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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,897 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2897
Reviews: 1041
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
50 IBU
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,897 | Reviews: 1,041 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Malted


4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a barley wine glass.

Appearance: Deep dark brown with a tint of red. There appears to be some floating particulate matter (yeast?).

Smell: At first I as unimpressed with the malty herbal smell of the beer, but as I took more and more sips I began to notice that as I put the beer to my nose I smelled candy that made my mouth water for each sip. I still can’t place what candy I am smelling and it is driving me crazy. Cotton candy? No, I don’t think so… Caramels? Hmmm… Perhaps… In any case, I now think the smell is great and with each sniff I long for the next sip.

Taste- Much the same as the smell, the taste starts out malty and herbal. As the beer warms up it releases more of the candy taste. I can’t place the herbal taste either (what a lackluster job my palette is doing today), but it compliments the sweet candy taste.

Mouth feel- creamy and smooth.

Drinkability- This one hits you hard on the alcohol. 9.3%! But mmmm, you really don’t taste it at all. It goes down smooth and leaves you wanting more.

Overall- A wonderful beer. Flavorful, complex, and worth buying another even at its steep price tag of $3.79… I can’t really ask for more.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2006 21:33:21 | More by Malted
Photo of Bighuge


4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour creates a huge, thick crop of nicotine stained beige head. The retention of the oversized head is very good. The body of the beer is scarlet red. Aroma is a bit toxic and fruity. Like spiked punch. The taste, it turns out, is not toxic at all. Rather smooth and velvety. Very nice taste. Very little sign of alcohol. And very easy to drink. This is a solid Old Ale. Malts are so smooth on the palate. Fruitiness is very evident, but not overly estery in nature. Bits of caramel and toffee. This one got better as it warmed up and finished fabulously.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 04:14:47 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Beertracker


4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Founders Curmudgeon is best served at cellar temperatures (45-50F) in a "bubble-type" glass or a large brandy snifter. This potent elixir pours up smart & simple with just the perfect amount of carbonation. The gorgeously, inviting chestnut-ruby brown body is capped nicely with a small, persistent, cream colored head. This beauty even shows a bit of leg. The big, sweet caramel (e.g. caramel apple, toffee bits/molasses chips, muscovado sugar) aroma is wonderfully complex with hints of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Frangelico & Madeira. The flavor starts off luciously rich & somewhat chewy with lots of burnt caramel, toasted nuttiness and dried fruit. The bitterness never quite seems to catch-up to the huge maltiness, but the warming alcohol plays nicely into the whiskey laced finish. This medium-full bodied old ale is smooth & creamy with a straight-forward complexity that will bring color to any occasion. This is another finely crafted brew from Founders. Here's to the crusty "ill-tempered' Curmudgeon!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 05:18:08 | More by Beertracker
Photo of stewart124


4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber in color with orange hues and lots of sediment. The head is small and doesn't linger.

Stong smells of caramel and I pick up a bit of cinnamon. There are also slight hints of the alcohol to come.

Very spicy with the first taste but this just mellows out as the beer warms and this just melts on my tongue. The mouthfeel and the after taste are just amazing; lots of caramel and a sweet malt/bready character.

There is a toffee and sweet caramel note in the finish which is great. The alcohol is subtle. This is really a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 01:39:11 | More by stewart124
Photo of MikeyMikee

New York

4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first old ale, I'm pretty excited.

12oz. bottle poured into an Ithaca Sampling glass, poured at fridge temp.

A- Hazy copper color, with a small quickly dissipating head. Descent lacing.

S- Heavy caramel and molasses, slight orange rind and maybe a little bit of tart cherry.

T- Honey up front with some caramel, brown sugar and toffee. Theres an earthy, woodyness as well which is awesome. Some clean citrus hops that nicely integrates itself and is then cut by slight ethanol in the finish.

M- Awesome! Great Carbonation, viscous, chewy, sticky...its really all around awesome. There's a little bitterness as well which balances it out and there is also some warming from the alcohol.

O- Really great beer, especially the rich mouthfeel. The hop-malt balance is near perfect. The only problem is I drank it way too fast, I could easily drink a few of these in a single night. Definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 05:14:02 | More by MikeyMikee
Photo of bashiba


4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy orange amber with a very thin white head. No retention or lacing at all.

Has a big sweet malty bourban barrel smell.

The flavor is big and full with hints of sweet brown sugar and caramel malts, a thick smokeyness and cedar, vanilla and whiskey, plus a big citrusy and pine hop finish along with some old ale musty yeast to balance it out very nicely.

The mouthfeel is thick and warm, even a bit oily.

