1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,837 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,837
Reviews: 1,129
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 152
Gots: 752 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,837 | Reviews: 1,129 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of becktone
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

From notes 7-23-09

Eye: This beer is more or less copper in color, with orange, red and yellow hues. Clarity is real good, the body is very easy to see through. Head formation, retention and lacing are all lacking, very much so. This is the only thing that I think this beer could use some serious work on.

Nose: Huge nose here, as soon as it pours and is opened, before its even close to the nose, huge vanilla, oak, and sweet malt aromas hit the nose, also getting some brown sugar type of aromas from far away. When right up in the nose there is a dark sweetness in here that must be coming from the molasses that is used in this beer. Alcohol is well hidden. Big caramel aromas come out too, quite a lot going on. I get different characteristics with my nose right up in the glass and just sitting back with the glass about a foot away. Nice aroma on this one.

Tongue: Oakiness is apparent right up front, bitterness from hops balances this one out quite nice along with some lingering astringincy and dryness from the oak. Alcohol is noticeable but doesn't get anywhere close to being in the way of this beer's flavor. Molasses can be tasted. Vanilla tones come in more towards the finish of this one. Overall a nice beer, very good old ale, perfect for the weather out today-overcast and Fallish like...in July! Quite suitable for cooler days, just taking be back to simpler times, something like the four pack carrier says salty seamen etc, etc, tall ships, etc...-

Feel and Drinkability: Moderately carbonated and medium-heavy in body. I think that carbonation could be a bit lower and still this beer would work, if not work better. I feel that the carbonation here is just to aggressive, the bubbles are fine in texture, but they just attack so vigorously that I think it takes away from the beer a bit. At first its fine, its after the brew's been in the mouth a bit, somewhere around mid palate that they all aggressively break out and assualt the palate. I think it could be toned down a bit, but by no means is this a fault, but in my opinion it could be better. This is an extremely drinkable beer, and dangerous especially on a day such as this. 60 some degrees in the middle of summer, breezy out, refreshing air, the smell of fall in the wind...it would be real easy to get real wasted easily with this one in hand. I'll definitely enjoy the rest of these. For me, on a day like this this beer is just as a good novel that takes you away, away from reality for just a bit...to escape the real world for a while. Awesome.

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a foamy head that fades away rather quickly but leaves a few dots and dashes

Smell: Toffee, stone fruit and vanilla

Taste: Opens with a big toffee flavor that adds a stone fruit and oak character, at first, and then a citrusy aspect by mid-palate, all laden with undertones of alcohol; after the swallow, the toffee sweetness and vanilla returns to mellow out the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: A very fine example of an old ale; not quite chewy enough to be a barleywine, but filled with complexity

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown screw cap bottle, nice label with best by date clearly marked

Appearance: Nice dark burnt orange beer with lots of very fine sediment in suspension and a very nice creamy ivory cap with good retention

Smell: There are HUGE malt tones here, burnt sugar (as in creme brulee), a bit of fruity alcoholic esters as well as some baking spice...this is sweet and vibrant...it's almost like liquid sticky toffee pudding...awesome

Taste: VERY sweet sticky toffee pudding, with big warming alcohol and malts, dark brown sugar, and some dark fruit as well...a bit of drier toasty malt on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Big, rich, and smooth

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: This is a great English-style Old Ale....it's got absolutely fantastic aromas, some really nice flavors, and overall makes me glad it's getting to be winter brew time...this is the way I like my Old Ales: Malt bombs where the hops stay in the background. I'm looking forward to aging one or two of these and seeing how it changes with time.

Photo of natasharai
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured vigorously to achieve a very small tan creamy head that dissipated leaving some lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is pretty clear with a reddish orange brown color and very small particles floating in the glass.

Smell: Very sweet, strong nutty roasted malt, nice caramel/toasted marshmallow sweet aroma, sappy pine, sweet fruit like pears and apples. Nice yeasty biscuit toward the end.

Taste: Very sweet, caramel malt, roasted nuts, roasted marshmallow, some pine bitterness, no alcohol flavor at all.

Mouthfeel: Thick body, quite syrupy, nice amount of carbonation, slight hop tingle, very small touch of dry feeling, then leaves mouth really sticky.

Overall: good drinkability, especially considering the ABV. Awfully sweet but still good, the sweetness has a nice roasty/toasty component which makes it more interesting.

Photo of Hibernator
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Founders Curmudgeon
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a Harpoon Leviathan tulip glass

I let this beer sit for about 15 minutes before I starting drinking it Pours a light brown color. Reminds me of the color Lipton tea. A thin white lace forms around the top circle of the beer.

