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:
4,566
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
20.05%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,120
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,257 | Ratings: 4,566
Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Maple syrup color with some floatys that don't seem to settle to the bottom. The head forms up golden and big.
S: Great smell, I could get a good wiff before I was finished pouring the beer. Smells sweet and oaky. No bad odors and very complex.
T: Sweet maple with a good amount of oak flavor. The alcohol comes through a lot at the end but it isn't off-putting. Tastes good but the flavors seem to come together dare I say a little too well. I'm having trouble identifying one individually.
M: Sits perfect. Carbonation is perfect and some flavors really start to develop.

Overall another really great showing from Founders. I was a little disappointed by the taste which didn't really bring any identifiable flavors. The alcohol really plays a good role in this beer and the mouthfeel and smell are really spectacular. Definitely a beer to drink slowly.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

From notes on 9/6/09 in Lexington, VA. Poured into a Pinot Noir glass:

A - Vigorous pour reveals a deep copper ale with a cream-colored cap and modest lacing.

S - Sort of like a Scotch ale; sweet leather, malts, mocha/vanilla.

T - Off sweet tea w/malt and peat; maybe even some banana and Indian cardamom. Seems a tad boozy. Not much heat.

M - Creamy and somewhat dense but still a bit refreshing.

D - The jury's still out; not sure how to rate it. I'd drink it again and I suspect it's better on tap.

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

Thanks to jrsd for hooking me up with this one. Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed on 5/16/11:

A: Hazy red color. Very little to no head on this one

S: Bourbon/vanilla smells. Lots of sweetness

T: Some alcohol presence/burn at the end. Good caramel/vanilla flavors. Maybe some bitter hop flavors in the finish as well.

M: Syrupy smooth feel works with the flavors of this beer

O: Plenty of good flavors in this one. very drinkable old ale. I'm not used to that.

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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 Franz4
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice 2011 version bottles 4/4/11

A- Pours a dark copper with just a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Beer is slightly translucent.

S- first hit consists of just a touch of heat, followed by some raisin and fig notes. Malt backbone is present, but it seems most of the nose is relatively muted.

T- Gets more complex as it warms. Sweetness up front followed by pine bitterness in the back of the mouth. Neither is overpowering and they are balanced quite nicely. Raisin and plum are also present, as well as just a touch of heat that was also noticeable in the nose.

M- carbonation greets you and then gives way to a pillowy, silky smooth feel that is very, very nice.

O- A very good beer that's a definite sipper. This is very enjoyable now, but I'm also anxiously anticipating how this one might age, if the dark fruits note come out and the heat dies down just a bit this could be a very quaffable brew--still a sipper, but a mighty fine sipper.

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Photo of chaz410
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a beer, I mean really, what a beer!! This beer pours cloudy and thick and seems like it's gonna be some sort of imperial brown ale. The smell is really sweet and smoot and has a crisp after effect. I love the tast of this beer, it is laced with vanilla and oak notes along with heavy malts. Caramel malt really rings out in this monster beer, it's really smooth too. I love this beer, share it with a friend and enjoy!

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Photo of emyers
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy deep amber-red with a thin off-white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Rich caramel and toffee, figs, raisins, hints of chocolate. Some alcohol heat which works perfectly with the rest of the aroma. Some molasses in there as well. Aroma is complex and very rich overall. Excellent.

Taste: Similar to the smell with big caramel and toffee flavors along with some dark fruits, although not quite as rich and layered. Alcohol heat is actually hidden very well - you can tell the alcohol is there, but it never really comes of as "hot."

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, rich, and smooth. Low carbonation level. Excellent.

Overall: Founders kills it again. This is a great example of an old ale done right.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.87/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a pal in Illinios. Thanks Tay.

Pours a deep and dark clouded burgundy with sticky lace and respectable head given it's strength.

The smell is vanilla syrup, oak, tabacco, and booze soaked fruits.

Taste is sweet and rich. The alcohol is so well hidden on this insulin-needed sweet-as-hell brew. Very complex and the flavors just explode. It's a barrage of slightly smokey-oaked-boozey and candied fruit flavors.

THe feel to me doesn't get much better than this. So silky smooth, lets call it "velvety". the perfect size:large body. perfect for savoring every SIP.

Wow! I continue to be impressed by the brews coming from Founders, but this may be the best. I can't wait to age a few of these bad boys.

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Photo of berkey
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured and reviewed from my usual tulip glass 10/05/10.

Pours a dark reddish amber color. Doesn't form much of a head but some decent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as I rotate it.

Just a hair hoppier than typical for an old ale but the main aromas are of caramel with some slight toffee notes. Flavor adds a difficult to identify 'cookie'-like character and some slightly acrid bitterness. Pleasant enough but missing some of the richness and complexity I look for in the style.

This somehow manages to remain pretty easy drinking even though the alcohol isn't all that well hidden. A decent beer but not quite sure I can really say it's anywhere near some of the great Founders brews I've tried.

