Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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1,257 Reviews
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,257
Ratings:
4,567
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
20.05%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,120
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,257 | Ratings: 4,567
Photo of jwhawkins81
2.87/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled Fresh

Aroma - Way sweet smell with no noticeable hop characteristics.

Appearance - Cloudy reddish brown with no I mean no carbonation.

Taste - Sweet cherries and then the bite of alcohol. This beer really needs to be sipped and also needs to hit the tip of your tongue. I got some raisin flavors near the end.

Mouthfeel - Not a light beer. Without carbonation this beer just lays there.

Drinkability - I can't imagine drinking more than one of these at a time. I hope this beers improves over the next three years in my cellar.

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a good hazy amber with a small tan head. The head last fairly well for being thin. Lacing is good. Aroma is honey and a big presence of alcohol. Almost has a whiskey like aroma. Has a light carbonation. A good mouthfeel. The flavor is well blended and the alcohol aroma doen't hold up the alcohol is well hidden. Has a full body. A real good finish and a good aftertaste. This is a good beer, a touch strong but a good beer.

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

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 5/11/09.

A - Rusty orange/copper-colored body with moderate carbonation and two fingers of fluffy beige foam that left decent lacing, which ultimately slid down the sides of the glass.

S - Initial aroma smells of caramel and toffee malt notes with a hefty waft of alcohol. As the liquid warmed up a bit, a subtle dark fruit tang emerged suggesting raisins, plums and dried apricots.

T - Rich, sweet and malty with a prevalent dark fruit character hinting at dried, tangy fruits. Malt character features sweet caramel and toffee notes. Finishes with a touch of earthy bitterness and some mild alcohol notes.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and mild carbonation. Fairly slick mouthfeel with a warm alcohol presence, but pretty mild overall. Finish is quite sweet.

D - Pretty smooth for a 9.3% Old Ale, and certainly not as hot as the ABV would imply. While not a favorite style of mine, this was one of the better Old Ales I've had in my travels.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pour an amber-orange with a little bit of foam that disappears quickly.

S: Boozy caramel.

T: Hops, caramel, and and herbal sweetness. Too sweet for me, to the point of being cloying.

M: Very nice mouthfeel, great carbonation. Heavy body to it.

D: Take it easy on this one, I think it's a one per night kind of beer.

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Photo of jsh420
2.71/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottled 3/5/09

pours dark clear amber with small white/tan head that fades fast with no lacing

smell is all sweet candy carmel and alcohol - i could tell this was going to be a hot one

taste - i picked up some banana carmel and too much booze

mouthfeel was good light carbonation but not flat - body is on the a tad heavy and sticky

drinkability - not good this one need to sit a while

overall this beer is nowhere close to fresh old stock (which i love) but time might be on this ones side - i will check back in a year

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Photo of thirdeye11
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ktown67 for bringing this to me for an in person trade!

Presentation: Pours an absolutely gorgeous deep orange/rust color with no head at all from a vigorous pour, some bubbles rise to the top but don't stay around long. Laces the glass extremely well.

S: Smells very sweet. Lots of caramel in this one. Not complex, but straightforward and nice. Maybe even a little sweet smelling for a guy who loves sweet beers. Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose too.

T: Taste is oddly up front with hops and caramel both, but somehow they're not really balanced. They're just both strong flavors and don't seem to play too well together. Despite this I find the beer highly enjoyable and like how it tastes.

M: Carbonation is really nice for the style, and the weight is just right too. I wish there had been some head to give this beer some creaminess though.

D: The alcohol presence in the flavor profile might lower this some. I could probably have drank 2 of them if I had more than one, but I think given its alcohol and sweetness the line would likely be drawn at 2.

I liked this beer; in fact it was extremely similar to a local barleywine we get called Sisyphus. In fact I would probably need to have them side by side to probably notice any differences.

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Photo of drcarver
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
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 nsmartell
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a thin white head that doesn't stay for long.

Smell: Malty, sweet, alcohol and some whiskey.

Taste: Bready-malts, sweet and a hint of alcohol. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Very good old ale. Would definitely seek out and drink again.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Is there no cure for mudgeon? Pours a mostly hazy brown color with a light toffee haze to it. A soft white head with ok retention, although didn't last through the tasting, and limited lacing.

The nose has a good malt backing with decent complexity. Some sweeter caramel and a lighter melonodian aroma. Some minor bready and a light cocoa aroma. Some esters and phenols are prevalent. Big sweet plum and light raisin notes. Some minor herbal and earthy hop aromas but limited overall. The alcohol really comes out with some fusel notes.

The taste is similar but not as complex as the nose would indicate. The malt comes out with a slight grainy, slight bready and a more sweet caramel. Very distinct in its flavors. Would have liked more depth and complexity overall. The hops are on the light side but still detectable. More of an earthy, English style. Stronger esters come out, mostly raisins with a hint of figs. Noticeable alcohol with a slight fusel-esk nose. Could be a bit cleaner.

