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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:
210
Gots:
1,134
For Trade:
53
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,267 | Ratings: 4,607
Photo of Skidz
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

 1,265 characters

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

A: Pretty brownish/red copper color

S: Caramel and molasses. Almost like a fruitcake. Ripe bananas.

T: The molasses and wood age come through great. Taste like you're eating a piece of grandmas banana nut bread.

M: Very full mouth feel with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: Another solid seasonal from Founders. Never tasted a beer with these specific traits. Excellent. Plus, it helped me pick out a new nickname for the old lady.

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

12oz bottle into snifter. Thanks for sending me a few of these jbck109.

A: Pours a murky burnt orange with a thin cream colored head that faded to fuzzy lace.
S: Huge notes of vanilla with sweet hints of burnt caramel, raisins, spicy hops and mild cocoa powder.
T: Follows the nose with very smooth flavors of brown sugar, toasted malts, caramel, vanilla, peppery spices with a mild hoppiness in the finish. Sweet mild chocolate, a touch of dark fruits and candied sugar, figs, and chocolate brownies round off my list of nouns and adjectives. The aftertaste is lightly bitter with leafy hops. Really complex and delicious.
M: Alcohol is slightly warming in the finish over a full body, soft and sticky mouthfeel with fluffy soft carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this one. It was complex and very well integrated and balance. Very easy to drink, glad I have one more. Thanks again Jay!

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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.

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Photo of drcarver
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Virtually no head, but what limped to the top was an off white color. The murky full body was a medium red.

S - Moderately malty with hints of cookie and nuts. Lightly yeasty with the smell of dough.

T - Sweet, bitter, and acidic at the start. The sweetness carries through the beer. An average finish that is very clean.

M - Full dry body that finished watery. Very soft on the palate. A slight dirness and moderate alcohol finish.

D - Keep it slow and keep it easy. A thicker beer, but it is definitely one that goes down nose and easy.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby brown bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

A: Would have poured a clear dark copper, but with the extra yeast poured into the class it takes on a nice hazy copper, like a really really high ABV hefeweizen. The beer is topped with a one and a half inch frothy white head but bubbles down to a tight, thin cap with nice creamy lacing that does not last as long as I initially hoped it would have. Just the slightest bit bland looking.

S: Strong and sweet, heavy cream, vanilla, all brought together by strong, oaky, notes. Mild bouron, but is really more on account of the vanilla in the beer than anything else.

T/MF: Very smooth, like silk in the mouth but with a subtle carbonation that gives this beer a nice, almost chewy character. Big, oaky, opening. Sweet dark fruits, cherry is the most dominate here, but even this flavor is rather subtle, as though it is wrapped in a blanket of vanilla ice cream. Understated hop bitterness and once again demonstrates Founders' dedication to creating a uniquely balanced beer.

D: Incredibly smooth and balanced, not too sweet, just the right amount of bitterness, makes for an incredibly drinkable beer. If it just looked a bit prettier this beer would score a 5 in this category, but appearance still counts for me when it comes to drinkability. Still a fantastically drinkable beer.

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

Got in a trade with csmiley - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dating info) into a pint glass. This is my first Old Ale so excited to try it. It is a cloudy red orange with a ton of sediment floating about. Center carb fountain and no lacing. It barely had a head and that evaporated as quickly as it appeared.

The aroma was really good. Nice and oaky without the overwhelming bourbon smell I've come to associate with oak in beers. Also get dark fruits and wine. Very appetizing. The taste follows the aroma. Nice solid oaky, fruity taste. Goes down way too smooth for something with 9% ABV. You can taste the alcohol but is really well balanced so it doesn't overwhelm.

Overall, there is a really great beer that I highly recommend. Looking forward to trying some more in the style.

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Photo of Axic10
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber hue with two fingers of fluffy foam that settles after a while.

Smell: Malty sweetness that comes across with raisin, cinnamon, toffee. Great aroma.

