1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,871 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,871
Reviews: 1,134
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 156
Gots: 770 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 3,871 | Reviews: 1,134
Photo of phiberoptik
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Cheers!

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy orange amber color with a small off white foam head. There is some spotty lacing.

S: Lots of sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, alcohol and oak. Really becomes more apparent as it warms up a bit.

T: Not as sweet as I expected, no complaints about that. A nice blend of malty sweetness and the oak. The oak rounds off the sweetness which makes this quite enjoyable.

M: Slick and creamy. Nice medium body.

D: A higher ABV makes this a sipper by the fire. A very well put together Old Ale.

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a taster glass at the Haymarket Founders event.

Appearance: A dark cherry color, existing between hazy and transparent. An off-white head fades to a ring but leaves layers of lace.

Smell: Brandy and ethyl alcohol kick, with an earthy covering to the sweet dark fruit and malt aromas.

Taste: Sweet brandy, caramel malt, and some dark fruits. Figs, raisins, and plums. Sweet all the way through. Some light earthy flavors slowly coat the tongue, adding some depth and complexity. This definitely gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, brandy-like, with light to medium carbonation. Sticky, with a fuller than medium body.

Drinkability: A fun and complex beer. Sweet, with lots of bite, so I am not sure I could drink this all night.

Photo of jrallen34
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Haymarket into a 4oz tasting glass...Pours a deep amber with orange notes, a decent tope head, looks good...The aroma is pretty good very sweet with lots of caramel, honey, spice and a little oak. Good start...The taste just doesn't translate, this is borderline horrible. Almost all bitter alcohol from start to finish, oak, and honey try to help out but they can't do enough. I had a hard time finishing this. I just can't believe how bad this is.

Avoid for me.

Photo of Tone
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. There is also suspended sediment. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, strong alcohol, slight oak, and slight citrus hops. Fits the style of an Old Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, oak, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, overly strong in the alcohol, not very complex, but definitely warming.

Photo of Pellinore1
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep, cloudy amber, producing minimal head, which quickly fades to some light lacing.

The aroma is all malt, and makes me think of bread, fruit, and honey.

I taste all of the sweet malt foretold by the smell. Fruit, caramel, and biscuits are all here, followed by just a touch of alcohol warmth.

This beer is thick and smooth, with a bit of carbonation to lighten things up. Reasonably drinkable, considering the ABV, but I wouldn't want to have too many.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - carmel, amber, no head, unfiltered, fine lacing.

S - fig, plum, oak, spices, malt, honey.

T - sweet fruit, honey, molasses, bread, with oak/smoky and mild bitter + tart finish.

M - medium/heavy body, velvet smooth, light carbonation to hold

D - Big sipper and mighty fine brew. This gets better as is reaches closer to room temperature. I will hoard the 4 pack I bought for special occasions over the next year and share with worthy beer geeks. This beer once again proves to me why I love Founders, just damn fine complex and delicious beer.

Photo of Phinner
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very unique flavor is imparted by the oak barrel aging. Not quite sure about it at first, but it rewards the drinker with subtle flavors when given the chance to present itself on a clean palate. I could see how this may turn-off some, but I would not hesitate to consume it as a night cap.

Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on 2010-06-10 in Lynchburg, VA (from tasting notes) had this again on 2015-02-24 on tap at Brass Rail in Campbelltown, PA.

A - Hazy caramel color with almost no head

S - Mild fig, plum and alcohol

T - Dark roasted grain, sour, light candy sugar, light grapefruit, no pine, alcohol. Nice taste.

M - Light body and carbonation

O - A good sipper. Very enjoyable.

Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle stamped bottled on 3/12/09. poured into snifter glass

appears a hazy dark copper color, thin white head that fades into a thin ring. a little lacing.

aroma is of boozy fermented fruit, brown sugar. sweet flavorful caramelly taste up front, but somewhat of a dry chalky finish that detracts a bit from the taste.

lower carbonation, sticky body, but not too thick. the almost 2 years of aging has mellowed out any alcohol burn.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin, bubbly head over a translucent caramel colored beer. No lace but a stubborn clump of bubbles gather and ride down to glass bottom.

Hop aboard the sugar train! Sugar coated honey glaze with sugar coated dates and sugar coated orange rind in a sugar coated toffee pudding. Sugar. If this tastes as sweet as it smells I can't imagine it's drinkable...

...but it is! The sugar train continues as gooey toffee and rum raisin dance like sugar plum fairies upon the palette. I want to pour this stuff on waffles. Bullish alcohol (perhaps the reason for the namesake?) beat me up by the end of the bottle. Mouthfeel isn't as full as I would have hoped and even comes across as juicy at times.

Once I recovered, about mid-beer, from initial sugar shock I kinda got sick of this beer. A good night time reading companion but I couldn't ever imagining having more than one. Unless I put it on waffles.

Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Tulip Glass at the Blue Dog, Chalfont- (number 9 in a series of tastings for the 2010 Holiday).

A- Deep amber, with a fluffy bone-colored one finger head. Good lacing, nice retention.

S- very interesting aroma- malt, with a nice sweet edge. Thoughts of hard candy come to mind in a subtle way.

T- Malt, sweet toffee, hint of hops, and a slight alcohol nip. All play well together to present a very balanced strong ale that's not over the top.

M- robust, light fizz, medium to strong body. Good presence.

D- One of the best strong ales I've sampled- will likely get better over time, but in a young form it's not "in your face" strong and very repeatable.

