Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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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:
1,300
Ratings:
4,686
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
216
Gots:
1,161
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,300 | Ratings: 4,686
Photo of sidetracked
3.42/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby red with visible sediment floating about. Light tan head lingers around the edges.

Not very aromatic. Little toffee, toasted malts, and alcohol heat.

Upfront taste is slightly sweet toffee, caramel, raisin-like fruit, and toasted malts. Little alcohol present. Finish is toasty and boozy with some molasses but not that sweet. Lingering molasses flavor.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly syrupy. Hint of alcohol heat at the finish.

A good sipper with nice complex flavor. Aroma leaves something to be desired. A beer I'd have to be in the mood for to have again.

7/28/2011

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Photo of TheRealBigC
4.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an instant favorite. Almost like a cognac - heavy vanilla and alcohol flavor, but there's more depth than that. A bit of oak and cinnamon, for instance, linger somewhere in there. The bar served it in a rocks glass which was disappointing as a snifter would have been perfect for this ale. I got plenty of enjoyment in the smell as it was, but a snifter likely would have made it even better. I really have to look into more old ales because if they are anything like Curmudgeon, it's a style perfectly tailored to my tastes.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours a rich amber with very little head that quickly retreats to the edges of the glass. No real lacing to speak of.

S - Very malty with a corn husk and whiskey/bourbon character. Some alcohol evident in the nose.

T&M - All the nose elements come through in the taste as well. Slightly phenolic with a tannin woody presence. Warmth in the back of the throat, medium-full body with a thick feel. Very little carbonation, bourbon sweet in the finish

D - Surprisingly easy to drink for such a high ABV beer with big, bold flavors. I think I could go for a 2nd one.

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Photo of midaszero
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks stopbarking for the bottle

A - Cloudy dark red brown with almost no head at all

S - can smell it from a distance. excellent mixture of dark fruits, caramel sweetness, oak, and also toffee. a little bit of boozes to be detected as well

T - Oak aged raisins covered in caramel and toffee sauce. Nice clean finish with some alcohol to be had in the back.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - WOW I could drink this all the time it is simply amazing.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four-pack at my local Stein's Liquor. The bottled on date suggests this beer is about six months old. Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

L: Pours a ruddy copper with about a half-inch of off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly, leaves a nice ring, and provides little lacing on the glass. Lazy, infrequent visible carbonation.

S: Caramel malt notes, with a bit of clear alcohol, molasses, and some mild raisin. Just a bit of nuttiness coming through, as well.

T: Sweet caramel and bready malts at the outset. There's a bit of tartness that appears with some of the clear alcohol flavor. The middle sees the development of the molasses flavor, as well as some nice, albeit subtle, raisin and nut flavors. The warming alcohol builds a bit throughout this stretch, but the taste remains quite sweet. The back end is sweet malts and more of that warming alcohol, with just a bit of that lingering molasses, raisin, and nut.

F: Medium-bodied and more creamy than syrupy, which I tend to enjoy. There's is just a bit of stick to the finish, as those flavors remain on the palate for a while. Nice level of carbonation.

O: Well, this is the second Old Ale I've tried tonight. I have to say, Curmudgeon is a far more drinkable brew than North Coast Old Stock Ale. This one doesn't has as complex or well-developed a flavor, but it certainly seems to have a bit more balance. I wish some of the raisin and nut were more assertive, but this is definitely a beer I would return to again.

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Photo of hardysf
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Very good mouthfeel. Wonderful color that is clear. Smell of wood and molasses. Some hop spiciness shines through at the end. Too much oak flavor for me. Might be better with some age.

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Photo of clemtig76
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby 12 oz brown bottle picked up at the Charleston Beer Exchange. Poured a hazy orange amber with a very thin white head that quickly faded. No lacing to speak of. Aroma is wonderful combination of vanilla, bready malt and bourbon. The taste flavor is big and full with a coying sweetness with a hints of smoke, brown sugar, caramel malts and whiskey. My first Founders and definitely not my last. A truly outstanding, complex brew. Well done.

