Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,203 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,203
Hads: 4,291
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 186
Gots: 980 | FT: 54
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,203 | Hads: 4,291
Photo of hwy61mb
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this brew from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter. The reddish-brown color with a touch of sediment reminded me of the way apple cider would look in a snifter. There is very little head, with a little bit of lacing upon taking a few sips. It definitely smells sweet. A little bit like caramel. The taste is also sweet. Starts off a little bit sweet and I think I taste some hoppiness at the end, but it really isn't bitter at all, the aftertaste is still bit sweet. This is a thick, syrupy, sticky beer with a high alcohol content and I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting, but this is what I have come to expect from the style and I think it's delicious.

 664 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip. bottled on 04/06/12.

A: a hazy deep orange hue. bright. the head is thick and slightly off white. good retention and boatloads of sticky lacing.

S: molasses, oak, vanilla. a chewy, wheat or munich aroma is present and provides a canvas for the molasses and oak to shine.

T: bits of smoke. fruit too. plums and pears. apricot. little bit of booze. bits of molasses in the finish. more and more vanilla comes out and more booze. ethanol really makes up the majority of this body.

M: mouthfeel consists of subtle carbonation on a full body.

D: flavor and the nose are good, not great. a little too much booze on this less than a month old example. i will certainly consider setting a few of these aside for a while and im sure that would make them that much better.

 795 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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.

 922 characters

Photo of Reaper16
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a viscous, candied/caramel-twinged shade of dark amber. The head never developed, maxing out at 3/4-finger in size. The small ring laces okay, though.

This is one sweet-smelling beer. The malts profile is giving off all kinds of hints of things. I detect vanilla, toffee, dark fruit, sugar, tobacco and cinnamon.

This beer is as sweet as the smell indicated. Phenol-city, baby. Dark fruits in abundance; cherries, too. Vanilla & toffee are present and they sort of highlight some wood flavors. Add some Belgian yeast to this and you could pass it off as a quadruppel. A small touch of brandy or port or something on the finish. Dessert beer, for sure.

The feel is thick, but not in a gloopy, cloying way given the tremendous sweetness. More like a creamy, dessert thickness. Drinkability is hampered with this beer; at close to 10% ABV, it makes itself known by the end of the first bottle (though the booze is hidden well under all of the sweetness). This is a super-sweet beer besides. I don't think many people are going to want to have multiples in one sitting.

This is a tasty brew, for sure. Lots of sweet flavors, decent complexity even if all the flavors (sans the wood) hit the same point on the tongue. Have one with dessert.

 1,293 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Golden. A lot of sediment.

S - Alcohol on the front end. Riesling, hints of limeade.

T - Sweet alcohol downshifts into mild grapefruit and resiny hops. Raisins and malt in the aftertaste.

M - Boozy up front then smoothes out pretty quickly, but enough alcohol hangs around to keep your mouth warm throughout the drink.

D - The alcohol lets you know it's there, and delays you from pouring a second.

 407 characters

Photo of imscotty
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a 2012 vintage bottle.

A: A very pretty deep amber color. Very little white head that dies quickly, but has a fair amount of lacing that lasts a while.

S: light malt, hops, caramel

T: Initial taste is sweet caramel malt and then some honey flavors and slight oak. The finish is gently bitter and lasts a while with a little alcohol warmth in the throat. The flavors get bolder as the beer warms.

M: Not much body, fair amount of carbonation.

O: A tasty brew but not a lot of complexity here.

 505 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not too sure how many Old Ales I have had...

Looks good, deep copper body, one finger head... Immediately into sweet aromas and taste, almost like a cross between a Quad and an English strong ale. Lots of brown sugar and malts and yes molasses. Really quite sweet overall. The alcohol comes thru... Was not aware of the high ABV but on drinking port notes are evident, as is alcohol burn. Unwelcome slightly astringent note on back palate.

Odd in some ways, tho, almost like a base strong beer had a ton of sugar added. Very late.

One to cellar methinks.

 557 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, NoSignsOfPain!

Slightly hazed amber/ruby/brown with a moderately sized khaki head atop that leaves dots of stick to he glass. Pretty.

