Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

954 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 954
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 428
Gots: 372 | FT: 13
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: 954 | Reviews: 231
Photo of Daniellobo
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice, and long sipper, hefty on its sweet side.

Presentation: 750 ml brown capped oz bottle. Founders framing with a so-so illustration of the wife of the curmudgeon serving him maple syrup over some pancakes. It offers a short one-line description. Shows 11.9% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a snifter.

A - Clear deep amber brown pour, creamy thin head with moderate retention, fair surface memory and lacing.

S - Malty and sweet nose with vanilla/bourbon notes. Pleasing and compact…

T - It unfolds a bit more in the palate. The sweetness takes center/stage but it is not overwhelming. Caramel, syrup… Plenty of malt with fruity touches under a soft vanilla/oak/bourbon flow with a touch of spices leading back to the sweet sense.

M - Medium/full body, rather smooth, somewhat syrupy… but not cloying. Moderate carbonation with a soft tingle.

O - Nice sipper, maybe a touch too easy, the sweetness is not overwhelming and it flows almost without one's notice.

Notes: Not worth the hype. Don't take me wrong: I was glad to try this bottle, and I had it with pleasure. But this ain't that memorable (to me…) It is a bourbonesque Curmudgeon? A sweeter Backwoods's Bastard? Something like that for me, and that puts it on a high quality bracket. And I'd gladly repeat it, but just not under the sense of elitism that surrounded the arrival of these bottles.

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 jtingue
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Clear reddish brown. Pours with half a finger of head. No retention, but great alcohol feet.

Smell Sweet with molasses and maple syrup. Slightly fruity in the background with some berry notes. Some bourbon presence in the background as well.

Taste. Starts slightly bitter, surprising for how much aging it has been through. Sweetness starts to balance this out, and eventually takes over. It blooms in to full on maple syrup from a more subtle molasses flavor. THe finish is sweet, but with a lingering earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Nice thick body, low carbonation. A perfect sipper.

I was actually a bit disappointed with this one, but that says more about my expectations. For me it was too similar to Backwoods Bastard. The smell was a bit overpowering with sweetness, though I did not find this to be true in the taste.

Photo of rudzud
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Armsby Abbey to kick off their anniversary week party.

A - Poured into a standard stemmed chalice a hazy caramel hue with a nice dense creamy one finger head that fades to leave great thick side lacing.

S - Aromas of rich oaky vanilla bourbon and barrels with light toffee and caramel. Nice and warm and inviting.

T - Taste is good raisins, darkfruits, light bourbon notes. Some light maple syrup-esc sweetness. No alcohol on th taste really which is nice, all the flavours meld nicely with eachother though the age is definitely noticeable.

M - Mouthfeel is excellent for the ABV, very smooth and drinkable with some light carbonation.

O - Overall this was a very nice old ale, would have liked to have drank it fresh. Still though this was quite tasty and super drinkable.

Photo of sculls65
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
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 Gmann
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep toasted khaki color with ruby highlights. The beige head is thin and wispy. Looks a bit lifeless.

The aroma is quite malty and bready. Honey sweetness and candied fruit hit the nose first. Rich caramel notes with slight hints of toffee. Light bourbon and vanilla as well.

The taste is big on caramel and vanilla. Honey and candied fruit bring additional sweetness. Not a lot of dark fruit flavors. I get a lot of Dolche de Leche flavors with a light bourbon note, as if you added a little bit of bourbon to a vanilla milk shake. There seems to be a slight berry sweetness in the end. Not much from the maple but it does seem to add a layer to the velvty smooth caramel and vanilla. Quite malty overall.

Moderate feel with some prickly carbonation. Very smooth body. Definitely sweet on the palate but not cloying; it does finish with some stickiness. ABV seems well hidden.

An enjoyable old ale. Quite sweet with the caramel and vanilla notes. Doesn't have those oxidized dark fruit notes that most old ales seem to have.

Photo of mscudder
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed around 2 months back and documented. Poured into a pint glass.

A - A cloudy amber with a minute head. The lacing was superb.

S - Some sweet sugars came out of the nose, but rather bland overall.

T - Caramel and butterscotch dominate the initial taste. It is followed by a similar maple syrup taste to the CBS (which was a top 3 beer I have ever had the pleasure to consume). I must make note that I found the maple syrup to be a bit out of place here. It certainly adds to the beer and is enjoyable, but I cannot help but reflect on the greatness of the CBS.

M - A huge body on this one for an old ale. Thick and syrupy yet finishes crisp and clean. Excellent!

O - Unique brew that has the composition of a big stout that I found a bit out of place in an old ale. This is a fantastic beer, but I feel the style just does not permit such a bold body. That said, if one of these rare bottles is laying around in a local store/pub, give it a shot. It is truly one of the most unique beers I have ever had!

