Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) | Founders Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,256 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,256
Ratings:
4,560
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
203
Gots:
1,109
For Trade:
53
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,256 | Ratings: 4,560
Photo of dgilks
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany-red colour. Big, creamy, light tan head. Fair head retention and nice lacing.

Big melanoidin malt aroma. Toffee. Earthy hops and bitterness. Pretty good.

Sweet malt with a big, nutty, fruity character. Plenty of earthiness. Touches of bitterness. Really sweet but still balanced and interesting.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

Solid beer. Great flavour and well balanced. Really like this.

 429 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Haymarket into a 4oz tasting glass...Pours a deep amber with orange notes, a decent tope head, looks good...The aroma is pretty good very sweet with lots of caramel, honey, spice and a little oak. Good start...The taste just doesn't translate, this is borderline horrible. Almost all bitter alcohol from start to finish, oak, and honey try to help out but they can't do enough. I had a hard time finishing this. I just can't believe how bad this is.

Avoid for me.

 474 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep amber color with a very light head that dies down quickly but leaves a very nice, sticky lacing.

S - The nose isn't particularly strong...toasted caramel malt and maple.

T - Toasted malt, molasses, oak, some floral notes, and light smoke.

M - Light medium body, slick, semi-dry.

O - Call me crazy, I know....this beer just doesn't do it for me and WAY better stuff coming out of Founders.

 411 characters

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

This beer is murky brown with almost no head (the little foam that did exist was light tan colored). The smell was rich, malt + plums/raisins. The taste was even richer, a little like a really strong version of an English barleywine. Lots of dark fruits (mainly raisins) and malty sweetness, with a little alcohol burn. Thick mouthfeel, substantial beer, easy to see why it's rated highly. Old ales aren't my favorite, they're good once in a while, I pretty much tried this one because it was made by Founders. As usual they did a great job.

 541 characters

Photo of mltobin
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle from a 4 pack bought in Westchester NY.

Poured this into a Unibroue tulip. Appearance is dark red with a short off-white head. Its` nose contains vanilla, toffee and dark fruits. The taste has caramel, brown sugar, more dark fruit. Booze comes through in taste, as well as some bitterness. MF is crisp, nice as it warms up, goes down fairly easy. All things considered, this is a damn good old ale. I was glad to see this again as the temperatures dropped in 2011.

 474 characters

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with a good amount of indistinct spiciness and lighter amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes fairly similar to how it smells. Sweet and slightly grainy caramel malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip they sweeten a bit and are joined by earthy, leafy, and lightly spicy hops. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending. The sip also warms a bit as it heads down the gullet.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was a very well done old ale and does a great job of hiding the alcohol. Worth a shot.

 849 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass is deep amber in color, looks syrupy as it is being poured; has tall, frothy head that holds excellent retention and leaves tons of sticky lacing all the way down the glass - impressive. Aromas are sticky sweet with toffee, vanilla, oak, honey and biscuit. Tastes are bold and sweet, cloyingly at times. Notes of vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel, are all present with it being rather boozy, especially as it warms. Finishes with a peppery prickle on the tongue. Mouth-feel is velvety smooth and creamy. Overall, I loved coming back to this one, but the sweetness is a bit too much for the last 4 or so ounces. Excellent Founders quality as usual though.

 689 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Poured a mahogany color with copious yeast particles present in solution. Not quite opaque, as there was some light penetration, put extremely diminished clarity. Quarter inch off-white cap quickly dissipated into a swirly skim. Nose is pretty incredible; wonderful complexity. Picked up vanilla, bourbon, caramel and oak on this one straight out of the bottle. Taste consistent with nose, but some more booziness comes out as well as a mild dark fruit character. Really quite tasty (I had a hard time deciding between a 4 & a 4.5 on this one). Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a light-effervescent tingle. Some viscousness to the body, but not overwhelmingly so. Definitely a sipper, but very pleasurable to drink and savor as it warms. I am curious to see how this ages, as I think it will most likely improve over time.

