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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

935 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 935
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 405
Gots: 378 | FT: 15
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: 935 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atone315
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of brez8791
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of mdillon86
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of Brew33
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of nrbw23
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.

Photo of Tucquan
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-03-10 in Columbia, PA (from tasting notes)

A - Dark orange, partly cloud. A few floaties. Short tan head.

S - Oak, bourbon, peat, spice. I don't smell the maple

T - Molasses, bourbon, medium roasted malt, maple, vanilla, sharp hop tang, some pepper, candied orange, fairly sweet. Notice the alcohol. Really tasty.

M - Medium-heavy, light carbonation. Smooth. Syrupy.

O - Very enjoyable but I like CBS better. This is more like a wee-heavy.

Photo of baybum
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of mikeincharleston
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Arbitrator
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank! From notes.

I thought this was an appropriate review to upload for #1300. To many more milestones of being a curmudgeon!

A: Pours a clear chestnut body with light tan head. Large bubbles recede into milky swirls on top of the beer.

S: Smells of toffee, caramel, honey, vanilla, bourbon, with a nutty maple accent. Sweet for sure.

T: CBH is big on vanilla in the taste; it reminds me of the first batch of Abacus in its potency. The flavor drops off a bit after; or rather, it becomes more balanced, but it becomes harder to pick out the nuances after the big vanilla punch. Caramel, honey, bourbon, with a touch of maple. The finish has the astringency of nut skin (I wish there were a better way to phrase this) and oak.

M: While the body is hefty, it drinks much lighter due to the crisp carbonation. In the finish, the flavor falls off in a lackluster fashion; kind of disappointing since the taste is a little simple to begin with (or rather, I perceive it that way as the vanilla overrides much of the nuance).

O: Not bad... But I can see why this one was a lot easier to get (reportedly) than Canadian Breakfast Stout. It's not Founders' best.

Photo of Stevedore
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, generously shared by Eric at a pre-4elf bottleshare today, 12/14/2013. Poured probably 6oz into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Thanks a lot buddy, hope you found that hot blonde...

Pours a thick and viscous but clear amber body, fairly decent but not close to a finger's worth of white head, retention is decent. Becomes a fairly placid brew with a thin film on top, no collar. Not much lacing to be found. Really, I think the labeling makes me perceive this as maple syrup in appearance.

Smells nice and sweet- similar to Sweet Repute really. Very caramelly and toffee heavy with a decent dose of maple syrup sweetness. Very sweet and not particularly hoppy or anything like that. Its a one note beer that really stands out. Love that maple syrup booziness.

Same as the nose- very tasty, very sweet and caramel forward with a nice complementary maple flavour. Its quite boozy actually, which I would have figured to go away with a year plus on it, but I guess not- never had it fresh so I don't know. In any case, it's very sweet but not in a cloying way. It's probably better fresh.

Thick, viscous and full-bodied. Carbonation is a bit low, but this is still an enjoyable sipper. Running a bit hot as mentioned before. Not bitter at all- very nice and caramel-forward with complementary toffee and maple notes on the backend.

Such a sweet beer, makes me wonder if that's a Founders thing. In any case, I think this was a nice treatment of Old Curmudgeon that still worked out even all this time later.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of jampics2
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

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

Poured from bomber (2011 vintage) into a tulip glass. Pours nut brown/reddish with a white one-finger head. Lacings last very nicely throughout. Defiintely pick up maple syrup as advertised along with bourbon and some butter. Flavors of maple syrup is pronounced here, butter, and molasses. Thin headed with good carbonation. There is a bitter back finish after each sip. As much as I love the label, this beer is a bit uninteresting like the regular Curmudgeon. In any case, glad to have finally tried this one out from one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of MDDMD
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-golden brown color with a small off-white head which dissipates with some lacing

S-fruit and molasses with hints of bourbon and vanilla

T-a delicious mixture of dried fruits, brown sugar, malts, vanilla, and bourbon

F-medium to full body with light carbonation, smooth and boozy, but well-balanced

O-a delicious complex ale with great flavor and balance, one to savor

Photo of jegross2
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.

Photo of CTJman
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of MattyG85
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.

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of ElGallo
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Bierguy5
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Lucky's anniversary party. Cloudy orange to amber color. Head disappears quickly, but does leave a few spots of lace.

Fruity, toffee and caramel aroma, laced with a nice amount of bourbon, oak and maple.

Great maltiness of Curmudgeon up front. Toffee, a bit of fig and ripe fruit. Bourbon notes come in, with some oak tannin and a hint of maple syrup.

Medium to almost full body, good amount of carbonation. Some warmth, but it is ok in this beer. I love what the barrel adds to this already awesome beer. Great stuff

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 935 ratings.