Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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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:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

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Reviews: 1,263 | Ratings: 4,594
Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A very slight creamy tan head rises post pour and fades away almost immediately leaving an extremely thin veil of lace and a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass... A murky medium brown color with hints of aubergine... A couple of very small, very slow paced carbonation bubbles can be seen rising towards the top of the glass... Some minor lacing clings to the side of the snifter...

S - Sweet red grapes... Caramel... Brown Sugars... Golden raisins... Fig... Rum...

T - The sweetness eluded to by the nose continues on the palette... Rum soaked raisins... Fig... Butterscotch... Honey... Raisins... Sweet grapes... A very minor medicinal presence...

M - Medium to full bodied... Syrupy and sticky... A tad chewy... Just a very very slight carbonation on the tongue... A slight alcoholic warmth...

D - This beer is slightly over the top in terms of sweetness... Oddly though that only seems to add character of this brew... Founders makes one brew after another that push boundaries and this is not exception...

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque toffee-brown-ish color with small head and little lacing. Smell is sweet with some raisons, toffee, and a bit of alcohol. Taste is really good and near the same level as Adam. Dark fruit, caramel, molasses, and vanilla all make this one tasty. Very creamy and full-bodied. Delicious. A great sipper that will warm you up, more great stuff from Founders.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best before 10/6/14 poured in to a snifter.

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a thinning tan head.

Smell is ripe fruit with some light sweet malt and a little bit of funky oddity.

Taste is a slightly bitter, smooth sweet malt. Great big boozy finish without any flavor overpowering.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy and nice.

Considering the abv, the drinkability is very good. Can't wait for this to age.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden brown color with a small white head. Aroma is full of sweet caramel and honey. There is also some fruit present.

Taste is sweet with caramel, honey, and raisins present. The finish is roasted, with almost a smokiness, and slightly dry and bitter. There is a hint of dark fruit in the background too. Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied.

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber/ruby with decent head and significant lacing. Smells of alcohol, toffee, and wood. Taste has a heavy alcohol presence with hints of wood, caramel, toffee, and bourbon. Mmm it warms the December soul.

This one is worth holding on to for a while.

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Photo of hdrider
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a 1/2" orangish head and liquid is a redich orange. Good lacing. smells of molasses, brown sugar and dried fuit.
tastes of molasses, caramel, dries apricots maybe even vanilla. Good alcohol burn in the belly, but hidden well by the full rich flavors.
I like it alot in the late fall and winter at the fire.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.87/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a pal in Illinios. Thanks Tay.

Pours a deep and dark clouded burgundy with sticky lace and respectable head given it's strength.

The smell is vanilla syrup, oak, tabacco, and booze soaked fruits.

Taste is sweet and rich. The alcohol is so well hidden on this insulin-needed sweet-as-hell brew. Very complex and the flavors just explode. It's a barrage of slightly smokey-oaked-boozey and candied fruit flavors.

THe feel to me doesn't get much better than this. So silky smooth, lets call it "velvety". the perfect size:large body. perfect for savoring every SIP.

Wow! I continue to be impressed by the brews coming from Founders, but this may be the best. I can't wait to age a few of these bad boys.

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

Review is on a bottle-pour into a tulip glass. It pours a warm shade of amber that runs from honey to ruby throughout. It appears slightly viscous but with pretty good clarity. The short, 1/2 finger 0ff-white head fizzles out immediately to a swirling white skim atop the liquid and light rings of delicate, sticky lace along the walls of the glass. Very characteristic for the style, though it seems a little thinner visually than expected.

Nose is pretty on for the style. There's a deep and sweet chewy aroma of dark fruits, incredibly syrupy and honeyed. Amidst the very caramelized malt and sharp pinch of alcohol hides something a little surprising - I daresay I detect a grassy, herbal hop note. It is very subtle, but seems to grow as the beer warms.

This beer definitely shows different dimensions throughout the drink as it warms to room temperature and warms the palate. Its definite focus is the syrupy, slick and viscous mouthfeel full of caramelly malts, cracked grains and syrupy prunes. The malts are not only caramelized, but also speak a little of bittersweet chocolate. Those hops that sneak into the aroma are definitely present in the taste as well, mostly apparent when the beer is swished a little then swallowed off the heat of the vapors of the alcohol that always seems present but isn't overwhelming. There's a heaviness that is missing from this beer that I normally find in old ales, but that characteristic has made it much more drinkable than others in the style.

This is an old ale I'd recommend for anyone getting into the style. Its ABV is actually moderate for the style, and it doesn't need a ton of age to go down smoothly while still being quite flavorful.

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Photo of Casey10
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was not familar with old ale style so it was a pleasure to try this.

A - Red copper look. light bubbles and small ammount of lacing on the sides.

S - I am picking up chocolate notes maybe slight malts mostly the chocolate.

T - Again mostly a dry chocolate taste smooth finish.

M - lingering dry afterfeel, tartness make the feel prickly.

D - Really liked this the ABV is well hidden and while not having too many would definately have another.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that has been aged about a year and a half. Pours a hazy amber color with a fine-bubbled cream colored head. Never gets above 2 fingers worth, even with an aggressive pour. Retention is ok and leaves sticky spots of lacing on the glass.

