Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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89
very good
1,286 Reviews
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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:
1,286
Ratings:
4,655
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
212
Gots:
1,154
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,286 | Ratings: 4,655
Photo of Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Poured a mahogany color with copious yeast particles present in solution. Not quite opaque, as there was some light penetration, put extremely diminished clarity. Quarter inch off-white cap quickly dissipated into a swirly skim. Nose is pretty incredible; wonderful complexity. Picked up vanilla, bourbon, caramel and oak on this one straight out of the bottle. Taste consistent with nose, but some more booziness comes out as well as a mild dark fruit character. Really quite tasty (I had a hard time deciding between a 4 & a 4.5 on this one). Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a light-effervescent tingle. Some viscousness to the body, but not overwhelmingly so. Definitely a sipper, but very pleasurable to drink and savor as it warms. I am curious to see how this ages, as I think it will most likely improve over time.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Archer Liquors in Chitown, thanks Randy!

Pours a cloudy brown/amber, thin tan head forms, nice thick lace ring around the glass, good retention, looks like a sipper! Smell is nice, bourbon, vanilla, raisin/date goodness, toffee, some chocolate, coconut, very nice. Taste is toffee, some bourbon, vanilla oak, coconut, very rich and malty, bit of roast, nice clean bitterness in the finish, just right. Mouthfeel is full bodied, low carbonation, nice heat going down. I could sip this for hours.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Captainren for sending a 4 Pack out to Portland.

A- Reddish cloudy amber with a thin tan head. Good lacing

S- Not much smell here. Should I be worried?

T- Ahh, there it is. Sweet fruit, cherries, spice.

D- Slightly oily in the mouth, smooth, a small bitter bite at the end.

O- I could easily drink multiple of these. Good stuff.

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Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Always seemed to miss this one when it came around & wasn't going to this year. Grabbed two 12 oz. singles & popped one open during a lively poker night.

Pour is straw yellow, pale enough to need sunblock on the trip in from the car. Nose is nothing to sneeze at: spare sweetness, gentle malts, cool breezes. Suprisingly mild.

Curdumdgeon is that rarest of beasts: a clean miss from one of my favorite breweries. Easygoing sweetness, light caramel, faint pear - then radio silence & a bullet of alcohol. Huh? Another sip, same reaction. Warm. Same.

I have to admit, I don't get it. There's really nothing to this beer other than a light sweetness & touch of fruit. If I'm going to consume an alcoholic drink weighing in at 9.8%, I want something tasty. This is dull; mediocre at half the taste.

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Photo of Bung
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. A fairly clear clear orange/amber pour. Miniscule off white head. Nice malty aroma, increases as it warms. Tons of malt flavor, some toffee, brown sugar with a little raisin. A small amount of hop presence. Nice and sticky and lingering. A little bit young I think, I bet the other three will age very nicely. Right now I'd say the Ola Dubh version I've had are a little bit better, but they're aged. This should have no problem competing with some age and at a bargain of a price comparitively. Actually bought a couple 3rd Coast Old Ales with this 4 pack, curious to see how they compare, even though they are considered barley wine.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass is deep amber in color, looks syrupy as it is being poured; has tall, frothy head that holds excellent retention and leaves tons of sticky lacing all the way down the glass - impressive. Aromas are sticky sweet with toffee, vanilla, oak, honey and biscuit. Tastes are bold and sweet, cloyingly at times. Notes of vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel, are all present with it being rather boozy, especially as it warms. Finishes with a peppery prickle on the tongue. Mouth-feel is velvety smooth and creamy. Overall, I loved coming back to this one, but the sweetness is a bit too much for the last 4 or so ounces. Excellent Founders quality as usual though.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Haymarket into a 4oz tasting glass...Pours a deep amber with orange notes, a decent tope head, looks good...The aroma is pretty good very sweet with lots of caramel, honey, spice and a little oak. Good start...The taste just doesn't translate, this is borderline horrible. Almost all bitter alcohol from start to finish, oak, and honey try to help out but they can't do enough. I had a hard time finishing this. I just can't believe how bad this is.

