1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,492 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,492
Reviews: 1,099
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 137
Gots: 632 | FT: 45
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,492 | Reviews: 1,099 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -10.2%

Poured from the stubby 12oz into a snifter. Picked this bottle up at Al's of Hampden.

A beautiful copper color w/ good clarity and visibly carbonated w/ 1/2 inch of light beige caps the ale w/ a tight bead and good amount of lace sticks. The aroma of sweet malt w/ hoppy esters and stone fruit blend with the mild pine element and slight citrus w/ a light alcohol scent. The feel is highly carbonated and pretty bitter for the style w/ moderately high level of sweetness w/ a warming of alcohol throughout.

The strong bitter note of piney hops is equalled by a strong caramel malt flavor with a candy like quality and slightly salty and acidic tinge from the high alpha hops with the flavors of alcohol and stone fruit essence. The hops have a woody character and mild acidity in the taste w/ a mild tanginess of grapefruit that is noted as it finishes. This old ale is a good beer, but I consider it slightly hop forward for the style. It is tasty and hoppy, but just misses the mark to be considered classic taste-wise. I enjoy it and the alcohol is mild which is nice, so it seem above avg all around to me.

11-02-2010 17:05:57 | More by Slatetank
Photo of haazer
haazer

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -2%

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a 1 1/2 finger of beige head. Brown, orange, tea color. Kind of reminds me of wet cedar wood. Leaves a little bit of lace. Good carbonation.

S- Smells of maple syrup and brown sugar. Can detect the hops, balanced well with a slight fruity aroma.

T- A lot like the nose. Maple syrup, brown sugar, molassess. Again the faintest hint of hops. What stands out the most in this perhaps is the malty backbone. Really enjoyable flavors in here.

M- Medium bodied. Very smooth, and creamy. Slightly drying. The alcohol makes its presence known as the brew becomes incredibly warming.

D- Great tasting brew. My first Old Ale, and glad to have it that way. I knocked down this score somewhat because the alc as I noted is VERY warming, and could see how more than one of this could get you in trouble. But I can't wait to try more in this style. I would almost classify this brew as a sipper, but the taste and the mouthfeel says otherwise.

11-02-2010 03:17:02 | More by haazer
Photo of Bay01
Bay01

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +8%

Poured into a snifter from 12oz bottle

A - Pours a cloudy orange/ amber with tinges of ruby in the light, two finger head with some sticky lacing

S - Smell is fruit, butter, molasses, and toffee. Fruitier smell than I was expecting

T - Fruity and buttery, the alcohol isn't noticeable at first but then is evident at the finish, some tobacco aftertaste.

M - Relatively high level of carbonation for an old ale, not syrupy but slight chewiness. Body is full and smooth.

D - Surprisingly high due to the pleasant and balances fruitiness, the alcohol doesn't feature prominently so I could have a few of these.

This is unexpected in a good way for the style, could be dangerous due to the ABV

10-31-2010 23:18:39 | More by Bay01
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%

This is my first old ale so I'm really not sure what to think going in. It pours a translucent orangish brown color with a creamy white head. Good head retention and some dots of lace.

Emits lots in intriguing aromas. Alcohol spice with a distinctive scotch quality. Sweet and caramely with just a touch of hops in the nose.

Flavors are even more complex. The most prominent is the hugely dynamic sweetness. I can honestly describe it as honey, caramel, brown sugar, maple and a touch of molasses each appearing at different times during the same sip. Hints of toffee and almond come to mind as well. There is a strange underlying flavor here that is very hard to pick out, it almost tastes like buttery, eggy, sugary cookie-dough, different but not necessarily bad. Mild piney and floral hops fight to be noticed. Solid alcohol spice dominates the finish and warms the throat.

Sticky on the tongue with a full-bodied, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Fairly low carbonation, which seems to fit well.

One of the most interesting beers I have tried to date. It was bottled in 02/2010 giving it about 8 months to age. I would like to try it again both fresh and after aging at least 12 months. Enormous amount of malt flavor and aroma while hops do a nice job of keeping it interesting without dominating the senses. This one is definitely worth a try.

