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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half

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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)
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Ratings: 872 | Reviews: 224 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ChugginOil
ChugginOil

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 06:39:18 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 04:55:12 | More by KAP1356
Photo of pschul4
pschul4

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 04:48:44 | More by pschul4
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 02:19:16 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ryantho00
ryantho00

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 18:45:37 | More by ryantho00
Photo of RollingFiveSixes
RollingFiveSixes

Germany

4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You don't even need to review this beer to know it's going to be astounding. Founder's lives up to it's name with this ale.

***Recommend serving at room tempature.

~Appearance is a beautiful dark violet red below a creamy tan head that sits for a while.

~Aroma consists of soft bourbon, vanilla cream, molasses syrup and slight alcohol.

~Tastes likie it smells but with greater force. Heavy maple syrup mouthfeel leads to vanilla-bourbon cream, mild carbination and a sweet oak finish.

~Overall, god damn it's a good beer, but not for the yuppies.

Wonder how it will tastes with a few years behind it???

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 06:33:41 | More by RollingFiveSixes
Photo of ferrari29
ferrari29

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into a stemmed Stella Artois tulip-shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a dark brown colored body; opaque; small amount of head, creme colored; no visible carbonation; floating yeast sediment remained in the beer, stood still in the beer, never moved giving the beer a jelly-like look; viscous;l good amount of lacing left behind

S - Heavy bourbon nose; brown sugar; roasted malt nose; very high ABV aromas; rich maple syrup sweetness; molasses; wood, like oak

T - Maple syrup taste; heavy and rich bourbon flavor; creamy vanilla bean; jam and molasses; brown sugar; sip finishes off with a sweet burned caramel taste, coupled with a high ABV flavor; oak

M - Thick consistency; slightly chewy; some carbonation; lingering brown sugar flavor

D - Good beer; seems to be a mash of different brew styles put together in a bourbon barrel; with no real distinct flavor profile, the brewers did a good job of trying something new and "out-of-the-box"; I really like this beer

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 00:52:08 | More by ferrari29
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

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

Huge thanks to BBP for this bottle. Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Medium ruby/brown with a big glow around the edges. One finger of bubbly cream-coloured head formed and quickly receded to a few large bubbles around the edges of the glass. Decent lacing.

S - Sweet caramel, raisins, bourbon, vanilla, toffee. Not specifically getting any maple syrup but there is a big overall sweetness. Very complex.

T - A big hit of bourbon up front with vanilla and oak flavours. The barrel aging characteristics definitely dominate the base beer flavours but hey are still present - contributing some toffee, brown sugar, dark caramel and raisin flavours. The alcohol is noticeable but not distracting. The maple syrup shows up in the finish, adding a nice sweetness.

M - Medium to full body, creamy. So smooth and silky. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent beer. Was really happy that I got chance to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 14:32:06 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company. This is the third beer in the 750 ml bottle Backstage Series release, the other two being Blushing Monk and Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS). This beer used to be know as "Kaiser Curmudgeon," but Founders recently re-branded it. I believe that Founders' Old Curmudgeon, an absolutely divine old ale, is the base beer for this one.
Score: 95

February 2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/18/12 with a short stack of chocolate chip pancakes.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber/mahogany color with a layer of yellow highlights atop the beer. A finger and a half of off-white/tan sea foam head at pour settles into a very thin ring around the glass. Excellent lacing, excellent retention. The lacing gradually changes from frothy to oily as it warms. 4.5/5

Smell: Brown sugar, vanilla, sweet raisin/fig, creamy malt, molasses and a little caramel-infused alcohol ester. There is a very light straight bourbon aroma. Hint of oak, hint of citrus and a little spice too. 4.5/5

Taste: Very smooth, balanced and complex. Tons of sweet maple and sweet vanilla upfront. Bourbon malt (caramel?), caramelized brown sugar, molasses/pancake syrup and chewy bourbon soaked raisins on the midpalate. Very faint oak on the midpalate too. A little alcohol warmth, but not nearly as much as you'd expect from a 12% ABV beer. This brew finishes and lingers with sweet maple/pancake syrup and caramel/bourbon malt. As it warms, a straight bourbon flavor comes out on the midpalate and towards the finish. Pairs excellently with the pancakes. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Smooth/creamy mouthfeel with a little alcohol prickliness. Sweet and slightly sticky finish. 4/5

Overall: A superior barrel aged beer. Founders, the midwest's best brewery, makes a few better beers than this one, and it's not quite up to par with CBS, but Curmudgeon's Better Half is a beer that is absolutely worth seeking out. Sweet (though I have had sweeter), drinkable, and loaded with complex flavor. Is it worth the $18 price tag? Absolutely. However, you can get several equally good beers, such as Oak Aged Yeti, cheaper and easier. I cannot wait for Founders to package and sell the Cashew Mountain Brown.

