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

937 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 937
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 405
Gots: 376 | 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: 937 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdillon86
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of C2H5
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of jen_not_jenn
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of jaasen64
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle

A- Pours a translucent brownish amber, slightly hazy. About a finger of off-white brownish head that dissipates fast.

S- Sweet maple syrup, booze (bourbon), smells almost exactly like maple whiskeys that I've had. Sweet sugary maple syrup definitely dominates the smell. Hint of oak.

T- Very sweet maple syrup with a little bit of vanilla. Very delicious almost like drinking maple candy, not too sweet though. Slight wood taste (oak).

M- Slightly syrupy, a little bit on the heavy side, but not too heavy. Smooth and very well balanced. Goes down very easy and alcohol is very hard to detect.

O- This was a fantastic beer, the taste was absolutely delicious. The maple syrup barrel definitely comes out in the beer with the wood and maple syrup taste. From what I remember, this beer had a little bit more of a maple syrup flavor and definitely more of a wood taste then the regular Curmudgeon. Definitely recommended if you can get your hands on some.

Photo of nkeckhar
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
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.

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

Dyan sent this one. Thanks! I included this beer in a blind tasting where it was sampled alongside King Henry, Mother of All Storms, Sucaba, Arctic Devil and Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary.

Better Half pours a light shade of amber, decidedly lighter than I'd expect for an old ale (whatever that means by today's brewing standards). The head is thin and recedes quickly. The nose is sugary sweet, heavy on caramel malt flavors. Pleasantly barrel forward, though not as maple syrupy heavy as I was expecting; bourbon seems more dominant. The palate is similar, showcasing sticky, sweet pale and caramel malt flavors that are backed by even more sweetness from the maple syrup bourbon barrel. As the nose implies, there's more bourbon than maple syrup here, though I do get a nice maple undertone. The body feels a bit thin to me, and the finish is more dry than expected, and slightly astringent. Alcohol is fairly well hidden, which is certainly impressive given the 11.9% ABV. Quite good overall, but not a total knock-out like CBS.

Photo of MikeConklin
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

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 billyshears
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of GennyCreamAle
2.75/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of VncentLIFE
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.

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 bcostner1
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep, rich caramel brown/tan. Thin tan head. Looks pretty viscous as it pours.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, wood, booze, and some dark fruits maybe(?) Intoxicating aroma.

T: Upon first sip, bourbon definitely predominates with some wood in the mix too. Also get a nice melange of the following: caramelized sugar, brown sugar, dark fruits. As the beer warms, I'm getting more of a vanilla-maple-brown sugar combo and I am loving it. This is a very sweet beer to me and that may be offsetting to some people but all the different elements work extremely well together in my opinion.

M: A little on the syrupy/viscous side (which I guess is what you get when you age a beer in bourbon maple syrup barrels). The alcohol is definitely present and, combined with the viscosity, makes this a sipper for sure. I consumed the bomber in 2 parts myself.

Overall, a fantastic beer and one that I am extremely glad that I had the privilege of trying. I have one to age and am curious to see what some time does to this brew.

Photo of wesleypipes237
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of mcbeerbrew
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of travMI13
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. 750 mL bottle served into a CBS snifter.

A: Pours a hazy orangeish, reddish, brown tone with a small off-white head. The head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a decent amount of lacing.

S: The nose reminds me a lot of fresh raisin bread. I'm getting bread and raisins with hints if cinnamon, maple, and booze.

T: Strong maple flavor up front. Very sweet. Getting some of the breadiness from the nose along with a lot of spices. The booze is incredibly well-hidden. This is a challenge to describe accurately. My best analogy is coffee cake soaked in BLiS maple syrup, and I think that's exactly what it is supposed to be. Sublime.

M: The sweetness and stickiness linger for quite a while. The mouthfeel is very syrupy, even though it's not very thick for an olde ale. I almost wish it was a bit heavier, but that's a very minor complaint.

O: This beer is absolutely outstanding. I'm enjoying it immensely. The sweetness and the spiciness might not be for everyone, but this is right up my ally. Just another well-executed barrel-aged beer from Founders. The Founders barrel-aging program just might be the best in the business, and this one is just another feather in their cap.

Photo of theminutemen
3.25/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of airbag11
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

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

A; poured a dark brown in color with caramel brown highlights and had a nice finger worth of head that left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of maple syrup was apparent in the aroma with bourbon barrel characteristics, some caramel, sweet malts, and traces of booze as well; very nice nose.

T: The maple syrup and bourbon barrel characters was more prominent on the palate alongside vanilla caramel accents but with nice sugar sweetness.

M; the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, maple syrup, bourbon barrel, vanilla, and sticky finish.

O; it was a very tasty old ale with a great aroma. Wish I could get my hands on more of this beer

Photo of jrohrbacher
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Stunner97
3.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- dark brown with thick white head off pour that quickly fades to white lacing, small amount carbonation and very murky and cloudy

Smell- wow such great nose, vanilla, malt, syrup, and oak great nose,

taste- the taste is very very sweet up front and than has faint spice and hop at then end that trys to wrap it up with bit dryness on the finish, you do get some vanilla and oak and some maple, the flavor though good is not quite as complex as you are thinking may get off the vibrant nose, tons bourbon and booze, probably a bit boozy, may need age,

Mouthfeel-medium to full bodied with very smooth feel, can def get some warmth from full booze level

Drinkability/overall- This was very tasty and complex beer, would I call it world class probably not but certainly a world class nose, I would be interested to see what a bit of age would do in this beer, maybe I came into this beer with such high hopes but for the price I guess you should, certainly a very good beer just maybe tad hot right now and a bit less complex then I was expected, hmm alot going on for sure a bit boozy and sweet to be highly drinkable, that said I will look forward to what age will give my other bottle

Photo of davey101
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a DFH signature glass. Big thanks to boilerbrew for the trade!

A - Clear dark red/orange body. 2 finger off-white head, very fluffy with large bubbles. Great lacing and retention.

S - I could smell the sweetness immediately after opening the beer. Super sweet toffee malts with lighter bourbon notes of vanilla and oak. A fruit aroma is also very present, I can't put my finger on it exactly buts is similar to a caramel apple. Some lingering dark fruits, brown sugar and molasses. I can't really detect any maple.

T - This beer starts off with a toffee malt flavor that you'll find in any good old ale. This is followed by a super sweet yet smooth wave of molasses and maple. Complex notes of leather, oak, vanilla, and butterscotch finish the beer off. Lightly bitter with a huge sweetness present through the entire sip. Super decadent and rich but I don't find it to be cloying at all. Alcohol heat is present as it warms up but never offensive. Mouth feel is medium bodied and a bit syrupy with low carbonation. Matches the flavor profile perfectly.

O - Wow. This beer is phenomenal. Its just a delicious old ale that was barrel aged to perfection. Tons of sweetness with just the right amount of bourbon notes. Very smooth and complex. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of kennylopez
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.

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.