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

Big thanks to tobelerone for sending this one. Poured into a Russian River glass.

Lighter in color than I expected. A kinda-clear copper, with the shadows of objects visible on the other side. The head gets about half an inch tall and is a very light sand color. Some spotted lace on the sides of the glass. 4

Smells like a caramel apple. Lots of the sugary stuff, with maple and buttery oak as backup. Brown sugar and a hint of spicy hops.

Same deal in the flavor — it’s like a maple-drenched slice of red apple. Caramel, burnt sugar, apple, butter, vanilla, toffee, pretty big alcohol, toast. Smooth, sweet blend. Vanilla and booze carry into the finish.

Lightly carbonated, just a soft nudge. The medium-light body is a little more thin than I’d like. Alcohol is big in the flavor but doesn’t show up in the feel, and with 12 percent ABV, this is a major feat.

Curmudgeon’s Better Half paired absolutely perfectly with an apple tart provided by rickyn06. The cinnamon in the tart works crazily well with the maple in the beer. Brings out the toastiness as well.

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.

Photo of Jwale73
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle shared and served in a taster. Pours a dark amber hue that is slightly lighter than maple syrup. Nose reveals booze, maple syrup notes, a sugary character and a slightly medicinal quality. Taste expresses toffee and also candy flavors (maybe Reese's Pieces). There's also a trace of toasted wood. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a carbonation that is just short of lively. Texture is slightly oily. Overall, a really enjoyable BA Old Ale - that said, when I had the opportunity to try this at NOTB it was a lot more maple forward. It is still drinking very well, and the alcohol heat has dissipated, but the maple has definitely dropped off.

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

Review from notes.

A: Pours brown with a small off-white head on top with some decent lacing that hangs on the sides for a while.

S: There was some maple, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and bourbon all mixed together. On the sweet side, very inviting.

T: A nice blend of bourbon and maple. Brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, and some oak. It has a nice sweetness, but not over the top at al.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol hidden nicely.

O: One of my favorite Old Ales, probably because of the barrel aging. Would certainly drink again.

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 tobelerone
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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

The beer is amber colored and mildly hazy with a small white head. The aroma is the best aspect of the beer, in my opinion. Oak, vanilla, maple, sugar, syrup, booze. The flavor is complex and well done, albeit too sweet. This seems like a beer that will age gracefully. Lots of oak, sweet maple, vanilla. Alcoholic warmth in the finish. A few ounces of this beer is plenty. I am looking forward to opening another one of these further on down the road.

Photo of wedge
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%

@ Sam’s

Getting one of the last pours, my glass was on the murky side, but still retained an attractive creamy froth on top. Interesting mélange of aromas: bourbon barrel, coconut, warm toasty malts, vanilla, caramel, maple, fruit esters, and licorice. Surprisingly smooth, even flavor that stays out of cloying territory. Only a slight maple presence ties things together…bourbon, tea, figs, dates, and a surprising green sort of character that’s hard to pin down. Smooth and chewy, drying out into the finish. I think this must be in its sweet spot right now. No overt booziness, super smooth and even flavors, just a very pleasant experience all around. I only wish I got there a half hour earlier so I didn’t get the last glass, but I’m just glad I got to try it.

Photo of orangesol
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle at Al's of Hampden. Thanks for the chance to try this one Al.

A - Pours slightly murky copper orange with a small half finger tall off white head leaving very thin streaks of lace down part of the glass.

S - Smells of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, oak, brown sugar and the maple syrup from the bourbon barrels. A bit of booze develops toward the end of the glass but it still smells great.

T - Starts off with lots of sweetness - mostly caramel, toffee, butterscotch, brown sugar, etc. - slowly giving way to hints of oak, vanilla and the maple syrup / bourbon from the barrels. The booze is light initially growing stronger and stronger as it sits in the glass. Finish is pretty sweet with a touch of booze burn, lingering on the pallet for some time after consumption.

M - Medium body with a rather sweet flavor and moderate carbonation. The sweetness is strong throughout, lingering long after the finish.

O - I rather enjoyed this one. It packs a ton of flavor and it was still pretty easy to drink, minus the slight booze kick. I am really starting to like all these Old Ale's I have been having recently.

Photo of Treebs
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared in line at DLD. Thanks to either khumbard or cpmichael! Served in a Deschutes tulip.

A: Pours a hazy golden amber with deep rosy hues in the body. There are a lot of floaties in this guy. No real head forms on the pour, just a thin film that recedes to tiny ring. It leaves some splotches behind.

S: Leather and tobacco mix nicely with some light oak and bourbon. Dark fruits, mainly dates and figs are also present with the slightest hint of maple.

