Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

very good
4,732 Ratings
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,732 |  Reviews: 1,317
Photo of ilovewaffles
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: This looks like a solid DIPA, coppery, with an off white head. Decent lacing.
S: Sweet. Candy, molasses, caramel and ash.
T: Follows the aroma with some vanilla.
F: Thick, smooth with mild carbonation.
O: I had this for the first time a couple of years ago and I thought it was a pretty decent beer. I had it today on tap at a "Founders Event" at a nearby watering hole. I guess tastes can change. This is one terrific beer. I need to find a case. Soon!

 459 characters

Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This reminded me of North Coast Old Stock, but, perhaps a tad hoppier and drier. Dried brown fruit skins, lemon and orange peel, ginger, vanilla, and bourbon, In a weird way, it sort puts me in mind of an Old Fashioned, which is my absolute favorite cocktail.

 259 characters

Photo of Impfan
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very complex flavors featuring plums, cherries, mangoes, mandarin orange zest, vanilla, and bourbon.

The body is medium creamy, and the finish is of lengthy duration, and surprisingly dry.

This is definitely not what I was expecting, but I found it to be quite appealing, in a Gale's Prize Old Ale kind of way.

 312 characters

Photo of dtm426
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Nrod
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of darktronica
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

At this point, it's fair to call Curmudgeon a classic old ale. Rich amber in color with good acidity and strong malt backbone. When fresh, the molasses imparts a touch of sweetness to counter the sharpness of the base beer without producing a sugar bomb; some of the intensity is also due to the ageing, which imparts nice flavors of sassafras root and birch bark. Strong in flavor while remaining balanced and complex, all at a favorable price point.

 451 characters

Photo of andrewh995
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Never had an old ale until now and I did not expect it to taste like that. Molasses, molasses, molasses, caramel. While I did enjoy it thoroughly I would probably not purchase it again. I am curious to see what other old ales are like though.

 243 characters

Photo of CaptainHate
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12/30/2016 12 ounce bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. Nice Amber color with decent sized head. Smelled the molasses and the oak. Had nice complex flavors on each sip and as it warmed up it just seemed richer. Plan on aging the remaining three. A nice addition to my old ale faves to be enjoyed in late winter.

 326 characters

Photo of challenja
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Refrigerated 12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass
L: A Cloudy, thick burnt orange with some left over floating particulates left from the bottle.
S: - Deep long wiffs of caramelized molasses, powerful sugar alcohols,maple syrup, hints of oak soaked in vanilla beans.
T: - Follows the nose perfectly. Delicious, and mesmerizing. A true one of a kind for any serious beer lover out there.
M: Viscous full and round, with the perfect amount of carbonation that is felt when you swish it around your mouth.
O: This is one of my favorite rare finds that I hunt out every year. This is one serious beer that should be enjoyed one beer at a time. More than one and you are asking for a head pounding nightmare the next day.

 735 characters

Photo of BJB13
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 01/11/16 printed on label. Cellared and enjoyed on St. Patrick's Day '17
12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Two fingers of tan foamy head that was fine around the edges but held large bubbles in the middle sat upon a thick, deep caramel pour that didn't let much light through. I could smell the oak before I even raised the snifter, followed by molasses, sweet malts and just a touch of booziness. The flavor matched the nose, sweet, molasses, caramel and kind of a toasted marshmallow flavor. The bitterness is low. I'm no expert but I would say that it has definitely lowered from 50 IBU. The high ABV is well masked, there was only a small amount of boozy flavor/ feel. Less than I expected as it finished smooth with a slight tang. The body was full and the carbonation low, otherwise smooth and a little frothy.

Good stuff! A sweet and flavorful sipper that was very rich and filling. I have three more that I will be having for dessert over the next couple of weeks!

 990 characters

Photo of Babalu614
4.91/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle to snifter. A reddish copper/amber color with the aromas of bourbon, carmel, and molasses. Great tastes of carmel, bourbon, oak and maybe some vanilla. Thick and smooth feel with little carbonation, the alcohol taste was well hidden. Overall I loved this beer, tasted as good as it smelled!

 309 characters

Photo of SebastianMandeville
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Wrigfen
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into Snifter. Bottled on December 30th 2016.

L: Clear coppery amber, fingers width beige head, decent retention. Small amounts of lacing.

S: Figs, toffee, caramely notes. Boozy. Butter rum. Some fruity notes as well, maybe melon?

T: Lots of fruit and figs here. Melons for sure, almost a DIPA feeling here. Nice malt notes, buttery, toffee, caramel. Good bitterness.

F: Medium bodied and good carbonation, a bit thick.

O: An interesting Old Ale, and a very good beer.

Update: Poured from 12oz short bottle into Snifter. Bottled on December 30th 2017.

L: Change this to hazy.

S: Nothing to add.

T: Nothing to add.

F: Nothing to add.

O: Still a good Old Ale and beer.

 728 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I finally got my hands on one of these!
Out of the bottle it pours a copper/amber color with a bubbly and thumbnail length off white head. Retains well as it leaves some lacing and nice looking cloud like patterns of film.
I think the nose is my favorite part of this brew. Buttery, tofee, caramel and honey sweetness. There is a lot of fruitiness going on too; I detect honeydew, cantaloupe or melon in particular. There is also some toasted malt tones that fade in and out. Towards the end there is a mild grassy and clean alcohol aroma.
Overall the mouthfeel is sweet and with other complex elements to balance things out. It would be interesting to see how this ages. It tastes like spicy dark and tropical fruit soaked in alcohol; in this sense it has some DIPA or barley wine qualities. The sweetness is derived also from honey and caramel like qualities from the malt. Medium to full bodied and chewy. A sipper, yet drinkable at the same time. There is a touch of spicy hops in the finish, as well as alcohol warming, that becomes increasingly dry and moderately bitter.
This was a fun and tasty high ABV brew that is drinkable, albeit you can only really have one at a time. I will try to get another one as soon as I can so that I can experiment with aging.

 1,267 characters

Photo of RichieRich1812
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Feldpausch
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying an "old ale". I love the idea of a malty, high ABV beer aged in oak barrels. Got it in a mix a six, I believe it was made in later 2016 (December).

Amber/scotch look to the beer, with a head that dissipates fairly quickly, occasionally becoming reinvigorated with a swirl and a nice sip.

Smell is a heavy malt, molasses, and smells a little of the barrels were imparted as well. Same could be said for the taste but the taste had extra vanilla bean or some sort of sweet release. Little bit of hops to round out what would've been an intense malt bomb (IBU coming in at 50).

This beer is really nice, and I love the way it was setup with barrels making it extra special and tasty in all the right ways. It is rare that one beer gets me a good buzz but this one sure did! I'm ready to try maybe one more then take it easy for a while.. Sunday night blues just got a whole lot better!

 914 characters

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Cycle69
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Mikecd234
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of _Adam_
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Branlott42
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jsalz21
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,732 ratings.
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