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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 DoubleSimcoe
3.36/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Better Half, bottle bought at Whole Foods Chelsea in NYC for $15.99.

"Old Ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels"

Adorable-naive label, with the loving Curmudgeon's wife making an appearance (the man remains impassive and rather grouchy). I sense a divorce, or separate beds for the rest of their lives. Maybe this beer is just too sweet for the old fart?

Appearance: Served in my Lost Abbey snifter, my assertive pour produced a classic snow-capped one-finger head that dies rather soon, leaving only a mantle and serious lacing. Better Half looks like an old ale indeed (or a better barleywine), with a mysterious, slightly shiny amber color that almost begs to have one of those million-year-old flies encased inside.

Smell: Huh... scrambling to sniff *anything at all*. Alright, there is some cookie dough, banana bread, brown sugar and bourbon at the end. Crushed raisin and fruitiness. Suck on that sweeeet toffee! As it warms up, it becomes sweeter and more bourbony, with wood and cat-litter dust at the end.

Taste: If you love bourbon (and I do), you'll love this. Reminds me of drinking Evan Williams 2001. Booze, fire, tad of smoke. White chocolate, "tarta al whisky", rum-soaked bread, then cookies and more fire. SWEET AND HOT! Liquid caramel. At the end, I feel like I'm swimming in bourbon and sliding down a barrel. Can you say unbalanced?

Mouthfeel: A little thin for such a monster. It feels weak in the mouth, then goes down with intense dryness and outrageous heat plus a nice touch of bourbon.

Overall: This has got to be one of the sweetest, booziest, most unbalanced brews EVER. Didn't enjoy the Kaiser on tap, and this is no better. I love bourbon and sweet beers (hello CBS!) but this just ain't right.

Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft, served in a small goblet that held 10 oz. at most.

Copper color, transparent when held to the light. A cirrus skim melted across the surface, looking like a smudged melting marshmallow. Some lingering webs of lace stuck around the edges.

Pungent bourbon aromas of toasted coconut, vanilla and brown sugar. Slightly sweet with a little hint of maple woodiness.

Tasted similar, some mellow oaky traces dried things out, along with some caramel flavor and maraschino juice astringency from the alcohol... Big on the vanilla/brown sugar/maple combo with a significant alcohol presence from the barrel. Lingering bourbon traces in the aftertaste. It's well blended and fairly drinkable, medium bodied and sticky on the lips. Overall, it's worth trying or looking for, but not really worth any extra hoop-jumping to buy a bottle.

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Gfunk720
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. Out of my CBS snifter.

A- A bright reddish amber, on the darker side. Very clean and clear. A healthy off white head forms and reduces to a thin layer that retains. Light lacing.

S- Tons of sweet malt, caramel, and molassas. I get some touches of heat, as well as oaky maple bourbon. Pretty amazing.

T- Just buttery smooth, which is quickly followed by a hoppy punch. The caramel, bourbon, and oak then really go to work. Amazing complex, and just kind of dances across the tongue. Sweet, but not too sweet. I do get some touches of maple candy as well.

M- Amazing. Light on carbonation, but I feel it works perfect for this beer. The body and mouthfeel just have the perfect thickness.

O- Though very reminicent of Backwoods Bastard, this beer is a little different. I think the balance of body, barrel aging, and complexity, is quite amazing. Quite curious to see what this turns into with some age, as if it smooths out it will be euphoric.

-GFunk

Photo of s1ckboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Riggsenater
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of areich6
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Hoppedup616
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to land this bottle, poured into a Great Lakes snifter.
Poured almost syrupy, this one really stuck to the glass. Molasses in color, and had a minimal off white head that left pretty quickly. Smell was extremely sweet, totally amazing. Carmel, bourbon, wood, slight maple, but more than CBS in more opinion. Whoa...this tastes incredible. Maple is more prominent in the taste, which I was fond of. Still very sweet, and had a very nice bourbon character. Alcohol was very well hidden, something Founders is really good at doing. The mouthfeel was also thick and syrupy, not that much carbonation, but I loved it. This beer was worth the wait. Haven't tried the original Curmudgeon, but it's next on my list. I look forward to enjoying this beer again.

Photo of dnh2
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of mikediesel124
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of SIEVS
1/5  rDev -76.8%

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

Thanks to my badass BA friend and neighbor, wesside89!

Pours a dark ruby color with less than a fingers worth of off-white head. There are clusters of spotty lace throughout.

The nose sweet and boozy. Caramel, toffee, butterscotch, maple, bourbon and booze come through in full effect. Very dessert-like and inviting.

The taste resembles what the nose has defined. There is an abundant amount of bourbon which is awesome. Intertwined is some flavors of caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, booze, maple, and toffee. All of these flavors are pretty nicely balanced.

The mouthfeel is what i love the most about this brew. It is velvety smooth and luxurious, bold and ambitious. There is a hefty, big-bodied liquid that is creamy with low carbonation.

Overall, again, another home run from Founders. Beastly brew with massive scent, flavor, and a great, comfortable mouthfeel. Seek and Destroy

Photo of KAP1356
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wonderful girlfriend got me a bottle of this for Valentine's day! I have had Kaiser Curmudgeon before on draft, so I am pretty pumped to see how this bottle version compares. Poured into a white wine glass (best thing that was available)...