T: The maple syrup really shows itself in the taste. It's very sweet, but it's balanced by the light bourbon and oak. Also some nice dark fruits and pale malts show themselves. Smalls hints of tobacco.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Sweet syrup finish that is a tad dry.

O: It was really sweet from the maple and the boubon took a back seat, but it was very good overall and the booze was very well hidden. I see this syndrom appearing with CBS as well where the bourbon isn't that present and the maple sort of takes over. Either way, both are great.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks not so good. Murky brown, like a panoply of dead fall leaves. Bad head retention, and loopy at best carbonation. So all in all it looks the way an old ale should, but ugly. Smells very nice. Like a hot stack of pancakes. Maple, bourbon, toffee, caramel chews and some spices? american oak. To be honest it really smells like KBS without coffee. It smells sweet, warm and inviting on a fall evening. Really full taste with many flavors following from the indication of the aroma. The predominante flavors are from the oak backed up by huge malt. Bottle is from the release, duh, so the booze has calmed a little. however still a little hot. Oily and lacking enough carbonation to cut the body and booze. This is a great old ale, a style I really love. Many love impy stouts, but I find this style more interesting and more difficult to pull off with grace. In the end Founders does a bang up job, but falls short of the best.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You know you’ve really been anticipating a beer when you crack it open as soon as you get home from the bottle shop…at 4:00 in the afternoon. And for review #200, I have the perfect beer-thirty special: Founders Curmudgeon’s Better Half, the next beer in their epic Backstage series. After sampling their standard Old Curmudgeon, I fell in love with the old ale style, and this should be just as great. And now, after 199 reviews, Founders has rightly become my favorite all-around brewery; thanks for all the great beer moments, guys.

A: Bold, shining amber body, like a bottle of light maple syrup. An impressive creamy head of tan foam, getting at least three fingers high before slowly drifting down to a thin layer of meringue. Lacing is thick, an all-encompassing cream circling the glass.

S: All the old ale aromas roll right out of the nose: vanilla, caramel malts, molasses, and dark fruits (raisin, mostly). The gang’s all here, but under a creamy blanket of bourbon – a bold, spicy scent. From the wood-aging, there’s an abundance of really forward woody notes: oaky bourbon, coconut liqueur, and buttery pancakes with maple syrup (an aroma probably enhanced by the syrupy stack on the label). This has an exceptionally sweet nose.

T: Holy god, that’s sweet. I thought my buddy was exaggerating when he said “liquid wedding cake,” but this is straight syrup. I usually don’t like really sweet beers, but this is different. This is sweet in an old ale kind of way; without the bitters of a DIPA or the roasts of an imperial stout, it’s all sweets. It hits with a vanilla cream, maple syrup, and rich cake frosting. The sugars just don’t stop: bitter dark chocolate, woody bourbon, molasses, and sweet marshmallow cream. Finishes with spicy booze, maple-frosted doughnuts, and cinnamon coffee-cake sweetness.

M: Syrupy, powerful, and absolutely smooth. Ever seen Super Troopers? Drinking this beer makes me want to say “I AM ALL THAT IS MAN” after finishing a glass. Maple. Freaking. Syrup. A little bit of bubble on the back end, but it’s more viscous than anything.

O: I can hardly even finish a glass –I’m not sure that I like that. Why, why is this beer in a 750 mL bottle? I’d be surprised if one person could finish a 12 oz. bottle. Oh well, time to recap it and throw it back in the fridge. If you like sweet beers, you will be blown away by this one; I don’t even like them and it still rocked my world. Yes, Curmudgeon’s Better Half is liquid wedding cake, but it’s also memorable, complex, and unique – three unmistakable qualities that, over the past 200 beers or so, have triggered my love affair with all things Founders.

Photo of thedoubler55
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brownish Copper in color a bit transparent, a nice finger of off white head at the top, the lacing around the glass was moderate.

S: The nose of this brew was very uniqure, strong hint of bourbon right from the start, hints of brown sugar, caramel, honey,plum, and some vanilla.

T: Same as the nose, very bold taste up front, strong hints of bourbon, maple syrup, brown sugar and some notes of dark fruit.

M: The alcohol is very strong and hits you right away causing a warm feeling on the tongue, moderate carbonation and syrupy.

O: Strong brew, I am good with having tried it, but I am a bigger fan of the old Curmudgeon.

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a crystal clear deep amber color with a one finger head of off white foam. The head fades rather fast leaving a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass. The thick body of the brew is foreshadowed by swirling the brew in the glass, as one can see thick fingers of liquid clinging to the sides with them very slowly settling back to the bottom of the snifter.

