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:
1,258
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 wheelinshirt
2.7/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Excited to try this one for a while, not really sure what to expect. Picked it up at Abe's for $3 or so, poured into a pint glass.

Less dark than i was expecting, it looks like a mahogany color with lots of little tiny sediment particles, some visible carbonation and a modest light tan head that receded to a thin covering and left hole sections of the glass covered in solid lace.

Smell is boozy and full of sweet dark malts, some dark ripe fruit, some toffee notes. Pretty nice mix.

But here is where things start to turn ugly. The taste is immediately boozy and sweet, as expected, but the bitter roasted malts don't seem to meld very well with the sugar and alcohol. Also, the burnt toffee (i think that is how i would describe that) taste is pretty upfront and not really to my liking.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Pretty damn good, actually.

Drinkability is severely limited by the combination of flavors that I didn't particularly enjoy. Someone else, though, might have this same beer and absolutely love it. Definately interesting, i might even pick one up to age it for a couple years, but, fresh at least, it isn't really for me.

EDIT: as i got down about halfway and it had warmed enough it basically just started to taste like rum. Had to pour it out because it wasn't worth trying to choke down. Only the second or third time I have had to pour beer out. Very disappointing.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: clear copper and amber

Smell: very dense, sweet smell. perhaps a little bourbon cask hint. alcohol hides nicely. little buttery. maybe a hint of vanilla

Taste: great balance between flavors and alcohol. buttery and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: low-full body. little carbonation. very smooth and rich

Notes: huge fan of stock ales and barleywines. this one is just how i like these styles - strong, rich, sweet, and virtually no hops.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber color that was pretty clear with a small and fizzy head.

Smell: Quite a unique smell. It's mostly dominated by an assortment of fruit aromas (blackberry, maybe). There's no overpowering malt or hop smells.

Taste: It starts off somewhat light on flavor with a bit of the fruit making an appearance. It's in the aftertaste where the flavor really comes in. The fruit and alcohol combination provide almost an assault on the palate. I like strong flavored beers, and I like this one, but it might be a little too strong for my taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a fair body that is moderately thick, but not too much.

Drinkability: With the overpowering aftertaste and alcohol content, this beer is a little much. It's good, and I might like to have some on hand to have once in a while when I'm in the right mood; but this is not something I could drink at a party or have a few in a night.

Note: I also tried this in a wine glass and to be perfectly honest: It tastes better. The flavor is still strong, but it doesn't bombard the palate like it did in the pint glass.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into my sam adams better glass. a rusty orange color. a nice one and a half finger head. small bits of soapy lacing.

smells sweet. slightly citrusy. candied sugar.

taste is smooth. a nice malt presence. subtle hop bitterness.

Well balanced. Smooth carbonation, not too sweet. Smooth hops throughout. Definately controlling the pallate.

not my favorite old ale but it is still pretty good. I would like to see what it would be like with a bit of age.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet...

A: Not much to describe really, pours a super viscous dark amber with hints of orange, entirely opaque, absolutely no head, looks like syrup in a glass.

S: Heavy maple syrup, rum, dark fruit (raisins primarily), faint bread aroma, slight boozyness, figs and dates as well. Wow, pretty complex overall. Nose doesn't jump out of the glass, but its solid.

T: As complex as the nose with added booze and caramel malt. Lots of fruit, heavy syrupy rum raisin character. Very nice overall, really complex and balanced, booze adds just enough kick but doesn't overpower the flavor profile.

M: Heavy body, like drinking carbonated syrup! For a cold winter day this is perfect. Slightly carbonated, just enough to wake up the tongue, surprised to find any carbonation with the lackluster pour...

D: At 9.3% this is big beer and fairly drinkable, the complexity and slight boozy quality makes it a little less drinkable, but pretty nice overall. Wish I had these guys around here....

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

poured into a tulip

bottled 4/9/11

A.

Beer is a brownish amber color with about a fingers worth of frothy off-white head.

S.

No real dominant aromas..the nose is grainy/bready malts with slightly sweet caramel/sugar. Some subtle notes of booze as well. Was expecting more dominant aromas of dark fruit with more sugary sweetness but this is probably attributed to being a fresh batch.

