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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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2,848 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2848
Reviews: 1038
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: 2,848 | Reviews: 1,038 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of marcobrau


3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Curmudgeon pours a very hazy light brown color without much foam, but enough of a head that settles to a nice collar. The aroma is intoxicating (alcoholic) with a dusty sort of caramel-toffee character. This is a fairly tasty Old Ale for sure, albeit a very intoxicating one. It has the sugary sweet caramel notes that I like in an old ale, along with an interesting bourbon character, but could use some more fruitiness and not as much alcohol coming through. Perhaps this brew just needs some more aging. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and quite good, although the body is a touch thin. A highly alcoholic Old Ale for sure, but still good. One at a time is probably a good idea.

Thanks go to RedBaron for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2006 23:06:05 | More by marcobrau
Photo of lackenhauser


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

Very muddy orange in color. Low carbonation and no head at all. Huge vinuous and alcohol aroma. This puppy screams a lot more then 9.3%! Quite fruity and plum like as well. Huge malt flavor with a big bourbon taste. Extremely vinuous. Mellow alcohol burn in there. All a bit overwhelming I find. Oily slick mouthfeel-quite the lipsmacker. A huge package of a beer-a true sipper if there ever was one. I have to knock down the drinkability a bit as its too overwhelming for me in places. Still another solid beer from Founders. I wish I lived closer for sure.

edit-Just finished beer 20 minutes after starting review and it really came into its own as it warmed. A lot of the vinuous and alcohol bite had mellowed and it was quite pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 00:18:09 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Sephiroth


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

Pours with decent head, minimal lacing. Body is amber in color. Smells malty and spicy, with plenty of hops.

Tastes boozy and malty. There are dark fruits muddled in rum, some woody notes as well. Mouthfeel is quite full and lightly carbonated. The filling nature of this beer is the only thing that limits its drinkability for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2006 23:18:24 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of Erdinger2003


3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

There's no head with little lacing that doesn't stick very well. The smell is sweet brown with butterscotch. It's pungent like perfume, very very sweet perfume. It also has a slight spicyness. It's like wet/sweet wood or cardboard with a sweet sweet brown sugar with spices. Mouthfeel is a little smooth with some good carbonation. I wouldn't have another unless it was fresh only because I was told it was great.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2006 07:14:01 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of hoppymeal


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

Pours dark amber to brown in color with a very small tan head that quickly fades back. Aroma doesn't do a lot for me, there is just the faintest hint of raisins, but I mainly get a sweet maltiness with some boozy alcohol, not bad, just not overly complex. Taste follows suit although has a little more going on. There is a sweet grape-raisin flavor along with nice sugary caramel sweetness. The alcohol is evident and nicely warms the back of the throat on the first couple sips. Medium sugary body is well balanced by a lightly spicy alcohol presence and a decently dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2006 02:15:05 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of Dogbrick


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting on 8/16/06: Dark amber/brown color with a thin beige head that starts fizzy but calms quickly. Thin spotty lacing. Aroma of whisky, coconut and dark fruits. Rich, smooth body with pungent malt, bourbon and other spicy alcohol flavors. The finish is all coconut and whisky. Definitely different from the norm, and seems pretty raw all around. I would be curious to try an aged bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2006 15:08:53 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of RoyalT


4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a shiny almost glazy kind of brown in color with a beautiful brown head.

Smell – The big, huge, boozy coconut and stiff oaky barrel must have left stains on the inside of my nose. The malts were broken down well so the wood and fruit really opened up nicely. It is such a unique aroma and nothing like anything else I have ever smelled.

Taste – The sharp oaky coconut from the smell was just as potent at the taste. It is an amazingly smooth liqueresque flavor with a light, dusty taste.

Mouthfeel – This is thinner than medium-bodied but bigger than light. It is incredibly smooth with no stinging sensation whatsoever from the big alcohol.

Drinkability – This went down about as well as a high-ABV beer can.

Comments – Thanks to my good friend and temporary landlord skyhand for putting me up for a few nights while I was in town and feeding me this exceptional dessert.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2006 01:50:16 | More by RoyalT
Photo of scruffwhor


4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was surprised to find a 4-pack of this at my local Sam's Wines and Liqours in Downers Grove.Had to pick on up.

Appearance- Pours a very thin, fizzy head with no retention and a sparse ring o' foam. A slightly murky/mucky deep amber with no bubbles to be seen or lacing left behind. But not expected really from an old ale.