Smell – A big caramel aroma is present in the nose with other sweet smells of vanilla and toffee. Some maple syrup and darker fruits aromas are present as well, upping the sweetness of the brews aroma. Along with the big sugary sweet smells comes along plenty of “hot” boozy smells with a strong bourbon and woody smell.

Taste – The taste begins just as the nose would have suggested; with a big sweet caramel flavor. Right from start there is also a maple syrup flavor as well as some bready tastes. Some darker fruit flavors of raisin and plum with some other roasted malt taste also quickly come to the tongue with the mix of flavors largely acting as a base for the brew. As the flavor advances from the initial, it gains a bit of butterinesss with the caramel transitioning to a toffee flavor to some extent. Boozy flavors of a rum like nature start coming to the tongue more toward the middle of the taste, starting out lighter, but by the end of the taste growing rather strong. Other flavors of a more woody and oaky nature really pick it up toward the end of the taste, and with a surge of the maple syrup and a light bourbon flavor joining the rum, one is left with a very warming and rather sweet flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thicker and sticky with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are very nice for the sugary sweet (caramel, toffee, maple syrup) and boozy flavor of the brew and make for a very nice slow sipper.

Overall – A robustly sweet and very tasty beer indeed. Tons of sugary tastes with a moderate dose of booze present as well, but yet still managing to maintain a decent balance for the style.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft at sams in Durham. shaker.

pours a reddish brown with a slight head. smell is of booze and caramel. very strong. taste is boozy, a tad sweet with the caramel and very full bodied. its a big boozy beer.

overall , drink this slow as its definitely a sipper. I had it 2 yrs old on tap and it was still extremely boozy. be prepared.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scoot1969 for this. Tulip glass.

A: Barely a shimmer of tan colored head, leaving just a thin ring over a deep caramel body. Very good clarity, no lacing, and decent retention.

S: Dark fruit and spice, this smells like Christmas. Herbal, grassy honey, mint, caramel. Loads of syrupy molasses. A little alcohol burn. The barrel character is quite tame, but the nose exhibits excellent complexity.

T: Sweet, syrup-like molasses, vanilla, rich caramel, a bit of alcohol and bourbon, Andes candies, with a little hop bitterness on the finish. Lots of chocolate mint… interesting.

M: Full bodied, medium-light, soft carbonation.

O: The overriding flavor is very prominent vanilla-infused, minty syrup. Pretty unusual and good complexity, which makes this good slow sipper, but probably limits how much of this you could drink.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a hill farmstead tulip.

Pours a deep hazy amber brown with a very small and thin light brown head. Nose is malty, sweet, a bit of maple, well balanced.

Taste is awesome, old ales are generally a fairly dull style for me but these magic barrels really take it up a notch, mellow and sweet with a good amount of maple and bourbon. Not quite up to CBS but the character of the barrels still comes through. Mouthfeel is full and a bit syrupy with a crisp finish. Little bit of booze as well but it's far from overwhelming.

Photo of prototypic
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Curmdugeon’s Better Half is copper in color. It’s very clear. When held to light, it takes on more of a red appearance. It’s a really sharp looking color. An off-white head caps it off. It’s rather modest, rising to just above a finger in height. Retention was short. Perhaps the abv’s a bit too much for it to survive. Lacing was a bit sticky and moderate in volume. Good stuff.

The nose is very impressive. The base smells like a mix of caramel and toasted malts. It definitely smells sweet and sugary. Part of that is attributable to the barrel-aging in maple syrup bourbon barrels. Sweet syrup scents are definitely noted. Bourbon is there, but is more subtle. It’s a nice complement to the other scents though. Secondary scents include vanilla, oak, light dark fruit, and alcohol. Alcohol is blended well for nearly 12%. It doesn’t smell nearly that strong. Smells great! Very deep, complex, and intriguing.

The flavor is very good, but it is just a tad too sweet. The malt base is a strong mix of caramel and toasted malts. The caramel variety is stronger. It is VERY sweet. The mix of caramel, syrup, and sugary flavors are a huge part of the flavor profile. Having said that, the maple flavor is tasty and works well. Bourbon is there, but isn’t really the highlight. It takes a backseat to the other flavors and plays its complementary role very well. A mix of vanilla, oak, praline, light plum, and alcohol round it out. The alcohol is blended extremely well. Finishes with a mix of sugar, caramel, sugar, syrup, and sugar.

The body is medium and it is extremely smooth. Carbonation is dialed back nicely and the bubbles feel very soft. This is easy drinking for such a big beer. Scary drinkability. Proceed with caution.

There’s no doubt – Curmudgeon’s Better Half is extremely good beer. If you have a big sweet tooth, you’ll love it. This one’s just a little sweet for me, and that holds it back a little. Very, very impressive stuff though. Definitely worth seeking out.

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 954 ratings.