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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.

2,899 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2899
Reviews: 1041
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%

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: 2,899 | Reviews: 1,041 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RollBounce

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 15:56:29 | More by RollBounce
Photo of reebtaerG


4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Fireworks Pizza

A-Brown appearance with a small tan head and light lacing.

S-Aroma of caramel, molasses, dark malts, chocolate, earthy hops, oak, dark fruit, toffee and licorice.

T-Similar flavor, rich and malty with medium sweetness and minimal to light bitterness.

M-Full body, slick and smooth with soft carbonation.

O-Pretty surprised, very enjoyable, great sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2014 02:14:27 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Appalachian Vintner Asheville. Served in a tapered 12 oz glass.

A- Pours a somewhat murky dark amber color with a 1/8 inch head that doesn't retain very long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of sheer surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a honeycomb pattern behind.

S- Notes of raisin, vanilla and a touch of wood with a nice toastiness. A bit of a booze fume.

T- First thing noticed is a subtle maple sweetness that works well with the toastiness of the malt. Alcohol is certainly present but not overbearing. Actually, everything is very well balanced as there's a mild hop bitterness.

M- Slightly sharp from the alcohol and a tad sticky. Medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A very easy drinking high ABV old ale that has incredible balance but keeps me interested all the way to the last sip.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2014 19:44:34 | More by Immortale25
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served a clear deep golden amber color with a small thick looking white head. The head fades rather slowly leaving a decent level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is of a sweet caramel and a decent level of a bready smell. Along with these aromas are some notes of darker fruits with some raisin and prune as well as some other sweet smells of toffee and molasses. Along with these smells are some oak and booze which combined with the rest to produce a sweet, warming and malty aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather sweet and smooth taste. The taste is largest of a smooth bready and caramel flavor with hints of light roasted and dark fruits within. The roastiness get slightly stronger as the taste advances with the darker fruits of raisin and plum getting stronger as the taste advances as well. Some more boozy flavors start to work their way in more toward the middle of the taste with some nice molasses sweetness coming to the tongue as well. With the booze and the sweeter flavors that come to the tongue more toward the middle, and a little bit of an oaky, rum like flavor, that comes to the tongue at the end, one is left with a nice smooth and sweet warming flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –For a brew of almost 10 % abv it is very drinkable yet appropriate in style. The body of the beer is on the thicker side rather nicely accentuating all the sweet and malty flavors of the beer while the carbonation of the brew is on the lower side, which allows all the oaky, sweet, and malty flavors tons of time to linger on the tongue.

Overall – A very enjoyable sweet and malty brew. Just what an old ale should be.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2013 02:41:12 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station--it was one of the taps that was still flowing from a massive Founders tap takeover on 7/1/13. Poured into a small rotund tulip glass.

Appearance - Color is a beautiful hazy titian (like auburn only lighter--don't worry I had to look it up) shade with a small bubbly head of light rose-white that dissipates fairly quickly. Lacing is silky and fleeting.

Smell - Caramel and cinnamon with hints of fresh leather but the booze is very forward, giving the impression that this 9.8% will pack a heck of a punch. Sweetness seems to mellow it out upon subsequent sniffs after some warming.

Taste - The molasses is definitely the up-front flavor profile to me, along with notes of vanilla, but it evolves into a bittersweet, caramelized maltiness. Taste balances with the heat a little better than the aroma did. Some grainy notes on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel - Slightly chewy, medium body with low carbonation and a lingering, viscous aftertaste.

Overall, I like this beer quite a bit, but only in smaller doses due to the booziness. I know very little about the style, this being my first one, but going by the description for "Old Ale" on BA, Curmudgeon is a prototypical example.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2013 05:40:38 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of jzeilinger


3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep amber color with a very light head that dies down quickly but leaves a very nice, sticky lacing.

S - The nose isn't particularly strong...toasted caramel malt and maple.

T - Toasted malt, molasses, oak, some floral notes, and light smoke.

M - Light medium body, slick, semi-dry.

