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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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89
very good
1,267 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:
1,267
Ratings:
4,607
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
1,135
For Trade:
53
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,267 | Ratings: 4,607
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 reds2harleys
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent beer from Founders. Just a slight notch below CBS, KBS and Breakfast Stout but still a superb beer. Wonderful flavor and very drink able.

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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 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 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 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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Photo of currysage1
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Harpoon Leviathan glass (tulip?), cellar temp aged for 6 months.

Look is a really deep orange topped with a short lived off white head that drops to a ring and a wisp, alcohol makes this understandable.

Smell is brown sugar mixed with dark rum, allspice, clove, black pepper.

Taste is chocolate that gives way quickly to the molasses chewyness, a good level of hop bite, almost a plant like quality, almost like dried grass, theres that dark rum again.

Feel is pretty spot on for an Old, dense full slightly oily mouthfeel with low carbonation from the extended fermentation and high alcohol. Would certainly have again but one at a time. They definately keep the alcohol under wraps on this one.

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Photo of natasharai
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured vigorously to achieve a very small tan creamy head that dissipated leaving some lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is pretty clear with a reddish orange brown color and very small particles floating in the glass.

Smell: Very sweet, strong nutty roasted malt, nice caramel/toasted marshmallow sweet aroma, sappy pine, sweet fruit like pears and apples. Nice yeasty biscuit toward the end.

Taste: Very sweet, caramel malt, roasted nuts, roasted marshmallow, some pine bitterness, no alcohol flavor at all.

Mouthfeel: Thick body, quite syrupy, nice amount of carbonation, slight hop tingle, very small touch of dry feeling, then leaves mouth really sticky.

Overall: good drinkability, especially considering the ABV. Awfully sweet but still good, the sweetness has a nice roasty/toasty component which makes it more interesting.

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Photo of Badger6
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a snifter.

A: Deep caramel color, small head that dissipates fast. Little visible carbonation. Minimal lacing.

S: Abundant dark notes: molasses, plums, raisins, significant candied sugar.

T: The flavor closely follows the nose. Sweet with hugely present plum, raisin, molasses, candied sugar flavors. Slightly boozy, but not overwhelming.

M: Heavy body, thick on the palate. Slightly carbonated, fades fast. Easy to drink.

O: Excellent example of the style. Unlike many, this is very drinkable, and pleasant, right from the start. Definitely will go in the category to have again. 4s across the board. Well done, thanks of brewing this one for us.

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Photo of Star80
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours out a dark ruby red with minimal head into a snifter.

S - Smell is of candied fruits, some toffee, vanilla, and some oak.

T - Taste is rich malts, oak, vanilla, toffee and some vague puckering from the hops.

M - Mouthfeel is dense, yet smooth.

O - Overall a nice old ale with an added oak treatment that just adds the icing on the cake as far as complexity goes and it just gets better as it warms in the glass. A perfect lingering winter/spring evening sipper.

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Photo of boomer31
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

A - Burnt orange transparent with thin white head that briefly sticks to glass

S - Sweet and sugary caramel malts

T - The malt is very sweet. Sugar and a touch of toffee flavor. No bitterness at all. Perhaps some wood here

M - Thin and soft carbonation. The sugary malt sticks to your mouth. Not overwhelminly sweet but very close

D - Very sweet and sugary. A sipper for sure.

Overall this is an interesting beer. It reminds me of a sweet English B-wine after a year or so in the bottle

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Photo of DrewZ926
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a deep, opaque, almost ruby orange. no head to speak of. bright lighter shades around the rim, very rich golden amber throughout

s: deep, syrupy sweet malts. caramelized hops. notes of orange grapefruit citrus peak through. picking up faint golden raisin

t: very complex malt bill. a lot of sweet biscuit with resonating caramel from the nose. faint hop bitterness on the finish. very full and well rounded

m: surprisingly thick, though admittedly my first old ale. nice carbonation upfront, smooth finish

d: slight bit of heat upfront, though mellowing as it warms

o: great selection for a chilly night. cant compare it to other old ales though. enjoying the subtle use of hops--contrasts the upfront sweetness of the malt

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Photo of kdb150
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip at ~60 degrees F.

A - pours a nice dark reddish-orangish-purplish color with about a finger of off-white head that sticks around for a little while. I've tried this a few times and sometimes there is a lot of sediment, but this one poured crystal-clear. A very attractive beer, though lacing is minimal.

