Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

very good
4,754 Ratings
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,754 |  Reviews: 1,323
Photo of TylerGray27
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of porters4life
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Stengelfoot
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of akopczyk
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of josanguapo
2.02/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Playing 12 Labours of Hercules 4 + Little Big Adventure Enhanced. Very alcoholic in both nose and mouth, and the oak aging seems to make it feel even more alcoholic. Bbf Nov 2016. It has been hard to finish

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Photo of Mdaniel723
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber with a thin head. Smells malty. The taste is malty with some caramel but very balanced for the style, with a good but not too viscous feel. I really enjoyed this one and have some in the cellar.

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Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Vidblain
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mitzvahman72
2.99/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pleasant opaque amber, honey and bright dark fruit aroma set the background of this beer.
First taste: sweet, bright apricot and dark fruits with the right amount of booze, along with the dark bread, toffee and some biscuit malt sweetness that’s trying to push away the very strong hop content in this beer. Carbonation is just right and the aftertaste is pleasant with dark bread, toffee and some stale hops.
Second taste: More apricot, more bitter than usual, but the aftertaste does have dark grains. Third taste: Slightly more or less bitter with a variety of darker flavors vying for the best in the palette. A splash of honey is also added to the profile.
Nevertheless, this is still too hoppy for the style. I recommend the many versions of the Olde Ale/Special Reserve from Alesmith Brewing Company. If you’re the type hankering for some high-alcohol sippers, I recommend the Barrel Aged Numbskull from Alesmith Brewing Company, Rye-on-Rye from Boulevard Brewing Company and the Vanilla Bean Stout from Avery Brewing.

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Photo of wattoclone
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 4-pack of 12 ounce bottles from local Wegman's. Although I usually like Old Ale, I found this to be overly rummy, Rum aroma with a strong rum and molasses taste. Would be good before shoveling snow.

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Photo of threeviews
4.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (BOD: 30 December 2016) into a Rastal Teku 2.0 stemmed glass.

A - Pours a deep amber/mahogany color with a single finger of a creamy, khaki colored head. Appearance is spot-on for an Old Ale. (5.0)

S - Decadent and complex: Oak, Vanilla, Caramel, Molasses, Sweet Vermouth and plump dark fruits. If unaware, I would have thought this was aged in either Vermouth and/or Bourbon barrels. Alcohol masked well. (4.75)

T - Sweetness from the malts, molasses and vanillians imparted by the wood combine for a decadent experience very reminiscent of a barrel-aged Quad (Blasphemy by Weyerbacher immediately comes to mind). Oak tannins are really present in the finish (which some might find a bit too strong) and leaves the palate quite dry and linger until the next sip. (4.5)

M - Medium+ body with a pleasant, rounded carbonation to open the palate and really allow those tannins to seep into the palate. Clocking in at under 10% ABV and nearly six months of age, a mild (and pleasing) alcohol warmth is still felt in the chest after each sip. (4.5)

O - This is another winner from Founders and is often eclipsed by other brands like KBS and Backwoods Bastard. Old Curmudgeon is as good, if not better than the latter due to its complexity of flavors. Couple that with the fact that it is readily available wherever Founders is sold (i.e. no limits, no lines and reasonably priced~$12/4-Pack) makes for this to be one of the best (albeit seasonal) "shelf beers" in the craft beer marketplace. (4.75)

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$ 12.36 (Including tax)/4 pack ($ 0.258/oz) at Oppermann’s at Saginaw, MI.
Bottled 12/30/16. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 55 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – faint oak and some malt and molasses.
Head large (Maximum 4.5 cm, aggressive pour), tan, dense and creamy, good retention slowly diminishing to an irregular four to seven mm frothy ring a d a frothy partial layer.
Lacing – good. Partial rings of tiny to small bubbles.
Body – amber, cloudy. The cloudiness appears to be mostly chill haze as it thins out as the beer warms.
Flavor – begins slightly sweet but ends slightly bitter. Some oakiness bust mostly caramel maltiness. Molasses is faint to non-existent. A hint of diacetyl. No alcohol in the flavor but almost immediately a gastric burn begins.
Palate – full, creamy, soft carbonation.

Another excellent high octane brew from Founders, with the added benefits of being relatively cheap as well as aging well.

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4.25, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5.

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Photo of LooseMoose1978
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of red_5_sooner
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BlackBeerDown
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kkarimi
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a nice hazy amber color with just a film of lacing that quickly died and left a bubbliness of sorts along the sides of the glass. The smell has a really nice oaky bourbon aroma letting in some light vanilla to entangle itself throughout. There was some light cherries at the end. The taste was sweet and had a touch of hot from the strength of the beer. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with not much of a sessionability about it. I sipped it for the most part. The carbonation was super smooth almost as if it wasn’t there at all, but I could tell it was slightly there. Overall, I could be wrong but the last time I had something from Founder’s, I thought they would stamp the bottle with a born on date in green. There was no date to be found. Honestly, I’m not too worried but think I may have gotten an older bottle due to the slight lack of strength of the booze and the subdued carbonation.

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Photo of Shade1951
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thank the Universe! A genuinely good, tasty beer. My previous two beers were drain pours. I had begun to fear that maybe my taste buds had gone south. Founders had put that fear to rest.

This ale has the complexity of flavors that I crave. No sourness (that doesn't belong in a beer unless it is supposed to be a sour beer). No weird, metallic or chemical undertones. Just malty goodness with hints of sherry or bourbon, touch of sweetness and dark fruit. Gets even tastier as it warms a little.

Looks great, smells great, has a creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Now I can put off making a doctor's appointment.

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Photo of BrookW
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Michiganman2325
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of whatthehull
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
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 bbtkd
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Curmudgeon, 9.8% ABV, 50 IBU. Pours copper and thick, with a three finger off-white head. Nose is malty, fruity, and sweet, taste follows plus burnt caramel and mole asses with a slight carbonation burn and a bit of bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall outstanding.

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Photo of Dzu
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap.
L: dark copper with a massive white foam head.
S: whine notes, caramel.
T: rich, complex, caramel, chocolate, plums.
F: tight body and high carbonation.
O:impressive ale

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a blonde color forming into a raspberry ruby with a nice milky, frothy head of 1/2 finger.

Aromas of oak barrel, molasses, raspberry, ginger, and stone fruit.

Flavor is very stiff, quite woody, ashy even; with a high alcohol presence and slight bubble gum. Vanilla is present but only like someone sunk a vanilla-roma tree in the fermenter. Not much on the molasses or licorice side of things.

Feel is slick and slightly resiny, with a tight carbonation and an oily finish.

Overall, everything about the Curmudgeon is good except for the flavor, and that's the most important part. I'll have to regretfully pass always.

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Photo of anthony-s
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,754 ratings.
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