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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 pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

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

Thanks to Scoot1969 for this. Tulip glass.

A: Barely a shimmer of tan colored head, leaving just a thin ring over a deep caramel body. Very good clarity, no lacing, and decent retention.

S: Dark fruit and spice, this smells like Christmas. Herbal, grassy honey, mint, caramel. Loads of syrupy molasses. A little alcohol burn. The barrel character is quite tame, but the nose exhibits excellent complexity.

T: Sweet, syrup-like molasses, vanilla, rich caramel, a bit of alcohol and bourbon, Andes candies, with a little hop bitterness on the finish. Lots of chocolate mint… interesting.

M: Full bodied, medium-light, soft carbonation.

O: The overriding flavor is very prominent vanilla-infused, minty syrup. Pretty unusual and good complexity, which makes this good slow sipper, but probably limits how much of this you could drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 05:31:07 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 3.29.13

A - Pours a dark carmel brown with a small light tan head with good retention.

S - Bourbon, maple, molasses. As advertised.

T - Rich carmel and toffee, then some licorice, bourbon and oak in the finish.

D - Heavier body with good carbonation.

O - Lots of bourbon and molasses make this a sweet carmel bourbon delight.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 03:23:38 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of JohnQVD
JohnQVD

New York

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with suspended solids and a razor thin head. Smells of bourbon, brown sugar and maple. Taste is bourbon heavy and sweet with mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation. Aftertaste is lingering bourbony bitterness.

This is a fantastic beer. The original is very good, and the bourbon aging just puts it over the top.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 02:58:18 | More by JohnQVD
Photo of Hugonaut13
Hugonaut13

Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a FW Snifter. Big thanks to ObiWanKushnobi for this bottle! Pro tip- turn this bottle up and down a few times gently to mix it up. Tip is from cfrances33 and obiwankushnobi.

A- Pours like reddish maple syrup. Looks thick as it pours. Enough carbonation to know it's there. Head recedes quickly. Floating chunks (like heady) sprinkled throughout the beer. Looks decadent!

S- Smells like watered down maple bourbon. Fantastic! It immediately let's you know this is a sweet treat that is going to take awhile to drink.

T- The taste starts very maple/molasses forward as that dissipates into smooth bourbon. Finishes with classic tastes of raisins, figs, toffee, and sweet malt to let you know that the base beer still exist inside. Quite sweet but not overpowering. Definitely a sipper. I'm completely enjoying this.

M- This is a heavy beer (as the style should be). Enough carbonation to keep this from being a chore to drink. Very smooth. The 11.9% is not present in burn.

O- Nice job Founders. Curmudgeon's is one of my favorite yearly releases from them and this takes it to another level. All the flavors work well together to become a rich, satisfying old ale. No single flavor overpowers the rest of the beer. If you enjoy sweet beers, seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 18:30:06 | More by Hugonaut13
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

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

1300th review! 750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled in 2/2012. Pours lightly hazy ruby red color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, maple syrup, bourbon, raisin, fig, molasses, toast, toffee, brown sugar, herbal earthiness, oak, leather, pepper, light vanilla, and light coconut. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of barrel character and malt notes; hardly any alcohol presence. Taste of big caramel, molasses, maple syrup, toast, toffee, bourbon, raisin, fig, vanilla, oak, pepper, herbal earthiness, leather, and light coconut. Lingering notes of caramel, maple syrup, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, fig, bourbon, vanilla, oak, pepper, leather, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of robust malt flavor with well balanced barrel character; and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and thick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged old ale. Fantastic complexity and balance of malt and barrel flavors; and moderately smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable slow sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 05:08:40 | More by superspak
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 20:46:33 | More by tectactoe
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy amber, some carbonation, some carbonation, one finger head with lacing.

S-Maple bourbon, molasses, very sweet. Tad bit of grass.

T-Sweet, yet balanced. Maple, molasses and bourbon. Mild bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, with some carbonation.

O-A great beer, a friend shared it, so glad. The perfect pairing with Pancakes. Bourbon and maple were great together. Wish I could have tried it fresh though.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 22:20:03 | More by rlee1390
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The bottle was chilled and served in a snifter.

