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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 womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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

The pour is amber in color with a white head. Lots and lots of vanilla and maple aromas to this. Caramel and toffee malt sweetness are well represented. Minimal wood with a good dose of bourbon to it as well. The flavor is just as wonderful. Lots of bourbon, maple, vanilla, and caramel. Maybe a little bit of brown sugar to go with it all. A little bit of oak flavor and dark fruit.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 21:31:39 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

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

750 mL bottle poured into a Kate the Great snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Pours a deep amber body. Decent head with decent lacing.

Smell - Apples, bourbon, maple. Big molasses aroma. The aromas complement each other very nicely.

Taste - Even better. Apples subdued. Much stronger maple syrup. Sweet dark sugar flavors. Nice earthy hop bitterness to keep it balanced. Awesome.

Mouthfeel - Boozy, for sure. Easy to drink, surprisingly. Almost too light considering the ABV.

Overall - Quite spectacular flavors. Much better than Old Curmudgeon. Every beer needs to be put in maple syrup bourbon barrels.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 14:47:33 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange with a finger of off-white head that settles slowly to a thin band. Patchy lacing on the glass. Good clarity. Aroma is somewhat boozy and sweet, with mild maple notes, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and a prominent oakiness.

Complex flavor with subtler maple than anticipated as well as lower overall sweetness. All elements are well-integrated: maple, brown sugar and toffee, bourbon, vanilla, some darker fruits; oak barrel character; raisins and toasted malt.

Medium to slightly full bodied, with moderate carbonation. A little lighter than I’d like but still very smooth. I almost want a more syrupy mouthfeel as that would befit the maple character well. Overall a strong and boozy treat and a pretty damn tasty one. Falls a little short of being truly exceptional but still a very interesting beer. Wish I had a few more to enjoy over time.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 14:36:16 | More by tobelerone
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

Thanks to someone for sharing at bu11zeye's 10,000th rating tasting.

The beer pours an orange-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is awesome. I get a lot of maple and oak notes, as well as some vanilla and toffee malt. The flavor is very similar. There is a lot of maple and vanilla from the barrel aging. I also get quite a bit of toffee and caramel malt, as well as some alcohol. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 04:11:50 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Stevezie
Stevezie


4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. Strong bourbon flavor, but complex with malty, maple notes. I perhaps could have waited a few months for it to settle and develop, but just cannot when I get my hands on a backstage series. Way more complex and delicious than it's companion, which is saying alot. Thanks Founders!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 03:04:33 | More by Stevezie
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber to light copper color with a two finger head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has maple syrup, bourbon, caramel, and vanilla. Smells like this will be very sweet.

The taste is very sweet, with caramel, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and a little toasted malt. This is very nice. There is no bitterness for balance, but I don't think this beer needs it.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink. Even though I can taste and smell the bourbon, there is no alcohol burn. This is very well made. I hope Founders makes and bottles this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 20:19:59 | More by hardy008
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

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

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a deep amber tone while yielding a 1" off-white head that lapses relatively quickly into a collar around the glass. nose offers alluring notes of caramel/toffee, bourbon, vanilla. not getting much maple, but it's still a great aroma.

flavor picks up where the nose leaves off with strong and delicious elements of caramel, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, and a touch of dark fruit. a subdued maple presence evident here. booze is a factor but it's not overpowering. medium-plus bodied with average carbonation.

overall a tasty treat to be sure. relatively complex and completely tasty. wish it was easier to come by.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 21:58:04 | More by BostonHops
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a deep, dark burnt orange color with tangerine edges and a two finger, frothy yellowish-beige head that very slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet boozy aroma with a pretty strong barrel presence.  Lots of earthy oak, maple and bourbon along with some leathery malts, toffee and hazelnut. Oak is strongest element which is surprising.  As it warns, the molasses character comes out and meshes nicely with the maple.  Still, the nose is surprisingly a bit bland with too strong of an oak presence for my liking.

Medium bodied with lots of boozy heat and a strong barrel presence.  Dominant dry oak flavor with booze and sweet maple notes.  Underneath, there is some more booze and leathery malt.  Sweetness kicks in as it warns with hints of toffee, caramel and hazelnut. Dry and spicy with subtle molasses.  Still pretty hot however and a bit harsh.  6oz is plenty.  

