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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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89
very good
1,267 Reviews
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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:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,267
Ratings:
4,607
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
209
Gots:
1,135
For Trade:
53
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,267 | Ratings: 4,607
Photo of thryn
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper. High clarity. No head, but a halo of loose foam forms.

I'm getting raisin, molasses and vanilla in the nose. Alcohol is not prominent. It is an inviting, appealing scent, but nothing oustanding.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. Very sweet, with a nice kick of bourbony booze as well. Same dark fruit, molasses and vanilla notes as the nose, but somehow more striking on the palate. Caramel as well The alcohol heat and taste provides a nice punch up front, then fades, giving room for the sweet caramel taste to shine. The finish is slightly bitter.

Medium to thick body -- more viscosity than I expected for how translucent this brew is. Slightly dry. Nice feel.

It's a good example of style and quite drinkable if you like the style.

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

a murky orange stirs, bubbles rise. A large pillar of foam rises in the center, gradually tucks away under itself to the sides. It is a stately affair, all the nobles are here. Foreign dignataries, the upper crust, Bono, of course, Bono. Stale and sweet fumes arise from the powdered wigs of the hallowed guests. Their breath is alcohol. This is an old ale for old money. A plate passes around the room, full or succulent grapes, fresh and dried, and dried apricots. Distinctly and with a stiff backbone, it slides down the throat, pricking with funk, the soul of James Brown. These old fogies can still get down. Get up (get on up). Long sweet finish, the harpsichord notes ring out, echoing in the high ceilings.

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

A: Very thin head. Clouded dark copper.

S: Soy sauce. Brown sugar. Malts. Grains, yeast. A little fruit - dried apricots. Some alcohol.

T: Kind of weird. Malty and sweet. Fruit comes out with some tartness and then an alcoholic bite. Some soy sauce again. Yeast, a little sour. Bitter and dry at end. Can't quite decide how I feel about it.

M: Smooth, tingly. Strong and full flavor.

O: Pretty weird, but I think I like it. Takes a little while to get used to.

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Photo of Naters333
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle.

A-Pours a nice deep amber color with a nice bubbly head. Head is slightly off white. Has some nice lacing and good carbonation. Maintains a nice thin head on the side of the snifter as I drink

S-Not a very pungeant smell. Pick up some fruits, but my nose is so clogged right now, unless its just bursting with a strong smell, I'm useless. Will come back to this.

T-Alcohol, sweet, toffee, malts, burnt,complex,

M-Very nice. A sipper for me.

O-This is just a nice beer on a cold day. It is what it is. Not my style, but would like this to just sip on in front of the fireplace. Will come back to this beer for more in depth review.

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Photo of mklooster
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish gold in color. Very pale head with moderate lacing.

S - Sweet, with a hint of sourness. It has hints of fig and dried cherry.

T - Slightly boozy, very malty. It doesn't taste as sweet as it smells, which, for me, is a good thing.

M - Just the right amount of carbonation - still nice and creamy.

O - A decent old ale. Not as good as 4D or Kaiser Curmudgeon, but still very drinkable .

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

first off, whoever took the 'bottle photo' is an art pimp. the trees are great. what a nice touch! this bottle was snatched up at julio's in mass.

pours a cloudy blood red into my rapscallion snifter. accentuated gently by dense foam rings and sticky, sparse lacing. aroma carries lots of bourbony booze and fusel-boosted yeast mutations. vanilla lingers in the air trapped by the tulip. old ale at its oldest, most crotchety.

the woody cream character really translates strongly into the dominant flavor of this beer, not too far from what i expect an old ale to be but somewhat one-dimensional. perhaps its not warm enough, let's wait and see...

after the crowd-friendly southampton old ale, this beer maintains an adversely crotchety attitude with a starchy, raw malt profile that doesn't quite invite the same level of drinkability. the flavors are all there in a sublime richness.. however this IS your grandpa's old ale. a cigar would be nice right about now. toasted vegetal huskiness meets caramelized burnt sugars in a buffalo trace barrel, producing some interesting effects.

what do i think overall? tough call. like a stinky old man, you have to respect the work that went into its culmination, regardless of how gritty his current situation might be. recommended, oddly.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is reddish-brown in colour, with a small to moderately sized off-white head. Head fades quickly, but good lacing.

