Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale
While kids these days with their hippity-hop rap musics and Pac-Man video games seem to be all about drinking beers that taste like gasoline, I find that nothing beats sitting back by yourself and cracking into a finely crafted old ale and dwelling on how straight-to-hell society is going. With nothing good ever lasting, little new ever being worth anything, and not much to look forward to in life, it’s important to try to savor the little things, like oak aging and molasses in your beer – and for the neighborhood kids to stay properly the hell off your lawn.
So when I sat down to give a sip and a thought upon the Founders Curmudgeon, I set aside these surly tendencies and enjoyed the rich amber body and practically non-existent head which first filled my glass. It was simple, calm and just as eager to get down to business as I was. Oak-y and a little bit sweet in both smell and flavor, the rich sugary goodness of the molasses rests like a support beam beneath a structure of solid ale.
Spinning within these almost decadent flavors, notes of caramel, malt and even some tiny hints of vanilla each drift along the palate luxuriously. With a full and weighty mouthfeel, a subtle (or at least buried) bitterness provides an almost Scotch ale-like bite, which itself exists more like a mere nibble.
It is not difficult to see a proper curmudgeon enjoying such a brew, stifling for a moment, his natural misanthropy as he appreciate the rich textures and robust, mature sweetness in each sip. A quiet indulgence in the midst of a world that he otherwise finds unpalatable, perhaps it was the discovery of such a beer that caused him to become what he is. Perhaps realizing there were only four of these to a pack and that other people – were they to know of it – would want some, an anti-social attitude was created to keep would-be second sippers well away from his discovered joy. Beyond curmudgeony, perhaps the combined joy and impulse to hoard such a beer created a creature a bit like Golum, doting over his “precious” and aging badly in the process.
Alternatively however, it could simply be another name in line with Founders’ other cantankerous old man offerings, such as the Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard. Regardless of the origin of its name, this brew, with its barrel aged brilliance and sweet molasses undertones, is the kind of unhappy old grump that might cause those who don’t know it already to wonder why those who do hold it in such high regard.
For those who take the time and sit down to get to know this old Curmudgeon one on one, a rich and sophisticated nature is easily observed. A balanced profile, a robust presence and a definite sweetness that tries vainly to hide behind a dark and heavy appearance all make this Curmudgeon entirely likable. Though just don’t tell too many people that, as he’ll deny it all day long.
Nicholas Goroff is a beer lover, writer, actor, ex-political professional and devoted anti-ideologue. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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