Founders Kaiser Curmudgeon - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Kaiser Curmudgeon
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124 Ratings
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Ratings: 124
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 23
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TCgoalie on 07-10-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Rebranded as Curmudgeon's Better Half.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 59
Reviews by rudzud:
Photo of rudzud
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at armaby abbey. Got the last of the keg.

A - poured into a snifter a crystal clear hazelnut pour with a small half finger head that slowly fades to leave a nice halo and leggy side lacing.

S - big abv with some sweet earthy notes and light malts. Smells more like a scotch than a beer.

T - kinda like the nose with a warming alcohol qualities. Some more raisin like fruits. Very nice flavors.

M - low carbon makes this somewhat syrupy.

O - Overall I like this beer. Not as good as the bruery cuir but a very tasty old ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of zaphodchak
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a keg of 2011, tasted in April 2012.

Half a finger of offwhite head, and ahazy medium brown body. Decent lace.

Nose drips with malt, bourbon, and a trace of maple syrup.

Magnificent bourbon taste with maple richness. The base is so sweet, it's the booziness and the tang of the maple that offer balance, but it's still quite sweet and rich. The only bitterness is maple wood. Maple syrup finish works well while still being super rich.

Mouthfeel is big and thick, like pancakes.

Really pretty great, but *very* sweet and rich.

Photo of dirtylou
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap, duckworths park road

being rebranded as "Curmudgeon's Better Half" - old ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels

appearance: 8oz pour in a small chalice - pretty light-bodied, hazy golden in color with a light beige lace

smell: richer than trump - bourbon, maple, vanilla, syrup, booze, dark fruit

taste: similar to CBS - the barrel effects are just silly - rich maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, wood, rich a fine dessert wine, seems a little gluttonous to drink this - just wait for the hype on this bottle release...

mouthfeel: rich and full bodied, perfect start to the day

overall: great

Photo of Shumista
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Side by side with the original curmudgeon at the brewery. notes from about a week ago.

Pours amber very little off white head, definitely a darker look than the curmudgeon. Oak, maple, vanilla, and brown sugar in those. The aroma is deeper and richer than the curmudgeon which actually smells bright compared to its barrel aged brother. The flavor is again deeper and richer than the original. The maple dominates with oak and vanilla there too. There is a crisp hoppy note in the original that is totally absent in the kaiser. Mouthfeel continues to follow this trend, the kaiser is thicker and more syrupy than old c. I didn't think it was possible to make old curmudgeon seem "light" in any capacity but with the kaiser as a reference point that's definitely what happens. All in all I prefer the kaiser. Its richer and mellower with a lot more going on. I'm starting to think I want to see a maple barrel version of every beer founders makes.

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Capone’s (Norristown, PA) on 6/9/11. Served in a 5 oz snifter.

Pours a deep, yet clear, coppery ruby, with a thin covering of bright-white head. This maintains some richness, leaving back a lighter looking cascade of sudsy lace. The aroma smells strongly of the maple, with additional notes of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, and alcohol all adding to the sweetness of the nose here. A touch of fruitiness seems to come out here as well but this is mostly sweet, warm, and sticky overall.

The taste pretty much mirrors the nose but seems a bit more refined, with notes of maple, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, and fruity citrus giving away to a burnt bourbon burn. There’s just a lot of sugars here, with vanilla and caramel, and then roast along the back really standing out. The finish starts out dry, warm, and a bit burnt, but then quickly gives way to a good bit of lingering sugars. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick and chewy feel. The sweetness and spice from the alcohol really starts to take effect as this warms, leaving the mouth parched with dryness from the barrel and ABV.

Well this was definitely a beast of beer and while I thought that the extreme sweetness of the base clashed a bit with that of the maple flavor (I think I prefer their selections where something a bit more burnt and roasted are used), this still showed enough complexity and power to make this sample enjoyable. This 5 oz serving was more than enough though, as any more might have eventually become a bit too cloying for me.

Photo of beerhan
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Founders the night before the KBS party.

This is one nice looking beer. Thick, dark amber almost brown color with a thin head.

Smells like vanilla, bourbon, and molasses with a little bit of oak. I personally enjoyed smelling this one quite a bit. Fantastic.

