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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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89
very good
1,267 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:
1,267
Ratings:
4,607
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
210
Gots:
1,134
For Trade:
53
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,267 | Ratings: 4,607
Photo of kbeals
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a viscous pour, very little head with a bit of lacing. Looks about the color of apple cider, some floaties. Smell is a bit citrusy with sweet malts, an alcohol smell makes quite a presence also. Tastes exactly like scotch, maybe a bit sweeter though, not much to this one. Chest is warmed up nicely from the alcohol, though. This is the first Founder's brew I probably would never buy again.

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Photo of mikecharley
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out of the twist top into a balloon glass. Appears dark and murky copper, with a twinge of red. Really no head to speak of, save a ring of tan around the edge. Leaves no lace, however the style rarely does.

Nose is of sweet malts and some brandy-ish alcohol (only a little). Also some dark fruits are present(very subtle). Prunes, figs, raisins, some plum and cherry in there too.

The taste is wonderful. There's some wood in there as well... Gotta love this. Dark fruits as the nose would suggest. Some subtle vanilla as well.

The feel is right on for the style. Just in between medium and full bodied. Seriously perfect.

The 9.8 gets to you by the end of the glass, and the alcohol presence should mask itself after a while in the cellar to improve this aspect.

Overall a great brew. I am going to immediatly seek out a case for the cellar to see how this champ does!

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into glass snifter.
45°F

$4.00 / ea.

A: Cloudy burnt orange body topped with a small off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving no lace and only a ring of cover.

S: Molasses, pecans, raisins, and traces of booze. Very full aroma tending towards sweet maltiness. You can tell it will be potent before it ever hits your lips.

T: Sweet molasses and brown sugar malt profile dominates. The alcohol is well masked, but the underlying potency is obvious. The hop profile is very weak compared to the malt bill, but tends toward a resinous piney flavor. Aftertaste is brief, and does not build.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight initial bite. Viscous and coating on the tongue, but does not build over time.

D: A sipping beer to be sure. The flavor is pleasant, but the strength can not be denied. One, maybe two while you relax.

O: Solid offering, but nothing special. I've had better from both the brewery and the style.

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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 Xul
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent amber with some light ruby highlights, capped by a half finger of frothy, eggshell colored head. Retention is moderate as the head slowly settles down to a thin layer of foam, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Lots of fruit up front with cherries, some light berries, and a moderate citrus character all appearing. Caramel and toffee follow with faint notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, and leather hanging in the background.

T: As with the nose, big fruits up frunt with the berries almost disappearing but some pears join the cherries and citrus. Sweet toffee on the mid-palate gives way to chocolate and hints of vanilla, before the fruit returns for the finish and joins with the vanilla for a long, sweet fruit finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, it's a bit thin for an old ale but not terribly so.

D: Incredibly drinkable for an old ale, not the most complex or subtle I've had, but very enjoyable.

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

This is another one that was just consistent in all the five categories. Think "old"..."curmudgeon"....and "delicious". Founder's, as always, really nailed it with this one - the name and the five "senses" really matched up. Smell of biscuit, must, leather, sweat from the collar?...taste is just ....fantastic, very little sweetness that I prefer, but makes up for it with tangy, woody, bourbon-like feel. Not a heavy mouth, solid, but not heavy at all. For me, I didn't taste the alcohol at all, although the 9.8% indication made me hesitate to drink this at 5pm. Try it!!

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Photo of Erish
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. No freshness date.

A: cloudy cider-colored, pours a caramel-colored head that quickly falls into a thin head with scant lacing. About what I expect from a wood-aged beer of this strength.

S: molasses, vanilla, toffee, dried/ripe fruit; apples, figs, raisins.

T: the caramel sweetness and fruit are thick up front, and the woodsy/vanilla character slowly reveals itself, and finally a lightly mineral bitterness opens up with an herbal and floral hop character, and a slow, boozy alcoholic heat also emerges.

M: Full-bodied, velvety, almost syrupy texture, light carbonation.

O: Is it an Old Ale or Barleywine? Who cares! It is tasty, tasty stuff.

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Photo of stonermouse
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance is is a fairly deep copper color, with a fast-receding head and little carbonation. The body has a lot of floaties, which I didn't necessarily grade down for, because I'm not certain if it's part of the "Old Ale" style.

Smell is pleasant, with generic malt, booze, and a mild fruity aroma coming through.

The taste is nice, if a little boozy. Again, I'm not too familiar with the Old Ale style, but this thing mimics a barleywine in most ways. Perhaps it's an Old Ale because it has an old guy on the label; I have not idea. There is a touch of cherry flavor and a rye-like bite to it. Fairly complex, yet for all of the bold flavors it presents, it is surprisingly mild and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is solid; a little syrupy, but suits the flavors well.

Drinkability is excellent, as there a fair amount here to discover. One or two is good for a single sitting, which is good, because, in addition to Founders quality, they have the Founders price point.

