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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,868 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2868
Reviews: 1038
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%

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: 2,868 | Reviews: 1,038 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KYGunner


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely gorgeous dark amber to ruby coloring. The head is bright and effervescent with loads bubbly carbonation ringing out.

Rich molasses fills the nose with sweet chocolate/caramel fullness. Dates and prune sweetness accompany a port, wine or cognac end.

Very full, rich flavor of grape, chocolatey malt, caramel, wine, cognac and prune. Hints of molasses, oak and malt hold the backbone but the alcohol rich flavors of fermented or distilled grapes overtakes. Slight warmth in the chest does not deter but defines a wonderful winter warmer/fireplace sipping ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 00:01:11 | More by KYGunner
Photo of TastyAdventure


4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - light brown reddish tints. thin head that dissipated quickly

S - Caramelized dates, brown suger, strong brandy, caramelized peach whiskey. Strong alcohol spiciness.

T - brandy, brown sugar, grape skin tartness is bogged down by intense thick sugar. Not quite as complex as the nose would suggest, but still strong in sweetness and alochol, with some spice. Very heavy. Difficult to drink at a regular rate, no one has to tell you this is a sipper.

M - thick syrupy, cloying. Sticky, silky, but still smooth. minimal carb. I originally gave 4.25 but knocked it to 3.75 because it's so heavy it becomes a chore to drink less than halfway through

Overall, definitely different than most beers. Reminds me of Samiclaus Helles, which in my craft beer infancy was my favorite. just so incredibly heavy, it's overbearing. tastes like it will go well with a cigar.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 18:55:46 | More by TastyAdventure
Photo of PorterLambic


4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a almost clear coppery-brown color with a light tan head. Very little retention save a slight ring. No lace.
Smell is oak and malt with a light smoke note and some dark, alcohol soaked fruits.
Taste is malt, oak and smoke, with caramel and dark fruits. Well balanced.
Smooth and rich. Full bodied with a medium-light effervescence. This old ale is unlike most in that it doesn't need to warm to be great, it starts there. Warming does make it a touch smoother but not enough to make you want to wait. A truly great brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 03:01:37 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of MDDMD


4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-deep amber color with a small off-white head and no significant lacing

S-toffee, caramel malt, nutty, apricot, spice

T-caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit, spices, mild bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-nice sipping old ale, smooth and well- balanced

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 22:21:29 | More by MDDMD
Photo of JohnnyHopps


4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from the bottle, the ale poured a golden copper color with a 1/2 inch head. As the head receded, it left a lacing along the sides of the glass. The aroma was malty with a spiciness that tickles the insides of the nose. On can even detect a faint hint of vanilla from the oak. In the initial taste, one gets the burn of spicy cinnamon, caramel, dark fruits, mild vanilla, and of course the malts. The malts bring to mind a well constructed dark bread. In the aftertaste, the spicy alcohol meshes with the dark malts to make this ale come full circle. The thickness allows the malt and alcohol to linger. With time, this old ale will mature and reward its owned. The rest of this 4 pack is going to the cellar to sleep

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 00:43:57 | More by JohnnyHopps
Photo of BobZ


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Bright deep orange with a nice 1" head that recedes to a cap, a whole lot of sticky lacing.

Smell: Malty sweetness mostly maybe some light fruit (apricot).

Taste: Unique and highly enjoyable, might be the best Old Ale I've ever tried. There is a sweetness just like the smell with the light fruit. Also, there are malty caramel and toffee flavors; however the alchol actually works well to cut the sweetness and balance the beer. This old ale never becomes too sweet, you just get a nice variety of flavors with some heat for the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Extremely clean and smooth, not at all cloying.

Overall: Repeat what I stated above, unique and highly enjoyable, might be the best Old Ale I've ever tried. Another excellent offering from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 20:00:43 | More by BobZ
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a cloudy murky orangish red

S - I honestly can't tell if this beer is bad or not. At times, especially at the start, it smells bad, that it has turned.. Other times not. It smells malty, sugary, with faint alcohol.

T - buttery, malt, molasses, honey. spices, maybe nutmeg.

M - smooth, slippery.

O - I believe I had this beer once on tap in MN and was fascinated by it. The bourbon notes, the strange sweetness, the 10% heaviness.. I dont recall the odd off putting smell, though. Maybe chalk it up to too much light on the shelf life?

Above review- 12-18-2011

Below is the re-review- just got around to checking it out again. Bottled on 4/13/12.

A - more clear, but noticeable particulates. Little to no head, similar to first review, although I failed to mention it.

S - same as above, without the oft putting smell. Leads me to believe the last time I around I had a bad batch (a Total Wine more than random occurrence, unfortunately).

T - Same notes as above, though the butter and nutmeg seem more upfront. More bourbon notes come thorugh as well . Also no strange sourness.