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Photo of kajerm
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub, and easily the best beer on at the time. Pours deep red and surprisingly clear with a thin white head and not much lacing. Great color.

The aroma is classic Bigge Englishe Beer-- loaded with sticky toffee and caramel malts and dark fruit, with some clear oak and vanilla notes from the barrel-aging. Alcohol is evident but not excessive.

Tastes more or less exactly like it smells, but with the interesting addition of some stouty coffee notes on the finish. The barrel-aging on this beer is much subtler than a lot of the others I've tasted. As much as I like a vanilla-and-molasses oak bomb, it's nice to find a beer where the barrel is a part of the beer instead of running the show.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. In terms of drinkability, it's a sipper, but a fairly easy-drinking one.

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Photo of Spica66
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Amber color. Slightly hazy (?) Very strange... Slight head and no retention.

S: Malt bomb! Wow. Smells molasses sweet with hints of caramel. Maybe just a hint of bittering hops, but not much.

T: Tastes just like it smells, but the hops are more present on the finish. Very nice.

M: Not sticky, like a lot of old ales tend to be, but also not really carbonated enough.

D: This beer tastes fine, but gives you a really good alcohol burn down in your esophagus. I doubt anyone would want more than one of these in a night.

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Photo of timc100
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear, very minimal beige head that leaves a very fine lacing. Very beautiful ruby amber color

S: Most literally smells 'old'. Brings to mind a kind of musty attic, doesn't smell as such merely brings the image to mind. All malt and some oak. Rustic wood and some vanilla, and the least-sweet caramel.

T: A lot bigger than the aroma prepares you for. Wood, caramel, and a decent amount of cocoa powder. Not very sweet at all aside from a bit of vanilla creaminess and the finish. Very smooth and well rounded and balanced.

P: Very smooth, medium-full bodied. Very soft carbonation - feels 'right'.

O: Really nice beer, but not a style I am drawn to and thus, not overly impressive. The molasses the oak addition helped make the beer fuller, at least I imagine it did. I can see a bourbon barrel doing wonders for this.

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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 montageman
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Deep, cloudy amber/brown color with moderate white, foamy head that leaves a ton of lacing. A decent amount of carbonation bubbles are making their way to the surface as well.

S: Tropical fruit? Some coconut & pineapple? Doesn't seem likely, but that's what I'm sensing. There's definitely some fruit here as well as some sweetness. Finally, there's a bit of grape (wine), also. Very intriguing,

T: The complexity of the nose leads to disappointment in the taste. By no means is this bad, but the fruitiness just doesn't translate. There is some fruity sweetness and nice dry, creamy roasted finish.

M: Slight chewiness, which is nice for this style. The body is definitely full with some creaminess and good carbonation.

D: For an old ale at 9.3%, this is quite nice. A good sipping beer for a lazy afternoon or an after dinner treat. Recommended.

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

One of the first beers I put down in my cellar. 2012 bottle. Served chilled in a Blind Tiger Brewery snifter.

Appearance: Poured down the side produced a ring of white sudsy head that stuck around. Dark reddish brown body. Lots of little sediment flakes could be seen floating around.

Aroma: Heavy sweet malts; boozy plums, dates, molasses and leather. Also a very nice butterscotch note.

Taste: Follows the nose. Lots of sweet malts; caramel, molasses, and the nice butterscotch. Boozy plums and floral alcohol. Also a surprising hop presence with a lingering alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel: Very warming. Has a low carbonation with and almost syrupy medium mouthfeel.

Overall: I opened this one a bit before the two year mark since I’ve heard it does not age very well. However, this is drinking quite fine at the moment and I think it could keep progressing. Lots of nice sweet maltyness, floral alcohol and a surprising hop bite. Recommend stock for your cellar.

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single purchased for me by a friend at Jungle Jim's in Ohio. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy light brown color with some orange highlights and a fair amount of floaties. It has a light covering of bubbles that disappear almost as fast as they arrive. The ring of bubbles leaves a tiny amount of lacing until they finally disappear.

S: The main aroma is of bourbon. Is this one barrel aged? Luckily I love bourbon, because I am not picking up much of anything else in this one.

T: A nice caramel malt sweetness when it initially hits the tongue. Just a slight about of hop bitterness to balance the malt. Hints of bourbon in the flavor add a bit of complexity. This is a good example of an Old Ale that definitely has some individuality over its barleywine cousins.

M: Nice medium body with a creamy carbonation that makes it smooth.

D: Compared to the few Old Ales I have had, this one goes down extremely easy. No alcohol burn at all.

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Photo of kbeals
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a viscous pour, very little head with a bit of lacing. Looks about the color of apple cider, some floaties. Smell is a bit citrusy with sweet malts, an alcohol smell makes quite a presence also. Tastes exactly like scotch, maybe a bit sweeter though, not much to this one. Chest is warmed up nicely from the alcohol, though. This is the first Founder's brew I probably would never buy again.

