Think classic seafaring ports, local pubs, and weathered old fishermen. This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill, then oak-aged. The result is a strong, rich, malty delight that’s deceptively smooth and drinkable.
There are loads of beers known for how well they do with some age on them, but one that I rarely hear mentioned in those conversations is Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale. It clocks in at 9.8% ABV, which makes it a perfect candidate for aging, but it’s not given a vintage when it hits shelves each year, and tends to stick around on sale for a good portion of the year as well.
I snagged a four pack at the beginning of the year and cracked a couple open, because fresh, this is good stuff. Especially on a cold winter night, it’s a warming beverage with plenty of alchohol bite.
But I laid a couple bottles down in the cellar with the intent to see how they changed over time.
Fast forward to July, a little over six months since this four pack was bottled, and I’m down in the cellar looking for something to open on a random summer evening. Old Curmudgeon was talking to me, so I grabbed a bottle, let it chill for an hour or so and opened it up.
The smell is just as boozy as when the beer is fresh and it pours just like you’d expect, dark amber with a thin head.
But the taste, well, it’s in a good place at the six month mark. The booze has faded just enough and suddenly caramel and toffee notes are present and really smooth. It’s drinking really smooth right now, but I can’t help but wonder what it will be like with six more months, so I’ll try and forget about that other bottle until January of 2013. But with the way this one is going down, that’s not an easy task.
Have you aged Curmudgeon Old Ale? What did you think and how long did you wait?