Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

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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: 427
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 JustinMatthew
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at South Philly Tap Room and Poured to a wine glass. Amber color, good head and lacing.

Smell is all barrel qualities.. Vanilla, coconut, bourbon, some oak, brown sugar and maple syrup.

Taste is fantastic.. incredibly sweet and candy like. Bourbon barrel qualities.. oak, vanilla, coconut. Good bit of butterscotch and caramel coming through. I would love to see Founders do a barrel blend with this and some KBS.. im convinced it would be one of the worlds best beers.

Warming and delicious beer, the tap version was fresh.. i have a bottle im looking to open after one year and rotting my teeth out.

Photo of Brad007
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been lounging in my fridge for a while.

Pours a beautiful, if cloudy amber with a one-finger head into my glass.

Maple, molasses and bourbon stand out on the nose. Plum too. Very sweet.

Lots of bourbon upfront that's easily quelled by molasses and maple as well. Mildly syrupy, tart. Drinks more like a strong ale at times.

Warms the throat very well. Mellow with just hints of maple left for flavor at the back.

Whoa. Should have saved this for the first snowfall of winter.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz courtesy od Cuzco pours a clearish crimson color with a large and frothy tan head. Awesome retention and lacing.

Holy shit this smells amazing! Toasted coconut, bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt and molasses. Absolutely one of the best smelling beers I have ever laid nose upon.

Man, this beer is tasty. Lots of syrupy sweetness and toffee with a gentle nudge of leafy hops. The sweetness is big but the toasty coconut is so wonderful that cloying never even enters the picture. Nice alcohol complexity, very earthy. Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect as it is creamy, woody and soft. Love it! One of the best beers I have had in a loooong time.

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

A - Pours a clear deep amber with almost two fingers of tan head. Head has pretty good retention. Only small spots of lacing.

S - Nice bourbon presence, with quite a bit of vanilla and oak in the aroma. Also a bit of caramel, maple syrup, brown sugar. Definitely some noticeable alcohol, but it doesn't detract from the aroma.

T - Caramel is more apparent in the taste, but vanilla and oak are still the spotlight flavors. The is sweetness, but not as much as I feared. The oak cuts the sweetness nicely. Taste is also a bit boozy. Very smooth flavors. Really tasty.

M - Full mouthfeel. Smooth and slick, with sweetness up front, but a nice dry, oaky finish.

O - I don't enjoy Curmudgeon enough to get it very often, but this is a nice use of the base beer. Very nice sipper.

Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1411th Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Taster
750ml

Vintage 2012

Thanks to Fear025 for sharing

App- A bit darker than a cream soda. Good bubbles on the pour with a good amount of cling for an old ale.

Smell- Really took the base beer to another level. More oak, vanilla and richness to the base malts of the old ale style. A bit bigger but needed a little bit more behind it.

Taste- This old ale is a lot like the Bruery Anny series, just a bit smaller and a bit fresher. More pop with Vanilla and cream and a little bit of a malt backbone. Added touches of a cinnamon/nutmeg glaze flavor.

Mouth- A fairly creamy medium body with a medium thick carbonation. A good residual maple/vanilla flavor.

Drink- A good rep of the style. Im glad I got to try it finally without having to give up arm/leg. The maple is a good flavor.

Photo of woosterbill
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter. Big thanks to the generous soul who shared this.

A: Clear deep orange body with a thin layer of fine tan bubbles. Ok.

S: Sweet, amazing. Maple, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and butterscotch. Plenty of booze, too. More maple as it warms. Decadent.

T: Caramel and butterscotch up front, with maple and oak filling in toward the back end. Long, sweet, boozy finish. Really great.

M: Rich, thick, and moderately carbonated with creamy bubbles. Pretty darn perfect.

O: Way, way better than the base beer. Delicious stuff.

Cheers!

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

Finally, I was able to try one of these and it was worth the wait. Being a fan of old ales, this release hits the sweet spot.

Poured into the glass, the ale has darkly murky brown qualities with a slight off-white head. There is little carbonation in this one. A maple aroma, accompanied by a degree of maltiness, dominated the aroma. The aroma is not one that you have to search for. The initial taste was characterized by the smoothness of the beer. The maple syrup used in this one blends perfectly with the sour Belgiany notes. Dark fruits and perhaps a hint of tobacco can also be detected on the malt backbone. The sweetness is noticeable, but does not overwhelm the beer. The sweetness transitions easily into a warming flavor in the aftertaste.

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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 Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of Stevezie
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

Photo of hardy008
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of BostonHops
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of corby112
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.  

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of mothman
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.

Photo of david131
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
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)!

Photo of Reagan1984
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of fvernon
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of jeonseh
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
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

Photo of rfgetz
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
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

Photo of nrbw23
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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