S - reminiscent of a Belgian quad, with lots of dark fruit, along with a bit of candi sweetness. No real oak presence here despite the fact that it claims to be oak-aged. Smells pretty good.

T - I think maybe this is just my palate, but this beer simply falls apart in the taste category, which is a shame because the presentation is very well done in every other aspect. Dark fruits, predominately plum and fig flavors, come through big-time. On the back end there is a bit of the toffee and caramel sweetness, which is nicely balanced and not real cloying. Unfortunately there is something else in this beer that I find very off-putting. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but there is a very stong, pungent, almost metallic flavor here in the middle, and even with 8 months of age it has not diminished at all. Coincidentally, I find the same off-putting flavor in St. Bernardus Abt. 12, so I'm willing to chalk it up to my own sensitivities, rather than something wrong with the beer, to explain why I don't like it. Another downside is that I also detect very little oak, if any.

M - this is big and slick, but pleasantly so. The finish lingers, and the pungent flavor is nowhere to be found. The aftertaste is delightful, actually, much more so than the actual taste I'm afraid. Dead on for the style and size of this beer, and really quite nice.

O - I drainpour this every time, but it's a well-made beer that just doesn't fit my palate. Worth trying as it is a good overall experience, and if you don't have the same reaction to the taste, I suspect you would find this beer to be quite enjoyable. Alas, I can only actually score it based on my own taste, but I think most people would not have the same reaction to the taste as I do.

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

Appearance: Murky red brown color. Pours a 1/2 inch head with heavy cover and lacing. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Smells like a fresh loaf of whole wheat bread, with toffee, raisins and a hint of booze. Some nice chocolate and cocoa developments as it warms.

Taste: Smooth chocolate, cocoa and honey, with a nice hops/booze finish. A little plum following an upfront breadiness. Nice raisins in the finish. Nice balance complements grainy front and middle palates. A little pine and juniper in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation makes for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that balances the flavors of the beer. Nice bitterness in the aftertaste

Drinkability: Nice, rich and boozy, with great malts and a nice biting finish. Definitely a beer that I'll come back to, particularly as the weather turns colder.

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Photo of Vierenner
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice. As I continue to explore sweeter beers, I stumbled across this one perusing other reviews. My focus has been stouts/porters, trying to find best of breed in this category (in my opinion!). This one came to my attention based upon reviews I read. Perhaps I just stumbled on a unique Old Ale ... but this is right up may alley. Has all the sweetness I like, minus the hop bite of course. Guess I need to expand from stouts/porters into a new category!

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Photo of aggiearcher13
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pour an amber-orange with a little bit of foam that disappears quickly.

S: Boozy caramel.

T: Hops, caramel, and and herbal sweetness. Too sweet for me, to the point of being cloying.

M: Very nice mouthfeel, great carbonation. Heavy body to it.

D: Take it easy on this one, I think it's a one per night kind of beer.

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

Orange brown, and despite its dark opacity, I could still see lighter floaties suspended in the murk. The head wasn't much to speak of after a few minutes.

Wild, wild stuff. Smells like murky candy, whatever that means. But that is what popped into my head, and it seems fitting. Like camp cotton candy.

You can taste the suger before the beer even hits your lips. Thick and fruity, it is improving my mood by the sip.

A sipper fo' sho' because it is so thick and slightly syrupy. Would probably age wonderfully.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - a gentile pour yielded a tiny head atop a cloudy copper brew.

S - Malty, Toffee overtakes any alcohol smells.

T - Strong molasses and toffee malt. Some alcohol warmth as expected. A great deal of sweetness aftertaste. A bit over the top for my liking.

M - smooth, simple.

Bursts of molasses and malty sugars create a unique experience, but one lacking in complexity.

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Photo of itsscience
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in appearance with some light getting in around the edges. Less than a finger of head even with a vigorous pour, and it fades rather quickly. The nose is rather imposing with molasses, sweet malt, burnt sugar, coconut, toasted oats, and oak. The same profile comes out in the taste along with some raisin and fruity esters. It's reminiscent of a Belgian dubbel but overly boozy. Not much of a hop presence here: this is all malt. Carbonation is low and the body is medium.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,607 ratings.
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