Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,196 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,196
Hads: 4,244
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 184
Gots: 959 | FT: 55
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,196 | Hads: 4,244
Photo of Young_John
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So good, I get misty while writing this review. It pours the color of clover honey. Crystal clear and yet somehow gives the impression of high viscosity. Thin merengue head. Smell of malt and molasses. Thick mouth feel. Rich finish and not the least bit bitter. This is a stout lovers ale for sure. First sip - is like coming home to mom's cooking... Even if you've never had this before, you instantly get the sensation that you've been missing it for a very long time without knowing it. Difficult to enjoy slowly, but at nearly 10% abv and $14/4-pack, you'll have to try.

 575 characters

Photo of MadeInTheMitten
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A quarter of a way through and I can tell its heartburn waiting to happen. Which is a shame! Still a good beer!

After finishing this one, my lips are sticky ass hell. Take that for what it's worth. The heartburn never came, but I'm still feeling like I drank a heavy stout.. Must be the molasses.

 297 characters

Photo of ovaltine
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Rich amber, 1-1/2 fingers of opaque white head.

Smell: The oak is present, but the molasses and toffee aromas sneak in to make your mouth water.

Taste: The oak takes a vanilla flavor, and the molasses and toffee flavors balance that perfectly. This is a traveshamockery good dessert beverage, if you choose to go down that path.

Feel: Nice carbonation for a beverage this big, the malt bill is a syrupy balance that fits this beverage very well.

Overall: I have a bottle of KBS aging in my beverage fridge that I just assumed would go to the head of my Founders class. That is no longer a safe assumption after enjoying this magnificent Old Ale. Well done by an iconic American brewer.

 698 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours as a dark (but not black) old ale. Pours cloudy and an orangey amber with a moderate head. Sweetish but not overly so, it is an enjoyable beer. Enjoyable.

 183 characters

Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Re-reviewed for a bottle that had been cellared for upwards of 16 months and it made a world of difference. Much sweeter, richer, smoother, no boozy taste and well worth the wait. I have a new bottle and it's going straight into the cellar for next year.

 254 characters

Photo of tedvr
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber, with a white medium head. Smells are of sweet malt and mild caramel. Tastes are caramel with a malt backbone. Somewhat carbonated with an interesting finish. Overall and interesting beer that I wonder what it would be like if it was aged.

 260 characters

Photo of Ian_B
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am so conflicted because this tastes like a beer version of CocaCola, but unfortunately is almost as sweet and less carbonated. Definitely still better than Cola, though lacking some bitterness to balance while still being pretty tasty.

 238 characters

Photo of mchegash
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Darker shade of red-brown, which has a particularly vibrant bright red dimension if you hold it up to the light right. Fairly clear, but defintely a little hazy and particles can be seen in the beer. A finger of light-tan head which dissipates down to a thin layer. A slightly lower than average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 4/5
Sweet fruity flavors, sweet and roasty malts. A noticeable cinnamon spiciness. Has some earthy and citrusy elements as well. A little oakiness and booziness as well.

Taste - 4.25/5
A complex mix of delicious rich malts, along with some fruit notes, strong cinnamon-esque spiciness, bubblegum, oak, and boozy flavors as well.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, light carbonation. Fairly smooth, more creamy than crispy.

Overall - 4/5
Overall this is a great beer, with a quite distinct taste. Would highly recommend it.

 900 characters

Photo of mynie
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can't believe I never reviewed this. This was the first weird, high-ABV beer I ever regularly consumed. This was back when spending, wait for it, TEN WHOLE DOLLARS on a six pack was considered extravagant--so extravagant, in fact, that this would sit on shelves for ages.

Then, similar to BCBS, they upped the price even further, triggering some weird Thorstein Veblen impulses in our nation's monied classes that actually drove up demand. I hadn't seen it sitting on a shelf in ages, and since I'd had so many in the past, I never really felt like seeking it out.

But it was just sitting there the other day, a mere three times more expensive than the last time I sampled it. I couldn't resist.

Pours dark red and very limp. Smells like honey, spices, and booze. Little hints of whiskey, I guess. Some vanilla. Not nearly as intense as I remember, but that's what a decade of scorching your pallet will do to you.

Tastes super sweet but balanced out nicely by a prominently boozy back end. Honey up front, malt syrup in the middle, vanilla, bread, and english toffee at the end. Very nice. It holds up even today.

 1,127 characters

Photo of classixIII
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark copper, fair amount of bubbles but little to no head. Sweet molasses and oak definitely come through in the smell and taste. Hit of alcohol and bitterness at the finish. Nice Old Ale!

 193 characters

Photo of ARoman
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a belgian tulip glass. The beer is a murky bronze orange color and is topped by a sparse, soapy white head that has a decent, messy retention and light lace. The initial aroma is a bright sugary toffee / molasses with some nuttiness. This evolves to a more bourbon maltiness with and alcohol touch and a hint of a floral spice and later settles on molasses and wood. The taste is a medium high sweet, complimented by a medium bitter finish. It's thick and malty with a sticky texture and light foam carbonation. The full body has a flavor profile that's nutty with molasses and a bourbon caramel and finishes with an alcohol warmth and wood quality with a spicy kick. The aftertaste is dry and cloying with a waxy citrus bitterness and spice and a hint of nuts amd caramel. It's a strong and lingering aftertaste but not offensive.

