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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

872 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 872
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.9%


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: 872 | Reviews: 224 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The color is a deep dark ruby red that is clear.

The aroma is just huge. There's oak chips, vanilla, tons of sweet caramel, some honey, brown sugar. The bourbon really shines through with some alcohol in there.

The flavor follows with lots of oak, wood, bourbon, and vanilla character. There's then that smooth mellow sweetness. It's so delicious with that smooth caramel, molasses, brown sugar sweetness that rolls around the tongue. It's almost like sipping on a sherry with the sweetness and big booze character.

Then follows still with that tinge of bitterness and alcohol that triggers to clean off the palate. It's great that the bitterness is still in this big sweet beer.

The body is medium to heavy, though not too large.

This beer is one of the best examples of what barrel aging can do to a beer. It completely lifts the original beer to another level. The barrel character is huge and defines what bourbon barrels do.

I thankfully had this next to Old Curmudgeon. What the barrel does to this is incredible. With the huge aroma and the mellowing out of flavors, yet still with the bitterness, the barrel makes this beer exceptional to world class.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2013 15:39:53 | More by dar482
Photo of raleigh_blue
raleigh_blue

North Carolina

4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour into improper glass (pint glass). I was just happy to try the Kaiser. Cloudy with some residual sediments in the pour. I was one of the first to order this and also had it mid-way through the sixtel so i suppose after sitting a few years this was typical. Deep amber color.

Smell: Boozy caramel and vanilla. Taking in a full waft of this made my mouth water.

Taste: Boozy caramel, bourbon and vanilla. Super sweet, but I love it. Tastes like a caramel apple without the apple.

Mouthfeel: Thick and coating. Like chocolate milk with caramel/vanilla instead of chocolate.

Overall: If you happen to see it, by all means drink it. Outstanding by every measure.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2013 03:49:39 | More by raleigh_blue
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft at sams in Durham. shaker.

pours a reddish brown with a slight head. smell is of booze and caramel. very strong. taste is boozy, a tad sweet with the caramel and very full bodied. its a big boozy beer.

overall , drink this slow as its definitely a sipper. I had it 2 yrs old on tap and it was still extremely boozy. be prepared.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2013 17:27:15 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of kalifornsky
kalifornsky

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: dark caramel, light light tan head

S: perfect amout of bourbon and sweetness.

T: the perfect amout of sweet bourbon. No bitterness.

F: a light chewiness. Not overly sticky. Lingers for a few moments.

O: one of the best beers I've ever had. I'm lucky to try this beer from the past!

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2013 03:08:27 | More by kalifornsky
Photo of mnphish
mnphish

Minnesota

4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in MPLS at Pracna on Main on 4/25/13. Reviewed from fresh memory and a few notes.

It pours a very appealing caramel orange with little to no head, relatively hazy, just a very bright and warming hue.

It smells of tamed down bourbon and maple, followed by oak, vanilla, brown sugar, booze, and sweet dry fruit. Very inviting.

The taste follows nicely with a huge malt body, and sweet sugar fruits. The maple and bourbon aren't perhaps as big and dominating as i'd like, although it allows for more base beer flavor. Very impressive.

Medium body, light carbonation, massive oak, and light warming. Although the consensus is that this beer is on the downslope, I think it's drinking fantastic now and I bet it still tastes amazing in a few years.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2013 00:42:17 | More by mnphish
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Barcade, founders tap night

A - Low white head, poor retention and lace. Hazy ice tea body.

S - Maple syrup, brown sugar, scotch, vanilla, black cherry.

T - Caramel, coffee creamer, cherry concentrate, scotch, vanilla, vanilla wafers, lemon frosting.

M - About as smooth as you could ever ask for. Full, creamy body; but not syrupy.

O - Drinks like Scotch with an incredibly smooth, sweet honey finish.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 23:47:35 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Optifron
Optifron

Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed 11/18/2012 on-tap during Founders day at Crane Alley in Urbana, IL

Appearance: Mid-red brown. Thin head sticks around. Bit hazy.

Aroma: Big vanilla hit. Wood. Malty sweetness.

Taste: Big upfront sweetness (more than say, Backwoods Bastard), including a small vanilla hit. Some wood and hop bitterness to finish.

Mouthfeel: Very, very velvety. Slight carbonation. Sweet, salivating.

Overall: Fantastic. Leaves some alcohol warmth. Great vanilla flavors. Would be hard to drink a ton of it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2012 21:41:19 | More by Optifron
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the sidecar

Pours a slightly hazed golden orange with a light crop of white head on top. Retains for a bit with some spotty lacing and film while drinking.