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

Pours out of the twist top into a balloon glass. Appears dark and murky copper, with a twinge of red. Really no head to speak of, save a ring of tan around the edge. Leaves no lace, however the style rarely does.

Nose is of sweet malts and some brandy-ish alcohol (only a little). Also some dark fruits are present(very subtle). Prunes, figs, raisins, some plum and cherry in there too.

The taste is wonderful. There's some wood in there as well... Gotta love this. Dark fruits as the nose would suggest. Some subtle vanilla as well.

The feel is right on for the style. Just in between medium and full bodied. Seriously perfect.

The 9.8 gets to you by the end of the glass, and the alcohol presence should mask itself after a while in the cellar to improve this aspect.

Overall a great brew. I am going to immediatly seek out a case for the cellar to see how this champ does!

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into glass snifter.
45°F

$4.00 / ea.

A: Cloudy burnt orange body topped with a small off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving no lace and only a ring of cover.

S: Molasses, pecans, raisins, and traces of booze. Very full aroma tending towards sweet maltiness. You can tell it will be potent before it ever hits your lips.

T: Sweet molasses and brown sugar malt profile dominates. The alcohol is well masked, but the underlying potency is obvious. The hop profile is very weak compared to the malt bill, but tends toward a resinous piney flavor. Aftertaste is brief, and does not build.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight initial bite. Viscous and coating on the tongue, but does not build over time.

D: A sipping beer to be sure. The flavor is pleasant, but the strength can not be denied. One, maybe two while you relax.

O: Solid offering, but nothing special. I've had better from both the brewery and the style.

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Photo of Xul
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent amber with some light ruby highlights, capped by a half finger of frothy, eggshell colored head. Retention is moderate as the head slowly settles down to a thin layer of foam, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Lots of fruit up front with cherries, some light berries, and a moderate citrus character all appearing. Caramel and toffee follow with faint notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, and leather hanging in the background.

T: As with the nose, big fruits up frunt with the berries almost disappearing but some pears join the cherries and citrus. Sweet toffee on the mid-palate gives way to chocolate and hints of vanilla, before the fruit returns for the finish and joins with the vanilla for a long, sweet fruit finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, it's a bit thin for an old ale but not terribly so.

D: Incredibly drinkable for an old ale, not the most complex or subtle I've had, but very enjoyable.

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

This is another one that was just consistent in all the five categories. Think "old"..."curmudgeon"....and "delicious". Founder's, as always, really nailed it with this one - the name and the five "senses" really matched up. Smell of biscuit, must, leather, sweat from the collar?...taste is just ....fantastic, very little sweetness that I prefer, but makes up for it with tangy, woody, bourbon-like feel. Not a heavy mouth, solid, but not heavy at all. For me, I didn't taste the alcohol at all, although the 9.8% indication made me hesitate to drink this at 5pm. Try it!!

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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.

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Photo of bman13
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Founders has come through yet again (surprise, surprise, right?). I've never had an old ale before this one and it tastes phenomenal. Very malt forward, (but not a malt bomb) with a heavy aroma of molasses and ginger snap cookies that carries through their taste and leaves a clean and heavy finish of malted molasses cookies. Love this

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

APPEARANCE: It's a fairly clear red/ruby. About a half finger of khaki, soapy head that settles down to a ring after a few minutes. Great carbonation when I rock the glass. Leaves spotty lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Smells quite sweet. A little alcohol note. Big molasses, cherries, leather, candied sugar, fruitcake- nice big bready qualities. And a tea like note, which might account for the oak.
TASTE: Sweet up front. That big molasses and fruitcake kick in right off the bat. Leaves a pleasant mild bitterness on the finish. Yup, tastes like a booze soaked fruitcake, with a molasses glaze.
FEEL: Syrupy, sticky, full body, dries on finish. Medium carbonation, not flat at all.
OVERALL: A nice big sipper, full bodied and quite tasty.

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Photo of stonermouse
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance is is a fairly deep copper color, with a fast-receding head and little carbonation. The body has a lot of floaties, which I didn't necessarily grade down for, because I'm not certain if it's part of the "Old Ale" style.

Smell is pleasant, with generic malt, booze, and a mild fruity aroma coming through.

The taste is nice, if a little boozy. Again, I'm not too familiar with the Old Ale style, but this thing mimics a barleywine in most ways. Perhaps it's an Old Ale because it has an old guy on the label; I have not idea. There is a touch of cherry flavor and a rye-like bite to it. Fairly complex, yet for all of the bold flavors it presents, it is surprisingly mild and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is solid; a little syrupy, but suits the flavors well.

Drinkability is excellent, as there a fair amount here to discover. One or two is good for a single sitting, which is good, because, in addition to Founders quality, they have the Founders price point.

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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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