Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
1,263 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,263 | Ratings: 4,594
Photo of crosamich
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer however this seems more like a barleywine than an old ale. Has a distinct oxidized sherry, raisin flavor. The nose is a bit off-putting but flavor in the mouth is much more agreeable. Drinks very well for nearly 10%. Body is lighter than expected. The others tasting this commented that they wouldn't drink more than one but I surely could down several

 372 characters

Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Anchor Steam glass Smell is oak,kind of spicy.Taste is sweet an spicy.Overall it`s ok but not really my cup of tea.Don`t think I would buy again.

 171 characters

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

*review from notes on 10/16/10*

Bottled on date: 2/4/10

After about 8 months in the cellar, decided to give this Old Ale a go. Pours a nice amber color w/ some mahogany hues, a 1/4 inch of creamy tan head and little retention. Very sweet nose, molasses, caramel, dark fruits (raisin, plum, cherry). Tastes just like it smells - sweet and malty, with hint of spiciness. Creamy and smooth in the mouth, could use a touch more carbonation though. I didn't take notes on this fresh, but less hot than i remember it being, so laying it down a bit atleast accomplished that.

Im not a huge fan of the style, but this is a solid take - A nice sipper on a cold night.

 661 characters

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

Pours a rich amber color, little to no head which quickly dissipates with very limited lacing. Strong oak and bread aromas. A definite sweet, thick, oak flavor with the thick consistency typical of a Founders brew, which doesn't quite hold up as well as the Stouts due to lesser complexity. Very subtle spice notes emerge through the alcohol and oak notes. Reminiscent of a good rye bread.

 389 characters

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

This was a 12 oz bottle that I received in a trade a long while ago, but never got around to actually trying. Served at cellar temperature in an over sized wine glass. Consumed on 07/22/2008.

Poured this one out in to the glass and it looked like a Barley Wine at first. Very hazy with a touch of sediment in the bottom. Dark amber color with some orange highlight and a minimal head. Nice side glass lacing through and a good bit of carbonation could be seen streaking up from the bottom.

The aroma was charged with alcohol. Really quite hot this surprised me. Brandy aroma was dominant. As it warmed through it did get a touch better and ended up with a nice malty aroma. Nice sweet smells of caramel and grain, some cereal like tones as well. A touch of spice in the flavor was evident right away, but the flavor was a touch hot as well until it warmed. Nice oak flavor running through here, with touches of cereal like grains and a nice all around profile. Bready in the middle with a drier, slightly hoped finish, but most of it was drown out but the rum like tasty and peppery flavor that ended it. The feel was very nice, with a good carbonation profile that just would not quite, and a medium body. A solid sipper, this one took me a bit to be able to finish as there was no way that this was going down all in one shot.

Overall a very solid beer, and a good example of the style, though I doubt this is anything that I would really seek out, as there are some much nice examples out there. Still though if it were sitting on the shelf near me I would definitely pick this one up.

 1,591 characters

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

12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Dark copper brown with some ruby highlights. Small off-white head.

S - Wood, roasted malts, vanilla bean, slight bourbon notes.

T - Dark fruit, vanilla, molasses, oak, and caramel. Nice balance and complexity. Sweet up front followed by a slightly bitter finish. Some alcohol evident.

M - Medium-full body. Smooth and silky. Low carbonation.

O - An enjoyable complex brew from Founders. Lots of flavors here, and they all work together well. This is a beer to sip and relax with.

 514 characters

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

Aromas are intially light with bready and biscuity maltiness; a slight amount of fusel alcohols. As this warms, however, much more emerges. You can detect some nougat and caramels; almost dead on for a Milky Way candy bar.
The tastes begin with brown sugar and treacle/molasses; quite typical for the style. There is a hop presence, bitterness and flavors, but they are not decernable over the malt flavors. Slightly citrusy and earthy.
Mouthfeel is quite full with adequate carbonation. Overall this is a good example of an under-appreciated style of beer, if you purchase a fresh bottle I would recommend letting it cellar for a little because the alcohol was slightly detectable. Founders knows how to make strong beers well that's for sure.

