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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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3,485 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,485
Reviews: 1,098
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 137
Gots: 630 | 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
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Ratings: 3,485 | Reviews: 1,098 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmerloni


3.93/5  rDev -2%

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.

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%

The beer poured a hazy dark red with a slightly off white dense, thick head with good retention.

The aroma was malty with hints of alcohol. The beer also gave off hint of sweetness, maybe some kind of fruit sugar and also some spices.

The taste has a heavy sweet malt flavor but was balanced well with hints of whiskey, which made me think that it may have been aged in barrels. It also gave off an astringent flavor, probably due to the high ABV.

The beer was rich, yet smooth, very creamy, nice bitter aftertaste, and easy to drink with a medium to heavy body. Not sure I would want to or could drink too many at a time, but probably could, but might be better as a dessert beer. Excellent beer, highly recommended.

01-12-2009 19:19:25 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of BuckyFresh


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. The color of this one is a very murky, dark amber/brown. Not much head to speak of and very little carbonation. There is also quite a bit of sediment in the glass (which I don't mind). But what I do mind is the large loogie looking thing floating in my glass. I'm not sure if it is a one-batch anomaly, but there is seriously a tan, quarter-sized globule in my beer that looks like it came from the recesses of the lungs of an 80 year-old smoker.

Smell: Very sweet and malty. I'm picking up lots of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and toasted malt. Some raisins and dark fruits are also present. There is also a distinct sour yeast quality to this beer that really reminds me of a Trappist ale.

Taste: The taste is what the smell suggests; big malt flavor and also a bit similar to a Trappist ale. Nice toasted malt character and a dry finish. There is a good balance between the dryness and the molasses and dark fruits. Quite delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full-bodied. Very little carbonation. Also not too sweet given the big malt presence. Not sure how the loogie thing would have felt in my mouth because I took it out.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable considering the big malt attack this beer summons. Alcohol might sneak up on you though.

03-23-2010 22:47:43 | More by BuckyFresh
Photo of mechamifune

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -2%

Pours a nice deep copper with little to no head. Very slight lacing. Looks very clean in the glass, but probably a little more resin-y than I would like.

Smell is boozy up front with a little bit of dark fruit malt sweetness in there as well. A complex smell, and while I found it generally pleasant, I can't say it hit me in the way a great DIPA or RIS does.

Taste is in line with the smell. The booze comes out up front and then the dried fruit and sweetness/vanilla type notes start to hit. A nice taste. Finishes a little hot and with no real bittnerness to speak of.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and full, making this a very slow-sipping type beer. I found myself strugging as I drank it as I felt for sure that this tasted like an oak-aged beer (and thinking that I read that it wasn't)...only to later read that this was indeed oak aged, so i guess there is a small victory for my palate in that. I think its a good mouthfeel for the style, so I'm kind of surprised to read some of the negative notes about it in other reviews.

Overall this is a pleasant slow-sipping beer. This style in general is not a favorite of mine, but I think this is a good representation. For price point though, I'd rather get a great DIPA or RIS. Still, if you are looking to introduce yourself to the style or are a fan of the style, I would pick this one up.

08-26-2011 02:55:20 | More by mechamifune
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Thin, bubbly head over a translucent caramel colored beer. No lace but a stubborn clump of bubbles gather and ride down to glass bottom.

Hop aboard the sugar train! Sugar coated honey glaze with sugar coated dates and sugar coated orange rind in a sugar coated toffee pudding. Sugar. If this tastes as sweet as it smells I can't imagine it's drinkable...

...but it is! The sugar train continues as gooey toffee and rum raisin dance like sugar plum fairies upon the palette. I want to pour this stuff on waffles. Bullish alcohol (perhaps the reason for the namesake?) beat me up by the end of the bottle. Mouthfeel isn't as full as I would have hoped and even comes across as juicy at times.

Once I recovered, about mid-beer, from initial sugar shock I kinda got sick of this beer. A good night time reading companion but I couldn't ever imagining having more than one. Unless I put it on waffles.

01-02-2011 13:07:26 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of sukwonee


3.93/5  rDev -2%

A: Amber with 2 finger head, lots of lacing

S: I can't really smell much. Some malt...

T: Dark fruits, malt, bitterness from the hops... perfect sweetness, imo (although pretty sweet).

M: Smooth, lightly carbonated. Good thickness. Not much alcohol burn for 9.8% abv!