T.

Grainy with a little caramel malts and a nice bitterness going on. Honestly, tastes like a sugary and hot (boozy hot) German beer..like a Kolsch with those grainy malts and bitterness...a little disappointed in taste as the last few old ale's I've had have been Adam and 4D. Again, probably because this was bottled fairly recently.

M.

About medium bodied. Carbonation not really high but good for the style. Fairly hot/warming feel on the tongue and going down.

O.

A little disappointed with both the nose and taste on this again. I will definitely be revisiting an aged bottle of this. Kaiser Curmudgeon was absolutely fantastic, but pretty much any malty ale would being aged in maple syrup barrels. Definitely a good beer to sip but I suppose I had higher expectations for this one. Looking forward to my future review.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Muddy reddish-brown, pretty much no head at all, just a little lacing.

S: Sweet and malty, with some caramel, followed by mingled fruit aromas, sweet and almost cidery.

T/M: Lots of layered malts: caramel, a little bit of spiciness, some tart fruity flavors. The alcohol shows through on the end of the sip.

O: I usually don't much like beers so heavy on caramel malts, but this one is quite good. Interesting, complex flavor profile with a lot going on.

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

Appearance: Curmudgeon is not as dark as expected. It's an amber color with hints of ruby. When held to the light, it takes on a maroon hue, almost royal purple. This makes for a very alluring looking beer indeed.

Smell: Wow, this is potent stuff! It's very alcoholic and somewhat medicinal. There also seems to be some dark fruit in the works. The best way to describe the aroma is alcoholic candy medicine!

Taste: With the first few sips, the alcohol really tingles the tongue. After the palate adjusts to the alcohol, a malty sweetness shows up, which is not unlike that of a doppelbock. Dark fruits come through as the beer warms, giving the taste a candylike quality. In this way, the taste very much follows the smell, minus the medicinal element.

Mouthfeel: This Curmudgeon definitely has a bite to him, but this mellows slightly with warming. Apart from the alcohol sting, this medium-bodied brew goes down relatively smooth, a staple of Founders beers.

Drinkability: It's no session beer, that's for sure. Still, it doesn't take long to finish my half of a split 12 oz. bottle.

Notes: Curmudgeon is another winner from Founders! This was my first old ale, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. To me, this beer seems kind of like a combination of a quadrupel and a doppelbock. This description makes Curmudgeon sound like a deviously tasty concoction, which it is!

However, Founders brews several beers that are arguably my favorite of each's respective style (Breakfast Stout, Red's Rye, and Porter), so I'm not sure I could bring myself to purchase it over those other more sessionable beers. Although, I will certainly be excited if it's offered to me again! I'd love to try some of this stuff with some age on it.

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Photo of kmeves
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy copper/brown with a small beige head. Aroma is sweet raisin, caramel, cherry, nutty, light chocolate, smoke, butterscotch andwood. Flavor is cherry, caramel, raisin, light pineapple and light nutty. Finish is a bit hot and also has some bourbon notes. Full bodied, sticky texture. Low carbonation.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Pours dark copper with a bunch of suspended sediment. The thin off white head faded fast and only leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

The aroma is sweet with some floral hops and a bit of smokiness. Flavor is smooth and complex, sweet and malty with some nuttiness. Hop flavor is mild, floral and piney. Malt flavor has carmel and toffee. Alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel is a bit viscous, but i think that's expected. Overall I really like this beer, and wouldn't mind drinking a couple of these.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
2.77/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Color is a rather unattractive orange-brown, and the lack of any head or lacing doesn't help the appearance. Scents of dark fruits and molasses are nice if a bit weak, and there's a bit of a boozy smell too. Caramel and molasses are up front in the taste, with a punch of booziness in the finish that I don't find particularly pleasant. High pucker factor and plenty of burn going down the throat. This is not one of Founder's better offerings.

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Photo of codewarrior
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz from a 4-pack into a Boulevard Smokestack Chalice

picked this up in a trade with masterhomebrewer ... thank you sir.

A: Deep amber, 1 finger head, dissipates and laces beautifully.

S: Strong and sweet, lots of booze, similar to a quad in its smell, but stronger.