Taste: Sweet bready malt, raisin, toffee, slight vanilla as it warms. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a slight stingy-alcohol burn at the end.

Drinkability: While I can't see this being an everyday beer, I definitely will enjoy this again. I have 3 bottles left from my 4 pack that I want to age a little bit.

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

My favorite Old Ale to date- although I will admit I have only had a handful in this style.
Appearance- small head and some spiderweby lacing.
Smell is aggressive (more so than other founder's offerings) with a decent amount of alcohol and dry hops, well balanced with dry malt.
Taste is fairly similar, the hops are a bit heavier here and open up to a piney taste. The alcohol is more definative and definately has a whiskey flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with little carbonation.
Drinkability- its a sessionable beer, drink it slow and let it open up.

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

I first tried this beer at 6 months and the oak was belligerently obvious and far too sweet. Now at 9 months, it is quite yummy, though I can't help but wish I'd squirreled it away a bit longer. Brandy, dry oats, caramel, a tiny bit of anise. I'd like the malts to stand out a bit more, right now I'm getting that oaked-vanilla taste lingering in my mouth and the malts in the background, whereas I want them in opposite roles with the malts nestled snug above the oak... a short time did wonders for the beer, with patience this could be an excellent old ale.

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Photo of Roke87
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, slightly chilled and poured into a Stella Chalice.
Bottle Date: April.4/2011

Appearance- Pours a clear dark amber colour with a nice finger of white head that quickly dissipates to a small bubbly ring leaving very minimal amounts of lacing.

Smell- sweet vanilla and toffee mixed with citrusy fruity floral hops come to the nose right off the bat, malts and woody flavours also come into play.

Taste- Just like the smells this one is sweet for from vanilla and toffee balanced nicely by dark fruity hop flavours although the hops are very muted. Finishes with a bready malty woody flavour, you can taste the alcohol but it is disguised nicely by all the complex flavours.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied ale with average carbonation that forms a nice ring on the top of the glass until the brew is finished, creamy smooth and crisp on the palate as well.

Overall- Yet another amazing offering from Founders and something that I would definitely pursue again, it’s really too bad this is only a seasonal offering because this one would be great year round. A great drinking old ale that hides the high ABV very well, smooth crisp and almost too easy drinking. I would definitely pick this one up in a heartbeat and hope I can find it again on my next beer haul to the States.

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

bought a bottle at odies big ten in lansing, michigan. ($3.79 12 oz.)
pours a very deep copper with a beige head that drops in to a very thin haze.
the aroma malt, vanillia and burbon is perdominent, carmelized sugar and a hopsack are in the background.
the flavor of malt, vanillia, burbon, oak, toffee, hopsack, alcohol.
man what a great beer, very complex, is smooth yet very packed with flavor.
i want some for my cellar!

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

poured 6oz agressively into a 13oz snifter.

A.) 1/4" head fades quiclky and moves to the edge of the glass leaving some lacing. Color is a medium reddish brown.

S.) This is all about the malts, with some caramel and molasses in mixed in and a touch of alcohol warmth in the finish

T.) just like the smell , sweet malts with strong tones of molasses and caramel

M.) Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation for the style

D.) Excellent for the ABV, I could easily enjoy one or two more, Unfortunately I only bought one :-(

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Bottled 4/19/12

A- pours a hazy khaki body with a light mocha 1" head that sticks around for a while.

S- sweet caramel, toffee, vanilla, sugar cookies. Bourbon-like.

T- starts out with some caramel, dark cherry, and vanilla notes and ends with a smokey, toasted malt and cocoa flavor. All of these notes go together quite well. No booze.

M- medium heavy body, medium low carbonation

I was really impressed with this brew. It's a super smooth, highly drinkable, complex old ale. As always, founders really nailed this one.