Tastes very oaky. The bourbon and the vanilla just make this beer incredible. It is very intense and is a sipper. The bourbon shines through over all other tastes. It is a dessert beer but a true treat.

Mouthfeel is kind of awkward to review for this beer because I can compare it more to sipping on a fine whiskey than a beer because it is not very carbonated but very alcohol forward in intensity.

This may be tough to take more than one down but that one will last you a while. Every sip is to be savored and the alcohol will sink in. This is delicious, try it if possible.

Photo of rhong187
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served on tap at the Blue Dog (4oz pour, notes taken from Philly beer week... got a lot of catching up to do)

A - light tannish brown, miniscule amount of head

S - The bourbon hits you right away, leading to a bit of sweetness/vanilla/maple...

T - The initial sip blasts you with straight bourbon, with oak and toffee following through.. the order of the smell is identical to the taste..

M - medium bodied, with a low amount of carbonation. couldn't imagine this beer getting any better and I really wish they served in bigger servings..

Another fantastic beer offered by Founders, and just like the Cashew Mountain Brown, it leaves you wanting more. Hope they can find a way to bottle this one permantently.

Photo of Bung
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10.8 ABV according to the chalk board.
Thankfully someone else added this, I was a bit lazy. Had over the week of the 4th.

An orange/amber pour with nearly no cream colored head.

Aroma was a bit subdued for some reason, light caramel/toffee oak and heat.

Taste is more expressive. Solid malt and toffee, more maple and oak in this than the standard, replacing the hop presence pretty much. Still very good and quite subtle. Grew on me as it warmed.

The abv and slight warmth makes this a bit of a sipper, though it was not hard to drink on an unusually warm Wednesday night.

Have to love the subtle brewing experiments these guys do rather than the weird/extreame others prefer.

Photo of n2185
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark orange-amber with a finger of off-white head. The head fades into a thin layer with some decent lacing.

S: Maple up front followed by vanilla, caramel, oak, and bourbon. Smells amazing.

T: Everything the nosed promised and then some. Sweet maple at first that mixes well with vanilla, caramel, and oak notes from the barrel. The bourbon follows behind, complimenting the other flavors very well. Finishes sweet with a light, but not overpowering, alcohol burn.

M: Thick, creamy body with medium carbonation, this beer is sticky sweet but avoids being cloyingly so.

O: Overall, a fantastic beer. Definitely the best old ale I've had. The maple and bourbon flavors of the barrel blend so well with the base beer.

Photo of smakawhat
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured on tap into a snifter glass at Churckey DC.

A very soupy looking off brown light head from the pour. Cherry lambic kriek looking body, nice dark burgundy and clear but dark enough hard to see through. Quite nice.

Very large distinct vanilla smell, brown sugar, and a mild caramel, very sweet smelling on the nose.

Taste is at first a giant blast of icing sugar and cake frosting. Dense malt body, but a real nice light texture on the palate in feel. Love the body on this brew.

Overall though this is just way too sweet for my tastes, but it is easily drinkable at a very high abv.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap in asheville and reviewed from notes.

caramel colored pour with a light head of off white that caps it off rather nicely. Settling down it left a little bit of a light sticky lace along the sides. Aroma was the best I have ever come across. Rich toffee and butterscotch, tons of sweet nectar notes. Candy in all its glory. Perfectly aged with a smooth, perfect profile of vanilla, toffee, and rich butterscotch that will not let up. Rich bourbon flavor just rolls across the palate with a smoothness unlike anything I have run across before. Rich vanilla and boozy notes combine to form a perfect balance

Photo of Blanco
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper/red color with no head. Smell is mostly just straight bourbon. Taste has subtle hints of vanilla, caramel maltiness and fruitiness, but most prominently bourbon. Small hints of syrup, but could not easily pick it up. Medium bodied. Another interesting beer and while I prefer it to the Old Curmudgeon, it is my least favorite of Founders barrel-aged offerings.

Photo of zoso1967
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my good friend TCgoalie for being the guide on my first trip to Founders Tap Room!