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Photo of nsmartell
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a thin white head that doesn't stay for long.

Smell: Malty, sweet, alcohol and some whiskey.

Taste: Bready-malts, sweet and a hint of alcohol. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Very good old ale. Would definitely seek out and drink again.

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Photo of Kraken
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Fin Du Monde Tulip glass. Firm pour evokes little in the way of a head, in fact it pours looking almost flat. The Curmudgeon does manage to leave lines on the glass after every sip. Pours a dark and murky orange brown.

Nose- Rich aromas of citric fruits and sour apples great my nose.

Palate- Sour apples, toffee some citrus fruits, perhaps a little cognac. Lightly sweet, followed by a nice dose of hops, some sourness. Alcohol punch, long dry bitter finish, very very nice. Develops considerably as it warms.

Mouthfeel- Somewhat syrupy, very dry.

Drinkability- This is truly a sipper, to be enjoyed slowly.

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Photo of LeRose
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from undated 12 oz bottle into snifter.

Appearance was a very hazy, dark orange. No appreciable head, and what there was vanished quickly. Aroma was sweet, slight alcohol, raisin date fruit notes, some breadiness, some caramel, whiff of vanilla. Immediate taste was bitterness with some acidity underneath, then sweetness. Malty, caramel, maybe fig, sweet grapes, maple syrup notes, and more vanilla than the nose. Sweetness builds, vanilla and maple notes linger. Soft and smooth on the palate, not too carbonated, some tingle from the alcohol. Some syrupy sticky sweetness stays on. Overall, warming and fun to drink. A lot going on, but seems well blended. As it warmed, cleared and had many tiny bubbles. Also became very brandy like in character. Liking this a lot.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orange that's just on this side of brown. Virtually no head. Oak, raisins, and must in the aroma. The flavor is mostly oak and molasses. Bit of punch from the 9.8% ABV. A touch of bitterness from the hops at the end. It's a sipper, but something different comes out with every sip, including maple syrup.

Spend a lot of time enjoying this one.

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Photo of mocktm
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/21/2011, into a pint.

Dark amber red in appearance, hazy with little to no head, pretty lousy carbonation as well. Looks thick, syrupy and viscous.

I'm having a really hard time getting past the booze on this, although there are faint hints of burnt sugar, molasses and some raisins. However, the booze are a really dominating presence.

As with the nose, heavy booze with some caramel and vanilla sweetness on the finish. A bit of smoke and woodiness as well, finishing hot from the alcohol with no signs of hop bitterness to be found. Age would probably be very kind to this one.

Definitely full bodied and rather thick. Combined with the booziness, this is a sipper all the way.

Not a huge fan of this one, but with some age, maybe the booze will fade and the malt can become more prevalent to create a better balance. Probably my least liked beer I've had from Founders.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Description: Dark amber, almost ruby, color with just a trace of white head. Aroma is powerful in this and you immediately get bourbon, molasses, caramel and brown sugar. The bourbon is very present in the taste as is the molasses which adds a nice sweetener to the malt. Mouthfeel isn't really velvety but is quite smooth all the same.

Suggested food pairing: A hearty beef stew

If you like this beer then you should also try: Old Stock Ale

Ideal time to drink this beer: After a long but successful day of hunting whales off the coast of New England. And I don't mean "whales" in the sense of a hard to acquire beer, I mean real, swimming, get-your-harpoon-ready, whales.

Overall: 4.5 (This beer is very good and I would definitely drink it again) Emblematic of the big flavors you usually find in a Founders beer, this one is solid from top to bottom. The molasses is the real star of the beer for me in that it adds another element or layer of complexity that you don't always find elsewhere. Despite the complexity, this beer still has an everyday, familiar, favorite pair of jeans feel for me. Maybe I have a special affinity for this beer as I come from a long line of curmudgeons and could very well be a curmudgeon myself some day. Who knows? Get off my lawn.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.1/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass at ~45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear ruddy amber, and forms almost no head. What does form vanishes completely in short order, in a puff of fizzing.