T: Luscious and thick, good tang of booz behind a sweet front. Fades gently.

F: THICK.

D: and Yum. seriously good, but not as good as Old Stock, or Third Coast.

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Photo of Litterbean
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Mission Dolores (Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Dark brown beer with a foamy full head. Smells malty, sweet, alcoholic, and heavy.

Taste is sweet with a hint of bitterness but mostly a biting alcoholic note that really ends warm on the tongue. Makes my head fuzzy right away and fills me with warm cheer. Great brew!

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color with slight ruby accents and a small tan head on it that quickly dissipated into nothing and left no lacing. The smell is dominant of dark fruits (plums and raisins) and caramel malt. I consider this a "malty" nose, and I like it on this cool fall evening. The flavor profile hits heavy with all of the caramel malt in the nose coming full force on the palate with other flavors or dark fruit, banana, and a spot of sweet molasses, but the alcohol in this offering also comes through in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation and a good shot of warming alcohol is present. The drinkability is very good on this beer, and I could have easily drank another one.

Another great beer from Founders.

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

Dumped into a Duvel tulip a dark honey red with a thin film of head. This one's actually an old Old Curmudgeon, had it hiding in wait from last year, but I'm glad I've two more of these malcontents locked up for future assessment.

A whiff pulls up lightly boozy caramel, some raisins and liquorish.

A sip is grassy pine hops quickly assaulted with a malty dark caramel then raisins and alcohol that's port-like in warmth. Light carbonation - slick and smooth throughout, really clinging to the mouth. This is a sipper - it still seems hot and aggressive even for an old ale. There's already a lot going on, especially as it warms up. I think I preferred Black Biscuit more, but this is really enjoyable overall and I can't wait for it to become a more sedate, institutionalized old curmudgeon.

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Photo of E-McFarden
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light tan head that doesn't rise in the glass with a robust pour, and beer is a brilliant amber brown. Smell is subdued with biscuits and caramel mixed with some nutty tones. Taste lends an initial deep raison and nutty flavor, this is followed by an earthy rustic oak finish. This beer is significantly heavy on the palate and finishes wet, the alcohol is very powerful and remains as the final flavor on the palate between drinks. Overall its true to its name, and the flavors work quite well together. I like the addition of molasses to achieve the higher abv here.

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Photo of JoeBloe
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - light brown reddish tints. thin head that dissipated quickly

S - Caramelized dates, brown suger, strong brandy, caramelized peach whiskey. Strong alcohol spiciness.

T - brandy, brown sugar, grape skin tartness is bogged down by intense thick sugar. Not quite as complex as the nose would suggest, but still strong in sweetness and alochol, with some spice. Very heavy. Difficult to drink at a regular rate, no one has to tell you this is a sipper.

M - thick syrupy, cloying. Sticky, silky, but still smooth. minimal carb. I originally gave 4.25 but knocked it to 3.75 because it's so heavy it becomes a chore to drink less than halfway through

Overall, definitely different than most beers. Reminds me of Samiclaus Helles, which in my craft beer infancy was my favorite. just so incredibly heavy, it's overbearing. tastes like it will go well with a cigar.

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Photo of hops202
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage Bottle poured into a game of thrones snifter.

A - ruby with hints of gold and bronze.

S - certainly malt and yeast present. Some sort of fruit - possibly apricot and oak from the barrels are present.

T - vanilla and slight caramel in there. Flavors of oak as well mixed in with the sweetness. Bitterness at the end to balance everything out well.

M - medium carb with full body.

O - a decent showing here by the (OLD) curmudgeon. May he age with the best of them.

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Photo of Krakistophales
2.74/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice ruby red color with lively carbonation and no lace...but there's a glob of sediment/protein/whatever it is floating around on top, and that's just disgusting. Had to remove before I could start drinking.

S: Not much going on here. Some malt sweetness, the slightest hint of dark fruit, not much else.

T: Better than the smell, but still pretty average. Malt sweetness at first, with a touch of tartness of what might be cherries, a zing of some other dark fruits, and a slightly hoppy aftertaste, but underwhelming all the same.

