Curmudgeon | Founders Brewing Company

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4,807 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Think classic seafaring ports, local pubs and weathered old fishermen. This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill. Then Oak-Aged. The result is a rich, malty delight that's deceptively smooth and drinkable.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,807 |  Reviews: 1,338
Photo of andthevolcano
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of krl2112
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of flyers1980
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Single 12-ounce bottle bought from Capone's in Norristown, PA. Darkish, caramel, syrupy appearance, almost like a scotch ale married a red ale. Off-white, khaki head. Very malty and I was getting a very pungent aroma of, shall I say, an illegal substance? It smelled like I was at a Who concert. Dark, molasses, syrupy taste. A malt bomb with a boozy backbone. Hint of tobacco taste. Heavy and captures the "old, foggy, pier" feeling.

 434 characters

Photo of Saviorself
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Grant35
1.75/5  rDev -56.6%

Photo of BarrytheBear
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of CesarLopes
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of FrancisT
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Joel12
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of ShawneeIrish
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brewcifix
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Curmudgeon pours a beautiful true amber. Most people say "amber" when they, in fact, should say "red". The color of this brew is wonderful, and ideal for an ale, in my humble opinion. Looking at this hue on a color wheel would immediately lead my mind to thoughts of ales. Although clear, I do detect very slight haziness. This appearance would get a passing grade-albeit its anemic beige head. It dissipates soon after the pour and demonstrates no lacing whatsoever. And... OH, how I LOVE lacing!


The nose is obnoxiously sweet (this is not a negative for me), exhibiting honey, sweet sugar and malts. Unfortunately, the nose is very much like the head- leaving much to be desired.


This incarnation is abundantly sweet up front, showcasing sugar with a touch of molasses, honey, and vanilla (almost "cream soda" if you focus it on the back of your tongue). It finishes sweet and clean with almost imperceptible grassy hops and vertually no aftertaste. I want aftertaste.


moderate weight on the tongue, with nice medium-high carbonation


I'm not overly impressed with this ale. However, it is VERY drinkable. Founder's has somehow managed to hide 9.8% ABV without a trace. This beer is not for the "hoppy connoisseur". You need a sweet appreciative palate to drink this. I have that. This is a great warm weather brew that distinguishes itself from the "refreshing" crowd that usually features citris notes. I want to age a few bottles, and see what I get. If I found this stuff on tap one day, I'd be forced to have at least one.

 1,583 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BPudd
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of tneenan1
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Houston_E89
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ZombieJester
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

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

Doing a side by side of an 06 and a 12. Official rating is a rough average, separate rating noted below.

A -
Mahogany (rich mahogany, like the smell of my apartment) in color. No head.

Caramel brown. Pours about a 1 inch of light brown head. Retains a crown.

Assertive hit of caramel and vanilla, some honey, some other almost florals notes that I can't quite put words to.

Definitely less up front than the 06. Almost disappointing actually. Maybe some vanilla? Some malt, not a whole lot else.

Hmmm... Sweet black tea, tropical fruit in the back ground, some notes of what I assume to be oxidation. Really rich at first but then fleeting on the back end with so,e dryness.

Some thin dark fruit, pretty quick and simple, clean finish with really no bitterness anywhere. Mineral note on the back end.

Very light carbonation, light close to medium thickness.

Higher side of medium carb. Thin.


The 2006 shines head and shoulders above the 2012. If you didn't know it, you wouldn't think they were the same beer. The 06 is just far prettier, better smelling, more complex. Neither of the, are my favorite beers, but the moral here is easy, AGE THIS BEER.

A- 4.25 / S- 4.5 / T- 4.25 / M- 4 / O- 4.25
A- 3.75 / S- 3.5 / T- 3.5 / M- 3.5 / O- 3.5

 1,324 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Super hazy copper/orange color with some floating bits debris. Very thin off-white head.

Aroma: Hoppy with a distinct honey-like aroma. Hops contribute a piney, near-grapefruit like character and there is a smoothness to the aroma that suggests the oak-aging.

Taste: Starts smooth with a soft caramel flavor from the malt. The bitterness begins to creep in by the second half and peaks at a moderate bitterness on the finish. The hop flavor is not well defined because the aging process has forgone most of the citrus or truly piney flavors that seem to fade the quickest. What's left is a slightly earthy flavor that is more bitterness than anything else which helps to balance out what would otherwise be a very sweet beer. The 9.8% ABV is slightly detectable during the finish but doesn't present itself at any time in the taste. The yeast seems to have contributed hints of raisin and plum. Those flavors develop as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body. Mellow carbonation and average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I couldn't detect any molasses in the flavor, but Curmudgeon Old Ale is pretty much as advertised. If you like Old Ales and Barleywines but don't want the big bitterness that goes along with them then I'd recommend it. The oak-aging has really smoothed out the hops and given an interesting mix of flavors. Would I drink it again? Unlikely, too many other beers to try at this point.

 1,434 characters

Photo of BarrelAgedBrian
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Poured an amber/brown color with minimal head.

S: The malt comes right through in the nose, followed by oak and molasses. Subtle caramel?

T: Excellent notes of molasses and oak. Malt comes through in the beginning, with some nice bitterness from the hops towards the end.

M: Medium body, not a whole lot of carbonation.

O: While I'm not as well-versed in old ales, this one is a particularly drinkable one with wonderful flavors of molasses and oak.

 501 characters

Photo of jpd7374
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Star80
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours out a dark ruby red with minimal head into a snifter.

S - Smell is of candied fruits, some toffee, vanilla, and some oak.

T - Taste is rich malts, oak, vanilla, toffee and some vague puckering from the hops.

M - Mouthfeel is dense, yet smooth.

O - Overall a nice old ale with an added oak treatment that just adds the icing on the cake as far as complexity goes and it just gets better as it warms in the glass. A perfect lingering winter/spring evening sipper.

 475 characters

Photo of rydev24
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle (Denotes brewed with molasses and aged in Oak, where other years did not say this on the bottle) Poured from a bottle into a 50W tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color, that almost appears amber when held to the light. At onset there appears to be very little head and then a billowing, off-white head rushes up quickly and clings to the side of the glass, eventually leaving a nice frothy, latte-like rim around the top.

S: Strong caramel wofts. Butterscotch, malts, vanilla, some oakiness, and molasses shines well. The smell is extremely complex.

T: Boozy. The caramel and molasses character are very present. Some dark fruit sweetness, balanced with some vanilla. Strong malt character and heavy oakiness to also balance out the sweetness.

M: Medium-Full body, but definitely closer to the full body. Creamy. Boozy, but smooth. Dangerous.

O: This one tastes a little different with every drink. Great complexity, but not all over the place. The balance of sweet, but not being overly sweet with some bitterness and the oak character was done really well. Glad I have a couple to age as well - I'm interested to see what happens with some age.

 1,166 characters

Photo of willit618
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of rcjennings
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Curmudgeon from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 4,807 ratings