10-25-2010 05:17:07 | More by bnes09
Photo of dpnelson1978
dpnelson1978

Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -13.2%

12 oz. bottle into glass snifter.
45°F

$4.00 / ea.

A: Cloudy burnt orange body topped with a small off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving no lace and only a ring of cover.

S: Molasses, pecans, raisins, and traces of booze. Very full aroma tending towards sweet maltiness. You can tell it will be potent before it ever hits your lips.

T: Sweet molasses and brown sugar malt profile dominates. The alcohol is well masked, but the underlying potency is obvious. The hop profile is very weak compared to the malt bill, but tends toward a resinous piney flavor. Aftertaste is brief, and does not build.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight initial bite. Viscous and coating on the tongue, but does not build over time.

D: A sipping beer to be sure. The flavor is pleasant, but the strength can not be denied. One, maybe two while you relax.

O: Solid offering, but nothing special. I've had better from both the brewery and the style.

10-25-2010 01:22:02 | More by dpnelson1978
Photo of brianjay
brianjay

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%

Pours the colors of molasses; dark amber with brown and orange, There is no head to speak of, just a thin splash of bubbles on top as evidence of carbonation.

Aroma is a bit sour and pungent but some hints of brown sugar and pecan pies.

Flavor is an explosion of sweet caramel and dry oatmeal. Alcohol is very present, you can feel the heat on this one. All in all, they combine to make one sweet, strong ale with sturdy malt notes.

The body is a balance of making a smooth, medium bodied mouth-feel.

10-23-2010 22:08:20 | More by brianjay
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

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

10-19-2010 05:25:32 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of mjaskula
mjaskula

New York

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

Served in a pint glass. Pours dark copper with a bunch of suspended sediment. The thin off white head faded fast and only leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

The aroma is sweet with some floral hops and a bit of smokiness. Flavor is smooth and complex, sweet and malty with some nuttiness. Hop flavor is mild, floral and piney. Malt flavor has carmel and toffee. Alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel is a bit viscous, but i think that's expected. Overall I really like this beer, and wouldn't mind drinking a couple of these.

10-09-2010 04:30:35 | More by mjaskula
Photo of Boodoggy
Boodoggy

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +6%

Poured from 12oz bottle into Lost Abbey Tulip.

Hazy deep amber, cooper in color. Thin quickly disapating head with minimal lacing.

Strong and sweet. I am getting honey and sweet dark fruit, toffee perhaps some caramel in the back.

I love the taste. Sweet and malty. This really follows through with the nose. Alcohol is present hops are taking a back seat on this one.

Thicker then expected. Malty and sweet. This is a sipper to be enjoyed on a cool evening.

Overall I really liked this beer. It delivered what it claimed to be on the label.

10-08-2010 02:00:18 | More by Boodoggy
Photo of berkey
berkey

California

3.73/5  rDev -7%

12 oz bottle poured and reviewed from my usual tulip glass 10/05/10.

Pours a dark reddish amber color. Doesn't form much of a head but some decent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as I rotate it.

Just a hair hoppier than typical for an old ale but the main aromas are of caramel with some slight toffee notes. Flavor adds a difficult to identify 'cookie'-like character and some slightly acrid bitterness. Pleasant enough but missing some of the richness and complexity I look for in the style.

This somehow manages to remain pretty easy drinking even though the alcohol isn't all that well hidden. A decent beer but not quite sure I can really say it's anywhere near some of the great Founders brews I've tried.

10-07-2010 01:00:46 | More by berkey
Photo of codewarrior
codewarrior

New York

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

12 oz from a 4-pack into a Boulevard Smokestack Chalice

picked this up in a trade with masterhomebrewer ... thank you sir.

A: Deep amber, 1 finger head, dissipates and laces beautifully.

S: Strong and sweet, lots of booze, similar to a quad in its smell, but stronger.

T: Luscious and thick, good tang of booz behind a sweet front. Fades gently.

F: THICK.

D: and Yum. seriously good, but not as good as Old Stock, or Third Coast.

10-06-2010 05:21:30 | More by codewarrior
Photo of cwguy5
cwguy5

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -0.2%

Enjoyed on-tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC...

I have to admit that I did not get the best look at this serving of beer. It was dark, but it had a deep brown color and a light brown head.

