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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.

2,889 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2889
Reviews: 1040
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: 2,889 | Reviews: 1,040 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of rdilauro


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

The pour was almost like a dirty pilsner minus some stock colors. Seriously, the beer had a nice color, not deep, not light, but just really nice.

It had a nice nose, there was a definite feeling of alcohol here, but at the same time a kindred spirit of the seas. As I was drinking my first one, there was no question how soft, round and easy it was to drink this

I never knew what OLD Ale was in terms of a type, but after drinking this, I can understand it a little better. There was a good feel to the oaked barrel aging of this. I did not feel all the sweetness I would have expected from molasses. But, it did play a part at the finish

This Old ale was very deceptive. It presented itself with a nose that seemed brisk and alive, then the taste was so very soft, a bit on the sweet side, then the finish had the taste of oak.

Very interesting to say the least I think this has been one of the more complex beers that I've tasted

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 03:49:00 | More by rdilauro
Photo of bevoduz


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

I bought a few 4 packs of this several years and wasn't too impressed, but I held on to them, and am I glad I did! Several months ago I opened up a 2011 and was very happy I did. I actually had to fish the bottle out of the trash to make sure it was the beer I thought I had just opened. Fortunately it was still readily available on the shelves so I picked up a few more, knowing I'd then be able to enjoy them in a few years!

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 03:16:29 | More by bevoduz
Photo of Jacurdy60


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a deep amber color that is hazy and impermeable with a light brown middle. Head is thin, but consists of thick, creamy foam. Lotta lacing here.

S-You definitely pick up on the oaked note at first. It mingles nicely with sweet molasses, a slight burnt char, dark fruits and a touch of booze. Well balanced all the way through the nose.

T-Sweet molasses and dark fruit hit the front of the palate as it fades into a slight bitterness at the middle. Finishes with a semi-bitter flavor that rounds out the sweetness well. Lingering booze.

MF-Full-bodied, creamy and thick. Finishes smooth and wet

O-My first Old Ale and I am pleasantly surprised. A lot like a BDA but with a nice oaked nuance. Well balanced on all aspects. Founders did it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 23:10:38 | More by Jacurdy60
Photo of MNishCT77

District of Columbia

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

12 oz. bottle obtained on trade (thanks, Greg Radawich!)., poured into my Ghandi-Bot snifter (again, thanks, Greg Radawich!), 2012 vintage but dates obscured on bottle, drank 10/9-10/13 over several hours while homebrewing.

A: 2/3 - ruby-red-to-brown coloration, solid clarity for such high ABV (but cannot see or read through), poured with a frothy white head that resolved into glass lacing; moderately carbonated with moderate alcohol legs

S: 9/12 - plums, raisins, figs, alcohol...nice!

T: 16/20 -up front, I picked up mostly complex malt flavors that accompanied the nose; in the middle of the mouth, there is some balancing bitterness and alcohol flavors to prevent the beer from venturing into too-cloying land; little aftertaste, invited sip after sip

M: 4/5 - big, chewy old ale character; moderately bodied and carbonated as expected

O: 8/10 - really nice old ale/barleywine from one of the best breweries in the country; will certainly improve with age, as the complex malt character would really start to pop even more at years 2+; recommended and for trade if you cannot get it in your region

TOTAL = 39/50

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 04:20:05 | More by MNishCT77
Photo of Brabander


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I bought this beer in Belgium a few weeks ago @ Dranken Geers, near Gent. I was pretty surprised to see this beer in the shop.

Poured in my little Struise tasting glass this beer starts of quit nice with a coppercoloured fluid and a very decent head. No carbonation, pity. The head is gone after a minute leaving some pretty lacing in the glass.

You can actually smell the molasses (or at least that is what i think i am smelling).

The beer is too flat, not much going in in the mouth...but in the end the taste is ok!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 21:02:30 | More by Brabander
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

3-4 year old bottle, not much head or lacing. Muddy, tudor brown body. Aroma includes brown sugar, raisin, date, vanilla. Taste includes all of these flavors and a slight hint of alcohol heat. Delicious in every way, one of the best old ales I've had.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 00:55:07 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of wd40

New York

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

Reddish orange color. Smells sweet with a bit of hop. Definitely different than an English style old ale, but very good. Taste is surprisingly bitter. Ends up being like a barelywine. Very good taste. Just not what I expected from my experience drinking English style old ales. Mouthfeel is fantastic. The carbonation is really where this beer shines. It gives it a creamy and viscous feel. Overall it's good!

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2013 03:31:56 | More by wd40
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 01:32:34 | More by jrenihan
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Have had a few bottles of this already, but am just now getting around to putting my thoughts into bytes.... 12 oz bottle, into a small tulip...

A hard pour into the glass produces a deep mahogany hued bier. It has a little bit of haze, and the head is quite creamy, fine, and light tan in color. It sits at about 1/4" before ebbing to a thin layer, and lacing is good. It smells fairly boozy, along with some toffee and bourbonish qualities. It is silky-smooth, and the body is medium-plus.

The flavor has a good amount of malty sweetness, with caramel, toffee and molasses quite noticeable. You can also get a taste of what the wood contributes here, too. I also get intimations of rum-soaked brown-bread. There is earthy hoppiness here as well, while the finish exhibits some alcoholic heat. Pretty good, in small doses! Prosit!