O: Another solid brew from Founders. They don't brew bad beers (based on all the ones I have tried so far anyway).

06-30-2012 02:03:56 | More by sukwonee
Photo of Mauerhan


3.93/5  rDev -2%

pours into my sam adams better glass. a rusty orange color. a nice one and a half finger head. small bits of soapy lacing.

smells sweet. slightly citrusy. candied sugar.

taste is smooth. a nice malt presence. subtle hop bitterness.

Well balanced. Smooth carbonation, not too sweet. Smooth hops throughout. Definately controlling the pallate.

not my favorite old ale but it is still pretty good. I would like to see what it would be like with a bit of age.

02-23-2009 00:24:56 | More by Mauerhan
Photo of Neorebel

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -2%

Color is a ruddy, burnt umber, with light flecks floating about. Seems to be some carbonation - a peach colored head initially appears to be about 1/4" but dissipates shortly thereafter. Aroma is sweet, with figs, toffee, molasses, bittersweet chocolate, and grainy malt apparent. The body is full and rich, with a wine-like acidity. The first hint of the flavor is like dessert of some kind before the hops kick in. Warms nicely without being too astringent. Overall, a great balance between sweet & bitter aspects. Would buy again.

03-20-2012 04:06:33 | More by Neorebel
Photo of kimcgolf


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Poured from the bottle to a nice brownish orange with thick off-white head gthat lingered to mid glass and left decenrt lacing. Nose is a nice, pleasant mix of malted dark fruit, faint spices and a touch of alcohol (bourbon). Mouthfeel is full and a little thick, and the taste adds some brown sugar to the scents of the nose. Long warming finish tops this one off.

08-23-2009 01:21:14 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of haazer


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 Jules11788


3.93/5  rDev -2%

2009 bottle opened in 2011

A: Pours a cloudy mahogany-red; pinky-width head that fades quick; medium lacing

S: Tart raisins and figs, sweet malt

T: Like the nose -- sweet malts, raisins, figs, toffee; finishes with a tart maltiness

M: Medium thickness, lightly carbonated

O: This was a really good Old Ale, not as good as Old Stock but still delicious nonetheless.

10-15-2011 17:48:45 | More by Jules11788
Photo of Davidpgibbons


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Poured into s snifter, with a very nice quick vanish head and a even nicer lacing around the walls
Smells quite boozy almost brandy like with a faint fruity winey aroma
Taste oaky with obvious caramel and molasses characters. Finishes with a biscuit like citrisy aftertase very complimenting
This is a decent old ale and being this years (2011) batch my guess is it will get a little better with age.
9.8 50 ibus

04-10-2011 01:30:11 | More by Davidpgibbons
Photo of macrosmatic


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Thanks to dujayhawk for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: A deep copper, moderate haziness. One-half finger's worth of white head forms, and only a bit of visible carbonation.

S: Caramel roasty malts, some oak-iness, some vanilla in the background.

T: Roasted malt and its accompanying sweetness, oak, molasses, a bit of caramel. Then a boozy, sweet/sticky hang.

M: Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation, and it is a bit boozy.

O: Pretty good old ale, but nothing spectacular. I wouldn't refuse another, but nor would I seek one out.

09-06-2012 22:09:35 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of jgreenearrow


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a reddish brown with a very thin white head forming at the top of the pour. Very little lacing present on the side of the glass.

S: Smell of figs, molasses, and oak dominate the nose. Light pine hops and alcohol also present. The smell is pleasant and quite complex.

T: Sweetness is the initial and overwhelming flavor present in the sip. Figs, honey, molasses, and sweet malt all present at the onset of the sip and lingering through the middle. Some oak enters towards the end followed by hop bitterness, which rounds and balances the flavor profile.

M: Medium body with high viscosity and prickly carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer. As expected, the beer is pretty sweet at the onset, but the bitterness of the finishes creates balance and adds to the drinkability. The higher abv is masked nicely, with only a slight alcohol burn in the finish.

06-01-2011 02:34:37 | More by jgreenearrow
Photo of spointon


3.93/5  rDev -2%

I poured this one from a 12oz stubby brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a very slightly cloudy light brown color shot through with orange highlights. The head started at 1/4" and quickly dropped to zero.

S= Definite oak-ish and vanilla aromas dancing around a not-too-overpowering bourbon note and some sweet caramel malts. Faint hop spice entered and receded in a flash followed by big alcohol.

