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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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3,387 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,387
Reviews: 1,088
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 128
Gots: 609 | FT: 44
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: 3,387 | Reviews: 1,088 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of augustgarage


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from ShogoKawada (thanks!). Bottled February 2008? ABV is 9.8%. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Lightly chilled.

Persian red liquid with some particles in suspension. Buff-tinged beige head, thin but with good retention and heavy, messy, sandy lacing and thin, clear, sluggish legs.

Heady fruit aromatics, partly reconstituted and carmelized: figs, apricots, raisins, with a hint of flowers and very light and leathery sherry-like oxidation.

Faint brandy barrel leads the palate, with honey, lavender (soap?), chewing tobacco, caramel malt, and toffee. A touch of spice from the alcohol I think - hops are surprisingly intact, contributing notable bitterness. Long finish with a bit of leather and complex malt.

Medium-bodied, mildly astringent, very warming, and slightly sap-like mouthfeel.

I'm curious how this ages - there are some notes that if emphasized would render it undrinkable, while others would make a delectable curiosity. Fresh, it is the peer of many (though not all) British examples I've sampled. Probably not the normal place to start my Founders journey, but I'll take what I can get :-).

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 01:33:28 | More by augustgarage
Photo of secondtooth


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque amber-orange, with a fine whitish-tan head. Attractive fence-row lace.

Aroma is malty, fruity.

Flavor profile is strong. I get some burnt, almost peaty, earthy tones up front. And a dry, whiskey-like alcohol finish.

Quite tasty, but definitely a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 13:44:31 | More by secondtooth
Photo of BierFan


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass. The bottle says 9.8%abv not 9.3.

Appearance: Hazy rusty brown. Good carbonation but no head. Definitely looks like a substantial brew.

Smell: Malty alcohol smell that one would expect. Some dark fruitiness to it.

Taste: Pleasantly malty with a sweet and spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and full mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 00:08:36 | More by BierFan
Photo of smakawhat


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled April 8th 2011 off we go.

A very small but creamy light tan creme colored head of maybe one finger off the pour. Body is cloudy... maybe hazy... a classic dark amber color almost looking like the beer is frozen. No lacing at all.

Big malted body, and sweet brown sugar. Seems thick almost like molasses syrup.

Sugar sweet, and thick malt. Finish is an almost barleywine sense of chocolate and heat. Some mild hop bitters mix with the milk chocolate sense making this really interesting in terms of taste and feel.

Overall fairly solid, just out of the bottle the beer looks kind of lifeless.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 17:31:44 | More by smakawhat
Photo of irishmoss


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured an amber brown that was a little hazy into a tulip glass with a thin tan head that evaporated rather quickly. The aroma was a swift kick in face, scotch and malt. The taste was a little more complex, like a good scotch. There were hints of vanilla, dark fruit, and whiskey barrel aged flavor that was unexpectedly amazing. The mouthfeel was nice and full with little carbonation. This is absolutely a beer to be sipped, with the flavors and high alcohol presence, one could easily forget that this is beer and not scotch/whiskey.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2006 12:27:32 | More by irishmoss
Photo of VaTechHopHead

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep copper hue but has zero head/lacing. There's a little floating yeast in suspension and no visible carbonation.

S - Ripe with rich caramel, light toast, and a slight alcohol aroma. At the end there are faint hints of hot butter and brown sugar.

T - Dark/brown sugar at first with some alcohol thrown in there. Follows up with a nice biscuit and malt flavor. There is a faint hop taste in the middle but pretty much gets overpowered by all the other flavors. Finishes sweet with a mild alcohol burn.

M/D - Has a medium syrup-like body, flat on the palate from low volumes of carbonation, and finishes sweet. The alcohol flavor complimented with the sweetness and thick-ish body make it a definite sipper but fun to drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 21:34:53 | More by VaTechHopHead
Photo of phiberoptik


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper/amber with a creamy head. Pours almost flat until the very end.

I do not get a lot of notes from the smell of this beer.Other than some yeasty aromas and I keep thinking maraschino cherries, caramel, etc.

It tastes heavy on alcohol up front of course and a bit metallic. I get some yeast and malts and a hint of piney hops.

Mouthfeel is ok as it fizzes on the tongue a bit. Slightly resiny.

