1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

3,613 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,613
Reviews: 1,105
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 140
Gots: 682 | FT: 47
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: 3,613 | Reviews: 1,105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thryn
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper. High clarity. No head, but a halo of loose foam forms.

I'm getting raisin, molasses and vanilla in the nose. Alcohol is not prominent. It is an inviting, appealing scent, but nothing oustanding.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. Very sweet, with a nice kick of bourbony booze as well. Same dark fruit, molasses and vanilla notes as the nose, but somehow more striking on the palate. Caramel as well The alcohol heat and taste provides a nice punch up front, then fades, giving room for the sweet caramel taste to shine. The finish is slightly bitter.

Medium to thick body -- more viscosity than I expected for how translucent this brew is. Slightly dry. Nice feel.

It's a good example of style and quite drinkable if you like the style.

thryn, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of jdoncbus
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. The liquid appears hazy, brown with an orange/maroon hue. Thin, biege head that breaks down quickly accompanied with an oily, polka dot lacing.

The aroma produces a boozy, raisin introduction accented with dark fruits, wood, vanilla, and a port meets some cooking sherry. The molasses malt is pungent along with whiffs of caramel and cream.

While drinking this acidic and bold ale, I could swear I felt some extra hair growing on my chest. My mouth welcomed a smooth, filmy liquid that produced flavors such as oak, prunes, raisins, syrupy malt, and a heaping dose of bitterness only see in sherries and wines. My inside was left very dry and puckery, the acidic levels blast and the alcohol is nowhere near hidden.

This thing is a sipper and I think it's screaming to be aged. I will save one for some cold winter night ad stash some down in the cellar...Ok...it's ust a basement. A very unique style and one that I will have to play around with...

jdoncbus, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of dtivp
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber color with a very slim off white head which disappeared very quickly.

Sweet malty aroma with molasses and oak.

Big roasted malt taste , with vanilla and dark fruit. Slight taste of alcohol. As the beer warmed the sweeter dark fruit taste became more prevalent.

Medium body beer with slight carbonation. Alcohol isn't over powering , however, if you didn't sip the first one, you should consider sipping the second. A nice ale by Founders

dtivp, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby color with a creamy off white head. Decent retention with some clingy lacing.

Sweet aroma overall. Dark fruit and molasses are picked up easily up front. Oak aged also has left its mark on the smell.

Big malt up front. Sweet thick maltiness you can expect from an old ale. Warming alcohol is noticeable but not overly done. There is an earthiness imparted from the oak. Dark fruit flavors are there but not as dominate as the smell would suggest.

Medium bodied and low carbonation. Does drink smooth but is definitely a sipper.

Very enjoyable to brew to enjoy over time. Not one to go back to after finishing the first.

kzoobrew, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of Meerkey
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very thin head. Clouded dark copper.

S: Soy sauce. Brown sugar. Malts. Grains, yeast. A little fruit - dried apricots. Some alcohol.

T: Kind of weird. Malty and sweet. Fruit comes out with some tartness and then an alcoholic bite. Some soy sauce again. Yeast, a little sour. Bitter and dry at end. Can't quite decide how I feel about it.

M: Smooth, tingly. Strong and full flavor.

O: Pretty weird, but I think I like it. Takes a little while to get used to.

Meerkey, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of schwemjw
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: dark copper, brownish with no head to speak of, a thin lacing around the glass.
S: Molassis, sweet malt and a touch of oak. A tart cherry in the finish. good stuff.
T: Dark molassis, sweet caramel, oak in the middle with a sticky buttery brown sugar and cherry finish. A little cinnamon in there as well.
M:Meduim to full bodied, like a syrup at times.
O: Wonderful lingering finish leaves me coming back for more. The oak and molassis really shine! /88

schwemjw, May 21, 2013
Photo of Chasmill70
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - a beautiful beer. Head dissipates rapidly, probably because of the alcohol content.

s - the most disappointing part of the beer. Very light malty aroma or oak character here. Does have the characteristic treacle aroma, but I would have liked more complexity.

t - delicious, with dark fruit, malt and some oak character in the finish. The hot alcohol flavor and hop bite in the finish detract from the enjoying of the flavor, however.

m - velvety and smooth.

o - another fine offering from Founders! I'm hoping aging will mellow the hot alcohol flavors...they definitely have a "headache" flavor. I hope it relaxes into the body in a few months.

Chasmill70, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of hops202
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage Bottle poured into a game of thrones snifter.

A - ruby with hints of gold and bronze.

S - certainly malt and yeast present. Some sort of fruit - possibly apricot and oak from the barrels are present.