Photo of stonermouse
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance is is a fairly deep copper color, with a fast-receding head and little carbonation. The body has a lot of floaties, which I didn't necessarily grade down for, because I'm not certain if it's part of the "Old Ale" style.

Smell is pleasant, with generic malt, booze, and a mild fruity aroma coming through.

The taste is nice, if a little boozy. Again, I'm not too familiar with the Old Ale style, but this thing mimics a barleywine in most ways. Perhaps it's an Old Ale because it has an old guy on the label; I have not idea. There is a touch of cherry flavor and a rye-like bite to it. Fairly complex, yet for all of the bold flavors it presents, it is surprisingly mild and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is solid; a little syrupy, but suits the flavors well.

Drinkability is excellent, as there a fair amount here to discover. One or two is good for a single sitting, which is good, because, in addition to Founders quality, they have the Founders price point.

Photo of dragonWhale
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.82/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of JayS2629
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy, muddy brown with a beautiful dirty tan head that leaves a foamy ring of lacing. Nice retention.

s- Booze in the front. Strong bourbon scent with caramel and smokey wood character.

T- Booze on the front with sweet malts and faint hops. Bourbon in the background. Strong.

M- Heat from the booze bite . Strong, heavy but smooth.

D- Its a sipper. Boozy bite makes it one to drink slow. Sweet and complex but strong and one to sip.

Photo of portia99
3.37/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (2007 vintage) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a muddy, particulate laden and well carbonated dirty amberish brown color. A skim coat of bubbles laces the surface with a small collar of fine tan bubbles rings the glass.

S - Smells very boozy, full of bourbon with richly caramelled malt. This smells very alcoholic...smells like a shot of bourbon in my glass more than anything. A bit of wood creeps into the aroma, but other than that, not much complexity.

T - Yep...pretty boozy here too. I get bourbon that is watered down a bit by some malty sweet beer. If I didn't see it poured from the bottle, I'd be skeptical of what I am drinking. This bottle is 3 yrs old and it still seems like it needs some more time to mellow.

M - Bourbony heat...definitely feeling a burn in my throat as this one goes down. Carbonation looks pretty lively in the glass, but I really don't get much of anything in the feel...seems almost still. Body is pretty full, but still less than I would expect out of a beer of this intensity.

D - One of these is plenty in a session. It isn't bad by any means, but it is purely one dimensional and I could have gotten roughly the same experience out of a bourbon and water. Wish I could say there is a bit more in here, but it is pretty basic in its complexity.

Photo of twoheadedboy
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light amber color, looks rather like iced tea. Good carbonation and slight lacing.

Smell is exceptionally sweet and boozy. Dark fruits come through (raisins/plums) as well as some nuts, vanilla, and spicy tobacco. A really great aroma.

Taste is also very sweet and strong, with some caramel, toffee and mild chocolate present along with the booze/fruit. Some mild bitter hops also come through. Finished very smooth and drinkable, which caught me off guard considering the abv.

I really wasn't quite sure what to expect with this style, as I'm fairly unfamiliar with it right now, but I was impressed and pleasantly surprised. It was an extremely complex brew but also quite tasty and drinkable. I kinda want to get a sixer and cellar some of it to see what would happen. Another superb offering from Founders. What a surprise.

Photo of IronLover
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with no head and a murky weathered copper color. Very thin wispy off white lacings lay on top after the pour. Sweet caramel malt, ripe apple, spice and oak aromas. Combined with the hint of alcohol, the smell is reminiscent of a light, sweet bourbon. Medium to full bodied with a thick mouth feel as the latent carbonation slowly comes to life. Sweet caramel malt and ripe apple flavors, hints of spice, finishes with an alcoholic burn and a pine hop flavor. Definitely a sipper that warms the soul.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dropped a bottle of this into a Duvel snifter.

A: Looks like heavy apple cider.

S: thick, rich, spicy, orange and alcohol

T: Reminded me of some brews from Unibroue (Maudite, Don de Dieu) but a little heavier/more dense and without the yeastiness; fruity caramels with booze

M: medium-bodied, very drinkable; great aftertaste

O: I miss it since its gone; this is a great beer for slow drinking (preferably near the sea). One of the least barleywine-ish old ales I've had - almost has some Imperial IPA and tripel qualities.

Think deeply of the ocean and keep a four-pack in a cooler as the waves lap the shores at night. Be one with the seas and stars.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a muddy slightly orange color with an almost nonexistent light brown head, it pours very thick as well. Nose is malty and sweet, a bit hoppy and almost a bit bready.

Taste is very wheaty oddly enough, it's a bit bitter and also quite malty. Theres some light caramel, and certainly a decent amount of alcohol. Overall quite decent.

Photo of thedoubler55
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark shade of orange very murky, does not give off a good look at first.

S- The smell is somewhat spicy, kind of like a pumpkin ale but a little less kick

T- Very strong malt taste, I enjoyed it a bit, I have 2 aging in the fridge as we speak.(Since Dec 09')

M- Kind of thick, but a good filling feel to this beer.

D- This is definitely a slow sipping beer, not to be abused. A buddy of mine aged his for about 2 years and it tasted a lot different than my batch which had just been bought at the time.

Photo of vfgccp
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Golden. A lot of sediment.

S - Alcohol on the front end. Riesling, hints of limeade.

T - Sweet alcohol downshifts into mild grapefruit and resiny hops. Raisins and malt in the aftertaste.

M - Boozy up front then smoothes out pretty quickly, but enough alcohol hangs around to keep your mouth warm throughout the drink.

D - The alcohol lets you know it's there, and delays you from pouring a second.

Photo of jlandis
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,871 ratings.