An array of different scents in the nose. Maybe some whisky or rum whiffs too. Sugary sweetness.

Super juicy caramel malts. We're talking major sugary sweetness with a rum raisin and vanilla bean combination. Dark fruits like prunes and figs.

Some initial sips are a tad rough, in the sense of a hard liquor swig from a Maker's Mark drink. Yet, the complexity of the beer (especially) as it warms, becomes a warming monster at 9.3% ABV. More flavors of light milk chocolate too. An enjoyable and flavorful old ale.

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

355ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com..

Poured a deep coppery amber colour. Mocha head poured thick and foamy then faded very quickly to almost nothing - maybe just a light ring around the edge... barely any carbonation bubbles... very light lacing lines...

Aroma - Strong sweet caramel / toffee maltiness mixed with decent woody and oaky notes, marmalade, toasted bread, quite nutty, strong vanilla, stewed fruits (figs, raisin, some overripe banana), banoffee pie, brown lemonade,

Taste - Good balance of oakiness mixed with toffee and caramel... lots of toasted bread, butterscotch and vanilla, dried fruits (raisins, dates), rum, again some orange marmalade, earthy, light grassy hops...

M&D - Smooth and fairly creamy with a little sharpness coming through... medium / full bodied... a sipper at 9.3%

Overall - A pretty good example of an old ale... well worth a try

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a nice white head. The aroma is that of dark and tart fruits mixed with sweet malt. The taste is quite sweet with a little bit of bread. A bit of the fruity sweetness as well. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very nice, and becomes a lovely sipper as it warms up.

Photo of gmfessen
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Saw this on the shelves on a recent trip back to MI, haven't had it so I had to pick it up. Poured from the bottle into a mini snifter beer is a clear, deep ruby-orange color with a thin head comprised of many fine bubbles which quickly dissipates to just a thin ring around the snifter. Small bits of lacing are left around the glass. The nose is slightly subdued with sweet dark fruit like raisins and figs dominating and slight fusel alcohol also present. The taste has another dimension of fruity complexity, slightly sweet with lots of dextrins, bittered almost to balance but still slightly sweet. The mouthfeel is full bodied with an almost dead carbonation and a dry, alcohol finish. As far as drinkability goes, this is definitely a sipper. A good beer for a night cap sitting by a fire on a cold winters evening.

Photo of Marcrates
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours a dark, amber brown. It appears thick, with a thin creamy head.

Smell - Smells sweet and sugary, with a hint of raisin?

Taste - A little thick and "syrupy" for my taste. It isn't a bad taste, but it is definitely a bit like molasses. The after taste has a little bite, but it quickly fades and is a little anti climactic.

Mouthfeel - Besides smell, this is the best trait of this beer. Feels creamy, rich, and full.

Drinkability - If you like thick and sugary drinks, you may give drinkability on this one a higher rating. For me, however, I can only drink one of these at a time. This isn't a beer a would choose for a session.

Overall I can't say I hate or love it. I would definitely have it again, but only when I'm in the mood for something sugary.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

czoch75 sent me a bottle of this last year, and I figured this fine Sunday is a worthy occasion to crack it. IIRc, this is the 2008 release

The pour is a mostly clear ruby red, marred by a slightly careless pour that results in a bunch of floating particles in the beer. A thin, tan head rises briefly, settling into a ring rather quickly.

Sweet, rich and malty on the nose, with plums, raisins, rum, brown sugar, beets, honey and alcohol. Quite deep and rich, and thoroughly acceptable. Mild oxidation is noticeable with a combination of sherry and cardboard. Slight fusel aroma is present, with the spicy character associated with it.

Opens sweet, with a more straightforward sugary sweet character with honey and brown sugar dominating. The fruit character that I picked up on the nose isn't as noticeable, and there's a mild date character present. Rum and raisins with a spicy rye character is noticeable. I'm getting a little bit of toffee before the finish that's a sweet with a bit of alcohol and a little bitterness that's burnt caramel in character.

Medium-full in body with an excellent, lush, creamy carbonation, this beer feels pretty awesome on the palate. The finish is a little disappointing in that it isn't very flavorful.

A definite sipper, I'm actually liking this.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very hazy amber with only a slight head -- orange on pour but settling out to an off white ring of bubbles around edge of glass. Low carbonation.

S & T = Smells of maple syrup, coconut and vanilla, with tastes of the same. I get a really strong flavor of coconut and a hint of sweet pineapple, almost like a Pina Colada. Also some flavors of spices and hay. Relatively sweet, good long finish.

