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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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3,835 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,835
Reviews: 1,128
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 152
Gots: 750 | FT: 48
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
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Ratings: 3,835 | Reviews: 1,128 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this one in a surprise box from Kbeals... Very cool Kevin, I thought for sure I reviewed this one before.

Pours with a pretty thin off white head.. the brew is slightly hazy deep orange/amber.

Nose is rich maltiness that shows deep toast and pretty heavy caramel... fair amount of boozy raisiny fruit.

Flavor is vanilla toffee atop toasty biscuits... golden raisins.. a bit peppery ... good medium body given the ABV... carbonation is nice and lite.

Thanks again Kevin... Thanks again Kevin.


Photo of mjaskula
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Pours dark copper with a bunch of suspended sediment. The thin off white head faded fast and only leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

The aroma is sweet with some floral hops and a bit of smokiness. Flavor is smooth and complex, sweet and malty with some nuttiness. Hop flavor is mild, floral and piney. Malt flavor has carmel and toffee. Alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel is a bit viscous, but i think that's expected. Overall I really like this beer, and wouldn't mind drinking a couple of these.

Photo of Boodoggy
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Lost Abbey Tulip.

Hazy deep amber, cooper in color. Thin quickly disapating head with minimal lacing.

Strong and sweet. I am getting honey and sweet dark fruit, toffee perhaps some caramel in the back.

I love the taste. Sweet and malty. This really follows through with the nose. Alcohol is present hops are taking a back seat on this one.

Thicker then expected. Malty and sweet. This is a sipper to be enjoyed on a cool evening.

Overall I really liked this beer. It delivered what it claimed to be on the label.

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

12 oz bottle poured and reviewed from my usual tulip glass 10/05/10.

Pours a dark reddish amber color. Doesn't form much of a head but some decent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as I rotate it.

Just a hair hoppier than typical for an old ale but the main aromas are of caramel with some slight toffee notes. Flavor adds a difficult to identify 'cookie'-like character and some slightly acrid bitterness. Pleasant enough but missing some of the richness and complexity I look for in the style.

This somehow manages to remain pretty easy drinking even though the alcohol isn't all that well hidden. A decent beer but not quite sure I can really say it's anywhere near some of the great Founders brews I've tried.

Photo of codewarrior
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz from a 4-pack into a Boulevard Smokestack Chalice

picked this up in a trade with masterhomebrewer ... thank you sir.

A: Deep amber, 1 finger head, dissipates and laces beautifully.

S: Strong and sweet, lots of booze, similar to a quad in its smell, but stronger.

T: Luscious and thick, good tang of booz behind a sweet front. Fades gently.


D: and Yum. seriously good, but not as good as Old Stock, or Third Coast.

Photo of cwguy5
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC...

I have to admit that I did not get the best look at this serving of beer. It was dark, but it had a deep brown color and a light brown head.

The aroma was full of toffee, maple, and dark fruit.

Sweet beer with lots of dark fruit, maple, toffee, and herbal notes. Warm alcohol taste with strong, long linger. Medium bitter and malt. Individual fruit notes of coconut and banana.

Mild but firm carbonation. Fruit first, then toffee, then bitter with long linger.

A very well crafted beer. Personally a bit too sweet for me. The dark fruit flavors almost seem a little rum-like. A very big beer with large palate.

Photo of TheSarge
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a German Pilsner tulip.

Doesn't produce much head, but what is there is a pinky thick light tan presentation. The body is hazy and dark copper in color.

The nose is spicy and dry red wine like. There is also a floral aroma along with a fragrance of ginger or something of that nature.

The taste of this brew is red wine like, along with a toasted dark bread bluntness... Very creamy and maybe a little oily slickness, and warming to the palate in the end.

Photo of Anthony1
3.57/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed orangeish brown with a thin head that becomes a wisp. Some vanishing lace sticks. The smell is of honey, caramel, nuts - reminiscent of honey-covered walnuts dipped in caramel. There is a fruitiness towards dates/prunes. The taste is sweet - honey and caramel - not catching the 50 IBU's. Sweetness balanced by an ashy smokiness that leaves a burnt aftertaste. The burnt character shows in some sips more than in others, oddly enough. Not digging that part, which puts a dent in the flavour. Alcohol present, but not too sharp or overwhelming. Full-bodied and a bit sticky. Mild carbonation does cut through the thickness.

Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm never clear on where the line is drawn between an old ale and a barleywine - this beer could happily land in either category. Body is a bit syrupy, redolent with dark, aged fruit flavors - prune most apparentl A boozy edge is a slight detraction. Finish is smooth with a lasting caramel note.