Smell: The aroma is subtle, barely there, likely due to the wide-mouth glass. It is mild caramel and sweetness, with very soft hints of oak.

Taste: And alas, my hop sensitivity strikes. This has an earthy, ashy bitterness to it which becomes virtually all I can taste. I can faintly, oh so very faintly, make out wispy ghosts of sweet caramel beneath the dirty ashes, but that's it.

Mouthfeel: Acrid and harsh are the only things I can describe this as, like most beers that trip my hop sensitivity trigger.

Overall: This is a beer I'd cite as an example of where "old ale" and "English barleywine" are not necessarily synonyms - I've run into fewer English barleywines that I can barely drink than old ales. This may very well be a tasty beer, but it's one I can't enjoy.

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Photo of capra12
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed by myself this time without the Trifecta served out of a snifter glass.

Appearance: 3 fingers of tan head and amber in color

Smell: The alcohol in this is a distinct aroma as well as a hint of concord grapes and subtle malts.

Taste: This opens spicy with some malts and hops which comes through during the middle to end. This brew is rather smooth but the alcoholic finish comes fairly strong.

Mouthfeel: This is medium bodied and leaves a rather hoppy aftertaste but not enough to keep my from taking another sip.

Drinkability: Although it is hoppy I would have another but not on the same night.

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Photo of albertjr21
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle date appears to be 4-8-11.

Into a tulip glass settles a reddish deep amber under a well sustained head. Deep candy sweet toasted malt busts through in the nose with a hefty blend of syrupy cherries, mild citrus and caramel. Enjoyed at a cool temperature, the flavors here take on a rich, well pronounced, and warming character that reminds me of a post meal cordial. A powdery dry and complex flavored finish echoes the blend of boozy fruit, caramel, and cocoa that just waltzed on the palate.

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Photo of scottg
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

Pours a murky amber/light brown with no head leaving light lacing. Aromas of brown sugar, oak, vanilla, cherry, whiskey. Nicely balanced sweetness with subtle bitterness, cherry, chocolate, lemon and caramel flavors. Medium carbonation and body with a chalky mouthfeel. The 9.3% alcohol is hidden well, solid drinkability.
Overall, a very tasty beer I will have again

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Photo of maedhros09
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark ruby amber with big fluffy off-white head that takes some times to settle.
Smell: Definitely needs to warm up to pick up on the subtle aromas here. Caramel malt, molassas and a smidge of fruity alcohol...
Taste: I'm finding it hard to describe the taste. Partly its because it is so seamless - you can't tell where one fllavor ends and the next begins - but also it's kind of muted. Its this smooth sweetness that comes and goes, with a gentle afterglow of herbal hops. I imagine part of this is the barrel-aging. The alcohol is somewhere in there, obviously, but it isn't too obvious below cellar temps.
Feel: Medium body, very smooth slightly syrupy mouthfeel with subdued carbonation thanks to the high alcohol.

Overall: The Curmudgeon is mysterious in the way it keeps me coming back and trying to understand it. It is big, yet mellow. Strong, yet subtle and thin in a way. It definitely goes against Founders' reputation as makers of brash beers. All in all, though, it's hard to feel like I'm not missing something. I finish it feeling vaguely unsatisfied. Maybe it's the style. For malty goodness I have to admit I would rather crack open a Dirty Bastard.

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Photo of Mavigo
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this a few times before. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a sumptuous ruby, mahogany color that is accompanied by a 1/4 inch tan head that lingers for a few minutes before dissipating completely. Has a few patches of lace but not much.

S: Incredible aroma, smells of licorice, oak, honey, caramel, plums, yeast, molasses, cinnamon, malts, spices

T: A quite sweet and flavorful beer. It's a bit syrupy but not overtly so, honey, oak, molasses predominate with tinges of plums, yeast, and cinnamon coupled with a slight alcoholic kick at the end.