A- The body of the beer is a a rusty amber coloration. The head is a creamy white coloration. A lot of sediment is noted in the bottom of my glass. This is some ugly looking shit.

S- The aroma of the beer has plenty of maple, carmelized bananas, peat and earthen notes. The aroma rounds out with vanilla and I swear I am getting rum.

T- This beers flavors are maple sweet, brown sugar a bit of peat and treaclely earthyness keeps the sweetness in check.

M- The body of the beer is medium with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is very sticky and a bit hot on the alcohol notes.

O- This beer is a bit on the sweet side. The peat and the earthyness of the beer somewhat conteract the sweetness. Frankly I think this beer needed a bit more time to sit in the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 02:01:39 | More by nlmartin
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle shared and served in a taster. Pours a dark amber hue that is slightly lighter than maple syrup. Nose reveals booze, maple syrup notes, a sugary character and a slightly medicinal quality. Taste expresses toffee and also candy flavors (maybe Reese's Pieces). There's also a trace of toasted wood. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a carbonation that is just short of lively. Texture is slightly oily. Overall, a really enjoyable BA Old Ale - that said, when I had the opportunity to try this at NOTB it was a lot more maple forward. It is still drinking very well, and the alcohol heat has dissipated, but the maple has definitely dropped off.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 22:28:57 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

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

A: This poured a cloudy dark copper with a little off white head.
S: It smelled like maple and molasses and tons of oak and toasted coconut, with some vanilla and earthy roasted barley and copper hops and honey.
T: It tasted like maple and vanilla and toasted coconut and oak, with some molasses and copper hops and roasted barley and honey. It had a clean and sweet and smooth aftertaste.
M: It was very thick and viscous with some carbonation. Nice full and slick body.
D: This was a delicious old ale with great maple bourbon barrel character. I loved the scent and taste, and the body was excellent. It had a lasting but mellow finish, so it was easy to drink but worth sipping. It would likely age a long tome, but it doesn't need it since it's great fresh. Recommended, if you could find it.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 04:22:09 | More by Pencible
Photo of sleuthdog
sleuthdog

Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Founders Bolt Cutter glass

Pour: Rusty brown with a shit ton of floaties and no head to speak of.

Smell: I get a sweet peat and spice smell with some oak and the sweetness of the maple syrup. Is that coriander?

Taste: Maple sweetness with some vanilla and surprisingly some hops in here. The barrel character is evident but the sweetness is dominating.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a very sticky consistency. No carbonation.

Overall: Did not enjoy this as much as I was hoping to. Decent but maybe sat on this too long?

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 03:21:02 | More by sleuthdog
Photo of tut2528
tut2528

Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

thanks to sleuthdog for opening this one during the tasting!

A: FLOATIES!!! pours a rust color bodied, with slight off-white 1/2 fingers worth of head fromation. no lacing what so ever.

S: peat, big maple sweetness, brown sugar, very subtle bourbon, dog food (seriously, there is a hint of dry dog food). no alcohol whatsoever

T: maple sweetness forward. vanilla finish, a slight hop note, a slight touch of bourbon in there as well. not as much complexity as i thought there would be.

M: lighty bodied, but it leaves a nice coating of sugary sweetness on the teeth and palate.

O: nice solid Old Ale, but nothing to get all crazy about IMO. its a sweet maple beer all the way around, but it lacks complexity to help balance this beer out and truly making it a phenomenal brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 03:18:47 | More by tut2528
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-03-10 in Columbia, PA (from tasting notes)

A - Dark orange, partly cloud. A few floaties. Short tan head.

S - Oak, bourbon, peat, spice. I don't smell the maple

T - Molasses, bourbon, medium roasted malt, maple, vanilla, sharp hop tang, some pepper, candied orange, fairly sweet. Notice the alcohol. Really tasty.

M - Medium-heavy, light carbonation. Smooth. Syrupy.