Another great beer from founders, they just seem to make one winner after another!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 01:19:05 | More by bashiba
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale Stem Glass. Bottled 2/24/09. Thanks to Sweemzander for this brew.

A - Lightly hazy amber with yellow and orange highlights. A light tan thick head floats on top. Moderate to low retention that left a thin right and tiny spots of lacing. Legs from the abv too.

S - Strong aroma coming fourth. Rich malts with a funk to them. Fruity - dark fruity - esters and despite 50 IBUs, no hop aroma. Brown sugar and molasses sweeten the aroma also. The finish is semi-spicy with moderate alcohol.
The weird thing about the aroma is that it smells EXACTLY like the smell that pours out of the vents at the body shop of the dealership I work at. I don't know what that is although, being the vents, it's probably either paint or clear-coat and my guess is clear-coat. (It has always smelled good to me anyway.)

T - Musky amber and caramel malts with a complex, almost indecipherable fruitiness to them and molasses with brown sugar sweetness finishing with a lightly bitter hoppy kick to the teeth. Mild spiciness from the alcohol and warming follows.

M - Smooth and creamy with ample carbonation (ample for the style but low) and a crisp, light alcohol burn on the way down.

D - Funky for most and definitely a sipping beer. It took me about 40 minutes to finish this and when I did my face felt like it was on fire. I want to get more of this gem but I think I'll wait for a cold winter day to continue enjoying this.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 02:28:39 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of YCantWeNotBeSober


4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged 8 months in bottle. I've had this beer fresh and it tasted young w/cloying hop bitterness. Aging for a while seems to help mellow out the hops, balance the beer, and bring out a lot more flavors.

A- Pours a majestic wood-like amber color. off-white head quickly dissipates, although lacing is present.

S- Sweet malt, Vanilla, Dark fruits (prunes), hop floral aroma, bread

T- Taste follows the nose, starting with sweet, cereal-like maltiness fading to flavors of dark fruit, some pear and other fruits. Finishes with a pleasant dry woodsy bitterness.

M- Full-bodied, chewy, almost a syrup like presence left on the tongue.

O- Another great seasonal beer from Founders. A good cellar beer to stock up and age if you have the patience.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 23:38:43 | More by YCantWeNotBeSober
Photo of flyers1980


4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Single 12-ounce bottle bought from Capone's in Norristown, PA. Darkish, caramel, syrupy appearance, almost like a scotch ale married a red ale. Off-white, khaki head. Very malty and I was getting a very pungent aroma of, shall I say, an illegal substance? It smelled like I was at a Who concert. Dark, molasses, syrupy taste. A malt bomb with a boozy backbone. Hint of tobacco taste. Heavy and captures the "old, foggy, pier" feeling.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 00:17:44 | More by flyers1980
Photo of deadchef


4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter....

a: slightly hazy, couple floaters. almost non-existing head. quickly dispersing head. copper/red color.

s: beautiful caramel, spice, sweet, bourbon and oak.

t: sweet, cola, bourbon, shortbread wafer, alcohol heat, carbon.

m: thick, medium carbonation.

o: this beer is amazing. lands in the night cap category. high alcohol with tons of bourbon characteristics. would go great with a sweet dessert.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 05:12:58 | More by deadchef
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like a golden, amber IPA.

Smell: Caramel with hops.

Taste: Delicious. Probably one of the most ideal balances of hop and malt I've ever encountered in a beer. It's sweet, but dangerously drinkable. Don't let the classification of "Ole Ale" throw you off, this is ridiculously awesome.

Mouthfeel: As usual with Founders, the mouthfeel of this brew can't be ignored. It's significantly thick, with not much carbonation, but despite that, the flavor that this carries just makes it drinkable as hell.

Overall: This was so much better than I thought it was going to be. In the meantime, Founders is simultaneously laughing and making better beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 08:45:38 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Again, thanks to Dave from Founders and Chuck the owner of the Dilly Deli in Cincy for hosting the Founders tasting event.
A: Nice, a little darker than amber color. No head and little lacing to speak of.
S: Nice smell of citrus and figs. Can pick up a little alcohol in the nose as well.
T: A little more of a kick than the bottle offers. The flavors are a little more pronounced in the tap offering. A stronger spiced coconut rum is noticeable. A very good offering on draft.
M: Very smooth and good. A little bit more harsh than the bottle due to the pronounced strength of the flavoring.
D: A very sessionable beer. Very smooth and tastes light. The alcohol is sure to catch up with you, but the trip to get there is well worth it.
What can I say, another great brew from Founders that I've gotten to experience on draft.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2006 17:00:56 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of xav33


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale
12 oz bottle
Bottled 03/05 (?), grouched over 10/06
Medium pour in a snifter

Poured murky brown with a small beige fizzy quickly diminishing head and minimal ring of lacing.

