with the sweetness, the woodiness, and the alcohol right now. Overall this is a great example of the style. Not overpowering wood aspects but it provides a nice extra note. Molasses on the other hand really comes out. Good fresh and aged and worth picking up and stashing a few away.

 1,710 characters

Photo of Fenris244
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into my Duvel tulip

Pours a deep reddish orange, thin white head, little retention, good amount of lacing though. A little hazy but looks great none the less.

Smell is of dark fruits, plum and cherry with, boozy sweetness and some brown sugar and toffee like aromas.

Plum and cherry flavors are there as well, little bits of hop bitterness. Has an earthy quality too it and some sweet toffee and booze on the finish. The flavors balance well and it's never too sweet and the hops never overpower the other flavors, very satisfying to drink
.
Heavier in body, booze heats up the palate and you can definitely feel it, very enjoyable.

Overall, I'd love to be able to get more of this brew, I look forward to seeing founders in Texas one of these days!

 760 characters

Photo of Everydayoff
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Mildly hazed amber copper hue, it tops with one finger of foamy off-white head that stands just for a while before sinking to some long-lasting bubble film on the surface along with some sticky lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

Maltiness affair in the aroma with many varieties ranging from roasted, peat, biscuit, bread, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel. There is also a note of molasses and hint of grassiness from hop as well as subtle scent of alcohol.

Still malty goodness overloaded in the taste as well as its aroma, anyway, it is in good way and very inviting. Kick off with solid sweetness from malt and molasses but in proper amount, not that cloying. At the same time, other flavors of malt draw in with notes of roasted, peat, biscuit, bread, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel (like in the aroma). Just some subtle bitterness and it is mainly from burnt malt not hop.

The body is slightly beyond medium but not that bold with smooth mouthfeel from its lively carbonation generated a soft effervescence covering the palate. The mouthfeel is just right since carbonation did it job well to carry all the things, dry finish.

Superbly balance even this brew has pure malt domination but it is precisely that malt can balance itself with lots of variety and ample range of character. The oak-aged helps to add up more complexity of the aroma and flavor. It has remarkable balance between everything inside, more than worthy to give it a try.

 1,529 characters

Photo of HopFace
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,722 ratings.
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