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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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3,284 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,284
Reviews: 1,083
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 123
Gots: 582 | FT: 42
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: 3,284 | Reviews: 1,083 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Davidpgibbons


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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


Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 02:33:02 | More by TheCondor
Photo of BEERMILER12


3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 01/18/13

A: Pours a slightly hazy mahogany color with 1/2 an inch of head that quickly dies down to nothing

S: Molasses, oak, malts, and a hint of vanilla

T: Follows the nose. Very malty with huge notes of molasses. Also get a light oakiness and some vanilla

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A solid oak-aged old ale. Not overwhelming with the oak, but it is nicely imparted. Not overly complex, but a true malt bomb and a solid brew

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 03:52:03 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of nodder

New York

3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Amber/light brown in color and clear. Small off-white head that fades quickly. Slight lacing.

S- Caramel, sweet malts, some fruitiness like raisins/prunes, bourbon booze.

T- Prunes, caramel, bourbon, slight vanilla taste.

M- Buttery is the best word. Smooth and on the fuller side. A little boozy going down as one would expect at near 10% abv.

O- Not a huge fan of the style but I liked this one. A sipper for sure. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2014 18:00:26 | More by nodder
Photo of TCHopCraver


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

Reviewed from notes written on 1-6-11.

Into a snifter gifted to me by my lovely girlfriend, Curmudgeon pours a cloudy, amber-orange with a medium khaki, one-finger head which retains nicely. I could have decanted this a bit better, as many little yeasties are floating about in the beer. The carbonation appears low and slow and the lacing is attractive, with hilltops and dots.

The smell is very malt-forward with aromas of caramel, brown sugar, and cinnamon, which all meld together well. When swirled aggressively, the woodnotes of the oak aging are very evident, along with a slightly peppery aroma. The more I inhale, the bigger the cinnamon contribution is. Founders website says that this is brewed with molasses- I can smell a little of that, as well.

The taste is somewhat spicier and woodier than I thought it would be, with a very earthy undertone on my tongue. Those flavors couple with a heavy malt presence of caramel and brown sugar, with some cinnamon spice taste in addition. The molasses adds a molasses cookie taste. The finish is nicely dry from the oak and bittering hops and just a little alcoholic heat soaks into my tongue at the end of the sip.

The mouthfeel is silky, creamy, and buttery on the tongue, but with a fine balancing nip on the sides from the oak- aging, hops, and alcohol. The finish is fairly clean for such a syrupy beast. I think the mouthfeel is the highlight of the beer.

I like this crotchety old fella and will have it again, but I've also had other Old Ales that I like a bit better. It is definitely not sessionable, but makes for a good sipper. This is another fine offering from Founders, but certainly not their best.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 21:45:15 | More by TCHopCraver
Photo of blitz134


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

Always wanted to try this offering from Founders but never had it available to me. I'm only able to get it now by heading up the road to Mass.

Poured into my snifter. Basically no head, just a tiny ring around the edge of the glass. Brownish-amber body with reddish highlights throughout. Clear, even though some of the dregs made it in the glass. At 9.8 I dont expect much head, but a little more would be nice. Probably carbonated low to suit the style.

Overall, not much aroma. Again the low carbonation doesn't help here. Some light grain, but primarily a brandy-like alcohol with some fruity esters. Not much fusel, which is nice.

A little grain to start but then starts to transition into a lot of different flavors. The smooth alcohol hits first, then some raisin, dark fruit flavors, hints of cherry or plum, maybe. Some tobacco and tea leaf characteristics come through after the swallow, akin to a leafy hop flavor. A little sweetness prevails and lingers.

Good medium to full bodied beer. A touch of sweetness makes the flavor a bit sticky on the palatte. Super smooth, even given the high alcohol level. Low carbonation level works right in.

Overall a nice beer, not the best Old Ale I've had. Some interesting flavors throughout. Supremely drinkable given its size.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 02:50:52 | More by blitz134
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
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,284 ratings.