M - same as above

O - I kept thinking I had to come back to this one, but for one reason or another (the bad original four pack most likely) I did not. Without the semi turned smell, it makes for a much better experience. This 4 pack was from Frougles. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 23:56:02 | More by Apellonious
Photo of LI_PO12


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip Bottle dated 4/13/12

Appearance- Deep copper, burnt orange, 1 finger white head, hazy with some particle foating around

Aroma- Dates, figs, raisons, appricot, caramel malt, toffee, some alcohol, very nice

Flavor- Same fruits as the aroma though more subdued with more of a caramel malt sweetness coming forward, creamy, full, its not overly sweet, slight sherry, alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel- Full, thick, medium carbination, alcohol warmth

Overall- This aged well, one of my favorites of the style, its got everything im looking for. It mellowed and allowed more complexity to show with some age. An awesome sipper

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 02:53:22 | More by LI_PO12
Photo of minterro


3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Spartan Spirits for around 2.5-3 bucks

A&S: Very sweet bready tones with hints of marshmallows. Dark translucent orange colored beer with and not so impressive off-white colored head.

T&M: Not very intense upfront. Very consistent tones in the mid-taste taste and the smell but also including some toffee like flavors. Spicy clean alcohol finish. extremely smooth, medium bodied with low carbonation (but still has a relatively apparent presence).

Overall: I found this beer pretty tasty and quite easy to drink for the style and for the alcohol content. Not something I would be interested in buying a four pack of but something I could see myself getting yearly as a single.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 01:10:34 | More by minterro
Photo of Bauzen

New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark, dreamy, reddish brown. Very dark...

Smells of malt, hops, and molasses.

First sip nods to everything I love about Founders KBS - The bourbon oak is distinctive. Add caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and hops, and you have an exceptional flavor that drinks far milder than you'd imagine from a 9.8% ABV. At the tail-end of the beer, I even noticed hints of banana and Irish creme. The flavor certainly evolves as you drink it.

Smoother and silkier than a 'breakfast stout' but just as satisfying without the motor-oil density. Finish is hefty and fulfilling. It's a meal substitute.

Theres a lot of depth and complexity to this Old Ale. Despite its mixed reviews, it's a great beer for someone who likes a dubbel with a bit more punch.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 02:19:32 | More by Bauzen
Photo of frankiepop


3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer does not live up to the hype that it lays out in my opinion. So start at the beginning:

Looks: Kinda bland actually. Pretty reddish tan. Below ave head

Smell: Again a little flat and unexciting. I get hints of a little oak, smidgeon of bourbon and maybe the molasses.

Flavors: Again a nice mild oak and a hint of bourbon. I do taste a molasses flavor but its very feint though a little underwhelming. I prefer something more like the Scottish Traquair House Ale, which provides more oak and sweetness and the bourbon flavors remain only a background hint.

I also found this beer to be a bit hot. Lotsa carbonation and alcohol burn going down so I marked down the feel here.

So what goes well with this beer? Well maybe the music curmudgeon of all time. That is right. jazz saxophone player son of a bitch Phil 'fuck you' Woods. I recommend an illegal download of his "Live at the Showboat" or a good version of his version of the tune 'Freedom Jazz Dance' from the lp "Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series"

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 17:45:01 | More by frankiepop
Photo of Rimbimhoot


4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 2/15/13 poured into founders snifter

Appearance is fairly clear and ruby red.

Smell is sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and some cheery.

Taste follows the nose with caramel sweetness. The oak peaks through, brown sugar and a light nuttiness.

Mouth feel is full and chewy. Alcohol is present.

Overall this is good for the style. I'll probably crack anothor bottle in 6 months or so

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 01:09:43 | More by Rimbimhoot
Photo of AdamF625


4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- amber, hazy, creamy white head, and a nice white lacing.
S- caramel, oak
T- sweet malt, caramel, hints if cherry, toffee, oak, well balanced hop bitterness on the finish
M- medium body, syrup, well carbonated, strong alcohol presence
O- This is a great blend of sweet syrupy malt and bitter hops encompassed by oak.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 23:05:23 | More by AdamF625
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 22:46:09 | More by DaveBlack
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

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 20:58:21 | More by schwemjw
Photo of Sark


4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- brown orange glow with bits of sediment dancing in the carbonation, a beige-tan head that slowly accumulates, laces down the glass

Smell- magnificent whiff of grainy breads with sweet malt undertone, light hop tinge

Taste- Excellent caramel and toffee malt sweetness with a breaded mid palate and slight hop-oiled finish. Notes of ripe fruits become apparent after a few sips (plums, dates). Slight yeasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, velvety smooth

Overall- Really, really impressed with this brew. I heard a lot about Founders and this was my first try from the brewery. I can't wait to try others. This old ale is really big on flavor.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 01:15:06 | More by Sark
Photo of Goosehunter75


4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a brilliant coper with 1 finger tan colored head that is slow to form but really hangs around. There is a slight haze to the beer

S - Sweet malts, hints of coffee, cherry, toffee, and oak. Not as much aroma as I had anticipated, but a nice smelling beer nontheless.

T - The taste doesnt disappoint! A very malty beer. Lots of oak as well. Similar to the aroma, there are hints of coffee and cherry mixed throughout. Wonderfully tasty and complex

M - Extremely nice. Very thick beer but it goes down very smooth. Hints of alcohol leave the mouth feeling warm and dry.

