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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

1,203 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,203
Hads: 4,290
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 186
Gots: 980 | FT: 53
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: 1,203 | Hads: 4,290
Photo of mechamifune
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep copper with little to no head. Very slight lacing. Looks very clean in the glass, but probably a little more resin-y than I would like.

Smell is boozy up front with a little bit of dark fruit malt sweetness in there as well. A complex smell, and while I found it generally pleasant, I can't say it hit me in the way a great DIPA or RIS does.

Taste is in line with the smell. The booze comes out up front and then the dried fruit and sweetness/vanilla type notes start to hit. A nice taste. Finishes a little hot and with no real bittnerness to speak of.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and full, making this a very slow-sipping type beer. I found myself strugging as I drank it as I felt for sure that this tasted like an oak-aged beer (and thinking that I read that it wasn't)...only to later read that this was indeed oak aged, so i guess there is a small victory for my palate in that. I think its a good mouthfeel for the style, so I'm kind of surprised to read some of the negative notes about it in other reviews.

Overall this is a pleasant slow-sipping beer. This style in general is not a favorite of mine, but I think this is a good representation. For price point though, I'd rather get a great DIPA or RIS. Still, if you are looking to introduce yourself to the style or are a fan of the style, I would pick this one up.

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Photo of BillyB
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, hazy color with no head and no carbonation.

Strong aromas of alcohol, whiskey, oaky, vanilla.

Strong whiskey taste. Very interesting and complex. Notice some vanilla, caramel.

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy. Strong alcohol warmth.

At first I was overwhelmed by the huge alcohol taste and aroma but as I sipped the beer became more complex.
Wouldn't drink too many in a sitting.

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Photo of schwemjw
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: dark copper, brownish with no head to speak of, a thin lacing around the glass.
S: Molassis, sweet malt and a touch of oak. A tart cherry in the finish. good stuff.
T: Dark molassis, sweet caramel, oak in the middle with a sticky buttery brown sugar and cherry finish. A little cinnamon in there as well.
M:Meduim to full bodied, like a syrup at times.
O: Wonderful lingering finish leaves me coming back for more. The oak and molassis really shine! /88

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Photo of csrbv
4.94/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very little head despite a strong pour. Has a hazy copper color and a small, cream colored head.

S: The smell of bourbon barrels is apparent as soon as I pour this beer. Also has a sweet malty scent to it with a bit of alcohol as well.

T: The taste is sweet, caramel malts and a bit of honey are the main flavors up front. The oak barrels come through as well with some alcohol bursting through in the finish.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation. Awesome mouthfeel.

D: Another quality brew from Founders! It's hard to find anything that I don't like from them. The oak barrels are a nice touch giving this beer some nice flavor.

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Photo of RollBounce
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

bored with very little leasing slightly amber and cloudy notes smell is lately muted in glass with hints of cinnamon brown sugar and bread some tropical notes are found. Overall it is a white tropical compared to the aged old curmudgeon that I sat on for 2 years ahead papaya and mango now it's definitely better in the bottle but worth a try.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
2.7/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Excited to try this one for a while, not really sure what to expect. Picked it up at Abe's for $3 or so, poured into a pint glass.

Less dark than i was expecting, it looks like a mahogany color with lots of little tiny sediment particles, some visible carbonation and a modest light tan head that receded to a thin covering and left hole sections of the glass covered in solid lace.

Smell is boozy and full of sweet dark malts, some dark ripe fruit, some toffee notes. Pretty nice mix.

But here is where things start to turn ugly. The taste is immediately boozy and sweet, as expected, but the bitter roasted malts don't seem to meld very well with the sugar and alcohol. Also, the burnt toffee (i think that is how i would describe that) taste is pretty upfront and not really to my liking.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Pretty damn good, actually.

Drinkability is severely limited by the combination of flavors that I didn't particularly enjoy. Someone else, though, might have this same beer and absolutely love it. Definately interesting, i might even pick one up to age it for a couple years, but, fresh at least, it isn't really for me.

EDIT: as i got down about halfway and it had warmed enough it basically just started to taste like rum. Had to pour it out because it wasn't worth trying to choke down. Only the second or third time I have had to pour beer out. Very disappointing.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: clear copper and amber

Smell: very dense, sweet smell. perhaps a little bourbon cask hint. alcohol hides nicely. little buttery. maybe a hint of vanilla

Taste: great balance between flavors and alcohol. buttery and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: low-full body. little carbonation. very smooth and rich

Notes: huge fan of stock ales and barleywines. this one is just how i like these styles - strong, rich, sweet, and virtually no hops.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber color that was pretty clear with a small and fizzy head.

Smell: Quite a unique smell. It's mostly dominated by an assortment of fruit aromas (blackberry, maybe). There's no overpowering malt or hop smells.