The body is more to the full side than moderate. But as mention before, the mouthfell is a bit lacking and I am looking more some more depth. Some heat and fusel notes are a bit of a distraction. The carbonation is light but ok. Overall a decent barleywine but some age could work magic on this beer.

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Photo of schroederm
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a snifter:

It's body is reddish with some amber in there. Pours with no head really, but it may have been too cold. Smells are inviting but subdued, and include cherry and generically estery. Quite sour. Bitter and tart finish with obvious alcohol. Cherry and molasses noteness. The sourness is overall very enjoyable. Good body, and well carbonated. The fact that the flavor is so overpowering diminishes drinkability a bit for me.

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Photo of dondeez21
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a snifter.
A: Deep Amber/ Rusty with lots of yeast floaties. Very thin head that was gone withing seconds. No lacing on the glass either.
S: Initial smell is Oak. It seems this smell gets stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Oak with a slight warming feel from alcohol. Not any hop charecter. This beer is all malt with oak.
M: Sticky Thick and warm.
D: This beer drinks pretty easy for almost weighing in @ 10%. One of the biggest charecteristics is the Oak flavor.

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Photo of citan133
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A rusty-brown color, gets a little golden when held to the light. Very little head on mine, just a slight film almost over the top, kind of bubbly, that quickly went away and lefts just a slight halo around the edges of the glass. Some little sediment floaters drifting around at the bottom, too.

Doesn't really give much beyond some malt and sweet honey scents until it warms up a bit. initially thought this was pretty mellow in the nose but as it warms there are lots of scents i'm not picking up on. some overripe fruits, dark fruits, nice nose. Still a thing or two in there I can't put my finger on.

Some nice sweetness, getting some of the honey I had in the nose, nice mellow malt, kind of like a light barley-wine. Little bit of alcohol on the back, nothing too strong though. Some bitterness in the back too, i think its coming from the alcohol.

Light for the style, actually goes down pretty easy. I wouldn't go as far as to say it was light in the mouth but it definitely goes down easy, especially for the flavor profile and alcohol. A little more syrupy as it warms.

I was kind of expecting a little more from this. It's a good beer, dangerously drinkable but it doesn't have enough to make me want to come back to it too often

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Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that I've sat on for about 12 months, after a trade with ATPete, thx! Poured into my Delirium snifter, Old Curmudgeon is hazy rusty brown with an pretty dense light sand head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is sweet cured fruit, golden raisins and medjool dates, definitely a lighter feel then the more common raisin and prune notes. Softer at the cellar serving temp, the fruits really opened up more at room temp, some kiwi, which I thought was very distinct and enjoyable, before the caramel started to dominate, with some clean alcohol vapors coming through at the end.

Taste is pretty rich and sweet, there are some oak and vanilla notes that make me think this is barrel aged, although I really don't know anything about it. Very nice though, with some of the light tropical fruit notes from the nose, ABV well hidden for sure. Lots of depth and super tasty without being a palate buster, I'm super impressed.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy, medium bodied. On the drier side but not as spicy as I'd expect from the ABV.

Drinkability is high, wow. Super tasty, smooth, easy drinking, a killer old ale for sure. I can't believe how easy drinking this is with only a few months on it's belt, even it it had a few more when I bought it, it's still probably less then a year old. Wow, great beer!

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Photo of AtlasBrew
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz stubby bottle (Think Sierra Nevada's bottles), A fantastic label with a painted portrait of, what else, an old curmudgeon looking scholar/sailor.

Color: Brown, I wouldn't say deep brown. Head is a beige pillowy head, with medium retention.

Smell: Alcohol, Malty Sweetness, little hops

Taste: Malty alcohol that hints at some hops. That aged flavor that hints of bourbon. But always alcohol, the kind that leaves you dry and wondering "...is this really only 9.8% ABV?"

Overall: Eh, I could have done without it the 9.8% ABV. I appreciate the work and effort that was put into this Ale but let's face it; at this high of an alcohol content you may just as well have a barley wine. Not my favorite.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. Appears a mildly cloudy deep, dark amber color with about an inch of light ecru foam. Smells and tastes of sweet caramelized malts, a touch of brown sugar, and alcohol. Rich in body with medium carbonation. Worth a try if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single bottle into a regular snifter late at night.

A- Curmudgeon is a dark amber color with some brown hints. Not much of a head but some tan foam reaches half an inch than fades. No lacing plus some sediment is seen floating.

S- This old ale has a deep smell of rich sweet malts giving off caramel, plus some burnt sugars. This years version has more of a hop aroma than I remember it, but they fade as this warms. Some oak/vanilla and dark fruit such as plum. A nice smell of raisins.

