Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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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 beertunes
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish copper. Relatively low carbonation meant there was less than a thin cap of head yet somehow left a bit of pretty lacing.

The aroma is very malt based, sweet with a honeyish background and just a bit of hops present. There was some alcohol hotness at first, but it faded quickly. The flavors were very similar, thick sticky malt, some honey (and maybe maple) flavors, a touch of hops and a nice alcohol taste that fades quickly and leaves a warm glow.

The body is pleasantly full, just short of heavy, and tongue coating. Drinkability is excellent, as long as you're not in a hurry.

Overall, a great brew that compares favorably to the only beer I've given all 5's to, North Coast Old Stock, and is certainly worth your time.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 1/28/13 bottling date.

Pours a dark amber color with a very light white head. Smell is quite appealing...very sweet notes if caramel and sweet candy. digging the nose on this one. Taste is more of the same... its very sweet tasting. Hints of caramel and toffee and laffy taffy flavor. Extremely sweet beer, but its not a bad thing in this case. It works quite well! Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, light carbonation. ABV is apparent in the belly and going down but not on the palate.

Overall this one is another good offering from Founders. You never know what to expect from Old Ales as they are all so different, but this one is a winner.

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Photo of dar482
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark brown red color with a beautiful lacing.

The aroma is of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and plum.

The flavor has sweet breadiness or caramel with a slight hop kick. There’s dark fruits of plum, cherry, and date. There’s a good sweetness with a bitter finish and a slight alcohol bite.

It reminds me of a toned down Stone Double Bastard. It's quite smooth. I think I prefer the Double Bastard because of its hoppiness and complexity, but this is still quite wonderful.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into pint glass 7/4/14

A almost clear amber with some fine sediment, thumbs width of tan foam hangs around for ages leaving 4 distinct rings followed by random patches, looks great

S heaps of caramel and toffee, candied cherries, brown sugar, sugar coated raisins, vanilla, leather, just a hint of oak and molasses

T slightly more oak and less of the caramels but still quite sweet, some hazelnut I didn't smell, some spice I can't place, tastes solid but I preferred the smell

M thick and syrupy, low carbonation but to be expected, no heat at all, my lips are stuck together, sweet woody finish

O the booze is invisible, quite drinkable for 10%er, lots of sweet malt and just a little barrel, well rounded stuff

I didn't expect to see this want of mine on the bottom shelf of a random store in Australia. If I didn't need to fly across the Pacific I might have grabbed a few to sit on.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle received in trade with cfrancis - thanks!

Appearance - Hazy copper/brown colour with a below average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch/caramel, chocolate, peat

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with some caramel/butterscotch. There is also a bit of a dark fruit taste and a bit of anise, chocolate, and peat. It ends with a buttery/malty aftertatse with a slight bitterness.

Overall - More of a wee-heavy than a old ale. It tastes better than it smells and the mouthfeel needs a little boost of carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden and the aftertaste is the highlight for me. Not sure I'd have again with all of the great beers out there to choose from.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Head quickly fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is average, both somewhat expected for the style. Aroma is vanilla oaky alcohol, possibly over the top, but the variety of flavors is enough to possibly overcome the somewhat exceptional intensity. Taste is also vanilla and oak, with strong alcohol throughout and a warming close. Wish there was a bit more of a malt sweetness background to support all the strong flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth, even if the drinkability is somewhat limited by the flavor harshness, in my mind. Age might help this mellow a bit and make a winner.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Bryant lake Bowl on tap.
A: Copper amber with a slight haze under a 1” off white clingy foam collar.
S: Herbal hop note, spice, toffee, raw sugar, malt.
T: Big flavors of caramel, toffee, cardamom, a hint of anise, cola, vanilla.
F: Chewy, creamy, some astringency from the oak.
O: a big bold beer for sipping.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dimmed amber hue. Light haze but it is fairly transparent. Head is decent. Cream colored and thin but it suits the beer well. Body leaves legs along the glass. Pretty brew.