Recommendation: Seek this brew out, but be forewarned -- this one is on the sweeter side (though I have had plenty of sweeter beers).

Pairings: Chocolate chip pancakes.

Cost: $17.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 06:42:04 | More by jegross2
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 22:15:06 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man, I am I glad to get a bottle of this. Wish I had a couple more to put back but many thanks to my pal who landed this. You know who you are.
appearance: Clear bronze, regal I have to say. The Curmudgeon must be a Duke or somethin. Not much head to speak of but nice lingering wisps of lacing.
smell: Not as in the face as expected, though a lot goin on. Most prominent is the bourbon, though not dominating at all. Balanced with a sweetness that must be the molasses and/or maple. Man, there's oak and some spice. Fantastic. Now, I'm really wanting another to lay down a bottle or 2. If this nose becomes more pronounced without losing balance it will be transcendent.
taste: This! So full and rich and somehow so gentle. All the nose in a power-packed fist in a velvet glove.
All hail Founders! Please make more.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 21:44:52 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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

750ml bottle.

Pours deep, clear amber with a big creamy beige head that leaves a solid bubbly cap on top. Really good lacing as well, especially for a barrel-aged beer.

Aroma is big on the bourbon up front with lots of vanilla and oak. The caramel and toffee of the underlying beer are still noticeable as well as some booze-soaked dark fruits.

The taste is super sweet but has a spicy kick up front from some combination of oak and maybe hops. The backbone is full of vanilla, caramel malts, maple syrup and treacle. The finish has an interesting bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel is smooth with soft carbonation and really sticky on the palate with the heavy sweetness lingering after each sip.

As usual, Founders has made a fantastic barrel-aged beer. It's certainly sweet but the barrel enhances the underlying beer. Fantastic stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 04:31:45 | More by gford217
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

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

This poured a nice, cloudy amber with a three finger thick, tan, creamy head with nice retention and huge, thick creamy walls.

Amazingly complex with oak, maple, toffee, and huge toasted coconut. Hints of vanilla, caramel, toffee, and bourbon. Buttery edges with a boozy hit. Cocoa notes and peanut brittle.

Full, big toffee throughout with vanilla hints and huge bites of toasted cocounut. Rum bite with grassy hints. Seet maple middle with woody oak edges. Rich, malty, complex and delicious. Molasis, licorice hints with some herbal notes.

Rich, smooth, balanced, warming and syrupy finish.

Complex, delicious, sweet, rich, warming and balanced sipper. Amazing!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 02:18:59 | More by JayS2629
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
TheBeerAlmanac

Kentucky

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

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a hazy dark purplish brown hue with a very slowly settling tan head. Bubbles rise through the beer like Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix. The liquid flows slowly but the bubbles flow even slower.

S: Smells sweet with caramel malt and red grapes with some alcohol twinge that favors the dark intricacies of bourbon or even cognac. Hints of potpourri and bright, sweet spiciness linger lightly on the nose; it’s curious, indeed.

T/M: Feel is very thick in the mouth; the bubbles didn’t lie. Caramel sweetness, molasses and alcohol twinge approach at first leading towards biscuit maltiness and touches of more red grape on the finish. Carbonation feels sharp at first but fades quickly.

This is a surprisingly thick, gracefully smooth, and elegantly complex beer. Would I put it on my pancakes? Probably. But then again, would I put any beer on my pancakes? Probably. Try this one if you have the chance, with or without pancakes.

TheBeerAlmanac.com

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 23:48:41 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd

Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my CBS snifter...

A: Pours a slightly cloudy, bright ruby copper. About a half finger of cream colored head settles to a quarter finger. Pretty good lacing down the sides of the glass and good retention. The color is incredibly radiant and contrasts nicely with the head. I'm giving this a big thumbs up.

S: Lots of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, biscuit malt, and oak.