O - Very enjoyable but I like CBS better. This is more like a wee-heavy.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 15:45:54 | More by Tucquan
Photo of sjones5045
sjones5045

New Jersey

4.89/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So this is the third, and final bottle of my Better Half stash. I've had a bottle at release, a few months later and now over a year later. The pour is dark brown and in the case of the older beer, hazy with some sediment. The smell is sweet and malty. Curmudgeon with syrup pretty much. The taste is insane. Malty and sweet like the smell. The thing I don't like is that it ruin the regular curmudgeon for me a little. Overall, top notch world class beer that I'm sad that I may not ever have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 03:04:41 | More by sjones5045
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a brandy snifter... amber gold body with good clarity except for all the little fuckers floating around in there... full finger of tan head that appears awfully boozy, large gauge carbonation, oily drapes of lace... beading with every movement of the glass.

Leafy tobacco notes, stale breakfast syrup, the heat of the alcohol is still apparent on the tail end of a good snort. Not crazy about this one judging by the nose alone.

Lots of oaky vanilla flavors on the palate accented by molasses and a distinctly maple sweetness, that same dry tobacco flavor shows itself here again, caramel and toffee malt characteristics. There's a strange lingering flavor attached to the booze bill that I can't exactly put my finger on. I can imagine how much smoother this would have been with a fresh maple syrup profile. This one has to be my least favorite of the Founders Backstage beers.

I can't see this one improving from here. Still very glad to have had the chance to try it out though. Drink 'em if you got 'em. I'll be pretty liberal with my rating since I think I should've had this one fresh.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 00:45:52 | More by yamar68
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Curmdugeon’s Better Half is copper in color. It’s very clear. When held to light, it takes on more of a red appearance. It’s a really sharp looking color. An off-white head caps it off. It’s rather modest, rising to just above a finger in height. Retention was short. Perhaps the abv’s a bit too much for it to survive. Lacing was a bit sticky and moderate in volume. Good stuff.

The nose is very impressive. The base smells like a mix of caramel and toasted malts. It definitely smells sweet and sugary. Part of that is attributable to the barrel-aging in maple syrup bourbon barrels. Sweet syrup scents are definitely noted. Bourbon is there, but is more subtle. It’s a nice complement to the other scents though. Secondary scents include vanilla, oak, light dark fruit, and alcohol. Alcohol is blended well for nearly 12%. It doesn’t smell nearly that strong. Smells great! Very deep, complex, and intriguing.

The flavor is very good, but it is just a tad too sweet. The malt base is a strong mix of caramel and toasted malts. The caramel variety is stronger. It is VERY sweet. The mix of caramel, syrup, and sugary flavors are a huge part of the flavor profile. Having said that, the maple flavor is tasty and works well. Bourbon is there, but isn’t really the highlight. It takes a backseat to the other flavors and plays its complementary role very well. A mix of vanilla, oak, praline, light plum, and alcohol round it out. The alcohol is blended extremely well. Finishes with a mix of sugar, caramel, sugar, syrup, and sugar.

The body is medium and it is extremely smooth. Carbonation is dialed back nicely and the bubbles feel very soft. This is easy drinking for such a big beer. Scary drinkability. Proceed with caution.

There’s no doubt – Curmudgeon’s Better Half is extremely good beer. If you have a big sweet tooth, you’ll love it. This one’s just a little sweet for me, and that holds it back a little. Very, very impressive stuff though. Definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 03:07:11 | More by prototypic
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

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

$18 for the 750nL, served slightly chilled in a tulip
Sampled 05NOV12

[A] From a slowly glugging pour, less than a finger of light tan head rises. Retention is average but a creamy film and foamy collar remain until the end if the glass. The tiny bubbles move slowly through the noticeably thick medium amber colored body. Straggles of lacing cling to the glass in unpredictable fashion.

[S] At this age, just above a hint of maple syrup sweetness remains on the nose. The bourbon barrel character is simply amazing. The subtlety is refined, blending perfectly with the more complex notes of of oak, brown sugar, caramel, butter, a drop of vanilla & the right amount of alcohol.

[T] I assume that the molasses fermented out completely because it is undetectable to my senses - and I'm usually adverse to it. I do, however, pick up on some modestly dark sugar flavors on the back end of the palate at warmer temperatures, but they are much closer to buttery caramel than molasses.

