Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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1,289 Reviews
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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:
1,289
Ratings:
4,659
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
212
Gots:
1,155
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,289 | Ratings: 4,659
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 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 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 Cannibalgasm
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a beautiful copper with one finger of off-white head. Head dissipates quickly into a thin ring, and lacing is minimal.

S: Caramel, sweet malts, molasses, cherry, and raisin.

T: Caramel, sweet bready malts, molasses, raisin, vanilla, oak, and some nice hop bitterness to hold it all together.

M: Medium bodied, low to mid carbonation, creamy and semi-thick on the finish.

O: A very enjoyable Old Ale. This seems like it would be a good sipper for a cold winter night, or a perfect complimentary brew to a nice grilled steak. I'm going to cellar a couple of these for a bit and see what happens.

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Photo of abfraser
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep opaque mahogany with a nice sized white head.

S: Caramel malt, candi sugar, dark fruits (cherry) and coconut

T/M: Damn is this good. Alcohol and sugar soaked cherries. Big malt profile. Lingering spice and maybe some toffee. Full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. This is awesome stuff

D: I could drink this all night even though it would leave me horrendously hung over. It just might be worth it.

An awesome beer. I actually prefer this over the Breakfast Stout, which while a great brew, is a little overrated in my book. For those that like old-style ales, this one is worth seeking out.

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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 ahking
2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy copper - raisins and malty yeast aroma, so nice and comforting - quite hoppy for the style making it a unique ale - rich and complex - boozy in the middle - dried cherries/raisin/touch of vanilla/bourbon - finishes a little too sweet for my liking

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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 techfed87
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an adequate-sized level of head.

Color is dark amber with heavy particulate circulating throughout.

Smell is of sharp, dark malt. It's almost salty in its sharpness of the overall scent.

First sip is covered by an almost caramel-like malt presence It's sweet, yet at the same time very carbonic in nature.

A very malty beer to be sure, but also a very nuanced one at the same time. Try it sometime!

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Photo of JasonA
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

in trade marvin, thanks!

Pours a translucent carmel. No head present. No real lacing. Uh oh

Sweet, deep malt. Slight hop character. Little citrus, some rum.

Earthy. Deep medium malt. ABV tastes great. Ends with oak and some bitter.

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

Yummy. Doesnt look like a great beer, but overall I want to drink more. Cant get founders out my way, will continue to need to trade for em.

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

Served on-tap at TND

Pours an amberorange color with some chestnut notes. Small, thin head that did not persist.

Lots of alcohol in the nose, whiskey dominates. After this dissipates some, the burnt sugar and caramel notes came through. A bit harsh.

Very sweet, raisin and dates come through too. The alcohol never far from the front, a bit too hot form me.

The sweetness, hotness, and fruitiness are too much for my liking - not bad, just not my taste.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark orange ruby color with almost no head.

Smells like wood, raisins, and dark fruits.

If this is chilled, the flavors are muted to raisins and malt. But as it warms I get figs, oak, maple, dates, graham cracker, caramel, candy, and more. The complexity takes on a life of its own, and I think that the molasses is responsible.

The mouth feel is a little rough around the edges, but not bad. It's fairly heavy with a good amount of carbonation. There's a spiky bite at the end, which may come from hops, or something else?

Overall this beer is tasty, and I think it would improve with age. Thus, I'm going to age one and check in in a year!

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

Pours a hazy copper/amber with a creamy head. Pours almost flat until the very end.

I do not get a lot of notes from the smell of this beer.Other than some yeasty aromas and I keep thinking maraschino cherries, caramel, etc.

It tastes heavy on alcohol up front of course and a bit metallic. I get some yeast and malts and a hint of piney hops.

Mouthfeel is ok as it fizzes on the tongue a bit. Slightly resiny.

Its a fairly drinkable beer. A bit big on alcohol but it gets much smoother with every sip Definitely nice with it being 20 degrees out.

Cheers!

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

Thanks MaxSpang

Appearance: A beautiful amber. White head dissipates to a thin layer with poor lacing. Not really what I expect from the style.

Smell: Its sweet, a little fruity perhaps pear? Sort of like a Belgian yeast? Not sure. The oak comes through a lot. The molasses is in very good balance with the oak. Just how it should be for this beer imo. For the style this is pretty good.