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2012 19:57:59 | More by corby112
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half, or if you want to be the beer geek of all beer geeks, "CBH". Old Ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. "Maple syrup bourbon barrels?" What is that? Maple syrup bourbon barrels? Which ones? What? 11.9% ALC./VOL. Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, MI. No gobbledygook whatsoever, only legal crap, so let's jump on in…

Dark crimson hue, small head, turns to a tight ring.

Aroma is utter decadence. Hedonism in a bottle. Maple and bourbon blended with old ale? How much richness can you take? Bam! Hit after hit of sweetness, least of which is the rich malt backbone. Whiskey, vanilla, cherries, maple and more.

Taste: All of that and so much more. Intensely delicious. Caramel, toffee and chocolate tones dance with the dark fruit and the effects of the barrel. Despite the incredible hugeness of this affair, it's even slightly a chore to drink. He says, perhaps too early. I'm not even halfway through this bottle, and damn, but I will finish it.

And damn, it is impressive. All the parts hang together in all the right ways, and the sweetness sticks out, bolstered by the booze, but it holds it's own appropriately. Mmmm, mmm, I have to say, mostly because I haven't said it yet, and sometimes it needs to be said. Mmm, says me, mmmm.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 08:28:59 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

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

Thanks Andrew for sharing.

Pours a little white head. Color is an orange amber.

Aroma: lots of maple syrup and barrel flavors. Toffee, caramel, and lots of malts. A little mint. Bourbon and oak.

Taste: mimics the nose but there is a little less mint and more maple syrup. A little more sweet and malty. Nice barrel flavors.

Mouthfeel: warming and smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sweet and syrupy.

Overall, a bit too sweet for me, but the flavors were good. The maple bourbon barrels were nice but they brought a mint flavor with it that I didn't like.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 01:20:32 | More by mothman
Photo of david131
david131

California

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

A- Pours a nice ruby red with some brown highlights and a thin but creamy white head. There are a lot of floaters in it, but it doesn't take away from the appearance too much.

S- Vanilla, oak, raisins, brown sugar, and alcohol. Very aromatic, complex, and appealing.

T- Vanilla, maple syrup, brown sugar, and alcohol. Complex and maybe a bit young.

M- The carbonation is nice and the alcohol is most definitely apparent because of the warmth.

O- Complex, tasty, boozy, and well made.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 00:46:33 | More by david131
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into snifter, split with fellow BA’s. Thanks for this one Jay! Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a deep glowing burnt amber with a finger of light khaki head that faded to a faint collar. Decent amount of floaties caught in suspension.
S: Vanilla, spicy barrel, bourbon is light, very sugary but molasses isn’t prominent. Maple is noticeable. Very spicy and peppery.
T: Maple, molasses, raisins, caramel, bread crust, vanilla, spicy barrel wood, and hot alcohol. Finish contains leather and the aftertaste is raisins, maple and caramel. Sweet overall. Bourbon character is only decent though. The maple and molasses really shine.
M: Smooth mouth but the alcohol is a bit warm still. Thick body, sticky and chewing feeling.
O: Very rich and decadent beer. Could use a few more months of age so that the alcohol can mellow though. Very flavorful, would drink again. Thanks again buddy (jbck109)!

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 02:21:58 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First had this at the night of the barrels liked it…
Wow, this time out of the bottle it’s fantastic.

A sudsy beige head forms and collapses fairly quickly. A decent amount of suds cling to the glass. A nice deep amber/brown color.

Maple, wood, sweetness and a thick malt aroma. If any bourbon, it’s very subtle.

Flavor is wonderful. Lot’s going on. Maple, vanilla, rounded light bourbon, definitely some wood. A lovely sweetness and at the end you can get a bit of molasses… almost a burnt sugar flavor. More vanilla and bourbon in the aftertaste. The lingering flavor in this beer is a definite highlight.

Mouth feel is a potential highlight. So soft, rounded and yet substantial.

I am so glad I was able to score a bottle of this. Just fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 23:14:57 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of fvernon
fvernon

Indiana

4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Deschutes snifter at around 50 degrees. It's my only bottle, so trying to make this count while I cook (and eat) a beet/fig/goat cheese pizza. Pours out a light copper with a nice, mother-of-pearl head that quickly billows up and then dissipates to a thin film across the top of the beer. A swirl brings some back up with globs of lacing, but again it quickly peters out. Still, it's very nice to look at - the color is vibrant.

