Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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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:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

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Reviews: 1,299 | Ratings: 4,684
Photo of KEH
3.06/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I wanted to like this, but it's too hoppy. I do enjoy heavier beer, but they need to be malty. This beer pours light brownish/amber in color. The malt character and oak from the barrels are definitely present, but the hop presence kills it for me. I really wanted to like this beer. Some others claim the hops dies down if you cellar it. I might give that a whack the next time it's available.

 400 characters

Photo of Everydayoff
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Mildly hazed amber copper hue, it tops with one finger of foamy off-white head that stands just for a while before sinking to some long-lasting bubble film on the surface along with some sticky lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

Maltiness affair in the aroma with many varieties ranging from roasted, peat, biscuit, bread, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel. There is also a note of molasses and hint of grassiness from hop as well as subtle scent of alcohol.

Still malty goodness overloaded in the taste as well as its aroma, anyway, it is in good way and very inviting. Kick off with solid sweetness from malt and molasses but in proper amount, not that cloying. At the same time, other flavors of malt draw in with notes of roasted, peat, biscuit, bread, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel (like in the aroma). Just some subtle bitterness and it is mainly from burnt malt not hop.

The body is slightly beyond medium but not that bold with smooth mouthfeel from its lively carbonation generated a soft effervescence covering the palate. The mouthfeel is just right since carbonation did it job well to carry all the things, dry finish.

Superbly balance even this brew has pure malt domination but it is precisely that malt can balance itself with lots of variety and ample range of character. The oak-aged helps to add up more complexity of the aroma and flavor. It has remarkable balance between everything inside, more than worthy to give it a try.

 1,529 characters

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

Poured from tap into sniffer, minimal head epic lacing. Redish amber in the glass, clear. Molasses stands out in this beer, and the barrel aging rounds out the edges.

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Photo of brewaddict
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/31/16 from notes:

L - Pours a dark reddish copper brown with a thick cream colored head
S - I get sweet molasses and caramel with hints of oak
T - rich and bready. Maybe a little nutmeg like flavors in the middle. The molasses adds some sweetness. There is a bit of an alcohol after taste.
F - rich and mouthy.
O - Overall a nice brown ale..

 357 characters

Photo of Dentist666
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly strong old ale.
Pours hazy reddish-copper beer with thick beige head, excellent retention.
Smell - nuts, biscuits, caramel, molasses, wood, vanilla.
Taste - wood, caramel, toasted malts.
Full body, soft carbonation.
Bourbon-like beer. Too heavy to be outstanding old ale.

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Photo of MD03
4.67/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorites from Founders which is saying a lot. Complex sweet, oaky flavors that make it really drinkable for something with this high of an abv

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Photo of cporet94
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours a darkish amber with a nice head, though the head quickly thins out. The fruit and molasses flavors are present from start to finish. As the beer warms up the fruit flavors stand out. The mouth feel is quite smooth. The taste is also smooth with a slight tart after taste from the oak aging. The oak and molasses stand out in the smell.

 357 characters

Photo of Radcpa
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber cloudy appearance with slight head and carbination. Aroma is that of molasses and cinnamon. Taste is also molasses and spice that had little alcohol aftertaste. Taste and aroma Not as strong a I would like or expect.

 225 characters

Photo of ChipChaight
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle form Pioneer Supermarket on the UWS
Pours a hazy light amber with a ring of head and decent lacing, smell is dried fruits, dates, prune juice, toffee, roasted malts, taste is burnt honey, molasses, mellon rind, roasted squash, bourbon, this beer is velvety and full bodied with good carbonation. Comforting, warming, roasted bourbon goodness.

 354 characters

Photo of HoodviewBrew
4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours dark amber with a thin head. I agree with another reviewer, "The aroma is very like bourbon - very sweet, with vanilla, brown sugar and then notes of oatmeal, ginger, clove, and black tea." The flavor is strong in fruit with raisins, cherries, and molasses that gives it a delightful bitterness. The alcohol and bourbon flavors resonate from start to finish with that great old ale sourness. Great beer- one of, if not the best, of the Founders series.

 468 characters

Photo of BrewAskew
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours to a off white head and ample lacing. Deep dirty copper. Aroma is vanilla, molasses, fruits and booze. Flavor is rich and complex, and supremely malty. Whiskey, smoke, slices, dried fruit, nuts, caramelized sugars and soft alpha acids. MF is good. Nice little sipper.

 273 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very tasty, malty ale. Pours out a murky, orange copper color with spare head. Malty, musty, woody aroma, fall leaves and decay. Taste is some sweetish malt, a hint of alcohol, maple syrup, toffee, caramels. Very delicious and very easy to drink. Gone before you know it....