T - vanilla and slight caramel in there. Flavors of oak as well mixed in with the sweetness. Bitterness at the end to balance everything out well.

M - medium carb with full body.

O - a decent showing here by the (OLD) curmudgeon. May he age with the best of them.

hops202, May 07, 2014
Photo of warriorsoul
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to malty for this one...
Cloudy cherry rust color with less than 1/4 finger of off-white head...disappears before the pour is finished and leaves some thin, sporadic lacing.
Vanilla oak scent with a faint candied fruit finish...a bit off when served even slightly chilled, but real attractive at room temp.
Rum soaked raisins up front with quite a fruity hop profile bittering up the finish...rock candy comes to mind and an earthy aftertaste.
A bit too sweet up front for my liking, but as it warms, it becomes so much more balanced. Alcohol is well hidden...although the rum flavor really makes you think that what you are drinking is much stronger than it is...I like that.
Mouthfeel is nice and the carbonation is where I like it.
This would be a one and done for me...would be much more enjoyable in the colder months, but I had to try it fresh. Hopefully more will make its way into my possession to see how it changes in six months.
Not my favorite Founders brew...still a nice offering.

warriorsoul, May 23, 2006
Photo of beerthulhu
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark Brazilian cherry with a non-developing head and a good haziness of micro particles that drifted lazily about within the drink. Effervesce was limited to one or two bubbles visible at any given moment that rose at a fairly rapid rate to the surface. The coloring was perhaps the most intriguing here.

S: The aroma was quite odd and hard to identify at first. A fuzzy navel was the first to come to mind (a mixture of orange juice and vodka). Along came a fresh fruitiness of apricots, honey, and a sweet sugary grainy nature that was followed by a dry burbon backing that was light to medium in strength. Overall a quite odd, but intriguing aroma keeps you guessing and sniffing for more.

T: The flavor starts out with sweet sugary caramel and dry burbon. There is a fruity booziness at the very beginning of oranges and apricots that is sweet and brief before giving way to a dry caramel and dry burbon alcohol booziness that lingers on well after the swallow (4-5 seconds) creating a good warmth of sweet, boozy dry nature.

M: medium full, very slick and smooth texture wise with an incredibly light, almost absent carbonation presence makes this slide around the tongue with ease.

D: good, a bit boozy and dry drinking much bigger then its advertised 9.8% abv. Your not gonna be drinking to many of these at one time, best sampled by itself in a chalice or goblet at a moderately warm temp (55-60F) on a chilly winter night.

beerthulhu, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A very slight creamy tan head rises post pour and fades away almost immediately leaving an extremely thin veil of lace and a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass... A murky medium brown color with hints of aubergine... A couple of very small, very slow paced carbonation bubbles can be seen rising towards the top of the glass... Some minor lacing clings to the side of the snifter...

S - Sweet red grapes... Caramel... Brown Sugars... Golden raisins... Fig... Rum...

T - The sweetness eluded to by the nose continues on the palette... Rum soaked raisins... Fig... Butterscotch... Honey... Raisins... Sweet grapes... A very minor medicinal presence...

M - Medium to full bodied... Syrupy and sticky... A tad chewy... Just a very very slight carbonation on the tongue... A slight alcoholic warmth...

D - This beer is slightly over the top in terms of sweetness... Oddly though that only seems to add character of this brew... Founders makes one brew after another that push boundaries and this is not exception...

philbe311, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of markmiller
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into a snifter.

Dark rusty color and a full head that is creamy off white like french vanilla milkshake. As it drinks, it leaves excellent lacing on my glass.

Nose is a bit of raisins and malt, not much there.

Taste is mellow and caramel sweet, strong, warming. A bit of vanilla and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is sticky and full. A touch of dryness with the bitter finish.

I enjoy this beer quite a bit. To me it's like a relaxing beer to be sipped and enjoyed to unwind.

markmiller, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle I had was a year old

A-Cloudy amber, some carbonation, lots of sediment, two finger head

S-Lots of malt, some pine and dirt, molasses is still there.

T-Malt bomb primarily, grassy notes, some wheat and orange, malasses once again. Rather sweet.

M-Not much carbonation, smooth, medium bodied.

O-At a year old it seems to be past its prime, lots of malt and not much else

rlee1390, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of mjaskula
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

mjaskula, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of RollBounce
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

bored with very little leasing slightly amber and cloudy notes smell is lately muted in glass with hints of cinnamon brown sugar and bread some tropical notes are found. Overall it is a white tropical compared to the aged old curmudgeon that I sat on for 2 years ahead papaya and mango now it's definitely better in the bottle but worth a try.