Taste: It starts off somewhat light on flavor with a bit of the fruit making an appearance. It's in the aftertaste where the flavor really comes in. The fruit and alcohol combination provide almost an assault on the palate. I like strong flavored beers, and I like this one, but it might be a little too strong for my taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a fair body that is moderately thick, but not too much.

Drinkability: With the overpowering aftertaste and alcohol content, this beer is a little much. It's good, and I might like to have some on hand to have once in a while when I'm in the right mood; but this is not something I could drink at a party or have a few in a night.

Note: I also tried this in a wine glass and to be perfectly honest: It tastes better. The flavor is still strong, but it doesn't bombard the palate like it did in the pint glass.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into my sam adams better glass. a rusty orange color. a nice one and a half finger head. small bits of soapy lacing.

smells sweet. slightly citrusy. candied sugar.

taste is smooth. a nice malt presence. subtle hop bitterness.

Well balanced. Smooth carbonation, not too sweet. Smooth hops throughout. Definately controlling the pallate.

not my favorite old ale but it is still pretty good. I would like to see what it would be like with a bit of age.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet...

A: Not much to describe really, pours a super viscous dark amber with hints of orange, entirely opaque, absolutely no head, looks like syrup in a glass.

S: Heavy maple syrup, rum, dark fruit (raisins primarily), faint bread aroma, slight boozyness, figs and dates as well. Wow, pretty complex overall. Nose doesn't jump out of the glass, but its solid.

T: As complex as the nose with added booze and caramel malt. Lots of fruit, heavy syrupy rum raisin character. Very nice overall, really complex and balanced, booze adds just enough kick but doesn't overpower the flavor profile.

M: Heavy body, like drinking carbonated syrup! For a cold winter day this is perfect. Slightly carbonated, just enough to wake up the tongue, surprised to find any carbonation with the lackluster pour...

D: At 9.3% this is big beer and fairly drinkable, the complexity and slight boozy quality makes it a little less drinkable, but pretty nice overall. Wish I had these guys around here....

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Photo of cetherid
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip

bottled 4/9/11


Beer is a brownish amber color with about a fingers worth of frothy off-white head.


No real dominant aromas..the nose is grainy/bready malts with slightly sweet caramel/sugar. Some subtle notes of booze as well. Was expecting more dominant aromas of dark fruit with more sugary sweetness but this is probably attributed to being a fresh batch.


Grainy with a little caramel malts and a nice bitterness going on. Honestly, tastes like a sugary and hot (boozy hot) German beer..like a Kolsch with those grainy malts and bitterness...a little disappointed in taste as the last few old ale's I've had have been Adam and 4D. Again, probably because this was bottled fairly recently.


About medium bodied. Carbonation not really high but good for the style. Fairly hot/warming feel on the tongue and going down.


A little disappointed with both the nose and taste on this again. I will definitely be revisiting an aged bottle of this. Kaiser Curmudgeon was absolutely fantastic, but pretty much any malty ale would being aged in maple syrup barrels. Definitely a good beer to sip but I suppose I had higher expectations for this one. Looking forward to my future review.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Muddy reddish-brown, pretty much no head at all, just a little lacing.

S: Sweet and malty, with some caramel, followed by mingled fruit aromas, sweet and almost cidery.

T/M: Lots of layered malts: caramel, a little bit of spiciness, some tart fruity flavors. The alcohol shows through on the end of the sip.

O: I usually don't much like beers so heavy on caramel malts, but this one is quite good. Interesting, complex flavor profile with a lot going on.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is opaque orange-brown with a light bubbly head and some lacing.

Nose is musty, with cherry juice and sweet, toasty malt.

Taste is buttery oak, with crusty bread, chewy malt, and a biscuit finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with plenty of carbonation.

Overall, it is a phenomenal blend of savory flavors.

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Photo of stompilator
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip.

A - Poured a deep, opaque red, thin, crispy head.

S - Oak, booze, a little bit of esters, and a wee bit of hops.

T - The oak flavor is definitely dominant, especially up front. Some plummy, berry-esque esters follow along with the thick sweetness from the molasses. Buttery, bready notes come from the malt near the end, with some earthy hops and residual boozinessrounding out the finish.

M - Medium-bodied, easy carbonation.

O - Tons of layers to this particular brew, very sweet in so many ways.

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Photo of kmeves
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy copper/brown with a small beige head. Aroma is sweet raisin, caramel, cherry, nutty, light chocolate, smoke, butterscotch andwood. Flavor is cherry, caramel, raisin, light pineapple and light nutty. Finish is a bit hot and also has some bourbon notes. Full bodied, sticky texture. Low carbonation.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of codewarrior
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Litterbean
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Mission Dolores (Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Dark brown beer with a foamy full head. Smells malty, sweet, alcoholic, and heavy.

