Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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89
very good
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:
4,568
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
20.05%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,119
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,257 | Ratings: 4,568
Photo of soupyman10
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

UPDATE - 11/02/08: Threw this one under my bed (I use complex ageing systems) and left it for six months. Tried it again and WOW. Totally different flavor than when I had it fresh. Huge whiskey flavors and aromas flying all over the place. Really an incredible drink. Still crazy sweet, but no alcohol at all, just that sort of musky aroma the burbon gives off. I'd like to try cellaring more of these to see what happens...

Pours a nice amber brown color with a finger of slightly off-white head that dissolves to a fine film fairly fast. Solid looking, although the lacing is fairly non-existent. Nose is strong, full of toffee and caramel. Some sweet dried fruit in there too, and maybe a touch of spicy hoppy alcohol. Flavor is spicy and acidic. Quite vinous, with raisins and a sort of acidic aftertaste. Again, principally strong toffee malt but with a nice fruity background as well. A highly sweet beer, and fairly alcoholic (the 9.3% is fairly well hidden in the fruit and spiciness though). Body is medium with very mild, smooth carbonation, as is fairly standard for the style (and for a beer this high in alcohol). Overall, a very tasty one, although the ABV might keep me from having more than one or two. A very good dessert beer. I'm going to try cellaring one and see if the spiciness mellows at all.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes as I enjoyed this on-tap at La cave Du Vin several weeks ago now. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a dark amber/copper color with a tan head that was about 1/2 inch thick when served. It eventually sets to a medium sized white ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing. Has a malty caramel aroma with strong hints of some dark fruit and oak. Has a caramel malt flavor along with the oaked flavor and some dark fruit which is a bit tart and maybe a hint of spice and a bit of alcohol. Has a very crisp, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink.

Eric

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Photo of ForkAndSpoonOp
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My girlfriend recently sent me home with an entire box of goodies out of her collection. She raves about Founders pretty frequently, and she specifically pointed the Curmudgeon out as one I might like. I will forgo my usual vaguely witty review conceit, because I don't feel like calling anyone a whippersnapper. Though, in the interest of full disclosure, I am listening to this song as I type:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nci-QgUAUnM

Poured 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Lovely amber color. The one finger tan head receded quickly to just a halo.

Malt is the first six things I smell. After all that, a bit of caramel and toffee coming through. Raisins and alcohol are both in there, too; making me think of fruitcake.

Very malt-forward again, which makes sense. Raisins, scotch, and that caramel/toffee again. I can taste the booze, but it stops just short of off-putting. A little bit of hop bitterness at the back end, again just enough.

Mouthfeel is creamy, with mild carbonation. Goes down easy for almost 10%, though that's probably the highest ABV I'd find pleasant unless it were masked REALLY well.

Founders has definitely earned my repeat business. Got quite a few of these, actually, so I'm gonna see how they age.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. This is a bottle I pulled from my cellar, and is about a year old.

Pours a cloudy light brown/red color with very little head.

Smells of whiskey, vanilla, pepper and spice, bitter apple.

Tastes of vanilla, cinnamon, cream, whiskey, oak, bitter fruit.

This is an excellent beer...very warming, but not overly alcoholic (in the taste, anyway). It is well balanced, malty, and has some very good oak and whiskey notes. It is pungent and delicious, and therefore one to be savored.

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Photo of Buck89
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color with an off white head. Smells of caramel, molasses, cedar and oak. Taste is comples with caramel, mollases followed by earthy bitter notes and oak. Finish is thick and long, with sweet oak and caramel. Very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of scotorum
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No dates visible.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear dark amber with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and nearly solid lacing.

s: Caramel malt.

t: Heavy caramel malt over hops and alcohol. Sweet taste with hop/alcohol balance reminds that this was made with molasses. Almost bourbonlike.

m: Full and smooth.

o: A fine fall-winter warming sipper, although Founders releases it in the Spring.

