Bold and unapologetic
A Review of Curmudgeon Old Ale by Founders Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/19/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
While on a recent passing through of Durham, NC, I was able to stop by and enjoy a little session with my co-founder at Tylers Taproom. Tylers has a great overall selection of brews, but their draft selection really shines. There's a vast array of seasonals, but they also have some of the harder to find offerings of some of the higher end beers, and this made me smile immediately upon opening the beer menu. I saw that they had the Founders Curmudgeon on draft, and couldn't get away from it. No matter what I looked at, my eyes kept gravitating back to it, and I could not resist its calling.

By definition, curmudgeon means ''a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person''. This beer could easily be called bad tempered and difficult, and that's what makes it so great. There is an amazing amount of aggression in this one and if you don't deal with it properly, you will anger it, and it will fight you the whole way down. However, if you are patient, and persistent in your efforts, it will reward you with a warm, pleasurable and delicious experience.

Just sitting in the glass, its somewhat intimidating. It looks thick, rich, and almost heavy in a sense. You have to tell yourself ''This is an ''old ale'', and this is what I'm supposed to be seeing. I am not afraid. I can do this.'' There's no real head to speak of in this beer, and that is another typical characteristic of an old ale. You can pick up on some very nice aromas of caramel, butterscotch, malts, and faint fruit. After you let it sit for a few minutes and warm, it opens up and you can smell oak notes and an alcohol burn that I would relate closely to bourbon.

One needs to be prepared for that first sip. The alcohol punches you right in the tongue with no apologies. It stays with you for a minute just to make sure you can't forget it before it simply goes to warming your tongue, and giving way to rich molasses and other dark malty flavors. Toffee and butterscotch notes are present as well, letting you know that your nose wasn't playing tricks on you in the initial smells. At the very end, you get a light, burnt oak flavor, that if you immediately go back for another sip once you taste it, makes you feel like you are drinking a tall glass of chilled bourbon. Though it is a bit confusing, its quite interesting and enjoyable.

Overall, I can easily say two things about this beer. First, novices should steer clear of this beer. It's not for you. If you are someone who enjoys bourbon, then you might, on a brave occasion, try it with caution. Otherwise, this beer will treat you like the beginner you are, and you could be scarred for life. Second, if you're further along in your beer experience, you have to try it. It will test your limits of understanding in this category. Personally, I have always found it enjoyable, and worthy. It could have something to do with my appreciation for a good bourbon from time to time, or maybe I just like a bad-tempered and difficult beer. Either way, it's a winner in my book.

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Curmudgeon Old Ale by Founders Brewing Co.
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