T= Much like the smell, I found sweet caramel maltiness, vanilla beans, oakiness, and maybe a spot of dry leaves and tobacco. That was all followed by bourbon and more dry oak like tannins which contributed bitterness and dryness in the finish.

MF= Medium bodied with a soft, low carbonation mouthfeel. Slightly thin in the finish.

D= Certainly an easy drinking whiskey barrel inspired beer. I appreciate that neither the wood nor the bourbon flavors overpower the rest of it. Just a bit thin for my palate, but still damn drinkable.

10-31-2008 04:50:54 | More by spointon
Photo of Holland


3.93/5  rDev -2%

A: dark amber brown color, clear pour. Very little head on it, and small lacing with a thin, spotty layer on top. The lacing stays and gets better with warmer temperature.

S: caramel, molasses, fruity esters, raisins, huge malts - no detection of alcohol.

T: maybe it's too cold, but there isn't as much taste as I hoped. Taste contains some bitter hops, malt, fruity esters, and smooth caramel. I just taste the oak since I'm looking for it.

M: wonderfully smooth, with plenty of carbonation. This is impressive, and really brings out both the caramel, fruits, and then bitter hops.

O: solid, drinkable beer. It's not at all cloying. About right at about $10 for a 4 pack.

09-05-2011 02:26:41 | More by Holland
Photo of arizcards


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Picked up a single at Total Wine at the end of April for $3.49. Could not determine the bottled date.

Beer poured mahogeny orange with a smallish off white head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is malty sweet, hints of molasses.

Taste was alcohol warming right off the bat, huge malt backbone in which the molasses complements nicely. Enough hopping is present to prevent this from being cloying.

Mouthfeel is big and smooth.

Overall this fits the Old Ale style of brew with the big alcohol bite up front and the big flavors as well. A little mis-cast in the spring release mode but tasty nonetheless.

07-30-2014 01:06:26 | More by arizcards
Photo of GallowsThief


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Received in trade from ChugginOil (thanks as always!), Poured into my trusty tulip

A – Pours out a caramel dirty brown with no head or lacing to speak of at all.

S – Smells of caramel, cane sugar and alcohol.

T - Has a bit of a sweetness from the caramel. Butterscotch and almost a bourbon flavor comes out which I would attribute to the oak aged. Seems to have some dark fruits like raisins and plums. Finishes hot with a nice alcohol burn.

M – Medium bodied with low to no carbonation. Warming mouth feel.

O – Very interesting here. Has some of the attributes I really enjoy with a nice balance of sweet and alcohol hotness. Nice job. I wouldnt have more then one or two because you do feel the ABV.

06-21-2011 00:36:42 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of daledeee


3.93/5  rDev -2%

The name is enough to interest me.

Poured a very cloudy orange brown with a white head and not much lace.

Nose had some malt but too boozy.

Taste is pretty hoppy with malt, sweetness and some citrus. The finish is quite creamy and the most interesting facet of this beer. High alcohol but easy to drink.

02-21-2011 01:18:37 | More by daledeee
Photo of boilermakerbrew


3.93/5  rDev -2%

A- Very little head. Just a slight foamy top. Deep, opaque amber color. Pretty much a light mahogany. Some particulates in the pour and floating around.

S- Heavy on the caramel malty tones. Maybe a touch of underlying sweet scent.

T- Wow. Big malts. Real big. Starts off like the scent with a predominantly caramel malty taste. Then a slight burnt note with coffee tastes mingling in there. The burnt malts turn into warmth from the high alcohol content. Finishes mainly with the alcohol aftertaste, almost like a sip or bourbon. Hey, look at that, oak aged, how'd I guess.

M- Thick and creamy. Not a lot of carbonation. Warming alcohol content. Could never have more than 2 of these in a night, ever.

Overall, not my favorite style, but not a bad brew. Lots more noticeable alcohol than I anticipated.

12-01-2011 01:30:37 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of Scotchboy


3.93/5  rDev -2%

From notes, sampled 12/29.

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale, an extra from a trade with Jarod (thanks man) poured into one of our huge tulip style wine glasses. Bottled on March 4th, 2010.

A: Pours a murky as hell pond water brown with hints of gold...there is good lace from an off white head that actually sticks around for awhile...great alcohol feet.