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/6/2012. Pours fairly cloudy red-orange color with a small dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, oak, biscuit, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with great complexity and balance of malt notes with light-moderate oak character that does not overwhelm. Taste of raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, biscuit, nuttiness, oak, light chocolate, light clove, floral, and toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, toffee, biscuit, molasses, oak, nuttiness, light chocolate, and light earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of malt notes with moderate oak presence; with a fair amount of hop balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible old ale! Awesome complexity and balance of malt flavor with moderate oak presence; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, dirty, orange/brown color with a small, tan , foamy head. It left soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel, some malt and boozy alcohol. Overall, a very sweet smelling nose.

T - The first fews sips were like drinking Brach caramels. Delicious! As it continued to warm the caramel flavor mellowed and it had a slight fruity taste emerge. A boozy alcohol flavor starts to come through as well.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is possibly the best old ale that I've ever had. It was sweet and delicious. It only gets a 4 on drinkability because it is so sweet and so potent.

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Photo of kkipple
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I dumped this into my snifter and was... uh, rewarded with a languid, billowy and sticky tan head that rose majestically atop this thick lookin' brew. Curmudgeon is a dirty rust-amber color with a ton of sediment suspended in the mix. Looks like something illiterate Cape Cod fishermen would drink out of lead cups to stave off pneumonia. I dunno. It's ugly, but somehow commands respect.

Not quite sure where to start on the nose here... let it warm, first off. A lot of subtle malt nuance going on here... sweet and smooth caramel notes, a hint of nut, and a VERY reserved juniper-pine hop note that reminds me of good Dutch gin. There's something woody and vanilla here, but it again is distant and quiet. The alcohol warmth is detectable but reserved for a 9% brew. A touch of lime citrus and oxidized booze (sherry) blend into the mix, and the result is a super smooth, old-tasting... old ale. Huh. I am really enjoying smelling this!

The flavor is likewise reserved and ultra-smooth. Big toasted grain-sugar malt notes are blended with smooth sherry, vanilla, grape tannins and spruce into a deliciously smooth and whiskey-like brew. Yes, I know there is no bourbon here, but it brings to mind some of the best small batch spirits I've had. This is what your crotchety, war-vet uncle wouldn't let you have as a kid. It is an adult beverage in every sense of the word. Old and rewarding, but it takes time.

The mouthfeel is superlative. Smooth, sticky and very lightly carbonated; this beer practically glides down your throat. Once more, this tastes like it has 5 years on it. The finish is brown-sugar sweet with sherry and just enough pine hop bitter to balance. Lingering, pleasing and smooth.

Curmudgeon is a beer to sip and savor. A wonderful nightcap, Founders has taken the old ale to dizzying heights. This is one of the best I've had. On those cold winter nights in front of a fire when you reflect on your life's failures, Curmudgeon will be right there with you, glaring and mumbling and somehow making everything seem a little bit better. Highly recommended.

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

Picked up at Archer Liquors in Chitown, thanks Randy!

Pours a cloudy brown/amber, thin tan head forms, nice thick lace ring around the glass, good retention, looks like a sipper! Smell is nice, bourbon, vanilla, raisin/date goodness, toffee, some chocolate, coconut, very nice. Taste is toffee, some bourbon, vanilla oak, coconut, very rich and malty, bit of roast, nice clean bitterness in the finish, just right. Mouthfeel is full bodied, low carbonation, nice heat going down. I could sip this for hours.

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Photo of BBP
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber brown with a decent head, but very weak on the retention. Slight lacing.

The aroma is of candied sugars and raisins.

The taste lives up to the smell, but there's also a slight grassy and spicy hop presence. When fresh it tasted supremely balanced and smooth. After a little bit of age, it's even smoother, but it leans towards the sweetness a bit more. It almost tastes like honey with some age.

The mouthfeel is Medium full, and medium heavy, and fairly creamy on top of that. The finish is moderately dry and sticky.

Overall, this is one of the most smooth drinks I've had yet. The blending was done very tastefully. I prefer it fresh due to the more noticeable hop presence, but it's still a treat aged.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby/brown/orange color with minimal head and nice ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet malts, oats, some sweet fruit, a pinch of hops, honey, cinnamon, and a bit of alcohol. Great scent, there is a lot going on here, but not too much, and the alcohol is balanced very well and not overpowering.

