Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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1,258 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:
1,258
Ratings:
4,569
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
20.05%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,120
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,258 | Ratings: 4,569
Photo of HopHunter19
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - dark copper murky beer, no head and therefore no lacing
S - musty, leather, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butterscotch
T - musty, leather, dark fruits, tobacco, caramel, vanilla, bitter earthy hops
M - heavy, alcohol completely covered, aftertaste is musty, old, wholesome malts
O - great beer, bottled 1/14/15 drank 12/12/15, age is good for this one

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 3/1/2014. The body is a bright orange amber color with a short-lasting off white head. The smell is loaded with sweet malts, caramel, candied rum raisin, heavy oak, dark fruit, vanilla, brown sugar and molasses, maybe some leather or tobacco qualities. Mouth feel is on the fuller side of medium, there's some alcohol warmth felt after the swallow, dry finish, and not as sweet tasting as the smell would suggest. Very well balanced by the bitterness of the hops, which, by now, don't come through at all except for maybe an underlying earthiness. The flavor starts off with a sweet maltiness, honey, toffee, molasses, followed by a bitterness of the oak? some dark fruits, and toast. I enjoy this one more with at least a year on it.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle served at cellar temperature into a tulip. Bottled May 2, 2015.

Appearance - an aggressive pour leads to a dark ruby coloured beer capped with a finger of off-white head and good retention. A small thin curtain of lace cascades down the sides of the glass. The beer is just a bit cloudy and plenty of lively bubbles.

Smell - big time aroma of predominately molasses and treacle. Some related aromas of caramel, and butterscotch too, but mostly molasses.

Taste - huge malt flavours, molasses, treacle and even some liquorice for good measure. Great flavor combo that works well as a sipper. Bitterness is present but restrained although it prevents this old ale from becoming sweet. Alcohol flavours aren't too noticeable either.

Mouthfeel - smooth, with good carbonation and a thick body that is chewy like a piece of fine toffee. Body is definitely on the heavy side but it complements the flavours rather than detracting.

Overall - an awesome old ale, that I'm thankful I've tried. Huge body and molasses flavours make this not the most well rounded beer but the malt dimension is so great on this that it doesn't matter. Definitely a beer for all beer advocates.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.56/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

**
04/18/2013
05/03/2013
Musty. Aroma reminds me of the smell of old peoples houses that I recall from collecting as a paperboy. Great memories, terrible olfactories. Clear Copper, small head. Lasting lace.Quite sour. Overly bitter sour makes for a puckery feel. Endearing flavor, but takes a while to get into.Clean brew. Not smooth. After"feel" is "Pasta Starchy". Not quite a success; though I am still a big fan of Founders.
**

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Photo of FBGordon
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on draft into an Irish pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful copper with amber highlights, has an off-white head that laces nicely.

S: Notes of caramel and some piney hops with a touch of toffee.

T: Some hops out of the gate, notes of apricot and bread crust with some bitterness settling on the back end.

M: Medium body with good carbonation, a little bitterness on the back end.

O: A solid, enjoyable ale. Don't let the "Old Ale" style deter you, this is a style and a beer that you need to try. It's a big, heady beer at 9.8%, so drink responsibly!

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass in November 2015. Liked to see the bottled date on the bottle, and drank it 5 months after the bottling.

Appearance: Deep amber with dark tan head. Beer is clear and not cloudy. Head is thick, and leaves a thin film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and some hops. Nice variety and balance

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the hops. There is a little roasted coffee flavor, and I also get nice caramel flavors, balanced with a bit of hops. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Strong alcohol, which confirms the 9.8% on the bottle.

This is a smooth full-bodied Old Ale. It is an interesting combination of flavors, and I want to drink this again.

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Photo of DrSpaceman
4.56/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Thick head with good retention on top of beautiful clear amber. Smell is lacking in the oak, just malt. Taste is amazing, perfectly done old ale. Just the right amount of oak to bring it all together. Body is thick, and holds up strong to the 9.8% abv. I think I have found a new favorite old ale, rich and buttery perfection.

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

Old Ale= harsher and sharper than barley wine. Harder to easily quaff and slow sipper, winter warmer, with darker cocoa notes rather than sweetish barley wines.

IMHO a perfect example of Old Ale, as I find Old Stock Ale unpalatable until it's a least 4 years old. Drink this beer without expecting immediate gratification. It's a drawn out process of letting your palate attenuate to the harshness. Improves vastly aged at one year, with orange peel notes emerging from the hops while the malty spine remains strong.

