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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

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3,338 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,338
Reviews: 1,084
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 125
Gots: 596 | FT: 44
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: 3,338 | Reviews: 1,084 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoctorB2B


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

A: Pours a beautiful copper with slight off-white head that was about a 1/4 inch. In looking at it more carefully, I find what looks like material suspended within the beer ... pretty cool.

S: First and only thing I really got was malt. No citrus to speak of, just malt

T: Alcohol smacked me in the face with the first sip. It wasn't overbearing, just didn't know it was coming. It's very thick and syrupy. Little bit of a fruit flavor, that I can't distinguish because of the overpowering warmth in my mouth.

M: Thick and viscous ... coated my mouth nicely.

D: I'll get another one and hold onto it for a long while .... let it get even older. I think perhaps this one was a bit too young.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 02:53:28 | More by DoctorB2B


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

Poured into a tasting glass

A: A deep red body with a slightly tan head with good retention.
S: Bold aroma with hints of toffee and brown sugar.
T: Great overall strong taste, a good complex beer. Hints of brown sugar really come through.
M: Full bodied taste with a thick creamy mouthfeel. Also the complex flavors are released during the lingering taste.
D: An all around great strong beer, not too over the top but a very enjoyable brew

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 12:34:58 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of herman77


3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange with some brown. Slight haze to it. Light tan head. Decent amount of fine bubble/spider web lacing.

S: Malt. Honey, oaky, slight whisky/alcohol. Strong dates smell as well.

T: Honey, oak/woody. Very strong candied toffee and carmel malt. Maple syrup? No real sign of hops or bitterness. It kind of tastes like a candied walnut. Boozy near the finish. Alcohol is present, but not overly present. Its defiantly there though. A malty bomb for sure.

M/D: Medium to fuller body. Pretty smooth over the palate. Low, and very soft carbonation. Drinkability is pretty low for this since its a malt bomb. Intense woody and candied malt flavors and the alcohol factor bring down the drinkability. More of a sipper. Something about this makes me think of fall. Its good, but I can't see myself ever having more then one in a night.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 01:39:18 | More by herman77
Photo of EtOHMD


4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had as a single in a mix 6 pack of Michigan beers. Cool label that fits the name. Pours a golden orange, bit hazy, no head or lacing. Sweet oak whiskey smell. Very inviting. Taste follows nicely with whiskey and dried dark fruits. Warm mouthfeel with much smoother taste / feel than the alcohol content would suggest. Could drink a few.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 02:50:48 | More by EtOHMD
Photo of JoEBoBpr


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

Poured into a DFH snifter.

A - Pours an oily and viscous nice dark amber color with some nice orange hues. Very unexpected color spectrum for an Old Ale. Very nice. Minimal .25 inch head that vanishes quickly leaving a thing ring.

S - Delicious bready and grainy malt sweetness that is surprisingly enveloped in som grassy hops. There is also a very nice and boozy sweetness along with some fruits such as pineapple and some nice grape as well.

T - Very much an old ale! Very nice sweet malt with some caramel, honey and nice vanilla bean flavors. Some other midl spices can also be felt but they are controlled by the sweetness. Nice boozy flavors and warmth. Very delicious Old Ale.

M & D - Very oily and viscous nice full body. Dangerous drinkability for a beer with such high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 04:01:50 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of honestdave


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a favorite ale glass

A: Old copper kettle color with slight head. Head fades quickly.

S: Sweet smelling like cotton candy with strong alcohol hit. This is an 9.8% ABV beer!

T: Just slightly bitter with a mild roasty and sweet aftertaste. The alcohol comes through as part of the aftertaste of this brew.

M: A medium+ mouthfeel. A bit syrupy in feel. This is pretty close to what I would consider full bodied.

D: Fairly good drinkability. Would like a bit more carbonation to cut the high alcohol and syrupy feel.

Summary: I like this ale for it's immediate alcohol slam. I'm sitting here on Father's Day afternoon and enjoying the good buzz as I finish this beer. I'm sitting in my screened in porch and waiting for my Old Curmudgeon neighbor to walk by so I can yell something rude at him. This ale brings out the best in me! Founder' remains one of my favorite brews for flavor, quality and unique variety of beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 19:10:59 | More by honestdave
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep orange, slight haze, but clear enough to see some tiny bubbles rising. No true head, faint ring of white bubbles around the rim.

Really trying here. Got my nose in the pint, getting a faint sweet fruit smell, some alcohol, maybe some caramel. Got more aroma as this warmed a bit, but still damn faint. In a bar room with food /stale cigarette abound, you'd get nothing from this pint. My rating is very very generous here.

Nice toasty malt and some burnt sugar, and a little stone fruit, but this is immediately kicked aside by a strong chemical alcohol taste. As the booze fades, some full hop bitterness, then chemical bitterness. This is not beer for the tame. A true grown-up drink here.