 460 characters

Photo of LAp
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours an almost clear ruby-amber (lighter than expected given the depth of the nose). A think 3 finger head quickly rises and recedes slowly, leaving gorgeous lacing. Rich oak and molasses right off the bat. Scotch and bourbon notes round out the nose, with a hint of dark fruit (dark grape and cherry). Nosed from the somewhat more open rim of the tulip however, lighter notes come through (hop, pine, and even a vague hint of raspberry). Palate is oak, loads of malt, with a hop bite on the backend that is unexpectedly prominent. Mouthfeel is closer to thin or medium than the thicker, chewy beer I would have anticipated, certainly lighter than expected. Overall not quite was I was predicting when I cracked the cap, but a good beer nonetheless. I would have appreciated a little more body, and a little more oak in the character, but it's a beer that's true to the style without exemplifying its highlights in any unique ways. I would have to try another bottle though to really resolve my feelings on whether or not the thinness of the body and lack of nuance of the malt palate weigh this beer down to a lower rating that I've given it here.

 1,192 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated in mid April of 2012. Poured into a tulip tasting glass.

A: A medium to dark amber color with a one finger eggshell colored head. Not much glass lacing.

S: Loads of brown sugar, caramel, earthiness, oak, maple syrup and some dark fruits.

T: Loads of brown sugar start off that is sweet, but not overly so. The brown sugar mixes with caramel, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses and some slight dark fruits. Some nice earthy woody tones come in near the finish but stay sweet. Slight floral hop, but barely there. Sweetness lingers, but it's far from cloying. Alcohol is tasted, but not overly so for the abv.

M: Full, coating, sweet, smooth and some alcohol.

O: A real nice old ale that is different from the rest. The beer is on the sweeter side, but not cloying sweet, it's just right. Very drinkable for the ABV and I really enjoyed it.

Another winner from Founders, like I expected anything else. I'm surprised it took me so long to review this since I'm a huge Founders fan. I really enjoyed this one as a change of pace and it will be in my fridge in years to come. I'll let one age, but I have a feeling this one is better fresh as the sweetness may intensify.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to fogdog for this bottle.

Appearance: Pours a murky, dark reddish-amber, with a slowly-coagulating, creamy, khaki-colored head. Lots of suspended yeast sediment floating around. Head doesn't last long; becomes a wispy ring of bubbles. Leaves decent lace.

Smell: Dark berries, molasses, oak, fruity esters, bready yeast, raisins and spices. As I sit here sniffing it, the dark fruits and bread aromas really start coming forth. Maybe a little bourbon as well. Great balance and mixing, though I wish it were a tad stronger.

Taste: Lots of warm bread, caramel, and spice. Dark fruit flavors are there but a bit subdued, especially when compared to the smell. Sweet molasses and bourbon flavors fill in very nicely. Flavors meld very well, just like in smell.

Mouthfeel: Slick and somewhat syrupy, yet watery. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels a bit gritty with all of the yeast sediment. Great mouth-numbing and good warming as well.

Drinkability: A milder flavor and smell than I'm used to, thus making it more than just a sipper. Not the best old ale I've had, but one that's worth a try. Wish there was a little more umph to it.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque amber with very thin, whispy white head.
Smells strongly of malt, some bitter hop, and syrup.
Taste is incredibly smooth, I believe the maple heavy body coats the tounge and hides the 9.8% well, but it is very close overpowering.
The aftertaste is incredibly sweet and enjoyable.
Highly drinkable.

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Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to snifter pours a reddish amber brown, cream colored head faded to lacing - looks nice

smells of oaky caramel spice, barley, sweet and deep, slight alcohol heat - amazing!

taste is of bourbon, oak, caramel, creamy smoothness, very balanced, vanilla, slight alcohol heat, hops are nice - subdued but not lacking, bitterness pops out the most, flavor is blended nicely

mouthfeel is slightly hot and oily but not overtly, loads of flavor, yum! makes me want to age more

way better than last years batch :D

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Photo of Litterbean
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Mission Dolores (Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Dark brown beer with a foamy full head. Smells malty, sweet, alcoholic, and heavy.

Taste is sweet with a hint of bitterness but mostly a biting alcoholic note that really ends warm on the tongue. Makes my head fuzzy right away and fills me with warm cheer. Great brew!

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Photo of thecheapies
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 04/19/12. Into a snifter.

