Total Score: 9/10
Founders Curmudgeon, are you as amazed as I am that I haven’t reviewed you yet you misanthropic old geezer? … didn’t think so. Well anyway here we are. I decided long ago I would make my way through the hundred odd beers that Founders brews and this is number 5 for me. Never has knowing you’ve got a mountain to climb looked so fantastic from the bottom, and with that thought – Founders Curmudgeon, an Old Ale, brewed with molasses and oak aged? Brilliant move Founders, brilliant move, time to see if that move pays off (he said knowing it will).
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hazy russet body with a caramel-tinged half centimetre head that dissipates to a light lacing. The fact that it even has a head at all at 9.8% ABV is surprising enough (in a good way). 9/10.
S: MO-LASS-ES! And plenty of it on the nose, don’t think I’ve ever whiffed so much molasses in a brew before. Aroma-wise there’s not much more to say – this could be another FBS where they give you a single aroma and pack in a massive face-punch of flavour – I hope that’s what Founders is doing right now with this curmudgeon. 8/10.
T: And that is precisely what Founders have done. This is one creamy gooey molasses and caramel extravaganza, with characters of: Molasses, caramel, butterscotch, brandy with a dry/earthy hop and woody finish (it’s in the oak, yo). There is a decent amount of booze knocking about giving off a fusel (hot) alcohol note that the sugar, try as it might, it cannot hide. However it is still a tasty Old Ale with more complexity as it “opens” up. 9/10.
M: Heavy bodied, quite viscous, like some sort of molasses-flavoured beer molasses, with a light but very dense carbonation. This is a beer that wants to coat your tongue in its sticky-gooey majesty. Bring it on I say. 9/10.
D: What Founders have done with this, and FBS and Centennial IPA and FIS, et al. is craft a distinctly heavy-rich brash-bold in-your-face experience with every style they seemingly encounter. Not yet have I had a Founders beer and gone “that’s a bit average/bland” they seem to know where the envelope is, how to push it, and extract the maximum from every beer, and I man-love* the bastards for their no-compromise outlook on brewing, cheers Founders! 10/10.
Food match: Roast pork, roast vegetables, ROAST EVERYTHING!
*Which consists solely of a well-timed fist bump.