Smell is very malty, sweet malted milk balls with a bit of oxidation that seems to work well for most Old Ales. Somewhat fruity with a bit of red grapes and figs. Not much in the way of hoppy or yeast aromas.

Mmmm, this beast is dangerously smooth. Sweet malts are deliciously caramel and toffee. Really good brew! Just a touch of hop bitterness rounds things out on the back end and there is a whole wheat bread yeastiness that comes through nicely. I dont see how this could get too much better with more aging as it is drinking so good right now. Alcohol is camouflaged so well, barely detectable until you feel a little belly warming. Pretty amazing beer, another winner from Founder's.

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Photo of bonk0076
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish amber color, hazy, with a moderate head. Aroma is of hops, with citrus and fruity notes as well as molasses. Taste is very sweet - molasses and caramel, with a slight hint of pine. Fills the mouth with a full flavor. But offers a quick finish.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a translucent dark brown with a white head which quickly dissipates. Some lacing as well.

S - Wow the smell really packs a punch. Smells very sweet. I can really smell the molasses.

T - Based on the sweet smell, I wasn't expecting a balanced beer. I could not have been more wrong. Earthy, hoppiness balances out the sweet, malty flavor very nicely. Closes out with an expected alcoholic finish.

M - Full bodied, somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Low carbonation level.

D - While this might not exactly qualify as a session beer, I found this to be very drinkable. I think the high level of bitterness really helps offset the sweet, slightly syrupy aspects.

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Photo of apbarwood
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coppery color with a thin wisp of head. Very little retention with pretty much no lace. The aroma is sweet with toffee, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch all swirling around though overall it was leaning towards the weak side. Those aromas show through in the flavor that is heavily toffee-like with a sturdy butterscotch note in the background. The mouthfeel was pleasant. The sweetness was restrained and I didn't find it overly sticky and a fair amount of carbonation helped to lift the heavy body off the palate. It was good overall but I found myself wanting more. It lacked a certain wow factor to bring it over the top but I was happy to drink it.

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

A- Poured into a snifter... amber colored, very cloudy with some decent sized pieces of sediment. Very little head and no lacing

S- Smells of sweet fruits, malts, and alcohol

T- Starts out very sweet... malts, fruits... plum, cinnamon... finishes a bit dry with some definate alcohol presences

M- Pretty watery... light to medium bodied with very little carbonation. Bit of alcohol aftertaste

D- Tastes great... not the best beer to be drinking hard, but a nice sipping beverage and worth buying more IMO


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Photo of farrago
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One finger of orange-tan hued head, mostly dense foam but all kinds of bubble sizes found, foamy lacing as well, clings then slowly slides downwards. Brick red, rust color to more dark amber orange further out, warm and murky glow throughout. Sweey, jiggling jelly roll of a nose, brown sugar and molasses, sure, also coconut shavings, orange marmalade, crème brûlée and French vanilla ice cream, satisfyingly sweet but not insipidly ingratiating, firms up as it sits in your nostrils. Medium-bodied and actually a lot lighter in its feet than one might expect given the sweetness factor. Molasses, caramel, cocoa, cinnamon and coconut cream waste no time in asserting themselves, soft and inviting, at the same time the carbonation subtly lifts things up and prods them forward. Rich peach, apricot, nectarine fruit flavors too while tangerine and pink grapefruit citrus abounds. Full finish that fills the belly and makes you want to refill the empty glass.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.27/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $3.49 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I pour into a snifter to review.

A thick brownish orange elixir pours from the bottle. No head or carbonation.

Bourbon-like boozy nose with candied raisin, oak and caramel malt. Has an organic earthiness to it and even some slight butterscotch hints.

Taste is more reminiscent of a boozy barleywine than an old ale. A bit hot from the alcohol which is poorly hidden. Fermented dark fruits, bourbon, oak some caramel malt.

Almost no carbonation detected in the mouth. Medium-full body with an almost chewy texture and long finish.

Even taken as a boozy sipper, it really is not all that great. If I wanted to sip on booze, I'd go for some fine bourbon on the rocks, not a boozy old ale.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a small tan head on top of a dirty brown body. A great whiskey and caramel malt aroma with some woodiness and roasted malt along with hints of berry fruits. A medium body that passes smooth with a just a little roughness - osome type of oakiness makes it go down easy with small amounts of bready and roasted malts behind a large chunk of sweet malt. Little bit of fruity hops balances this stick, slow sipper and the ABV complements it with a dry backbite. Just a quality sipper that is very enjoyable.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- No head to speak of, instead you get a thin film that floats atop a clouded deep red beer with lots of floaties in suspension.

S- I can already tell this is going to be a malt bomb. The nose is full of sweet malts. Dark fruits, raisins, cherries, currants and alcohol.

T- Same story as the smell. Malty and sweet. Cherries, butterscotch and raisins are noted. There is a slight bite of hops and alcohol on the back.

M- Almost no carbonation. Its really thick, syrupy and smooth.

D- This is a sipper for me. The alcohol is there. This beer is just too chewy to make it possible to have more than one.