Taste of oats, honey, molasses, sweet malts, cinnamon, and some alcohol. Finishes with oak and some bourbon. As impressive as the scent, for being so fresh this is impressive to have such depth and strength, being balanced and complex already I can't wait to see how this is aged.

Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and harsh. A strong mouthfeel for a strong beer, good stuff.

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

Pours murky light mahogany, with a moderately building off- white head.
Bashfull carbonation recedes to a ring around the glass quickly, with only a trace of lace.
Aromatics start off with a "wow". Substantial amounts of bourbon, oak, cherries, brown sugar, and vanilla.
Boozy and rich, fruity and approaching vineous.
Alcohol is warming and the Curmudgeon becomes more approachable as he warms up.
Thickish and syrupy mouthfeel, slick and chewy.
Pallet is a bit brash and aggresive.. Subtle, is not.
Loads of residual malt, alcohol-soaked fruit, oaky tannins, toffee, caramel, and bourbon.
Bitterness to check, and alcohol is apparent and flattering, not overpowering.
Finishes a bit sweetish with warming bourbon notes and an oaky dryness.

A large example of the style, and should benefit greatly from extended cellaring.
Kickass.

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Photo of alexgrahamlv
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with a strong hint of redness in it. Very cloudy and cannot see through it. No head retention in this beer. In aromas there are cherries as well as raisins. On the taste there are cherries perhaps a slight brown sugar taste. There is almost a stale fruit taste but not in a bad way whatsoever. Full bodied, not heavily carbonated but produces a tingly sensation on the edge of the tongue. I actually enjoy this beer quite a bit. This beer is 9.8% but not a strong alcohol taste at all. Enjoy!

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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date apparent. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.60.

A: Burnt amber with thin 1/2-1 finger light beige head that reduces quickly to a thin cap with spots of lace left.

S: Aroma is reminiscent of cherry-banana cake with caramel frosting with a woody, light citrus edge. Very bready and sweetly fruity all at once with a flash of heat.

T: The flavor is also very fruity with loads of caramel with cherry, banana, and date/plum accents. There is some toasted maltiness lending a bready quality. Cocoa notes are plentiful as well. Hops are pretty much in the background and add a little leafy touch.

M: The mouthfeel is lightly syrupy if that's possible. It is keenly coating while retaining some lightness, probably due to the even, perfect carbonation. Aftertaste is long and woody and resembles a cherry cordial.

D: A highly drinkable (and good value) old ale/barleywine with well-hidden alcohol and succulent sweet notes that blend together exceptionally smoothly. Another hit for Founders.

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Photo of tpd975
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one in a trade like most I now forget where it came from.... Whoever sent it Thanks!

A: Pours a reddish brown hue with a thunderous head. Quite a few bubbles but very little lacing.

S: Very big. Tons of malt, oak, bourbon, cherries and vanilla. You could pass this off for a very nice snifter of Bourbon.

T: The smell defined the taste in this one. Tons of oak. Like fine barrel aged bourbon baby yet soo much more complex. Besides the oak the alcohol is present, there is also vanilla and chocolate candied covered cherries. Lovely Brew.

M: Medium bodied yet clingy. Takes hold of my mouth and throat with the strong oakiness, and burns its way down.

D: Like Bourbon and Whiskey I would drink this one only in small doses. It's a sipper, but a very fine one indeed. To be enjoyed one bottle at a time.

Overall: I have gotten into the Old Ales recently and this one is a perfect example. I would like to get another and age it a bit to see what it does to the flavor. If the alcohol taste died down a bit, that would be a plus but this is one very complex brew. Founder's is quite possibly my second favorite brewer out there and as I continue to taste more and more of their expertly crafted brews such as this one; they continue to gain on Stone which at this time is my first.

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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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