Fantastically Founders
A Review of Curmudgeon Old Ale by Founders Brewing Co.
Posted on 2/2/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
Curmudgeon Old Ale is an offering from Founders Brewing Company, and just like every other offering they produce, it is pure awesomeness. I should totally be allowed to end this review now. I'm not kidding in the least bit. Anything else I say almost seems like overkill at this point. They have never made an offering that I didn't enjoy completely, and Curmudgeon is no exception. But seeing as how good money was spent on an outside session with it, it seems only fair that I share with you my more detailed thoughts on this fantastic beer creation.

In the glass the coloration comes across as what I can only describe as burnt sienna-ish. Holding it up to the light brightens the edges only slightly, and there is practically no head to speak of. With an ABV of 9.8%, not only is this type of appearance acceptable, but practically expected. Once you get your nose close to the glass, several delicious aromas await. Sweet molasses greets you right off the bat, followed very closely by a creamy, buttery toffee smell. There is a bit of a momentarily alcohol burn in the nostrils, but it is quickly overtaken by a deep layer of smoky oak that conjures up thoughts of a nice bourbon. Notes of vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar pop through from time to time, and small hops presence can even be detected as faint hints of grapefruit. This beer is also nice study of how aromas can change as the temperature does. As it warms though the session, you can actually detect the layers trading places and levels of strength.

The first taste follows very closely to the original nose. The sweetness of the molasses is what first grabs you, but it comes with a bit of the alcohol flavor and burn mixed in. The oak flavor then starts to sneak its way in, and you find yourself once again having thoughts of bourbon floating in your head. After you let all that sink in, the vanilla helps bring you back to the beer world, while the caramel and toffee malts resoundingly reassure you that you are holding one masterpiece of a beer in your hand. There is just a touch of hops bitterness at the very end, and it does a great job of keeping things from becoming overly sweet, while the mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and ends up inviting you back in the glass again and again.

Seriously, what can I say about Founders Brewing Company that wouldn't sound like I am beating a dead horse? They make delicious beers. Curmudgeon Old Ale is yet one more example of their excellence. Its a big beer that demands to be treated so. That being said, seasoned veterans in the better beer world need to get this one in their hands by any means necessary, while those new to the game should steer clear of it. A real appreciation and understanding of big beers is definitely needed here. Without it, not only will one miss a lot of this beers beauty, but one would probably do some serious personal and palate harm. My advice would be to get to work on honing your beer chops, because the longer you wait, the more time this one will have to sit on the shelf taunting you.

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Curmudgeon Old Ale by Founders Brewing Co.
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