T- A really nice balance between the sweet malt giving off a bready vibe and dark fruits consisting of mainly dates and raisins. I got some hops on first sips but that faded as I got more into it. The little hint of vanilla is a nice touch. Some alcohol seeps through. Has some vinious hints here and there. Nice.

M- A very sweet and thick oily texture while this is somewhere above medium bodied. A bit of hotness from the alcohol but well contained for a near 10% old ale plus fairly fresh. Very faint bitterness from the hops, nothing major. A good one to let marinate on the tounge.

D- I usually take my time with big abv beers but this went down without a hitch. The alcohol is barely noticable in taste yet the flavors are just so full this becomes too inviting almost. Not my favorite founders beer but a great stab at the old ale category and worthy for repeat visits and slight aging.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy and dark rust red with a pretty substantial, fluffy white head. Aroma is extremely malty, sweet, and vinous but boozy at the same time. Taste is slightly sweet, same caramel taste and light butter rum; it comes off as sweet but never sugary as a nice warming alcohol takes over and a bitter kick gives it a great balance. I wish it were a little bigger at the end, but this is a very easy drinking brew for the style.

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Photo of stewart124
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber in color with orange hues and lots of sediment. The head is small and doesn't linger.

Stong smells of caramel and I pick up a bit of cinnamon. There are also slight hints of the alcohol to come.

Very spicy with the first taste but this just mellows out as the beer warms and this just melts on my tongue. The mouthfeel and the after taste are just amazing; lots of caramel and a sweet malt/bready character.

There is a toffee and sweet caramel note in the finish which is great. The alcohol is subtle. This is really a nice beer.

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Photo of alexgrahamlv
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with a strong hint of redness in it. Very cloudy and cannot see through it. No head retention in this beer. In aromas there are cherries as well as raisins. On the taste there are cherries perhaps a slight brown sugar taste. There is almost a stale fruit taste but not in a bad way whatsoever. Full bodied, not heavily carbonated but produces a tingly sensation on the edge of the tongue. I actually enjoy this beer quite a bit. This beer is 9.8% but not a strong alcohol taste at all. Enjoy!

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Photo of joepais
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to a couple of BA's who sent me one of these. Bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of white head that settled down to a sparse lace. The color of the brew was a cloudy almost Macintosh apple red.

This brew sat in the closet for a while so I am getting some bourbon whisky like aromas coming from the glass. Some vanilla and a little barleywine note as well

The flavors are strong malts and candy sugar but the alcohol flavors keep the sweetness in check. This brew is thick and smooth in the mouth.

I was in the mood for a strong brew tonight but one is enough in one sitting. A likable Old Ale I will defiantly revisit this one

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Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy mahogany. Very small tan head even with a rigorous pour. Not much lacing to speak of. The nose is VERY rich. There are amber malts, dark fruits (most notably black cherries), vanilla, and some very mild piney hops. Taste begins with piney hops, more than the nose hinted at. It's followed by raisiny-sweet amber malts and a touch of whiskey/bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a very rich and full bodied, very light on the carbonation...I would have liked a bit more carbonation though. Alcohol is present, it definitely warms you on the way down. This is a pretty intense beer - first that I have had of this style. Can't say that I could drink a lot of these, but was nice for a night when you're in the mood to kick back and enjoy a beer.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
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 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 SFLpunk
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass twist-top. No date.

Appearance: Tawny orange/brown. No head to speak of, and somewhat cloudy (no sediment though).

Nose: Sweet raisin bread, apricots, toasted cashews, deep caramel, milk chocolate, dried figs.

Palate: Medium- to full-bodied with loads of sugar up front. Dried fruits (figs, raisons, prunes) mingle with a layer of light milk chocolate (low cocoa %), and some flavors that remind me of tawny/colheita ports and malmsey madeiras. Rich and somewhat thick, there is a moderate edge from the hop bitterness.

Notes: A well made Old Ale, will improve over short-term ageing, but I don't think it's made to go for more than 3 years with improvement. I would like to see more hop character for longer ageing. The hops show themselves and try to contain the HUGE sweetness, but it's just bursting at the brim with sugar. A little more contained than the Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog, though.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle to chalice at 50 degrees from cellar.

Aggressive pour yields short head - decent lacing on down. Beautifully opaque orange color when held to the light.

Smell is purely seductive. Barleywine-esque. Cinnamon spice, bready, and sharp orange peel in my book.

Taste is ballsy. Barley, candied sugar, vanilla, n fair amount of alcohol, but well balanced. Found this to be much sweeter on the tongue than the nose.

Rich, sticky, chewy mouthfeel.

Take this puppy one sip at a time, and enjoy. Not recommended for the beach in July.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.
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