 274 characters

Photo of Holderness
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L -- Pours a thick, dark brown that requires excessive aeration to produce a one finger head. Some floaties settled on bottom of bottle. be careful when pouring.
S -- Smoke, malt, chocolate, coffee, oats, brandy
T -- Similar to a heavy oatmeal stout. Lots of maple tones.
F -- Mouthfeel like that of a heavy, unfiltered ale. Reminds me of Switchback or Shed Mountain Ale but with a higher alcohol content.
O -- My first of this style. Definitely curious to try more!

 467 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 478 characters

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

Creamy/yellowish head and dark amber beer. Very sweet on the nose with hints of spices, molasses, malts, toffee. The taste is also very sweet with a medium finish leaving a honey aftertaste. Little carbonation, creamy and thick. Very nice beer for the style and overall.

 270 characters

Photo of Act25
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Old Ale if you like them sweet and thick.

A: One finger off white head on a slightly hazed mahogany body.

S: Big toasted malts, toffee, sweet/fruit breads, molasses and dark fruit, fig.

T: Sweeter than expected, toffee, caramel and brown sugars, malt dominant. Nice. Spicy ending.

M: Creamy, smooth heavier body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Big Old Ale. Nice work.

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Photo of Amedlin18
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1/14/15. "Cellared" in a dark room temp area and drank 7/19 /16. Really smooth with warm alcohol burn but an enjoyable one. The 50 IBU bitterness has softened. Really great and glad I have another in storage

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a rich, full bodied ale with hearty flavors and a very strong finish. The high alcohol content does show through somewhat, but I found this to be a very satisfying end-of-the-day beer.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear ruby-copper body, thick and rich looking, with a light tan head that fades to nothing. Nose is rich and buttery, molasses and caramel add a mild sweetness. Taste is buttery and warming, notes of molasses, caramel, toasted bread, toasted wood, toasted marshmallow, a touch of vanilla and bourbon/cognac. Leans sweet, but has overpowering warmth to steer it in a better direction. Body is rich, full, heavy, mouth-coating.
Quite a yummy specimen here. The sweetness is mitigated by heavier, warming flavors, and quite a good variety of them at that. Reminiscent of a quad or a barleywine. This wonderful brew did the opposite of its name and reversed my curmudgeonly attitude about old ales.

 695 characters

Photo of Bulabeers
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: amber colored beer with a half finger of white head that leaves a nice film and little lacing as you drink
S: vanilla oak aromas with the irony molasses characteristic
T: vanilla, oak, irony molasses, and faint hops, appropriate alcohol presence, dark fruit.... good stuff
F: Nice and smooth, not under-carbonated or anything but creamy and easy going
O: Delicious. Love the label love the name love the beer. Really straight forward like a true curmudgeon should be.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 1/4/16 poured into a Nonic pint. The color was a beautiful red/Amber with about 1 finger of well retained head and good lacing. The nose was permeated with a nice blend of malt and molasses both of which were prevalent on the palate. As I noted in many of my reviews I'm not a big fan of very hop forward/bitter beers. To me this achieved a very nice level of hopiness without being overly assertive while at the same time in had a nice blend of sweetness from the malt that created a wonderful balance. A definite winner in my book.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bought it almost on a whim, pricey for a single bottle.

Poured into a beer glass, pours darkish brown, caramel color. No foamy head, thin foam sits on the head.

Smell from the bottle didn't indicate much, other than alcohol. Neither much does it from the glass, smells almost fruity if I drink it through my nose.

Taste is interesting, almost complex. Heavy roasted malt flavor, similar to a scotch ale, with some chocolate notes. A bit of an alcohol taste to it with some bitterness aftertaste.

Feels bold, full, and has a bite to it, not for those who dislike the alcohol taste or feel.

Overall, pricey, but okay, pleasantly complex but not to my taste. At least the label is nice.

 690 characters

Photo of Natron734
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large flavor but smooth, blended. Though distinct, flavors seem to meet each other with smoothed borders. No doubt from barrel aging. Watch out! After one, you may need more of these!

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Photo of fscottkey
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.50] Gorgeous brown to burgundy color. The beer has 1 finger of off white head. The head is thick and creamy with nice retention. The bottle lists the ABV (9.8%) and has a born on date (01/04/16).

S: [4.25] Leather, dark brown bread, dark caramel and peat.

T: [4.00] Follows the nose. Really nice dark brown bread flavor followed by peat and earthiness. Spiced rum. Underneath something reminiscent of root beer hard candies (a sweet herbal tone).

M: [4.25] Slick and thick. Nice body and heft. Has elevated alcohol that can be felt as a little heat on the finish.

O: [4.25] This beer is hitting on all cylinders. Pretty in the glass. Complex nose with inviting scents. The flavor is rich and complex. The mouthfeel is really nice and the alcohol heat does not detract from it. I want to share this beer with friends.

 839 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

 302 characters

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,684 ratings.
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