 842 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle stamped bottled on 3/12/09. poured into snifter glass

appears a hazy dark copper color, thin white head that fades into a thin ring. a little lacing.

aroma is of boozy fermented fruit, brown sugar. sweet flavorful caramelly taste up front, but somewhat of a dry chalky finish that detracts a bit from the taste.

lower carbonation, sticky body, but not too thick. the almost 2 years of aging has mellowed out any alcohol burn.

 437 characters

Photo of champ103
3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby/orange color. A small bubbly white head forms with poor retention. No lace to speak of.
S: Smoky whiskey notes up front. Sweet vanilla and caramel. Some light nondescript dark fruits linger. Warm booze, and slightly oxidized.
T: Smoky and sweet with lots of alcohol. Vanilla and caramel again. A bit astringent. A lingering bitterness.
M/D: A full body that is syrupy and sticky. The alcohol is powerful. This is a bit rough around the edges.

Not bad, but not one of Founders better offerings. This almost seems like it was whiskey barrel aged, and the barrel has taken over. Considering this is not barrel aged, that is a little off putting. However, it is a nice beer for a night cap, and worth a try.

 725 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served a clear deep golden amber color with a small thick looking white head. The head fades rather slowly leaving a decent level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is of a sweet caramel and a decent level of a bready smell. Along with these aromas are some notes of darker fruits with some raisin and prune as well as some other sweet smells of toffee and molasses. Along with these smells are some oak and booze which combined with the rest to produce a sweet, warming and malty aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather sweet and smooth taste. The taste is largest of a smooth bready and caramel flavor with hints of light roasted and dark fruits within. The roastiness get slightly stronger as the taste advances with the darker fruits of raisin and plum getting stronger as the taste advances as well. Some more boozy flavors start to work their way in more toward the middle of the taste with some nice molasses sweetness coming to the tongue as well. With the booze and the sweeter flavors that come to the tongue more toward the middle, and a little bit of an oaky, rum like flavor, that comes to the tongue at the end, one is left with a nice smooth and sweet warming flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –For a brew of almost 10 % abv it is very drinkable yet appropriate in style. The body of the beer is on the thicker side rather nicely accentuating all the sweet and malty flavors of the beer while the carbonation of the brew is on the lower side, which allows all the oaky, sweet, and malty flavors tons of time to linger on the tongue.

Overall – A very enjoyable sweet and malty brew. Just what an old ale should be.

 1,745 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, Riley's $3.99 ( i should note that I am able to consume this because hoppymeal sent me 1 as a trade extra, which i put in the cellar to replace this one)

appearance: poured from a seemingly appropriately labeled stubby bottled into a chalice...body is a deep garnet-mahogany, very little head to speak of and no retention...cola-esque

smell: quite interesting...smells of the makers mark i was sipping on last night at cafe montmarte...big bourbon aromas, heavy oak, vanilla, sweet caramel malt, fig, dark fruit

taste: Clearly you have to be a bourbon drinker to be a fan of this beer (which i am). initial flavours are strong bourbon, big oak undertones, touch of vanilla extract, toffee, fig, raisin and alcohol soaked plum, licorice, pine, sweet caramel. I like it. It brings a lot of different things to the style but it lacks a lot of characteristics as well

mouthfeel: smooth, bitterness left behind, alcohol is a touch 'hot'

drinkability: pretty good

 985 characters

Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Always seemed to miss this one when it came around & wasn't going to this year. Grabbed two 12 oz. singles & popped one open during a lively poker night.

Pour is straw yellow, pale enough to need sunblock on the trip in from the car. Nose is nothing to sneeze at: spare sweetness, gentle malts, cool breezes. Suprisingly mild.

Curdumdgeon is that rarest of beasts: a clean miss from one of my favorite breweries. Easygoing sweetness, light caramel, faint pear - then radio silence & a bullet of alcohol. Huh? Another sip, same reaction. Warm. Same.

