1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

3,548 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,548
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 135
Gots: 656 | 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:
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: 3,548 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sleuthdog
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured into tulip. Bottled 4/13/12

Appearance: What the hell is living in this one? A ton of sediment just suspended in the beer with no movement. Color is nice copper-orange and obviously not a transparent beer with all the sediment. Head was minuscule and off white.

Smell: Dark fruits, molasses, burnt sugar, caramel. Some oak and vanilla too with a mild nut in there as well.

Taste: A sweet beer for sure with caramel, molasses, toffee at first. Dark fruits such as raisins and figs with bitterness on the finish. I do get some oak and maybe a little vanilla.

Mouthfeel: I'd call this thick and creamy because it definitely does coat the entire mouth. It's surprisingly easy to drink at 9.8% abv but the alcohol does show itself as it produces a nice warming effect in the throat.

Overall: I like it. It's a nice beer if you are in the mood for a rather thick and sweet beer.

sleuthdog, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of BeerTruth
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this brew recently from Bobby91w, kryptic, and joe1510...thanks guys!!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a murky deep copper hue with a one finger off-white head that falls to a thin creamy layer of foam. A decent amount of lacing remains clinging the sides of the glass. Smells of rich caramel malts, molasses, and alcohol warm the nostrils. Sweet spices and earthy hops in the nose as well as fig and prunes. Taste begins and ends quite boozy. Rum, dates, leather, and gooey caramel to start things off in the mouth followed by tingling hops. Toffee and bark flavors emerge midway finishing with a lingering vanilla bean sweetness. Medium body with a prickly feel on the cheeks. A tad above average carbonation for the style, could be a bit smoother. I'd take 4th Dementia over this in a heartbeat, but who wouldn't?

BeerTruth, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of hardy008
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with no head. Smell is of sweet caramel malt, a variety of fruit, and a whiff of alcohol. This is a sweet beer with noticeable alcohol, and hop bitterness which makes this one nicely balanced. Can taste pears and dark fruits. Medium to full bodied, well carbonated. The drinkability is good, but the alcohol is more noticeable than I would like. This is still a good beer which I would buy again.

hardy008, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of thequeen711
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ale from Founders that pours a golden/coppery colour. The frothy pour leaves a light lacing after settling. Very smooth mouthfeel, sweet fruity taste, and somewhere in the aroma I detect oak and vanilla. The ABV is well hidden, didn't realize it until I stood up!
Another keeper from Founders

thequeen711, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of cratez
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from International Beverage in Grands Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a murky copper-brown hue with amber edges, a sliver of eggshell white foam, and several dots of lacing on the snifter. Solid appearance, especially for a high gravity beer.

Smell is vanilla, molasses, oak barrel, brown sugar, hazelnut, English fruit cake, table cream, red apple, cinnamon, milk chocolate, nutmeg, spruce, hint of sherry, fig, and ethanol. Unbelievably rich and layered aromas.

Taste is good, but does not live up to the nose. I get dried fruit, toffee, brown sugar, milk chocolate, caramel, and raisin with an astringent bitterness and some oak wood on the cough. Decent enough.

Mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied, higher than average carbonation, a little foamy, medium tingly bitterness transitions to a drying finish. Alcohol warms the insides while eluding the taste buds.

Overall, Curmudgeon makes for a pleasant night cap, but I would probably buy Hibernation, the Ola Dubh series, and North Coast Old Stock before grabbing this one again. A serviceable Old Ale that falls short of the greats.

cratez, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of zac16125
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter
Bottled on: none, must have rubbed off

A: Pours a dark copper, nearly brown with just under 1 fingers width of tan head. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Tart apples, candied sugar, molasses, subtle caramel. Interesting, but not terribly complex.

T: Pretty big sweetness with caramel, candied sugar, and molasses. Some cocoa and oak notes. Subtle bitterness. Taste is more like an old ale than the aroma, and is quite good.

M/D: Medium bodied, a bit thinner than I anticipated. Carbonation on the heavier end. ABV is very well masked and drinkability is good.

O: Good, not great but certainly worth a drink. And with its mass availability its probably something I will visit a couple times a year.

zac16125, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of jrenihan
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is reddish-brown in colour, with a small to moderately sized off-white head. Head fades quickly, but good lacing.

Nose contains molasses, oak, malt, toffee and a bit of dark fruit. The molasses and oak are strongest.

Taste also strongly contains molasses and oak. Burnt toffee, herbal flavours (I want to say juniper). Very "tree-like". Some booziness.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Astringent and a bit oily.