Taste: Follows the nose. More sweet than oak which is disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Light, sweet, low carbonation, low bitterness, goes down quick. Not what I would expect from the style so I'm going to score it lower. However, I find it very drinkable for the ABV, wow.

Overall: Not something I'd go out of my way for. However, if you haven't tried it before then don't pass it up!

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear deep amber with red tinges. No head to speak of and very little signs of carbonation.

S: Sweet and oaky with a smell of alcohol on the nose, perhaps some dark fruits.

T: Very sweet, almost like maple syrup with an oaky flavor to it. Slight fruit hints, but I can't pick them out.

M: Thick and creamy with little signs of carbonation.

O: Interesting beer, I like it, but I don't think I will buy it again, it's very sweet though not in a sickening way.

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

As I'm mulling the fact that I will likely be snowed in tomorrow, I figured I may as well reach for something to hopefully warm me up. On a recent trip to Kansas City I was excited to find some Founders. I picked up a sixer of their Old Curmudgeon. This beer pours a deep orange to brown, and is apparantly bottle conditioned. Who knew. (I did not). So the color is a little murky but I blame that more on my ameaturish pour than anything else. Not a lot of head. Smells sweet, with dark molasses and brown sugar undertones. Taste is hefty, with a very very thick mouthfeel and clearly apparant alcohol level. The amount of hops present in the beer makes it taste almost like a Barleywine, as opposed to an Old Ale as it claims to be. Beer lends itself to meandering, as it's more of a sipper than something you want to go back to. More of a "one and done" type to be enjoyed at the end of the night.

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Photo of cosmo4u
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bought a 4pack at cable beverage bardonia ny on 5/28/11

A fairly delicate pour produces a deep copper-amber-tinged brew with a half-fingered head of off-white (leaning on beige) foam that recedes somewhat quickly before resting into a thin crown that leaves behind some light, splotchy lacing on the walls of the glass.

Some barrel aging is evident in the nose, as notes of vanilla and a hint of coconut mingle with sweet caramel and a whiff of alcohol as the beer warms.

Medium-full in body with a very light carbonation, the mouthfeel is neither thin nor heavy. some sweet caramel notes appear up front, Mingling within are notes of oak, vanilla and burnt sugar, but the astringent nature of the middle is somewhat off-putting and carries through well into the finish with an almost solventy nature. The finish is extremely dry and displays more oak barrel notes of vanilla.

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

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. The liquid appears hazy, brown with an orange/maroon hue. Thin, biege head that breaks down quickly accompanied with an oily, polka dot lacing.

The aroma produces a boozy, raisin introduction accented with dark fruits, wood, vanilla, and a port meets some cooking sherry. The molasses malt is pungent along with whiffs of caramel and cream.

While drinking this acidic and bold ale, I could swear I felt some extra hair growing on my chest. My mouth welcomed a smooth, filmy liquid that produced flavors such as oak, prunes, raisins, syrupy malt, and a heaping dose of bitterness only see in sherries and wines. My inside was left very dry and puckery, the acidic levels blast and the alcohol is nowhere near hidden.

This thing is a sipper and I think it's screaming to be aged. I will save one for some cold winter night ad stash some down in the cellar...Ok...it's ust a basement. A very unique style and one that I will have to play around with...

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Photo of carlborch
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, beautiful dark amber with a tightly knit tan head. The head is reasonable persistent, but does start to dissipate. Nicely developing Belgian lace. Rich, winy nose, with hints of cognac. Caramel, toffee, sherry, and dried fruits. Very moderate, but noticeable, hoppiness, with lingering caramel and malt notes on the palate. The roof of the mouth gets a sense of the level of alcohol, however, the alcohol level is not fully evident. Thus "caveat bibor" is appropriate. This is not a session beer or a vorspiel beer. Medium body with a sweet, long lingering. This is a multidimensional old ale. If I had the patience and cellar, I would attempt to age the Old Curmudgeon a few years to see how it develops. It should age well. A great ale to accompany hearty food and BBQ. The richness and residual sweetness would also work well with spicy food.

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

Curmudgeon, vintage 2008

Served in DFH signature glass

A: Pours clear deep amber with ruby highlights. Little head is produced, but a surprising and striking effervescence courses through the beer. 