I have to admit, I don't get it. There's really nothing to this beer other than a light sweetness & touch of fruit. If I'm going to consume an alcoholic drink weighing in at 9.8%, I want something tasty. This is dull; mediocre at half the taste.

 799 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale Stem Glass. Bottled 2/24/09. Thanks to Sweemzander for this brew.

A - Lightly hazy amber with yellow and orange highlights. A light tan thick head floats on top. Moderate to low retention that left a thin right and tiny spots of lacing. Legs from the abv too.

S - Strong aroma coming fourth. Rich malts with a funk to them. Fruity - dark fruity - esters and despite 50 IBUs, no hop aroma. Brown sugar and molasses sweeten the aroma also. The finish is semi-spicy with moderate alcohol.
The weird thing about the aroma is that it smells EXACTLY like the smell that pours out of the vents at the body shop of the dealership I work at. I don't know what that is although, being the vents, it's probably either paint or clear-coat and my guess is clear-coat. (It has always smelled good to me anyway.)

T - Musky amber and caramel malts with a complex, almost indecipherable fruitiness to them and molasses with brown sugar sweetness finishing with a lightly bitter hoppy kick to the teeth. Mild spiciness from the alcohol and warming follows.

M - Smooth and creamy with ample carbonation (ample for the style but low) and a crisp, light alcohol burn on the way down.

D - Funky for most and definitely a sipping beer. It took me about 40 minutes to finish this and when I did my face felt like it was on fire. I want to get more of this gem but I think I'll wait for a cold winter day to continue enjoying this.

 1,464 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet. Bottled 9 April 2011.

A: Very thin head disappears completely in seconds. Reddish beer, absolutely orange in direct light. Translucent, but not see-through.

S: Old ale sweet-funky yeast. Sour-pleasant. Fresh cherries?

T: Whoah, weird. A strong flavour, overpowered by alcohol. Otherwise a nice maintaste, full of spiced raisins, rum-soaked caramel malts and...concord grapes? Nice beer.

M: Smooth, with a touch of carbonation. Tart on the endtaste with a sweet, substantial maintaste.

O: Nice beer that gets nicer as it warms. Lots of caramelised malts balance the inherent funkiness of the style. Another success from Founder's. Recommended.

 705 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that I've sat on for about 12 months, after a trade with ATPete, thx! Poured into my Delirium snifter, Old Curmudgeon is hazy rusty brown with an pretty dense light sand head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is sweet cured fruit, golden raisins and medjool dates, definitely a lighter feel then the more common raisin and prune notes. Softer at the cellar serving temp, the fruits really opened up more at room temp, some kiwi, which I thought was very distinct and enjoyable, before the caramel started to dominate, with some clean alcohol vapors coming through at the end.

Taste is pretty rich and sweet, there are some oak and vanilla notes that make me think this is barrel aged, although I really don't know anything about it. Very nice though, with some of the light tropical fruit notes from the nose, ABV well hidden for sure. Lots of depth and super tasty without being a palate buster, I'm super impressed.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy, medium bodied. On the drier side but not as spicy as I'd expect from the ABV.

Drinkability is high, wow. Super tasty, smooth, easy drinking, a killer old ale for sure. I can't believe how easy drinking this is with only a few months on it's belt, even it it had a few more when I bought it, it's still probably less then a year old. Wow, great beer!

 1,325 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at When Pigs Fly. In a snifter the beer was a dark red/brown color. There was a medium-sized white head that left a good amount of sticky lace.

Nice aroma. Sweet malt/caramel. Oak. Dark fruit. On the boozy side.

Caramel/butterscotch taste. Plums and raisins. Still a noticeable amount of booze.

Nice beer. Maybe a little more boozy than I would have wanted.

 367 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L-Chestnut colored....minimal head..

S-Excellent. Big chewy caramel and nougat.....vanilla...

T-The flavor does not bring as much intensity as I hoped for from the aroma. You get some oak/vanilla, caramel and nougat but in lighter doses and there is a bit of alcohol bite on the back end.

F-Pretty boozy and sharp. Alcohol is not hidden in this one.

