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

3,747 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,747
Reviews: 1,111
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 144
Gots: 713 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,747 | Reviews: 1,111 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dondeez21
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a snifter.
A: Deep Amber/ Rusty with lots of yeast floaties. Very thin head that was gone withing seconds. No lacing on the glass either.
S: Initial smell is Oak. It seems this smell gets stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Oak with a slight warming feel from alcohol. Not any hop charecter. This beer is all malt with oak.
M: Sticky Thick and warm.
D: This beer drinks pretty easy for almost weighing in @ 10%. One of the biggest charecteristics is the Oak flavor.

Photo of citan133
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A rusty-brown color, gets a little golden when held to the light. Very little head on mine, just a slight film almost over the top, kind of bubbly, that quickly went away and lefts just a slight halo around the edges of the glass. Some little sediment floaters drifting around at the bottom, too.

Doesn't really give much beyond some malt and sweet honey scents until it warms up a bit. initially thought this was pretty mellow in the nose but as it warms there are lots of scents i'm not picking up on. some overripe fruits, dark fruits, nice nose. Still a thing or two in there I can't put my finger on.

Some nice sweetness, getting some of the honey I had in the nose, nice mellow malt, kind of like a light barley-wine. Little bit of alcohol on the back, nothing too strong though. Some bitterness in the back too, i think its coming from the alcohol.

Light for the style, actually goes down pretty easy. I wouldn't go as far as to say it was light in the mouth but it definitely goes down easy, especially for the flavor profile and alcohol. A little more syrupy as it warms.

I was kind of expecting a little more from this. It's a good beer, dangerously drinkable but it doesn't have enough to make me want to come back to it too often

Photo of ccrida
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that I've sat on for about 12 months, after a trade with ATPete, thx! Poured into my Delirium snifter, Old Curmudgeon is hazy rusty brown with an pretty dense light sand head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is sweet cured fruit, golden raisins and medjool dates, definitely a lighter feel then the more common raisin and prune notes. Softer at the cellar serving temp, the fruits really opened up more at room temp, some kiwi, which I thought was very distinct and enjoyable, before the caramel started to dominate, with some clean alcohol vapors coming through at the end.

Taste is pretty rich and sweet, there are some oak and vanilla notes that make me think this is barrel aged, although I really don't know anything about it. Very nice though, with some of the light tropical fruit notes from the nose, ABV well hidden for sure. Lots of depth and super tasty without being a palate buster, I'm super impressed.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy, medium bodied. On the drier side but not as spicy as I'd expect from the ABV.

Drinkability is high, wow. Super tasty, smooth, easy drinking, a killer old ale for sure. I can't believe how easy drinking this is with only a few months on it's belt, even it it had a few more when I bought it, it's still probably less then a year old. Wow, great beer!

Photo of AtlasBrew
3.03/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz stubby bottle (Think Sierra Nevada's bottles), A fantastic label with a painted portrait of, what else, an old curmudgeon looking scholar/sailor.

Color: Brown, I wouldn't say deep brown. Head is a beige pillowy head, with medium retention.

Smell: Alcohol, Malty Sweetness, little hops

Taste: Malty alcohol that hints at some hops. That aged flavor that hints of bourbon. But always alcohol, the kind that leaves you dry and wondering "...is this really only 9.8% ABV?"

Overall: Eh, I could have done without it the 9.8% ABV. I appreciate the work and effort that was put into this Ale but let's face it; at this high of an alcohol content you may just as well have a barley wine. Not my favorite.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. Appears a mildly cloudy deep, dark amber color with about an inch of light ecru foam. Smells and tastes of sweet caramelized malts, a touch of brown sugar, and alcohol. Rich in body with medium carbonation. Worth a try if you are a fan of the style.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy and dark rust red with a pretty substantial, fluffy white head. Aroma is extremely malty, sweet, and vinous but boozy at the same time. Taste is slightly sweet, same caramel taste and light butter rum; it comes off as sweet but never sugary as a nice warming alcohol takes over and a bitter kick gives it a great balance. I wish it were a little bigger at the end, but this is a very easy drinking brew for the style.

Photo of stewart124
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of alexgrahamlv
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with a strong hint of redness in it. Very cloudy and cannot see through it. No head retention in this beer. In aromas there are cherries as well as raisins. On the taste there are cherries perhaps a slight brown sugar taste. There is almost a stale fruit taste but not in a bad way whatsoever. Full bodied, not heavily carbonated but produces a tingly sensation on the edge of the tongue. I actually enjoy this beer quite a bit. This beer is 9.8% but not a strong alcohol taste at all. Enjoy!

Photo of joepais
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to a couple of BA's who sent me one of these. Bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of white head that settled down to a sparse lace. The color of the brew was a cloudy almost Macintosh apple red.