Smell- A great malty vine of grapes and currants amidst seas of amber and crystal malts in the nose. Gives hints of molasses even.

Taste- Pretty darkly yet portly vinous. Pretty good combination of malty sweet and viney tart. The currant like flavors mix well with some red malts and prunes that better define the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 04:23:00 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of tavernjef


4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A musky glowing russet brown with a slim capping of tanned froth. Keeps a good collar with a few straggly branched arms of lace sticking across the glass.

Astounding aroma of maple, honey, oak soaked bourbon. Heavy, heavy, inviting as hell, warm whiskey tone to this sucker. Wow. Wonderful.

Smooth and warming with a good source of whiskey tones behind some maple, honey, vanilla, and white grape accents. Tenderly toasted malt background but huge in malted girth and warmth of gooey rich and thick caramel, maple, toffee, and minor fruityness all encompassed by one very nice powering warmth of whiskey oaken woodyness. No real finishing qualities however as it slides off the back end with an unwanted speed before the warmth sets in with just a slight backburst of crisp vanilla and left over whiskey wood.

Feel is warm, and more warm, and more warm. Strange how some beers with more then 9.3% seem to have no omff while this screams it. Big, bold, and beautiful; rich, smooth, and full. The only set back is the forementioned finish which is escapingly ghostly and parting in a manner that throws a curve in its overall, powering presence.

Be that as it may, that is what makes this quite a drinkable, dandy treat. For if it were all but power and strength, this would not be as easy to handle and may as well just be whiskey at that point.
A very nice Old Ale. Fulfilling and dreamy.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2006 02:15:18 | More by tavernjef
Photo of aforbes10


4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brown and thick-looking. small head that receeds to just a coating of small bubbles. looks like a glass of watered down maple syrup. sweet odor with hints of chocolate bars, ginger, pine, toffee, oak, ethanol and dates. Very delicious taste. sweetness is the first flavor along with kind of a sharp alcohol bite, but this quickly mellows to a fantastic mix of chocolate, cherries, oak, dates and a fudgey/caramelly blend. Extremely smooth mouthfeel. Way to go again, Founder's. Im looking forward to my first breakfast stout and my second kentucky breakfast, both of which are burning holes in my DBF.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2006 13:13:23 | More by aforbes10
Photo of expatsteve


3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky red brown color. Pours a 1/2 inch head with heavy cover and lacing. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Smells like a fresh loaf of whole wheat bread, with toffee, raisins and a hint of booze. Some nice chocolate and cocoa developments as it warms.

Taste: Smooth chocolate, cocoa and honey, with a nice hops/booze finish. A little plum following an upfront breadiness. Nice raisins in the finish. Nice balance complements grainy front and middle palates. A little pine and juniper in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation makes for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that balances the flavors of the beer. Nice bitterness in the aftertaste

Drinkability: Nice, rich and boozy, with great malts and a nice biting finish. Definitely a beer that I'll come back to, particularly as the weather turns colder.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 17:36:35 | More by expatsteve
Photo of ppoitras


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

12oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Head quickly fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is average, both somewhat expected for the style. Aroma is vanilla oaky alcohol, possibly over the top, but the variety of flavors is enough to possibly overcome the somewhat exceptional intensity. Taste is also vanilla and oak, with strong alcohol throughout and a warming close. Wish there was a bit more of a malt sweetness background to support all the strong flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth, even if the drinkability is somewhat limited by the flavor harshness, in my mind. Age might help this mellow a bit and make a winner.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 01:18:07 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Malted


4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a barley wine glass.

Appearance: Deep dark brown with a tint of red. There appears to be some floating particulate matter (yeast?).

Smell: At first I as unimpressed with the malty herbal smell of the beer, but as I took more and more sips I began to notice that as I put the beer to my nose I smelled candy that made my mouth water for each sip. I still can’t place what candy I am smelling and it is driving me crazy. Cotton candy? No, I don’t think so… Caramels? Hmmm… Perhaps… In any case, I now think the smell is great and with each sniff I long for the next sip.

Taste- Much the same as the smell, the taste starts out malty and herbal. As the beer warms up it releases more of the candy taste. I can’t place the herbal taste either (what a lackluster job my palette is doing today), but it compliments the sweet candy taste.

Mouth feel- creamy and smooth.

Drinkability- This one hits you hard on the alcohol. 9.3%! But mmmm, you really don’t taste it at all. It goes down smooth and leaves you wanting more.