[M] Overall sweetness is balanced by a tannic oakiness at midpalate and a shot of dryness right before the residual sweetness resumes. A pleasant alcoholic warmth begins in the belly and slowly rises to the tongue. "Heat" is not a practical consideration. Effervescence is appropriately low, creating a rich, thick, tongue lathering texture. Soft and plush. Just glorious.

[O] A fresher bottle put out stronger maple aroma and flavor, but the mouthfeel at 9 months (or so) now has little to no room for improvement. And since the maple *is* still lingering, it's a trade-off I'll take any day of the week. What else can I say? This is my kind of beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 13:52:21 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of ChiPool
ChiPool

Illinois

4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into Founder's snifter. Can't find a bottle date, but purchased back in February: consumed & reviewed 12/23/12.

I'm so accustomed to BA stouts, I forgot this was an old ale. I realized this upon the pour, as it is a medium amber color, with moderate carbonation & about a quarter-inch of cream colored head. It's cloudy: plenty of floaties present. The nose gives you no doubt about the bourbon presence: boozy, a touch of honey there as well. the booze is well blended on the palate, though: very little booziness there for a big boy like this. As this opens up, the molasses make itself more prominent. The bourbon & molasses pair well: not much there in bitterness at all. The mouthfeel is superb: just right. It gains a bit of density as it warms, but nicely balanced overall.

Nice change of pace for a BA option (old ale as opposed to a stout). My only complaint is that it is a touch heavy on the molasses. Make sure to have a friend when you open this...or hunker down!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 20:51:00 | More by ChiPool
Photo of andrewjraab
andrewjraab

Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes from 12-14

A. Pours a golden amber brown. Good clarity. Big off white head that quickly shrinks. Not much stick or retention to speak of.

S. sweet and malty, big blast of sweet bourbon and maple syrupy goodness. Smell makes me hope to one day enjoy one of these before during and after a pancake breakfast.

T. Sweet molasses, malts, bourbon, and oaky.

O. This is amazingly smooth for the alcohol content and walks such a delicate yet unique flavor trail. Was this a one time deal for the back stage releases? I hope not.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 02:18:26 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, joshrosborne!

A lighter than expected, but very pretty nearly clear copper and golden with a very persistent, moderately sized light khaki colored head of tightly bubbled foam atop. Leaves fairly thick lines and spots of stick down the glass. Very pretty, especially for the style.

Nice caramel and toffee notes, along with a bit of wood and nut combine nicely with bourbon notes and some lingering maple characters. I wish it all a bit more pronounced, as in the flavor, but this is certainly very nice.

The flavor is fantastic and just as expressive and delicious as I was hoping for. This is like melted caramel and pecan pie with a bourbon whipped cream frosting atop...only in beer form. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, turning this monster into an incredibly drinkable, tamed beast. Really impressed.

Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Just a touch oily. Very drinkable.

Exceptional. One of my favorites within the style. Well done, Founders!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 05:36:25 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes.

CBH capped 750ml from Will (much thanks bro!) split with my brother with my portion going into a Hair of the Dog snifter.

A: (3.5) Very dark ruby body with a ton floaties...good amount of off-tan head and lacing that sticks around considering its a 12% beer.

S: (4.5) Copious amounts of brown sugary malt. Maple syrup is still evident, but there is just a ton of caramel and malt in this thing, with suggestions of dark fruit, figs, and molasses as well. Sweet alcohol as well, but not boozy.

T: (4) Taste follows the aroma, brown sugar and molasses, caramel, maple syrup, dark fruitiness, sweet brown malt, undertones of bourbon and vanilla with hints of booze and dark cherries.

MF: (4) Sticky, viscous mouthfeel, fuller bodied with lower carbonation. Making my way through the turbidity is kind of a pain, but the alcohol is pretty well hidden at least.

O: (4.5) A good sipper, seriously 6 ounces of this thing is enough for me. A beer that isn't in my wheelhouse (style-wise) but is still a great offering with lots going on in the aromatics and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 21:22:00 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

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

A: Dark amber brown with a small off white head. Decent retention. Decent lacing.