Potent maple syrup laced with bourbon in the nose. Syrupy sweet with layers of malt and toasted oak. Brown sugar and caramel with some dark fruit as well. Very rich and inviting.

Boozy warmth right up front with strong bourbon tempered by the silky sweetness of maple syrup. Burnt brown sugar and caramel add to the sweetness, followed by an assortment of dark fruits including raisins and dates. Roasted malts with more boozy warmth towards the finish which is sticky and hot with lingering effects of maple.

Full bodied, decent carbonation, syrupy, sticky, and smooth on the tongue. A deliciously rich barrel aged beer - the sweetness can be slightly overbearing at points but I still really enjoyed every drop.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2012 14:01:28 | More by xnicknj
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blue Dog in Chalfont, during their wealth of riches event.

The beer pours a dark golden amber color with good head retention and lacing. Those comes across as sweet and strong, as I pick up vanilla, cherry cough drop, some light maple and a hint of hazelnut. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but is really dominated by the cherry cough drop and vanilla. The high abv. is definitely noticeable in this beer, though the beer is not at all hot or heavy on the palate. Mouthfeel is fairly full, and the beer has a long, rich, sweet finish.

While I thought this a pretty good beer, it was just a bit too sweet and boozy for me. I was able to try this side by side with frangelic mountain, and preferred that beer to this one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2012 13:42:40 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of haazer
haazer

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great one at the Wealth of Riches.

A- The brew has a cider like appearance. Amber and copper in color, with a nice egg shell head. Constant carbonation flowing to the surface, and lacing on the glass as 99.9999% of Founder's beer's do.

S- The aroma was the weaker part of the beer. A bit of vanilla, and some caramel malt. Other than that pretty subdued for me.

T- The taste is no slouch what so ever though. Maple syrup, pancakes, and bready malt. It's incredibly how much this beer tastes like pancakes. There is some bourbon in the aftertaste with a hint of vanilla. The booze is entirely masked, not a trace.

M- Very smooth, full bodied beer with medium carbonation. My entire mouth is coated with this stuff.

O- Very, very good beer here. Suprisingly not cloying, as I think CBS is sweeter than this bad boy. This would be perfect to have with breakfast, or any time of day for that matter. Master class yet again from Founders.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2012 17:45:04 | More by haazer
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap into a 9oz glass
Review # 300
Really had some dumb luck finding this beer

This beer is slightly hazy amber orange. Not much head to speak of and some nice alcohol legs. It is overrun with bourbon and I cant express that enough. There is a lot of whiskey elements, corn mash, rye and a slight sourness. There is also a nice woodieness to this beer, some oak, some earthy spiciness. The beer may be bourbon dominant but there is a nice heap of dark fruit flavors from the malts. The maple also makes a strong presence and is really enhanced by the sweetness of the beer. There is not much alcohol taste in here but the bourbon ads a boozy element that makes this beer a sipper. There is quite a bit of alcohol feel, unsurprisingly. The beer is pretty heavy and malty but that was obvious what it was getting into. I't's quite smooth and a prefect sipping beer as it keeps you wanting more with its complex flavors.

Overall, this beer was amazing, Very grateful I got to try it and a perfect beer to cap off another 100 reviews, cheers to 100 more.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2012 14:46:10 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

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

Enjoyed at the Armsby Abbey to kick off their anniversary week party.

A - Poured into a standard stemmed chalice a hazy caramel hue with a nice dense creamy one finger head that fades to leave great thick side lacing.

S - Aromas of rich oaky vanilla bourbon and barrels with light toffee and caramel. Nice and warm and inviting.

T - Taste is good raisins, darkfruits, light bourbon notes. Some light maple syrup-esc sweetness. No alcohol on th taste really which is nice, all the flavours meld nicely with eachother though the age is definitely noticeable.

M - Mouthfeel is excellent for the ABV, very smooth and drinkable with some light carbonation.

O - Overall this was a very nice old ale, would have liked to have drank it fresh. Still though this was quite tasty and super drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2012 23:23:02 | More by rudzud
Photo of JustinMatthew
JustinMatthew

Pennsylvania

4.98/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at South Philly Tap Room and Poured to a wine glass. Amber color, good head and lacing.

Smell is all barrel qualities.. Vanilla, coconut, bourbon, some oak, brown sugar and maple syrup.

