Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

very good
1,291 Reviews
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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,291 | Ratings: 4,663
Photo of BSiegs
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish in color, ample light tan head. Retention and lacing are excellent. The aroma is very pleasant. Sweet malts, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, slight alcohol. Taste is similar and complex. Molasses, dark fruit, sweet malt. The oak comes out a bit in flavor as well. Slight hop flavor and bitterness. The body is medium-full, low-moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter and alcohol is present on the swallowl. Really excellent.

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Photo of SuomiHobbit
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Flavor and mouthfeel are fine on the way down...then the bourbon flavor wrecks the whole deal. Bourbon aroma is not enjoyable. High alcohol is fairly well hidden.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

I had this a couple of years back and felt the urge to revisit with it being in New Mexico.

Flavor and aroma treat me to raisiny, dried fruit and light flora notes. Very consistent from nose to tongue. Funny that this has molasses added because I think more of maple. Either way, there's a sticky, dry sweet flavor there.

There's a pretty potent hop profile on the finish that takes things grassy and herbal. Age would probably tone that down and serve this beer well.

This beer feels like something I need about six ounces of maximum.

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Photo of matcris
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: It's a fairly clear red/ruby. About a half finger of khaki, soapy head that settles down to a ring after a few minutes. Great carbonation when I rock the glass. Leaves spotty lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Smells quite sweet. A little alcohol note. Big molasses, cherries, leather, candied sugar, fruitcake- nice big bready qualities. And a tea like note, which might account for the oak.
TASTE: Sweet up front. That big molasses and fruitcake kick in right off the bat. Leaves a pleasant mild bitterness on the finish. Yup, tastes like a booze soaked fruitcake, with a molasses glaze.
FEEL: Syrupy, sticky, full body, dries on finish. Medium carbonation, not flat at all.
OVERALL: A nice big sipper, full bodied and quite tasty.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

oak and sweet molasses on the nose. some fruity notes, cherry and light berry with a touch of spice.

taste is dark fruits up front and a bit of oak, nice blend of malts and a bit of alcohol. good mouthfeel, although a bit light.

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

Leather tobacco pouch, canvas rope, rusty anchor...says the label. Not far from reality, though - aroma and taste of molasses, roasted malt, caramel, tobacco and tea. Deep, rich taste that ends with a bit of alcohol heat. Big beer with an excellent, robust flavor profile with a taste of oak and spice. Complex and delicious.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours deep copper amber with a creamy tan head that settles to a light layer and leaves some very nice lacing.

S: Deep sweet fruity notes, hints of berry, dark sugars, subtle spice, and a little oak.

T: Sticky, fruity, dried cherry, plum, blackberry, fig, golden raisin, peach, nice oak presence, honey, toffee, burnt sugar, a bit earthy, mild spice, hints of licorice and vanilla, and slightly toasty bready malt.

M: Full body, moderate carbonation, smooth with a pleasant mild warmth.

O: I don't have a lot of experience with this style, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Now I have to track down some bottles.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Anchor Steam glass Smell is oak,kind of spicy.Taste is sweet an spicy.Overall it`s ok but not really my cup of tea.Don`t think I would buy again.

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Photo of prost2hefeweizen
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L - pored red body with white head into a tulip glass
S - caramel, oak, wood, smokey
T - earthy, oak, sweet finish
F - light coat, smooth with low carbonation
O - first of this style beer I've had. Really enjoyed it. Earthy oak with sweet finish

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Photo of CoreyC
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aged 1 year
A - really nice orangey hue with a strong head
S - nice slightly sweet aroma
T - a bit sharp with no sweetness of the aroma and a very harsh finish
M - nice thickness
O - not as good as I would have thought after a year, will definitely let the rest sit for a while

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

Look - Dark amber, almost brown color.
Smell - Oak, molasses, spice, earth, toffee
Taste - Tons of oak comes thru from the barrel. Sweetness from the molasses, toffee type flavors, hints of dark fruits
Feel - Slight hints of the 9.8 but hidden well. Very drinkable for the ABV

Overall - A very enjoyable beer! A real nice sipper.

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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 FBarber
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, crisp dark amber color with a thick tan head that dissipated but left some lovely lacing along the top.

Smells strongly of oak, malt and spices. Taste is very oaky up front - if you could brew wood, this is what it would taste like. Also get lots of malts and some spice, bit of a bitter finish. This beer is pretty carbonated, and it masked some of the distinct flavors for me. Otherwise very smooth light beer - I actually liked that it was a lighter oak aged beer.

Overall, a interesting offering - love the oaken flavors in this ale, really good - well worth trying.

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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.

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Photo of ivehadthatbrew
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look (3.75): Slight haze to it with an amber brownish and ruby hue. Not a massive carbonation to it. Small sticky head.

Smell (3.5): An oaky and maple syrup like kind of aroma. Some floral notes, maybe a bitter like coffee smell, but neither are intense. Some vanilla and coconut from the wood.

Taste (3.75): Again, a ton of oakiness everywhere. At first you're hit with big caramel malty flavors. There are big bready and perhaps cherry notes in there, but not estery fruit ones. Some slight bitterness and black pepper spice at the end. Some vanilla and coconut from the wood.

Mouthfeel (4.5): This is the best part. I'm fairly certain the oak used in this is lightly toasted American Oak. You get those classic coconut and vanilla smells out of it. This also gives it a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel as it warms up. Very nice =)

Overall (4): This seems like a cool brew that would get pretty interesting as it ages. I'll have to experience with it more that way.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

hazed slightly murky dark brown beer with very little head. pretty much what one expects from an old ale.
the aroma contains tangy vanilla, caramel, something like a roasted coconut, soft bourbon, toffee, a little booze, that nice "aged" aroma (don't know how better to describe it, but it's not oxidation), oak and some fruity vinous characteristics maybe like raisins... in no particular order.
the taste moves in about exactly the direction i want it to judging form the smell. vanilla bourbon oak, but not in the overdone, masking way that it seems to be used sometimes. caramel and toffee make their appearance spiced raisin flavors here to,but pretty minimal taking a back seat to a lot of maltyness.
soft, slick coating mouthfeel, medium bodied, with minimal carbonation.
good drinkability the alcohol is present, but never burns or becomes abrasive, it just stays pleasant and warming.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a dark amber color with a vanilla colored head, some lacing, low carbonation, beer is clear, nice touches of ruby red when held up to the light, looks pretty good.

A: Caramel, toffee, malts, no alcohol on the nose, aromas are very subtle, not very aromatic.

T: Toasted caramel and toffee, touch of oak, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finish has lingering notes of caramel, toffee, and malt, very smooth and drinkable.

M: Full bodied, good amount of carbonation, semi-dry finish.

O: Picked up a single of this and I'm going back for the full four pack, taste great, nice solid malt bill, touch of oak, caramel, and toffee, balanced, a solid barrel aged offering from Founders, lacks a little on the aroma but there's plenty to enjoy in the taste, curious to see what some time in the cellar will do to this beer.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reading through some of the reviews, I think this is a tough beer to analyze.
It has too many flavors and too much alcohol to get in balance.
But the flavors tend to mask the alcohol as the beer ages.
The 4 pack I bought three years ago.
The first one was too young, too alcoholic and too hoppy. About six months later, the second one was only slightly better.

I Had the third bottle only 9 months later and it had been brewed 44 months earlier. The fruit flavors have finally mellowed the alcohol and hops. I improved the rating substantially to about the average.
Sometime in 2017, I hope the last bottle proves that Old Curmudgeon's alcohol can turn to a fruity dessert if one is patient.
I will not buy this ale again unless I am mature enough for it to mature.

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Photo of MLoxxer
2.84/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A respectable high gravity ale. I was able to enjoy this one on tap. The head left behind nice, residual lacing. Although I always think of old ales as darker than this I was pleased with the haziness. From a flavor perspective, this one is hoppier and less complex than I would like. That being said, I like the style and will be having Old Curmudgeon again.

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good brew, 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. Nice high Alc level. Best part about this beer and the label is cool.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served at cellar temperature from 355ml bottle into American nonic pint glass.

L) Chestnut to light brown colour, some big lumps of yeast, quite a few small bubbles rising. A thin off-white head.

S) Well, alcohol / scotch for a start! Bits of sweet milk chocolate too.

T) Smooth flavour; nothing huge there, bits of scotch, brown ale malt. Not much in the hops department. Raisins and dried fruit from the malt.

F) Very smooth, low carbonation, does not taste anywhere near 9.8% ! Only a slight dry bitterness on the aftertaste. Way too drinkable for a strong beer!

O) Again, the word that comes to mind is smooth. Easy drinking strong ale, glad I've tried it.

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

Thoroughly enjoyed form a growler via Jungle Jim's. This most excellent old ale pours a beautiful reddish amber with a thick head of khaki foam that settles to a beefy ring, pooling layer, and spotty lacing. Nose of light amber molasses, subtle oak, and serious booze. Flavors exceed the nose with a creamy amber molasses and zesty hop bitterness that has touches of woodsy oak that shows itself on the back with rum like notes and subtle cherry flavors. Vastly improves with warmth. Smooth and rich, this one keeps from being a malt bomb by the zesty herbal hops. Medium mouth feel with strong warmth. An excellent old ale.


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Photo of Strike00
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Dark Amber with an off-white head and decent lacing.
S: You cant smell the alcohol and the distinct smell of oak aging.
T: you cane taste the slight sourness of the oak as well as an underlying sweetness. Prominent alcohol at the end.
F: light- medium bodies with minimal carbonation. Really smooth.

O: I really enjoyed this sipper. You can tell its a higher ABV but also has great oak flavor and sweetness to balance it out.

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

Meh, when I had this fresh thought the molasses was too forward, so stuffed the other three in the cellar. Now, over a year later, revisited. looks good, smells okay, the molasses taste has subdued.

But in general, yawn, nothing here stands out, just okay to my tasting buds, mouthfeel isn't silky from the aging, taste is unremarkable, can't really name any of the flavors I'm getting here. Color me unimpressed, more cellaring probably can't help this pedestrian liquid.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Aged almost a year, this copper bodied old ale has a very thin head and an extra thick nose. Smells delicious, slightly malty with tons of caramel, molasses obviously. Full bodied and really goes down smooth, nice sweetness to it.

This to me is an almost perfect winter beer. Nice warming, smooth on the pallet... A+

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,663 ratings.
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