T: The maple syrup is most apparent, along with molasses, vanilla, and caramel. Some dark fruit is back there also, as well as some light chocolate. The finish is very boozy and very tannic from the wood. Lingering bitterness after the finish from the woodiness. I know I described a lot of flavors, but they are all a bit muddled and the profile here becomes a bit one-not. Sweetness and booziness reign supreme, and complexity lacks ever so slightly.

M: A little thin. Full bodied, but all sweetness and booze. Give me some more malt presence, some more carbonation, and a greater evolution of flavor. This is where the Better Half takes a hit, and I think the blame can be pointed squarely at the Curmudgeon Old Ale base beer. I always thought it was a touch too thin and light. The barrel treatment in this beer certainly adds to it, but all the things the barrel imparts: sweetness, syrup, and woody tannins are a little too heavily weighted, mainly because the base beer can't balance them.

O: This is a solid brew and I am certainly happy Founders bottled it. But I don't think the base beer is enough to withstand a barrel treatment. What you end up with is a sugary, boozy ale, with some lingering complexities that are far too tepid. Certainly not bad, but not great. Probably my least favorite of the 750 mL releases up to this point.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 23:20:41 | More by siege06nd
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 23:01:46 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of xenjoiii
xenjoiii

New York

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

The nose is a combination of sweet maple syrup, minor notes of bourbon and sugar; I think it smells like a plate of French toast avec bourbon. Extremely pleasant on the mouth; a little towards the heavy side, but not too heavy. The alcohol is completely masked, though it provides a warming sensation in the stomach. Now for the taste: if you have had Old Curmudgeon in the past, and are familiar with its strong oak presence, have no fear; the sweetness from the maple syrup, and the bourbon (along with the vanillaness that the bourbon brings) really balances out that "woody" flavor into a pleasant surprise. Is it worth seeking out? Yes. I think this beer deserves the same amount of hype that its predecessor received.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 22:44:18 | More by xenjoiii
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml capped bottle poured into a Founders CBS snifter.
11.9% ABV, no date found.

A - Pouring colored like maple syrup, the beer is a sexy rusted hull ruby color that's fairly hazy. Frothy ivory foam caps the beer. Great retention for the large alcohol percent leaves tiny patches of lace on the glass. Legs that would make ZZ Top's collective heads spin drape down the snifter post swirl.

S - I'm momentarily rendered speechless by this aroma... Voluptuous, smooth-as-velvet maple and bourbon turn into sanded, fresh oak and gooey caramel. Hints of molasses-draped white grape and candied almond pop through the intensely malty old ale. Curmudgeon's Better Half finishes with a warm solvent touch of alcohol.

T - Almost completely unique from the aroma, Better Half transforms, equally amazingly, in flavor. Smooth maple syrup is sticky sweet with melted caramel cube and faint wood hints. Low fruit undertones complete the complex ensemble though the alcohol phenols.

M - Softer than a baby's bum, smoother than velvet, almost creamy but not cloying or syrupy in it's abundant sweetness, the balance is unsurpassed. Medium-full in body, Curmudgeon's Better Half has a seemingly endlessly lingering finish that's just a touch dry. Warming alcohol remains present throughout but for how fresh and how large the percent is, Curmudgeon's Better Half is surprisingly mellow.

O - What's there too say that hasn't already been said? Founders flawlessly ages their malty old ale in perfect maple bourbon barrels to create one of the smoothest, most complex...well, best beers the world has ever seen.

If there's one thing I take pride in, it's my objection for feeding a hype-train. Especially when it's a large, barrel aged beer hype-train. Additionally, it's not often that I deem a beer perfect. Therefor, I find it important to note that there really isn't a single aspect of Curmudgeon's Better Half (CBH - coining it!) that I would change. If you can find this beer, do NOT hesitate to get a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 01:32:46 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of dorianmarley
dorianmarley

Ohio

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

Appearance is chestnut brown, with off-white head and nice lacing. There are visible carbonation bubbles similar to a soda.

Nose is a bunch of bourbon, burnt sugar, oak, vanilla, with a slight menthol.

Taste is initially alcohol, which blends into bourbon, buttery oak, vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and a bready aftertaste. I didn't get much of the maple syrup flavor, except for perhaps a faint, buttery sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a contrast of smoothness and medium carbonation.

