Curmudgeon | Founders Brewing Company

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CurmudgeonCurmudgeon
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
4,809 Ratings
CurmudgeonCurmudgeon
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:
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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,500
Reviews:
1,338
Ratings:
4,809
pDev:
10.42%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
221
Gots:
1,180
Trade:
51
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,809 |  Reviews: 1,338
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out to a tea like hazy ruby color with a small head of tan foam that quickly dissipated. Aromas of whiskey, malt, vanilla, fermented grain, earth. Nice. Taste is fair; complex notes of whiskey and wood, with hints of burnt malts permeate the palate. Touches of raw grain and vanilla are noted on the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and heavy. Drinkabilty is fair. One is more than enough for me. The bourbon flavors are too overpowering, making this more of a liquor like experience, than a beer like experience.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

first off, whoever took the 'bottle photo' is an art pimp. the trees are great. what a nice touch! this bottle was snatched up at julio's in mass.

pours a cloudy blood red into my rapscallion snifter. accentuated gently by dense foam rings and sticky, sparse lacing. aroma carries lots of bourbony booze and fusel-boosted yeast mutations. vanilla lingers in the air trapped by the tulip. old ale at its oldest, most crotchety.

the woody cream character really translates strongly into the dominant flavor of this beer, not too far from what i expect an old ale to be but somewhat one-dimensional. perhaps its not warm enough, let's wait and see...

after the crowd-friendly southampton old ale, this beer maintains an adversely crotchety attitude with a starchy, raw malt profile that doesn't quite invite the same level of drinkability. the flavors are all there in a sublime richness.. however this IS your grandpa's old ale. a cigar would be nice right about now. toasted vegetal huskiness meets caramelized burnt sugars in a buffalo trace barrel, producing some interesting effects.

what do i think overall? tough call. like a stinky old man, you have to respect the work that went into its culmination, regardless of how gritty his current situation might be. recommended, oddly.

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Photo of BillyB
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, hazy color with no head and no carbonation.

Strong aromas of alcohol, whiskey, oaky, vanilla.

Strong whiskey taste. Very interesting and complex. Notice some vanilla, caramel.

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy. Strong alcohol warmth.

At first I was overwhelmed by the huge alcohol taste and aroma but as I sipped the beer became more complex.
Wouldn't drink too many in a sitting.

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Photo of mentor
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by deejaydan as part of BIF33. Thanks for the opportunity! Hard pour gets almost no head. Cloudy orange brown. Smells oranges, oaky, and caramel. Alcohol carries vanilla.

Tastes gentle oaky on a nice malt sweet. Vanilla and caramel. A touch of sherry. Oranges and cherry. Simple sweet and tasty. Gentle and clean alcohol sting. Thick creamy mouthfeel and almost no carbonation. Nothing special, just a solid offering.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Old Ales brewed in America tend to be little more than Barleywines; alternatively, British Old Ales taste more like sherry than they do beer.

This offering is a hybrid of the two styles, and it is most unusual. There is a noticable hop presence, not overpowering, but unmistakably there coupled with strong nutty, oxidized notes.

The end result is actually vaguely whisky-like.

It tastes like somebody mixed Bigfoot Barleywine with Sandeman Oloeroso, in about a 50/50 split.

A bridge between the two beer worlds of America and Britain. Leave it to Founders to find a unique twist on an old style.

Interesting though it may be, I'm not sure I could see myself buying this again.

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Photo of krantul
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

As we can perhaps discern from the label, this is an unapologetic, strong beer. It pours a dense, cloudy brown color, and has an oaky, almost scotch-like scent. It tastes like an english ale with a dollop of good whisky; although it has a certain pervasive boozy flavor, one that is certainly somewhat unbalanced, it's appropriate for the style. This is a full-bodied beer, almost to the point of chewiness. It's not what I'd call eminently drinkable, because of its kick; I found myself sipping it absently, like a neat whisky.

