Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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1,257 Reviews
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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:
1,257
Ratings:
4,567
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
20.05%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,120
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,257 | Ratings: 4,567
Photo of chugalug06
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Phew. Two-finger, tan, foamy rippled head rises from the depth of a burnt red brew; lots of brown and yellows. Clarity is very weak and lots of sediment is present, even with a conservative pour.

No sure what to think of the nose. It's pungent. It's fierce. It's awe-taking-ly malty and kicked with hops. Sugary, tangerine, and biting.

Tons of roasty (near burnt) sugary (not suager bomb) flavors... A bit like a B-wine.. Light carbonation, wet, refreshing, and no heat.

I'm not sure this brew is a proper representation of an Old Ale, but it's still quite good. Thank you Matt for the wonderful extras!

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Photo of DannyDan
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours out an amber hue with a thick white head that quickly disappears leaving minimal retention and hardly any lacing.
S. I get molasses, some fruits and sweet malts in the nose.
T. The taste starts with some raisins followed by molasses, oak, and finished with sweet malts and has a slight alcohol taste throughout.
M. The mouthfeel is sticky, but easy to drink. It also leaves the mouth somewhat dry.
O. Overall it is a nice enjoyable beer to enjoy while relaxing or before going to bed.

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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 Phinner
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very unique flavor is imparted by the oak barrel aging. Not quite sure about it at first, but it rewards the drinker with subtle flavors when given the chance to present itself on a clean palate. I could see how this may turn-off some, but I would not hesitate to consume it as a night cap.

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Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque medium brown with copper and caramel tones and a modest khaki head that leaves sheets of lacing and a thin layer of foam.

Sweet, doughy, yeasty malt, caramel, and floral hops form the initial aroma. Plums, hints of raisins, dates, and figs add complexity.

Rich, sweet caramel malt provides a nice brown sugar opening, with bready toasted, and nutty notes surfacing mid palate. There's an earthy bitterness throughout, preventing the malt from becoming cloying. Prunes, dates, and figs underlie the malt subtly.

Body is syrupy and thick, with low carbonation and noticeable, but not overwhelming, alcohol warmth. There's a slight harshness in the finish.

Not as complex as the best of the style, and a touch on the sweet side. I don't know if there's enough there to improve with age. Guess I'll have to find out. Rich malt backbone.

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Photo of inxy
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Little to no head, poured into a pint glass. Looks thick in the pour. Reddish brown color similar to a vienna lager. No real lacing, just typical hiccups of small foamy bubbles meagerly clinging to the wall. It's hazy, the carbonation looks similar to the haze of tap water. No real movement.

S - I'm not picking up much more than a faint sweetness, ginger, and definite alcohol.

T - I'm liking it. Reminds me of a bourbon mixed drink someone made me once. Oatmeal, bourbon, vanilla, tiny bit of ginger spice. Faint smoke in the finish.

M - Thick, almost syrupy heaviness. Carbonation is persistent throughout, but it isn't harsh. Feels cloudy. Alcohol lightly warms my mouth and chest.

D/Overall - I actually am enjoying it. It's above average, thats for sure. Founders seems to be consistently delivering for me. Higher alcohol, my second beer for the night, and I'm already feeling it halfway through my glass, so probably my last. Nice warm beer for the weird winter we're having in Michigan.

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Photo of MichPaul
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

As I'm working through all the beer that Founders has to offer in my first year of craft enjoyment, this is one I really wanted to try. I have never had anything out of the "Old Ale" style, so it was new to me.
This beer pours a dark amber color, with not much of a head at all to speak of. Even the aroma was slight.
High malt to this beer, and goes down smooth despite the high ABV.
Overall, I liked this beer, but to be honest, it didn't meet the satisfaction level of the excitement I had to try it.
Myself, I probably won't spend the money on this again, it was quite pricey.

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Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Many thanks to Dan!

Pours a decent bubbly head, with an amber, rubinred color.

Aromas of caramel malts with a lot of toffee and a small raisin infusion, while cane sugar and molasse build the foundation with hints of vanilla and rum on top.