S-The oak-aging can be subtly detected in the nose. I find the molasses to be more noticeable. The 50 IBUs are hidden fairly well because I am not getting much hoppiness. Very sweet. Toasted caramel and tons of brown sugar. I also get a light pepper note as well as blonde roast coffee.

T-Flavor is pretty tasty. The oak is more present here and sets in at the end of the flavor profile with moderate-to-mild intensity. The molasses is tasty. Spicy tobacco and some herbally bitter hoppiness. I would like a bit more wood here though. ABV is well blended with the flavors.

M-Creamy and syrupy. Soft but plentiful carbonation bubbles. Not flat, just not strong bubbles. Slick and a bit dry with lighter bitterness (but enough to recognize the bitterness is present).

O/D-I found this to be a solid offering from Founders but it is probably in the lower tier of their brews. Quite nice but fails to truly distinguish itself and leave a legacy in my mind. The Better Half version of this beer is a giant improvement. Still, this is a cool singe to try but doesn't warrant a $15-16 dollar four-pack price tag.

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Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque medium brown with copper and caramel tones and a modest khaki head that leaves sheets of lacing and a thin layer of foam.

Sweet, doughy, yeasty malt, caramel, and floral hops form the initial aroma. Plums, hints of raisins, dates, and figs add complexity.

Rich, sweet caramel malt provides a nice brown sugar opening, with bready toasted, and nutty notes surfacing mid palate. There's an earthy bitterness throughout, preventing the malt from becoming cloying. Prunes, dates, and figs underlie the malt subtly.

Body is syrupy and thick, with low carbonation and noticeable, but not overwhelming, alcohol warmth. There's a slight harshness in the finish.

Not as complex as the best of the style, and a touch on the sweet side. I don't know if there's enough there to improve with age. Guess I'll have to find out. Rich malt backbone.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was surprised to find a 4-pack of this at my local Sam's Wines and Liqours in Downers Grove.Had to pick on up.

Appearance- Pours a very thin, fizzy head with no retention and a sparse ring o' foam. A slightly murky/mucky deep amber with no bubbles to be seen or lacing left behind. But not expected really from an old ale.

Smell- A great malty vine of grapes and currants amidst seas of amber and crystal malts in the nose. Gives hints of molasses even.

Taste- Pretty darkly yet portly vinous. Pretty good combination of malty sweet and viney tart. The currant like flavors mix well with some red malts and prunes that better define the sweetness.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Newcastle pub glass.

A - Pours a nice oaky amber color sort of hazy with pour producing slight sediment on bottom of glass. Date on neck is 2/24/09, yikes almost a year and a half old! Hope it tastes good.

S - Mostly oak, molasses, and slight bourbon, which really isn't too strong. Maybe it's mellowed?

T - Upfront an almost caramel bourbon that seemed overpowering at first but ended up really smooth! The oak has a nice touch of finishing slightly bitter. Really good for it's age!

M - Full bodied and alcohol is noticeable but balanced. A Bourbon beer I can dig!

D - Overall the bottle date kind of scared me but as a bourbon beer I was intrigued to try it and found it to be balanced and full of flavor with less sediment than the Nemesis 2009 and even cheaper at 4.25 a bottle! I believe this beer is pretty epic with age and may go back and get another. Still a very solid beer after a year and a half so bravo Founders!

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Photo of DrJay
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy caramel colour with a thin white head. As the foam settled to a ring of fine bubbles, it left some spotty lacing behind. The aroma was quite complex, with wood and vanilla up front, some caramel, plenty of fruit (grapes, orange marmalade), and a little alcohol. Mild bitterness when compared to the sweetness, with caramel and toffee center stage. Some oak and raisin notes were present as well, along with a bit of alcohol. It had a soft finish with a refined fruitiness. Full bodied with lightish carbonation, some creaminess yet still a bit dry. This was really interesting and highly drinkable. It had plenty of character, almost like tasting a different beer with each sip.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Appalachian Vintner Asheville. Served in a tapered 12 oz glass.