Taste is sweet with a hint of bitterness but mostly a biting alcoholic note that really ends warm on the tongue. Makes my head fuzzy right away and fills me with warm cheer. Great brew!

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color with slight ruby accents and a small tan head on it that quickly dissipated into nothing and left no lacing. The smell is dominant of dark fruits (plums and raisins) and caramel malt. I consider this a "malty" nose, and I like it on this cool fall evening. The flavor profile hits heavy with all of the caramel malt in the nose coming full force on the palate with other flavors or dark fruit, banana, and a spot of sweet molasses, but the alcohol in this offering also comes through in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation and a good shot of warming alcohol is present. The drinkability is very good on this beer, and I could have easily drank another one.

Another great beer from Founders.

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

Dumped into a Duvel tulip a dark honey red with a thin film of head. This one's actually an old Old Curmudgeon, had it hiding in wait from last year, but I'm glad I've two more of these malcontents locked up for future assessment.

A whiff pulls up lightly boozy caramel, some raisins and liquorish.

A sip is grassy pine hops quickly assaulted with a malty dark caramel then raisins and alcohol that's port-like in warmth. Light carbonation - slick and smooth throughout, really clinging to the mouth. This is a sipper - it still seems hot and aggressive even for an old ale. There's already a lot going on, especially as it warms up. I think I preferred Black Biscuit more, but this is really enjoyable overall and I can't wait for it to become a more sedate, institutionalized old curmudgeon.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four-pack at my local Stein's Liquor. The bottled on date suggests this beer is about six months old. Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

L: Pours a ruddy copper with about a half-inch of off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly, leaves a nice ring, and provides little lacing on the glass. Lazy, infrequent visible carbonation.

S: Caramel malt notes, with a bit of clear alcohol, molasses, and some mild raisin. Just a bit of nuttiness coming through, as well.

T: Sweet caramel and bready malts at the outset. There's a bit of tartness that appears with some of the clear alcohol flavor. The middle sees the development of the molasses flavor, as well as some nice, albeit subtle, raisin and nut flavors. The warming alcohol builds a bit throughout this stretch, but the taste remains quite sweet. The back end is sweet malts and more of that warming alcohol, with just a bit of that lingering molasses, raisin, and nut.

F: Medium-bodied and more creamy than syrupy, which I tend to enjoy. There's is just a bit of stick to the finish, as those flavors remain on the palate for a while. Nice level of carbonation.

O: Well, this is the second Old Ale I've tried tonight. I have to say, Curmudgeon is a far more drinkable brew than North Coast Old Stock Ale. This one doesn't has as complex or well-developed a flavor, but it certainly seems to have a bit more balance. I wish some of the raisin and nut were more assertive, but this is definitely a beer I would return to again.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
2.77/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Color is a rather unattractive orange-brown, and the lack of any head or lacing doesn't help the appearance. Scents of dark fruits and molasses are nice if a bit weak, and there's a bit of a boozy smell too. Caramel and molasses are up front in the taste, with a punch of booziness in the finish that I don't find particularly pleasant. High pucker factor and plenty of burn going down the throat. This is not one of Founder's better offerings.

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Photo of hops202
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage Bottle poured into a game of thrones snifter.

A - ruby with hints of gold and bronze.

S - certainly malt and yeast present. Some sort of fruit - possibly apricot and oak from the barrels are present.

T - vanilla and slight caramel in there. Flavors of oak as well mixed in with the sweetness. Bitterness at the end to balance everything out well.

M - medium carb with full body.

O - a decent showing here by the (OLD) curmudgeon. May he age with the best of them.

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Photo of JoeBloe
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 4th of a 4pk( $16.99)over the past 2 days - pours a mildly hazy deep amber with a 1 finger head that fades quickly - lacing is thick but also fades away rather quickly - smell is sweet and fresh -
sweet taste with a bitter pinch in the finish - pleasant and sticky - begs for the next sip - the alcohol is well hidden yet palpable and warming -
i would follow this with some lighter fare, 2 would be too many -
another good offering from founders, thankful that they're distributing in NY now - glad to have tried this.

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Photo of Krakistophales
2.74/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice ruby red color with lively carbonation and no lace...but there's a glob of sediment/protein/whatever it is floating around on top, and that's just disgusting. Had to remove before I could start drinking.

S: Not much going on here. Some malt sweetness, the slightest hint of dark fruit, not much else.

T: Better than the smell, but still pretty average. Malt sweetness at first, with a touch of tartness of what might be cherries, a zing of some other dark fruits, and a slightly hoppy aftertaste, but underwhelming all the same.

O: Probably the worst I've had from founders. I've had KBS and Dirty bastard, which were both fantastic, so this one must be a hiccup.

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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,203 ratings.