O - Call me crazy, I know....this beer just doesn't do it for me and WAY better stuff coming out of Founders.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2013 03:57:24 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of Kashdonkey


3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got on tap at Bryant Lake Bowl. Not picking up a lot of aroma on this one... but a lot of good things happening once i tasted it. Aftertaste was fantastic with a lot of carmel and roastiness with mayble a little brown sugar. Mouthfeel was great on tap... very good creaminess.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2013 17:59:42 | More by Kashdonkey
Photo of mactrail


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Public House in La Jolla. Butterscotch and sweet malt heated up by a delicious boozy flavor, followed by a dry and hoppy flavor. Attractive coppery amber in the Saison duPont nonic. Starts with a modest foam and flattens out, but a nice tangy flavor and carbonation.

Intensely barrel flavored with a distinct toffee taste. Better earlier on with the frothy foam. Maple, molasses, and sweet yams. Bitter aftertaste, but not overbearing. Great version of the old barrel trick.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2013 06:25:01 | More by mactrail
Photo of dar482

New York

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

The beer comes in a dark brown red color with a beautiful lacing.

The aroma is of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and plum.

The flavor has sweet breadiness or caramel with a slight hop kick. There’s dark fruits of plum, cherry, and date. There’s a good sweetness with a bitter finish and a slight alcohol bite.

It reminds me of a toned down Stone Double Bastard. It's quite smooth. I think I prefer the Double Bastard because of its hoppiness and complexity, but this is still quite wonderful.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2013 03:53:28 | More by dar482
Photo of Wiggedout40


4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very surprising. Lots of toffee and brown sugar sweetness both in the nose and taste. Hints of dried fruit as well (raisins and fig). Appearance is deep brown to red in color with a thin head that settles slowly. The alcohol is not overpowering but is present in the flavor. Smooth mouth-feel. Could drink this all day if the ABV was lower.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2013 03:21:38 | More by Wiggedout40
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tall thin glass at the Cloverleaf Tavern for their Founders event.

Curmudgeon Old Ale pours an opaque amber, with some scattered straight orange highlights. A bit more than a finger of bone colored foam caps the beer. Head retention is alright, and there's just a little lacing left behind. Caramel, oak, and biscuity aromas all leap out of the glass towards my nose, with none dominating above the others. There's a prominent note of very caramelized brown sugar in the flavor profile. Waves of toffee, toasty bread, vanilla, and oak fall in to create a very layered flavor profile. The body is full, though not quite chewy, and well short of cloying. The carbonation is on the muted side, completing the picture for a solid malt forward mouthfeel. Curmudgeon is just another entry in Founders' impressive stable of malt forwars beers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2012 23:20:46 | More by axeman9182
Photo of SaisonRichBiere


3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at a Founder's Tap Takeover at Ashley's in Westland, MI

Appearance- poured a slightly hazy copper color with a 1.5 finger bubbly head, that dissipated quickly with minimal lacing. Left a few steps on the glass as I drank it.

Smell- Not much in it. Plums, brown sugar, boozy sweetness, mellow hops, a hint of rose. Apples and clove as it warms up.

Taste- Boozy citrus hit, followed by roasty banana notes, a caramely alcohol bite, finishing smooth with a faint acidity.

Mouthfeel- slight fizz, cream ale creaminess, soft finish.

Overall- a tasty brew. Not too complex, big taste, but it vanishes too soon. All considered, it's another fine brew from Founder's.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2012 01:28:22 | More by SaisonRichBiere
Photo of TheRealBigC


4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an instant favorite. Almost like a cognac - heavy vanilla and alcohol flavor, but there's more depth than that. A bit of oak and cinnamon, for instance, linger somewhere in there. The bar served it in a rocks glass which was disappointing as a snifter would have been perfect for this ale. I got plenty of enjoyment in the smell as it was, but a snifter likely would have made it even better. I really have to look into more old ales because if they are anything like Curmudgeon, it's a style perfectly tailored to my tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2012 21:07:16 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of DocJitsu


4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden color with an off white head. The beer was poured very carefully, so there was very little head. The aroma was mild with notes of vanilla. Oak barrel and vanilla flavors are accentuated by the silky smooth mouthfeel. This is a very mild, pleasant, drinkable beer despite it's higher ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2012 18:29:54 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of HopHead84


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


On tap at Urge.

A: Dark orange with good clarity. An inch of off-white foam. Sheets of lacing cling to the glass.