This beer is a brilliant copper in the glass, with nice flashes of ruby where the light catches it. Aromas of malted biscuit, maple syrup, and a faint bourbon in the background. Something like a muted strawberry jam comes through as well. Then the first sip... way more of an alcohol bite than I was anticipating; it's all old ale and alcohol up front with the maple-bourbon-oak finish. Raisins, dates, and booze on the exhale. Subsequent sips bring forward the maple and bourbon more, even moreso than I got from my bottle of CBS. The mouthfeel is just right - thick enough to savor, but not overly chewy. I guess I could have waited on this a while longer for the booziness to calm down, but I'm still enjoying it greatly. Something I'd definitely seek out again if I can track it down on tap.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 22:08:58 | More by fvernon
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

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

Bottled poured into a CBS snifter

A - Caramel, golden color with a slight white head and a decent amount of carbonation trailing upwards. Has a slight syrupy aspect to it. Actually looks a bit like a cognac as it sits in my snifter. Looks to be a think and syrupy beer that leaves a thick coating in the glass. - 4.5

S - Caramel, toffee, light vanilla and syrup that come up. Has a light oak presence and a strong almost brandy like alcoholic presence as well - 4.5

T - Caramel with a slight alcoholic bite to it at first. As it comes along, there is a nice vanilla and ample syrup that comes through. Definitely sweeter than regular crumegesgon but still has the nice malty aspects to it. Has a slight oak that lingers on the tongue as well as a decent alcoholic bite to it. 4

MF - Thick and syrupy with light carbonation. Actually manages to have a nice creaminess to it. Slight oak tingle that comes out in the finish - 4

O - A nice another maple beer from founders. The maple barrel adds a nice sweetness to normal crumegadeon that makes it a more complex and more approachable beer. The maple is much better incorporated in here than I thought it was in CBS as it made itself known without being overpowering - 4.5

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 14:48:44 | More by jeonseh
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper tinted orange color, cloudy, spotty bubbles. Nice first whiff brings a blend of vanilla sugar, toffee, light maple syrup. Taste expands on nose with burnt brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, toasted nuts, light maple syrup, oak. Not as hefty or creamy as hoped, medium bodied, smooth, some lingering heat. Solid flavorful brew from Founders.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2012 14:00:58 | More by rfgetz
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

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

750ml bottle. 2012 batch. Poured this one into my Lost Abbey tulip. Enjoyed right after Old Curmudgeon for comparison.

A: This one pours out much deeper than the regular Old Curmudgeon brew. Looks to be a deeper, mildly hazy, amber color. About a finger of off white head initially. Definitely getting some sticky lacing with the swirl. Alcohol feet for sure on this big beer.

S: Right away sweet maltiness and the typical BA'ing notes. Lots of vanilla, oak, toasted caramel, toffee, sweet brown sugar, molasses, etc. Smells really inviting.

T: There is a slight bitterness up front, but really this is a sweet malt bomb. The flavor is actually more flavorful than the nose. You definitely get that maple syrup goodness in there still. Also the BA'ing brings that vanilla from the oak out too. That toasted caramel/toffee is there too. Lots of stuff going on here. I do get a touch of heat during the sip though. Not offensive by any means, but at close to 12% there is some heat.

M: This is a full bodied beer for sure.

O: Really enjoyed this one. I have to score it a little higher than the regular Old Curmudgeon because of the overall flavor bomb that it brings, but that is by no means a knock on the regular.

M: Medium to big and FULL

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2012 13:37:30 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of nrbw23
nrbw23

Ohio

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

A- Pours a reddish color with a bit of sediment and a fairly small tan head. Not a lot of retention of lacing left behind.

S- Smell is really nice and has quite a bit going on here. Quite a bit of vanilla, wood, bourbon, burnt sugar and maple.

T- First thing is the sweetness and a bit of heat from the booze. After this initial shock I really enjoyed this brew. Maple, burnt sugar, wood and vanilla.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and pretty low in carbonation.

O- This beer is very awesome and probably underrated. I really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2012 22:01:54 | More by nrbw23
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a very deep and cloudy brownish copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which quickly recedes into a few thin patches. Lacing is moderate.