Its a fairly drinkable beer. A bit big on alcohol but it gets much smoother with every sip Definitely nice with it being 20 degrees out.


Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 02:46:49 | More by phiberoptik
Photo of flexabull


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

According to the notch, this appears to have been bottled in March or April of last year.

Pours a muddy brown color, cloudy, and with a faint head.

Aromas are of cherries, dust, and a bit of booze.

Beer tastes quite boozy. A very whiskey like quality. Tastes of oak, dark fruits, and alcohol. Underneath all of that, is a creamy malt flavor. Not overpowering, it's a bit subtle, and actually quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Particularly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is good. It's a pretty good Old Ale. Not the prettiest to look at. But it tastes good, and is a pleasure to sip.

Bottle courtesy of nlmartin... thanks again!

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 00:01:59 | More by flexabull
Photo of zrab11


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice amber orange color with Nice off white head, and great lacing thoughout

S- Hints of carmel and dried fruit come through with sme boozynees too

T- Has a very sweet molasses taste to it with some alchol flavors mixed in the middle then finish's with a fruity toffee flavor

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation

D-Overall this is a great representation of this style. Maybe alittle much for some people but this beer is very complex and tastes great. wont be having more than 2 of these a night or i might end up passed out on the floor. Very good beer

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 22:12:25 | More by zrab11
Photo of JackieTH


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper-mahogany with 1" of khaki foam. Smells malty, sweet, nuts- pecans, vanilla-bourbon.

Taste: Malt and then more malt...caramelly. Mild sweetness. Earthy. Leather and vanilla. Warming.

Mouthfeel was semi-slick, perfectly carbonated (low)

Overall: This old ale tasted more like a malt-foward barleywine. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Good stuff and will age nicely one hopes.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 02:44:47 | More by JackieTH
Photo of Blitzen15


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Let it be known that this is one REALLY dark brew. After opening the bottle you know you are in for something different because this stuff slides down your glass very slowly.

S - Never before have I smelled a beer like this one. From thirty feet away my dad new I was drinking an ale strong enough to choke a strict lager drinker or possibly incapacitate a lightweight.

T - After the sights and smells of this one hit me in the face I had braced myself but the brace was not necessary here. The taste is really quite good. My adjunct-lager drinking associates were not impressed because it has a bit of bite to it but I enjoyed this.

M - Thick. Really thick. If I were to prepare myself again, it would be for the consistency. I like a thick brew but this beer is made to drink for bragging rights like excessively hot wings that few people really enjoy.

D - The taste is different from other old ales but good, the over powering scent is just cool and something to behold. The thickness of the beer made for a very unique experience so I would love to have another if not for the price.

Purchased at: Ladd's & Co.

Served: 7JUL2010

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 15:58:49 | More by Blitzen15
Photo of pokesbeerdude


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Centennial, I've been waiting for cooler weather to enjoy this. Into a NB Globe.

A: Pours a nice red brown color, not much of a head forms, maybe a quarter of an inch that falls into a small island of bubbles with a bit of lacing left behind.

S: Interesting mix of malts and a bit of spicy alcohol. Lots of bready malts and some sweet bread/pastry smells in here as well. Smells malty and huge. Slight little bit of oak in here to add a subtle vanilla aroma. Not too shabby.

T: A big bready, malty beer, sweet caramel and a touch of woody oak with a bit of lingering bitterness, not much but enough to break up the massive malt profile here. Just a hint of booze that adds a touch of bitterness as well. Pretty massive beer, but a very well done and tasty one.

M: Carbonation is a bit high for my preference, the body is fairly hefty but finishes really dry due to bitterness and the oak aging.

O: A nice beer, but the carbonation is just a touch high and hurts the beer. Really a huge beer, and the dryness and oak really help lighten it up and make it enjoyable. Knock back the carbonation just a touch and it would really be a winner for me. Regardless, another fine beer from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 02:57:12 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of tut2528


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass, minimal head formation, moderate lacing. rusty in appearance and it is barely transparent.

S: very nice oak character complements a sweet molasses and i also get a strong cinnamon note. 50 IBUs lies in the background along with very mild touches of apple. alcohol is also present but not overpowering and actually fits in quite nice.

T: quite intriguing. first thing that I notice is how smooth this beer is. I get a fantastic balance of molasses, cream/vanilla, and oak that makes up the majority of the body. secondary aspects include and ever so mild tinge of alcohol and a very mild touch of hops in the finish.