 745 characters

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

Poured from a bottle a clear dark amber-ruby color with a healthy off-white foam head. Wedding dress-like lacing all around.

Aroma is bright and and sweet. Toffee, caramel and brown sugar along with hops and malts are present.

Tastes of spicy hops, sweet malts, and warm alcohol. It's tough to hide 9%.

Medium mouthfeel, slick and oily with just a touch of carbonation.

A very nice Old Ale from Founders. Drink it slow and enjoy.

I'd love to cellar one of these and see how it ages.

 488 characters

Photo of anth0ny
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Curmudgeon from a bottle is a pretty deep red amber color, but light thin head and little lacing, which all goes away pretty quick. Smells *very* sweet. Smell is sweet honey caramel with some heat tingling the nose hairs. Very sweet taste. Honey is the dominant flavor, with traces of cream, caramel, sweet malt, and a touch of fruit. Quite complex. Sweetness is followed by booze for a hot finish. Very interesting overall flavor. Mouthfeel is warm and heavy, creamy-boozy, low carbonation. I like this beer. Not something I would get on the regular, but I'm definitely glad I tried it.

 587 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark black like color with no head. The aroma is of a maple syrup and caramel malt backbone with dark fruits (raisins, dates, and figs) present and a touch of some breadiness. The taste is of a maple syrup backbone on top with dark fruits and some caramel with a slight taste of alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick with a slight amount of carbonation, it does sit a little heavy on the tongue. Overall the drinkability is okay for the style, it is very complex in nature and keeps you interested, a little thicker than some though.

 540 characters

Photo of thedoubler55
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark shade of orange very murky, does not give off a good look at first.

S- The smell is somewhat spicy, kind of like a pumpkin ale but a little less kick

T- Very strong malt taste, I enjoyed it a bit, I have 2 aging in the fridge as we speak.(Since Dec 09')

M- Kind of thick, but a good filling feel to this beer.

D- This is definitely a slow sipping beer, not to be abused. A buddy of mine aged his for about 2 years and it tasted a lot different than my batch which had just been bought at the time.

 510 characters

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

Poured a 12oz bottle into a favorite ale glass

A: Old copper kettle color with slight head. Head fades quickly.

S: Sweet smelling like cotton candy with strong alcohol hit. This is an 9.8% ABV beer!

T: Just slightly bitter with a mild roasty and sweet aftertaste. The alcohol comes through as part of the aftertaste of this brew.

M: A medium+ mouthfeel. A bit syrupy in feel. This is pretty close to what I would consider full bodied.

D: Fairly good drinkability. Would like a bit more carbonation to cut the high alcohol and syrupy feel.

Summary: I like this ale for it's immediate alcohol slam. I'm sitting here on Father's Day afternoon and enjoying the good buzz as I finish this beer. I'm sitting in my screened in porch and waiting for my Old Curmudgeon neighbor to walk by so I can yell something rude at him. This ale brings out the best in me! Founder' remains one of my favorite brews for flavor, quality and unique variety of beers.

 951 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

From notes on 9/6/09 in Lexington, VA. Poured into a Pinot Noir glass:

A - Vigorous pour reveals a deep copper ale with a cream-colored cap and modest lacing.

S - Sort of like a Scotch ale; sweet leather, malts, mocha/vanilla.

T - Off sweet tea w/malt and peat; maybe even some banana and Indian cardamom. Seems a tad boozy. Not much heat.

M - Creamy and somewhat dense but still a bit refreshing.

D - The jury's still out; not sure how to rate it. I'd drink it again and I suspect it's better on tap.

 506 characters

Photo of Brian700
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 578 characters

Photo of gford217
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of hoppymeal poured into a snifter.