Begins sweet, with bready hints, which get swallowed by even sweeter sugar and molasse. These stay in balance with wooden, leathery, heavy malts, wrapped up by a slick bitterness. Has an oily, spicy maltiness to it, with vanilla and cream underneath, which defines the character of this brew. It is still pretty sweet on the palate, but without loosing its balance, as it finishes with a gentle, hoppy bitterness of matured hops and oaky hints. The alcohol gets perfectly hidden by the sweet malts, creating a smooth mouthfeel with a slick finish, while being medium-bodied.

 820 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 4/26/2012, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a nice amber brown, produces no head at all, zero, just a few bubbles.

S- Sweet aroma of caramel, fruit, and nuts, as it warms it becomes quite boozy.

T- Similar to the nose, very sweet and malty, lots of caramel, some honey, fruit and malty nuttiness, some bitter hops towards the finish. Has a strong alcohol flavor and accompanying burn towards the end.

M- Medium to full bodied, low carbonation, has a slick feel with alcohol burn.

O- A pretty decent beer, might need some more age on it, not my favorite from Founders by a long shot.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reading through some of the reviews, I think this is a tough beer to analyze.
It has too many flavors and too much alcohol.
And the flavors tend not to mask the alcohol... even as the beer ages.
The 4 pack I bought three years ago now has 1 left.
I will wait 2 years, maybe 3, to have it.
I will finish this review then.

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Photo of craftcraver
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a clear amber color with a finger thick cream head that falls over about a minute.

S: A reserved nose with hints of coffee, toffee and malt.

T: What wasn't there in the nose jumps out on the palate. M+ carbonation, big toffee, vanilla and cream notes. Slight coffee and hoppy bitterness. Starts off creamy and has a long complex bitter finish.

O: Another great heavy beer by founders. The complexity is well balanced but the richness of this beer demands some sippin.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY. Served in a 12oz. tulip glass.

A: Cool amber color, light for an old ale. Thin layer of a bubbly head, sticky.

S: Boozy, caramel malts, and grains.

T: Nice smooth mellow toffee notes, bitter, slightly boozy. This beer really opens up as it warms up.

M: Good carbonation, tingly and zippy on the way down (this is probably due to it being from the tap).

D: Easy to take this serving down rather quickly.

Overall, a really nice and readily available (now that Founders is in NY!) beverage.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells sweet, malty, and rustic/earthy (the good parts of Earth). Taste sweet, malty, and a little musty. Dont get a bunch of the oak. It also comes across a little hot on the alcohol side. I know it is a strong beer, but it doesnt hide that fact well. I really think it could improve over time. If not, maybe dial it back a bit on the ABV. The alcohol is suppressing some of the flavors. It is still a very good beer that will kick you in the ass and warm you up on a cold rainy day.

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Photo of jhartley
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. into a flute glass. Bottled on 04/13/2012.

A- Poured aggressively, no head what-so-ever. No surprise with a 9.8% abv. Cloudy floating sediment through out a reddish brown body. Small tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom. Filmy sediment left in the bottom of the bottle.

S- Malts, dark fruits. Molasses-sweet aromas coming out. Not really getting too much else.

T- Brown sugar molasses, caramel sweetness up front with a tangy bite. Booze comes out as it warms. Really like the taste of this, there's just a lot going on.

M- Smooth at first with a carbonation that is really light, some major complexity with this beer. Slight fruitiness on the tip of the tongue.

O- A real sipper here, to enjoy it ya got to take it slow, or that high ABV will put ya down quick! This is not a "first beer or the night" beer, definitely last one of the night to enjoy it. Really picking up on the molasses in it too. I put couple of these in the cellar to see what happens, they are already 9 months old so not sure how much longer to keep them or that I can wait.

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Photo of gfreed
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is basically a somewhat dulled version of Founders' Backwoods Bastard, which itself is one of the finest bourbon Scotch ales made in the US. OC has most of the same features of BB-- heavy on the apricots and butterscotch, with just enough oak to make everything fat, round and happy-- only less by about 25%. But then, this is a good deal sweeter as well. If you like Founders' Dirty Bastard or Backwoods Bastard, you'll like Old Curmudgeon. For me, it's a tad sweet but still nice to be drinking as I sit in a small house on the beach in Truro, MA, watching hurricane Irene blow north. Things could be worse.

