Curmudgeon | Founders Brewing Company

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4,792 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Think classic seafaring ports, local pubs and weathered old fishermen. This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill. Then Oak-Aged. The result is a rich, malty delight that's deceptively smooth and drinkable.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,792 |  Reviews: 1,333
Photo of ZombieJester
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Beerandboards
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doing a side by side of an 06 and a 12. Official rating is a rough average, separate rating noted below.

A -
Mahogany (rich mahogany, like the smell of my apartment) in color. No head.

Caramel brown. Pours about a 1 inch of light brown head. Retains a crown.

Assertive hit of caramel and vanilla, some honey, some other almost florals notes that I can't quite put words to.

Definitely less up front than the 06. Almost disappointing actually. Maybe some vanilla? Some malt, not a whole lot else.

Hmmm... Sweet black tea, tropical fruit in the back ground, some notes of what I assume to be oxidation. Really rich at first but then fleeting on the back end with so,e dryness.

Some thin dark fruit, pretty quick and simple, clean finish with really no bitterness anywhere. Mineral note on the back end.

Very light carbonation, light close to medium thickness.

Higher side of medium carb. Thin.


The 2006 shines head and shoulders above the 2012. If you didn't know it, you wouldn't think they were the same beer. The 06 is just far prettier, better smelling, more complex. Neither of the, are my favorite beers, but the moral here is easy, AGE THIS BEER.

A- 4.25 / S- 4.5 / T- 4.25 / M- 4 / O- 4.25
A- 3.75 / S- 3.5 / T- 3.5 / M- 3.5 / O- 3.5

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Photo of JamesMN
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Super hazy copper/orange color with some floating bits debris. Very thin off-white head.

Aroma: Hoppy with a distinct honey-like aroma. Hops contribute a piney, near-grapefruit like character and there is a smoothness to the aroma that suggests the oak-aging.

Taste: Starts smooth with a soft caramel flavor from the malt. The bitterness begins to creep in by the second half and peaks at a moderate bitterness on the finish. The hop flavor is not well defined because the aging process has forgone most of the citrus or truly piney flavors that seem to fade the quickest. What's left is a slightly earthy flavor that is more bitterness than anything else which helps to balance out what would otherwise be a very sweet beer. The 9.8% ABV is slightly detectable during the finish but doesn't present itself at any time in the taste. The yeast seems to have contributed hints of raisin and plum. Those flavors develop as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body. Mellow carbonation and average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I couldn't detect any molasses in the flavor, but Curmudgeon Old Ale is pretty much as advertised. If you like Old Ales and Barleywines but don't want the big bitterness that goes along with them then I'd recommend it. The oak-aging has really smoothed out the hops and given an interesting mix of flavors. Would I drink it again? Unlikely, too many other beers to try at this point.

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Photo of BarrelAgedBrian
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Poured an amber/brown color with minimal head.

S: The malt comes right through in the nose, followed by oak and molasses. Subtle caramel?

T: Excellent notes of molasses and oak. Malt comes through in the beginning, with some nice bitterness from the hops towards the end.

M: Medium body, not a whole lot of carbonation.

O: While I'm not as well-versed in old ales, this one is a particularly drinkable one with wonderful flavors of molasses and oak.

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Photo of jpd7374
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Star80
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 475 characters

Photo of rydev24
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle (Denotes brewed with molasses and aged in Oak, where other years did not say this on the bottle) Poured from a bottle into a 50W tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color, that almost appears amber when held to the light. At onset there appears to be very little head and then a billowing, off-white head rushes up quickly and clings to the side of the glass, eventually leaving a nice frothy, latte-like rim around the top.

S: Strong caramel wofts. Butterscotch, malts, vanilla, some oakiness, and molasses shines well. The smell is extremely complex.

T: Boozy. The caramel and molasses character are very present. Some dark fruit sweetness, balanced with some vanilla. Strong malt character and heavy oakiness to also balance out the sweetness.

M: Medium-Full body, but definitely closer to the full body. Creamy. Boozy, but smooth. Dangerous.

O: This one tastes a little different with every drink. Great complexity, but not all over the place. The balance of sweet, but not being overly sweet with some bitterness and the oak character was done really well. Glad I have a couple to age as well - I'm interested to see what happens with some age.

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Photo of willit618
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of rcjennings
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jpatton0127
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of KFBR392
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A light brown color with a very rich glow. No head even on a heavy pour. Below average carbonation throughout but that is to be expected.

Smell: Very rich malt. Heavy syrup and lots of molasses. Oak and touches of vanilla.

Taste: The front is a smooth maple syrup taste. Can definitely feel the carbonation on the front end. Medium to a thin body for what I expected out of an Old ale. The aftertaste is such a deep bourbon alcohol smooth burn. Not offensive just sticks around for a very long time. Overall just lacking that depth that I look for.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, but seems to just be off a bit.

Overall: In every way a solid brew. No glaring weaknesses. One of the first brews I had when I was starting up and still impresses me. I also had the opportunity to enjoy of growler of this and that was an eventful night. A bit pricey overall but more then worth a shot.

 888 characters

Photo of buzzy
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Hallertau
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Beerdudenumberone
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of jminch
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of dar482
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 497 characters

Photo of G_Rod
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of McNealc31
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orange that's just on this side of brown. Virtually no head. Oak, raisins, and must in the aroma. The flavor is mostly oak and molasses. Bit of punch from the 9.8% ABV. A touch of bitterness from the hops at the end. It's a sipper, but something different comes out with every sip, including maple syrup.

Spend a lot of time enjoying this one.

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Photo of RyanAU
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of tastymug
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jahbulon
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of NSK79
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of King_KongDCO93
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Martstar
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Curmudgeon from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 4,792 ratings