Overall, good, though not great. The molasses is a bit strong for my liking.

jrenihan, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of ComatoseGI
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%

ComatoseGI, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of prdstmnky
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 10/16/10*

Bottled on date: 2/4/10

After about 8 months in the cellar, decided to give this Old Ale a go. Pours a nice amber color w/ some mahogany hues, a 1/4 inch of creamy tan head and little retention. Very sweet nose, molasses, caramel, dark fruits (raisin, plum, cherry). Tastes just like it smells - sweet and malty, with hint of spiciness. Creamy and smooth in the mouth, could use a touch more carbonation though. I didn't take notes on this fresh, but less hot than i remember it being, so laying it down a bit atleast accomplished that.

Im not a huge fan of the style, but this is a solid take - A nice sipper on a cold night.

prdstmnky, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of gcpanda
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber color, little to no head which quickly dissipates with very limited lacing. Strong oak and bread aromas. A definite sweet, thick, oak flavor with the thick consistency typical of a Founders brew, which doesn't quite hold up as well as the Stouts due to lesser complexity. Very subtle spice notes emerge through the alcohol and oak notes. Reminiscent of a good rye bread.

gcpanda, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of JoeBloe
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

JoeBloe, May 08, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are intially light with bready and biscuity maltiness; a slight amount of fusel alcohols. As this warms, however, much more emerges. You can detect some nougat and caramels; almost dead on for a Milky Way candy bar.
The tastes begin with brown sugar and treacle/molasses; quite typical for the style. There is a hop presence, bitterness and flavors, but they are not decernable over the malt flavors. Slightly citrusy and earthy.
Mouthfeel is quite full with adequate carbonation. Overall this is a good example of an under-appreciated style of beer, if you purchase a fresh bottle I would recommend letting it cellar for a little because the alcohol was slightly detectable. Founders knows how to make strong beers well that's for sure.

claspada, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of ghostwalker
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found just one tucked in the back at Colonial Spirits. Acton, MA

Nice reddish-orange body. Minimal head.

Nose is rich toffee, molasses and a hint of bubblegum,.

Flavor is rich and sweet. Smooth and strong. Restrained hops are there, but this is about "Big Malt"!

Warms a bit. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall, drinkability is pretty good. This is really a winter sipper, but I wanted something to make my post-work Friday afternoon more enjoyable. Mission accomplished!

ghostwalker, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours out a dark orange/brown in color. Similar to that of apple cider. Very little head that fades fast and no lacing.

S: Not too much on the senses, grainy malts in the back.

T: Sweet on the intake, little hop action in the middle, malts in the back. Heat from the booze finishes things off.

M: Medium body, little sticky action, abv noticeable, moderate carbonation.

D: A good sipper, I'll leave it at that. Would do better with some age on it.

BuffaloTapHugger, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle a clear dark amber-ruby color with a healthy off-white foam head. Wedding dress-like lacing all around.

Aroma is bright and and sweet. Toffee, caramel and brown sugar along with hops and malts are present.

Tastes of spicy hops, sweet malts, and warm alcohol. It's tough to hide 9%.

Medium mouthfeel, slick and oily with just a touch of carbonation.

A very nice Old Ale from Founders. Drink it slow and enjoy.

I'd love to cellar one of these and see how it ages.

Monkeyknife, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “BOTTLED” date on the shoulder is “04/19/12.”

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is very hazy copper/ruby/amber. Two fingers of eggshell-colored head dissipated fairly quickly to leave trails along the glass and a bubbly ring around the edge.

Smell: Lots of molasses, toasted caramel, and dark fruit (plum, apple, and hints of raisin). There are also fleeting scents of port wine and booziness. It also reminds me a little of toasted rye bread with raspberry spread. Overall, though, the nose is pretty muted.

Taste: The first sip offers sharp booziness and the flavors emerge from the background. Burnt caramel and a little molasses are most prominent. The dark fruit from the smell is not as noticeable, but the oak aging does impart a little woodiness. Each sip leaves the mouth coated with a nice tingle of bitterness and booze.

Drinkability: To me this seems more like a Christmas/holiday release. The booze and the burnt/woodiness make me think of blazing fireplaces, Christmas trees, and snow. It is an odd little thing but is pretty tasty.

TheQuietMan22, May 09, 2012
Photo of goblue3509
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark black like color with no head. The aroma is of a maple syrup and caramel malt backbone with dark fruits (raisins, dates, and figs) present and a touch of some breadiness. The taste is of a maple syrup backbone on top with dark fruits and some caramel with a slight taste of alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick with a slight amount of carbonation, it does sit a little heavy on the tongue. Overall the drinkability is okay for the style, it is very complex in nature and keeps you interested, a little thicker than some though.

goblue3509, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of honestdave
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a favorite ale glass

A: Old copper kettle color with slight head. Head fades quickly.

S: Sweet smelling like cotton candy with strong alcohol hit. This is an 9.8% ABV beer!

T: Just slightly bitter with a mild roasty and sweet aftertaste. The alcohol comes through as part of the aftertaste of this brew.

M: A medium+ mouthfeel. A bit syrupy in feel. This is pretty close to what I would consider full bodied.

