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Founders Kaiser Curmudgeon | Founders Brewing Company

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124 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Rebranded as Curmudgeon's Better Half.

Added by TCgoalie on 07-10-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of WeisGuy
2/5  rDev -54%

Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.97/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed on tap at the mothership in Grand Rapids.

Pours amber with ruby highlights and minimal head.

The smell is worth lingering over: bourbon, vanilla and caramel hit you all at once. Love the smell, but it foreshadows the booziness to come...

The beer tastes like a bourbon cocktail: strong bourbon and vanilla characteristics overlay a thickly sweet maple flavor all preceding a very boozy finish that's a bit of a mess. Don't get me wrong: I love bourbon, and I usually look at barrels the way I view bacon and deep frying (it makes everything better). What I'm disappointed by is that, unlike most of Founders' stuff, the flavors from the barrel aging are very blunt and don't let the characteristics of the base beer through. IMHO, barrel aging should accentuate a beer rather than overwhelm it. Here, I don't believe the barrel has done Curmudgeon any favors; the parent beer is almost unrecognizable. I'd say that aging might help this out over time, but since it's not bottled, that option is off the table for now. A rare miss from a very strong brewery.

 1,068 characters

Photo of treeslothguy
3.32/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of jrallen34
3.36/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a darker orange, crisp, clear. A light tan head, only a little head and lacing...A strong aroma, lots of alcohol and burnt sugar, reminds me of a strong unbalanced dipa, too harsh for me...The taste is thankfully sweeter with some caramel, but still too hot for my taste. A very bitter alcoholic finish.

Not a huge fan of this.

 334 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.49/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at the brewpub. Apparently another in the line of Founders beers aged in maple barrels, I was glad for the opportunity.

The beer was a deep red color, merging into rust, with almost no head. The aroma is STRONG, alcoholic strong but that's to be expected from the base beer. The maple adds a sweetness to the nose, along with maybe some vanilla but that could be my imagination.

It tastes abrasively strong to me, overly sweet but with a bitter bite in the aftertaste. Noticeable ethanol too, very strong and not a chugger. I enjoyed sipping out the non-alcoholic flavors but otherwise found this almost a chore to finish.

 642 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jacewg
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

Photo of jbuddle
3.54/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into wine glass

A - muddy ruby color with off white heads that dissipates into a ring. Not bad looking but nothing special

S - vanilla, sugary sweet malt, maple is strong, and lots of booze including some heavy bourbon

T - follows the smell with tons of maple, vanilla, and bourbon. There is tons of complexity in there but unfortunately its all behind a thick veil of very hot alcohol. Perhaps this keg was really fresh? I can't imagine how good this would be with a year or two on it but right now the alcohol dominates.

M - solid carbonation and a nice slick feel, not too heavy.

O - A solid and interesting beer that needs some age in my opinion. I can tell it has layers of complexity but what I drank was distractingly hot.

 742 characters

Photo of jethrodium
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's. Pours a dark brown with a small white head that leaves a ring. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is maple syrup, caramel, sugar, and some bourbon. The initial taste is sweet with maple syrup, some caramel, and some bourbon. The alcohol is well hidden. Medium body. Low carbonation. A bit one dimiensional with the maple dominating other flavors, but certainly enjoyable. I found a bit too sweet to be really good though.

 461 characters

Photo of imbibehour
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

 592 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

 719 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.87/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Founders Kaiser Curmudgeon, on tap at R'n'H in Manhattan, part of an outrageous Founders event there with multiple taps and personalities. 12 ounces for eight dollars. Yes. Rape me, my friend.

Appearance: Served in a tall flute glass. No head, only a rim. No lacing or retention. Color is ruby-amber, transparent. Very flat looking.

Smell: Lots of bourbon, vanilla and toffee/butterscotch right away. Booze. Caramel and heat.

Taste: Vanilla, booze and a prickly finish. Tastes like drinking straight Kentucky bourbon. Super hot! A bit of a biscuit feel. Sweetness all around. Syrup, toffee, Ben&Jerry's ice cream. When you let it warm, it gets better; more balanced, less hot.

Mouthfeel: Hot, spicy, brutal. Full body and flavor, medium carbonation. So boozy!! It bites.

Overall: Glad I tried it, but unless they tame it significantly, I don’t see myself reaching for this too often. Some BA’ers at the Founders event had great things to say about Kaiser Curmudgeon. I would take Black Biscuit, CBS or KBS any day over this! It is a tasty beer, but too sweet and hot and not exactly drinkable to boot.

Would love to see it bottled and aged.

 1,155 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
3.87/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter on tap at Founders

This beer pour an orangish yellow color with a white head which in my experience is odd for an old ale, but it's not too bad. The smell is of peat smoked scotch. The aromatic made me want to drop some ice cubes in it and have it on the rocks it smelled so much like scotch whiskey. The taste however was decidedly different from the aroma. The taste was that of liquefied butterscotch. There was really no other way to describe the taste of this beer aside from that. It was rather smooth on the palate, but it was strong with booze to the point where it was a tad difficult to consume. Not bad, but not my favorite from them.

 666 characters

Photo of Blanco
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

 367 characters

Photo of siege06nd
3.94/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed at Churchkey on 6/30/2011. Very excited to try this one. Served in a snifter...

A: A beautiful amber color. I was surprised at how clear this beer is, virtually crystal clear. Absolutely zero head from the pour. Beautiful color, a little disappointed with the lack of head and retention. Then again, this is a booze bomb so that is probably by design.

S: Heck yes. Waves of vanilla and bourbon from the barrel aging with just a hint of brown sugar and dark fruit. As it warms, I detected raisin and even some banana. Smells great.

T: Man this is a thick brew. Heavy on the bourbon and maple syrup. Literally burned a touch on its way down the gullet. A very complex flavor profile with a lot of vanilla, dark fruit, and spice. Pretty boozy. Good.

M: Syrupy and sticky. Perhaps a bit too much. This beer is dessert.

O: It's not quite the revelation I thought it would be, but Kaiser Curmudgeon is a good beer. It's overly boozy and I'm not sure the base beer stands up to the barrel aging as well as it could, but I still recommend seeking this one out.

 1,087 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Curmudgeon poured a dark amber color, with a small head that didnt stay with the beer too long. It had a very malty smell to it, that wasnt too strong. It had a very strong and malty taste to it. It had a very strong flavor to it as well. It was a bit difficult to drink due to the heavyness, of it and the ABV didnt help. Overall however a fantastic beer, a poster child for the old ale style.

 394 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

 1,543 characters

Photo of Magery
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Jparkanzky
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of BWHD
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of page101
4/5  rDev -8%

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Founders Kaiser Curmudgeon from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 124 ratings
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