O - Very impressive beer. Worlds of flavor in this beer that all seem to blend together perfectly. A good strong beer at 9.8 ABV but it manages to go down very smoothly leaving just a slight hint of alcohol behind.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 12:51:03 | More by Goosehunter75
Photo of RWLawman

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Medium brown/copper in color with a moderate off-white head, and practically zero head lacing left behind.

S - Molasses, malt, and oak.

T - Follows the nose, with a big oak punch in the beginning, followed by sweet malt and molasses. There was the slightest alcohol warming on the back, and a touch of bitterness as well.

M - Medium mouth feel, slightly sticky, with low-to-moderate carbonation.

O - Delicious experience. Highly recommended. I thought this beer reminded me more of something that Dogfish Head would put out, rather than Founder's. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 02:33:04 | More by RWLawman
Photo of Teleweizen2

New Jersey

3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a deep murky amber color. Maybe a fingers worth of white foam which quickly dissipates to a thin film. Lots of sediment including a thick glob which just floats on top.

S - the nose is rich and focused. The sweet aromas of molasses and maple syrup are dominate. There are also notes of buttery toast/french toast and cherry puree.

T - toasty bread, caramel, and toffee notes up front. Sweet cherry flavors and hint of cinnamon spice in the center. Just a hint of alcohol heat and peppery spice on the backend which lingers a bit after the finish.

M - buttery texture. Full bodied. Medium carbonation with full round bubbles.

O - good dessert beer. A bit much on its own but i suspect it would be fantastic with a fruit based desert.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 18:19:09 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of larryi86


4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 4/19/2013, poured into a snifter

A- A hazy ruby red with a small off-white head.

S- Toffee, caramel, molasses, oak, some alcohol, touch of earthiness.

T- Definitely oaky, molasses, toffee, caramel, some earthy bitterness in the finish, some alcohol that works very well with the taste, a faint cherry like fruitiness.

M- Smooth, full body, high carbonation.

O- My girlfriend just picked up a case of this for me and it is good fresh, but I can't wait to see how this ages!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 22:54:19 | More by larryi86
Photo of shand


4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Held onto this bad boy for a little too long - we're getting Founders next month here in Florida and this guy will be a bit less special. Curmudgeon pours a hazy red-orange with tons of sediment. It has a rather attractive glow though. The aroma is muted, presenting sweet toffee, oak, and honey. The taste hits with an intense sweet oak right away, along with a big sweet malt and honey presence. Sweet is the name of the game here. Surprisingly for all the sweet flavors, the aftertaste is very clean. The mouthfeel is relatively light, with a high level of carbonation for the style. The drinkability is good - probably better if you can down sweet beers quickly. Overall, Curmudgeon is a good example of a style that's never been my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 03:40:06 | More by shand
Photo of BaronVonBeauregard


3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reddish brown; quick head. Nose is strong, caramel roasted malt, rich. Taste is on target, big malts, and sweetness. I like it. Has a barley wine taste. Lots of sediment in this bottle. It does hide the 9.8 % abv very well; not a bad aftertaste either. Solid beer, I'd drink this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 19:59:00 | More by BaronVonBeauregard
Photo of keithmurray

New York

3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a snifter, bottled on 4/26/2012

Appearance - dark ruby/mahogany color with some tan head

Smell - maple, oak, bourbon, molasses

Taste - molasses, bourbon, oak, booze is apparent

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, bitter upfront, astringent in the finish, spicy, woodsy finish on this

Overall - This beer falls somewhere in the middle for the style, not quite up to the standard, which to me is HOTD ADAM. Fans of the style will likely enjoy this.

Price Point - $4.75- 12 oz bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 23:44:09 | More by keithmurray
Photo of superspak


4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/6/2012. Pours fairly cloudy red-orange color with a small dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, oak, biscuit, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with great complexity and balance of malt notes with light-moderate oak character that does not overwhelm. Taste of raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, biscuit, nuttiness, oak, light chocolate, light clove, floral, and toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, toffee, biscuit, molasses, oak, nuttiness, light chocolate, and light earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of malt notes with moderate oak presence; with a fair amount of hop balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible old ale! Awesome complexity and balance of malt flavor with moderate oak presence; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 03:54:39 | More by superspak
Photo of wyatt13


4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Half Acre snifter.

A - Pours a syrupy reddish-brown, with a half-finger head of off-white foam. The bubbles quickly fizzle down to a thin ring around the outside of the glass.

S - A good hit of oak character right at the front of the nose, with a nice sweetness of brown sugar and caramel to supplement. The molasses comes through a bit, although I'm not sure that I would be able to identify it as such if it didn't say so on the bottle.

T - Huge oak presence right away, but then the honeyed sweetness steps up and really brings the whole brew into a nice balance. There is a bit of lingering heat that has a nice warming aspect for several seconds after the sip.

M - Medium-full mouthfeel, with more carbonation than was evident in the appearance.

O - A very nice brew, that certainly lives up to the description of an "old ale brewed with molasses and oak aged." The old ale characteristics, molasses flavors and oak presence are all there in a nice harmonized way. I'd be interested to see how this develops with age.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 19:21:31 | More by wyatt13
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,868 ratings.