S: Wow, a lot here...prunes and apples, caramel and molasses, tons of bready notes and sweet sugary perfume...oak.

T: Buttery diacetyls, caramelly sweet sugar residuals...huge malt bomb...molasses and oak. No hop presence at all, and no real alcohol presence either, just a light twang and a bit of warm bitterness on the finish.

MF: Pretty solid mouthfeel, bigger and creamier, some bitterness on the finish. Lower carbonation.

O: This is definitely a well-crafted beer and probably a must-try of you like old ales. To me, the matly, sugary, buttery notes were too overwhelming.

01-04-2012 15:34:11 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of bbeane


3.93/5  rDev -2%

A- Poured into a snifter... amber colored, very cloudy with some decent sized pieces of sediment. Very little head and no lacing

S- Smells of sweet fruits, malts, and alcohol

T- Starts out very sweet... malts, fruits... plum, cinnamon... finishes a bit dry with some definate alcohol presences

M- Pretty watery... light to medium bodied with very little carbonation. Bit of alcohol aftertaste

D- Tastes great... not the best beer to be drinking hard, but a nice sipping beverage and worth buying more IMO


11-19-2009 22:12:30 | More by bbeane
Photo of montageman


3.93/5  rDev -2%

Poured into a snifter.

A: Deep, cloudy amber/brown color with moderate white, foamy head that leaves a ton of lacing. A decent amount of carbonation bubbles are making their way to the surface as well.

S: Tropical fruit? Some coconut & pineapple? Doesn't seem likely, but that's what I'm sensing. There's definitely some fruit here as well as some sweetness. Finally, there's a bit of grape (wine), also. Very intriguing,

T: The complexity of the nose leads to disappointment in the taste. By no means is this bad, but the fruitiness just doesn't translate. There is some fruity sweetness and nice dry, creamy roasted finish.

M: Slight chewiness, which is nice for this style. The body is definitely full with some creaminess and good carbonation.

D: For an old ale at 9.3%, this is quite nice. A good sipping beer for a lazy afternoon or an after dinner treat. Recommended.

06-09-2007 18:56:29 | More by montageman
Photo of JizackFH

New York

3.93/5  rDev -2%

A - This beer pours a deep ruby amber color. It has a little more than a finger of off-white head on it. The head has good retention and leaves some nice lacing behind.

S - It smells sweet with caramel malts and vanilla. There is quite a big alcohol presence. I am also getting some dark fruit, cherries, oak, some nuttiness, and some toffee.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. There is a big caramel malt and vanilla presence at first. There are also flavors of oak, dark fruits, nuts, and booze. The booze is less present than it is in the nose. The finish leaves some lingering sweetness and booziness.

M - This has a medium body and moderate carbonation. It goes down smooth and has a somewhat sticky sweet feel to it. It coats the mouth quite nicely. There is quite a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish.

O - The drinkability here is pretty good. It goes down smooth and the flavor is very nice. This is definitely a sipper. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It is a bit on the boozy side, but I would definitely buy it again. I recommend trying it out if you haven't.

06-24-2011 06:32:45 | More by JizackFH
Photo of TheCondor


3.94/5  rDev -1.7%

On the way out of the liqour store, I noticed this and decided to grab a four pack. I have heard a lot about it and, of course, Founders is one of my favorite breweries. So this should be good.

Appearance - This is certainly the best part of the brew, for sure. Pours a clear, strikingly bright amber color with a nice one finger that has decent retention. Leaves solid lacing at the top of the pour, nothing else really to speak of. Like the old crusty bastard on the packaging as well.

Smell - Molasses, caramel malts, sweetness, and some dark fruits. A bit of of the oak comes through as well.

Taste - A lot like it smells. THe sweetness is ever-present on the palate, but doesn't detract or become overwhelming. There is certainly a booze taste to it as well, especially as it warms. The bready malts really come through as the brew warms as well.

Mouthfeel - The warmer the beer gets, the more booze can be detected. When it reaches room temperature, its almost like a shot of whiskey! Maybe thats an exaggeration, but booze is the main mover on the finish. A nice warming sensation

Overall - This is a pretty good beer. Nothing you need to run out and buy right now, but I woud recommend giving it a try while it is out. This beer isn't as good as most of Founders year-long lineup, but it is unique and worth a try. Give this a shot next chance you get.

03-09-2013 02:33:02 | More by TheCondor
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,485 ratings.