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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half

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

917 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 917
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 405
Gots: 377 | FT: 16
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: 917 | Reviews: 229 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Gobzilla, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of jrohrbacher
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

jrohrbacher, Mar 29, 2012
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

Stunner97, Mar 29, 2012
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.

davey101, Mar 28, 2012
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.

kennylopez, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a somewhat clear toffee color with just a wisp of head and spotty lacing.

Aroma consists of leather, vanilla, with a hint of brown sugar sweetness. Bourbon and a little maple syrup come out as warmed.

Taste follows the nose. I get the molasses flavor up front along with the taste of drinking maple syrup. After the initial burst of sweetness, some leather, oak and vanilla come through. Finishes with a bite from the bourbon and alcohol lingers on the finish.

Thick and syrupy approaching cloying, but thankfully not hitting it. I love the maple in this. As it warms, it's a delightful thick sludge.

A little outside my normal styles enjoyed, but there was a lot of good stuff here. All the flavors were integrated nicely and it was complex without becoming muddled. I'll be aging one just to see, but I can't imagine it'll be as good once the maple fades. It's by far the best aspect.

jmarsh123, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of originsbrewery
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

originsbrewery, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

megamass, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev -7.2%

ohtheguilt, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of bishocr
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

bishocr, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of MajorBuckeye
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

MajorBuckeye, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of Ray7233
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Ray7233, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of will1256
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

will1256, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of TheBierBoutique
4/5  rDev -7.2%

TheBierBoutique, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of minterro
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle gotten from Dusty’s Cellar. Rated during the MSU Louisville game.

Really like the bottle, simplistic but elegant.

A&S: fruity esters, sweet malts, big alcohol tones. Tons of unfilteredness. Semi translucent light copper colored beer. Off-white head that doesn’t really hang around because of the ABV probably.

T&M: very hot and warming. Sweet matly upfront. Black licorice finish. Maple syrup midway to the finish. Other tones include caramel, dark fruits (mostly raisins), and brown sugar. Very smooth and viotile when drinking it, it seems to evaporate out of your throat. Medium bodied low carbonation.

O: Didn’t really live up to my personal hype about it, but it was still really good and fairly unique. To me it almost seemed like a mix of mostly old ale but partially Quad.

minterro, Mar 24, 2012
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!

marvin213, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of nknauz
5/5  rDev +16%

nknauz, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of KWacker
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!

KWacker, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of CORKSCREWFISH
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

CORKSCREWFISH, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of chromemittenman
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had this in bottles as well and on tap at Founders and at a bar 3/18/12.

The color is deceiving to me, I expected darker...however, the flavor waiting in the glass is out of this world.

The smell...it is apparent immediately that the famed Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup process was used.

Boozy...Yes please...it doesn't hide the fact it is aged in Bourbon barrels.

When I got it poured, I ordered a small 4 oz glass of another beer to let this warm, the warmer it got, the more incredible it became.

I hate to say it, but I would have to say this beer is neck and neck with CBS, if not better IMO.

chromemittenman, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of jaidenjb
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

jaidenjb, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Still not sure why this has not been merged with Kaiser's Curmudgeon yet but guess I'll review it until it has. had it again as CBH up at Night of the Barrels in Boston and 3 weeks ago in a bottle thanks to Huhzebenda; thanks Matt. I liked it much more from the bottle.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel, oak, bourbon, maple, roasted malts, and toffee.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, maple syrup, oak, vanilla, sugar, bourbon, and toasted malts.

m - Medium to full body more on the full side, and low carbonation. Thick and smooth.

o - A very nice maple beer. Some nice sweet maple, vanilla, and caramel, would certainly like to have it again.

mdfb79, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of Gushue3
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Gushue3, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of derkfromwi
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duvel glass

A: Finger and a half khaki head, pretty clear, deep ruby amber color, good carbonation, bit of lacing

S: Some bourbon, maple syrup, caramel, oak, brown sugar, touch of vanilla and earthiness

T: A nice blend of flavors here; sweetness upfront, not as much bourbon as the nose would lead you to believe, oak, touch of raisin, little bit of spice

M: Smooth and creamy, decent carbonation, medium to full bodied, warming finish

O: Very good stuff, wish I had some more

derkfromwi, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of RoamingGnome
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 3/15/12 tasting notes... Paired this with some opening round NCAA Tourney action. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into CBS snifter.

A) This is a pleasing looking burnished brandy. It starts with nearly a finger of head that settles to a wispy dusting. There was not much lacing, seemed to have some alcohol legs.

S) Nice blend of aromas. I picked up some vanilla, maple syrup, caramel, Levi Garrett Tobacco. It's fairly sweet, with a nice hint of the bourbon.

T) Definitely lives up to the expectations I had after savoring the aroma. Vanilla bean, sweet maple syrup, some dark fruits,a little brown sugar, a little woody bourbon barrel cask. The alcohol is well hidden. Well balanced flavors, that deliver a great taste.

M) Nearly full bodied and lightly carbonated. This one is silky smooth. Finishes fairly sweet with complementary earthiness. Nice aftertaste.

O Simply put, this is an outstanding ale. If you are lucky enough to try this one, do not hesitate. Thanks to Founders for another fantastic offering.

RoamingGnome, Mar 21, 2012
Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 917 ratings.