A - Poured a really nice amberish-copper color that is slightly cliudy. There is some glow around the edges when held to the light producing a nice dark gold color. Frothy head, about 1.5 fingers thick, leaves nice lacing along the glass.

S - Sweet notes of brown sugar, toffee, molasses, caramel, bourbon and vanilla right out front. Some digging brings out some sugary, sweet fruits like raisins, some oak, and maple. There is also a slight nuttiness I am picking up on. Sweet, but not the sugar bomb I thought KC to be. Ever so slight alcohol hit at the end.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee flavors right away mixed with bourbon and vanilla. Sweet malts come next with a nice tough of maple. The maple isn't as prominant as I thought it would be, but I actually like the level it is integrated. Raisins, buttery brown sugar and oak come out as well only enhancing this already awesome flavor profile.

M - Rich and smooth with a medium to full bodied beer. I think the richness makes it feel fuller than it is. Creamy with a light carbonation.

O - Well, I must say that the sweetness overload that I experienced with Kaiser Curmudgeon was nicely in check here. I really enjoyed this version much better and was more than able to get through the 750 ml bottle by myself. Another example as to why Founders is my favorite brewery and why I feel they are the kings of barrel aged beers.

Photo of Beezee
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of pschul4
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got the last bottle from my beer store so I'm feelin pretty lucky

A- Pours much lighter than I was expecting from a barrel aged beer but given that it's an old ale it stands to reason to be lighter

S- Very sweet maple syrup scent coming from this one with some background bourbon. These two scents dominate everything and not much else comes off this beer

T- Subtle maple syrup notes with big bourbon flavors and some background maltiness, much more complex than the scent and overall absolutely delicious

M- Super smooth with low carbonation, not chewy but quite thick

O- I loved this beer, is it CBS? no, but it's not a huge step back from that

Photo of buddyvelt
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle picked up locally. pretty sure this was billed as Kaiser Curmudgeon at one point in time. i had that on tap at rattle n hum at a founder's event and was blown away...here's hoping this is it.

a - filled my cbs snifter. poured a ruby chestnut that was semi-transparent. nice frothy thick head that left big streaks of lacing on my swirled glass.

s - strong sweet maple syrup. brown sugar to the max. definitely has that same old curmudgeon crossed with backwoods that i picked up in the draft version, but way more maple. sweet potpouri.

t - wonderful sweet caramel brown sugar. the barrel and maple syrup really take the old ale on a wild ride. this is the treatment that was needed for this beer. really well blended. if anything, a bit sweet, but super palatable. dare i say that this might be better than BB4D.

m - extremely smooth and easy to drink for the intense booze and sweetness that you'd expect.

o - overall, this is amazing. founders does it again. this was the sleeper as kaiser curmudgeon and a treat. i had heard black biscuit would be next, but super pumped for this one. glad it fell a bit under the radar for these releases...at least wasn't as crazy as CBS. a winner and a half. fantastic brew. as world class as BB4D...and the only old ale that should be mentioned in the same breathe.

Photo of kyledg
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of drabmuh
4.07/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this beer is the #9 beer on the "Top Beers - Old Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. I'm not sure how this beer is different than Kaiser Curmudgeon but it apparently is in a way that I am unaware of. On tap at the Big Hunt in DC, served in a 10 ounce tumbler. Beer is amber and slightly hazy with a lazy head of small off white bubbles, some lacing but low retention and carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, bourbon, boozy, malt, strong.

Beer is thin up front with minimal syrup notes sneaking through, giving it a strong almost drying finish, this beer again is about as sweet as a beer can be and still be considered a beer. If not for the 12% alcohol, the gravity on this thing would be through the roof. If you like big booze and palate wrecking levels of flavor, this beer is for you. Decent but too sweet.

Photo of Hophead717
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of beergorrilla
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of JDizzle
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of dudeabides76
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BelgianBeerHog26
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is fantastic. Has a great flavor from start to finish. Very unique.

I had this beer at three penny taproom in VT.

A: Beer is an amber / red hue. Slightly cloudy.

S : has a strong carmel coffee smell.

T: This beer starts off with a carmel chocolate flavor. Middle is a mild coffee. Finishes with a smooth whiskey, maple and oak flavor.

M: Medium body feel, not overly viscous but has a nice feel.

O: this beer is one the best I have had while in VT. This is pretty tough to beat. I would compare this to a maple stout in sweetness, but it finishes with a smooth carmel ethanol flavor. It is overall a fantastic beer.

Photo of ryantho00
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a snifter.

This brew's carbonation is just wonderful, you get a nice ecru off white foam that laces the glass throughout. This has a nice auburn brownish hue that is consistent throughout.

I get sweet malts and caramel in the first whiff and then some slight bourbon with coffee tones.

Boy oh boy, this beer is just AWESOME! I get a nice sweetness from the malts and chocolate and caramel, coffee, espresso, and frosting. It has a medium body,and is sweet throughout, but most defiantly drinkable and the alcohol is well masked as ALWAYS founders are masters at balancing beers PERFECTLY. IF YOU CAN FIND THIS BUY ONE!

Very nice sweet, malty brew done by the masters at Founders.

Cheers!

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