Overall- A wonderful beer. Flavorful, complex, and worth buying another even at its steep price tag of $3.79… I can’t really ask for more.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2006 21:33:21 | More by Malted
Photo of swhitt


4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

I'd had old stock ale before but this is much tastier in my opinion. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter.

The smell is delicious, rummy and fruity with maybe a hint of vanilla. It is a sweet smell. The taste is very similar, rummy and fruity with some chocolate and malt. I like this so much! Too bad it is so expensive.

The weakness is really the cost - $15 for a four pack. If it were cheaper it would make it into my daily rotation.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2006 19:49:13 | More by swhitt
Photo of neonbrown82


4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Founders continues to impress me. This beer is amazing. Pours to a nice dark brownish amber, almost black. The head is off-white, and fairly thin. Recedes to a ring and a film, as to be expected from a high gravity old ale.

The smell is awesome. Very complex. Has notes of bourbon, sea salt, black anise, and a nice sweet maltiness.

The flavor is just as great. Starts off with a nice sweet molasses flavor, followed by a brilliant vanilla and oak bourbon flavor. A bit briny, with a sea salt flavor; but unlike other briny old ales I've had, this one doesn't taste the least bit spoiled. None of that soy sauce flavor associated with brininess. Simply amazing

The body is fairly full. Starts off with an intense sweetness but drops off with an intense dry sea salty flavor. Surprisingly little aftertaste. Nonetheless, if I put this beer down for too long, I begin to crave it.

It could stand to be a little more drinkable, but that would probably take away from the wonder that is this beer. Founders is quickly becoming one of my favorite brewers.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 05:19:34 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky brown color with no head and no lace.

S: The smell is of caramel, malt and alcohol.

T: The taste is sweet and boozy. It has the caramelized malt flavor & dark fruits along with the alcohol warmth. For all of its sweetness, it leaves a slightly bitter after-taste.

M: Very smooth for a beer with such a high ABV, light carbonation, medium-to-heavy body, finish is dry but leaves a little stickiness behind.

O: This one is a sipper and not a pounder but I could sip it for a while. It doesn’t fill you up but gets you going in a hurry.

I had been looking forward to trying an Ole Ale and I was looking forward to trying something from Founders, so I killed two proverbial birds with one proverbial stone. I’m now looking forward to trying more of both.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 03:53:50 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very little head and disappeared in seconds. Color is a very deep caramel brown. Small strings of lace appeared as the glass emptied.

There's a sweetness to the aroma that reminds very much of pineapple. Malt is there but dominated by the prickly, citrusy element and also some rotting dark fruits. Alcohol comes on stronger as it warms.

Flavor is an earthy mixture of malt and hops, still reminding and dominated by pineapple. Also some overripe banana. A little grassy and recalling watermelon schnapps as it warms.

Buoyant and effervescent in the mouth, and only slightly syrupy, with enough thickness to give it a nice heft.

This is a unique ale. That exotic sweetness will have you tasting things you don't usually get in beer (to my senses pineapple and watermelon liqueur), but it maintains good balance and depth too. Glad to have experienced this one...thanks to BA jabocu for the trade.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 12:14:15 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of Brian700


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

This beer poured a nice brown with just a little bit of orangish tint to it. There is no real head to speak of, just a little bit of a ring around my glass.

The aroma is of sweet malt, mild moasses.

The flavor is of sweet malt, possibly Maris Otter. There is a mild barrel aged flavor to this beer along with some esters, caramel, and alcohol presence.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer but I would recommend aging this one out for a while. It isn't bad right now but I definately thing it would improve over time.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 03:55:54 | More by Brian700
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Fat Tire snifter. No head forms. A cloudy, iced tea color beverages emerges. The faintest wisp of head is on top along with a small ring around the top of the beverage.

Smells strongly of bourbon whiskey. Smells almost like a bourbon and coke with a dash of coke. Some malty characteristics. Slight hints of vanilla and banana. Stong alcohol aroma as well. Smells a bit overwhelming but complex.

Bourbon and alcohol. Definitely needs to mellow.

Full bodied, dry finish. This was my first Old Ale, and I dont think I was ready for it. I love scotch, but was in the mood for beer. One of these, and I'll tap out, thank you.