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

A - Clearish orange copper with a long lasting fluffy off white head. Little lacing.

S - Sweet caramelly, bready and toasty malts. Little alcohol booziness.

F/M - Sweet bready, toasty caramelly malts. Little toffee. Slight boozy alcohol. Lite earthy hops. Medium full bodied, slick and a little oily. Moderate-low carbonation. Lingering caramelly aftertaste.

D - Sweet, oily and thick. OK for a pint, but not much more.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.31/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Tick #200! Woohoo!

A- pours a murky, cloudy shade of orange with a half finger thick white head that fades pretty quickly. It looks really hideous, actually. Not a good start

S- smells pretty spicy actually, lots of toffee and roasted malts in there. Reminds me somewhat of a pumpkin ale...minus the pumpkin, of course. Interesting

T- very malty, lots of toffee and roasted malts...it almost seems to be too much. Little bit of an alcohol burn to it as well...not the biggest fan

M- decently thick. Maybe a little too much...

D- too malty and a little too boozy for my tastes. Definitely a sipper

Photo of boomer31
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

A - Burnt orange transparent with thin white head that briefly sticks to glass

S - Sweet and sugary caramel malts

T - The malt is very sweet. Sugar and a touch of toffee flavor. No bitterness at all. Perhaps some wood here

M - Thin and soft carbonation. The sugary malt sticks to your mouth. Not overwhelminly sweet but very close

D - Very sweet and sugary. A sipper for sure.

Overall this is an interesting beer. It reminds me of a sweet English B-wine after a year or so in the bottle

Photo of ne0m00re
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09/04/10- Had this on on-tap at the Founders brewpub.
A: Burnt orange, nice large cream head.
S: Spicy (almost pumpkin pie), cinnamon brown sugar. Not very strong.
T: Caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, sweet malt, with a green leafy hops finish.
M: Very creamy, frothy, and moderately syrupy.
D: One glass is good. It is a little too spicy.

Photo of bobhits
2.15/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

cloudy thick dark amber. LARGE pieces of debree. Thin off white head.

Strong alcohol and malt explosion in the nose.

One dimensional beer. Strong malty flavor, carmel, off tasting candy, some hops in there just barely. Barrel aging can be great, but this one looses flavor and lacks complexity.

The mouth needs more carbonation, and well the flavor just doesn't ask to be consumed. The alcohol kicks fairly hard and doesn't work well for me.

This beer just either needs age or just is a rare strike for founders. I think most beer lovers will enjoy this beer, but it's just not up to par.

Photo of Kinsman
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber body with reddish highlights. A thin but creamy white head caps the beer and sticks around for a while.

Aroma is very sweet, molasses up frond and just plain out malty in general.

Pretty much a malt bomb on the balate with just a bit of a lingering bitterness on the end. Sweet without being too sweet, and nice oaky flavor that I've come to really appreciate.

Mouthfeel is rather full and creamy. This really compliments the malt character well.

Overall a very interesting beer, and quite different from what most American breweries are putting out these days. Certainly one I'll have again, but not in the same night.

Photo of Spica66
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Amber color. Slightly hazy (?) Very strange... Slight head and no retention.

S: Malt bomb! Wow. Smells molasses sweet with hints of caramel. Maybe just a hint of bittering hops, but not much.

T: Tastes just like it smells, but the hops are more present on the finish. Very nice.

M: Not sticky, like a lot of old ales tend to be, but also not really carbonated enough.

D: This beer tastes fine, but gives you a really good alcohol burn down in your esophagus. I doubt anyone would want more than one of these in a night.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a thin tan head that doesn't retain well. The aroma is a step up with notes of vanilla, molasses, oak, spiced rum, dark fruits (plum, fig, black cherry), floral hops and alcohol. The flavor starts out with spiced rum notes, along with caramel, molasses, vanilla and oak, as well as some cocoa and dark fruits, and a strong alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is thick and drinkability is OK. An intriguing if a bit cloying old ale, that is heavy on the oak and caramel flavors.

Photo of bs870621345
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with minimal head. Leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like fruits molasses, caramel, maybe a slight pine hint from hops. Very much a malty beer that is pretty damn good.

Taste is like molasses, alcohol, fruits, gentle funk I think, and a light pine in there. Its rather fruity and sweet with a gentle hopping to counter.

Mouthfeel is thick, full and sticky. Not overly carbonated, as expected.

The drinkability suffers a bit because of the alcohol burn in there. I find that it is this way with a lot of founders beers.