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Photo of bman13
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Founders has come through yet again (surprise, surprise, right?). I've never had an old ale before this one and it tastes phenomenal. Very malt forward, (but not a malt bomb) with a heavy aroma of molasses and ginger snap cookies that carries through their taste and leaves a clean and heavy finish of malted molasses cookies. Love this

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

Pours brown with a bit of burgundy when light passes through, very little head developed..
Aroma is SUPER malty, really nice.. a bit caramel-like, and a little smokey..
Tastes very malty but with a bit of bitterness in the back of the mouth and the aftertaste. Has hints of bitter chocolate and a bit smokey, like a racuhbier, again. Some apple cider-esque flavor and a bit of hops in the back end of the flavor and the aftertaste. Aftertaste is like burnt bread a little bit. Mouth is moderate, really sweet up front then bitterness follows for the aftertaste. Nice bite of carbonation, a little thick and smokey.
Drink is very tasty, a nice malty beer with aenough hop to keep it from being too sweet. A little syrupy in the sweetness, but very good.

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

A- Deep orange almost toffee colored relatively clear body with a small tan head.

S- Bready biscuity sweet toasted malts with brown sugar. Some light spice notes.

T- Follows nose but with a quite discernible hops presence, very grassy and herbal qualities which offset the sweetness of the malts. Nice woody oak taste at the finish. Abv is not felt for the most part.

M- Smooth with moderate carbonation.

O- Very tasty old ale I would have liked to have seen less hops. Probably would do great with some aging.

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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.

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Appalachian Vintner in Asheville. 2010 vintage.

A: Murky, hazy amber with suspended sediment. An aggressive pour leads to a thin sliver of an off white head, which quickly recedes to bubbly puddles and a white thin halo. No visible carbonation in the body.

S: Caramel, molasses, boozy cider notes off the initial pour. As it warms, I get some candied sugar and raisins.

T: Molasses and caramel off the bat, followed by some vanilla. Some muted fruit notes: pear in particular. Bitter crabapple hop notes on the aftertaste.

M: Not great; actually quite average. Slightly watery, with a bit of carb and a touch of warming booze. Mediocre.

O: I was expecting a lot more depth from a vintage version of this--maybe I need to have it fresher. Not bad, but not worth the price tag.

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Photo of ARoman
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a belgian tulip glass. The beer is a murky bronze orange color and is topped by a sparse, soapy white head that has a decent, messy retention and light lace. The initial aroma is a bright sugary toffee / molasses with some nuttiness. This evolves to a more bourbon maltiness with and alcohol touch and a hint of a floral spice and later settles on molasses and wood. The taste is a medium high sweet, complimented by a medium bitter finish. It's thick and malty with a sticky texture and light foam carbonation. The full body has a flavor profile that's nutty with molasses and a bourbon caramel and finishes with an alcohol warmth and wood quality with a spicy kick. The aftertaste is dry and cloying with a waxy citrus bitterness and spice and a hint of nuts amd caramel. It's a strong and lingering aftertaste but not offensive.

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Photo of gpcollen1
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a modest brown with some golden highlights into my Lees Harvest Ale shortie. A modest head arrives with the pour and quickly disperes to barely a ring around the glass. Aromas of oak and bourbon top the glass with additional hints of vanilla beans steeping in cream and bourbon splashing back in.

Taste is sweet and smooth, riding oak across the tongue and dragging bourbon and vanilla behind. The vanilla is very subtle and tied up in sweet dried plums. Finishes with a splash of alcohol hitting the back of the throat.

This is a fantastic way to officially end the work day and move on into getting dinner ready for the family. I had no expectations in diggin in to this brew but am pretty impressed in its relative simplicity and drinkability. Thanks Vance!!

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

Bottle with a 4/26/12 date poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy reddish/dark brown with a thin tan head.

S: Smells strongly of burnt caramel, tobacco, hints of chocolate, and hints of coffee.

T: The taste of this beer is obscenely complex and layered. It starts of immediately malty. Again, strong notes of burnt caramel essentially dominate. There are hints of chocolate and leather, too. The hops are a bit more prevalent toward the end. It also turns slightly phenolic. Ends oddly sweet and fruity.

M: Full bodied, for sure. This is one stout beer.

O: In my opinion, this is akin to an imperial-ized English pale ale. It shares a lot of similar tastes (burnt caramel, leather, hops,) but much more potent. It's a nice, interesting beer that commands to be sipped and savored.

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Photo of classixIII
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark copper, fair amount of bubbles but little to no head. Sweet molasses and oak definitely come through in the smell and taste. Hit of alcohol and bitterness at the finish. Nice Old Ale!

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is opaque orange-brown with a light bubbly head and some lacing.

Nose is musty, with cherry juice and sweet, toasty malt.