Smelt strongly of raisins, figs, brandy, and light tutti frutti.

Taste was upfront strong sweet apple, candied fruits, figs and raisins, with a hint of spiciness, maybe cloves, followed by a moderate sweet sherry with hints of perfumey hops on an average finish that is reminiescent of dried apricots, with a light bitter grassy kick. Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied, silky, softly carbonated, and light cozy alcoholic warmth and slight astringency.

Overall, the flavors and aroma are out of this world. The malt is showcased very admireably but well balanced. Very light feeling for such a strong abv. I want another!

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 04:36:18 | More by xav33
Photo of bjohnson


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thin one finger off white head that dissipates quickly leaving only a tight circle of skim in the center of the glass and a nice soft looking rim around the edge. Some floaties, but I don't mind. Licorice and butterscotch notes. Earthy, woody, and spicy. Aged in bourbon barrels? Bourbon notes are actually quite strong, but not boozy. Vanilla aromas also are present.

Vanilla and dark fruit notes (figs and raisins) are the first to cross the taste buds. Bourbon barrel notes are noticeable but subtle like. Coconut flavors with a sweet softness. Citrus fruit notes aren't very big, but are noticeable as the brew warms up a bit. Nice spicy alcohol laden thickness, like that of a cloud, emanates from the walls of the mouth. Smooth mouthfeel. Booze is very present, but not the main player--it's big, but still subdued. An interesting and complex brew. One that I'm thankful for getting the chance to try.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2007 00:17:00 | More by bjohnson
Photo of Dalem


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very radiant dark amber color shines through an unfiltered cloudiness. A very, very minimal head that goes away almost as soon it's pour and lacing that slips down off the glass back to the edges of the beer with each sip. A scent's something akin to oak barrel aged bourbon is right up front then followed up a bit of vanilla, caramel, sweet malts and a general earthiness.
First taste already says this is a winner! The thick and creamy (but not too heavy) of a fullness fills the mouth, a bourbon sweetness tickles every corner but not to the extent of a whiskey sting because the malts subdue into an almost caramelized and soothing throat coat. The back of the throat gets a painted with a molasses, hazelnut and honey coat that makes some clear their throat between sips but each sip til the glass is done is a seductive and warm flirt of a 9.5 percent and 50 IBU's

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 22:15:48 | More by Dalem
Photo of johnd513


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into my Duvel glass, this beer has a hazy auburn color with an almost non existent head. Smells fruity and sweet with caramel and alcohol. Tastes of malt and sweet fruit with honey and caramel flavors. This beer is very smooth with a medium body and is nicely carbonated with alcohol at the end. Overall this is a great choice from Founders. I usually would not go for something as sweet as this but I am loving every sip of this one. A must try.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 02:21:02 | More by johnd513
Photo of biggred1


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby chestnut brown with tons of tiny suspended particles visable. Slight finger of fine tan foam that quickly melts and leaves very little lace behind. The nose is oaked vanilla, molasses, beet sugar and toffee maltiness. The flavor is sweet and complex, woody caramelized brown sugar with a touch of minty tasting hops struggling to balance. The high ABV is extremely well hidden. Mildly carbonated with a medium heavy, bordering on syrupy mouthfeel. Be careful with the curmudgean, he's a sneaky bastard, this beer is way to easy to drink at 9.8%.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 02:20:44 | More by biggred1
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that has been aged about a year and a half. Pours a hazy amber color with a fine-bubbled cream colored head. Never gets above 2 fingers worth, even with an aggressive pour. Retention is ok and leaves sticky spots of lacing on the glass.

Smell is very malty, sweet malted milk balls with a bit of oxidation that seems to work well for most Old Ales. Somewhat fruity with a bit of red grapes and figs. Not much in the way of hoppy or yeast aromas.

Mmmm, this beast is dangerously drinkable...so smooth. Sweet malts are deliciously caramel and toffee. Really good brew! Just a touch of hop bitterness rounds things out on the back end and there is a whole wheat bread yeastiness that comes through nicely. I dont see how this could get too much better with more aging as it is drinking so good right now. Alcohol is camouflaged so well, barely detectable until you feel a little belly warming. Pretty amazing beer, another winner from Founder's.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 14:56:21 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of jabergess


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type - tulip glass, on tap

Appearance - typical for a barley wine. Medium brown with little head.