 855 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Bryant lake Bowl on tap.
A: Copper amber with a slight haze under a 1” off white clingy foam collar.
S: Herbal hop note, spice, toffee, raw sugar, malt.
T: Big flavors of caramel, toffee, cardamom, a hint of anise, cola, vanilla.
F: Chewy, creamy, some astringency from the oak.
O: a big bold beer for sipping.

 329 characters

Photo of Bone53
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as good as i expected from Founders. A little thin, weak, and not rich enough for the style. I also get very little oak character. More like a fairly good barleywine to me. I will not seek this one out again

 211 characters

Photo of riverotterrob
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's mahogany color, only issue in the appearance is the head, which is minimal and short lived. I like how the brewer used the oak's astringency coupled with the hops and alcohol. The Fact founder's only adds oak, not oak and bourbon is also nice because the oak only adds a note to the beer's overall profile, without dominating it. It's a good beer that's fairly unique.

 373 characters

Photo of kbwalters
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look = 4.5 Pours a clears amber/brown with 1.5 fingers of light brown head that fades to a cap. Good retention and great lace.
Aroma = 3.75 Subtle aroma but good; sweet, caramel malt notes dominate with some molasses notes and mild alcohol
Taste = 4.0 Malty sweetness upfront and the booze hits in the middle. A significant bitter finish with booze lingering in the aftertaste; it really comes out as it warms.
Feel = 4.0 Full bodied with low to medium carbonation, thickish feel, good for the style.
Drinkability = 3.75 Alcohol hurts some here.
Overall = 3.9875 An improved score here compared to last time; subtle aroma but pleasant, the feel was better for me this time. Overall not one of my favorites though.

 713 characters

Photo of AppaZappa
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours honey color, great looking beer with nice lacing. Smell is dried fruit, molasses, alcohol, oak. Molasses and malt, sweet and smooth. Very nice sipper!

 156 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a transparent, crystal clear amber color and has nearly no head at all. Much lighter in color than I was expecting.

A fruit-like, maybe even wine-like aroma leaps out of the glass at me.

Flavor is immensely rich and strong. Malty characteristics combine with a sweet, almost syrupy flavor (not feel) and is flanked by a supreme bitterness on the sides of my tongue. That bitterness quickly gives way to a wine-esque alcohol warmth. Lingering sweetness and a mild bready flavor continue after tasting.

The mouthfeel is a little bigger than this beer's appearance leads on. And its nearly perfectly carbonated.

 622 characters

Photo of Sandalwood
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy brownish red color with a small off white head and good carbonation. The odor is sweet, candy like, malty, dark fruits, berry, plum, raisin, vanilla, dry wood, oak, rich, slightly floral. The taste is woods, oak, dried fruits, plum, malty, sweet, spices, grapefruit. Bitter dry throughout.

 307 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.79/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a beautiful honey color with thick, milky head and light lacing; a very attractive beer. The smell is complex with fruit and spicy oakiness. The initial taste is the molasses and malts but is quickly followed by a blast of bitterness. Medium-bodied, pleasant mouth feel. Overall, I really like this beer and stock up when it's released in the Spring.

 361 characters

Photo of oregonduck
2.58/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smell is different than the taste. Smells a bit odd and sour, with some spice. Yet taste is very malt forward and overwhelmingly sweet, with a bit of a spiciness. Sweetness lingers on the finish. No noticeable hop presence to balance it out. Hard to finish as it is so sweet and strong. WNBA.

 297 characters

Photo of tone77
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of oak, dark fruits. Taste is oak, alcohol, dark fruits, malts, a light sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

 241 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Sovereign in Plainfield IL.
A - Pours amber colored with a small head but lots of lacing.
S - I did not notice much aroma at all.
T - Tastes like raisins or prunes, in a good way!
M - Medium thick mouth feel, low carbonation.
O - This is a very good winter beer. I'm sorry to say I've been walking past this beer at my local liquor store.

 360 characters

Photo of The_Dude_710
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage draft fill of a 32oz growler poured into goblets. Smell is Carmel and alcohol very pleasant tho. Look is a golden amber, lingering head. Beautiful beer. Taste is oaky, Carmely, and booze, it's great! It's a heavy beer at 9.8% abv. One of my favorite founders beers I've acquired to date.

 300 characters

Photo of Electros
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was hands down one of the best beers I have ever had. It went down effortlessly. Beautiful colour, smell, but the taste blew it off of the charts. I have had most of Founders offerings, and I didn't think they could top the triple. They did, this was absolutely amazing!!!

 277 characters

Photo of pjkelley82
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Have had this beer a few times and now it so happens I'm drinking one and seen I haven't reviewed it....

12oz 2014 bottle into snifter.

Pours a copper ruby color, almost dark amber or a honey chestnut. Thick one and a half inch antique white colored head that looked light a pillow-y. Left a thin ring throughout with a thin skin. Decent lacing and a wee bit of legs pops out.

Smell is malt and stoned fruit, dark fruit, oak and caramel.

Taste follows the nose with a super nice touch on the oak with a whiskey type alcohol touch that just makes this beer standout.

Full bodied and heavy, slightly creamy, semi sticky with a delicious drying touch at the end that makes you want more.

Overall a solid Old Ale. Are there better? To me, yes but for something that's available as this and with its own distinct touch to it I could argue dollar for dollar this is it. Founders is a great brewery who makes above average beers. Some world class but almost all of them are solid within its category. This is one of them.

 1,029 characters

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.