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 21:53:06 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Givemebeer


4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon Curmudgeon just today though it is out of season so was happy to pay $13 for a 4 pack as everything Founders seems to be a winner

Curmudgeon is a great starter old ale in my opinion. Beautiful look and well balanced. Love the malt in it but the beauty is the hops showing themselves towards the end just enough so that you know they're there. Not overly sweet and simply delicious.

If you see it, buy it. Another winner from Founders. I will be purchasing this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 00:50:59 | More by Givemebeer
Photo of Jonada

New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled April 6, 2012. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber orange color with less than a finger of an off white, cream colored head. Head dissipates quickly to a thin collar. Body is very hazy with epic amount of suspended sediment floating in the glass.

Smell: Dark fruit, caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, butterscotch, figs, vanilla and booze.

Taste: Follows the nose, with caramel, bourbon and oaky vanilla notes being the most present. Dark fruit and a toasted breadiness come out more in the finish. From start to finish there are lots of sweet malts which are balanced nicely by a noticeable, but not overpowering alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, slightly syrupy, sticky mouthfeel. Medium carbonation is just right.

Overall: Some age (1+ year) mellowed this out quite a bit, but this is still a sipper for sure. As far as old ales go, this isn't the best but it's a damn good one.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 04:59:18 | More by Jonada
Photo of mpedara429


4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured out a copper color with one finger of a orangy tan head. Not much lacing or retention to speak of.

S: A very sweet caramel and oak aged smell. There are also some fruity notes like raisins and over-ripened strawberries.

T: Very much like the smell, but not as sweet and potent. There is a nice earthy hoppiness balancing out the immense sweetness that could've been imagined by the smell. There is a fair amount of booziness.

M: Medium, sticky body that is a bit creamy. Medium-light carbonation. Surprisingly lighter and smoother than expected.

O: Better than some of the other Old Ales I've had. I like the lack of sweetness in the taste of Carmudgeon. Old Ales tend to be very sweet for me, but this one had a nice balance to it. Normally, I'd be one and done with an Old Ale, but I could see myself wanting a couple of these in a session.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 02:38:27 | More by mpedara429
Photo of RickS95


4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's an impressive looking beer with an orange amber pour. Very rich looking. Not the darkest beer by any means, but thick and rich enough to be completely opaque. The head is an off-white. It's a slow forming, cascading head that never grows terribly thick but it retains moderately well, never fully dissipates and leaves a sticky lace behind.

The scent is so subtle that nothing really jumps out. It's clearly all malt, caramel possibly and the molasses is present.

It tastes like you'd expect and it's pretty spectacular. There's an earthiness to it from the oak barrels and had I not known about the molasses I'd have guessed brown sugar. Also, the alcohol is fairly noticeable, though never over the top.

Not sure how to describe it, but it's got an 'old' feel to it as well. It starts off relatively sweet, which makes sense given the malt bill. As the beer works its way back, it starts to give off some heat from the high ABV. It remains sweet throughout, but never cloying as there is a nice balance. It's very full bodied and finishes dry and hot.

Overall it's a beer everyone should try. Clearly a sipper, it goes down easier than a barleywine or DIPA and is mostly pleasant for the duration.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 02:52:12 | More by RickS95
Photo of KomodoDragon


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - a gentile pour yielded a tiny head atop a cloudy copper brew.

S - Malty, Toffee overtakes any alcohol smells.

T - Strong molasses and toffee malt. Some alcohol warmth as expected. A great deal of sweetness aftertaste. A bit over the top for my liking.

M - smooth, simple.

Bursts of molasses and malty sugars create a unique experience, but one lacking in complexity.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 01:35:19 | More by KomodoDragon
Photo of SHODriver


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

bottle from 4/6/2012

A: pours a deep amber hue with a finger of off white head that quickly fades to a small collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of alcohol, a bit of caramel, and some slight fruitiness
T: a bit of caramel, toffee, molasses, some alcohol, a bit of spice, and a slight fruity flavor. swallow is slightly toasty with more caramel, toffee and alcohol and a slight bitterness
M: full in the mouth but not overly viscous. carbonation is soft but adequate
O: a very good beer. solid complexity and good flavors without any noticeable flaws

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 22:13:01 | More by SHODriver
Photo of hosehead83


4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a wine goblet.
Deep amber in color, with a short head of off-white foam.
Aroma Big whiff of malt and caramel notes
Taste-Oakey spiciness, sweet malt, molasses, maple syrup. Dose of underlying hops keeps things from getting too sweet. Very drinkable for the strength. Warms as it warms. Sip this one slowly and enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 18:49:05 | More by hosehead83
Photo of t2thebro


4.61/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-medium amber in color very little carbonation.

S- oak, caramel, sweet alcohol. Raisins, ripe apricot.

T- strong alcohol presence, blended with the perfect balance of sweet caramel and spicy hop bitterness.

M- medium heavy body, a bit of a syrupy feel great for this style!
Very drinkable for a big beer.

O- this is the first (old ale) I've had this is the best of what I could have expected.
Big beer, great flavor, very drinkable.


Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 04:15:10 | More by t2thebro
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
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,889 ratings.