The aroma was full of toffee, maple, and dark fruit.

Sweet beer with lots of dark fruit, maple, toffee, and herbal notes. Warm alcohol taste with strong, long linger. Medium bitter and malt. Individual fruit notes of coconut and banana.

Mild but firm carbonation. Fruit first, then toffee, then bitter with long linger.

A very well crafted beer. Personally a bit too sweet for me. The dark fruit flavors almost seem a little rum-like. A very big beer with large palate.

10-04-2010 04:59:33 | More by cwguy5
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge

Virginia

4.45/5  rDev +11%

Poured this one into a German Pilsner tulip.

Doesn't produce much head, but what is there is a pinky thick light tan presentation. The body is hazy and dark copper in color.

The nose is spicy and dry red wine like. There is also a floral aroma along with a fragrance of ginger or something of that nature.

The taste of this brew is red wine like, along with a toasted dark bread bluntness... Very creamy and maybe a little oily slickness, and warming to the palate in the end.

10-02-2010 18:47:49 | More by TheSarge
Photo of Anthony1
Anthony1

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev -11.5%

Pours slightly hazed orangeish brown with a thin head that becomes a wisp. Some vanishing lace sticks. The smell is of honey, caramel, nuts - reminiscent of honey-covered walnuts dipped in caramel. There is a fruitiness towards dates/prunes. The taste is sweet - honey and caramel - not catching the 50 IBU's. Sweetness balanced by an ashy smokiness that leaves a burnt aftertaste. The burnt character shows in some sips more than in others, oddly enough. Not digging that part, which puts a dent in the flavour. Alcohol present, but not too sharp or overwhelming. Full-bodied and a bit sticky. Mild carbonation does cut through the thickness.

09-28-2010 16:37:50 | More by Anthony1
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev -5.7%

I'm never clear on where the line is drawn between an old ale and a barleywine - this beer could happily land in either category. Body is a bit syrupy, redolent with dark, aged fruit flavors - prune most apparentl A boozy edge is a slight detraction. Finish is smooth with a lasting caramel note.

09-28-2010 13:48:10 | More by Brent
Photo of domtronzero
domtronzero

California

3.68/5  rDev -8.2%

A - Clearish orange copper with a long lasting fluffy off white head. Little lacing.

S - Sweet caramelly, bready and toasty malts. Little alcohol booziness.

F/M - Sweet bready, toasty caramelly malts. Little toffee. Slight boozy alcohol. Lite earthy hops. Medium full bodied, slick and a little oily. Moderate-low carbonation. Lingering caramelly aftertaste.

D - Sweet, oily and thick. OK for a pint, but not much more.

09-27-2010 02:23:28 | More by domtronzero
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -18.2%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Tick #200! Woohoo!

A- pours a murky, cloudy shade of orange with a half finger thick white head that fades pretty quickly. It looks really hideous, actually. Not a good start

S- smells pretty spicy actually, lots of toffee and roasted malts in there. Reminds me somewhat of a pumpkin ale...minus the pumpkin, of course. Interesting

T- very malty, lots of toffee and roasted malts...it almost seems to be too much. Little bit of an alcohol burn to it as well...not the biggest fan

M- decently thick. Maybe a little too much...

D- too malty and a little too boozy for my tastes. Definitely a sipper

09-26-2010 00:49:26 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of boomer31
boomer31

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

2009 Vintage

A - Burnt orange transparent with thin white head that briefly sticks to glass

S - Sweet and sugary caramel malts

T - The malt is very sweet. Sugar and a touch of toffee flavor. No bitterness at all. Perhaps some wood here

M - Thin and soft carbonation. The sugary malt sticks to your mouth. Not overwhelminly sweet but very close

D - Very sweet and sugary. A sipper for sure.

Overall this is an interesting beer. It reminds me of a sweet English B-wine after a year or so in the bottle

09-21-2010 00:53:18 | More by boomer31
Photo of ne0m00re
ne0m00re

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -5.7%

09/04/10- Had this on on-tap at the Founders brewpub.
A: Burnt orange, nice large cream head.
S: Spicy (almost pumpkin pie), cinnamon brown sugar. Not very strong.
T: Caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, sweet malt, with a green leafy hops finish.
M: Very creamy, frothy, and moderately syrupy.
D: One glass is good. It is a little too spicy.