Smell: Big hints of bourbon up front with woody oak chips. Good hints of vanilla and maple syrup. Big malt presence with lots of caramel and toffee. Sweet molasses and brown sugar aromas. Also some subtle hints of dark raisin, plum, and fig. Light hints of earthy hops in the background. Quite a complex smelling beer.

Taste: As bold and complex as it smells. Big taste of bourbon and vanilla with lots of oak chip. Good amount of maple syrup and molasses. Lots of bready lightly roasted malts. Big notes of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Midway comes some hints of dark fruits including plum, fig, and raisin. Finishes with a very light hint of earthy hops. A pretty sweet brew but its far from cloying. All of the malts and barrel elements come together very well.

Mouthfeel: Feels on the thicker side with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty syrupy. Actually finishes somewhat dry. The alcohol heat is felt somewhat at 11.9 % but its still pretty smooth considering.

Overall: A great Old Ale. Complex and nicely sweet without becoming too syrupy. The barrel elements add a great kick.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 06:19:07 | More by MattyG85
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, maple and a faint bourbon note. In the taste, sweet vanilla and bourbon, and the alcohol sneaks up in the end. A small alcohol bite and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry vanilla and hint of alcohol in the aftertaste. Big bourbon with a nice sweet maple, very smooth and quite sneaky.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2012 19:10:14 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

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

Pours a slightly translucent mahogany color, with a slight beige head. The aroma was definite oak, with some bourbon and sweetness. You can get some nutty syrup qualities, caramel and nuttiness. The taste is rather rich. Bit caramel notes, maple, oak, a tinge of bourbon, followed by a rather warming alcohol finish. It's a thick beer, almost chewy, full bodied and rich. It's definitely a chore somewhat.

I'm glad this was only a 12oz fliptop, otherwise, I don't know if I could commit to a whole 750 of this beast...

Serving type: growler

05-31-2012 23:29:39 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep amber color with a small off white head on it that holds some retention for how small it is and some pretty nice lacing. When held to the light it is a hazy orange color.

S= The smell is nice oak aromas. A little vanilla and maple in it but not too much of an aroma. There is a snag of caramel malts but again sort of quiet on the odor.

T= The taste is a great mix of maple, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and sweet caramel malts. Mollasses is a major contributor to the sweetness I think. The flavor is much more potent than the aroma would lead you to believe and a little alcohol flavor comes through as well.

M= The mouth is a nice amount of carbonation and body.

O= This is a solid brew for sure. The flavor is no let down with it's complexity and depth. Tons of stuff going on there. The nose isn't too much to brag about and for the craziness I went through to get a bottle I would say I wouldn't do it all over for another bottle but hey, I got to try it and it was delicious.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 03:48:08 | More by jjanega08
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, shared with a friend. Pours light copper in color with a surprisingly thick, frothy head given the high ABV, holds good retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. Some yeast particles suspended in the ale also. Aroma is sugary sweet with vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel, and is quite boozy. Tastes are cloyingly sweet at times with notes of toffee, vanilla, sweet maple syrup, brown sugar, oak, booze, and faint white pepper on the finish. Not much for bourbon noted. Mouth-feel is thick and creamy, but finishes edgy from the booze. Overall, I think I got my hopes up a little too high for this one. For uniqueness, it's great and I'm glad I tried it, but I think I was expecting more from it. Excellent Founders quality nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 16:27:20 | More by barnzy78
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a small head that quickly fades to a ringlet; leaving a paucity of lacing action

Smell: The scent of oak, molasses and maple dominate though there is quite a sting on the nose from the ABV

Taste: Maple flavor up front, with the oak, molasses and booze adding character by mid-palate; leathery caramel in the middle, but the finish is oaky and dry but rather sweet in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with gentle carbonation; perfect for the style

Overall: This is one of those beers that will clearly improve with age; drinks nicely now, but I suspect that I would enjoy the impact a year or two would have on this beer

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 02:01:52 | More by brentk56
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

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

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber color with a half finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with some brown sugar notes. Some maple syrup along with some alcohol heat.

Taste: Sweet malt with some dark fruit notes along with some alcohol heat. I love the maple syrup notes. I'm getting some mild coconut along with a bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with smooth carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Big fan of this one. Just enough bitterness so the malt isn't overpowering. The maple and coconut notes were wonderful. I'd definitely have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 01:24:31 | More by oline73
Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.