Pours a translucent dark copper ruby color. Buttermilk-colored head of an inch with coarser bubbles in the surface middle. 4.0

Buttery toffee, rich caramel, booze, dried fig, cherry, and woody bitterness. Drier aroma than the '10 that I've had. This old ale is all dressed up for prom, so far. 4.0

Toffee sweet with buttercream, brandied fruits, mince meat, caramel sauce, throat lozenge, vanilla, light maple, swatches of oak barrel, hint of coconut, and spruce tips from the hops. A malt dream. The alcohol isn't overwhelming, and the hops are there but shadowed marvelously by rich fruity malts. Wonderful. 4.5

Mouth-filling body. Medium-thick. Light fizz, in accordance to style. I'm gulping this a little bigger than I ought to. 4.0

For a beer that I love and have enjoyed many times in the past, I believe this to be the first time I've ever had it fresh (not used to tasting prevalent hops in this beast). While it is sublime with a year and more, fresh Curmudgeon is its own wonder. In fact, fresh Curmudgeon reminds me a lot of aged Backwoods Bastard. Recommended! And, I can't wait to finally do that side-by-side. 4.0

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Photo of gotbeer
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big beer for sure.

The appearance was dark mahogany with a light head that laced the glass slightly.

The smell had notes of a smoky scotch. Interesting stuff so far.

The taste was of vanilla, bourbon, coconut, and creme. A great old ale, and recognizable to the style. Alcohol is present and noticable, but not totally overwhelming. The mouthfeel was smooth. The drinkability is as good as a beer with this ABV can be.

Great stuff. Founders has not dissapointed me yet, with their beers ranging from solid to excellent.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 ounce goblet - $9.00 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Dispensed into a simple, all-purpose goblet a hazed, mahogany-hued body with a scant, white head.

Smell: A rich, invitingly malty nose smelling of caramel, chunks of toast, and brown sugar stirred up into cake batter. Fruity notes of citrus, cherries, and green raisins punctuated by some stinging alcoholic wafts.

Taste: The lush, tempting sweetness of heavily caramelized sugars with additional tastes of toasted bread, light brown sugar, and spiced holiday cake. The fruitiness from the aroma is well-represented in a taste of raisins marinated in cherry liqueur and spiced with a bit of dried orange peel. Moderate bitterness provides a bit of balance, though this one remains fairly on the sweet side of things. Soft, sweet finish with plenty of alcohol warmth rolling in.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with a mouthfeel both smooth and a bit sticky. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Bold AND beautiful. A quality sipper, even on a day in South filled with 100-degree heat and 100-percent humidity.

 1,079 characters

Photo of JRed
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours sediment-free, brown-amber hue with small white head. A gorgeous scent of cranberries, caramel, spice, slight egg nog, and a buttery, vanilla cream character. Whew! Tasty stuff. That buttery vanilla cream begins and lingers through to the aftertaste. Toffee, caramel, spice, dried apple skins, sweet alcohol seeps through the thick flavors during the finish mostly. Light carb in body with a mildy thick, syrupy mouthfeel. This is a dangerously tasty ale at over 9% ABV and wonderful to sit down with and consider closely.

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Photo of azdback
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Dark ruby red colored and unfiltered. Not a lot of carbonation bubbles and the head says the same thing, very small and no retention. Lace isn't sticking.

Smell is sweet caramel and burnt sugars. Alcohol and medium roasted malts. Quite nice!

Taste is like chocolate and caramel nougat. With a huge alcohol burn after. The sweets are really fantastic. I wasn't expecting any chocolate or dark malts to this, but it is an interesting twist to an old ale/barleywine. As this warms there is even some coffee and charred wood. Really nice!!

Mouth is rich and chewy. Quite complex all the way to the end. The layers of this are so fantastic. Sticky sweet to alcohol burn are quite remarkable.

Overall I was very surprised by this. Kind of a barley wine meets the roasts of a barrel aged stout. That is a bit dramatic but not far off. Thanks to davesway10 for this extra.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear deep honey brown small tan head, smells of molasses coffee and caramel, tastes of hops and slight coffee caramel malts bittered by oak and the high alcohol content, rich silky mouthfeel very light carbonation,

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish/amber color with about a finger of head, sticks around for a good long while, leaves a few small bits of lacing on the glass.