Try to yield, and the Curmudgeon reminds you: the easy road is not the path to seek. Accept the challenge and expand your perception . Cheese-wiz is easier to eat than extra-sharp cheddar. Which is better is up to you. If you opt for cheese-whiz, it pairs well with a wine cooler.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle, Brewers Droop, Bristol - Pours clear amber with a large white head. Nice lacing. Medium carbonation. Smell - Light caramel with hints of roasted coffee. Taste - Very sweet with a hint of caramel and light malty boozy finish. Nice strong slow easy driniking ale even through the sweetness but definitely a sipper for cold winter nights.

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Photo of ZAP
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L-Chestnut colored....minimal head..

S-Excellent. Big chewy caramel and nougat.....vanilla...

T-The flavor does not bring as much intensity as I hoped for from the aroma. You get some oak/vanilla, caramel and nougat but in lighter doses and there is a bit of alcohol bite on the back end.

F-Pretty boozy and sharp. Alcohol is not hidden in this one.

O-I like this but had higher hopes off the initial smell.....a bit too sharp with the grain alcohol like impression for my tastes...

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Photo of craftcraver
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a clear amber color with a finger thick cream head that falls over about a minute.

S: A reserved nose with hints of coffee, toffee and malt.

T: What wasn't there in the nose jumps out on the palate. M+ carbonation, big toffee, vanilla and cream notes. Slight coffee and hoppy bitterness. Starts off creamy and has a long complex bitter finish.

O: Another great heavy beer by founders. The complexity is well balanced but the richness of this beer demands some sippin.

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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 UrbanCaveman
2.1/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass at ~45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear ruddy amber, and forms almost no head. What does form vanishes completely in short order, in a puff of fizzing.

Smell: The aroma is subtle, barely there, likely due to the wide-mouth glass. It is mild caramel and sweetness, with very soft hints of oak.

Taste: And alas, my hop sensitivity strikes. This has an earthy, ashy bitterness to it which becomes virtually all I can taste. I can faintly, oh so very faintly, make out wispy ghosts of sweet caramel beneath the dirty ashes, but that's it.

Mouthfeel: Acrid and harsh are the only things I can describe this as, like most beers that trip my hop sensitivity trigger.

Overall: This is a beer I'd cite as an example of where "old ale" and "English barleywine" are not necessarily synonyms - I've run into fewer English barleywines that I can barely drink than old ales. This may very well be a tasty beer, but it's one I can't enjoy.

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Photo of cab4514
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to an amber look with a good head. Smells oaky with a little malt. Love the taste. As an earlier reviewer put it, definitely a boozier beer. Looking forward to drinking this in the winter.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red with orange highlights and a two finger off white head. Aroma is molasses, alcohol, dark fruit, and a touch of cough syrup. Taste is dark fruit, molasses, a bit of cough syrup, alcohol, and a hint of oak. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall an interesting beer, and a style I could get into for winter.

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Photo of jeffdr123
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a short head that disappears - a reminder that it's a thick beer with not a lot of carbonation.
Smells like brown sugar and oak.
Tastes exactly like the label says it will: "old ale brewed with molasses and oak aged." A brown ale taste with more hops. Mellows as it warms. The higher alcohol slipped up on me.

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Photo of slusk
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Pours a hazy dark amber with a short-lived off white head

S: Big oaky aroma with a definite molasses profile. Nice malt aroma, bread crust and a bit of an earthy hop. Some orange peel and raisin with a bit of an ESB flair.

T: Oaky with sweet malt and brown sugar. Spicy, nutmeg flavor with a bit of earthiness. A bit of a smoky flavor in the background. Decent bitterness, but little hop flavor. A bit of an alcohol bite but the sweetness hides it well with a bittersweet finish.

F: Medium body, slick oily. Low carbonation

O: A nice cold weather warmer. Big oak flavor with a sweet malt backbone. Not too heavy. I'll have another.

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Photo of CincyBrewTull
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Curmudgeon is a boozy thick beer and that becomes ever more apparent as it warms. At first its smooth and tastes of caramel and toffee with hints of molasses. As it warms slight vanilla and oak notes begin to hide behind the alcohol.

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Old Ale for an old man! Can't wait until it's socially acceptable for me to rock in my chair all day and drink Curmudgeon. Good smell and great mouthfeel on this one. Thick and chewy, just the way it should be. The beer was on the sweet side for me; I was getting a lot of caramel in there. The booze was a little too in my face; I prefer a more subtle booziness in my old ale... the kind that catches up with you and you awake in the neighbors yard being poked with sticks by the twins who live across the street.