Avoid for me.

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Photo of champ103
3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby/orange color. A small bubbly white head forms with poor retention. No lace to speak of.
S: Smoky whiskey notes up front. Sweet vanilla and caramel. Some light nondescript dark fruits linger. Warm booze, and slightly oxidized.
T: Smoky and sweet with lots of alcohol. Vanilla and caramel again. A bit astringent. A lingering bitterness.
M/D: A full body that is syrupy and sticky. The alcohol is powerful. This is a bit rough around the edges.

Not bad, but not one of Founders better offerings. This almost seems like it was whiskey barrel aged, and the barrel has taken over. Considering this is not barrel aged, that is a little off putting. However, it is a nice beer for a night cap, and worth a try.

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

Aromas are intially light with bready and biscuity maltiness; a slight amount of fusel alcohols. As this warms, however, much more emerges. You can detect some nougat and caramels; almost dead on for a Milky Way candy bar.
The tastes begin with brown sugar and treacle/molasses; quite typical for the style. There is a hop presence, bitterness and flavors, but they are not decernable over the malt flavors. Slightly citrusy and earthy.
Mouthfeel is quite full with adequate carbonation. Overall this is a good example of an under-appreciated style of beer, if you purchase a fresh bottle I would recommend letting it cellar for a little because the alcohol was slightly detectable. Founders knows how to make strong beers well that's for sure.

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

Clear mahogany-red colour. Big, creamy, light tan head. Fair head retention and nice lacing.

Big melanoidin malt aroma. Toffee. Earthy hops and bitterness. Pretty good.

Sweet malt with a big, nutty, fruity character. Plenty of earthiness. Touches of bitterness. Really sweet but still balanced and interesting.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

Solid beer. Great flavour and well balanced. Really like this.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served a clear deep golden amber color with a small thick looking white head. The head fades rather slowly leaving a decent level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is of a sweet caramel and a decent level of a bready smell. Along with these aromas are some notes of darker fruits with some raisin and prune as well as some other sweet smells of toffee and molasses. Along with these smells are some oak and booze which combined with the rest to produce a sweet, warming and malty aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather sweet and smooth taste. The taste is largest of a smooth bready and caramel flavor with hints of light roasted and dark fruits within. The roastiness get slightly stronger as the taste advances with the darker fruits of raisin and plum getting stronger as the taste advances as well. Some more boozy flavors start to work their way in more toward the middle of the taste with some nice molasses sweetness coming to the tongue as well. With the booze and the sweeter flavors that come to the tongue more toward the middle, and a little bit of an oaky, rum like flavor, that comes to the tongue at the end, one is left with a nice smooth and sweet warming flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –For a brew of almost 10 % abv it is very drinkable yet appropriate in style. The body of the beer is on the thicker side rather nicely accentuating all the sweet and malty flavors of the beer while the carbonation of the brew is on the lower side, which allows all the oaky, sweet, and malty flavors tons of time to linger on the tongue.

Overall – A very enjoyable sweet and malty brew. Just what an old ale should be.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is murky brown with almost no head (the little foam that did exist was light tan colored). The smell was rich, malt + plums/raisins. The taste was even richer, a little like a really strong version of an English barleywine. Lots of dark fruits (mainly raisins) and malty sweetness, with a little alcohol burn. Thick mouthfeel, substantial beer, easy to see why it's rated highly. Old ales aren't my favorite, they're good once in a while, I pretty much tried this one because it was made by Founders. As usual they did a great job.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle I had was a year old

A-Cloudy amber, some carbonation, lots of sediment, two finger head

S-Lots of malt, some pine and dirt, molasses is still there.

T-Malt bomb primarily, grassy notes, some wheat and orange, malasses once again. Rather sweet.

M-Not much carbonation, smooth, medium bodied.

O-At a year old it seems to be past its prime, lots of malt and not much else

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

On tap at When Pigs Fly. In a snifter the beer was a dark red/brown color. There was a medium-sized white head that left a good amount of sticky lace.