S: Malty. Sweet carmel malts dominate with bourbon, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Some booziness in the background.

T: Malty bomb. Tons of carmel and molasses up front, then the maple syrup, vanilla and bourbon take over. Nice bourbon taste, not too strong, not too weak. The booziness on the backend helps cut the sweetness. No hops.

M: Medium-heavy body with lower carbonation. Feels pretty smooth and a bit creamy.

O: Decent drinkability. Drinks lower than 12%. Its good, but not great. The maple syrup adds a nice dimension.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 01:05:27 | More by herman77
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

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

Poured from 750 mL brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. 2012 vintage. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $17.99.

A: Dark copper with short cap of beige/khaki head with short retention but a few scraps of lace. Quite a few yeast floaties.

S: Huge toffee and burnt caramel smells with some dark fruit and alcohol, bourbon mainly. I don't detect alot of maple aroma but it coul dbe buried in there underneath the prodigious malting.

T: The flavor is a step up from the aroma with burnt caramel, rum raisin, toffee, milk chocolate, and brown sugar. The alcohol is well-hidden in the flavor but there with a little steeliness. There is a fair amount of bitterness to try to offset the sugary sweetness, but the sugar definitely wins. Bourbon character is present but subdued after about 8-9 months of cellar time. The maple is not really coming through, although there is a bit of rough sweetness that might be from the maple syrup component. There is a little bit of nuttiness as well, maybe from the suspended yest particles. Not a subtle beer, but very enjoyable and a great sipper.

M: Silky smooth with a bit of tackiness at the back of the palate from the alcohol and super sweet sugars. Carbonation was appropriately low. Body was full and then some.

O: I have not tried the standard Curmudgeon for awhile, but I will have to revisit for a little comparison-action. Better Half is definitely all it is cracked up to be -- a powerful beer which hits your palate like a microburst of flavor -- it blows through and leaves your taster behind in shreds. Only this blast of flavor is intensely enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 04:30:40 | More by argock
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a trade with Irishgurl4 many moons ago. Thanks again for the fun trade(s) Christine!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, thicker looking, fluffy, creamy-white head with good retention. Clear rust orange wth medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a foam cap and leaves some lacing on the top of the glass. A half wisp and ring remain until the end leavind some dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking beer for sure.

SMELL: Maple syrup, bourbon, oak and vanilla on the nose from the barrel aging. Some caramel and toffee sweetness, as well as some molasses and spicy alcohol as well. Nice nose on this one.

TASTE: Caramel and malple syrupy sweetness up front, as well as some bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate from the barrel aging. Aftertaste is bold and persistent with plenty of maple flavors, minty milk chocolate, sweet molasses and bourbon lingering on the palate. Nice and flavoful, though a touch boozy still.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creay creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes relatively dry on the palate. Very creamy smooth here.

OVERALL: This was a solid, solid beer. I think I preferred the stout aged in these barrels, but the old ale held its own as well. Some nice barrel flavors with hints of the base beer coming through here and there as well. An enjoyable beer I'd gladly drink again. Thanks again for the brews Irishgurl4. Much appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 19:40:54 | More by Jeffo
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

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

Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is reddish-amber and slightly hazy with a finger of off-white head that quickly dissipates. On the nose I get some fruity esters, some bourbon, toffee, and some faint vanilla notes. Some dried fruit and alcohol fumes as well.

Very full body and velvety, creamy, chewy mouthfeel. The sweet, toasty, caramel-like sweetness hits you like a big malty club. Loads of sweetness. On the front of the palate is sweet malt, caramel, toffee, and candied sugar laced with vanilla, cream, and oaky, bourbony goodness. I think I'm getting a very faint trace of maple syrup too. There is a mild balancing hoppy bitterness at mid-palate and a nice, warming hit of booziness on the finish.

The last time I tried it, I thought that the standard Curmudgeon was a bit too sweet and boozy. However, I may need to revisit it because I thought this version of it was simply outstanding. The bourbon-barrel aging suits this style perfectly, just like it does big barleywines. It goes perfectly with the cold, damp weather outside.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 00:30:52 | More by deadonhisfeet
Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.