Served up a slightly red amber with no head, but a ring of white foam that clings to the glass and leaves poor lace. Aroma is pretty hot with the bourbon front and center. It is sweet and sugary with some earthy tones, maple and perhaps a whisper of vanilla. The maple is much more preset in the flavor, and it tastes wonderful. The delicious maple and bourbon dominate the palate, making me wish I had tried normal Curmudgeon so that I would have a better starting point. The malt profile is very caramely with a slight toffee/toasty character. It seems quite sweet, but this works very well with the maple flavors. This beer is medium bodied with a crazy good finish. It is so clean and balanced, leaving yummy tastes in its wake. This is a sipper, and not maybe something I would drink all the time, but it is super interesting and I really dig it.

Photo of jpmclaug
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Duckworths in Charlotte

Glowing orange, brownish body with a tan head on top

Smells like vanilla, caramel, hints of oak. Smells a bit boozy.

Wow, more vanilla and oak notes in the taste lay across an incredible caramel backbone. Incredibly smooth finish. A little booze but it only adds to the complexity. As the beer warms a ton of maple flavor shines through. Simply amazing.

Smooth medium bodied, low carbonation, right on.

Wow am I glad I made the trip for this beer. The barrel takes a slightly above average beer and makes it a fantastic one. I'm impressed how smooth this one is. I hope this lands in bottles soon.

Photo of liquidcraft
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this side by side with a regular curmudgeon. Scents of vanilla, oak and brown sugar in the kaiser. Stickier, sweeter and softer than the curmudgeon, the kaiser seems like more of a fireside beer. Any sharpness that could have been attributed to the original curmudgeon has mellowed out. This would be wonderful after a day of being out in the cold, but its still pretty damn good on a summer night.

Photo of LanceW
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance was very dark and was served in a goblet. The light brown head was thick and filled of tight small bubble. The smell gave away that this beer was going to be thick and heavy. The taste was great and definitely a beer that should be sipped and not pounded. I mouth feel was strong and lingered. I was able to take a sip every 5-10 minutes and was complete content with that. I would recommend this to someone that like heavy stout or will to try something that will knock them on the floor. One of the best beers I have had in the year of 2010

Photo of TCgoalie
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 6/30/10

Stopped in and saw this new brew on the menu, so I had to get it.

Poured into a large snifter, it is a ruby red hue with a touch of brown to it. Not much head or lacing.

There is a pleasant blend of whiskey and maple in the nose. A hint of vanilla helps create a smooth sensation to my sniffer.

The taste is much more mellow than the standard curmudgeon. Brown sugar and mellow maple flavors blend perfectly with the whiskey backing.

There is not a lot of carbonation which helps create such a smooth drink. This is definitely full bodied with some drying in the aftertaste.

This is a sipper, but the complexity makes for great drinkability. I keep sipping trying to pick out the nuances. Founders' Maple Barrels are magical!

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Light creamy head with sticky lacing, hazy reddish ruby orange color.

Nose tons of bourbon, oak, sweet malts, little maple, caramel, touch of toffee, sweet reddish malts, bott of booze, candy

Taste starts with sweet candy, syrupy, maple, molasses, touch of candi sugar, light fruit touch of brandy soaked raisins, plum, subtle cinnamon and nutty malts, reddish sweet malts, then plenty of bourbon. Thee bourbon and oak start off hidden a bit from the sweetness and warming booze, then explode as it warms and settles in my mouth. Touch more maple on the finish, with more candy, reddish syrupy malts, bourbon, still a bit sweet and sticky on the mouth.

Thicker mouth syrupy, some warming booze, decent carb.

Overall awesome, great flavors from the malty beer under to start, then great bourbon, oak, and maple on top, a bit of booze is held in check from the sweet and bourbon balance but it does get way too sweet, not too bad at first, but trying to finish the entire 8oz or so pour is very hard as it gets so sweet.

Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Tulip Glass- on tap at the Blue Dog Tavern (this was supposed to be a 4 oz pour, but I got lucky and was served a 10 oz tulip!)

Deep deep amber with a bit of an orange-ish hue; creamy white one finger head with good retention. Lacing was excellent, sticky all over the glass. The aroma is very nice- malty maple toffee molasses, all complemented by notes of sweetness.

Taste was full- malts, dried fruits, and a noticeable edge of alcohol. Full body and heavy, thick texture. Chewy! (even though I'm not a big fan of that word in ratings, but it fits here.)

