Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 872 | Reviews: 224 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jegross2:
4.45/5 rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Reviewing the Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company. This is the third beer in the 750 ml bottle Backstage Series release, the other two being Blushing Monk and Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS). This beer used to be know as "Kaiser Curmudgeon," but Founders recently re-branded it. I believe that Founders' Old Curmudgeon, an absolutely divine old ale, is the base beer for this one.
February 2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/18/12 with a short stack of chocolate chip pancakes.
Appearance: Pours a hazy amber/mahogany color with a layer of yellow highlights atop the beer. A finger and a half of off-white/tan sea foam head at pour settles into a very thin ring around the glass. Excellent lacing, excellent retention. The lacing gradually changes from frothy to oily as it warms. 4.5/5
Smell: Brown sugar, vanilla, sweet raisin/fig, creamy malt, molasses and a little caramel-infused alcohol ester. There is a very light straight bourbon aroma. Hint of oak, hint of citrus and a little spice too. 4.5/5
Taste: Very smooth, balanced and complex. Tons of sweet maple and sweet vanilla upfront. Bourbon malt (caramel?), caramelized brown sugar, molasses/pancake syrup and chewy bourbon soaked raisins on the midpalate. Very faint oak on the midpalate too. A little alcohol warmth, but not nearly as much as you'd expect from a 12% ABV beer. This brew finishes and lingers with sweet maple/pancake syrup and caramel/bourbon malt. As it warms, a straight bourbon flavor comes out on the midpalate and towards the finish. Pairs excellently with the pancakes. 4.5/5
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Smooth/creamy mouthfeel with a little alcohol prickliness. Sweet and slightly sticky finish. 4/5
Overall: A superior barrel aged beer. Founders, the midwest's best brewery, makes a few better beers than this one, and it's not quite up to par with CBS, but Curmudgeon's Better Half is a beer that is absolutely worth seeking out. Sweet (though I have had sweeter), drinkable, and loaded with complex flavor. Is it worth the $18 price tag? Absolutely. However, you can get several equally good beers, such as Oak Aged Yeti, cheaper and easier. I cannot wait for Founders to package and sell the Cashew Mountain Brown.
Recommendation: Seek this brew out, but be forewarned -- this one is on the sweeter side (though I have had plenty of sweeter beers).
Pairings: Chocolate chip pancakes.
Cost: $17.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
Serving type: bottle
02-19-2012 06:42:04 | More by jegross2
More User Reviews:
4.71/5 rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Finally got my hands on this long time personal whale. Just did a side by side of a 1 year and fresh curmudgeon old ale so ready for this one too.
Appearance: a darkish ruby color. great clarity and not as darkened in color as the year old curmudgeon. great brightness when held up to the light. about a finger of a tannish head that fades quickly. I was surprised to see that much foam at all. quite a bit of sediment at the bottom, darkens and leaves some floaties.
Smell: very sweet, lots of various flavors. molasses, vanilla, maple, smaller hints of bourbon and oak. also dark fruits, plums and figs. extremely complex and dominated by the sweeter molasses and vanilla.
Taste: when i first opened this (at cellar temp) it was still too cold to get all the nuances, especially the maple, so enjoy this on the warm side. opens up similarly to the old curmudgeon, with some molasses and dark fruits. but opens up with vanilla and a strong maple syrup taste, really surprised to find it still so strong. lots of complexity in this, sometimes i get sweet and dark crystal malts, other times i get the adjunct and the products of the barrel. rarely do i get bourbon or alcohol.
Mouthfeel: heavy, creamy, very sticky and chewy. some alcohol bitterness but never astringent.
Overall: at first I was not impressed but as it warmed up and I caught the nuances of this beer I became very impressed. love the sweetness and maple flavors. I wish i got to taste this fresh but the flavors are still strong and there. Overall I'd rate this first followed by 1 year curmudgeon and then fresh. that said all are tasty and worth while. another great founders backstage beer
Serving type: bottle
04-07-2014 01:30:35 | More by SportsandJorts
4.28/5 rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A sought after "whale" for me, obtained through a transaction involving an offshore bank which delivered a briefcase full of cash in $1 dollar bills.
It was consumed in my remote adirondack outpost, while the wood stove provided sufficient warmth to allow me to don a thin layer of thermal underwear
Presumably cellared properly by the previous owner in the Witness Protection Program
A- dark amber, two finger head. Particulate matter, which seems a bit soon for this vintage
S-alcohol, orange rind, figs, malty sticky sweetness
T-bourbon sweet malty, touch of leather , a candied orange wedge in her clenched teeth. Whip in hand.
M- smooth, evervescent, small burning on my palate as she forces me submit.
O- very good, but wish it was more. I probably missed the maple barrel taste and the brew has not reached historic status yet. Perhaps I should have waited, but as the Better Half's whip is not so gently applied to my m cerebral cortex, I give in. I had a well aged Curmudgeon that was probably equally good. Sometimes the search for a whale ends quietly.
Serving type: bottle
03-30-2014 00:27:23 | More by Jjski
4.38/5 rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
The initial pour looked a deep brownish-red with awesome clarity. Topping the beer off added lots of chunky sediment and broken-up yeast cake and really clouded the beer. The head that collected is a half moon of coarse bubbles. They haven't popped yet.
I'm waiting for CBH to warm up, but I'm getting a starter waft of fresh fennel and dry caramel. As it slowly warms, one can pick up on maple, barrel wood, English malt, licorice root, milk chocolate, molasses, and faint whiskey. An aged old ale, in the nose, with featured notes of barrel complexity.
Firmly steeped in molasses (not without bitterness), maple, licorice, bourbon, light roastiness, figgy fruits, caramel brittle, date, fennel, herbal elixiry sweetness, and some bitterness in the tailend. Amazingly complex. I feel like this beer probably dried up a little, too, but I can't know for sure. Has a grand appeal. The fennel/licorice presence in the flavor is really intense. Almost as much dried fruit as there is caramel. Atypical ale. Nothing like I've ever had before.
Full-bodied with light tackiness on the lips. Soft carbonation. Nothing even close to 11.9% represented here. Mellowed beautifully.
I wasn't expecting this kind of flavor profile evolution. I assume this has strayed from what it was, which I would've greatly enjoyed. But, I still love what it has become. Adventurous beer that I purchased already aged. Too fun.
Serving type: bottle
03-16-2014 15:54:44 | More by thecheapies
Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.