Smell has a nice caramel malt aroma with lots of other fruity scents, like raisins and maybe even a touch of orange.

Taste starts out sweet with caramel and toffee, hops are fairly muted but not entirely absent, bit of a bitter musty aftertaste, alcohol is very well hidden which is surprising considering it's a fresh batch and not aged, good body with a creamy finish.

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Photo of larryi86
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 4/19/2013, poured into a snifter

A- A hazy ruby red with a small off-white head.

S- Toffee, caramel, molasses, oak, some alcohol, touch of earthiness.

T- Definitely oaky, molasses, toffee, caramel, some earthy bitterness in the finish, some alcohol that works very well with the taste, a faint cherry like fruitiness.

M- Smooth, full body, high carbonation.

O- My girlfriend just picked up a case of this for me and it is good fresh, but I can't wait to see how this ages!

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Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks a bunch to cburian for this brew in my Secret Bunny package.

12oz. stubby brown bottle, poured into a snifter. Founders dating system is retarded.

A: Pours a dark shoe leather that's completely opaque. 1/2inch of tinted head forms and drops to some nice chunks. Decent lacing.

S: Nice strong alcohol aroma. Very appealing. Loads of spices though my weak nose is having trouble picking them apart. Rich sugary malts explode with a pleasant alcohol line. Really diggin' the spices.

T/M: Malts are intense. Very sweet, rich, oaky, sandy(?), plenty of spices. There's an assertive bitterness but that's all I'm getting from the hops. Body is nearly full but not heavy. Carbonation brings a nice smoothness. Again, the spices make this brew.

D: Slow sipper, indeed. Tasty and quaffable. I'd say night cap only. Is there a better brewery out there besides Founders? My other 2 favorites have some catching up to do(Surly and GLBC).

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Photo of zoso1967
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TCgoalie for picking this one up for me. It had a screw-top and was bottled on 2/24/09.

Pours a gorgeous shade of dark orange amber. There was pretty much no head on this at all, but the slight ring of foam left on the glass leaves a very precise high water mark, like a ring around a bathtub. This makes me giggle. The aroma is very sweet with notes of caramel, golden raisins and sweet bread. There is also a bit of earthiness to it, but it's mostly just malt that I am picking up. The flavor is malty and wonderful. Plenty of caramel, brown sugar and toffee mix with a sharp hint of alcohol that works to further enhance the flavor. Also in the mix are raisins, sugary orange peel, some peppery earthiness and touch of honey. There seems to be just enough bitterness in this beer to keep it from being too malty. The mouthfeel is pretty damn impressive. It is not quite as full as one might expect, but also far from too thin. The finish a mile long, but not too sticky. A beer to savor, but a beer I would love to savor again. I am pretty sure my friend didn't purposely pick out an older bottle, but I am glad he did. I will have to seek out a fresher one for comparison.

 1,187 characters

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled 4/13/11) into a snifter, pours a medium red brown with a short white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, quite cloudy

S: molasses, raisins, prunes, figs, caramel, toffee, oak, whiskey

T: sweet dark fruits, raisins, prunes, heavy on malt, oak, molasses, slight hop bitterness at the end

M: very heavy and oily, little carbonation, alcohol makes itself well known

O: sip this like you would brandy, it's sweet heavy and complicated

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Photo of EZE123
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've seen this beer on shelves for several years and I finally tried it...delicious! The English style old Ale is a perfect match for the molasses and oak aging. If you standing in the beer aisle and you don't know what to buy, grab this and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mild head that recedes a little too quickly to a single bubble layer. Very cloudy with lots of yeast chunks in the base of the glass. Milky but thin lace on the glass side. Lots of stickiness.

Toasty and malty in the nose. Lots of biscuit with a touch of chocolate. Very low hop bitterness.

Think thick and oily (from alcohol) brown ale. Nice hop finish, but the rest is all malt--rich and chocolatey. This is a beer that sticks to your ribs. There are sherry overtones and the biscuit flavor shows up in a subtle way.

This is a complex beer for the style, but rather than the hop/malt balance, this is more of a mystery tour of malt flavors.

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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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