O: Probably the worst I've had from founders. I've had KBS and Dirty bastard, which were both fantastic, so this one must be a hiccup.

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Photo of nandemo1
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy copper. Tried giving it an aggressive pour when I saw minimal head developing, but still couldn't get much more than a light lacing across the top.

Ice cold, this is a delicious molasses bomb, in both smell and taste. As it warms up the nose get some fruity/flowery notes on top of caramel, but there wasn't much change in the taste Sweetness is there, but it's definitely offset by bittering hops. There is a small alcohol burn on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is heavy and sticky.

This is my second Curmudgeon, and I've enjoyed it both times. A nice sipping beer for a nightcap. I am going to age a few to see if any additional flavors develop over time.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A pretty bland brown with reddish tints. Lovely auburn highlights when held up to direct light. Not much head to speak of.

S: Butterscotch! Some plain ol' scotch as well, along with caramel and alcohol.

T: I taste some alcohol almost right away, but then the lovely butterscotch and caramel come in. Tastes thin out towards the end, and the aftertaste is mildly phenolic.

M: First half is a soft buffeting of bubbles, second half is creamy. A tad bit thinner than I would have expected.

D: I'm not loving the aftertaste, but that english barleywine-like flavor and not too thick body keeps me interested in taking more sips.

A fairly good, but green beer. I think that as it ages the alcoholic notes will be replaced by malty richness, and this will be delightful in a few years' time.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes written on 1-6-11.

Into a snifter gifted to me by my lovely girlfriend, Curmudgeon pours a cloudy, amber-orange with a medium khaki, one-finger head which retains nicely. I could have decanted this a bit better, as many little yeasties are floating about in the beer. The carbonation appears low and slow and the lacing is attractive, with hilltops and dots.

The smell is very malt-forward with aromas of caramel, brown sugar, and cinnamon, which all meld together well. When swirled aggressively, the woodnotes of the oak aging are very evident, along with a slightly peppery aroma. The more I inhale, the bigger the cinnamon contribution is. Founders website says that this is brewed with molasses- I can smell a little of that, as well.

The taste is somewhat spicier and woodier than I thought it would be, with a very earthy undertone on my tongue. Those flavors couple with a heavy malt presence of caramel and brown sugar, with some cinnamon spice taste in addition. The molasses adds a molasses cookie taste. The finish is nicely dry from the oak and bittering hops and just a little alcoholic heat soaks into my tongue at the end of the sip.

The mouthfeel is silky, creamy, and buttery on the tongue, but with a fine balancing nip on the sides from the oak- aging, hops, and alcohol. The finish is fairly clean for such a syrupy beast. I think the mouthfeel is the highlight of the beer.

I like this crotchety old fella and will have it again, but I've also had other Old Ales that I like a bit better. It is definitely not sessionable, but makes for a good sipper. This is another fine offering from Founders, but certainly not their best.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a medium brown color, but glows almost iridescently amber when held to the light. A finger of off-white head forms but fades quickly. Small amounts of lacing on the glass. Bubbles drift up very slowly indicating this is an uber-viscous ale.

S - Smells of mild spices, figs, and a boozy whiskey-barrel vanilla aroma. There are also light hints of cocoa and an estery presence reminiscent of overripe bananas.

T - Sweet dark chocolate and bitter cocoa up front mixing with a heavy, syrupy dark fruit flavor (raisins, figs, prunes). Booze and esters come through the middle and provide a warming sensation. Bitterness arrives toward the finish and it is somewhere between hoppy and coffee-like. Just enough to prevent this old ale from being a sugar bomb. Becomes much more boozy as the beer warms.

M - Thick body. Syrupy to the last sip. Mild carbonation. Perfect amount for the style. Leaves the mouth feeling sticky.

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

A-strong reddish hue with little head.

S-get a sweet tobacco smell, dried fruit and booze. Hint of oakiness or scotch.

T-very similiar to nose with an added depth of Vanilla bean and dried cacao nibs. Very nice. Bit hot at this point.

M-very crisp with a medium body and dry aftertaste. Very good.

O-may not be the hype this one is put up to but very good though. I love old ales and this may be my 2nd favorite. (I never had my favorite yet) so I always say.

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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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