Taste is buttery oak, with crusty bread, chewy malt, and a biscuit finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with plenty of carbonation.

Overall, it is a phenomenal blend of savory flavors.

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Photo of jmerloni
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A dark orange, ruby brown color with huge head that recedes slowly and laces like a maniac.

S - So unique. I'm new to this kind of beer. Vanilla bean? Caramel malts. Smokey. I'm very confused by this brew and I like it.

T - Wow. Like nothing I've ever tasted. Vanilla bean indeed with some light spice. Maybe some figs or dates or dark cherry in these as well. Toasty bitter hops on the end. This is pretty strange and unique. I'm intrigued.,

M - Full indeed. Roasted and packed with flavor.

D - On the mouthfeel still, the carbonation is pretty limited and this is an area Founders routinely excels in - they never overcarbonate their beers and they don't have to. The flavors and uniqueness of all their brews speak for themselves. Another - not only great - but spectacular beer from Founders. It's very filling though and you probably can't have more than 1. One of my very favorite breweries. Will be buying this again very soon.

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

Cloudy, deep reddish brown with a thinish off white head.

Fruity, vinous aroma with a heavy licorice scent in there. Some carmel and raisiny oxidized smell. Altogether liquor-like.

Whiskey/scotch like flavor, big alcohol presence. Malts are thin but fadingly fruity. Aftertaste is woody, bitter and alcoholic. Warming.

Thin and mostly flat in the mouth.

Altogether, it not my favorite Founders. A complex beer in flavor, though, and well crafted. A sipper. Just a little too much like whiskey for my liking.

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Photo of Shrews629
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - An amber/orange/copper color. Can not see through this beer. Very small head that was an off white color. Probably due to the high alcohol content that the head was so small. Had some decent legs after each sip.

Smell - A sweet nose of dried fruit. Some caramel and some nuttiness reminiscent of peanut butter fudge. Very nice. A few notes of alcohol. Similar to a brandy or wine. Very complex and very well balanced.

Taste - A sweet molasses flavor combined with caramel malt. I'm also getting some dark fruit. Something similar to black cherries. The brandy type alcohol flavors are there, but they are not tart or overbearing. The nuttiness is not very prominent in the taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium/full mouthfeel. Chewy. Somewhat smooth. A very nice bit of alcohol warmth all the way through. Nicely dry. Leaves more than enough on the palate.

Drinkability - This is an excellent beer. It's a sipper, however and not conducive to a high drinkability standard. Very complex. This would go well on a cold night while reading a book. I, personally would not want to have more than one of these at a time. Just a bit too strong for me.

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Photo of haddon
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber hue with a white frothy head. Solid lacing all the way down the tulip.

Interesting mix of malty & hoppy notes on the nose: figs, dark fruits, brown sugar & sourgum with sharp hops bringing up The rear.

I take one sip and think... What makes this an old ale instead of a barleywine? Malts come thru with brandy, prunes, grapes, molasses, boozy taste. Dry bitter hops linger on the aftertaste. As it warms, the hops become more evident. The dry alcohol flavor really overpowers everything else and takes away from the overall experience.

Medium body that seems a bit dry for an old ale. Lacks the thick and creamy depth one would expect from a big ole ale.

Good but not great. Again, can someone tell me again the difference between this and a barleywine?

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

pours with a small light tan head, this beer smells of alcohol, dark semi-sweet fruits, and woodiness (No idea if it touched wood or not).

very hoppy, almost spicy initial taste, with very notable malt undertone which never really shines. the spiciness reminds me most of the front end of barbeque sauce or something similar, without the ketchup. Pleasant beer, i don't taste wood so much in the taste at all. the alcohol is not really notable in the taste here.

Pleasant beer, worth trying though it is not my favorite old ale by far. Thanks again to MABZ for this and the other beers he recently sent.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, unfiltered amber red color (hazy), no head retention but some lacing

Nose: Sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit, slightly metallic

Taste: Biscuits and toasted bread, roasted malt and wood, fading into an early/dark fruit taste

Mouth: flowing but a bit short in the carbonation

Overall: A great old ale, but I've come to expect more from Founder, I was a bit disappointed

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Photo of Jacurdy60
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a deep amber color that is hazy and impermeable with a light brown middle. Head is thin, but consists of thick, creamy foam. Lotta lacing here.

S-You definitely pick up on the oaked note at first. It mingles nicely with sweet molasses, a slight burnt char, dark fruits and a touch of booze. Well balanced all the way through the nose.

T-Sweet molasses and dark fruit hit the front of the palate as it fades into a slight bitterness at the middle. Finishes with a semi-bitter flavor that rounds out the sweetness well. Lingering booze.

MF-Full-bodied, creamy and thick. Finishes smooth and wet

O-My first Old Ale and I am pleasantly surprised. A lot like a BDA but with a nice oaked nuance. Well balanced on all aspects. Founders did it again.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,607 ratings.
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