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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

949 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 949
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 408
Gots: 371 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Old ale aged in bourbon barrels previously used for Michigan maple syrup.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 949 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of patm1986
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Gosox8787
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle courtesy of Centennial. Served slightly chilled from the refridgerator. Poured into my Kate the Great glass.

Appearance: Dark brown in color with some nice ruby highlights. Pours a one finger, creamy beige head with surprisingly good retention for the ABV. Recedes into a nice lacing around the edge.

Aroma: A surprisingly amount of maple, paired nicely with some bourbon upfront. I get a lot more maple here than I remember in CBS, but it doesn't strike me as cloying at all. The bourbon presents in notes of vanilla, caramel, coconut and molasses. Some nice figs and dark fruit notes as well. Really pleasant.

Taste: Maple and bourbon notes dominate again. I am not finding this that boozy at all. The 11.9% is really nicely hidden. All the vanilla, bourbon, caramel and coconut comes together and creates a nice profile. Some of the base beer is also present beneath. some nice dark fruits and figs tempered with a touch of medicinial hops. Again, not too sweet to be undrinkable at all. Really impressed by this.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Really smooth and a touch creamy. Really nice carbonation.

Overall, a really nice beer with great notes of maple and bourbon. A definite improvement on the original. Not a bad buy for the price point at all. I think this is drinking pretty well about now, even if there is a touch of booze in there. The maple is really nice and prominent at this point. I would definitely like to try this again with some time though.

Photo of Shilt
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of SweJon
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour shared by cbanker at DarthKostrizer’s place.

Pours a clear dark orange with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and maybe some subtle maple aromas. Taste is pretty much the same along with an alcohol kick in the throat with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that I am glad I got to try but I think it’s pretty boozy at this point in time.

Photo of Jballn
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of TobinMitnick
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of beerhan
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Joeybones3
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of zrab11
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of leschkie
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
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
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
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
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
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
2.68/5  rDev -37.8%
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.

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 949 ratings.