Full bodied, with some carbonation - and it is needed to clear for the next sip. And that is how this drinks -- a pure sipper. This is not summer beer, but winter in the easy chair or fireside in the fall. This one is a bit hot (alcohol), almost to a fault. If the booze was toned down, I could see having more than one at a time. Since it isn't, I'm one and done. Decent beer, but to be had as a change of pace or a seasonal treat.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 22:57:29 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of buschbeer


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured into my glass to a small light tan head. It is a ruddy amber color. I get a nice toasted caramel scent along with some alcohol. It also has a bready smell in there, too. The taste is pretty much the same with the tasted caramel malt, but it does lack the alcohol in the taste that I got on the nose. The mouthfeel is exactly what I like, nice and viscous. Overall, it is a pretty solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 23:32:28 | More by buschbeer
Photo of stakem


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

On tap at the Brass Rail today during lunch. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass it appears a clear amber color with some lighter orange colors around the edges and a thin lacing of yellowish tanned head. Spotty amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of sweet malty grains with a touch of orange character. Taste has a welcoming warmth of alcohol that is also solvent in flavor upfront with a sweet malty caramel backing and light citrus hop bitterness that mingles with a flavor of bitter orange rind. The hop bitterness lingers in the mouth with a bit of a resine-like piney flavor. Medium to heavy body with a light amount of carbonation. Other flavors of grain linger in the mouth. As it warms, more residual sugars come out in the taste much like dark sugar akin to caramel that has somewhat of a smokey quality about it. Overall pretty decent but doesn't have the wowing factor that I have come to expect from most Founder's offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2010 19:13:19 | More by stakem
Photo of crossovert


3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Bottled 2/10/10.

Pours into my snifter a beautiful clear reddish orange with a creamy ivory head that lasts for a good amount of time before slowly receding and leaving some nice lacing.

The smell is luscoius. There is tons of caramel and butterscotch. It is also earthy with a touch of hops. There is also a stark dark fruit scent. It is a very luxurious looking and smelling beer.

The taste isn't as good as the other two but it is very good. It is alot more bitter than expected with a nice hop bite. The malt is here too and it is almost cloyingly sweet. There is an abundance of caramel on the palate.

The mouthfeel is thick but has a nice, smooth carbonation, it is slightly cloying but not overly form the sugar and alcohol.

The alcohol in this one isn't perfectly hidden but it works well and makes this one feel like a strong barleywine going down.

Overall it is one beautiful looking and beautifully scented brew, the taste is good but not spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 21:51:54 | More by crossovert
Photo of beertunes


4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 20:46:49 | More by beertunes
Photo of hoppymcgee


3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY. Served in a 12oz. tulip glass.

A: Cool amber color, light for an old ale. Thin layer of a bubbly head, sticky.

S: Boozy, caramel malts, and grains.

T: Nice smooth mellow toffee notes, bitter, slightly boozy. This beer really opens up as it warms up.

M: Good carbonation, tingly and zippy on the way down (this is probably due to it being from the tap).

D: Easy to take this serving down rather quickly.

Overall, a really nice and readily available (now that Founders is in NY!) beverage.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2010 01:53:43 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a bubbly semi-transparent dark honey golden - the way it was poured I wasn't able to comment on the head. Malty aroma has a honey-sweet overtone. Malty, lively flavor has hints of spice, a nice alcohol bite and a hoppy undertone. Edgy, fizzy texture has a fierce, brandy-like bite.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2010 16:10:49 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of baos


3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Jar.

A: Thick body with a thin head. Not too much lacing going on.

S: I smell the whiskey barrel.

T: Barrel booziness with dark fruit preserve goodiness.

M: Now this beer has body. Not quite 30-w but a lot more than diesel fuel.

D: Pretty strong brew but good enough to have a few.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 05:14:33 | More by baos
Photo of ksimons

New York

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

A-pours an amber color with almost no head. Visible carbonation bubbles

S-sweet and malty. Smells of vanilla and something sort of earthy, maybe the oak

T-very similar to the smell, sweet and full of malt. As Founder's says an insane focus on the malt, which is very true! Towards the middle/end you taste a very light bitter hops which helps even it out very nicely.

M-medium to full body, minimal carbonation, very smooth, thick, and dry

D-very good Old Ale, I would get it again. Not sure I could have more than one at a time, but it is great for what it is

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 22:05:11 | More by ksimons
Photo of DovaliHops


4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a cloudy orangish red with a beautiful head to it. The smell is amazing. Sweet malts with vanilla and a slight fruitiness. I also get a hint of whiskey. I'm not sure how this beer is made, but I could swear that it's aged in whiskey barrels, because I get such a strong whiskey taste after sipping it. It's delicious. Sweet cherries, vanilla, and whiskey in this wonderfully complex ale. Love it!

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 09:04:07 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Curmudgeon sports a red body that is fairly clear save for the sediment that floats in it. Head is creamy in color, and doesn't rely stick around long.

S: malty to the core, the bouquet offers caramel, vanilla, and a touch of rum.

T: flavor follows the bouquet's lead, with heavy vanilla notes followed by caramel and molasses.

M: full bodied and creamy. Carbonation is barely noticeable.

