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: 1,291 | Ratings: 4,664
Photo of Vicarious
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber color with little lacing. Small off white head that disappeared quickly. Strong molasses smell and taste, leaving lips sticky after finishing. Good beer, would buy again.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: This looks like a solid DIPA, coppery, with an off white head. Decent lacing.
S: Sweet. Candy, molasses, caramel and ash.
T: Follows the aroma with some vanilla.
F: Thick, smooth with mild carbonation.
O: I had this for the first time a couple of years ago and I thought it was a pretty decent beer. I had it today on tap at a "Founders Event" at a nearby watering hole. I guess tastes can change. This is one terrific beer. I need to find a case. Soon!

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Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This reminded me of North Coast Old Stock, but, perhaps a tad hoppier and drier. Dried brown fruit skins, lemon and orange peel, ginger, vanilla, and bourbon, In a weird way, it sort puts me in mind of an Old Fashioned, which is my absolute favorite cocktail.

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Photo of Impfan
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very complex flavors featuring plums, cherries, mangoes, mandarin orange zest, vanilla, and bourbon.

The body is medium creamy, and the finish is of lengthy duration, and surprisingly dry.

This is definitely not what I was expecting, but I found it to be quite appealing, in a Gale's Prize Old Ale kind of way.

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Photo of darktronica
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

At this point, it's fair to call Curmudgeon a classic old ale. Rich amber in color with good acidity and strong malt backbone. When fresh, the molasses imparts a touch of sweetness to counter the sharpness of the base beer without producing a sugar bomb; some of the intensity is also due to the ageing, which imparts nice flavors of sassafras root and birch bark. Strong in flavor while remaining balanced and complex, all at a favorable price point.

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Photo of andrewh995
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Never had an old ale until now and I did not expect it to taste like that. Molasses, molasses, molasses, caramel. While I did enjoy it thoroughly I would probably not purchase it again. I am curious to see what other old ales are like though.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12/30/2016 12 ounce bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. Nice Amber color with decent sized head. Smelled the molasses and the oak. Had nice complex flavors on each sip and as it warmed up it just seemed richer. Plan on aging the remaining three. A nice addition to my old ale faves to be enjoyed in late winter.

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Photo of challenja
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Refrigerated 12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass
L: A Cloudy, thick burnt orange with some left over floating particulates left from the bottle.
S: - Deep long wiffs of caramelized molasses, powerful sugar alcohols,maple syrup, hints of oak soaked in vanilla beans.
T: - Follows the nose perfectly. Delicious, and mesmerizing. A true one of a kind for any serious beer lover out there.
M: Viscous full and round, with the perfect amount of carbonation that is felt when you swish it around your mouth.
O: This is one of my favorite rare finds that I hunt out every year. This is one serious beer that should be enjoyed one beer at a time. More than one and you are asking for a head pounding nightmare the next day.

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Photo of BJB13
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 01/11/16 printed on label. Cellared and enjoyed on St. Patrick's Day '17
12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Two fingers of tan foamy head that was fine around the edges but held large bubbles in the middle sat upon a thick, deep caramel pour that didn't let much light through. I could smell the oak before I even raised the snifter, followed by molasses, sweet malts and just a touch of booziness. The flavor matched the nose, sweet, molasses, caramel and kind of a toasted marshmallow flavor. The bitterness is low. I'm no expert but I would say that it has definitely lowered from 50 IBU. The high ABV is well masked, there was only a small amount of boozy flavor/ feel. Less than I expected as it finished smooth with a slight tang. The body was full and the carbonation low, otherwise smooth and a little frothy.

Good stuff! A sweet and flavorful sipper that was very rich and filling. I have three more that I will be having for dessert over the next couple of weeks!

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Photo of Babalu614
4.91/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle to snifter. A reddish copper/amber color with the aromas of bourbon, carmel, and molasses. Great tastes of carmel, bourbon, oak and maybe some vanilla. Thick and smooth feel with little carbonation, the alcohol taste was well hidden. Overall I loved this beer, tasted as good as it smelled!

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into Snifter. Bottled on December 30th 2016.

L: Clear coppery amber, fingers width beige head, decent retention. Small amounts of lacing.

S: Figs, toffee, caramely notes. Boozy. Butter rum. Some fruity notes as well, maybe melon?

T: Lots of fruit and figs here. Melons for sure, almost a DIPA feeling here. Nice malt notes, buttery, toffee, caramel. Good bitterness.

F: Medium bodied and good carbonation, a bit thick.

O: An interesting Old Ale, and a very good beer.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I finally got my hands on one of these!
Out of the bottle it pours a copper/amber color with a bubbly and thumbnail length off white head. Retains well as it leaves some lacing and nice looking cloud like patterns of film.
I think the nose is my favorite part of this brew. Buttery, tofee, caramel and honey sweetness. There is a lot of fruitiness going on too; I detect honeydew, cantaloupe or melon in particular. There is also some toasted malt tones that fade in and out. Towards the end there is a mild grassy and clean alcohol aroma.
Overall the mouthfeel is sweet and with other complex elements to balance things out. It would be interesting to see how this ages. It tastes like spicy dark and tropical fruit soaked in alcohol; in this sense it has some DIPA or barley wine qualities. The sweetness is derived also from honey and caramel like qualities from the malt. Medium to full bodied and chewy. A sipper, yet drinkable at the same time. There is a touch of spicy hops in the finish, as well as alcohol warming, that becomes increasingly dry and moderately bitter.
This was a fun and tasty high ABV brew that is drinkable, albeit you can only really have one at a time. I will try to get another one as soon as I can so that I can experiment with aging.

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

This is my first time trying an "old ale". I love the idea of a malty, high ABV beer aged in oak barrels. Got it in a mix a six, I believe it was made in later 2016 (December).

Amber/scotch look to the beer, with a head that dissipates fairly quickly, occasionally becoming reinvigorated with a swirl and a nice sip.

Smell is a heavy malt, molasses, and smells a little of the barrels were imparted as well. Same could be said for the taste but the taste had extra vanilla bean or some sort of sweet release. Little bit of hops to round out what would've been an intense malt bomb (IBU coming in at 50).

This beer is really nice, and I love the way it was setup with barrels making it extra special and tasty in all the right ways. It is rare that one beer gets me a good buzz but this one sure did! I'm ready to try maybe one more then take it easy for a while.. Sunday night blues just got a whole lot better!

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Photo of jvgoor3786
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing a 2016 version. It pours a nice translucent brown with a small, light brown head leaving nice lacing. The smell is malt, molasses, and some vanilla. The taste is dark fruits first followed by some sweet molasses. There is a smooth, low carbonation mouthfeel. Overall this is a nice, easy to drink beer that I really enjoy.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.42/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/1/14; drank 4/12/15 @ the Yarchives.

Murky orange/plum appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice khaki head; nice lace.

Plum, baking soda & brown sugar notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Dried plum flavor up front; a dry baking soda finish. Booze heat emerged as this warmed. Not very good.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, deep bronzed-burgundy with two fingers of khaki head. Poured straight into the glass slowly. Head retention is good, with good lacing left behind. Head forms quickly and eagerly. Aroma is caramel, toffee, molasses, with toasted, nutty malts. Flavor profile is caramel, molasses, and toffee with toasted and nutty malts as well. Caramel and molasses are at the front, keeping it sugary, but well balanced with the nutty and toasted malts at the back. Mouth feel is medium-thick, with a slightly fizzy and grainy feel. Overall, a lively old ale with lovely notes throughout.

Served in a teku.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From cellared bottle dated 1/14/2015.

Extreamly smooth and mellow for a beer of this style. A little boring and watery, but the ABV warmness and barrel character do stand out.

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

This is a 2014 bottle that pours a dark brown color with just a cap of head. Smell is wonderful, molasses, vanilla, malt, and some dark fruits. Taste is bready malt, molasses, and vanilla. A medium mouthfeel for a just all around nice brew.

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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.

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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.

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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..

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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.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,664 ratings.
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