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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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2,832 Ratings
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Ratings: 2832
Reviews: 1037
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: 2,832 | Reviews: 1,037 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of gotbeer


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big beer for sure.

The appearance was dark mahogany with a light head that laced the glass slightly.

The smell had notes of a smoky scotch. Interesting stuff so far.

The taste was of vanilla, bourbon, coconut, and creme. A great old ale, and recognizable to the style. Alcohol is present and noticable, but not totally overwhelming. The mouthfeel was smooth. The drinkability is as good as a beer with this ABV can be.

Great stuff. Founders has not dissapointed me yet, with their beers ranging from solid to excellent.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 23:32:35 | More by gotbeer
Photo of kmo1030


4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

hazed slightly murky dark brown beer with very little head. pretty much what one expects from an old ale.
the aroma contains tangy vanilla, caramel, something like a roasted coconut, soft bourbon, toffee, a little booze, that nice "aged" aroma (don't know how better to describe it, but it's not oxidation), oak and some fruity vinous characteristics maybe like raisins... in no particular order.
the taste moves in about exactly the direction i want it to judging form the smell. vanilla bourbon oak, but not in the overdone, masking way that it seems to be used sometimes. caramel and toffee make their appearance spiced raisin flavors here to,but pretty minimal taking a back seat to a lot of maltyness.
soft, slick coating mouthfeel, medium bodied, with minimal carbonation.
good drinkability the alcohol is present, but never burns or becomes abrasive, it just stays pleasant and warming.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 21:06:28 | More by kmo1030
Photo of czoch75


3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this one last night and was expecting a little more but still somewhat satisfied. This one really packs a punch! ABV states 9.3 but feels much more than that.

A: poured into glass and noticed a cloudy amber color. Absolutley no head retention whatsoever and looked a little syrupy.

S: smell was really sweet and a bit of the bourbon comes through.

T: really smooth to start off and a bit of a warming to it. Can really pick up the bourbon taste to it, never had one this prominent before but rather tasty!

M: a heavy drink, little carbonation but just right. Aftertaste was...you guessed it, bourbon/whiskey or spirit like.

D: this is a good one to sip on, a little over the top on the Bourbon taste but pretty good. Should probably let sit for a year to mellow out the taste. I think I will go buy some more before it's too late and let it sit in my cellar.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 14:10:57 | More by czoch75
Photo of blodgetm


4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders is one of the few things that makes me glad to live in Grand Rapids. The brewery is absolutely fantastic, and for producing such great beers as this I give them two thumbs up. The brewers at Founders have been working on this brew for a couple years now, finely tweaking it until absolutely perfect to put into a bottle. Well, here it is, Curmudgeon old ale is definately the result of years of planning and tinkering.

A: medium brown and unfiltered

S: definite sweetness to the nose due to the malt bill, but also presence of bourbon and a spice of oak

T: a very complex and malty brew, with high levels of whiskey/bourbon taste and a small amount of maybe anise towards the end

M: wonderful, nice and rich, heavy bodied beer with a fine carbonation

D: I would drink this brew all night if I could, but with the high ABV and price, it gets alittle hard.

I would recommend this beer to anyone who fancies high gravity beer with that fantastic bourbon creme taste

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 03:48:54 | More by blodgetm
Photo of maxpower


2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a dark amber color with a nice off white head with large bubbles that leaves some lacing in my glass. Strong bourbon aromas, vanilla, oak and bourbon flavors, a bit to strong for me. Full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry. The whiskey flavor is about all I get from this.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 20:22:24 | More by maxpower
Photo of mcowgill


4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy reddish color with no real head to speak of. Thin lacing around the edges is all.

S - I love how this beer smells. Great vanilla, oak, whiskey aroma.

T - It tastes just as damn good. A malty delight. The whiskey and vanilla comes through strong with hints of coconut.

M - Excellent mouthfeel, nice carbonation

D - Wow, I have been waiting to try this beer for awhile, not knowing what to expect. This is truly great. It's very drinkable to me.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2006 22:33:54 | More by mcowgill
Photo of ken3c


4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a decent sized head but dwindles to a 1/4 inch island. Beautifull deep dark red tint refracts on the glass and on the table. This beer has legs and visible tiny bubbles.

Aroma is mostly roasted almond but also a slight sense of melon.

Taste is ripe cantalope with ripe bananas. The finish is oak tannin bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and plays interestingly with the strong sweet taste. There is a noticable sense of carbonation but not intrusive. smooth but not too smooth. warming.

This is a delightful suprise. This is a very tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 03:55:07 | More by ken3c
Photo of Golden2wenty1


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dear $2 micro bottle night at the Come Back In



I think someone made a mistake, but this stuff was in the Monday/Wednesday night $2.00 micro bottles cooler at the Come Back In here in Madison. No complaints here, except I wish I didn't drop $3.99 on a bottle a few weeks ago. Now I can keep it for aging I suppose.
(edit: about 10-12 bottles were in the 2/$3 ultra-bargain bin last night...needless to say I took advantage)

Pours a nearly opaque dark garnet-amber with an afterthought of off-white head. Nose and taste start off with what my roommates and I could only describe as Malibu rum, buttressed by warm vanilla and oaky bourbon. Mouthfeel is substantial, almost chewy and reflective of the complexity of flavors within. Probably a one and done for me, but a nice sipper while playing darts at the Come Back and a steal at $2 a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2006 21:11:20 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of ultralarry2006


1.18/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a slight head that quickly dissappeared into just a ring at the edges. Body was medium brown.

Smell - bourbon, it actually smells like I've poured a glass of bourbon, not beer. It's really bad for me so far. Some diacetyl as well ( which I sort of expected, but not the bourbon ) .

Taste - bourbon, some diacetyl, more bourbon. Aftertaste of bourbon.

Mouthfeel - full, not smooth, low carbonation, alcohol astringency.

Drinkability - not at all. I do not like bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2006 20:38:54 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of mattcrill


1.2/5  rDev -70.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Stubby brown twist-off bottle. No useful label information.

Aroma: Bourbon, oak, and alcohol...this could be ugly for me.

Appearance: Cloudy brick red pour with a thin wispy white head. The head quickly fades to a perfect ring around the glass.

Flavor: Vanilla bean and oak. Gimme a break. No malts, hops, or anything that resembles a beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall impression: Drain pour. Glad I bought a single. Would someone please STOP the barrel-aging, over-oaked, over-bourboned silliness??? It's tired and it does nothing to showcase a brewer's talent or anything that fine beer ingredients can provide in terms of flavor. Avoid.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 20:11:36 | More by mattcrill
Photo of walleye


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle, poured a cloudy brown with a small tan head that left no lacing. aroma just like the description says aged on bourbon barrels and the boubron comes out nice and strong than some sweetness along with the malts couldn’t get anything else out of it after it warms the aroma subsides a bet. flavor, the bourbon was as strong as the aroma which was a could thing, than along came the malts and sweetness got molasses, and some dark fruits became easier to drink when it warmed

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 02:42:05 | More by walleye
Photo of Bierguy5


3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, 9.3 % AVB on the label. Pours a very cloudy mahogany/bronze color. Thick off white head disappears very quick. Aroma is very vinous. Notes of oak, coconut, and vanilla. Almost sherry like in flavor. The oak flavor is very strong, and may need to mellow out a bit. Alcohol is well hidden until this warms to room temperature. A hint of spices as it warms as well. Some hop bitterness at the end, but all seems to be overshadowed by the woody aspect of this beer. I am not saying that it is bad, but I think some cellar time could make this an outstanding beer. Very complex, and interesting. Certainly worth revisiting in the future.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2006 02:56:39 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of plaztikjezuz


4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a bottle at odies big ten in lansing, michigan. ($3.79 12 oz.)
pours a very deep copper with a beige head that drops in to a very thin haze.
the aroma malt, vanillia and burbon is perdominent, carmelized sugar and a hopsack are in the background.
the flavor of malt, vanillia, burbon, oak, toffee, hopsack, alcohol.
man what a great beer, very complex, is smooth yet very packed with flavor.
i want some for my cellar!

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2006 00:50:47 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of warriorsoul


3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to malty for this one...
Cloudy cherry rust color with less than 1/4 finger of off-white head...disappears before the pour is finished and leaves some thin, sporadic lacing.
Vanilla oak scent with a faint candied fruit finish...a bit off when served even slightly chilled, but real attractive at room temp.
Rum soaked raisins up front with quite a fruity hop profile bittering up the finish...rock candy comes to mind and an earthy aftertaste.
A bit too sweet up front for my liking, but as it warms, it becomes so much more balanced. Alcohol is well hidden...although the rum flavor really makes you think that what you are drinking is much stronger than it is...I like that.
Mouthfeel is nice and the carbonation is where I like it.
This would be a one and done for me...would be much more enjoyable in the colder months, but I had to try it fresh. Hopefully more will make its way into my possession to see how it changes in six months.
Not my favorite Founders brew...still a nice offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2006 00:22:53 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of budsboy


3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy, deep reddish brown with a thinish off white head.

Fruity, vinous aroma with a heavy licorice scent in there. Some carmel and raisiny oxidized smell. Altogether liquor-like.

Whiskey/scotch like flavor, big alcohol presence. Malts are thin but fadingly fruity. Aftertaste is woody, bitter and alcoholic. Warming.