Pours a murky reddish orange with a creamy off-white head that lingers as a thin cap for quite a while and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is heavy on sweet caramel malts and dark sweet fruits. There is definitely a wood and bourbon presence but not overpowering. There are some floral hops up front as well.

The taste is boozier than the aroma with lots of bourbon and oak throughout. The flavor has the sweetness of the caramel malts and molasses but it takes a back seat to the barrel character. The flavors meld a bit better as it warms.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth but with good carbonation. Just coats the mouth wonderfully.

This is an interesting old ale and I think it would have been even better for me without the overpowering barrel presence in the taste. Nonetheless, a good sipper.

 856 characters

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

A - Pours a murky dark brown color with little foam, just a layer of fine bubbles

S - aromas of caramel, brown sugar, overall a sweet smell

T - caramel sweetness with just a hint of alcohol that hits you later on

M/D - medium bodied brew that is very drinkable despite the ABV. The alcohol is present but doesn't overwhelm.

Reviewed again on 12/30/11 as part of the blind bif

A - poured from a short 12 oz. bottle, its a murky chestnut brown with a few soapy bubbles forming a ring around the glass but thats it
S - lots of plums and dark fruit in this one along with a sweet malt smell.
T - brown sugar, burnt toffee and caramel, a bit sweet with a nuttiness to it, I like it but its a bit too malty sweet for me.
M - smooth and creamy, with very light carbonation, a bit of a syrupy feel to it
D - it has a good flavor but becomes cloying to me after a while.
The impression i'm getting is that this is an aged beer, so i'll rip it open and see...

Founders Old Curmudgeon
hmm, I remember this not being a favorite of mine in the past, but its nice to try again. Its a twist off cap and there is an 07 on the bottle, is it an aged bottle?

Interesting second beer. I really want to tear into the next bottle but i don't know, first a 12% and now a 9.3%, I could be in some trouble, I like this!

 1,311 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a cloudy orang with a very thin yellow head. Lots of sediment in suspension. Thin ring of lacing atop the beer.

S- bunt sugar, toffe, leather, cinnamon.

T- very sweet toffe, burnt sugar, earthiness, slight citrus and some bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slight acidity and spice lingers in the aftertaste.

O- good but has not gotten better with age IMO. Would have liked to do a side by side to compare a new curmudgeons.

 522 characters

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

Poured into Matilda Chalice

Pours hardly any creamy white head. Fades to a thin ring around the glass that sticks around, but no lace. Color is a robust burnt copper. Beer has sediment floating around in it.

Aroma: I get alcohol, plums, grapes, honey, raisins, figs, brown sugar, earthy hops. This beer is very complex, as it should be.

Taste: I can definitely taste the alcohol in this beer as it is quite hot. A lot of dark dried fruits, grapes, raisin, plums are here. Figs, brown sugar, raisins, and honey also present. A lot similar to the smell. I also get an apple taste as well. Hops are pretty much covered by the heat, but they are there.

Mouthfeel: Boozy, creamy, and somewhat smooth. Medium to full body. Medium level of carbonation. Ends with a boozy dried fruit flavored aftertaste.

Overall, I know this is an old ale and thus going to have a lot of alcohol, but the heat is just to much for me. I am slowly sipping on this one and it will take a while to finish. It is good, but I bet a few years might do serve it well.

 1,043 characters

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

A clean dark amber beer. Has a small off white head. There is a sweet candy toffee note that dominates the aroma hiding a hint of alcohol in the background. The sweet toffee note hits the tip of your tongue while the alcohol sweeps over the middle. The finish has a coffee/tobacco character and then the toffee and alcohol join hands for a smooth aftertaste.

 358 characters

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

Deep copper. High clarity. No head, but a halo of loose foam forms.