O: i was quite impressed with this brew. Had one fresh and revisited this brew again about 8 months after bottling, and I find this one much better FRESH. The smoothness has fallen off a bit and now more molasses forward rather than a nice balance of vanilla, spice and hops. I also feel that this brew has become lighter on the tongue from what I remember.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2012 01:14:13 | More by tut2528
Photo of homebrew311


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've tried this beer a few times from both the bottle and draft, this review is on the draft version.

A: Pours a clear dark reddish amber. Almost no head to speak of, some slight white soapy bubbles, but nothing much.

S: the smell is very malt forward, with some sweetness, some vanilla, and a liquor like quality that I can't put my finger on (like bourbon or something like that). If I didn't know any better, I would think this beer was barrel aged.

T: The sweetness is up front with vanilla as the predominant flavor. There is definitely some booziness on the tongue, but the draft version seems more mellow than what I remember of the bottled version. There is a nice balance in this brew along with a richness. It definitely is warming and makes for a nice winter sipper. No perceptible hops.

MF: Has a nice thick body to go along with its high carbonation. A little sharp on the tongue. I think if the carbonation was toned down a touch, this would be a better beer.

D: As I said before, this is a sipper. It loses points in drinkability since it is only enjoyable in small doses. My serving was approx 10 oz, which was perfect. But anymore would have been overwhelming.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2009 01:34:46 | More by homebrew311
Photo of kegger22


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy, reddish brown with small head that quickly reduced to a collar. The aroma came through as boozy and the smell of old wood. The taste was malty sweet caramel with a taste of vanilla and alcohol. A slightly bitter aftertaste when away as Curmudgeon warmed. The feel was full bodied with low carbonation. Drinkability was reasonably good. As old ales go, not as good as Adam, but a very respectable entry from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 23:25:36 | More by kegger22
Photo of MDekker


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Is it Curmudgeon Old Ale, or Old Curmudgeon Ale? Regardless...

It pours out a hazy dark orange, with a small head of tiny bubbles. What's there looks creamy. Woo-ee! A potent, sweet alcohol aroma socks me in the nose. Smells oily, with caramel notes and a little banana, too. A little like Southern Comfort. The taste packs a punch, too. The caramel is there, along with alcohol, and not much bitterness - just a little in the aftertaste. In the mouth it's good - creamy, smooth, and thick. Nice. This was a good brew, but the high alcohol and the powerful presence of it would make it hard to down more than one of these. I'm still reeling some.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 02:21:31 | More by MDekker
Photo of Adrianized


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 04/09/11, poured into a snifter.

Clear red-mahogany in color.  One finger creamy head that settles.

Nose is malty and woodsy, sweet caramel, prunes, a little vanilla, boozy, and a faint fine cigar smoke.

First tasting seems hot, but a second later there's no alcohol burn.  Strong oak aged flavor, I guess that's the woodsy nose I smelled.  Big malty backbone and some bittering hops.  I'd say I taste caramel before I do molasses.

Mouthfeel is medium body and leaves a residue.  Carbonation is very good for an old ale.  Drinkability is really good.

Overall this is a nice oak aged beer.  It's good, but I suspect much better once aged. Overall a B/B+

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 21:12:43 | More by Adrianized
Photo of lsummers


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks fantastic, a hazy amber orange with some minimal lacing and some alcohol legs.

Smell isn't the best part of this beer but is still good. Malts, brown sugar, fig, and woody notes.

Taste is pretty big and drinkably great. Taste hits first with dark fruits and quickly changes to burnt caramel, toffee. The burnt but not smokey taste really comes through.

Mouthfeel is good, not overly sticky and sharp enough to be a drinkable sipper.

Overall it's a really good old ale. I would definitely try this one on draft but there are other favorites out there I prefere more.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 06:56:06 | More by lsummers
Photo of Franz4


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice 2011 version bottles 4/4/11

A- Pours a dark copper with just a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Beer is slightly translucent.

S- first hit consists of just a touch of heat, followed by some raisin and fig notes. Malt backbone is present, but it seems most of the nose is relatively muted.

T- Gets more complex as it warms. Sweetness up front followed by pine bitterness in the back of the mouth. Neither is overpowering and they are balanced quite nicely. Raisin and plum are also present, as well as just a touch of heat that was also noticeable in the nose.