A somewhat sweet and boozy aroma, with notes of brandy certainly present, along with dark fruits, and sweet caramels and toffees. While this sounds particularly potent, it also seems even subdued and faraway. What's here is pleasant, I just wish there was a bit less alcohol and more fruit/caramel/malt character.

The flavor is nice, though not particularly aggressive or bold. There's very little alcohol presence, which is a nice surprise after I found some in the aroma. Sweet caramel, toffee, hints of brandy, and dark fruit (cherry and raisin) complement each other nicely.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

One of the easiest to drink old ales I've yet to have.

 870 characters

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours beautiful with an inch and a half of light tan head with foamy bubbles and nice retention. Body is a ruby brown mix that beckons to be drank. Nose has a nice combination of toasted almonds, rum, and dark fruits equaling a very robust feel. Enters the mouth with a resin like nutty oak character. Dark ripe fruits appear on the back of the tongue. Slight spicyness sparkles on the tailend of the palate. A rich spicey thick mouthfeel is the result. Sweetness is all over this beer and it is very bold with a smokey feel. Alchol is well hidden but the belly tells you it is there. Drinkability is decent.

 608 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle received in trade with cfrancis - thanks!

Appearance - Hazy copper/brown colour with a below average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch/caramel, chocolate, peat

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with some caramel/butterscotch. There is also a bit of a dark fruit taste and a bit of anise, chocolate, and peat. It ends with a buttery/malty aftertatse with a slight bitterness.

Overall - More of a wee-heavy than a old ale. It tastes better than it smells and the mouthfeel needs a little boost of carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden and the aftertaste is the highlight for me. Not sure I'd have again with all of the great beers out there to choose from.

 896 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 bamadog
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this for a while, so I figured tonight is as good of a night as any. I've been really interested in old ales lately, so hopefully this one will live up to the rest of the Founders line. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with a ton of amber highlights pouring through; with a really hard pour I manged to get a near 1 finger head out of it that fades almost immediately to a thin and uneven skim with a thick ring around the edge of the surface; body is hazy and looks thick and viscous and there is some sediment floating throughout;

Smell: Deep, rich caramel and burnt sugary maltiness and strong presence of alcohol

Taste: Wow... Very nice -- sweet caramel and burnt sugary malts just like in the nose and a very potent presence of alcohol that is blended quite well with the strong malty flavors; a hint of spiciness and a milt hoppy bitterness sneaks in as well; as it warms a bit I feel like I'm picking up on some oak/vanilla as well -- is this aged in a barrel to any degree?

Mouthfeel: Very viscous and chewy; leaves a very thick coating all over the palate; mouth is warm and tingly from the higher ABV, as is the throat and stomach - a very potent beer.

Drinkability: Well, this is a sipper. Big and bold flavors and bigger alcohol would prevent this from being something that's especially drinkable. A great tasting offering though, doesn't quite rank up there with the Old Stock in my estimation, but still pretty damn good.

 1,502 characters

Photo of midnite2sixman
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish red with a caramel colored head. Decent finger of foam doesn't leave a ton of lacing behind.

Smells roasty with a whiff off autumn.

Taste, a bigger beer, with a bit of an alcohol taste and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth, after the first sip, finishes with a caramel taste.

Drinkability is high on this one my friends, although it is a heavy beer it is excellent for sipping on cool autumn nights when the bats are flying overhead.

 457 characters

Photo of DoctorB2B
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

 694 characters

Photo of gmfessen
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

 822 characters

Photo of ricke
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 750 characters

Photo of gregshead
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jrsd for hooking me up with this one. Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed on 5/16/11:

A: Hazy red color. Very little to no head on this one

S: Bourbon/vanilla smells. Lots of sweetness

T: Some alcohol presence/burn at the end. Good caramel/vanilla flavors. Maybe some bitter hop flavors in the finish as well.

M: Syrupy smooth feel works with the flavors of this beer

O: Plenty of good flavors in this one. very drinkable old ale. I'm not used to that.