Nose contains molasses, oak, malt, toffee and a bit of dark fruit. The molasses and oak are strongest.

Taste also strongly contains molasses and oak. Burnt toffee, herbal flavours (I want to say juniper). Very "tree-like". Some booziness.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Astringent and a bit oily.

Overall, good, though not great. The molasses is a bit strong for my liking.

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Photo of TMB0424
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a murky, burnt copper body with a very small head that reduces very quickly. Leaves minimal lacing.

Smell is of vanilla, caramel malts, some citrus hops, sweet honey. Slight nutty/chocolate aroma as well.

Tastes of creamy caramel malts with an oaky, alcohol followthrough. Vanilla is prevalent, goes well with the rum-like flavors. Finishes with a slight bitter hoppiness, burnt citrus almost. Smokey aftertaste. The only downfall is that it's just a little too sweet.

It has a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Very chewy and thick. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, as it adds a nice warmth towards the finish.

It's a solid brew from a great brewery - definitely a sipper. Like I said before, it's just a little too sweet in my opinion. I would only really 'enjoy' one of these in a sitting. I also rated it a little lower because if I didn't know any better (I guess if I was illiterate) I would have sworn this was a Barleywine opposed to an Old Ale - even though they are similar styles. Nevertheless, a very good beer.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark ruby amber with big fluffy off-white head that takes some times to settle.
Smell: Definitely needs to warm up to pick up on the subtle aromas here. Caramel malt, molassas and a smidge of fruity alcohol...
Taste: I'm finding it hard to describe the taste. Partly its because it is so seamless - you can't tell where one fllavor ends and the next begins - but also it's kind of muted. Its this smooth sweetness that comes and goes, with a gentle afterglow of herbal hops. I imagine part of this is the barrel-aging. The alcohol is somewhere in there, obviously, but it isn't too obvious below cellar temps.
Feel: Medium body, very smooth slightly syrupy mouthfeel with subdued carbonation thanks to the high alcohol.

Overall: The Curmudgeon is mysterious in the way it keeps me coming back and trying to understand it. It is big, yet mellow. Strong, yet subtle and thin in a way. It definitely goes against Founders' reputation as makers of brash beers. All in all, though, it's hard to feel like I'm not missing something. I finish it feeling vaguely unsatisfied. Maybe it's the style. For malty goodness I have to admit I would rather crack open a Dirty Bastard.

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Photo of DrewZ926
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a deep, opaque, almost ruby orange. no head to speak of. bright lighter shades around the rim, very rich golden amber throughout

s: deep, syrupy sweet malts. caramelized hops. notes of orange grapefruit citrus peak through. picking up faint golden raisin

t: very complex malt bill. a lot of sweet biscuit with resonating caramel from the nose. faint hop bitterness on the finish. very full and well rounded

m: surprisingly thick, though admittedly my first old ale. nice carbonation upfront, smooth finish

d: slight bit of heat upfront, though mellowing as it warms

o: great selection for a chilly night. cant compare it to other old ales though. enjoying the subtle use of hops--contrasts the upfront sweetness of the malt

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Photo of JoeBloe
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

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Photo of abraxel
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised it took me so long to try this beer; I've been a fan of both Founders and old ales for a while.

A - This is an attractive beer. A sort of translucent brownish amber with a pillowy, thick head that clings to the side of the glass and takes forever to subside.

S - Smells like toffee-like malt, but not very sweet. Hints of citrusy hops. For some reason it also reminds me of grapes... but maybe I'm making that part up.

T - Complex, rather sweet malts (lots of toffee and caramel, but so much more than that in a way that's hard to describe) with a fair amount of hoppy bitterness -- the hops blend in at first, then take over halfway through the sip. I really like it before the hops dominate, then it declines to just "good".