Photo of Xul
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent amber with some light ruby highlights, capped by a half finger of frothy, eggshell colored head. Retention is moderate as the head slowly settles down to a thin layer of foam, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Lots of fruit up front with cherries, some light berries, and a moderate citrus character all appearing. Caramel and toffee follow with faint notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, and leather hanging in the background.

T: As with the nose, big fruits up frunt with the berries almost disappearing but some pears join the cherries and citrus. Sweet toffee on the mid-palate gives way to chocolate and hints of vanilla, before the fruit returns for the finish and joins with the vanilla for a long, sweet fruit finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, it's a bit thin for an old ale but not terribly so.

D: Incredibly drinkable for an old ale, not the most complex or subtle I've had, but very enjoyable.

Photo of zoso1967
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TCgoalie for picking this one up for me. It had a screw-top and was bottled on 2/24/09.

Pours a gorgeous shade of dark orange amber. There was pretty much no head on this at all, but the slight ring of foam left on the glass leaves a very precise high water mark, like a ring around a bathtub. This makes me giggle. The aroma is very sweet with notes of caramel, golden raisins and sweet bread. There is also a bit of earthiness to it, but it's mostly just malt that I am picking up. The flavor is malty and wonderful. Plenty of caramel, brown sugar and toffee mix with a sharp hint of alcohol that works to further enhance the flavor. Also in the mix are raisins, sugary orange peel, some peppery earthiness and touch of honey. There seems to be just enough bitterness in this beer to keep it from being too malty. The mouthfeel is pretty damn impressive. It is not quite as full as one might expect, but also far from too thin. The finish a mile long, but not too sticky. A beer to savor, but a beer I would love to savor again. I am pretty sure my friend didn't purposely pick out an older bottle, but I am glad he did. I will have to seek out a fresher one for comparison.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2/24/09

Poured into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Clear, amber-red hue to the body with a thin white head. Still leaves some lacing behind.

Malty cherries and grapes on the nose. Hint of warm alcohol. A trace of hops, but not much. Overall, sweet and malty with a touch of fruit. Malts are bready/biscuity. Nice.

Sweet malts take the forefront on the taste, followed by honey, light fruits (cherry and fig) and some hop bitterness. Warming alcohol lingers after every sip. It seems that all the right characteristics are there for an English Barleywine/Old Ale, but the flavor seems to fall a bit flat and fades out quickly. Not bad, just not as tasty as others with a similar profile.

Mouthfeel is fairly dry, especially on the finish and has some lingering bitterness. Carbonation is a bit low, even for the style, but still adequate. Slightly astringent at times, probably from the hops and the usual warming alcohol.

Drinkability is all right. Curmudgeon has some good aspects, but fails to really pull things off. I keep wanting to like the glass in front of me, but nothing really pulls me back. The beer is worth checking out if you like old ales or Founders, but otherwise its just a slightly above average old ale in the craft beer world.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.94/5  rDev -2%
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.

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

Pours a rich amber color, little to no head which quickly dissipates with very limited lacing. Strong oak and bread aromas. A definite sweet, thick, oak flavor with the thick consistency typical of a Founders brew, which doesn't quite hold up as well as the Stouts due to lesser complexity. Very subtle spice notes emerge through the alcohol and oak notes. Reminiscent of a good rye bread.

Photo of Chaney
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a brandy sniffer.

A: Hardly any head, with a burnt orange appearance.

S: Caramel, dark fruit (raisons, figs, dates) with a little bit of oak. The alcohol is hot!

T: On my first sip, I tasted nothing but oak and alcohol. More bitterness than sweetness. Later, I detected maple and brown sugar. Is there bourbon in this?

M: The alcohol burns the mouth, which I did not find pleasant. The texture is very thick and almost chewy.

D: The ABV is definitely detectable and then some! Even though this style is supposed to be kind of hot on the palate, this overstays its welcome in that department. Once my mouth got used to those flavors, it got better.

Overall: I've had this one a couple of times before and I really want to cheer for it each time because Founders is one of the best in the biz. However, even after analyzing it in my session, this still remains one of my least favorite Founders brews.

Photo of jpmclaug
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a stemmed tulip glass

A - murky ruby-amber body with a small white head. Plenty of sticky lacing as well

S - sweet smelling oak and vanilla flavors with maybe a hint of booze. Not too aromatic however.

T - Sweet malt flavor with notes of molasses, vanilla and oak. A bit of a burn as you swallow this one. hint of spicy hop flavor as well.

M - medium body with a light carbonation. Bit of a sticky mouthfeel

D - pretty good overall beer. I'm not too familiar with the style and will have to pick up more of these. Real smooth for the ABV. I enjoyed this and would pick up more.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,835 ratings.