D: a great sipper if there ever was one. This brew shows the oak well, with heavy vanilla notes. This is one of my favorite Old Ales/Barleywines out there.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 22:40:23 | More by Avagadro
Photo of glid02


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

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with a good amount of indistinct spiciness and lighter amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes fairly similar to how it smells. Sweet and slightly grainy caramel malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip they sweeten a bit and are joined by earthy, leafy, and lightly spicy hops. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending. The sip also warms a bit as it heads down the gullet.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was a very well done old ale and does a great job of hiding the alcohol. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2010 23:15:25 | More by glid02
Photo of liquidcraft


3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dig the color, rich amber with an off white head that dissipated in a few minutes to film across the top of the beer. Couple of whiffs I pick up hints of caramel, vanilla and some gingery spice.

There is an initial bite of hops that comes back on the exhale but soothed midway by sweet caramel, molasses flavors. I'm getting through this faster than expected, the complexity makes each sip entertaining to dissect. The alcohol is disguised dangerously well. Smooth textures, carbonation struggles to get through the viscosity. As an old ale I find it over all very interesting, I wouldn't drink this with a meal its pretty filling and it's got a lot of flavors going on already.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 00:15:54 | More by liquidcraft
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- very amber in color with little to no carbonation in terms of bubbles to be seen, head starts very thing and just about fades away to nothing

Smell- vanilla, malt, malt, malt, caramel and molasses, raison, very sweet malt based nose

Taste- though certain a beer with a decent amount of malt to it there is quite a bit more hop bitterness than I would of expected, slight vanilla and woody sweet ness is detectable from the oak, would be interesting to see what some age on this would do to the flavor profile, basically can be summed up in tons of up front malt with a firm and solid handed hop finish, finishes moderate to long, overally pretty enjoyable flavor and extremely balanced,

Mouthfeel- decently heavy thick and smooth, very strong drying finish,

Drinkability- easy drinking for sure as this beer walked way more of a balance then I even had expected with malt and hop, goes down dangerously fast hard to tell this is 9.8 percent at all, while this beer is certainly good not sure yet if I would call it great rather just solid, oak adds a nice touch and the heat of abv is minimal to none, I feel though it would made it less balanced I was almost hoping for a bit more malt from this than amount of hop they threw in, at very least I would certainly try this again

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 06:17:00 | More by Stunner97
Photo of Gmann

New York

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark honey color with a smallish tight head that settles into a ring. The aroma is faint, did not pick up much, perhaps a touch of scorched caramel & toffee. The taste has a very mellow toffee and vanilla flavor, nothing sharp, quite smooth and sweet. The flavor is different from most old ales, seems to focus on vanilla. I worried that it might be cloying but it never does, very good. A moderate feel with tingly carbonation which helps cut the potential cloyingness of the brew. The ABV is no where to be found. This is a very tasty old ale. I like the vanilla profile. I am interested to see what some age does to this brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 03:41:21 | More by Gmann
Photo of BillRoth


4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 00:43:23 | More by BillRoth
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Dark amber with a slight creamy head.
smell: Very nice malty, buttery, port like nose. Aged in oak? That's obvious in the nose.
taste: Oh man, the taste delivers what the nose projects and then some. Smooth oh yeah. I'm puttin a few of these back. What will a little time do to this beauty?
mouthfeel: full, creamy, silky.
drinkability: This one is dangerous. Almost too drinkable.
Is Founders great or what?

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 22:35:22 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of jmerloni


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A dark orange, ruby brown color with huge head that recedes slowly and laces like a maniac.

S - So unique. I'm new to this kind of beer. Vanilla bean? Caramel malts. Smokey. I'm very confused by this brew and I like it.

T - Wow. Like nothing I've ever tasted. Vanilla bean indeed with some light spice. Maybe some figs or dates or dark cherry in these as well. Toasty bitter hops on the end. This is pretty strange and unique. I'm intrigued.,

M - Full indeed. Roasted and packed with flavor.

D - On the mouthfeel still, the carbonation is pretty limited and this is an area Founders routinely excels in - they never overcarbonate their beers and they don't have to. The flavors and uniqueness of all their brews speak for themselves. Another - not only great - but spectacular beer from Founders. It's very filling though and you probably can't have more than 1. One of my very favorite breweries. Will be buying this again very soon.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 00:34:03 | More by jmerloni
Photo of ShadesOfGray


3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008. Poured from a short 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours a light golden color but fills the glass on the reddish side. Leaves a light tan and small creamy head that dissapates quickly. Light fizzy quick sliding lacing. Appearance is hazy with tons of setiment floating around.

Aroma is mild, but semi-sweet, malty, and dark over-ripe fruits...perticularly raisins. Very slight booze...similar to bourbon.

Wow,hmmm...I don't think this is aged in bourbon barrels, but definitely has a bourbon like flavor. Raisin flavor is a little strong. Medium body, high carbonation...boozy. This beer has some resemblences to Bad Habit Quad by Founders. Overall, a good beer...but closer to a Belgian style dark ale than an Old Ale in my oppinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 03:21:10 | More by ShadesOfGray
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,338 ratings.