Taste is fantastic.. incredibly sweet and candy like. Bourbon barrel qualities.. oak, vanilla, coconut. Good bit of butterscotch and caramel coming through. I would love to see Founders do a barrel blend with this and some KBS.. im convinced it would be one of the worlds best beers.

Warming and delicious beer, the tap version was fresh.. i have a bottle im looking to open after one year and rotting my teeth out.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2012 21:58:20 | More by JustinMatthew
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a deep, dark burnt orange color with tangerine edges and a two finger, frothy yellowish-beige head that very slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet boozy aroma with a pretty strong barrel presence.  Lots of earthy oak, maple and bourbon along with some leathery malts, toffee and hazelnut. Oak is strongest element which is surprising.  As it warns, the molasses character comes out and meshes nicely with the maple.  Still, the nose is surprisingly a bit bland with too strong of an oak presence for my liking.

Medium bodied with lots of boozy heat and a strong barrel presence.  Dominant dry oak flavor with booze and sweet maple notes.  Underneath, there is some more booze and leathery malt.  Sweetness kicks in as it warns with hints of toffee, caramel and hazelnut. Dry and spicy with subtle molasses.  Still pretty hot however and a bit harsh.  6oz is plenty.  

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2012 19:57:59 | More by corby112
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper tinted orange color, cloudy, spotty bubbles. Nice first whiff brings a blend of vanilla sugar, toffee, light maple syrup. Taste expands on nose with burnt brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, toasted nuts, light maple syrup, oak. Not as hefty or creamy as hoped, medium bodied, smooth, some lingering heat. Solid flavorful brew from Founders.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2012 14:00:58 | More by rfgetz
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, maple and a faint bourbon note. In the taste, sweet vanilla and bourbon, and the alcohol sneaks up in the end. A small alcohol bite and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry vanilla and hint of alcohol in the aftertaste. Big bourbon with a nice sweet maple, very smooth and quite sneaky.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2012 19:10:14 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light brown color with a small cream head that quickly dissipates, leaving a ring of foam around the rim.

Aroma is very sweet and boozy, bourbon, maple, and vanilla, accompanied buy dark fruit scents of plum, figs, and cherry esters. Burnt toffee is evident late.

Chocolate malt, maple, vanilla, and bourbon start a flavor explosion that is significantly less cloying than the aroma would indicate, due to the surprisingly dry finish. Alcohol is fairly evident, and subtle flavors of dates, figs, and bruised cherries add complexity. Maple becomes more noticeable as it warms.

Body is fairly syrupy, with minimal carbonation. A significant alcohol warmth is present.

Overall, much more drinkable than anticipated. Fairly complex flavor, but not over the top in any direction. A little more pronounced dark fruit flavor would really make this awesome.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2012 22:20:32 | More by barczar
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Founder's Tap Takeover, Double Windsor

A - Dark amber pour, clinging lacing to the glass, and a thin tan foam.

S - Smells of fresh maple, caramel, mohogany wood, and distilled bourbon whaff from the glass. Over time the sweetness became more prominent.

T - Very up front taste of maple syrup. There was also a bit of candied fruit flavor. The subdued burn at the end gives this variant a mellower profile than the regular Curmudgeon. The finish does give a flavor of refined bourbon.

M - While this is a perfect cordial drink, I found it so intense that even one glass was probably too much. There is no quality to make me have more than one, but that one glass is awesome.

O - So glad to try this on tap. It will appeal to your sweet tooth, and I found it better used maple and oburbon notes than CBS.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2012 15:04:25 | More by socon67
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half

LOOK: Medium brown color, good clarity, light tan foam.

SMELL: Amazing notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, malt, toffee and caramel upfront. The notes resonate in the glass.

TASTE: Malty and oaky, with a touch of maple but mostly just sweetness, smooth bourbon notes, vanilla and caramel. Really tasty stuff; rich and complex.

FEEL: Full bodied, smooth, low-medium carbonation.

OVERALL: A really great beer. Drink it first or last as it tends to overshadow others. The expressive barrel notes and most excellent base beer of Curmudgeon taste like they were always meant to be together.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2012 20:09:02 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Straight up declicous on draft at Mad Mex I'm in love with these beers from Founders on barrel aged whiskey and maple syrup. This one fantastic version of the beers that I don't care for fresh but damn aged on both bourbon and Maple syrup barrels there's nothing out there like this in the world. Appears a deep caramel amber body with creamy tan head forming thick in my chalice. Aroma has deep chocolate and candy coated whiskey barrel notes excellent stuff indeed...incredible complex caramel alcohol and whisky accents to make one incredible beer going on. Toffee is warming up with sweet caramel layers and whiskey oak tones even vanilla coming from the charred oaky notes...big vinous layer of fruits like plums, raisins, and other super saturated sugar content fruit additions. Amazing in the balance even though it's sweet it's not an overkill beer, I'm glad I've come across it during a PCBW even. Mouthfeel is way too smooth for the alcohol level this beer goes down incredibly easy without difficulty. Maple syrup adds a whole other complex layer to an already big and good beer profile, this beer comes off complex delicious and I want more.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2012 18:06:24 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 7oz tasting glass on tap at The Royale.