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Photo of granger10
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tawny amber with barely a head or carbonation to show for it. Lightly cloudy with a glowing precense.

Aroma is strong on oak and vanilla with bourbon also running in there. A raisin fruitlike sweetness sorrounds the oak. A little more of a lighter fruitiness comes out as this opens a bit.

Taste is also dominated by the bourbon flavors. Oak and vanilla accompany the bourbon but the alcohol does seem dominate, though it is quite nice. A figgy sweetness is at the top. Toffee and a bit of butterscotch form a base under the bourbon flavors. A resiny, earthy hop flavor comes in the finish and wipes out the sweetness but not the alcohol flavors. A bit medicinal in the end but I'm left with a lingering citrus or pine taste.

Full bodied and slick in the mouth though the carbonation was quite soft. I know this should not be too carbonated but I would have liked just a bit more. This beer took me quite a decent amount of time to drink. It's definitely a nice beer to enjoy and sip but 12 oz is definitely fine enough.

Founder's really gets their flavors out strong and this bourbon beer is no exception. Some good complexity but end the end the bourbon dominates. If you like bourbon try this, if not, don't.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy chestnut in color with a creamy tan head and quite a bit of lacing. Nose is doughey, with wafts of rum, raisin, whiskey, and slight citrus underneath it all. Taste is very nice, smooth and well balanced. The very same notes are present on the palate as in the nose. I'm quite impressed with the sweet to bitterness balance as old ales are easily made out of balance quite often. I think I just may have to go get more of this to lay down for a year or more.

Slàinte!

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Photo of merlin48
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled into a snifter, this really hits the spot as an old ale. Appearance is a rusty mahogany, quite hazy. Very little head, as little carbonation is apparent. Aroma boasts smoky Scotch whiskey and burnt caramel. Wafts of vanilla suggest a vague fruitiness that I cannot pinpoint. More smokiness hits the nose as it warms. Very woodsy and earthy. Interesting!
Mouthfeel is creamy, and has a charred oak feel. Charcoal certainly comes to mind.
Very much an old ale in taste. Malty toffee is nice and sweet, but tastes burnt(in a pleasant way). Boozy Scotch and Bourbon, with a hint of good Brandy. Oak woodsiness adds interest, and there is a nice bitter hops presence that is earthy and woodsy. Overripe McIntosh apples provide the fruity component here, almost overly bitter and near rotten(but not). Very nice execution.
This one really shows a lot of complexity at room temperature. Very nice sipper. The smokiness evokes the taste of burning a caramel apple over an outdoor campfire, deep in the Upper Penninsula woods. Age a few of these and save for deep winter!! You'll be glad you did.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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 gotbeer
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big beer for sure.

The appearance was dark mahogany with a light head that laced the glass slightly.

The smell had notes of a smoky scotch. Interesting stuff so far.

The taste was of vanilla, bourbon, coconut, and creme. A great old ale, and recognizable to the style. Alcohol is present and noticable, but not totally overwhelming. The mouthfeel was smooth. The drinkability is as good as a beer with this ABV can be.

Great stuff. Founders has not dissapointed me yet, with their beers ranging from solid to excellent.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

hazed slightly murky dark brown beer with very little head. pretty much what one expects from an old ale.
the aroma contains tangy vanilla, caramel, something like a roasted coconut, soft bourbon, toffee, a little booze, that nice "aged" aroma (don't know how better to describe it, but it's not oxidation), oak and some fruity vinous characteristics maybe like raisins... in no particular order.
the taste moves in about exactly the direction i want it to judging form the smell. vanilla bourbon oak, but not in the overdone, masking way that it seems to be used sometimes. caramel and toffee make their appearance spiced raisin flavors here to,but pretty minimal taking a back seat to a lot of maltyness.
soft, slick coating mouthfeel, medium bodied, with minimal carbonation.
good drinkability the alcohol is present, but never burns or becomes abrasive, it just stays pleasant and warming.