09-19-2010 17:20:13 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

2.13/5  rDev -46.9%

cloudy thick dark amber. LARGE pieces of debree. Thin off white head.

Strong alcohol and malt explosion in the nose.

One dimensional beer. Strong malty flavor, carmel, off tasting candy, some hops in there just barely. Barrel aging can be great, but this one looses flavor and lacks complexity.

The mouth needs more carbonation, and well the flavor just doesn't ask to be consumed. The alcohol kicks fairly hard and doesn't work well for me.

This beer just either needs age or just is a rare strike for founders. I think most beer lovers will enjoy this beer, but it's just not up to par.

09-17-2010 22:34:52 | More by bobhits
Photo of Kinsman
Kinsman

California

3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

Pours a dark amber body with reddish highlights. A thin but creamy white head caps the beer and sticks around for a while.

Aroma is very sweet, molasses up frond and just plain out malty in general.

Pretty much a malt bomb on the balate with just a bit of a lingering bitterness on the end. Sweet without being too sweet, and nice oaky flavor that I've come to really appreciate.

Mouthfeel is rather full and creamy. This really compliments the malt character well.

Overall a very interesting beer, and quite different from what most American breweries are putting out these days. Certainly one I'll have again, but not in the same night.

09-09-2010 00:20:23 | More by Kinsman
Photo of Spica66
Spica66

Indiana

3.65/5  rDev -9%

A: Amber color. Slightly hazy (?) Very strange... Slight head and no retention.

S: Malt bomb! Wow. Smells molasses sweet with hints of caramel. Maybe just a hint of bittering hops, but not much.

T: Tastes just like it smells, but the hops are more present on the finish. Very nice.

M: Not sticky, like a lot of old ales tend to be, but also not really carbonated enough.

D: This beer tastes fine, but gives you a really good alcohol burn down in your esophagus. I doubt anyone would want more than one of these in a night.

09-07-2010 16:42:33 | More by Spica66
Photo of silver0rlead
silver0rlead

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -2%

Pours a hazy amber color with a thin tan head that doesn't retain well. The aroma is a step up with notes of vanilla, molasses, oak, spiced rum, dark fruits (plum, fig, black cherry), floral hops and alcohol. The flavor starts out with spiced rum notes, along with caramel, molasses, vanilla and oak, as well as some cocoa and dark fruits, and a strong alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is thick and drinkability is OK. An intriguing if a bit cloying old ale, that is heavy on the oak and caramel flavors.

09-07-2010 05:58:37 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of bs870621345
bs870621345

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -13.2%

Pours an amber color with minimal head. Leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like fruits molasses, caramel, maybe a slight pine hint from hops. Very much a malty beer that is pretty damn good.

Taste is like molasses, alcohol, fruits, gentle funk I think, and a light pine in there. Its rather fruity and sweet with a gentle hopping to counter.

Mouthfeel is thick, full and sticky. Not overly carbonated, as expected.

The drinkability suffers a bit because of the alcohol burn in there. I find that it is this way with a lot of founders beers.

09-05-2010 02:49:41 | More by bs870621345
Photo of Xul
Xul

California

4.05/5  rDev +1%

A: Pours a translucent amber with some light ruby highlights, capped by a half finger of frothy, eggshell colored head. Retention is moderate as the head slowly settles down to a thin layer of foam, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Lots of fruit up front with cherries, some light berries, and a moderate citrus character all appearing. Caramel and toffee follow with faint notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, and leather hanging in the background.

T: As with the nose, big fruits up frunt with the berries almost disappearing but some pears join the cherries and citrus. Sweet toffee on the mid-palate gives way to chocolate and hints of vanilla, before the fruit returns for the finish and joins with the vanilla for a long, sweet fruit finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, it's a bit thin for an old ale but not terribly so.

D: Incredibly drinkable for an old ale, not the most complex or subtle I've had, but very enjoyable.

09-04-2010 06:15:47 | More by Xul
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,492 ratings.