Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

938 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 938
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 405
Gots: 375 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Old ale aged in bourbon barrels previously used for Michigan maple syrup.

(Beer added by: Jason on 01-09-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 938 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by markrmoser:
Photo of markrmoser
4/5  rDev -7.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Phoodcritic
5/5  rDev +16%

I enjoyed this beer on tap at Founders in 2012. Simply sublime. Perfect. It was the most delicious and complex beverage I have ever consumed...and I have tried virtually everything Founders has produced in the last three years.

Photo of thecheapies
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.

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of tectactoe
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One year old, bottled Feb 2012, enjoyed Feb 2013 amongst a tasting group. Pours a copper-ish, deep amber color with very nice clarity. An almost light-yellow, eggshell like head tops this one off and leaves tiny bits of lacing along the sides of the glass.

The nose on this one is heavy and full of many different things; bourbon, oak, light vanilla, light black licorice, sweet and juicy dark fruits, boozy figs, dates, and raisins, sweet toffee and caramel, and a very faint maple aroma that comes out more and more as time goes on. I'd like to believe the maple was much heavier when fresh, but it's still hidden and can be found even a year after bottling. Sweet and boozy all around.

Curmudgeon's Better Half doesn't waste any time getting down to business. It hits the palate with a heavy mix of bourbon, oak, licorice, caramel and sweet fruits. More figs, raisins, and dates that have been soaked in bourbon, and dipped in a brown sugar bath. No surprises here - the malt is heavy and gives off a huge molasses and caramel sweetness, sugary and sticky like syrup. Oak flavors are a touch mellow, but definitely there, along with the maple syrup which seems to kind of just blend into the background with everything else.

The booze is strong on this one, especially when you consider the fact that it's one-year old and only 11.9% ABV. Feels much closer to the 15% range. The maple characteristic is strongest in the aftertaste, which is also full of more oak, sweet bread, over-ripe dark fruits, and more bourbon. Thick and almost chewy body, sticky and syrupy, low-medium amount of carbonation.

Surprisingly bourbon heavy and almost even "hot" for being a 11.9% ABV year-old ale, but still pretty drinkable and definitely full of flavor. Lots of sweetness and oak flavors, along with a very, very mild maple characteristic. Was this one worth the price? Probably not, but it was still pretty damn good. I enjoyed it.

Photo of DavyJones
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Spaten454
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: it pours a burnt orange color with a small head that dissipates quickly. nice lacing. I had a lot of sediment in my pour.

S: Maple syrup, then bourbon. heaven. It smells exactly as you would think. everything blends together perfectly.

T: maple sweetness up front followed by a light bourbon in the end. Hints of caramel. nothing is overpowering. every flavor compliments the other. its not over sweet at all and the maple is fantastic.

M: Totally smooth, kinda slick like syrup. light carbonation. kinda coats the mouth.

O: Just a great beer. Def worth trying to score a bottle.

Photo of supa0525
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of gregmoscetti
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of heddar33
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of warnerry
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear deep amber with almost two fingers of tan head. Head has pretty good retention. Only small spots of lacing.

S - Nice bourbon presence, with quite a bit of vanilla and oak in the aroma. Also a bit of caramel, maple syrup, brown sugar. Definitely some noticeable alcohol, but it doesn't detract from the aroma.

T - Caramel is more apparent in the taste, but vanilla and oak are still the spotlight flavors. The is sweetness, but not as much as I feared. The oak cuts the sweetness nicely. Taste is also a bit boozy. Very smooth flavors. Really tasty.

M - Full mouthfeel. Smooth and slick, with sweetness up front, but a nice dry, oaky finish.

O - I don't enjoy Curmudgeon enough to get it very often, but this is a nice use of the base beer. Very nice sipper.

Photo of marvin213
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The look isn't all that impressive, but I know this is a bad ass beer. It's translucent and a surprisingly light brown with even a yellowish tint. I respect the sediment floating all around--even on the first small pour--so perhaps I should replace "impressive" with "predictable." It must be that lighter old ale that confused me as I just casually expected yet another bourbon barrel, pitch black stout.

The nose definitely conjures up thoughts of Old Curmudgeon. It definitely has that sweeter molasses, maple syrup type feel to the aroma. The taste is pretty magnificent, as it embodies what big beers can be. It IS so much better than Old Curmudgeon, and it IS its "better half!" That syrupy sweet, sugary molasses mixed with that semi-bitter, almost chalky, sediment floating big Ol ale that George Washington would've drank really makes for the like the perfect coupling! A phenomenal concoction! That's what it is: a concoction.

I sort of understand (I'm not a brewer)--with these ingredients and the barrel aging and all--how this is a limited edition brew. As the market gets saturated with them, however, I must say that this one definitely meets and/or exceeds expectations. Cheers, and Go Heels!

Photo of Callmecoon
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing at bu11zeye's 10,000th rating tasting.

The beer pours an orange-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is awesome. I get a lot of maple and oak notes, as well as some vanilla and toffee malt. The flavor is very similar. There is a lot of maple and vanilla from the barrel aging. I also get quite a bit of toffee and caramel malt, as well as some alcohol. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of BrandonDZ
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of 1Adam12
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of sculls65
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy deep amber with creamy head that shrunk to a small cloud in the center of my tulip glass. Nose picks up bourbon, maple, all those toffee candied malts and alcohol ..and some dank wet fruit or peat or leather. The taste is sweet and smooth. Dominated by malts and sweet maple, the bourbon warmth adds a nice touch. Glad i got to try it, but sad its gone.

Photo of bsp77
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Burnished red with thin off-white head and subtle lacing.

Smell: Kind of a laundry list of aromas - caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, maple syrup, plum. Pretty sweet overall, both literally and figuratively.

Taste: Very sweet. I usually have a problem with that, but not here. Malty and fruity core that is wonderfully overrun with vanilla, oak, coconut and maple syrup. Fairly boozy as well, but it fits with the profile here.

Feel: Thick, syrupy and warming, with pretty low carbonation. Smooth and a nice sipper overall.

Overall: Just great stuff. Founders is great at barrel aging, and has particularly worked wonders with these Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrels.

Overall:

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a hill farmstead tulip.

Pours a deep hazy amber brown with a very small and thin light brown head. Nose is malty, sweet, a bit of maple, well balanced.

Taste is awesome, old ales are generally a fairly dull style for me but these magic barrels really take it up a notch, mellow and sweet with a good amount of maple and bourbon. Not quite up to CBS but the character of the barrels still comes through. Mouthfeel is full and a bit syrupy with a crisp finish. Little bit of booze as well but it's far from overwhelming.

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 938 ratings.