A- Pours a somewhat murky dark amber color with a 1/8 inch head that doesn't retain very long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a honeycomb pattern behind.

S- Notes of raisin, vanilla and a touch of wood with a nice toastiness. A bit of a booze fume.

T- First thing noticed is a subtle maple sweetness that works well with the toastiness of the malt. Alcohol is certainly present but not overbearing. Actually, everything is very well balanced as there's a mild hop bitterness.

M- Slightly sharp from the alcohol and a tad sticky. Medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A very easy drinking high ABV old ale that has incredible balance but keeps me interested all the way to the last sip.

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Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a good quarter inch of foamy head and solid lacing.

S: Very potent smell of multiple sugars, malt, and some hops.

T: A nicely complex taste of malt, mild hops, caramel, toffee and some other sugars. The sugars almost overwhelm the taste, but it stays fairly balanced.

M: A pretty good amount of carbonation and a kind of slick finish. Full-bodied.

D: In some ways, this reminded me of a barleywine, probably because of the caramel. Overall, this is a drinkable beer, one good for the winter months.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a KBS goblet glass. Bottled date of 2/2009 printed on the neck! Wow, is Founders finally printing bottling dates now?!

(A)- Poured a light-medium brown amber that is nearly clear. Little foam present but did have a light layer of yellowish-white bubbles covering the surface. Tiny bits of lacing appearing here and there.

(S)- Slight hickory smokiness hidden behind some crazy caramel-ish malt complexities. Some thoughts of molasses & nuttiness.

(T)- Those malt complexities are really striking in the flavor profile. The caramel/molasses/honey/vanilla/butterscotch becomes a really different combination in the way they are layered; almost buttery. Fairly candy-like, but more like a sweet tawny port!

(M)- Like I said earlier, the texture of this is almost buttery smooth with a tickle of carbonation on the tongue. The tiny hop bitterness bite on the finish is almost nonexistent, but worth mentioning because its such a surprise amidst this malt monster.

(D)- The sweetness from the malts masks the whopping 9.8% pretty well. In my opinion, this is the pinnacle of the perfect dessert beer. It would go great with a great Cameroon wrapped cigar! I am excited to see how this will age considering how much like a tawny port this really is!

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Photo of rfgetz
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Coppery pour with light head

Smell: Unique peppery, vanilla, smokey, dark cherry scent... the combination would make a good men's fragrance

Taste: Very port like with hints of hops and roasted malt and molasses

Mouthfeel: thick, viscous and almost medicinal

Drinkability: Like many of Founders beers, the complexity of the flavors make this a stand alone beer - wouldnt want to ruin the experience by drinking too much before or after.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into CBS snifter.

Appearance: murky orangish brown bodied beer with a cap of white head quickly fading to a ring around the snifter glass. Lots of fine white floaties in this beer. Spotty lace on the glass.

Smell: Big malty beer. Carmel and bread. Apples, pears, figs and white grapes. Spicy booze.

Taste: Its fairly sweet. Caramel and brown sugar mixed with dark fruit notes. Mid palate you get some vinous notes that are also consist of bit spicy booze. Its fairly fruity too. There are some oak and earthy notes that seem to mingle themselves into this beer as well. The beer finishes with a mild sweet note and an astrigently yet mild bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer with low to moderate carbonation. The carbonation does this beer right and the beer feels like it should. The booze in this beer is mostly warming, but it does have a small bite to it as well.

Overall: This is a tasty Old Ale, but after you have drank Adam its really hard to find a better tasting Old Ale.

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

czoch75 sent me a bottle of this last year, and I figured this fine Sunday is a worthy occasion to crack it. IIRc, this is the 2008 release

The pour is a mostly clear ruby red, marred by a slightly careless pour that results in a bunch of floating particles in the beer. A thin, tan head rises briefly, settling into a ring rather quickly.

Sweet, rich and malty on the nose, with plums, raisins, rum, brown sugar, beets, honey and alcohol. Quite deep and rich, and thoroughly acceptable. Mild oxidation is noticeable with a combination of sherry and cardboard. Slight fusel aroma is present, with the spicy character associated with it.