O-I like this but had higher hopes off the initial smell.....a bit too sharp with the grain alcohol like impression for my tastes...

 492 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at RnH in nyc. served in a tulip glass.

Pours a syrupy clouded burnt orange color with darker brown hues. A thinner white head fades quickly, leaving a faint layer of film and hardly any lacing.

Plenty of burnt sugar in the nose with caramel, thick breadyness, and molasses. Softer fruit flavors and lighter hop bitterness with an alcohol flair.

Begins with a bite of hop bitterness, quickly followed by layers of syrupy sweetness. Burnt sugar, caramel, and molasses all swirl together for a fairly rich, sweet base. Thick malts with boozy warmth. Another note of pine hoppiness towards the finish with some more heat.

Full bodied, lighter carbonation, sticky and syrupy on the tongue. Drinks pretty well, although its definitely a bit on the warm and sweet side of things.

 788 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to somebody here who sent it to me as an extra. Amber color, short head. Smells rich, booze, malt, candy, good. The flavor was nice old ale with a bit of alcohol, toffee, really quite nice. Overall, I'd buy this if I could and wouldn't mind another bottle. Founders makes some quality beers.

 310 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a bubbly semi-transparent dark honey golden - the way it was poured I wasn't able to comment on the head. Malty aroma has a honey-sweet overtone. Malty, lively flavor has hints of spice, a nice alcohol bite and a hoppy undertone. Edgy, fizzy texture has a fierce, brandy-like bite.

 302 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Oak Cafe. Pours a dense copper color with a small-ish, off-white head that leaves a bit of lacing at first but fades away about halfway through the glass. The smell is rather basic and just a tad plain, full of malts, caramels, and roasted toffee. The taste delivers a bit more than the smell would lead on - up front with a nice, malty base, a warm, toasty flavor, heavy oak on the tongue with a slight bourbon taste and burn on the back of the tongue and the sides of the mouth. About halfway through the sip, some intense sweetness arrives, in the form of tart apple, grapes, and ripe raisins. All the while, some subtle cinnamon spices are dangling around in the background. The sip ends with a light splash of floral hops and a lasting bitterness that balances out the sweetness as the flavor slowly fades away. Thick and overall pretty smooth body, medium amount of carbonation.

This beer was pretty good. Not much on the nose, but really quite a complex flavor profile ranging from warm to sweet to spicy to bitter. Not something I'd drink more than one of, but definitely worthy of trying.

 1,112 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle that has been aged about a year and a half. Pours a hazy amber color with a fine-bubbled cream colored head. Never gets above 2 fingers worth, even with an aggressive pour. Retention is ok and leaves sticky spots of lacing on the glass.

Smell is very malty, sweet malted milk balls with a bit of oxidation that seems to work well for most Old Ales. Somewhat fruity with a bit of red grapes and figs. Not much in the way of hoppy or yeast aromas.

Mmmm, this beast is dangerously drinkable...so smooth. Sweet malts are deliciously caramel and toffee. Really good brew! Just a touch of hop bitterness rounds things out on the back end and there is a whole wheat bread yeastiness that comes through nicely. I dont see how this could get too much better with more aging as it is drinking so good right now. Alcohol is camouflaged so well, barely detectable until you feel a little belly warming. Pretty amazing beer, another winner from Founder's.

 957 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark copper with a large off-white head.
Nose shows vanilla oak notes, sweet rich molasses, chocolate malt, hazelnut and sweet caramel.
Similar woody and vanilla oak characters as flavours alongside some light roasted malt, booze and heaps of sweet syrupy malt.
Nice moderate carbonation and syrupy body.

 310 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle I had was a year old

A-Cloudy amber, some carbonation, lots of sediment, two finger head

S-Lots of malt, some pine and dirt, molasses is still there.

T-Malt bomb primarily, grassy notes, some wheat and orange, malasses once again. Rather sweet.

M-Not much carbonation, smooth, medium bodied.

O-At a year old it seems to be past its prime, lots of malt and not much else

 385 characters

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,256 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe