Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,247 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,247
Ratings:
4,512
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
20.1%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,088
For Trade:
54
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

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

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,247 | Ratings: 4,512
Photo of BARFLYB
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single bottle into a regular snifter late at night.

A- Curmudgeon is a dark amber color with some brown hints. Not much of a head but some tan foam reaches half an inch than fades. No lacing plus some sediment is seen floating.

S- This old ale has a deep smell of rich sweet malts giving off caramel, plus some burnt sugars. This years version has more of a hop aroma than I remember it, but they fade as this warms. Some oak/vanilla and dark fruit such as plum. A nice smell of raisins.

T- A really nice balance between the sweet malt giving off a bready vibe and dark fruits consisting of mainly dates and raisins. I got some hops on first sips but that faded as I got more into it. The little hint of vanilla is a nice touch. Some alcohol seeps through. Has some vinious hints here and there. Nice.

M- A very sweet and thick oily texture while this is somewhere above medium bodied. A bit of hotness from the alcohol but well contained for a near 10% old ale plus fairly fresh. Very faint bitterness from the hops, nothing major. A good one to let marinate on the tounge.

D- I usually take my time with big abv beers but this went down without a hitch. The alcohol is barely noticable in taste yet the flavors are just so full this becomes too inviting almost. Not my favorite founders beer but a great stab at the old ale category and worthy for repeat visits and slight aging.

 1,391 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the brewery, 12oz into a tulip. Bottled April 19, 2012.

Reddish brown, unfiltered with a light cream cap. Light lace and almost no retention. Nose of syrup, candy, caramel, sweet dark fruits and fantastic bready malt notes. Palate more syrup, honey, breads, light toastiness, slight booze and caramel again. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel - 'coating.' A fantastic beer all around, I'd revisit this time and time again.

 425 characters

Photo of Tone
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. There is also suspended sediment. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, strong alcohol, slight oak, and slight citrus hops. Fits the style of an Old Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, oak, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, overly strong in the alcohol, not very complex, but definitely warming.

 468 characters

Photo of BillRoth
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting comparing to earlier reviews. I have very little to add.
There is a prominent nose of fruit/malt with hints of wood and aging. Raisins and a touch of alcohol. Warming, and robust as you move through the bottle. An excellent winter warmer. As noted by others the classic modest carbonation of Founder's brews appears again. Fortunastely, for me this what I love any time of year. To me contrary opinions suggest this would say that I wouldn't want another glass of a full cab, or that I wouldn't be having a vintage port in the summer. Folks, this is an awesome sipping beer for any time. I agree with previous reviewer that I will age a few. For those who enjoy a full, warming sipper to enjoy as you relax at end of day...rush to purchase!

 752 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Founders : Curmudgeon Old Ale

Appearance: A bright orange in color, some small yeast particles in suspension. An agressive snifter pour yields a silky half inch head that provides webbed lacing.

Smell: Bright and fruity. Citrus, pineapple, peach, rum. Very sweet. As it warms, some toffee and butterscotch.

Taste: Caramel malt and piney hops hold strong in the flavor. There is also a complimentary oaky dryness. Malt sweetness quickly gives way to a solid bitterness. Some woodsy notes and tannins are expressive in the flavor profile. Pineapple rum could be a great description, in a beer sense. Vanilla flavors combine with piney hops.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewey, carbonation is moderate.

Overall: A nice nightcap, good hop presence, big alcohol, and some fruity notes. Not intended for the meek.

 809 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BuckEyeNation

Pours a cloudy brownish color, quick fizzy head, nice carbonation, left some little islands around. The nose is of malts, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is sweet slightly malty, very much bourbon, nice touch of vanilla. Medium body. Drinkable, quite a different old ale, but very tasty. Highly recommended.

 334 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Liquid is a thick, dark tawny/brownish color, very cloudy with some floating particles. Light tan head that has nice retention resulting a in a thin film and a thick ring with a ring of lacing with some long streaks.
S: Predominantly sweet smell with a slight boozy touch. Malt sweetness in the background, and up front, spices, butterscotch, gingerbread, dark fruits. As this warms it pinballs between being very appealing to me and slightly too strong.
T: Lighter side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly watery in the finish. Taste follows the smell and borders on being slightly too sweet. Flavors of caramelized dark fruit, spices, molasses, sugar, vanilla and a background of alcohol. Also has a slight oaky flavor.

 779 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this one in a surprise box from Kbeals... Very cool Kevin, I thought for sure I reviewed this one before.

Pours with a pretty thin off white head.. the brew is slightly hazy deep orange/amber.

Nose is rich maltiness that shows deep toast and pretty heavy caramel... fair amount of boozy raisiny fruit.

Flavor is vanilla toffee atop toasty biscuits... golden raisins.. a bit peppery ... good medium body given the ABV... carbonation is nice and lite.

Thanks again Kevin... Thanks again Kevin.

3.5/4/4/4.5/4

 519 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Chill hazed brown colored beer with next to no head formation.

Smells strongly of malt and quite sweet.. Floral scent but I really don't smell any oak. Little bit of vanilla.

Starts out quite malty with a bit of vanilla and syrup flavor. Oak flavor and the taste of grapes. Carmel and a taste of rum. Mild bitterness not harsh at all.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a tasty big beer that doesn't really taste like it is as strong as it is.

 445 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the bottle. Poured with no head (even off a hard pour) A completely polluted appearence, clouded over, rusted over, brick copper colour. Smell is above above anything else strong! Easily guessed the barrel aged before being told. A fermented fruit, over-ripened character accompanied by rich wood dimension. Aroma is enough to entice a headache - but one well worthwhile! Aroma is very complex, hard to conceive! Mouthfeel is heavily influenced by the bourbon barrel aged, quite evident - adding a liquere (bourbon) complexity character. Very sweet! Some alcohol mixed in there. Dark spices make for a well rounded, but hard to appreciate flavour. Overly sweet maybe... I'd be happy to have again, perhaps aged, or by a fireplace!
Ripe full with complexity but not sure what else to say. Bourbon is so dominant! Leads to a strong taste despite alcohol being rather quiet. A sticky, toffee finish. Above all bourbon! Big thanks to HogTownHarry, a great finish to a fantastic tasting!

 991 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Delicious on-tap. Poured a hazy chestnut with a short, creamy head, and some rough lacing. Smells sweet with some brandied eggnog aromas. Tastes similar. Very long flavors, sweet and creamy and rich with notes of vanilla, nutmeg, cinammon, and cardomom, with a pleasant boozy note. Very creamy and smooth as well as rich in the mouth. Big and delicious.

 353 characters

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the South Philly Taproom during Philly Beer week. While a fine beer, I think it suffered a bit in the company of beers like Backwoods bastard, hand of doom and KBS.

The beer pours a lovely reddish brown amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, one gets some sweet malt, vanilla and almost a sherry like quality, what one expects in an aged ale. The flavors on the palate replicate the nost almost exactly, though the beer is just a bit sweeter then I would like to have seen. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel, and the alcohol is pretty well disguised. Can't imagine drinking a lot of this stuff, but it wasn't too heavy, boozy or tiring on the palate.

A very solid beer, but unfortunately it was in he company of some heavyweights, and I don't think showed its very best.

 811 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice orange-brown hue with a ton of haze. Head poured about a finger of frothy tan foam because of a vigorous pour; this subsided quickly, but this was not particularly detrimental to the appearance.

Smell: I don't think I've ever had a "biscuit bomb" quite like this before. It's a bit prickly and spicy to me, since this is among my least-favorite malt characteristics. That said, it's a clean maltiness which I can respect even if I can't appreciate.

Taste: our biscuit bomb continues! Biscuit from the first sip, followed by a dry biscuit middle and a bitter biscuity finish. Bitterness is rock solid, even a little high for an old ale, but good. There's a tiny little diacetyl here, too, which might work better with a sweeter malt profile (butter on biscuits is tasty, except in beer). In no way is this bad, really, but it's just far away from my personal preference. Kind of like an "Imperial Fat Tire".

Mouthfeel: big body with a somewhat decent carbonation. It is okay, but it lacks both creaminess *and* silkiness, at least one of which it ought to have. Still, it is not bland, just ... not inspiring.

Overall: man, I came into this beer wanting to love it, and instead I have rated it dramatically low. If you love a biscuity malt flavor; if Fat Tire is your favorite beer ever; if you ever wonder why they make anything other than Victory malt, then this beer may be for you. It is not, however, for me.

 1,477 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5/20/2012

On tap at Urge.

A: Dark orange with good clarity. An inch of off-white foam. Sheets of lacing cling to the glass.

S: Rich candied sweetness with big caramel and toffee notes. Orange and grapefruit blend with prune, fig, date, and plum. Lightly earthy with a touch of alcohol. There's a whisper of smoke and maybe a little apple.

T: Rich caramel and toffee with sweet breads and a pervasive candied aspect. Fruit character is reminiscent of date, plum, and prune. There's a low earthy bitterness. I get a little citrus as well. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Lower full body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, silky, and full with substantial alcohol warming.

Overall: A big, rich, estery Old Ale. Well executed but definitely a sipper.

 767 characters

Photo of tone77
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of oak, dark fruits. Taste is oak, alcohol, dark fruits, malts, a light sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

 241 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger very light tan head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose. Flavor is sweet roasted molasses. $3.90 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 258 characters

Photo of corby112
2.61/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky dark chestnut brown color with a slightly yellowish jaundiced looking hues with a thin beige head that quickly disappears leaving no lacing.

Very earthy, swampy aroma with a little bit of creek water and old boot. Slight chocolate maltiness with subtle hops and a sweet alcohol presence which is very strong.

Again, the flavor is very earthy and leathery with a strong sweet alcohol presence, leathery maltiness, subtle hops, slight chocolate, brown sugar and dirt. There's also a strange vegetable presence with is quite unpleasant and a dirty bitter finish.

This was quite a disappointment for me especially since I love pretty much everything from Founders and enjoy the occasional old ale. I will have to revisit again in the future.

 755 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has an opaque auburn brown body with a soapy tan head that clings to the edges of the glass forming a creamy meniscus. There are little bubbles of carbonation that cling to the side of the glass.

S- The smell of pine wood with a sweet caramel malt aroma has notes of wet wood and perfumed oak. As it warms a bit there is notes graham in the malt. There is a smell of alcohol as it warms a bit.

T- The taste of oaky malt flavor with a toasted malt that is a bit more dry than sweet. The finish has a light alcohol bite. There is a faint hint of dark roasted malt in the background.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture.

D- This beer has a nice big complex woody flavor and will be great with some age.

 788 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from a Dark Lord Day '07 trade with Sephiroth.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, akin to a black cherry cola. Head was sizeable, near two fingers, and looks to retain nicely. The ale is full of particles, suspended throughout and quite thick.

S: The nose, call me crazy, has the sickly sweet aroma of a bourbon barrel. The malts are concentrated to the near-strength of a barleywine, making the ale quite lush and thick.

T: You can't tell me that this isn't bourbon-barrel aged. I refuse to believe that a simple (relatively speaking, of course) malt bill can produce flavors of this depth. The malts are so strong that they create a sweet dry fruit flavor. The effect is most pronounced in barleywines but here is it near-extraordinary. Vanilla and alcohol warmth match the bourbon-like flavors, creating a very warm drink, a nice nightcap. I just can't get over the malt strength that creates that flavor, it is damn-near profound.

M: Dry green grapes, vanilla beans, sweet alcohol, this is one heck of a pleasing drink. This ale blurs the lines with a barleywine. Good drinkin'!

D: The ale's abv is high but the intense flavors create a beer that never disappoints in its power. Are you sure it isn't aged in a barrel?

 1,251 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/15/12
*From notes

-- Vintage 2010 / Consumed side by side with Curmudgeon's Better Half --

A: Cider brownish-crimson in color. A generous pour yields a 2.5 finger off-white head. Nice retention and lacing.

S: Stodgy sweetness. Hints of caramel and candied sugar own the nose, though it's not overly complex.

T: Mellow. In fact it's much more mellow then I prefer in an Old Ale. The alcohol has really toned down in the last eighteen months. There's a rather large gap missing on the mid where the hops used to be. A mild woodiness literally hits the fore and rolls right on to the finish, where a drying molasses and light char round this out.

M: No complaints here. Low key yet balanced carbonation and texture.

O: Founders Curmudgeon isn't quite the beer I remember when fresh, when I feel it drinks a bit better. It's a good beer, but not a great beer, as there are better in-style that I'd recommend before this. An above average offering in general, though it's a middle of the road entry in Founders world class portfolio.

 1,079 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark Brazilian cherry with a non-developing head and a good haziness of micro particles that drifted lazily about within the drink. Effervesce was limited to one or two bubbles visible at any given moment that rose at a fairly rapid rate to the surface. The coloring was perhaps the most intriguing here.

S: The aroma was quite odd and hard to identify at first. A fuzzy navel was the first to come to mind (a mixture of orange juice and vodka). Along came a fresh fruitiness of apricots, honey, and a sweet sugary grainy nature that was followed by a dry burbon backing that was light to medium in strength. Overall a quite odd, but intriguing aroma keeps you guessing and sniffing for more.

T: The flavor starts out with sweet sugary caramel and dry burbon. There is a fruity booziness at the very beginning of oranges and apricots that is sweet and brief before giving way to a dry caramel and dry burbon alcohol booziness that lingers on well after the swallow (4-5 seconds) creating a good warmth of sweet, boozy dry nature.

M: medium full, very slick and smooth texture wise with an incredibly light, almost absent carbonation presence makes this slide around the tongue with ease.

D: good, a bit boozy and dry drinking much bigger then its advertised 9.8% abv. Your not gonna be drinking to many of these at one time, best sampled by itself in a chalice or goblet at a moderately warm temp (55-60F) on a chilly winter night.

 1,451 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 1/28/13 bottling date.

Pours a dark amber color with a very light white head. Smell is quite appealing...very sweet notes if caramel and sweet candy. digging the nose on this one. Taste is more of the same... its very sweet tasting. Hints of caramel and toffee and laffy taffy flavor. Extremely sweet beer, but its not a bad thing in this case. It works quite well! Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, light carbonation. ABV is apparent in the belly and going down but not on the palate.

Overall this one is another good offering from Founders. You never know what to expect from Old Ales as they are all so different, but this one is a winner.

 686 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on May 8, 2014.

The pour is a handsome looking copper to dark amber or more akin to mahogany with a modest, long lasting off-white head. A tad foggy.

The aroma is generally subtle or muted but I do pick up a nice character of roasted caramel malts, oak, molasses, and only a hint of booze, which I thought might be more predominant for a 9.8% fresh old ale.

Medium to full body but also smooth.

The taste is what makes it all worthwhile as the molasses and caramel malts are voracious in their presentation with only a vague alcohol burn. You would get more booze in a malt liquor. Mildly bitter finish. Wonderfully drinkable for what it is.

 682 characters

Photo of beertunes
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish copper. Relatively low carbonation meant there was less than a thin cap of head yet somehow left a bit of pretty lacing.

The aroma is very malt based, sweet with a honeyish background and just a bit of hops present. There was some alcohol hotness at first, but it faded quickly. The flavors were very similar, thick sticky malt, some honey (and maybe maple) flavors, a touch of hops and a nice alcohol taste that fades quickly and leaves a warm glow.

The body is pleasantly full, just short of heavy, and tongue coating. Drinkability is excellent, as long as you're not in a hurry.

Overall, a great brew that compares favorably to the only beer I've given all 5's to, North Coast Old Stock, and is certainly worth your time.

 781 characters

Photo of rudzud
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a four pack last June at Julio's. Bottles 3/1/10. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Crystal clear copper pour with small suspended yeast particles. Atop sits a one finger offwhite head that slowly faded to leave a nice halo.

S - Nice carmel and toffee notes along with some dark fruits. Light vanilla, all very mellow.

T - Much like the nose its a nice mixing of mellow flavours. Carmel, vanilla, toffee, dark fruits, some oak. The ABV is slightly noticeable.

M - Low carbonation, nearly flat, but that 9.8 isnt even slightly visible.

O - Very tasty old ale. Will crack the three over the next 4 years.

 615 characters

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,247 ratings.