M: Full bodied, slightly carbonated, very thick and rich. Drink slowly.

O: Conforming to all my other experiences with Founders beers, this was incredible. I rarely drink old ales, I know this is not my first but I can't remember my last but this one will always stick with me. Expensive yet it's nose and mouth candy, got to have this one.

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Photo of dheacck11
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice deep burnt orange color with thin head and scant lacing.

Honey, caramel, malt on the nose.

Little shot of scotch to start, followed by ripe wood, honeysuckle, some hints of molasses. Very gentle hoppiness. Not boozy at all

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little bite at the end. Ends up feeling thicker than it actually is at first.

A solid old ale example, but could be a little more complex with the scotch flavors. Would also have liked a little bit more body, and to taste the booze a little bit...

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

P- Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a Large Funky Buddha snifter.Bottled on 12/30/16 (almost 4 months old). First non Florida beer on my last night in Florida.

L- Creamy light khaki colored head that stands a half finger tall,with moderate retention and super sticky lacing.Slightly hazy ruby colored body,with moderate retention and distorted light showing through the glass.Low amount of carbonation,and moderate amount of sediment.

S- On the nose I get heavy amounts of sweet molasses,caramel malt,smoked oak,and slight alcohol notes.

T- The palate follows the nose with sweet molasses up front,caramel malt in the middle,and smoked oak on the back end with some undertones of alcohol,and some bitter hops.

F- The mouth feel is medium / heavy with a sticky texture.Low amount of oxidation on the tongue,with a surprisingly smooth finish.A little bit of alcohol warming after the sip.

O- This is a pretty damn good beer.To be perfectly honest I don't have much experience with this style,but I like it.I would definitely drink it again,and recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of RollBounce
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

bored with very little leasing slightly amber and cloudy notes smell is lately muted in glass with hints of cinnamon brown sugar and bread some tropical notes are found. Overall it is a white tropical compared to the aged old curmudgeon that I sat on for 2 years ahead papaya and mango now it's definitely better in the bottle but worth a try.

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

Pours red with orange highlights and a two finger off white head. Aroma is molasses, alcohol, dark fruit, and a touch of cough syrup. Taste is dark fruit, molasses, a bit of cough syrup, alcohol, and a hint of oak. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall an interesting beer, and a style I could get into for winter.

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Photo of cooncat
4.82/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving from a 12 oz. bottle.

A vigorous pour produces a small tan colored head, but that is to be expected for this style. The head disappears almost immediately, but also to be expected. Color is almost an opaque dark ginger brown .. very dark. Nose is incredible with many mixed fruit aspects, including plums and apricots. Very sweet smelling, with some hint of the alcohol in the nose. First sip is like tasting ambrosia; wonderful fruit maltiness, with a hint of piney hops. The flavor is HUGE, and the alcohol presence is notable. The finish is sweet to the last drop, with no lingering after taste. Mouth feel is so full its almost 'chewy'. This is a perfect Winter Warmer, dessert beer, or excellent finish to a session.

Well done, Founders!
Prost!

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a brandy glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a dark copper color bordering on brown. Head is a light tan color, and very foamy. It recedes to a pangaea-like formation on the surface of the beer.

Smell: Hawaiian sweet bread, some gentle molasses. Great malt character. Some subtle purple fruit. What surprises me is that the extremely high ABV is virtually undetectable in the nose. I'm intrigued.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Crazy thick maltiness, with some nearly-cloying sweetness which is nearly balanced by the ester character of the brew. I can imagine myself in some 1700s pub on the shoreline, barking about the weather. This is heavy-duty. Finishes pretty wet, but the aftertaste is a gentle, beautiful sweetness. Undeniably well balanced for the strength.

Overall: I like it! It dances on the edge of Cloying Cliff but never crosses the rim. Any sweeter and it would have been terrible...as it is, amazing.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,686 ratings.
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