This is a good thick blood warming old ale; you should definitely give this one a try.

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Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Chill hazed brown colored beer with next to no head formation.

Smells strongly of malt and quite sweet.. Floral scent but I really don't smell any oak. Little bit of vanilla.

Starts out quite malty with a bit of vanilla and syrup flavor. Oak flavor and the taste of grapes. Carmel and a taste of rum. Mild bitterness not harsh at all.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a tasty big beer that doesn't really taste like it is as strong as it is.

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Photo of bonesTdog
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Similar to other reviews, Carmel, molasses, yest, cedar and oak. A bit boozy for my taste but some interesting layers of flavor. Beautiful rich roasty brown color and nice body. Enjoyable but not my favorite compared with other barrel aged beers.

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Photo of pnelting
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Deep amber color with an off white head. Nose was caramel and molasses. This one is on the sweet side with taste following the nose. Alcohol is present. Rich sticky mouth feel. It's one to sip on for sure.

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Photo of Decker
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 bottle. A: Amber clear body, no head and very little lacing.
S: malt and molasses that do very little to mask the booze. No hops.
T: Mellowed out molasses and malty sweetness that grow quietly as it warms. Alc. becomes more noticeable as well, but isn't a deterrent. Oak flavor is almost non-existent. Finishes mildly bitter with a feathering sting of alcohol.
B: Body is medium-thin, minimal carbonation that allows the molasses and booze to show up more. A little syrupy and sticky too.
O: just a whelming beer. Nothing extraordinary, but not insufficient either. A pleasant sipper that'll be curious to revisit with age.

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Photo of Buck89
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color with an off white head. Smells of caramel, molasses, cedar and oak. Taste is comples with caramel, mollases followed by earthy bitter notes and oak. Finish is thick and long, with sweet oak and caramel. Very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Myotus
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled 14Jan15) into a snifter.
LOOK: Pours with half a finger's worth of off-white foam that dissipates into a line of foam within 30 seconds. Brownish red in color with a red tint. There are no visible bubbles once head settles and the beer is full of small, white particles floating around. 2.75
SMELL: Has mild aromas of green apples, figs, cherries, oak, molasses with a hint of alcohol and red grape aromas. 4
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong molasses, fig, cherry, and alcohol (what happened to the hints in the aroma?!) flavors. Mild green apple and oak flavors along with a hint of red grape flavors enter immediately after initial flavors as they all somewhat gradually fade and blend into an amalgam of a slightly exciting taste. 3.75
FEEL: Incredibly full-bodied (I like that) and smooth (I love it). Almost no carbonation is present (I really love it!) and ends with a very dry finish (aaaaand my love is gone). 4
NOTE: This was a good old ale. The alcohol wasn't hidden in this one. Hide the alcohol better, and I'd rate this higher. That's just me.
OVERALL: 3.78
______________________________
14Jan15 bottle aged 1 Year.
Poured at 48°F from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Allowed to warm up to 50°F before drinking. Consumed on 27Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a half fingers worth of off-white foam that dies into a partial line within 20 seconds. Copper in color with a high amount of cloudiness. There is also a high quantity of what I think is yeast on both the bottom of the glass and floating around in the beer. I don't see any traces of yeast settlement in the bottle, so I have no idea if it is actually yeast chunks. The pieces vary is size from very small to large. Rising bubbles are medium in size and subtle in quantity. 1.75
SMELL: Strong aromas of molasses are backed by mild aromas of tree nuts, figs, plums, and black cherries along with subtle vanilla and oak flavors. Hints of spicy hops are also present. The 9.8% alcohol aromas cannot be detected at all. A huge thanks to time for that. 4
TASTE: Strong molasses and mild spicy hop flavors first strike the palate and are immediately followed by mild tree nut, vanilla, fig, plum, and black cherry flavors. Subtle oak and bitter hop flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors push on, except for spicy hops, which grow stronger. 4.25
FEEL: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. Goes down somewhat smooth while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. A big and welcoming alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat. This is the only aspect of the beer that tells me that it is 9.8% alcohol. Ends with a very dry finish. 3.75
NOTE: Aging did a wonderful thing to this beer for the smell and taste. The alcohol could not be perceived while all the other flavors remained in tact. Aging did horror to the appearance. I still don't know what those mystery chunks were.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,258 ratings.
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