This is a good, drinkable old ale- albeit on the heavy side, it's a sipper that I'd rather have in cooler to colder weather.

Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled on tap at hopcat as part of the 3rd annual extreme beer fest, jan 21/2011.

pours slightly hazy deep dark orange, neither red nor brown, with just a thin ring of very fine bubbles. no lace.

aroma is great. sweet caramel. vanilla and bourbon. light citrus. hints of alcohol. biscuit and cracker. multi-grain bread. nice spicy and slightly earthy hops.

taste is good. bourbon and vanilla. light alcohol. bit of maple. light citrus. big caramel character. bit of toffee. whole wheat bread and cracker. light biscuit. medium-low bitterness level. lots of barrel, almost overshadowing the beer to the point where there is more barrel than beer.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. it's pretty barrel-heavy but still balanced pretty well otherwise. nice depth and complexity.

Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a slightly hazy ruby-brown; no head, just a patchy layer of thin bubbles. Sweet smell of dark sugars, dried fruit, and bourbon in the background. The booze taste hits you right up front, but surprisingly isn't a palate-killer at all. Smooth, sweet, dark sugars take over, with lots of maple syrup coming through, and brown sugar and caramel backing it up. Also noticeable: roasty malts, rum, vanilla, black cherries, bourbon-soaked wood. Lots going on. Full-bodied and chewy, and very drinkable if you like the heavier stuff.

Photo of AgentZero
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A dark amber colored beer that lets some light through. Lighter than I was expecting from an old ale. Off-white head that vanished instantly.

S - Lot of caramel and sweetness, with a hefty dose of whisky. Bit of vanilla and barrel here.

T - Pretty hot and sweet, this one is sweet enough that I can tell it's going to be difficult to get down after a while. A bit of fruity sweetness as well.

M - Sugary, fuller bodied, moderate carbonation.

D - Kind of hard for me to drink. It's pretty good, but it gets so sweet and hot after a while and becomes kind of hard to drink. Booze is not hidden well enough, although I think that it is a combination with the sweetness and flavors that a lot of people will go for.

Photo of cardsfan
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at founders day. Keg dated 20?? (not kidding)

Great appearance for an old ale. A Little lighter than I thought but very thick and syrupy. Smell is huge bourbon with a little of the Carmel coming through. Taste is amazing...follows the nose with the bourbon first and the carnal again right behind. Can taste the "old" flavor as well. Very boozy for being at least 2-3 years old. Mouthful is where this feel short. Good but not as thick as the look appeared. Overall a great beer and glad I finally got to try it. Wish they would bring this out again!

Photo of JDizzle
4.87/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Founders(best place ever!!)

It pours a dark amber with hints of copper and a off white head that disappeared quickly. It looks like an old ale should.

The smell of this beer is unreal. I must have looked crazy as I kept smelling it over and over again like I was getting high off of it. It's smells sweet with a lot of Bourbon, malt, oak, and vanilla.

The taste is very barrel and bourbon forward with a nice malt backbone. Not too sweet and the alcohol is in there, but perfect-not too much. A only got a little bit of maple.

The drinkability of this beer is almost a 5, due to the high ABV, I have to rate it a 4.5 This is my favorite Founders beer!!! Well Done guys!!

Photo of gdrydenc
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sunset in Allston. Reviewed from very fresh notes

A - Dark brandy color with a thin disc of whitish head. Good looking beer.

S - Smells of sweet (candied?) fruits, lots of bourbon, a bit of maple and vanilla. The smell doesn't leap out of the glass like I'd hoped it would.

T - It's rare that I find a beer that the taste of which overwhelms the smell. This is an example off such a beer. The smell was a tad muted, but the taste is not at all. Just like the smell in content, though! Bourbon up front, but the finish is out of this world, vanilla, a bit of heat, maple. Awesome.

M - Lightly carbonated, a bit syrupy. This works for the beer, though. It holds the flavor in your mouth for a long time.

Overall, I love everything that I've had by Founders and this merely reaffirms that. Awesome brew, but it is certainly a sipper and a one-per-nighter.

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Founders Kaiser Curmudgeon from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.