Opens sweet, with a more straightforward sugary sweet character with honey and brown sugar dominating. The fruit character that I picked up on the nose isn't as noticeable, and there's a mild date character present. Rum and raisins with a spicy rye character is noticeable. I'm getting a little bit of toffee before the finish that's a sweet with a bit of alcohol and a little bitterness that's burnt caramel in character.

Medium-full in body with an excellent, lush, creamy carbonation, this beer feels pretty awesome on the palate. The finish is a little disappointing in that it isn't very flavorful.

A definite sipper, I'm actually liking this.

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Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, small head, cloudy, some sediment, high carbonation

Smell: malt, pineapple, currants, dried dark fruit, and a touch of hazelnut

Taste: malt, pineapple, currants, earth, and wood

Mouthfeel:sweet start with a bitter finish, medium heavy, slick, next to no feel of carbonation

Drinkability: A well balanced old ale, this is very good for the style and one of the better ones I have had. If I am looking for this style, I will seek this one out. One is about the max due to abv.

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

Picked up at Archer Liquors in Chitown, thanks Randy!

Pours a cloudy brown/amber, thin tan head forms, nice thick lace ring around the glass, good retention, looks like a sipper! Smell is nice, bourbon, vanilla, raisin/date goodness, toffee, some chocolate, coconut, very nice. Taste is toffee, some bourbon, vanilla oak, coconut, very rich and malty, bit of roast, nice clean bitterness in the finish, just right. Mouthfeel is full bodied, low carbonation, nice heat going down. I could sip this for hours.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour creates a huge, thick crop of nicotine stained beige head. The retention of the oversized head is very good. The body of the beer is scarlet red. Aroma is a bit toxic and fruity. Like spiked punch. The taste, it turns out, is not toxic at all. Rather smooth and velvety. Very nice taste. Very little sign of alcohol. And very easy to drink. This is a solid Old Ale. Malts are so smooth on the palate. Fruitiness is very evident, but not overly estery in nature. Bits of caramel and toffee. This one got better as it warmed up and finished fabulously.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the South Philly Tap Room

Appears a deep orange with red highlights. A thin, off-white cap was reduced to remnants by the time it reached my table. Little to no lace.

Big caramel backbone with notes of toffee, dark fruit, and oak. A very pleasing, full nose.

Pretty much mimics the nose. Big toffee and caramel up front with dark fruits, oak and a hint of vanilla rounding out the profile. A tad bit of fusel alcohol on the finish.

A bit sticky and chewy in the mouth. Good carbonation, full bodied.

This guy is a sipper on a cold night. Enjoyable.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Captainren for sending a 4 Pack out to Portland.

A- Reddish cloudy amber with a thin tan head. Good lacing

S- Not much smell here. Should I be worried?

T- Ahh, there it is. Sweet fruit, cherries, spice.

D- Slightly oily in the mouth, smooth, a small bitter bite at the end.

O- I could easily drink multiple of these. Good stuff.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep amber color with a very light head that dies down quickly but leaves a very nice, sticky lacing.

S - The nose isn't particularly strong...toasted caramel malt and maple.

T - Toasted malt, molasses, oak, some floral notes, and light smoke.

M - Light medium body, slick, semi-dry.

O - Call me crazy, I know....this beer just doesn't do it for me and WAY better stuff coming out of Founders.

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

2008 vintage. A fairly clear clear orange/amber pour. Miniscule off white head. Nice malty aroma, increases as it warms. Tons of malt flavor, some toffee, brown sugar with a little raisin. A small amount of hop presence. Nice and sticky and lingering. A little bit young I think, I bet the other three will age very nicely. Right now I'd say the Ola Dubh version I've had are a little bit better, but they're aged. This should have no problem competing with some age and at a bargain of a price comparitively. Actually bought a couple 3rd Coast Old Ales with this 4 pack, curious to see how they compare, even though they are considered barley wine.

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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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