 460 characters

Photo of erosier
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A big thanks to Thomashardy for these!
L: Pours a nice cloudy amber color with a short and thin tan colored head that shows no lacing down the glass. Lots of yeast kicks up as you pour.
S: Smells of very sweet malts, alcohol, some vanilla, and a touch of caramel. No hop aromas to be detected.
T: Very sweet upfront with loads of vinous fruit tastes, vanilla, sweet malts, then it follows with some yeasty flavors, then it has a very distinct alcohol flavor, then a slight bitter at the end.
M: Very heavy, smooth, warming, and tad under carbonated.
D: OK, very alcoholic and slightly bitter at the end, but not from hops.

Did a vertical tasting with the '06 and the '08 and the fresher '08 had more carbonation and tasted fresher. I liked that one better.

 757 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Considering booziness and burnt notes in the aftertaste, it does glide down pretty easily. Since the style is so varied, I would say it fits the style well enough. An interesting brew that is quite good, though getting rid of burnt edges would go a long way.

 906 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Head quickly fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is average, both somewhat expected for the style. Aroma is vanilla oaky alcohol, possibly over the top, but the variety of flavors is enough to possibly overcome the somewhat exceptional intensity. Taste is also vanilla and oak, with strong alcohol throughout and a warming close. Wish there was a bit more of a malt sweetness background to support all the strong flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth, even if the drinkability is somewhat limited by the flavor harshness, in my mind. Age might help this mellow a bit and make a winner.

 749 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very muddy orange in color. Low carbonation and no head at all. Huge vinuous and alcohol aroma. This puppy screams a lot more then 9.3%! Quite fruity and plum like as well. Huge malt flavor with a big bourbon taste. Extremely vinuous. Mellow alcohol burn in there. All a bit overwhelming I find. Oily slick mouthfeel-quite the lipsmacker. A huge package of a beer-a true sipper if there ever was one. I have to knock down the drinkability a bit as its too overwhelming for me in places. Still another solid beer from Founders. I wish I lived closer for sure.

edit-Just finished beer 20 minutes after starting review and it really came into its own as it warmed. A lot of the vinuous and alcohol bite had mellowed and it was quite pleasant.

 742 characters

Photo of bound4er
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/19/12

A. Hazy amber appearance with crimson highlights. Off white head of one finger breaks quickly.

S. Caramel, pitted fruit (mainly overly ripe cherries), organic volatiles I can't describe and a slight mustiness. Pretty complex.

T. Caramel, prunes, bready malt and cherries. Turns bitter quickly with lingering caramel and alcohol burn.

M. Medium bodied with a nice mouth feel. Low carbonation.

O. Not one of Founders better efforts.

 453 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Hotel glass
From: Whole Foods in Tempe, Ariz.
Price: $2.59
Purchased: May 15, 2014
Consumed: May 16, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel, amber clear color with about one finger of bubbly, off-white head. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Average foamy layered lacing along the sides of the glass. Below average-to-poor retention on the top of the glass.

Had to work for the smell, but got apple juice, dark apple, green grapes, fruity aromas, floral notes and some sugary honey.

Tasted much, much better than the smell and a lot different. Got oak, molasses, vanilla, dark apple, fruity notes, light butterscotch, booziness and still some sweet honey.

Medium body. Oily-to-thin texture. Soft carbonation. Long, boozier finish.

This beer was just OK. I was hoping for more, but it was missing something. Can’t quite put my finger on what.

 878 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, small head, cloudy, some sediment, high carbonation

Smell: malt, pineapple, currants, dried dark fruit, and a touch of hazelnut

Taste: malt, pineapple, currants, earth, and wood

Mouthfeel:sweet start with a bitter finish, medium heavy, slick, next to no feel of carbonation

Drinkability: A well balanced old ale, this is very good for the style and one of the better ones I have had. If I am looking for this style, I will seek this one out. One is about the max due to abv.

 497 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a muddy slightly orange color with an almost nonexistent light brown head, it pours very thick as well. Nose is malty and sweet, a bit hoppy and almost a bit bready.

Taste is very wheaty oddly enough, it's a bit bitter and also quite malty. Theres some light caramel, and certainly a decent amount of alcohol. Overall quite decent.

 378 characters

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,203 ratings.