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Photo of czoch75
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this one last night and was expecting a little more but still somewhat satisfied. This one really packs a punch! ABV states 9.3 but feels much more than that.

A: poured into glass and noticed a cloudy amber color. Absolutley no head retention whatsoever and looked a little syrupy.

S: smell was really sweet and a bit of the bourbon comes through.

T: really smooth to start off and a bit of a warming to it. Can really pick up the bourbon taste to it, never had one this prominent before but rather tasty!

M: a heavy drink, little carbonation but just right. Aftertaste was...you guessed it, bourbon/whiskey or spirit like.

D: this is a good one to sip on, a little over the top on the Bourbon taste but pretty good. Should probably let sit for a year to mellow out the taste. I think I will go buy some more before it's too late and let it sit in my cellar.

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Photo of blodgetm
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders is one of the few things that makes me glad to live in Grand Rapids. The brewery is absolutely fantastic, and for producing such great beers as this I give them two thumbs up. The brewers at Founders have been working on this brew for a couple years now, finely tweaking it until absolutely perfect to put into a bottle. Well, here it is, Curmudgeon old ale is definately the result of years of planning and tinkering.

A: medium brown and unfiltered

S: definite sweetness to the nose due to the malt bill, but also presence of bourbon and a spice of oak

T: a very complex and malty brew, with high levels of whiskey/bourbon taste and a small amount of maybe anise towards the end

M: wonderful, nice and rich, heavy bodied beer with a fine carbonation

D: I would drink this brew all night if I could, but with the high ABV and price, it gets alittle hard.

I would recommend this beer to anyone who fancies high gravity beer with that fantastic bourbon creme taste

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Photo of maxpower
2.88/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a dark amber color with a nice off white head with large bubbles that leaves some lacing in my glass. Strong bourbon aromas, vanilla, oak and bourbon flavors, a bit to strong for me. Full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry. The whiskey flavor is about all I get from this.

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Photo of mcowgill
4.79/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy reddish color with no real head to speak of. Thin lacing around the edges is all.

S - I love how this beer smells. Great vanilla, oak, whiskey aroma.

T - It tastes just as damn good. A malty delight. The whiskey and vanilla comes through strong with hints of coconut.

M - Excellent mouthfeel, nice carbonation

D - Wow, I have been waiting to try this beer for awhile, not knowing what to expect. This is truly great. It's very drinkable to me.

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Photo of ken3c
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a decent sized head but dwindles to a 1/4 inch island. Beautifull deep dark red tint refracts on the glass and on the table. This beer has legs and visible tiny bubbles.

Aroma is mostly roasted almond but also a slight sense of melon.

Taste is ripe cantalope with ripe bananas. The finish is oak tannin bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and plays interestingly with the strong sweet taste. There is a noticable sense of carbonation but not intrusive. smooth but not too smooth. warming.

This is a delightful suprise. This is a very tasty brew.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dear $2 micro bottle night at the Come Back In

I LOVE YOU.

Sincerely,
Golden2wenty1

I think someone made a mistake, but this stuff was in the Monday/Wednesday night $2.00 micro bottles cooler at the Come Back In here in Madison. No complaints here, except I wish I didn't drop $3.99 on a bottle a few weeks ago. Now I can keep it for aging I suppose.
(edit: about 10-12 bottles were in the 2/$3 ultra-bargain bin last night...needless to say I took advantage)

Pours a nearly opaque dark garnet-amber with an afterthought of off-white head. Nose and taste start off with what my roommates and I could only describe as Malibu rum, buttressed by warm vanilla and oaky bourbon. Mouthfeel is substantial, almost chewy and reflective of the complexity of flavors within. Probably a one and done for me, but a nice sipper while playing darts at the Come Back and a steal at $2 a bottle.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
1.2/5  rDev -70.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a slight head that quickly dissappeared into just a ring at the edges. Body was medium brown.