M- carbonation greets you and then gives way to a pillowy, silky smooth feel that is very, very nice.

O- A very good beer that's a definite sipper. This is very enjoyable now, but I'm also anxiously anticipating how this one might age, if the dark fruits note come out and the heat dies down just a bit this could be a very quaffable brew--still a sipper, but a mighty fine sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 23:37:31 | More by Franz4
Photo of cradke


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lighter brown and amber. Very thin head.

Smell: Sweet. Brown Sugar. Has some interesting plums and dark sweetness to it. Certainly some alcohol present. Kind of funky. Interesting, but I dig it

Taste: Sweet alcohol comes right up front. Some funky brown sugar and molasses comes up front. The alcohol is there. I'm grabbing some caramel. Almost kind of tart. Again, interesting with a bit of a weird aftertaste.

Mouthfeel. Thin with a mild lack of carbonation.

Overall: I'm going with the word funky on this. It's got a interesting sweetness to it with a very present alcohol to it. Lots of brown sugars and molasses to it. Not my favorite beer in the world but it's an interesting take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 05:07:43 | More by cradke
Photo of Overlord


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a very generous Augustiner. I owe ya'.

Pours an orange caramel color with a quarter inch off-white head.

Smells like insanely sweet caramel with a tropical, pineapple-y sugary bite. There's a hint of ... chocolate? Where's that coming from?

Taste has warming alcohol on the tongue, there's burnt toffee, caramel, some dark fruit, a hint of tropical pineapple and tangelo. This is a very sweet beer. If there was a little less alcohol, and a little less grain on the aftertaste, I'd be a huge fan.

Nice comforting thick mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 07:35:39 | More by Overlord
Photo of matttttYCE


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little head and lacing, probably because I poured it really slow and pretty cold (because I was looking out for snot like goop in my beer). Dark copper orange color, lots of sediment. Aromas of sweet dark fruit, caramel malts, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, nutty/pecan notes, and hints of oak and vanilla. Tastes much the same with all those dark fruit toffee molasses caramel brown sugar old ale notes with some nuts, tea, hops, and light oak. Medium body and smooth consistency. Light carbonation works well. Smooth finish.

Overall not the best old ale I've had, but a pretty good one. Only detractor is the appearance, with watching out for snot and lots of sediment it wasn't the best looking of brews either. But still good. Worth a try and I'd be Curmudgeon's Better Half is fantastic after having tasted this.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 06:43:29 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of TheMultiYeast


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 4/12/12

Hazy murky brown with lots of sediment in there Big bubbles around the edge of the glass. Very still beer.

Smell is sweet, molasses, woody, honey covered biscuits.

Taste is pretty well...tasty. More sweetness and oak then light bitterness, sweet black tea, hints of vanilla bean, slight warming booze.

Light carbonation, thick, delicious.

Good old Old Ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 01:00:08 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is mildly hazy and appears orange to copper in color. The head is off white hued, measuring approximately an inch thick. A substantial amount of lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma offers malt, alcohol, oak, vanilla, banana, and rum.

The flavor is strong and complex. As prefaced in the nose, alcohol, malt, and banana are the prevalent flavors. The beer is still a bit hot, and could likely benefit from some cellar time.

The feel is medium-heavy on the palate, with alcohol content noticeable throughout. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall, a decent brew from a great brewery. This one is a good candidate for sharing a few ways.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 03:50:57 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of siege06nd


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Not much to look at. Very cloudy copper brown with a quarter finger cream colored head. Excellent lacing, however, thick and fine. Too bad the color is so cloudy. Beers this color remind me of toilet water, which is not a good thing. I'll average it out, though, since the head and lacing are quite good.

S. Lots of caramel and some light fruit. Bread crust, brown sugar, and molasses as well. Good.

T. Follows the nose, with bread crust, caramel, some light herbal hoppiness, brown sugar, and fruit. Booze is very well hidden for ~10%. Some woodiness as well.

M. Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and somewhat creamy. Good flavor balance.

O. I haven't had many Old Ales, but the ones I have have generally been a bit fruitier and sweeter. This is more refined and subtle. A tasty beer, but probably wouldn't want a whole lot of this. Good, but not particularly memorable.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 18:34:03 | More by siege06nd
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,387 ratings.