This brew sat in the closet for a while so I am getting some bourbon whisky like aromas coming from the glass. Some vanilla and a little barleywine note as well

The flavors are strong malts and candy sugar but the alcohol flavors keep the sweetness in check. This brew is thick and smooth in the mouth.

I was in the mood for a strong brew tonight but one is enough in one sitting. A likable Old Ale I will defiantly revisit this one

Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy mahogany. Very small tan head even with a rigorous pour. Not much lacing to speak of. The nose is VERY rich. There are amber malts, dark fruits (most notably black cherries), vanilla, and some very mild piney hops. Taste begins with piney hops, more than the nose hinted at. It's followed by raisiny-sweet amber malts and a touch of whiskey/bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, with a very rich and full bodied, very light on the carbonation...I would have liked a bit more carbonation though. Alcohol is present, it definitely warms you on the way down. This is a pretty intense beer - first that I have had of this style. Can't say that I could drink a lot of these, but was nice for a night when you're in the mood to kick back and enjoy a beer.

Photo of thequeen711
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ale from Founders that pours a golden/coppery colour. The frothy pour leaves a light lacing after settling. Very smooth mouthfeel, sweet fruity taste, and somewhere in the aroma I detect oak and vanilla. The ABV is well hidden, didn't realize it until I stood up!
Another keeper from Founders

Photo of WanderingFool
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Founders Crumudgeon pours a slightly hazy dark copper color into the glass. A small off white head on top quickly fades away leaving a ring around the surface of the beer and some spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is oak, vanilla, dark fruits like cherry or plum, orange peel and alcohol. Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and slightly chewy. Carbonation is low to moderate giving a tingle on the sides of the tongue.

The flavor is much like a barleywine without all the hops. Caramel malt, oak, dark fruit, vanilla and molasses dominate. Also present is a citrus flavor of orange peel. At the end alcohol flavors move in which gives the beer a very mild burn as it goes down the throat. Once gone the molasses and oak flavor lingers on the palate.

This is definitely a sipping beer that grows more complex in aroma and flavor as it warms.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass twist-top. No date.

Appearance: Tawny orange/brown. No head to speak of, and somewhat cloudy (no sediment though).

Nose: Sweet raisin bread, apricots, toasted cashews, deep caramel, milk chocolate, dried figs.

Palate: Medium- to full-bodied with loads of sugar up front. Dried fruits (figs, raisons, prunes) mingle with a layer of light milk chocolate (low cocoa %), and some flavors that remind me of tawny/colheita ports and malmsey madeiras. Rich and somewhat thick, there is a moderate edge from the hop bitterness.

Notes: A well made Old Ale, will improve over short-term ageing, but I don't think it's made to go for more than 3 years with improvement. I would like to see more hop character for longer ageing. The hops show themselves and try to contain the HUGE sweetness, but it's just bursting at the brim with sugar. A little more contained than the Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog, though.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle to chalice at 50 degrees from cellar.

Aggressive pour yields short head - decent lacing on down. Beautifully opaque orange color when held to the light.

Smell is purely seductive. Barleywine-esque. Cinnamon spice, bready, and sharp orange peel in my book.

Taste is ballsy. Barley, candied sugar, vanilla, n fair amount of alcohol, but well balanced. Found this to be much sweeter on the tongue than the nose.

Rich, sticky, chewy mouthfeel.

Take this puppy one sip at a time, and enjoy. Not recommended for the beach in July.

Photo of Zippie9999
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Bottle from a 4 pack purchased at Table and Vine in W. Springfield, MA. (Damn, CT limited beer availability!)
A: Pours a reddish, brown, orange color w/ nice foamy head retention.
S: Sweet, molasses, vanilla, with almost a red-wine quality to it.
T: Sweet, bready, with traces of molasses, burnt sugar, and subtle vanilla.
M: Nice full, and frothy.
D: Phenomenal. A great beer that hides the fact that it's 9.3% Be careful, the ABV on this sucka will sneak up on you and kick you in the ass!

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.

Photo of discovolante65
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel Tulip in an aggressive manner. Got a nice 1 inch head out of the deal. Lots of little floaties in here. Had to leave a splash in the bottle so I could swirl out the rest. I love crap floating in my beer, I really do. Nice honey brown color. Head that I forced out of it receded quickly but left a nice collar and lacing all the way down. Not too much, but some carbonation in there.

Smells like bourbon? WTF? I'm not sure. I smell some alcohol but it could be mixed with the other scents in there. Caramel, vanilla and possibly oak smells in there as well. definitely cherries, or a fig smell. It sort of had a cinnamon/raisin oatmeal smell to it.