Smell - bourbon, it actually smells like I've poured a glass of bourbon, not beer. It's really bad for me so far. Some diacetyl as well ( which I sort of expected, but not the bourbon ) .

Taste - bourbon, some diacetyl, more bourbon. Aftertaste of bourbon.

Mouthfeel - full, not smooth, low carbonation, alcohol astringency.

Drinkability - not at all. I do not like bourbon.

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Photo of mattcrill
1.22/5  rDev -69.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Stubby brown twist-off bottle. No useful label information.

Aroma: Bourbon, oak, and alcohol...this could be ugly for me.

Appearance: Cloudy brick red pour with a thin wispy white head. The head quickly fades to a perfect ring around the glass.

Flavor: Vanilla bean and oak. Gimme a break. No malts, hops, or anything that resembles a beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall impression: Drain pour. Glad I bought a single. Would someone please STOP the barrel-aging, over-oaked, over-bourboned silliness??? It's tired and it does nothing to showcase a brewer's talent or anything that fine beer ingredients can provide in terms of flavor. Avoid.

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

from the bottle, poured a cloudy brown with a small tan head that left no lacing. aroma just like the description says aged on bourbon barrels and the boubron comes out nice and strong than some sweetness along with the malts couldn’t get anything else out of it after it warms the aroma subsides a bet. flavor, the bourbon was as strong as the aroma which was a could thing, than along came the malts and sweetness got molasses, and some dark fruits became easier to drink when it warmed

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, 9.3 % AVB on the label. Pours a very cloudy mahogany/bronze color. Thick off white head disappears very quick. Aroma is very vinous. Notes of oak, coconut, and vanilla. Almost sherry like in flavor. The oak flavor is very strong, and may need to mellow out a bit. Alcohol is well hidden until this warms to room temperature. A hint of spices as it warms as well. Some hop bitterness at the end, but all seems to be overshadowed by the woody aspect of this beer. I am not saying that it is bad, but I think some cellar time could make this an outstanding beer. Very complex, and interesting. Certainly worth revisiting in the future.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a bottle at odies big ten in lansing, michigan. ($3.79 12 oz.)
pours a very deep copper with a beige head that drops in to a very thin haze.
the aroma malt, vanillia and burbon is perdominent, carmelized sugar and a hopsack are in the background.
the flavor of malt, vanillia, burbon, oak, toffee, hopsack, alcohol.
man what a great beer, very complex, is smooth yet very packed with flavor.
i want some for my cellar!

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to malty for this one...
Cloudy cherry rust color with less than 1/4 finger of off-white head...disappears before the pour is finished and leaves some thin, sporadic lacing.
Vanilla oak scent with a faint candied fruit finish...a bit off when served even slightly chilled, but real attractive at room temp.
Rum soaked raisins up front with quite a fruity hop profile bittering up the finish...rock candy comes to mind and an earthy aftertaste.
A bit too sweet up front for my liking, but as it warms, it becomes so much more balanced. Alcohol is well hidden...although the rum flavor really makes you think that what you are drinking is much stronger than it is...I like that.
Mouthfeel is nice and the carbonation is where I like it.
This would be a one and done for me...would be much more enjoyable in the colder months, but I had to try it fresh. Hopefully more will make its way into my possession to see how it changes in six months.
Not my favorite Founders brew...still a nice offering.

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Photo of budsboy
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy, deep reddish brown with a thinish off white head.

Fruity, vinous aroma with a heavy licorice scent in there. Some carmel and raisiny oxidized smell. Altogether liquor-like.

Whiskey/scotch like flavor, big alcohol presence. Malts are thin but fadingly fruity. Aftertaste is woody, bitter and alcoholic. Warming.

Thin and mostly flat in the mouth.

Altogether, it not my favorite Founders. A complex beer in flavor, though, and well crafted. A sipper. Just a little too much like whiskey for my liking.

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Curmudgeon from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 4,809 ratings