RollBounce, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a squat Founders 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter glass.

Pours a rich copper color, with a thin skin of head that quickly dissipates to a ring of head clinging to the glass.

Has a buttery, bready smell. There are notes of caramel, toffee, and malt.

Buttery in taste and texture, this is a rich beer. Toffee, alcohol, and straw combine for a taste that is "old", yet deeply complex. This is definitely a "fork and knife" beer.

This has a thick mouthfeel that adds to its depth in character.

Definitely a sipper, I don't think I could have two of these in a week, let alone in one night. However, it is enjoyable if you're in the mood for a hearty brew.

TheHoppiest, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of ccm414
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle...

A- Pours with little to no head. Very cloudy with much sediment. Almost a brown/amber color.

S- Caramel is the first scent that comes across. Some dried fruits are also noticeable. I get some light peanut smells, as well.

T- Taste much molasses and caramel malts. I also get MUCH black cherry and a lot of 'brandy-like' flavors. A slight bitter finish, but not much on the back end besides the light alcohol warmth.

M- A medium bodied brew with very little carbonation. Dry on the palate with warming from the alcohol.

D- Not very drinkable, definitely a slow drinker with this one, especially at the 9.8%abv. This would definitely go well on a cold night at a fire.

Cheers!

ccm414, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of Pellinore1
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep, cloudy amber, producing minimal head, which quickly fades to some light lacing.

The aroma is all malt, and makes me think of bread, fruit, and honey.

I taste all of the sweet malt foretold by the smell. Fruit, caramel, and biscuits are all here, followed by just a touch of alcohol warmth.

This beer is thick and smooth, with a bit of carbonation to lighten things up. Reasonably drinkable, considering the ABV, but I wouldn't want to have too many.

Pellinore1, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of sjverla
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Molasses, caramel and alcohol. Definitely raisins. Very faint whiff of banana bread. Deep and rich, balanced by mild solvency.

Appearance: Beautiful hazy copper, kicked up about a half-inch of head that settled fast. Appears to hold the sides well.

Taste: Raisin heavy. Mellow caramel and toffee. Alcohol spice. Chewey and rich witha hot finish. Very desserty and festive tasting.

Overall: A heart, uncompromising brew. Definitely looking forward to aging it a bit.

sjverla, May 26, 2012
Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a ruby red with a one-finger white head. The head dissapates leaving sticky lacing.

S - Sweet caramel, dark fruits, and noticeable alcohol.

T - Sweet caramel malts, dark fruits - raisins & plums, and burnt sugar. The hops are present in the finish giving a lingering bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel. Boozy finish.

O - This is a nice beer. Definetly a slow sipper. Another winner from Founders.

TreyIsWilson, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of cvstrickland
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12-ounce bottle served cellar-cool, poured into a small tulip glass yields a dark copper body capped with a half-finger-deep layer of creamy foam a shade darker than 'ivory'. The head recedes rather quickly into a medium-thick collar that leaves wispy lacing on the glass.

The smell is pretty mild overall, but there is a bit of cocoa-dusted caramel and toasty malt to keep me interested. A whiff of tangy unsulphured molasses emerges late in the drink

The taste is savory and toffee-sweet with a sizzle of cocoa bitterness and caramel-infused black coffee. Waves of dark brown sugar interspersed with with rich dark chocolate mostly cover a tangible alcohol note that comes off fresh, vanilla-like, and cleansing.

The drink is full-bodied with a tingle of carbonation and silky feel. Very good drinkability for style.

cvstrickland, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured one of these into a Stone Barleywine glass.

Pours a copper color with ruby hues. No head to speak of and no lacing.

Smell is sweet alcohol, some brown sugar, and dark fruits.

Taste is dark fruits - raisins and prunes namely, sweet brown sugar, and sweet alcohol. Alcohol is little prominent, but it doesn't detract from the beer.

Overall, a good beer. Tough to drink more than one due to the ABV, but a solid brew.

jdubjacket, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of grover37
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

grover37, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of pzrhsau
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice burgundy brownish red color with a decent head on it.
S: Slight alcohol notes with nice woody aromas and a slight sour sweetness.
T: This beer puts me in the feel of dark fruit (plums raisins etc) while maintaining a roastiness from the malt with some slight hoppiness.
M/O: Crisp and drinkable with some very good weight from the alcohol. Very good strong beer.

pzrhsau, May 28, 2011
Photo of mcrawford
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

mcrawford, Apr 17, 2014
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,613 ratings.