Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
4,712 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
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
Ratings:
4,712
Reviews:
1,308
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
215
Gots:
1,166
For Trade:
53
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,712 |  Reviews: 1,308
Photo of stompilator
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip.

A - Poured a deep, opaque red, thin, crispy head.

S - Oak, booze, a little bit of esters, and a wee bit of hops.

T - The oak flavor is definitely dominant, especially up front. Some plummy, berry-esque esters follow along with the thick sweetness from the molasses. Buttery, bready notes come from the malt near the end, with some earthy hops and residual boozinessrounding out the finish.

M - Medium-bodied, easy carbonation.

O - Tons of layers to this particular brew, very sweet in so many ways.

 544 characters

Photo of Lodisgrisen
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Steve_Studnuts
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear dark amber in color with a decent amount of ivory head that dissipates to a thin layer of small lacy bubbles. The aroma is caramel, molasses, and oak. A bit of vanilla joins into the mix in the flavor. A winner from Founders to be sure.

 250 characters

Photo of Bay01
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from 12oz bottle

A - Pours a cloudy orange/ amber with tinges of ruby in the light, two finger head with some sticky lacing

S - Smell is fruit, butter, molasses, and toffee. Fruitier smell than I was expecting

T - Fruity and buttery, the alcohol isn't noticeable at first but then is evident at the finish, some tobacco aftertaste.

M - Relatively high level of carbonation for an old ale, not syrupy but slight chewiness. Body is full and smooth.

D - Surprisingly high due to the pleasant and balances fruitiness, the alcohol doesn't feature prominently so I could have a few of these.

This is unexpected in a good way for the style, could be dangerous due to the ABV

 695 characters

Photo of Beernoobie
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jim102864
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a trade with Hoppymeal. Cloudy, burnt orange appearance in my Chimay goblet. I poured a little fast which mixed in some yeast, not that I mind it. It's 9.8 abv in a small 12 0z bottle.

Not much of anything in the nose but what a buttery, semi-sweet flavor with a slight alcohol burn in the finish. It takes a while but a butterscotch nose appears as it warms. I like this. Slight butterscotch and vanilla and while the hops are muted, they add a tangy bitterness still. Creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

This could be a session beer if you've got nowhere to go and yer UConn Huskies or Red Sox are one the plasma. A real smooth finish yet well balanced and flavorful. A worthy brew that I hope to score again

 715 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - dark copper murky beer, no head and therefore no lacing
S - musty, leather, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butterscotch
T - musty, leather, dark fruits, tobacco, caramel, vanilla, bitter earthy hops
M - heavy, alcohol completely covered, aftertaste is musty, old, wholesome malts
O - great beer, bottled 1/14/15 drank 12/12/15, age is good for this one

 360 characters

Photo of natemort13
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy mahogany copper color. Head is tan and what head there is recedes quickly.

Nose is carmel, oak, booze, slight floral notes, molasses, smells like whiskey.

Taste follows the nose but presents bigger notes of cherry and more oak. Super malty beer, super boozy. Notes of fig and raisin as well. Long oaky finish.

Mouthfeel is full and slightly syrupy. Carbonation is detectable but not super present.

Overall this is a delicious big old ale!

 455 characters

Photo of jbone78
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got these through trade with marvin312.I have had this one since March 9. This is the date I wrote on the bottle. I am drinking it because I noticed a small amount of oxidation and I recommend waxing Founders bottles.

A- It looked clear in the bottle. It poured muddy orange/red into my snifter. Small amount of head, laces ok.
S- Very oaky smell. I really like the smell of oak in a beer.
T- Oak, spice, sweet malt favors. I like the taste of this beer, but not sure it fits the Ole ale genre. Maybe it does? Either way, I like it.
M- Not super malty, smooth, unlike Ole ales.
D- Very easy drinking beer. I am only going to call this one ale from now on. I deserves it!
Nice ALE!

-Bye

 693 characters

Photo of cmcquirk
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Salinesnake
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky copper color with a very weak head. Has a malty aroma, with light hints of fruit. Feels heavy like molasses, and has a lightly sweet molasses and malty flavor. There is a hint of bitterness at the end to offset the subtle sweetness. Very enjoyable, complex ale.

 275 characters

Photo of TheFlern
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks MaxSpang

Appearance: A beautiful amber. White head dissipates to a thin layer with poor lacing. Not really what I expect from the style.

Smell: Its sweet, a little fruity perhaps pear? Sort of like a Belgian yeast? Not sure. The oak comes through a lot. The molasses is in very good balance with the oak. Just how it should be for this beer imo. For the style this is pretty good.

Taste: Follows the nose. More sweet than oak which is disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Light, sweet, low carbonation, low bitterness, goes down quick. Not what I would expect from the style so I'm going to score it lower. However, I find it very drinkable for the ABV, wow.

Overall: Not something I'd go out of my way for. However, if you haven't tried it before then don't pass it up!

 774 characters

Photo of Jho3325
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Release 12 oz bottle poured aggressively into a pint seidel.

A: This ale appears light amber to red. A full two fingers of dense foam created a moderate lasting head. There was strong lacing throughout the mug. The overall look, however, did not quite do this full bodied ale it's proper justice.

S: The rich caramel malt was apparent as was the oaky nature of this ale. Notes of coffee and roasted malt hit the nostrils with a hint of the sweet molasses and almost a fruity twinge.

T: This ale is quite complex. The oaky, smokiness gives way to richly roasted malty goodness. As it warms, the sweet molasses and toffee flavor come out and a touch of citrus was a delightful twist. This is a very smooth, drinkable ale but was a touch hot on the tongue and a bit boozy. I did not find it bitter at all.