S: Rich candied sweetness with big caramel and toffee notes. Orange and grapefruit blend with prune, fig, date, and plum. Lightly earthy with a touch of alcohol. There's a whisper of smoke and maybe a little apple.

T: Rich caramel and toffee with sweet breads and a pervasive candied aspect. Fruit character is reminiscent of date, plum, and prune. There's a low earthy bitterness. I get a little citrus as well. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Lower full body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, silky, and full with substantial alcohol warming.

Overall: A big, rich, estery Old Ale. Well executed but definitely a sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2012 05:04:15 | More by HopHead84
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

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

2010 keg Pour is a nice orange color with a small white head. The smell is loaded with a nice crisp feeling, but balanced with a lot of sweetness.

The taste really isnt too sweet, but it follows suit. Solid sweet backbone really tried to come forth, but cant really take over. Theres a dryness that takes over, and not in a bad way. The dryness really balances the sweetness and malt backbone.


So I had a year old keg at a tap takeover, but Ive got fresh bottles, and I couldnt resist. Pour is like a good barleywine-bright orange with no head. ok now this is the biggest compliment ever. It reminds of Regulator Doppelbock at Bull City Burger and Brewery. Grassy Earthy malt dominates like crazy. Feels crisp, but in an insanely good way. Maybe its the style, but its unique for sure. Very earthy malt, hints of caramel, and a nice bit of scotch barrel. Very smooth caramel and syrupy notes.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2012 00:28:11 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Rifugium


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

First had: ?
This review applies to a recent tasting on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Poured a slightly hazy mahogany color with a thin cap of ivory bubbles for a head; not much to speak of in the way of retention or lacing. Aroma of bready malts, caramel, molasses, and dried candied fruits. The taste reflects the aroma, with flavors of sweet malts, toasty, dark sugars, fruitcake, tangy alcohol warmth, with a tinge of citrus and hop bitterness in the finish. Very nice brew, heavy-medium mouthfeel, lots of flavor, easily drinkable, though can be a little on the hot side.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 13:15:06 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Rattle n Hum- poured a hazy reddish brown with a thin, light brown head. No retention, no lacing. It's a heavy one.

Smells very malty, slightly boozy, and to ME a bit like mint and anise.

I definitely tast mint and anise- its strange but good. Lots and lots if malt and a little twinge of booze.

Mouthfeel is similar to gulden draak- too syrupy but it's a little more carbonated. Definitely an interesting one to try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 01:07:56 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Curmudgeon, full pint at Vintner Wine Market.

Appearance: Filled to the brim, with just under one finger of foamy and persistent head. Never dies! Tonsa lacing, great retention. Color is a slightly transparent chestnut-amber, shiny and engaging.

Smell: Quite a disappointment compared to the looks, with only a slight toasted feel, an odd metallic backup and some spice.

Taste: Follows nose, with a nice bread-and-biscuit feel and a spicy boozy end. Raw honey, a mellow hop touch and crème brulee. Vanilla. Odd but good mixture of sweet and tasty. Oak? None.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, flavor and carbonation. Spicy dry finish. Alright but average.

Overall: Nothing spectacular but quite drinkable. Closer to Dirty Bastard than Backwoods Bastard, sadly, and not up to the expectations.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2012 00:19:03 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of Litterbean

New York

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Mission Dolores (Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Dark brown beer with a foamy full head. Smells malty, sweet, alcoholic, and heavy.

Taste is sweet with a hint of bitterness but mostly a biting alcoholic note that really ends warm on the tongue. Makes my head fuzzy right away and fills me with warm cheer. Great brew!

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2011 21:27:47 | More by Litterbean
Photo of ShanePB


3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Having not had this beer in well over 1.5 years, I decided to give this another try. Served on-tap at, poured into a 12 ounce goblet.

A: Ruby copper colored body, fairly clear but definitely has a bit of haze. Small off-white head that didn't last too long, nor did it leave any real lace on the glass. To style, it looks alright; nothing spectacular but touches above average.

S: Deep dark, rich caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses and a definite boozy element. Not overwhelmed by any one quality but towards the end the oak is more noticeable. Fresh, matured oak wood creates an additional layer of depth but doesn't take the aromas deep enough, in my opinion.