Overall, I would like to be able to give it higher than a 4 for the $18 plus tax purchase price, and I suppose I could if I was more struck by the flavor. The flavors are bold. The alcohol is high. It is a beer that forces you to savor it. It is a memorable beer for sure; finely executed.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 01:03:23 | More by dorianmarley
Photo of parris
parris

Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Burbon, vanilla, almost birthday cakey. Molasses.

Appearance - Brown, creamy head, low carbonation, flecks of sediment

Taste - Creamy, and vanilla, as expected from the aroma. The maple definitely comes through, as advertised. Slight lingering bitterness, but barrel bitterness, not hoppy bitterness. Bourbon.

Mouthfeel - Very full, round, I don't want to say creamy again, but it is. Soft, velvety.

Overall - Delicious overall. This is a special occasion beer, it really deserves some focus and attention while drinking it. The label seems to imply that this beer would go good with pancakes, which is probably true, but I would pair it more with a porterhouse steak.

I couldn't decide between "perfect" and "4.5" for overall, at the right time this is a perfect beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 23:58:33 | More by parris
Photo of ConorThomas
ConorThomas

Kentucky

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

Shared a 750mL bottle of this at Lexington Beerworks in Lexington, KY. Poured into a snifter.

A- Dark amber with only slight hazing. Creamy head stays short.

S- In my opinion, the smell is the best part of this beer. Big molasses and maple, as well as sweet vanilla, sugar, and maybe slight caramel. Alcohol is slightly present as well.

T- Mostly sweet maple and molasses. There are a full array of flavors to compliment, most of which mirror those in the smell, making it quite full.

M- Full mouthfeel as well. Warming alcohol with maybe only a slight harsh tint.

O- Very delicious and worth a try, but it may be worth sharing with a few since it's a little pricey.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 14:56:07 | More by ConorThomas
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

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

Excited for this one no doubt!

A-Pours a crimson brownish color. Minimal head dies down. Off-white head. Leaves hundreds of lacing spots. Barely hazed.

S-Whoa! Smells awesome. Very powerful. A mix of maple syrup, oaky bourbon, sweet sugars. Alcohol is noticeable but adds depth. Lots of vanilla extract as well. Very aromatically sweet. I am a big fan of the nose. Excited to try.

T-The aging in maple syrup Bourbon barrels has done wonders. The maple syrup is delicious and the underlying Bourbon flavor is a perfect compliment to the intense overall sweetness of this brew. Heaps of molasses, and brown sugar. Vanilla extract and wood that just lingers forever. Great depth. Like a pancake dipped in bourbon then topped off with maple syrup.

M-Full bodied and syrupy like SYRUP of course. Carbonation is very mellow. Slick sugary feel. Alcohol dries me out a bit but that is expected with the ABV. Big fan of the huge body.

O/D-I loved this beer. Big, syrupy, sweet and deep. Oh so rich in flavor. I didn't get a chance to try CBS but this one makes me feel pretty lucky to be able to try. At $17 a 750 ml, it is pricey but anytime Founders does a beer like this you would be foolish not to try. Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 03:48:08 | More by VelvetExtract
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HoneyLamb

Michigan

3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 750 mL bottle from Liquor Cabinet in St Joseph, Michigan. Beer was refrigerated for about 45 minutes prior to it being opened.

Medium hard pour resulted in three finger head in my pilsner glass. Good film cohesion. Color was golden/amber, but I thought it was going to be a little darker...no big deal, though.

No heavy aromas, but light maple syrup smell definitely comes through. Expected more alcohol smell, but that wasn't there.

Taste didn't match smell. And because of that weak smell, the high-gravity hit me harder than expected. This beer's flavors came through when it warmed in the glass. I almost gave this beer a 3.5 taste, but the maple and molasses really came through as the temperature approached room temps. The oak was always there (cold or warm).

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 02:44:41 | More by HoneyLamb
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TheDudeRules

Minnesota

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

Poured into my Southampton fishbowl.

Toffee colored liquid. Holding it to the light it looks like a giant amber bulb. Creamy off white head. Dissipates pretty quickly. Lacing is nill.

Giant maple and toasted coconut nose. Divine. Vanilla. Faint alcohol. Bordering nail polish remover. Faint though.

Very thin in the mouth. Light to medium carbonation. Sweet. Caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Rounded out with some toasted coconut. Warming booze on the finish. I am drinking this on a completely empty stomach. It is warming my belly. The kids that huff glue for warmth should try this instead.

Very solid beer. Glad to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 01:50:04 | More by TheDudeRules
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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.