Smell - raisins, caramel, sweet.

Taste - this is the exciting part. Same as the smell, but with an alcohol warmth. The flavor is rich and heavy and coats the tongue, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel - exactly what I would expect for this style.

Drinkability - give me 5 more, but you'll have to drive me home.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2010 01:46:14 | More by jabergess
Photo of jayhawk73


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium brown/amber/crimson with a finger of cocoa head which quickly disappears. Not much lacing or carbonation on this beer. Somewhat murky with crimson highlights when held up to the light. Looking forward to my first 'old ale'.

S- Wowsa. Love the smell of this. Oak, caramel, toffee, malt, vanilla (?). Very sweet, but almost like a port or after dinner drink. Fabulous. This one tastes as good as it smells and I'm in for a treat.

T- Wow. Very Nice. All the nose is here w/ a big malt backbone. Reminds me a little of a barleywine w/ less hops and more malt. I really like this beer, and will have to seek out more Old Ales. Really get that oak aged bourbon taste with this one- very nice.

M- Very smooth, w/ some alcohol burn, especially w/ the aftertaste. Love it. Very balanced, and takes you on a journey down an amazing path stopping just short of perfection.

O- This was my first experience w/ an Old Ale, but I really enjoyed it. Founders is a really fine brewer of beers, and I have not been let down by this one at all. In fact, this beer has made me want to search out others of this style. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 00:21:43 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of TheBear11D


4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a nearly white head that leaves pretty decent lacing.

The aroma is quite enjoyable. Fairly malty up front with caramel and mocha as the standouts with a good amount of alcohol (bourbon?)

I pick up plenty of caramel malt goodness and bourbon. There is some citrus, perhaps orange, in the undertones of the flavor and make only a brief appearance. The mix of these flavors all hang around in the aftertaste with caramel and bourbon more profound.

Has a pretty thick body despite the high ABV which is delightful. This is almost thick enough to chew.

This is a delicious beer that I highly recommend you try. Founder's impresses me once again which at this point is no surprise.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 03:00:22 | More by TheBear11D
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Plant on Transit in Williamsville, NY. Awesome, since I've never seen any Founders beers anywhere in WNY. Served in a goblet. Hazy mahogany. Thin but dense beige cap. Utterly beautiful sticky lacing. Nose is quite faint: roasty caramel malts, bourbon, fruity esters, mild citrusy-floral hops. Port-like flavor; rum-soaked citrus peels, piney bitterness all on a sturdy cherry and caramel malt platform. 9.3% abv is apparent, but not inappropriately so. Rich, full mouthfeel; medium bodied and assertive. This is really tasty stuff, but the alcohol strength is definitely of the ass-kicking variety. I'd love to have more than one of these, but it would require that I have a DD. Top notch.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2006 01:38:22 | More by orfeu
Photo of swhitt


4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

I'd had old stock ale before but this is much tastier in my opinion. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter.

The smell is delicious, rummy and fruity with maybe a hint of vanilla. It is a sweet smell. The taste is very similar, rummy and fruity with some chocolate and malt. I like this so much! Too bad it is so expensive.

The weakness is really the cost - $15 for a four pack. If it were cheaper it would make it into my daily rotation.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2006 19:49:13 | More by swhitt
Photo of gmcfarre


4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a surprisingly clear ruby color with a minimal off-white head. Minimal lacing. Beautiful color, not much else.

S - Intense sweetness with a nice woody flavor for balance. Plum, raisin and dark currants with some smooth vinous qualities. Alcohol is a strong component.

T - Smooth with strong sweetness from beginning to end. Not to say that its not complex. Loads of dark fruit flavor: plum, raisin, dark grapes. Vanilla and a delightful earthy, wood flavor. Strong alcohol bite develops at the finish as this beer warms. Beautifully complex, and true to its name.

M - Rich and full body with a smooth mouthfeel. Sharp alcoholic bite at the finish.

D - Delicious flavor stays accurate throughout. High alcohol in flavor doesn't necessarily translate to high alcohol in effect and drinkability. A terrific brew from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 16:32:25 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of HeyItsChili


4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Curmudgeon pours a thick, lightly carbonated, warm deep reddish amber color.

S - Brown sugar caramelizing in sweet butter. Malt sneaking up from behind.

T - I think this is just my sweet tooth talking and that I might be biased here, but I absolutely love the taste. Sweet, caramel, with sort of a spicy frontend.

M - Bubbly and on the thick end of medium.

D - Fantastic but very brown sugary sweet, maybe not for everyone.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 03:01:30 | More by HeyItsChili
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,897 ratings.