T: Initially there's nothing on the front of the palate, instead it's consumed by the boozy bite from the swallow. Another sip, along with some palate adjustment, brings forward the dark and rich flavors. Molasses, burnt sugar and dark fruits (fig, raisin) are halfway in. The back end and finish leaves with a strange astringency from the oak. Overly woody and a bit out of place it seems. The alcohol doesn't fuse with the wood notes like other great wood/barrel-aged beers do.

M: Fairly well carbonated and a bit thinner on the palate than I would have recalled or liked. Not watery but not the feel I was hoping for in an Old Ale.

For me, this style is certainly hit or miss and while I don't think this was a complete miss, it wasn't a dead-on hit either. There are some really nice complexities in the beer but also some very tangent flavors. There doesn't seem to be a mastered balance in the flavor profile, but it still does have qualities that make it enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2011 12:40:31 | More by ShanePB
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

2.8/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at a special Founders event at the local bar.

The bar served this in a mini goblet. This beer is the proper tan/brown that you would expect from an old ale. The head was minimal and there was nice alcohol feet.

The foam yielded down to a simple scum on the glass. You could see minimal carbonation on this, which isn't a surprise for the style.

I smell tobacco, caramel, yeast, and some malt. It smelled very rich.

Curmudgeon really fell off with the first taste. There was a ton of alcohol in it. It really wasn't pleasant. You get a little bit of scotch. I had a ton of burn from the alcohol and visibly winced with each sip. The after-taste was all alcohol throughout my mouth.

I really didn't care for this beer. It was surprising since I enjoyed so much Founders in the past.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2011 00:04:20 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of david18

New York

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a number of drafts of this while it was on tap at my local neighborhood bar. Very good beer and a nice strong alternative to all the double ipas out there.

Color was a dark brown with a red hue. A bit hazy and not very carbonated.

Aroma was of both dark fruit and some candy (caramel, etc).

Flavor is quite balanced and features the dark candy flavors as well as fruit and hops. Very easy to drink for the strength.

Overall a good beer that I look forward to hopefully seeing again soon.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2011 19:34:06 | More by david18
Photo of Guden


3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Looks perfect. Ruby amber with a one inch head that only fades after drinking and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Some light cherry and raisin with a bit of toffee mixed in. Not overly strong but nice and refreshing.

T- Meh. The nose is entirely lost in hops. The hoppiness comes on with piney, herbal and earthy notes with prickly deep bitterness on the end. Not what I look for in an old ale, this one might be better after a few more years. As it warms some cherry character becomes more prominent and a bit of alcohol presence develops but still not hot.

M- Pretty smooth and creamy but the carbonation is a bit high which, when mixed with the hoppiness, comes off with an impression far from what I had hoped for or really enjoyed.

D- I didn't hate this beer but it was far from what I was going for in an Old Ale. The hops really cover up most of the complexity that it might be able to have, I would like to see how it ages but I don't know where to get a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2011 18:26:05 | More by Guden
Photo of TheBrewo


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served on tap at Blind Tiger in New York, NY. It arrived in a tulip glass, and sported a rich red-brown color with very little head or lacing. The beer appeared a bit hazy, but no sediment was noted, while carbonation appeared minimal. The aroma began with big fusel alcohols, and some mild diacetyls. Tropical fruit was also noted along with some mild metallic yeast, and a definite caramel malt presence. As we sipped, the first thing noticed was a dark and very sweet malty character. Buttery diacetyls were also present here, which moved us into the middle where the main components were caramel sweetness and rich grains with a sour twang. Alcohol spiciness also began to creep in here, bringing the flavor to the end, where we were given honeycomb sweetness, sugary hops, and a darker porter/stout malt character. The aftertaste breathed with sweet caramel and grains, and a definite booze presence. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium to high. There is nice coating to each sip, and a decent slurp is noted, helping to develop the deeper, thicker aspects of the beer. The abv was appropriate and the beer drank as more of a sipper.

Overall, our favorite thing about this beer was that it tasted very much like a dubbel, but with a more complex nature about the aroma. The nose was perfectly balanced to allow for the sweet components to shine through over top of the bitter roasted malt presence. Where this beer lost points was in the over the top sweetness. It is not that the sweetness was so offensive that it made the beer undesirable, however, by the end of the glass it did prove a bit overwhelming.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2011 19:24:25 | More by TheBrewo
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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,899 ratings.