M - Not very thick, but it lingers quite a while on my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Satisfying, but not stunning.

O - I like it. Not my favorite old ale (but that's unfair considering I don't live far from Kuhnhenn), but it's good. I think I'd like it more if the hops were a bit more subdued so the awesome, complex malts could shine. It makes me think the Kaiser Curmudgeon (this beer aged in bourbon/maple syrup barrels) must be just about perfect...

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found just one tucked in the back at Colonial Spirits. Acton, MA

Nice reddish-orange body. Minimal head.

Nose is rich toffee, molasses and a hint of bubblegum,.

Flavor is rich and sweet. Smooth and strong. Restrained hops are there, but this is about "Big Malt"!

Warms a bit. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall, drinkability is pretty good. This is really a winter sipper, but I wanted something to make my post-work Friday afternoon more enjoyable. Mission accomplished!

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “BOTTLED” date on the shoulder is “04/19/12.”

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is very hazy copper/ruby/amber. Two fingers of eggshell-colored head dissipated fairly quickly to leave trails along the glass and a bubbly ring around the edge.

Smell: Lots of molasses, toasted caramel, and dark fruit (plum, apple, and hints of raisin). There are also fleeting scents of port wine and booziness. It also reminds me a little of toasted rye bread with raspberry spread. Overall, though, the nose is pretty muted.

Taste: The first sip offers sharp booziness and the flavors emerge from the background. Burnt caramel and a little molasses are most prominent. The dark fruit from the smell is not as noticeable, but the oak aging does impart a little woodiness. Each sip leaves the mouth coated with a nice tingle of bitterness and booze.

Drinkability: To me this seems more like a Christmas/holiday release. The booze and the burnt/woodiness make me think of blazing fireplaces, Christmas trees, and snow. It is an odd little thing but is pretty tasty.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Hazy orange-brown with short white head, with lacing.

S - Wood, alcohol, caramel, toffee, molasses, including a touch of sulfur.

T - Follows the nose, with a strong oak hit, and foundational sweetness, burnt sugar elements, a touch of smokiness. Close returns the wood elements, and a powerful alcohol hit.

M - A bit of buttery slickness, with alcohol warming. Prickly close.

O - There are powerful and interesting elements, but ultimately, the feel and harsh alcohol taste in the close detract.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Reddish-copper beer. Only a thin layer of head, but that has a long retention and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Lots of sweet malts, brown sugar. There is also a slight spiciness and oak aroma to the brew. Really a nice smelling beer, but not very unusual or complex.

T: The beer really shines in this area. I wasn't expecting so much flavor after the rather disappointing aroma. Lots of malts up front, along with a punch of oak, and a deep breadiness. The finish has a light amount of woody hops, with the lingering taste of both molasses and oak. Flavor definitely carries you through to the end.

M: Basically a meal in a glass. Thick and chewy, a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: Good beer. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. This is a big beer, with lots of flavor and a lot of alcohol. Even one bottle is a bit much. That being said, it has a lot of good flavor, and is quite drinkable.

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Photo of jlandis
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy copper with one finger white head that slowly fades into a thin ring. The aroma is very inviting with caramel and toffee with a hint of sweet cherries and brown sugar. The taste is much more complex than I was expecting from the aroma. There is the predominant caramel and toffee sweetness with a great cherry sweetness. In the background there is a tobacco and oak that mingles with the alcohol to make a fantastic presentation. The carbonation is light and the rich.

This is a solid beer. I remember the first time that I had it I absolutely hated it, but now with a second go around and a better understanding of what an "old ale" is I can really appreciate this one. Perfect for a cooler autumn evening.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting on 8/16/06: Dark amber/brown color with a thin beige head that starts fizzy but calms quickly. Thin spotty lacing. Aroma of whisky, coconut and dark fruits. Rich, smooth body with pungent malt, bourbon and other spicy alcohol flavors. The finish is all coconut and whisky. Definitely different from the norm, and seems pretty raw all around. I would be curious to try an aged bottle.