Tastes big and strong. Nice caramel/ malt balance with some raisins and cherries in there. I was surprised to find that the first few sips while cold were very hot with alcohol. But as it warmed up it seemed to balance out, this is usually the opposite I think. After it warmed it balanced out perfectly. This reminded me a little of a scotch ale, and I love that.

I loved the way this felt. Thick, like a 40w oil viscosity. Chunky enough to chew on, but not oily and lingering. Very smooth and decadent.

Drinkability - I felt this one, and it was the only one I had. Had it been a weekend night I would have had more than one. I think this is a great representation of the style, maybe a little tiny bit too sweet though. All in All, I am happy to have several more of these to enjoy in the future. Another good one by Founders.

Photo of Murchmac
2.53/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to zealot for this suprise beer in a trade, I think.

Pours a thick Honey Brown with lots of floaties in this bottle. Didn't know or look out to see sediment.

Smells like an old ale but kinda boozy. Like the drunk at the bus stop.

This might not be fair because all those yeasty floaties are giving it a very bitter taste??!! Not too good in my book.

I think this might not be too fair because the beer may have been poured wrong, but good beer should be idiotproof. The more I drink the worse it gets, so it might not be me. No soup for you!

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright red body, murky, with plenty of near microscopic carbonation streams. Topped by a three finger loose light beige head, which quickly drops to one finger and stablizes. Light lacing traces.

Interesting light and clean fruity (grape?)aroma.

Lightly sweet beginning. Big burst of fruit. Citrus with a cherry finish. Alcohol firebomb in the belly. Clean finish.

Smooth slick medium plus mouthfeel. Alcohol fades quick which keeps drinkability high.

Nice change of pace here in big hop season. Takes the chill out of your bones.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single purchased for me by a friend at Jungle Jim's in Ohio. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy light brown color with some orange highlights and a fair amount of floaties. It has a light covering of bubbles that disappear almost as fast as they arrive. The ring of bubbles leaves a tiny amount of lacing until they finally disappear.

S: The main aroma is of bourbon. Is this one barrel aged? Luckily I love bourbon, because I am not picking up much of anything else in this one.

T: A nice caramel malt sweetness when it initially hits the tongue. Just a slight about of hop bitterness to balance the malt. Hints of bourbon in the flavor add a bit of complexity. This is a good example of an Old Ale that definitely has some individuality over its barleywine cousins.

M: Nice medium body with a creamy carbonation that makes it smooth.

D: Compared to the few Old Ales I have had, this one goes down extremely easy. No alcohol burn at all.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours medium brown, with dark ruby tinting. Minimal head forms and quickly dissipates. Lacing is thick and fairly sticky.

Big malty sweetness. Slight buttery smell with a touch of vanilla. Somewhat bourbon or scotch like. Mild hints of dark fruits. Mild fusel alcohol.

Big malts dominate here, also. Sweet and rich. Dark bread notes. Raisins. Nice caramel notes. Alcohol presence cuts the sweetness and offers a very nice amount of balance.
Full flavored and not for the weak.
For those who like scotch ales, or just plain scotch whiskey, for that matter, this is highly recommended.

Thick, viscous and oily. This one definitely qualifies as 'chewey'. Yet still smooth.
Very low carbonation levels.

This one is a good example of why I like Old Ales so much. Also, why Founders is becoming one of my favorite breweries. So much of their line is just damn tasty.
I could drink alot of these.

Photo of kbeals
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a viscous pour, very little head with a bit of lacing. Looks about the color of apple cider, some floaties. Smell is a bit citrusy with sweet malts, an alcohol smell makes quite a presence also. Tastes exactly like scotch, maybe a bit sweeter though, not much to this one. Chest is warmed up nicely from the alcohol, though. This is the first Founder's brew I probably would never buy again.

Photo of Frosty80
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: clear copper and amber

Smell: very dense, sweet smell. perhaps a little bourbon cask hint. alcohol hides nicely. little buttery. maybe a hint of vanilla

Taste: great balance between flavors and alcohol. buttery and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: low-full body. little carbonation. very smooth and rich

Notes: huge fan of stock ales and barleywines. this one is just how i like these styles - strong, rich, sweet, and virtually no hops.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. stubby with no freshness date; unfiltered, 50 IBUs. The beer is a deep, dark crimson, filled with floaties, and capped with a thick finger of yellowed head. Very enticing aroma, with raisins and spices, sweet bread, caramel, brown sugar, fruitcake, a hint of diacetyl and suggestions of molasses, chocolate and pecans. Lots of spicy hop flavor and bitterness, balanced by fruity alcohol and a chewy, complex maltiness that imparts ripe raisin and sweet, dark bread. The body is thick and coating, powdery at times, and leaves a medium finish. This is a hugely malty beer with enough hops to balance, and makes for a delicious evening sipper.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,747 ratings.