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Photo of kajerm
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub, and easily the best beer on at the time. Pours deep red and surprisingly clear with a thin white head and not much lacing. Great color.

The aroma is classic Bigge Englishe Beer-- loaded with sticky toffee and caramel malts and dark fruit, with some clear oak and vanilla notes from the barrel-aging. Alcohol is evident but not excessive.

Tastes more or less exactly like it smells, but with the interesting addition of some stouty coffee notes on the finish. The barrel-aging on this beer is much subtler than a lot of the others I've tasted. As much as I like a vanilla-and-molasses oak bomb, it's nice to find a beer where the barrel is a part of the beer instead of running the show.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. In terms of drinkability, it's a sipper, but a fairly easy-drinking one.

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Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. The four-pack carrier claims it's 9.8% abv (vs. the 9.3% recorded here on the site).
Poured an almost dark orange color, I liked the way it looked. There was a lot going on in the smell. This being my first real old ale, I didn't know what to expect, but I got sweet smells from all over the spectrum. Caramel, fruit, etc. Interesting, but a little cloying. Fortunately, the taste wasn't so sick, yeah it was intense and really sweet, but the alcohol cut through the sweetness just enough to make it pretty darn good. All in all, I wasn't in a hurry to have another one and I move on for the remainder of the evening, but I did enjoy this beer and would have another some other time. Founders is studly, they just crank out hit after hit.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottling date seems to have disappeared...but if I can remember correctly, this is about 8 months old.

A - a deep ruby body with hints of orange. A nice thing. A small white head and thick ring top it off.

S - pretty heavy on sweet caramel malts. some dark fruits and roast. Very sweet and malty.

T - a lot more roasted character than in the nose. biscuity, dry, earthy, fruity. Not so bad.

M - big and full and thick. Really good feel.

O - this is a pretty good beer, i think. It might do better with a bit more age, but it tastes pretty good and has a lot going on.

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Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a bottled on date of Jan. 2013.
Pours hazy, orange-brown with a small, weak head.

Aroma: sweet and boozy with a clear trace of oak. hints of citrus and toffee.

Flavor: Mildly sweet; hints of over-ripe soft fruits and toffee; pretty good until the finish and aftertaste, then notably better.

Feel: medium-full body; slightly harsh (ABV); warming.

O: interesting strong ale.

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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 n2185
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in March of 2010

A: Pours a murky caramel brown with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of caramel malts up front with some hints of vanilla. There are some light citrus and alcohol notes in there as well. I also pick up a bit of powdery cocoa aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of caramel flavors with some vanilla notes. Some slight biscuity bitterness as well. Sticky sweet with a light alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is sticky and chewy, but avoids being cloyingly sweet.

O: Overall, a decent old ale. Even with a year on it, there are still some hop and alcohol notes present. Unfortunately, I think it may have oxidized slightly. I will have to try it again fresh.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
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 largadeer
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murky. Hazy. Turbid. Tons of shit in suspension. The head lingers for a surprising amount of time, given the style and strength.

Fruity aroma. Dates. Sugar, brown. Earth. Soil. Wood. The trees and forest. Pine needles. Spicy. Caramel. Much aroma.

Taste strong. Rye bread. Earth and soil. Strong. Alcoholic. Caramel. Much flavor. Thick. Fruit. Rum. Raisins. Rum raisins. Bitterness. Tannins. Grain. This is beer. Hello.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy, muddy brown with a beautiful dirty tan head that leaves a foamy ring of lacing. Nice retention.

s- Booze in the front. Strong bourbon scent with caramel and smokey wood character.

T- Booze on the front with sweet malts and faint hops. Bourbon in the background. Strong.

M- Heat from the booze bite . Strong, heavy but smooth.

D- Its a sipper. Boozy bite makes it one to drink slow. Sweet and complex but strong and one to sip.

 441 characters

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

Pours a cloudy, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. There is also suspended sediment. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, strong alcohol, slight oak, and slight citrus hops. Fits the style of an Old Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, oak, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, overly strong in the alcohol, not very complex, but definitely warming.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.
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