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Photo of silentjay
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a bit lighter than i expected with a nice sized light tan head made up of large bubbles that laces well.

rather light aroma of raisins, some vanilla and oakiness, toffee, and caramel.

flavor starts with raisins, dark fruits, a bit of a metallic sensation, but is smoothed out a subtle oakiness with some smooth caramel sweetness that gives way to a slight alcohol heat on the finish.

a bit thin with very little carbonation.

I thought it would be a bit stronger in aroma and flavor with a thicker feel, but its still tasty.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper to brown with orange and ruby hues and only a thin off white head that is nearly nonexistent just seconds after the pour although a thin sheet of lacing does exist.

Aroma consists of sweet malt and dark sweet fruits as well as a touch of brown sugar.

The flavor is similar but much more pronounced, featuring sweet fruits, warming alcohol, and an earthy hop presence at the finish as well as a similar hint of sugar.

Medium to thick in body and carbonation with a nice warming alcohol sensation.

Perhaps not a perfect representation of the style, but quite enjoyable and very easy to drink considering the style characteristics and abv.

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

As we can perhaps discern from the label, this is an unapologetic, strong beer. It pours a dense, cloudy brown color, and has an oaky, almost scotch-like scent. It tastes like an english ale with a dollop of good whisky; although it has a certain pervasive boozy flavor, one that is certainly somewhat unbalanced, it's appropriate for the style. This is a full-bodied beer, almost to the point of chewiness. It's not what I'd call eminently drinkable, because of its kick; I found myself sipping it absently, like a neat whisky.

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

12 oz bottle.

Appearance -A deep orange amber pour with ¼ inch of head in my tulip. The head quickly dissipated to a thin slick. Coats the glass with each swirl.

Smell -Sweet malt, caramel, alcohol, wood, brandy and port.

Taste -A malty toffee sweetness quickly gives way to an extremely complex palate of dried fruits, oak, whiskey, some hoppy bitterness and a long, woody finish. A late hint of vanilla/caramel in the finish, also. Nice.

Mouthfeel -The body had some nice viscosity to it, yet the carbonation was a bit too skimpy for me. Warming alcohol as it goes down.

Drinkability- It's a sipper, to be sure. More than one at a sitting would be too much. It shows every bit of it's ABV in every sip, yet it is fairly smooth.

Comments- I wondering if a few months in the bottle might take the remaining edges off of this one (but the screw-off cap makes me hesitant to try it).

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours out a dark orange/brown in color. Similar to that of apple cider. Very little head that fades fast and no lacing.

S: Not too much on the senses, grainy malts in the back.

T: Sweet on the intake, little hop action in the middle, malts in the back. Heat from the booze finishes things off.

M: Medium body, little sticky action, abv noticeable, moderate carbonation.

D: A good sipper, I'll leave it at that. Would do better with some age on it.

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Photo of zac16125
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter
Bottled on: none, must have rubbed off

A: Pours a dark copper, nearly brown with just under 1 fingers width of tan head. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Tart apples, candied sugar, molasses, subtle caramel. Interesting, but not terribly complex.

T: Pretty big sweetness with caramel, candied sugar, and molasses. Some cocoa and oak notes. Subtle bitterness. Taste is more like an old ale than the aroma, and is quite good.

M/D: Medium bodied, a bit thinner than I anticipated. Carbonation on the heavier end. ABV is very well masked and drinkability is good.

O: Good, not great but certainly worth a drink. And with its mass availability its probably something I will visit a couple times a year.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: brown, perfect clarity. white head that leaves a lacing behind

Smell: malts, molasses sweetness, touch of oak, alcohol

Taste: dark crystal malts giving off sweetness and dark fruits, toffee, molasses, alcohol, oak. nicely complex and very hot. very unique

Mouthfeel: warming, heavy and pretty creamy

Overall: A great beer. taste good fresh but improves with age. a good one to find on the shelves every year and to buy a few and drink what you can and cellar the rest.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,607 ratings.
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