M: This ale was appropriately carbonated on the tongue and had a nice body that coated the mouth and throat.

O: This was a very pleasant ale that was quite complex. I appreciated the balance between the rich malty tones, sweet molasses, and oaky notes. The brew was a bit boozy, but overall, it was very drinkable. A good ale for the malt lover and Perfect for a cool evening.

Would recommend.

 1,208 characters

Photo of Vogie
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates leaving some lacing around the edges of the glass. Smell is sweet and complex. I am getting notes of brown sugar, toffee, dark fruits, a slight hint of molasses, and oak rich malts. Taste is very smooth with an explosion of malt, figs, dark fruit, and a warm alcohol finish. Hops are non-existent but there is some lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is very balanced and heavy.

Overall this is another outstanding beer from Founders. Very complex and rich with new flavors coming through in each sip. I couldn't see myself having more than one and that's ok. At 9.8% this baby has all you need. Full of flavor and satisfaction. I see this beer better suited for a seasoned craft beer drinker. The complexity of this brew might be a bit much for a newbie.

Cheers!

 834 characters

Photo of Fabianno
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of winningwes91
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a foamy head that fades away rather quickly but leaves a few dots and dashes

Smell: Toffee, stone fruit and vanilla

Taste: Opens with a big toffee flavor that adds a stone fruit and oak character, at first, and then a citrusy aspect by mid-palate, all laden with undertones of alcohol; after the swallow, the toffee sweetness and vanilla returns to mellow out the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: A very fine example of an old ale; not quite chewy enough to be a barleywine, but filled with complexity

 595 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When poured into a glass the color was amber with an orange hue, with very little tan foam. The smell had a sweet roasted malty aroma, with a hint of oak and coriander? The taste had a sweet/tart finish of sweet malts, with a candy finish. Overall, sweet, tart and a very good and lingering aftertaste.

 302 characters

Photo of paxchristi
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy, medium to darkish orange to red colors. 1/2" white bubbly head that settles in a minute or so. High alcohol and barrel-aged so you can expect this with the head. Totally classic.

Nose: Malt bomb! No hop characters whatsoever in the nose. Molasses, oak, brown sugar, maybe some figs and semidark fruits, and perhaps the slightest hint of vanilla on the end. The oak gets bigger on the end as it warms. Warming alcohol deep in the sinuses. Very very good.

Mouth: Nose justifies the mouth, but is perhaps a bit bigger in the mouth than the nose. HUGE MALTS! Quite possibly the maltiest beer i've had to date. Caramel, toffee, and maybe the slightest hint of hop bitterness and then its gone. Thick in the mouth but no where near sticky. Very pungent and very strong, and yet very well blended. in many ways, it reminds me alot of the Dirty Bastard but with sweeter malts, and an overall bigger malt bill in general. And it is certainly much more powerful. Very Very good, and very VErY complex. Unbelievably complex in fact!

Overall: Not a beginners brew. This is definitely a cult beer, but Old Ales generally are a cult style. This is one worth seeking out, but you must prepare yourself for it. A little age does this one better justice. 100%, absolutely mastercraft, but this beer is HUGE!

 1,312 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A hazy peach glass holds a thin blond head and collar that gives a little lace and shows a little leg. Funny, it looks thick and viscous, moves slowly in the glass when I swirl.

Smell: Slaps the nose with a heavy alcoholic hand. Deep malt and a bit of peat. An earthy hop leaf quality; English, maybe a touch of leather.

Taste: A flash of a cola taste before the malt bomb goes off. Middle is sweet but finishes with a bitter edge of the earthy hops. Heavy flavors melt together to keep the malt from going cloy. Alcohol shows up in the finish, I can feel it evaporating into my sinuses.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with some chew and a lingering coat. Carbonation is low but gives a lively feel.

Overall: Great Old Ale, pretty much bang on in style (oh look, it's a BJCP example). Warming, full flavor makes for a great sipper, even on a summer's eve.
Cheers to Illudium for the sample!

 898 characters

Photo of WestMichiganWhaler
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Overpowering molasses that lingers. Although complex, the smokey, spicy, oakey, boozy components are all dwarfed by the molasses. A very good beer but not my favorite from Founders.

 181 characters

Photo of unclederby
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottling date, still i'm certain this is from the 2006 release. Poured a nice mahogany into the tulip, with a thin layer of tan, creamy foam clinging to the edges of the glass. Bits of floaties were in abundance as were splatches of carbonated activity.

I give it a swirl and take a whiff and am greeted with a noseful of sweetness. Bourbon and rum-like simultaneously, with notes of vanilla, bananas, cherries, and over-ripe plums, molasses and alcohol.

Taste is somewhat fruit-cake like: sweet and estery with just a hint of spiciness... and alcohol. Cake-i-ness.

Full-bodied and robust is the best way to describe this ale as it crosses your palate, with a good bit of chewiness.

Tasty, this beer is best suited as a sipper and a nightcap i think; as it is a slightly agressive beer flavor-wise (rich), and i'm sure the ABV would catch up to one rather quickly.

 879 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours apricot-orange in color. Head is thick and soapy with slight lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, nuts, and tropical fruit. Woody, with earthy hops.

Taste is malty and earthy as the nose suggested. Sweet caramel malt is prominent initially but is quickly eclipsed by the nutty earthy character. Light fruit, notably apple, apricot and melon. Finish holds lingering musty earthy hop bitterness and sweet brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Slightly chewy.

A well made, complex ale. This is a winner with a great depth of fruit and earthy notes. Flavor is pleasant and unified, missing some of the alcohol harshness that is often present in an Olde Ale. In my opinion, this detracted from the score. Still, this is a tasty treat.

 737 characters

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,712 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe