Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BA SCORE
4.02/5
4,759 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#3,112
Reviews:
1,323
Ratings:
4,759
pDev:
10.45%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
219
Gots:
1,181
Trade:
52
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,759 |  Reviews: 1,323
Photo of Vogie
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of Fabianno
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of winningwes91
4.3/5  rDev +7%

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of paxchristi
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of WestMichiganWhaler
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of unclederby
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of gpcollen1
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a modest brown with some golden highlights into my Lees Harvest Ale shortie. A modest head arrives with the pour and quickly disperes to barely a ring around the glass. Aromas of oak and bourbon top the glass with additional hints of vanilla beans steeping in cream and bourbon splashing back in.

Taste is sweet and smooth, riding oak across the tongue and dragging bourbon and vanilla behind. The vanilla is very subtle and tied up in sweet dried plums. Finishes with a splash of alcohol hitting the back of the throat.

This is a fantastic way to officially end the work day and move on into getting dinner ready for the family. I had no expectations in diggin in to this brew but am pretty impressed in its relative simplicity and drinkability. Thanks Vance!!

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single purchased for me by a friend at Jungle Jim's in Ohio. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy light brown color with some orange highlights and a fair amount of floaties. It has a light covering of bubbles that disappear almost as fast as they arrive. The ring of bubbles leaves a tiny amount of lacing until they finally disappear.

S: The main aroma is of bourbon. Is this one barrel aged? Luckily I love bourbon, because I am not picking up much of anything else in this one.

T: A nice caramel malt sweetness when it initially hits the tongue. Just a slight about of hop bitterness to balance the malt. Hints of bourbon in the flavor add a bit of complexity. This is a good example of an Old Ale that definitely has some individuality over its barleywine cousins.

M: Nice medium body with a creamy carbonation that makes it smooth.

D: Compared to the few Old Ales I have had, this one goes down extremely easy. No alcohol burn at all.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 keg Pour is a nice orange color with a small white head. The smell is loaded with a nice crisp feeling, but balanced with a lot of sweetness.

The taste really isnt too sweet, but it follows suit. Solid sweet backbone really tried to come forth, but cant really take over. Theres a dryness that takes over, and not in a bad way. The dryness really balances the sweetness and malt backbone.

EDIT

So I had a year old keg at a tap takeover, but Ive got fresh bottles, and I couldnt resist. Pour is like a good barleywine-bright orange with no head. ok now this is the biggest compliment ever. It reminds of Regulator Doppelbock at Bull City Burger and Brewery. Grassy Earthy malt dominates like crazy. Feels crisp, but in an insanely good way. Maybe its the style, but its unique for sure. Very earthy malt, hints of caramel, and a nice bit of scotch barrel. Very smooth caramel and syrupy notes.

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Photo of scuttlebutt21
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Complex flavor a, quite boozy. It's a good sipper.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark hazy brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Heavy sweet malty and small alcohol aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Heavy sweet flavor with a heavy bitter small alcohol finish of long duration.

This is a standout beer.

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Photo of Johnct
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of whatthehull
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a hybrid glass from a 12 oz bottle

A - a very nice opaque brown with a hint of sludge without the body, half finger off white (almost tan head) and some legs and lacing

S - huge funk/must/sour note, sweet bready yeast, lots of ripe dark fruits, maybe some over ripe banana, vanilla, oak, bourbon, green leafy earth, dried spices, tons of sweet and roasted malts, some floral hops and very sugary.

T - lots of wood up front, nice whiskey like booze, deep roasted malts, lots of sugar, pine, very bitter, sweet (maybe Belgian) like yeast, creamy, some banana, spice and more wood/sugar

M - medium plus body, great balance, nice complexity, medium minus acidity, medium carbonation and a bittersweet ale from beginning to end

D/O - just a well done ale. Mixes old ale with strong ale, some additions of sarsaparilla and cream ale. With all of that said, this ale is still crisp, refreshing and pairs well with salads to corn dogs, grilled chicken bread to pizza and awesome with BBQ that is sauced. The sediment is awesome at the end as well, so the last drink is huge to say the least. The only issue I have is the hops are very little on the nose and taste.

Final thoughts - this guy is sold in a 4-pack for $8 at my favorite place in the area. The near 10% ABV isn't to huge and having more than one is almost necessary. Great fresh and aged -- a must have on tap.

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Photo of Skidz
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out copper-brown and sits a murky ruby-brown in the glass with a deep beige head, fading to a faint skim with few lacings.

Smells sweet and malty, big, ripe rounded raisins and prunes seasoned with black pepper and charry oak. Distinct whiskey on the nose, with spicy hops tending to the nose hairs.

A full-on malt assault from sip one. Nerf-like bombardments of caramel and deep, dark brown sugar...but lacks sweetness, or is at least extremely packed in with ultra-assertive hops with miles of pepper and grassy spiciness. The two sides are so balanced, in fact, that it is a struggle to pick out any particular flavor without stumbling into another one, which is then covered by another, and so on until you die. Finishes with as much staggering of attributes as Dr. Jekyl at an all you can drink BYOB mixer.

Mouthfeel is beyond description....rediculously soft, creamy, yet firm in composition. Like a down pillow made from the feathers of only the youngest of fowl. I have no idea how to describe this. Ultra-fine carbonation and a full body...I think.

Good good good. I can't see myself reaching back into the cooler to get another fix like the good old Kentucky Breakfast Stout made me do several times, but this here is good stuff Maynard.

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Photo of Eric1Mess
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an aged 2007 Curmudgeon I picked up at Flat Rock Saloon. Waited for a cold night to enjoy this one!
A: Dark amber color and hazy with mellow tan head that persists for awhile. Some sediment with this aged beer. Persistent tiny bubbles.
S: Aroma of dried black cherries soaked in bourbon, and sweet roasted malt with a touch of burnt honey. Some deeper dried fruit aromas combine with a hint of vanilla to smell delicious.
T: Burnt caramel and toffee malt sweetness with deep rich black cherry and dried currant esters. Some astringent chocolate malt bitterness is there midway. The follow up is a smooth vanilla bourbon barrel flavor which may or may not be intended. The vanilla is more apparent the further down this one goes. Alcohol becomes noticeable with this one. Not noticeable but for a hint of bitterness are the hops.
M: Medium bodied and smooth with small, sharp carbonation and a decent alcohol warmth on the palate.
D: Bang for your buck with this delicious beer! It has a smooth yet complex profile with plenty of alcohol to warm you on a cold winters night. Was glad to try this one more than a year aged.

 1,129 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky brown-amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, with hint of floral hops. The taste of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and a hop presence that is quite higher than the aroma indicates. There is also a nice hot alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is a touch lighter than full bodied, with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a wonderful old ale. I would really like to try this with some age on it.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours the color of dark buckwheat honey with a small head. The aroma is very like bourbon - very sweet, with vanilla, brown sugar and then notes of oatmeal, gigner, clove, and black tea. The flavor leads with cacao nibs, vanilla, molasses, raisin, nutmeg, cinnamon, nougat, cherry, and slight bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is heavy, sticky, and rich with little carbonation. Overall this is a wonderfully complex, and rich, but with a great bitter undercurrent.

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Photo of EPseja
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature from a 12oz bottle in a snifter.

A - Translucent and glowing amber color with raspberry-orange highlights. Viscous pour with little bravado and a modest, light tan head that quickly subsides. Lacing is sporadic at best, but the legs are long.

S - Thick, caramel and sugar sweetness with juicy, grilled pineapple and vanilla overtones. Mature, warm floral hoppiness. Like a barleywine's older, wiser cousin.

T - Very round, warm and welcoming sweetness with a glow of oaky vanillin and golden raisin. Turns a bit toasty in the middle, both in taste and alcohol, with a light tartness. And my favorite part -- the finish leaves a taste of old varnished wood and worn book leather along with a dusty coating on the tongue.

M - Thick and slick coming in. Slowly grows to a froth with great fortitude and only a slight tingle on the tongue. Swallow is throat-coating and long.

D - Delicious. This beer covers all the different facets of the Old Ale style -- malt presence, warming alcohol, and the nuances of "old" including leather and wood. At almost 10%, this beer is not to be trifled with, even though it can easily lull you into a sense of pleasant comfortability like a seasoned sailor keeping you rapt with an old tale of the sea.

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Photo of MizzouBrew
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice reddish orange color with a thick puffy tan head. Incredible sticky lacing. Thick mouthfeel and boozy, no hiding the alcohol in this one.

Using the Begnel formula, the Alcohol Score is 12 oz. x 9.8% = 117.6, or 2.3 Bud Lights.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 4,759 ratings
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