Pours a nice dark amber/copper color with some murky notes. There is a thin off-white head that forms with some dense bubbles that recedes quickly but leaves some lacing and goes down to a thin film.

Aroma starts off with strong caramel and molasses notes and rich oily malt sweetness. Nice notes of maple syrup sweetness with some nice woody oak notes as well. Vanilla spice and some booze can be perceived as this 12% brew shows itself in the nose.

Very sweet taste similar to the nose. Not too intense or overwhelming but definitely a sipper. Caramel, molasses, vanilla and maple syrup are main contributors. There is some woody notes on the midlle-back end and some nice Bourbon notes in there as well. Slight heat but not off putting even though it makes this beer a sipper. Nice oily, slick and velvety feel with good low enough carbonation too highlight the flavors but still give the beer a nice full feel.

Founders has knocked it out of the park so far with their Backstage Series. Im curious to see what they come up with next. Great BA Old Ale with awesome bourbon notes, great sweetness and the maple, oh the maple.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2012 02:05:52 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

2.6/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I had such high expectations for this one. It looks exactly like Curmudgeon, but thats where the similarities end. Curmudgeon had a nice balance, but Better Half goes over the top with sweet. Theres way too much maple syrup for my tastes. I couldnt get past the sweetness, its so sweet its dry like rock or candied sugar.

I wish I had more to say, and the hype should be great, but not so much.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2012 00:30:46 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of kennylopez
kennylopez

New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Cloverleaf in Caldwell, NJ poured into a snifter.

Appearance: a clearer amber color with a off white fingers worth of head that leaves beautiful lacing.

Smells: a big bourbon note with sweet vanilla and hint of toffee rounded with a dark fruit.

Tastes: this is a super yummy ale. It is sweeter than the original Old Curmudgeon's with the maple syrup playing a big role along with the barrel side notes like toffee and vanilla with a generous Bourbon character.

Mouthfeels: at just under 12% this is a big beer but hard to call a sipper. I really enjoyed this and as it warms up the bourbon builds and the slight burn is super enjoyable.

Overall: I was lucky enough to score a bottle of this when it was around, and I was even more lucky when I got to have quite a few glasses at the tapping at my favorite pub. I am curious to see if the heat mellows a bit with some time, but I fully enjoyed this brew and will soak up every bit like a sponge given the opportunity. 10 out of !0, Great Job again to Founders Brewing Co.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2012 00:38:08 | More by kennylopez
Photo of KWacker
KWacker

Ohio

5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at The Beverage Source in Newark, Ohio Founders tasting. Served in a tulip glass.

Wow! This beer is hands-down one of the finest I've ever had. Sweet, malty, and at 11.9% it packs a wallop!
A - Poured about inch or so of head that thins without too much lacing. Nice amber color
S - Big time malts with definite hints of caramel, vanilla, maple, and bourbon.
T - Sweetness hits first, but fades quickly as the 11.9% kicks in and you pick up the bourbon in there. Amazing and clean finish with little to no burn. Smooth as can be. Vanilla and maple hints linger back.
M - Pretty well bodied with light cabonation
O - If you see it, get it. I drove 40 minutes to have this one and would go further if I had to. Also enjoyed the Breakfast Stout and KBS on draft and I'd choose Curmudgeon's Better Half over both. Awesome job Founder's!

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2012 19:51:22 | More by KWacker
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Lucky's anniversary party. Cloudy orange to amber color. Head disappears quickly, but does leave a few spots of lace.

Fruity, toffee and caramel aroma, laced with a nice amount of bourbon, oak and maple.

Great maltiness of Curmudgeon up front. Toffee, a bit of fig and ripe fruit. Bourbon notes come in, with some oak tannin and a hint of maple syrup.

Medium to almost full body, good amount of carbonation. Some warmth, but it is ok in this beer. I love what the barrel adds to this already awesome beer. Great stuff

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 14:56:03 | More by Bierguy5
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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.