Nice aroma. Sweet malt/caramel. Oak. Dark fruit. On the boozy side.

Caramel/butterscotch taste. Plums and raisins. Still a noticeable amount of booze.

Nice beer. Maybe a little more boozy than I would have wanted.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with a good amount of indistinct spiciness and lighter amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes fairly similar to how it smells. Sweet and slightly grainy caramel malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip they sweeten a bit and are joined by earthy, leafy, and lightly spicy hops. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending. The sip also warms a bit as it heads down the gullet.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was a very well done old ale and does a great job of hiding the alcohol. Worth a shot.

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Photo of ZAP
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L-Chestnut colored....minimal head..

S-Excellent. Big chewy caramel and nougat.....vanilla...

T-The flavor does not bring as much intensity as I hoped for from the aroma. You get some oak/vanilla, caramel and nougat but in lighter doses and there is a bit of alcohol bite on the back end.

F-Pretty boozy and sharp. Alcohol is not hidden in this one.

O-I like this but had higher hopes off the initial smell.....a bit too sharp with the grain alcohol like impression for my tastes...

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pretty sure i had reviewed this in the past but when i went to check my review before seeing what a little bit of time had done (bottled april 09 2011) there was none.

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. classic maroon with a hint of red and orange. thin head gone QUICK. murky core with a glow on the edge of the glass.

s - subdued malt. some nuttiness and maple syrup...but very timid. a bit boozy...mostly in the brisk feel it gives my nose when i whiff it.

t - much like the nose a subtle old ale flavoring with a bit of a bittery finish. the heat comes through at first. as the beer warmed, the classic old ale flavors started becoming more pronounced. caramel malts, nutmeg...

m - medium bodied. good carbonation. leaves an alcohol tingle.

o - this is a decent old ale. little bitter. this is a great style for barrel aging and the kaiser curmudgeon...whoa...now THAT'S a beer.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet. Bottled 9 April 2011.

A: Very thin head disappears completely in seconds. Reddish beer, absolutely orange in direct light. Translucent, but not see-through.

S: Old ale sweet-funky yeast. Sour-pleasant. Fresh cherries?

T: Whoah, weird. A strong flavour, overpowered by alcohol. Otherwise a nice maintaste, full of spiced raisins, rum-soaked caramel malts and...concord grapes? Nice beer.

M: Smooth, with a touch of carbonation. Tart on the endtaste with a sweet, substantial maintaste.

O: Nice beer that gets nicer as it warms. Lots of caramelised malts balance the inherent funkiness of the style. Another success from Founder's. Recommended.

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

12oz bottle thanks to somebody here who sent it to me as an extra. Amber color, short head. Smells rich, booze, malt, candy, good. The flavor was nice old ale with a bit of alcohol, toffee, really quite nice. Overall, I'd buy this if I could and wouldn't mind another bottle. Founders makes some quality beers.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.44/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a re-rate. Got a funky bottle the first time, I think. Pours deep amber brown with a small yellowish head on top. Aroma is molasses, oak, HUGE malt, and actually a bit of dark fruit. Very low carbonation, and a thick viscous mouthfeel. Flavor is all malt forward with a definite oak presence. Sweet and sticky, with the sweet coming from a combination of caramel malt and some fruit flavor. Will certainly warm you with the alcohol, though it isn’t too assertive. I can appreciate the massive malt presence, but I’m not sure I believe this is "balanced", as Founders claims. Still not a huge fan of this one, but certainly better than the first bottle I had (that one got a 1.8). Up front it is a bit much, but it can grow on you a bit as you sip through

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Photo of mynie
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can't believe I never reviewed this. This was the first weird, high-ABV beer I ever regularly consumed. This was back when spending, wait for it, TEN WHOLE DOLLARS on a six pack was considered extravagant--so extravagant, in fact, that this would sit on shelves for ages.

Then, similar to BCBS, they upped the price even further, triggering some weird Thorstein Veblen impulses in our nation's monied classes that actually drove up demand. I hadn't seen it sitting on a shelf in ages, and since I'd had so many in the past, I never really felt like seeking it out.

But it was just sitting there the other day, a mere three times more expensive than the last time I sampled it. I couldn't resist.

Pours dark red and very limp. Smells like honey, spices, and booze. Little hints of whiskey, I guess. Some vanilla. Not nearly as intense as I remember, but that's what a decade of scorching your pallet will do to you.

Tastes super sweet but balanced out nicely by a prominently boozy back end. Honey up front, malt syrup in the middle, vanilla, bread, and english toffee at the end. Very nice. It holds up even today.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.73/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a burnt sienna color with huge, oily-looking chunks of sediment plopping down into the glass. That plus very little head means this is one ugly-ass beer - almost to the point where I'm afraid to sip it.

S: Quite strong with molasses, mint, and caramel, while darker fruits help augment the malt backbone. Pretty nice smelling, and a lot more promising than the look of the beer.

T: The flavor is hard to describe. The first sip is loaded with caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, and a little finishing booze; a few sips later, the profile changes to that of slightly burnt pumpernickel bread. Not as sweet as I expected, probably due to the age of the bottle and the yeast eating some of the sugar - despite that, it's still a bit cough syrup-y at times. Kind of boozy, also. Just a weird, strange beer, one that I'm struggling to finish.

M: Thickly textured, with tannins helping to neutralize the finish somewhat. Nice creaminess to start, before the body itself finishes slightly coarse and sticky. Rather boozy feeling on the throat in particular.

O: Meh. In fairness, this is not a good late afternoon kind of beer, but I still found it rather mediocre despite that. A rare misfire from Founders, but it's not completely irredeemable.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Rich amber, 1-1/2 fingers of opaque white head.

Smell: The oak is present, but the molasses and toffee aromas sneak in to make your mouth water.

Taste: The oak takes a vanilla flavor, and the molasses and toffee flavors balance that perfectly. This is a traveshamockery good dessert beverage, if you choose to go down that path.

Feel: Nice carbonation for a beverage this big, the malt bill is a syrupy balance that fits this beverage very well.

Overall: I have a bottle of KBS aging in my beverage fridge that I just assumed would go to the head of my Founders class. That is no longer a safe assumption after enjoying this magnificent Old Ale. Well done by an iconic American brewer.

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Photo of n2185
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in March of 2010

A: Pours a murky caramel brown with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of caramel malts up front with some hints of vanilla. There are some light citrus and alcohol notes in there as well. I also pick up a bit of powdery cocoa aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of caramel flavors with some vanilla notes. Some slight biscuity bitterness as well. Sticky sweet with a light alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is sticky and chewy, but avoids being cloyingly sweet.

O: Overall, a decent old ale. Even with a year on it, there are still some hop and alcohol notes present. Unfortunately, I think it may have oxidized slightly. I will have to try it again fresh.

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Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that I've sat on for about 12 months, after a trade with ATPete, thx! Poured into my Delirium snifter, Old Curmudgeon is hazy rusty brown with an pretty dense light sand head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is sweet cured fruit, golden raisins and medjool dates, definitely a lighter feel then the more common raisin and prune notes. Softer at the cellar serving temp, the fruits really opened up more at room temp, some kiwi, which I thought was very distinct and enjoyable, before the caramel started to dominate, with some clean alcohol vapors coming through at the end.

Taste is pretty rich and sweet, there are some oak and vanilla notes that make me think this is barrel aged, although I really don't know anything about it. Very nice though, with some of the light tropical fruit notes from the nose, ABV well hidden for sure. Lots of depth and super tasty without being a palate buster, I'm super impressed.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy, medium bodied. On the drier side but not as spicy as I'd expect from the ABV.

Drinkability is high, wow. Super tasty, smooth, easy drinking, a killer old ale for sure. I can't believe how easy drinking this is with only a few months on it's belt, even it it had a few more when I bought it, it's still probably less then a year old. Wow, great beer!

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,655 ratings.
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