Brewery: Founder’s Brewing Co.
City – State- Country: Grand Rapids, MI USA
Style: Old Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 9.8%
Release/Date: 4-19-2012 marked on bottle neck
Reviewed By: Dave
INFORMATION: This one is a real gem. Available only once each year in April & May. Founder’s suggests thinking of a “weathered old fishermen” and I cannot dispute this. Brewed with molasses and a boat load of malts, then aged in oak barrels. This old ale will knock your socks off. I just happened to score 3 bottles off a good friend who has early access to this brew. 1st one I drank (and enjoyed), 2nd one I drank (enjoyed and reviewed), 3rd is in the basement aging. This is a 2010 GABF silver medal award winner…So lets get it on!
APPEARANCE: When poured into a Founder’s Brewing Co. snifter it was a medium caramel color with slight reddish, almost mahogany tint to it when held up to the light. Nice light tan, frothy, 1/2 inch of head dissipated after about 2-3 minutes to a ring of foam that lasted the entire drinking session.
AROMA: Carmel sweetness! Deep roasted malts and light wood smell. Although pleasant, it reminds me of a basement….soaked in robust malts.
TASTE: DANG! This is a brew that is not short on flavor or complexity. Initially I’m getting roasted toffee, molasses, and some caramel. A little boozy, but nothing I’m going to dwell on. I let my glass of Curmudgeon warm for about 20 minutes and finished the glass. After the warming period I was very pleasantly surprised. It was as smooth as a $100 snifter of bourbon. The oak flavoring was more prominent and that boozy flavor had faded slightly.
MOUTHFEEL: Silky with moderate carbonation. A bountiful feel against the tongue.
DAVE’S BOTTOM LINE: I will tip my hat to Founder’s on this one. From now on when I think “old ale” I will think Curmudgeon. Although initially I found it a little boozy, that seemed to fade with some patience. This is a sipper and you will be rewarded with pleasant changes in flavor if you choose to take your time. Not a beer for a newbie or those with a soft palate. I would find it a challenge to drink more than two 12oz. bottles of this in the same sitting. There is no need for a food pairing since this could be a meal in it self. However, if I do need to make a recommendation, I would go with some brie cheese and a salty cracker would do nicely.
Score: 4.5 out of 5