D: Fairly good drinkability. Would like a bit more carbonation to cut the high alcohol and syrupy feel.

Summary: I like this ale for it's immediate alcohol slam. I'm sitting here on Father's Day afternoon and enjoying the good buzz as I finish this beer. I'm sitting in my screened in porch and waiting for my Old Curmudgeon neighbor to walk by so I can yell something rude at him. This ale brings out the best in me! Founder' remains one of my favorite brews for flavor, quality and unique variety of beers.

honestdave, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of pinotboy007
3.85/5  rDev -4%
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.

pinotboy007, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single bottle into a regular snifter late at night.

A- Curmudgeon is a dark amber color with some brown hints. Not much of a head but some tan foam reaches half an inch than fades. No lacing plus some sediment is seen floating.

S- This old ale has a deep smell of rich sweet malts giving off caramel, plus some burnt sugars. This years version has more of a hop aroma than I remember it, but they fade as this warms. Some oak/vanilla and dark fruit such as plum. A nice smell of raisins.

T- A really nice balance between the sweet malt giving off a bready vibe and dark fruits consisting of mainly dates and raisins. I got some hops on first sips but that faded as I got more into it. The little hint of vanilla is a nice touch. Some alcohol seeps through. Has some vinious hints here and there. Nice.

M- A very sweet and thick oily texture while this is somewhere above medium bodied. A bit of hotness from the alcohol but well contained for a near 10% old ale plus fairly fresh. Very faint bitterness from the hops, nothing major. A good one to let marinate on the tounge.

D- I usually take my time with big abv beers but this went down without a hitch. The alcohol is barely noticable in taste yet the flavors are just so full this becomes too inviting almost. Not my favorite founders beer but a great stab at the old ale category and worthy for repeat visits and slight aging.

BARFLYB, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of TMB0424
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a murky, burnt copper body with a very small head that reduces very quickly. Leaves minimal lacing.

Smell is of vanilla, caramel malts, some citrus hops, sweet honey. Slight nutty/chocolate aroma as well.

Tastes of creamy caramel malts with an oaky, alcohol followthrough. Vanilla is prevalent, goes well with the rum-like flavors. Finishes with a slight bitter hoppiness, burnt citrus almost. Smokey aftertaste. The only downfall is that it's just a little too sweet.

It has a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Very chewy and thick. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, as it adds a nice warmth towards the finish.

It's a solid brew from a great brewery - definitely a sipper. Like I said before, it's just a little too sweet in my opinion. I would only really 'enjoy' one of these in a sitting. I also rated it a little lower because if I didn't know any better (I guess if I was illiterate) I would have sworn this was a Barleywine opposed to an Old Ale - even though they are similar styles. Nevertheless, a very good beer.

TMB0424, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -4%
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.

mothman, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of DaveBlack
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Reddish-copper beer. Only a thin layer of head, but that has a long retention and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Lots of sweet malts, brown sugar. There is also a slight spiciness and oak aroma to the brew. Really a nice smelling beer, but not very unusual or complex.

T: The beer really shines in this area. I wasn't expecting so much flavor after the rather disappointing aroma. Lots of malts up front, along with a punch of oak, and a deep breadiness. The finish has a light amount of woody hops, with the lingering taste of both molasses and oak. Flavor definitely carries you through to the end.

M: Basically a meal in a glass. Thick and chewy, a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: Good beer. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. This is a big beer, with lots of flavor and a lot of alcohol. Even one bottle is a bit much. That being said, it has a lot of good flavor, and is quite drinkable.

DaveBlack, May 25, 2013
Photo of jlandis
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy copper with one finger white head that slowly fades into a thin ring. The aroma is very inviting with caramel and toffee with a hint of sweet cherries and brown sugar. The taste is much more complex than I was expecting from the aroma. There is the predominant caramel and toffee sweetness with a great cherry sweetness. In the background there is a tobacco and oak that mingles with the alcohol to make a fantastic presentation. The carbonation is light and the rich.

This is a solid beer. I remember the first time that I had it I absolutely hated it, but now with a second go around and a better understanding of what an "old ale" is I can really appreciate this one. Perfect for a cooler autumn evening.

jlandis, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of dragonWhale
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a murky orange stirs, bubbles rise. A large pillar of foam rises in the center, gradually tucks away under itself to the sides. It is a stately affair, all the nobles are here. Foreign dignataries, the upper crust, Bono, of course, Bono. Stale and sweet fumes arise from the powdered wigs of the hallowed guests. Their breath is alcohol. This is an old ale for old money. A plate passes around the room, full or succulent grapes, fresh and dried, and dried apricots. Distinctly and with a stiff backbone, it slides down the throat, pricking with funk, the soul of James Brown. These old fogies can still get down. Get up (get on up). Long sweet finish, the harpsichord notes ring out, echoing in the high ceilings.

dragonWhale, Dec 23, 2010
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,548 ratings.