Thin and mostly flat in the mouth.

Altogether, it not my favorite Founders. A complex beer in flavor, though, and well crafted. A sipper. Just a little too much like whiskey for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2006 02:05:50 | More by budsboy
Photo of shroompod


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured cold into pint glass. Drinking slow to let it warm.

Cloudy orange brown , no head , little carbonation. No lace.

Smell has a slight bourbon note , no hops or malt is evident.

Taste has the bourbon , with some woodsy character. Some sweet malt tastes coming through. Almost no hop bite.

Mouthfeel is a little thick, somewhat sweet. I found the lack of carbonation reminded me of "green" homebrew.

I could have a few more of these. 3 more in the cellar. Can't wait to see how they taste with some age.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2006 00:37:05 | More by shroompod
Photo of CortexBomb


4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is hazy, coppery brown with no head to speak of. Not much lacing. I like the colour but otherwise the appearance isn't striking. Smell is strongly of malts...molasses dominant too...oak...hard liquor...vaguely reminds me of the Kentucky Breakfast Stout's whiskey-esque nose. Almost mossy forest tones also present. Quite complex.

Taste...the oak bomb from the nose comes through in spades on the flavour as well. Oak and molasses tones are huge with malts not coming up far short of them. The mossy aspect from the smell is also present in the flavour in the background, but still noticeable. Finishes with a strong oak shot. One of the most cask flavoured beers I've had...not of the liquor that was kept in the cask, but just the wood itself. Distinctive and tasty, one of my must buy old ales each year.

Drinkability is good.this is a big beer, and it doesn't conceal it, but I always am up for it. The flavour is as huge as the ABV, and it's meant to be a sipper. It is a reasonable buy at about 12 per 4 pack, and I always eagerly await its release each year. Of the domestically brewed Old Ales this is probably my favourite, especially since North Coast changed Old Stock a couple of years ago.

On the mouth the beer isn't as oily as I would ideally I like my old ales, but it is very close to the ideal. It offers up some nice back of the tongue tingle to keep me interested, and does have a full body to back up the huge smell and flavour.

The bottom line: A nice effort by Founders...truly distinct from the other old ales that are out there with a beautiful oak cask flavour that is worth trying out. One of my favourites from Founders, and I've had most of their portfolio on multiple occasions. In terms of its style, it's my favourite domestic offering, and the taste chracteristics here are almost scotch like in certain ways, which is, of course, excellent. If you like ole ales you must try this.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2006 23:46:56 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of ypsifly


4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 12oz stubby purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a pint glass.

Dark crimson under two plus fingers of light tan. Has a falling effect much like Guinness. The head falls to a cm of foam in a couple minutes but it clings tenaciously to the glass and leaves a wispy sheet.

The nose has more wood than any beer I have ever sniffed. Fresh oak with some sweet malt and yeast aromas simillar to Anchor Old Foghorn. Some earth, spice and warmth from the abv in the background. Very interesting.

Full mouth that is a bit slick upfront but washes away clean.

Just like the nose, this has a strong wood flavor with caramel and spicy hops along for the ride. The alcohol comes across as a well integrated pepper yet it doesn't get hot. Some suggestion of scotch or maybe bourbon and a lingering wood and green hop finish. Unique and veryb tasty!

I could see this being a love it or hate it beer. I happen to love it and am glad I picked up a couple four packs.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2006 04:36:50 | More by ypsifly
Photo of BigDaddyWil


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in March.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a New Belgium tulip glass.
I was lucky enough to sample this at the Founder's Black party, back on April 1st. Now its finally bottled and released. Cool label.

Pours a very deep amber color with tons of ruby highlights. A small cream colored head forms, but leaves quickly, leaving some spotty lacing. Very hazy. This beer reminds me of Jolly Pumpkin's Biere de Mars, but heavier on the alcohol. Boozy, oaky, malts are the aromas that really jump out at you. Some tropical fruit smells and spices are also swirling around. Taste mimics the smell, heavy on the malts, oak and booze. Finishes with a slight hoppy bitterness. Semi sweet. To me, a complex beer, that reveals more as it warms. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, with adequate carbonation. Kinda heavy, a definite sipper. I really enjoyed this beer, it might take some time for this one to grow on people. I have a couple bottles to age and compare notes. Give this one a shot! Another great beer, from my favorite brewery!

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2006 02:07:41 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of kohoutek


2.8/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep ruddy amber without filtration. This bottle sat for three days in the fridge and it is still very cloudy. Head is light caramel in color with a short life and little persistent lace.

The aroma is wild: overoaked, over bourboned, malty, wheaty sweetness with a touch of fresh morning urine. Where is the piss coming from and why won't it leave?