This is a pretty good beer. Nice and full bodied and warming.

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

12 oz bottle from a four pack.

Appearance: A hard pour allows formation of a short lived foamy head on top of this clear copper colored beer. Not a lot of lacing, but no surprise there.

Smell: Very rich, very sweet, very malty. The sweet smell is almost raisiny. Faint whiff of hops.

Taste: Sweet, syrupy mouthful of malt. Super sweet and caramelly. From the middle to the back, the huge malty sweetness has some attempt at balance from hoppy bitterness. Finish is a nice sweet, malty to bitter balance.

Mouthfeel: Big, chewy, syrupy. Not a ton of carbonation, but not flat feeling.

Drinkability: Really enjoyed this four pack. A delicious sipper. Sweet, malty, and delicious.

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Photo of kegger22
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy, reddish brown with small head that quickly reduced to a collar. The aroma came through as boozy and the smell of old wood. The taste was malty sweet caramel with a taste of vanilla and alcohol. A slightly bitter aftertaste when away as Curmudgeon warmed. The feel was full bodied with low carbonation. Drinkability was reasonably good. As old ales go, not as good as Adam, but a very respectable entry from Founders.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've tried this beer a few times from both the bottle and draft, this review is on the draft version.

A: Pours a clear dark reddish amber. Almost no head to speak of, some slight white soapy bubbles, but nothing much.

S: the smell is very malt forward, with some sweetness, some vanilla, and a liquor like quality that I can't put my finger on (like bourbon or something like that). If I didn't know any better, I would think this beer was barrel aged.

T: The sweetness is up front with vanilla as the predominant flavor. There is definitely some booziness on the tongue, but the draft version seems more mellow than what I remember of the bottled version. There is a nice balance in this brew along with a richness. It definitely is warming and makes for a nice winter sipper. No perceptible hops.

MF: Has a nice thick body to go along with its high carbonation. A little sharp on the tongue. I think if the carbonation was toned down a touch, this would be a better beer.

D: As I said before, this is a sipper. It loses points in drinkability since it is only enjoyable in small doses. My serving was approx 10 oz, which was perfect. But anymore would have been overwhelming.

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Photo of PartyBear
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours with a deep brownish red colour, a fast fading small off-white head, very little carbonation.

Aroma: The nose is very sweet, with toffee-apple, butterscotch, creamy caramel, and the slightest hint of alcohol. Really great aroma.

Taste: This tastes just like it smells, there is a sweet toffee apple right at the start, with smooth caramel, and creamy butterscotch. The finish has a mildly smokey character that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, chewy, and sticky.

Drinkability: The flavours are so incredibly well rounded and moreish that it is dangerously drinkable. There isn't a hint of alcohol in the taste, which for a beer that almost reaches 10% is a fantastic achievement. I love it.

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

A - Pours dark honey, small lace, small head...not much head.

S - Caramel sweet. Hoppy outskirt.

T - Yum. Big caramel center, somewhat harsh alcohol burn, bitter hops do their job.

M - Medium bodied, good card, pretty perfect balance.

D - I really like this one. Can't believe I have not reviewed before.

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Photo of Florida9
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap @ Durty Nellies

A: Served in a snifter with about a finger of off-white head that leaves a nice bit of lacing. Deep brown in color, but still very translucent.

S: Beautifully aromatic. Scent of oak and vanilla. Quite boozy with a little sweetness. Reminiscent of bourbon barrel aged beers.

T: Interesting. Starts off sweet and alcoholic with a little tannin and a little vanilla on the tongue as well as the flavor of lightly brewed tea. However, the flavor drops off quickly and the finish is incredibly short for this style of beer.

M: Surprisingly thin. Medium carbonation.

D: Very good, but probably shouldn't be. I was expecting a much more complex, heavy-hitting style of beer with this one and what I got was a very good, but shallow and thin old ale.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark Brazilian cherry with a non-developing head and a good haziness of micro particles that drifted lazily about within the drink. Effervesce was limited to one or two bubbles visible at any given moment that rose at a fairly rapid rate to the surface. The coloring was perhaps the most intriguing here.

S: The aroma was quite odd and hard to identify at first. A fuzzy navel was the first to come to mind (a mixture of orange juice and vodka). Along came a fresh fruitiness of apricots, honey, and a sweet sugary grainy nature that was followed by a dry burbon backing that was light to medium in strength. Overall a quite odd, but intriguing aroma keeps you guessing and sniffing for more.

T: The flavor starts out with sweet sugary caramel and dry burbon. There is a fruity booziness at the very beginning of oranges and apricots that is sweet and brief before giving way to a dry caramel and dry burbon alcohol booziness that lingers on well after the swallow (4-5 seconds) creating a good warmth of sweet, boozy dry nature.

M: medium full, very slick and smooth texture wise with an incredibly light, almost absent carbonation presence makes this slide around the tongue with ease.

D: good, a bit boozy and dry drinking much bigger then its advertised 9.8% abv. Your not gonna be drinking to many of these at one time, best sampled by itself in a chalice or goblet at a moderately warm temp (55-60F) on a chilly winter night.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,594 ratings.
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