I'm getting raisin, molasses and vanilla in the nose. Alcohol is not prominent. It is an inviting, appealing scent, but nothing oustanding.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. Very sweet, with a nice kick of bourbony booze as well. Same dark fruit, molasses and vanilla notes as the nose, but somehow more striking on the palate. Caramel as well The alcohol heat and taste provides a nice punch up front, then fades, giving room for the sweet caramel taste to shine. The finish is slightly bitter.

Medium to thick body -- more viscosity than I expected for how translucent this brew is. Slightly dry. Nice feel.

It's a good example of style and quite drinkable if you like the style.

 766 characters

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

a murky orange stirs, bubbles rise. A large pillar of foam rises in the center, gradually tucks away under itself to the sides. It is a stately affair, all the nobles are here. Foreign dignataries, the upper crust, Bono, of course, Bono. Stale and sweet fumes arise from the powdered wigs of the hallowed guests. Their breath is alcohol. This is an old ale for old money. A plate passes around the room, full or succulent grapes, fresh and dried, and dried apricots. Distinctly and with a stiff backbone, it slides down the throat, pricking with funk, the soul of James Brown. These old fogies can still get down. Get up (get on up). Long sweet finish, the harpsichord notes ring out, echoing in the high ceilings.

 714 characters

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

A: Very thin head. Clouded dark copper.

S: Soy sauce. Brown sugar. Malts. Grains, yeast. A little fruit - dried apricots. Some alcohol.

T: Kind of weird. Malty and sweet. Fruit comes out with some tartness and then an alcoholic bite. Some soy sauce again. Yeast, a little sour. Bitter and dry at end. Can't quite decide how I feel about it.

M: Smooth, tingly. Strong and full flavor.

O: Pretty weird, but I think I like it. Takes a little while to get used to.

 464 characters

Photo of Naters333
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle.

A-Pours a nice deep amber color with a nice bubbly head. Head is slightly off white. Has some nice lacing and good carbonation. Maintains a nice thin head on the side of the snifter as I drink

S-Not a very pungeant smell. Pick up some fruits, but my nose is so clogged right now, unless its just bursting with a strong smell, I'm useless. Will come back to this.

T-Alcohol, sweet, toffee, malts, burnt,complex,

M-Very nice. A sipper for me.

O-This is just a nice beer on a cold day. It is what it is. Not my style, but would like this to just sip on in front of the fireplace. Will come back to this beer for more in depth review.

 679 characters

Photo of mklooster
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish gold in color. Very pale head with moderate lacing.

S - Sweet, with a hint of sourness. It has hints of fig and dried cherry.

T - Slightly boozy, very malty. It doesn't taste as sweet as it smells, which, for me, is a good thing.

M - Just the right amount of carbonation - still nice and creamy.

O - A decent old ale. Not as good as 4D or Kaiser Curmudgeon, but still very drinkable .

 400 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

first off, whoever took the 'bottle photo' is an art pimp. the trees are great. what a nice touch! this bottle was snatched up at julio's in mass.

pours a cloudy blood red into my rapscallion snifter. accentuated gently by dense foam rings and sticky, sparse lacing. aroma carries lots of bourbony booze and fusel-boosted yeast mutations. vanilla lingers in the air trapped by the tulip. old ale at its oldest, most crotchety.

the woody cream character really translates strongly into the dominant flavor of this beer, not too far from what i expect an old ale to be but somewhat one-dimensional. perhaps its not warm enough, let's wait and see...

after the crowd-friendly southampton old ale, this beer maintains an adversely crotchety attitude with a starchy, raw malt profile that doesn't quite invite the same level of drinkability. the flavors are all there in a sublime richness.. however this IS your grandpa's old ale. a cigar would be nice right about now. toasted vegetal huskiness meets caramelized burnt sugars in a buffalo trace barrel, producing some interesting effects.

what do i think overall? tough call. like a stinky old man, you have to respect the work that went into its culmination, regardless of how gritty his current situation might be. recommended, oddly.

 1,296 characters

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,594 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!