Thanks to flyingbison for this Curmudgeon.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2006 20:17:07 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of BEERchitect


3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I always feel bad when I rate an Old Ale that isn't very old. But, since it is on the shelves, I will drink, and I will rate. Gulp....yep, it needs more time. There are some really nice flavors going on, but the beer is everywhere. The nose brings out everything from candied malts to spicy hops to dark fruits to caugh syrup. The tastes closely mimic the aromas, but with emphasis on a candy sweetness, harsh alcohols, and raisons and licorice. The beer feels a bit too hot and scrubbing in the mouth with sugary stickiness. It will be nice to see how the beer develops over the next year or two, but it's not ready yet. Thanks Clvand0 for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 16:49:25 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

How cool is this? My mom, of all people, just happens to bring a four pack of this down while visiting for the weekend. Nice, huh?

Anyway, since she also brought a few others worth cellaring (Stone Imperial, AleSmith Speedway, etc.), I figured I'd drink one and leave the rest for at least every six months to a year space between and compare here or below.

This is my first beer where I said, whoa, this really needs to mellow out a bit. The alcohol was just intense and the flavors took some time and warmer temperature to escape. I really did enjoy this but even more importantly, look forward to trying this again . . . and again . . . and again.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2006 23:35:09 | More by Backer2004
Photo of geexploitation


4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and coffee colored with minimal head. Bright mahogany highlights. Assertive aroma of bourbon-vanilla and chocolate-covered bananas. Sumptuous. Hits the palate with authority. Bourbon, vanilla, bananas again, along with sweet cream and coffee all make appearances. Just a touch of hop bitterness shows up in the finish. Very thick on the palate, as one would expect. Quite rich, flavorful, interesting old ale. Up there with the best of the American microbrewed old ales.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2006 03:59:27 | More by geexploitation
Photo of maundythirsty


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tiny bubbles, but hardly any of them on top of this medium brown beer, which is almost opaque. Just a bit of golden glow around the edges of my glass.

Smells of toasty saltines, whiskey and healthy malt with that touch of strawberry jam that I like so much about old ales.

Woo. Sipping bourbon and sweet toffee malt taste, but barely out in front of the 9.3 percent ABV. Just the tiny bit of bitter in there, but it's drowned out. Malt. Alcohol.

It's a tongue full. Leans toward think in the mouth, and brings the heat with just a sense of the sparse carbonation.

Big, big beer. A mistake on this evening, parked in front of a fan while braving the last of a humid 90-degree day. But don't go far, old man. I will be looking for you the moment the snow falls.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 03:22:47 | More by maundythirsty
Photo of Mitchster


4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$3.79 for a 12oz bottle.9.8% ABV per the label. Pours out to a cloudy mahogany, barely eeking out a small yellow head despite a vigorous pour. Carbonation is mild with a light pssht with the cap release. The aroma is rich with sweet husken amber malts, dark fruits like rotting apples and black cherries, a distinct and quite strong nutmeg note,sour milk when swirled and faint piney hops. The mouthfeel is smooth with a rich, dense body...I would have liked a bit more carbonation though. Taste begins with light piney hops, followed by tobacco and husky, raisiny-sweet amber malts with a suggestion of roast barley and rum, caramel and nougat. Bitterness is mild for the style, but well balanced. Hints of bourbon in the finish with an aftertaste of coconut and vanilla. Alcohol is definitely there in warmth, but not in taste.

This is an interesting beer. I don't like the nutmeg note at all and it loses a point for that. I'd be interested in trying this one in another year or two and seeing how it matures. Recommended but not at the top of my list for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2006 02:54:42 | More by Mitchster
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

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

Pours murky light mahogany, with a moderately building off- white head.
Bashfull carbonation recedes to a ring around the glass quickly, with only a trace of lace.
Aromatics start off with a "wow". Substantial amounts of bourbon, oak, cherries, brown sugar, and vanilla.
Boozy and rich, fruity and approaching vineous.
Alcohol is warming and the Curmudgeon becomes more approachable as he warms up.
Thickish and syrupy mouthfeel, slick and chewy.
Pallet is a bit brash and aggresive.. Subtle, is not.
Loads of residual malt, alcohol-soaked fruit, oaky tannins, toffee, caramel, and bourbon.
Bitterness to check, and alcohol is apparent and flattering, not overpowering.
Finishes a bit sweetish with warming bourbon notes and an oaky dryness.

A large example of the style, and should benefit greatly from extended cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2006 01:46:28 | More by brewandbbq
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,848 ratings.