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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,256 Reviews
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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:
1,256
Ratings:
4,560
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,111
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,256 | Ratings: 4,560
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 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 MACrist
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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Photo of MrMonkey
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AdamB84 for getting me this one.

Enjoyed in a large snifter. Pours a cloudy dark brown with a one-finger creamy tan head that disappears quickly to a bubbly ring. Spotty lacing.

Smell is very port-like: sweet and fruity with a strong dose of alcohol. There's a lot of dark red wine fruits with an earthy maltiness, some oak, caramel and toffee notes, and some spice. Maybe some licorice?

Taste is sweet earthy malts with oak undertones up front, followed by sweet dark fruits, caramel and toffee flavors and some warming alcohol. Alcohol becomes even more apparent as it warms, and gets real hot towards the end of the glass.

Full-bodied, viscous mouthfeel.

Drinkability was hurt a bit due to the fact that the alcohol gets a little harsh towards the end, but it was still an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep copper with little to no head. Very slight lacing. Looks very clean in the glass, but probably a little more resin-y than I would like.

Smell is boozy up front with a little bit of dark fruit malt sweetness in there as well. A complex smell, and while I found it generally pleasant, I can't say it hit me in the way a great DIPA or RIS does.

Taste is in line with the smell. The booze comes out up front and then the dried fruit and sweetness/vanilla type notes start to hit. A nice taste. Finishes a little hot and with no real bittnerness to speak of.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and full, making this a very slow-sipping type beer. I found myself strugging as I drank it as I felt for sure that this tasted like an oak-aged beer (and thinking that I read that it wasn't)...only to later read that this was indeed oak aged, so i guess there is a small victory for my palate in that. I think its a good mouthfeel for the style, so I'm kind of surprised to read some of the negative notes about it in other reviews.

Overall this is a pleasant slow-sipping beer. This style in general is not a favorite of mine, but I think this is a good representation. For price point though, I'd rather get a great DIPA or RIS. Still, if you are looking to introduce yourself to the style or are a fan of the style, I would pick this one up.

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Photo of BillyB
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, hazy color with no head and no carbonation.

Strong aromas of alcohol, whiskey, oaky, vanilla.

Strong whiskey taste. Very interesting and complex. Notice some vanilla, caramel.

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy. Strong alcohol warmth.

At first I was overwhelmed by the huge alcohol taste and aroma but as I sipped the beer became more complex.
Wouldn't drink too many in a sitting.

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Photo of schwemjw
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: dark copper, brownish with no head to speak of, a thin lacing around the glass.
S: Molassis, sweet malt and a touch of oak. A tart cherry in the finish. good stuff.
T: Dark molassis, sweet caramel, oak in the middle with a sticky buttery brown sugar and cherry finish. A little cinnamon in there as well.
M:Meduim to full bodied, like a syrup at times.
O: Wonderful lingering finish leaves me coming back for more. The oak and molassis really shine! /88

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Photo of csrbv
4.94/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very little head despite a strong pour. Has a hazy copper color and a small, cream colored head.

S: The smell of bourbon barrels is apparent as soon as I pour this beer. Also has a sweet malty scent to it with a bit of alcohol as well.

T: The taste is sweet, caramel malts and a bit of honey are the main flavors up front. The oak barrels come through as well with some alcohol bursting through in the finish.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation. Awesome mouthfeel.

D: Another quality brew from Founders! It's hard to find anything that I don't like from them. The oak barrels are a nice touch giving this beer some nice flavor.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
2.7/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Excited to try this one for a while, not really sure what to expect. Picked it up at Abe's for $3 or so, poured into a pint glass.

Less dark than i was expecting, it looks like a mahogany color with lots of little tiny sediment particles, some visible carbonation and a modest light tan head that receded to a thin covering and left hole sections of the glass covered in solid lace.

Smell is boozy and full of sweet dark malts, some dark ripe fruit, some toffee notes. Pretty nice mix.

But here is where things start to turn ugly. The taste is immediately boozy and sweet, as expected, but the bitter roasted malts don't seem to meld very well with the sugar and alcohol. Also, the burnt toffee (i think that is how i would describe that) taste is pretty upfront and not really to my liking.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Pretty damn good, actually.

Drinkability is severely limited by the combination of flavors that I didn't particularly enjoy. Someone else, though, might have this same beer and absolutely love it. Definately interesting, i might even pick one up to age it for a couple years, but, fresh at least, it isn't really for me.

EDIT: as i got down about halfway and it had warmed enough it basically just started to taste like rum. Had to pour it out because it wasn't worth trying to choke down. Only the second or third time I have had to pour beer out. Very disappointing.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: clear copper and amber

Smell: very dense, sweet smell. perhaps a little bourbon cask hint. alcohol hides nicely. little buttery. maybe a hint of vanilla

Taste: great balance between flavors and alcohol. buttery and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: low-full body. little carbonation. very smooth and rich

Notes: huge fan of stock ales and barleywines. this one is just how i like these styles - strong, rich, sweet, and virtually no hops.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber color that was pretty clear with a small and fizzy head.

Smell: Quite a unique smell. It's mostly dominated by an assortment of fruit aromas (blackberry, maybe). There's no overpowering malt or hop smells.

Taste: It starts off somewhat light on flavor with a bit of the fruit making an appearance. It's in the aftertaste where the flavor really comes in. The fruit and alcohol combination provide almost an assault on the palate. I like strong flavored beers, and I like this one, but it might be a little too strong for my taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a fair body that is moderately thick, but not too much.

Drinkability: With the overpowering aftertaste and alcohol content, this beer is a little much. It's good, and I might like to have some on hand to have once in a while when I'm in the right mood; but this is not something I could drink at a party or have a few in a night.

Note: I also tried this in a wine glass and to be perfectly honest: It tastes better. The flavor is still strong, but it doesn't bombard the palate like it did in the pint glass.

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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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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,256 ratings.
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