M = Medium-heavy body, very good mouthcoating, low carbonation not quite as luxurious as I would like, but decent.

D = It tastes good and goes down easily but it also gets a bit cloying, so I cannot recommend it as having high drinkability.

Photo of largadeer
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murky. Hazy. Turbid. Tons of shit in suspension. The head lingers for a surprising amount of time, given the style and strength.

Fruity aroma. Dates. Sugar, brown. Earth. Soil. Wood. The trees and forest. Pine needles. Spicy. Caramel. Much aroma.

Taste strong. Rye bread. Earth and soil. Strong. Alcoholic. Caramel. Much flavor. Thick. Fruit. Rum. Raisins. Rum raisins. Bitterness. Tannins. Grain. This is beer. Hello.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark orange/copper/amber/golden color with a two finger, small bubbled head. Some active carbonation, and food lacing/head retention.

S: A good strength, not weak but not overwhelming. Very fruity and effervescent. Maybe a little hoppy, herbal if anything. I sort of hoped for a little something darker and fuller, but still good.

T: Hmm, fruity and perhaps a little boozy. Not super smooth, but it works. The hops are much more evident. Though that mellows pretty quick. It reminds me of an aged DIPA. The malt profile is very interesting. At first it really helps push the sharpness of the hops, but then, as my tongue gets more used to that bite, it becomes much much more mellow and smooth. I really like it, I think it just needs to reach the right temp. I hesitate to call it perfect, because it's my first old ale, but I may revisit this guy.

M: Smooth and creamy, but pretty light. Low carbonation which is exactly what I wanted here. This is pretty much perfect to me. Light enough to not feel flat, but giving me not the slightest indication of gasiness.

D: Very, which makes it a dangerous brew at this ABV.

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Matilda Chalice

Pours hardly any creamy white head. Fades to a thin ring around the glass that sticks around, but no lace. Color is a robust burnt copper. Beer has sediment floating around in it.

Aroma: I get alcohol, plums, grapes, honey, raisins, figs, brown sugar, earthy hops. This beer is very complex, as it should be.

Taste: I can definitely taste the alcohol in this beer as it is quite hot. A lot of dark dried fruits, grapes, raisin, plums are here. Figs, brown sugar, raisins, and honey also present. A lot similar to the smell. I also get an apple taste as well. Hops are pretty much covered by the heat, but they are there.

Mouthfeel: Boozy, creamy, and somewhat smooth. Medium to full body. Medium level of carbonation. Ends with a boozy dried fruit flavored aftertaste.

Overall, I know this is an old ale and thus going to have a lot of alcohol, but the heat is just to much for me. I am slowly sipping on this one and it will take a while to finish. It is good, but I bet a few years might do serve it well.

Photo of projectflam86
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep murky orange/toffee color with a thin white foam head that leaves some scattered lacing.

S- Coconut, alcohol, and dark fruit are by far the easiest scents to pick out. Fairly musty.

T- A nice caramel/toffee flavor initially that gives way to fruit and coconut tastes in the finish. The alcohol is quite prominent and the aftertaste is similar to a coconut rum.

M- Decent carbonation and a medium/full body.

D- A decent brew that didn't quite live up to expectations.

Photo of brewdoc75
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a huge fan of a good old ale. As I am planning to brew one this weekend, I thought I'd give this a try. I have a four pack squirreled away for aging. This is about 6 months old. I'm sure it gets better with age.

A: Amber to brown with beautiful amber hues. A minimal white head sits on top, but dies to nothingness quickly. Carbonation is light to medium.

S: Caramel, toffee, raisins, and plums. This is followed by a hint of oak and vanilla. Nice and complex. Very inviting.

T: Starts out with velvety caramel and toffee. This shifts to raisin and plum fruitiness. The end is full of vanilla and oak. The aftertaste has a hint of bourbon like flavors. The hops balance out the bitterness and add just a hint of citrus. Just enough alcohol to keep it warm and complex. Finishes with moderate, brown sugar sweetness. A very flavorful old ale.

M: Velvety, smooth, lightly carbonated and rich. Very nice.

D: This is a very nice old ale. Definitely one of my favorites. This one is a bit young, but still fantastic. I bet it will age with the best of em. The toughest part about aging this beer will be the waiting. It may not make it another year or two. If I see another 4-pack, I'm picking one up.

Photo of ricke
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber with a small off-white head that leaves a ring of lacings.

S: The smell is malty (caramel and fudge) with notes of ripe fruit (grapes, strawberries?) vanilla and spices. It's a rather rich smell. It's good, but something seems off, like it's going downhill or something.