S: At first flush, a fairly typical profile of an aged American barleywine: caramel, golden raisins, leather, earth and dark, dried fruits. Also, tea and what I would imagine tobacco leaves smell like. I swear I smell cedar when I agitate the beer. 

T: Caramel and brown sugar lead off and are next joined by golden raisins. An understated bitterness creeps in, introducing earth, leather, aforementioned leaves, as well as wood. I think cedar is still suggested by the sum of these parts, but not as strongly as in the nose. Secondary characteristics peel away in finish, leaving light medium-light bitterness and wood. No hint of alcohol. 

M: Heavy body with medium carbonation. Silky smooth on palate. Somewhat warming, which is to be expected. 

O: Old Curmudgeon holds together its disparate elements quite well, better than my descriptions represent. As the beer warms up, the bitterness seems to increase, too, becoming a more dominant player. Still, this beer is a great sipper and is brewed for extensive cellaring. 

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Photo of flyers1980
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Single 12-ounce bottle bought from Capone's in Norristown, PA. Darkish, caramel, syrupy appearance, almost like a scotch ale married a red ale. Off-white, khaki head. Very malty and I was getting a very pungent aroma of, shall I say, an illegal substance? It smelled like I was at a Who concert. Dark, molasses, syrupy taste. A malt bomb with a boozy backbone. Hint of tobacco taste. Heavy and captures the "old, foggy, pier" feeling.

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Photo of mpedara429
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured out a copper color with one finger of a orangy tan head. Not much lacing or retention to speak of.

S: A very sweet caramel and oak aged smell. There are also some fruity notes like raisins and over-ripened strawberries.

T: Very much like the smell, but not as sweet and potent. There is a nice earthy hoppiness balancing out the immense sweetness that could've been imagined by the smell. There is a fair amount of booziness.

M: Medium, sticky body that is a bit creamy. Medium-light carbonation. Surprisingly lighter and smoother than expected.

O: Better than some of the other Old Ales I've had. I like the lack of sweetness in the taste of Carmudgeon. Old Ales tend to be very sweet for me, but this one had a nice balance to it. Normally, I'd be one and done with an Old Ale, but I could see myself wanting a couple of these in a session.

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

101 degrees today in the D.C. area, but season be damned--I'm opening an old ale.

A - Bottle opens with a low hiss. Hazy ruby brown pour with very little carbonation.

S - Burnt brown sugar; sweet caramel; molasses; spicy woody scent, suggesting faint smoke; tobacco; plenty of sweet malt as well.

T - Brown sugar sweetness dominates, with molasses and burnt sugars and tobacco in the finish. Herbal bitterness compliments the sweet components nicely; in fact, it is more bitter than I anticipated. As the glass warms, this herbal character becomes more tannic, lending a black tea-like flavor. Some astringency really gives it a very dry finish.

M - Light side of medium. Goes down really easy for a nearly 10% brew.

O - Really happy to finally score a 4-pack of this. Nose promises a much more complex beer, and I feel like the body is a bit thin, even when considering the style. I'm not a huge fan of the herbal hop character here, but all this being said, I still think this is a really solid beer, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this ages. Can imagine it will be divine when the hops fall off and with a little oxidation sweetening it up all the more. Enjoy!

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Photo of bret27
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle in a trade several months back. I think it was from GCurlow but if someone reads this and it's wrong shoot me a BM for correction.

S: It smells so... old! It's just too... old!
Ok, first there is a faint whiff of corn, which dissapeared quickly. Then sweet dark fruits dominate. Pruiny, raisiny, vanilla, bread. booze.

A: Dark orange, almost no head at all. What little there is does make a nice lace though.

T: Maple syrupy, bready, vanilla, really sweet, perhaps a bit too sweet. Not sure if it was oak aged, but it kind of tastes like a bit of oak or age. Booze isn't all that overpowering, more of a warming sensation from the tip of the tongue to the top of the cardiac sphincter.

M/D: Fairly thick and syrupy. Pretty drinkable, but not for sissies. More for the curmudgeon type.

Overall: Complex + pretty tasty. Probably not for everyone, but a good sipper. Not an A+, but not a D- either by any means. (By the way the picture of the bottle on this site has a lovely background, it really brings out the grizzled old man on the bottle)

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,659 ratings.
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