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

Written by Dave

Craft beer drinker & reviewer. Founding member of the Erie Better Beer Bureau.

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