T: A malt-forward beer with a pleasant taste of caramel and toffee. Lots of fruity notes. The taste is sweet but balancing spicy notes level the sweetness. Here's also an interesting note of vanilla. The finish has some nice bitterness to it and notes of wood and malts.

M: Medium body with a rather creamy and slick texture.

D: A decent beer. But Old ales raise my expectations and this one didn't really meet them. There are far better examples of the style.

Photo of ditch
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark orangish red with an off white head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smells of roasted barley, raisin, oak, and a bit of vanilla.

Tastes of sweet barley, vanilla, dried dates, with a slight citrus and pine background. pretty well rounded.

Mouthfeel is a little weak. Low carbonation. Near the end of the glass it starts feeling oily.

All in all not a bad beer. Not something that will be on my list of keeping around the house. For the 10.99 a four pack, I would rather be drinking a Dirty Bastard for 8.99(which is quite delicious, by the way).

Photo of BarrelO
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy reddish-brown body. Head fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Caramel, vanilla, and booze.

T: Strong malt, vanilla, and oak. Kind of like a mini-bourbon. Becomes cloying after a while.

M: Medium-bodied with little carbonation.

D: A total malt bomb with oak to intensify the effect. It was a bit much for me. If you like whiskey, though, it might be up your alley.

Photo of njmoons
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden red, with a nice head that dissipated slowly. An exceptional looking beer.

Smell of quality Ale yeast with apple, dark cherry notes and a hint of vanilla.

Taste was just what i am looking for in an Old Ale, malty ale with hints of dark cherry and apple. These flavors are present at the start remain through the middle of the sip. The ale finishes with a light alcohol burn and a typically ale tartness.

I found this highly drinkable for a high alcohol beer, and could have easily had a second.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours very thick, bordering syrupy, and has a caramel color. There is very little head or lacing despite an aggressive pour.

This is weak in the smell department. It does have a caramel sweetness to it with a hint of vanilla. Even though the smell is faint, it is pleasant.

The dextrins give this a sweet smell of caramel and vanilla. There's a strange aftertaste of artificial sweetener. Up front and in the middle this is a good tasting ale, but the aftertaste is a little off-putting and resembles aspirin.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with a light cut of carbonation.

This has an alcoholic burn to it but it's expected at 9.3%. This is a sipper, but enjoyable.

Photo of Vancer
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The ol' bastard pours a clear and neat amber / mahogany into my seldom used New Belgium snifter. No head on the initial pour,

Quirky sweet aroma of woody malt and orange cough syrup. Quaff also has these aspects hitting home - the orange syrup is a strange addition indeed and seems to add a medicine aftertaste. Not hot alcohol, but distracting.

A summary on this brew would be; fairly on all accounts; tasty, boozy, sweet and drinkable. Rates a B grade perfectably.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

From notes on 9/6/09 in Lexington, VA. Poured into a Pinot Noir glass:

A - Vigorous pour reveals a deep copper ale with a cream-colored cap and modest lacing.

S - Sort of like a Scotch ale; sweet leather, malts, mocha/vanilla.

T - Off sweet tea w/malt and peat; maybe even some banana and Indian cardamom. Seems a tad boozy. Not much heat.

M - Creamy and somewhat dense but still a bit refreshing.

D - The jury's still out; not sure how to rate it. I'd drink it again and I suspect it's better on tap.

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

Pours sediment-free, brown-amber hue with small white head. A gorgeous scent of cranberries, caramel, spice, slight egg nog, and a buttery, vanilla cream character. Whew! Tasty stuff. That buttery vanilla cream begins and lingers through to the aftertaste. Toffee, caramel, spice, dried apple skins, sweet alcohol seeps through the thick flavors during the finish mostly. Light carb in body with a mildy thick, syrupy mouthfeel. This is a dangerously tasty ale at over 9% ABV and wonderful to sit down with and consider closely.

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

Pours a murky copper color, hard pour yields not much more than a quarter inch of quickly receding head.

Smell is caramel with deep wood and alcohol notes. Floral hops are quite pungent as well.

Taste starts off with some nice caramel malts and oak, but a little bit of mustiness creeps in and prevents the flavor from really shining to its true potential. Lots of bitter pine hops on the back end. Tastes sort of like an aged american barleywine, the musty aspect is the only real negative.

Medium bodied, some alcohol burn in the finish. Perhaps needs some time, I was surprised at hotness of this one.

Nice beer, the alcohol heat is the downfall in terms of drinkability though. Worth buying maybe once a year, but I wouldn't want it much more than that.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,837 ratings.