The beer is large, sweet and boozy with an oakiness that would make a late 90's Cali-Chardonnay jealous. This is an oak bomb!
Butter, Bourbon and a sweet malty mess.

Mouthfeel: Well, for a 9.3% beer, I would understand sweet, but everything about this beer is over the top. Bittering hops perform like an underly confident supporting actor in the middle school production. They try, but they cannot step up to the immensly expulsive and overconfident quickly maturing and painfully overcompensating female lead(s).

After 20 min of swirling and smelling the urine is beginning to subside but the bourbon sweetness is increasing.

Edit: I stopped swirling for two minutes and the urine is back.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2006 21:56:53 | More by kohoutek
Photo of Skidz


4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out copper-brown and sits a murky ruby-brown in the glass with a deep beige head, fading to a faint skim with few lacings.

Smells sweet and malty, big, ripe rounded raisins and prunes seasoned with black pepper and charry oak. Distinct whiskey on the nose, with spicy hops tending to the nose hairs.

A full-on malt assault from sip one. Nerf-like bombardments of caramel and deep, dark brown sugar...but lacks sweetness, or is at least extremely packed in with ultra-assertive hops with miles of pepper and grassy spiciness. The two sides are so balanced, in fact, that it is a struggle to pick out any particular flavor without stumbling into another one, which is then covered by another, and so on until you die. Finishes with as much staggering of attributes as Dr. Jekyl at an all you can drink BYOB mixer.

Mouthfeel is beyond description....rediculously soft, creamy, yet firm in composition. Like a down pillow made from the feathers of only the youngest of fowl. I have no idea how to describe this. Ultra-fine carbonation and a full body...I think.

Good good good. I can't see myself reaching back into the cooler to get another fix like the good old Kentucky Breakfast Stout made me do several times, but this here is good stuff Maynard.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2006 03:45:08 | More by Skidz
Photo of RollBounce

New York

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

bored with very little leasing slightly amber and cloudy notes smell is lately muted in glass with hints of cinnamon brown sugar and bread some tropical notes are found. Overall it is a white tropical compared to the aged old curmudgeon that I sat on for 2 years ahead papaya and mango now it's definitely better in the bottle but worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 15:56:29 | More by RollBounce
Photo of reebtaerG


4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Fireworks Pizza

A-Brown appearance with a small tan head and light lacing.

S-Aroma of caramel, molasses, dark malts, chocolate, earthy hops, oak, dark fruit, toffee and licorice.

T-Similar flavor, rich and malty with medium sweetness and minimal to light bitterness.

M-Full body, slick and smooth with soft carbonation.

O-Pretty surprised, very enjoyable, great sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2014 02:14:27 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Appalachian Vintner Asheville. Served in a tapered 12 oz glass.

A- Pours a somewhat murky dark amber color with a 1/8 inch head that doesn't retain very long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a honeycomb pattern behind.

S- Notes of raisin, vanilla and a touch of wood with a nice toastiness. A bit of a booze fume.

T- First thing noticed is a subtle maple sweetness that works well with the toastiness of the malt. Alcohol is certainly present but not overbearing. Actually, everything is very well balanced as there's a mild hop bitterness.

M- Slightly sharp from the alcohol and a tad sticky. Medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A very easy drinking high ABV old ale that has incredible balance but keeps me interested all the way to the last sip.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2014 19:44:34 | More by Immortale25
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served a clear deep golden amber color with a small thick looking white head. The head fades rather slowly leaving a decent level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is of a sweet caramel and a decent level of a bready smell. Along with these aromas are some notes of darker fruits with some raisin and prune as well as some other sweet smells of toffee and molasses. Along with these smells are some oak and booze which combined with the rest to produce a sweet, warming and malty aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather sweet and smooth taste. The taste is largest of a smooth bready and caramel flavor with hints of light roasted and dark fruits within. The roastiness get slightly stronger as the taste advances with the darker fruits of raisin and plum getting stronger as the taste advances as well. Some more boozy flavors start to work their way in more toward the middle of the taste with some nice molasses sweetness coming to the tongue as well. With the booze and the sweeter flavors that come to the tongue more toward the middle, and a little bit of an oaky, rum like flavor, that comes to the tongue at the end, one is left with a nice smooth and sweet warming flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –For a brew of almost 10 % abv it is very drinkable yet appropriate in style. The body of the beer is on the thicker side rather nicely accentuating all the sweet and malty flavors of the beer while the carbonation of the brew is on the lower side, which allows all the oaky, sweet, and malty flavors tons of time to linger on the tongue.

Overall – A very enjoyable sweet and malty brew. Just what an old ale should be.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2013 02:41:12 | More by Darkmagus82
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,832 ratings.