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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

896 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 896
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 382
Gots: 372 | FT: 16
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: 896 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Barcade, founders tap night

A - Low white head, poor retention and lace. Hazy ice tea body.

S - Maple syrup, brown sugar, scotch, vanilla, black cherry.

T - Caramel, coffee creamer, cherry concentrate, scotch, vanilla, vanilla wafers, lemon frosting.

M - About as smooth as you could ever ask for. Full, creamy body; but not syrupy.

O - Drinks like Scotch with an incredibly smooth, sweet honey finish.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 23:47:35 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Cynic-ale
Cynic-ale

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

09-07-2013 22:49:44 | More by Cynic-ale
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short lived tan head on a light ruby red body. Leaves a collar throughout. Thick alcohol legs.

Love the smell. Candied bourbon notes.

Candy, caramel. Can definitely taste the maple syrup barrels. Leaves a solid bourbony taste that makes me loopy.

Full mouthfeel, lower end of carbonation.

Big fan of this one. Maple syrup was very present, even more so than in CBS. A good one to take down with a few friends. Worth following distribution trucks around for...not!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 04:52:43 | More by Duff27
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A; poured a dark brown in color with caramel brown highlights and had a nice finger worth of head that left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of maple syrup was apparent in the aroma with bourbon barrel characteristics, some caramel, sweet malts, and traces of booze as well; very nice nose.

T: The maple syrup and bourbon barrel characters was more prominent on the palate alongside vanilla caramel accents but with nice sugar sweetness.

M; the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, maple syrup, bourbon barrel, vanilla, and sticky finish.

O; it was a very tasty old ale with a great aroma. Wish I could get my hands on more of this beer

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 06:39:57 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

4/5  rDev -7.4%

02-22-2012 02:57:01 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

3.5/5  rDev -19%

02-17-2012 01:36:55 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 22:28:57 | More by Jwale73
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.5/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 00:20:01 | More by woosterbill
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with zep9865.

This beer pours a light bodied, sticky rich amber in color with a soapy lacing around the glass. The nose is very soft toffee, vanilla, candied malt, and an ever so slight touch of bourbon. The noses is soft and sweet. The flavors consist of toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, slight bourbon (especially as it warms), and candied malts. Great flavor. It is definitely on the sweet side. This is a nice beer to share and overall is a fine old ale. I love when breweries have the balls to make a beer like this. Barrel aged old ales are something that I hope becomes more and more popular. This was a really nice beer and I appreciated how the bourbon came through as it warmed (unlike CBS). This one was a treat, and on the dessert side, but a treat nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 04:50:56 | More by aasher
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 04:17:42 | More by FosterJM
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a candy apple red hue. Produced a nice cap of tan froth. Decent retention. Good lacing. Tons of sediment floaties unfortunately.

(S)- A nice mellow-like rich maple, caramel, toffee, and fig profile. Very subtle dry oak.

(T)- Right off the bat, the rich maple, vanilla, and gingerbread-like malt flavors are really nice. Underneath that is the caramel/toffee/fig finish.

(M)- A nice smooth carbonation level. A really nice balance too. Too bad all the sediment showed up though. . . it is causing it to get really chewy and grainy; tons of bitterness as it warms. Well hidden ABV and a balanced richness.

(D)- Despite the sediment really throwing off the mouthfeel and some aspects of the taste and appearance, this is really quite nice. The maple really enhances this and created a nice twist from the usual Curmudgeon ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 22:17:52 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Lare453
Lare453

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

11-12-2013 00:39:51 | More by Lare453
Photo of KAF
KAF

Iowa

3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

07-09-2014 01:17:20 | More by KAF
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2012 23:23:02 | More by rudzud
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Harder to track down than Bigfoot (the real one, not the beer), but for molasses? And maple liquor barrels? I'll track. 750 ML bomber split with my wife after our fantasty baseball draft. Hillbilly Hogs for the win. And no Mauer this year.

Pour is dark red flirting with orange highlights, peppered with a 1/4 cup of suspended sediment all through the beer column. Bald man's ring on top. Smell is just heavenly. Molasses, sweet malts, deep maple. Warm alcohol. Yes.

Curmudgeon's Better Half is what one has come to expect from Founders: excellence in barreling. The maple is exquisite, coming through as a sweentess riding the malts & as a gentle alcohol burn in the back of the throat (barrel, I'm guessing). Huge caramel/toffee wades into the fray. Vanilla, brown sugar increase the cavity index significantly. Alcohol is present & warming. Wildly smooth, & stupidly easy to drink.

We should have paired this up with an original Curmudgeon's to compare-&-contrast, but hey, such is life. This is top-shelf stuff, & the reason that I'll buy anything Founders puts in a barrel. Because it almost always comes out excellent, like this beer. Borderline elite.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 02:54:36 | More by maximum12
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: on-tap

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

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +10%

01-01-2013 18:53:23 | More by enelson
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.1/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 01:08:17 | More by Gmann
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.53/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
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 EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

Serving type: growler

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

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2013 17:27:15 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a cloudy dark copper with a little off white head.
S: It smelled like maple and molasses and tons of oak and toasted coconut, with some vanilla and earthy roasted barley and copper hops and honey.
T: It tasted like maple and vanilla and toasted coconut and oak, with some molasses and copper hops and roasted barley and honey. It had a clean and sweet and smooth aftertaste.
M: It was very thick and viscous with some carbonation. Nice full and slick body.
D: This was a delicious old ale with great maple bourbon barrel character. I loved the scent and taste, and the body was excellent. It had a lasting but mellow finish, so it was easy to drink but worth sipping. It would likely age a long tome, but it doesn't need it since it's great fresh. Recommended, if you could find it.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 04:22:09 | More by Pencible
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One year old, bottled Feb 2012, enjoyed Feb 2013 amongst a tasting group. Pours a copper-ish, deep amber color with very nice clarity. An almost light-yellow, eggshell like head tops this one off and leaves tiny bits of lacing along the sides of the glass.

The nose on this one is heavy and full of many different things; bourbon, oak, light vanilla, light black licorice, sweet and juicy dark fruits, boozy figs, dates, and raisins, sweet toffee and caramel, and a very faint maple aroma that comes out more and more as time goes on. I'd like to believe the maple was much heavier when fresh, but it's still hidden and can be found even a year after bottling. Sweet and boozy all around.

Curmudgeon's Better Half doesn't waste any time getting down to business. It hits the palate with a heavy mix of bourbon, oak, licorice, caramel and sweet fruits. More figs, raisins, and dates that have been soaked in bourbon, and dipped in a brown sugar bath. No surprises here - the malt is heavy and gives off a huge molasses and caramel sweetness, sugary and sticky like syrup. Oak flavors are a touch mellow, but definitely there, along with the maple syrup which seems to kind of just blend into the background with everything else.

The booze is strong on this one, especially when you consider the fact that it's one-year old and only 11.9% ABV. Feels much closer to the 15% range. The maple characteristic is strongest in the aftertaste, which is also full of more oak, sweet bread, over-ripe dark fruits, and more bourbon. Thick and almost chewy body, sticky and syrupy, low-medium amount of carbonation.

Surprisingly bourbon heavy and almost even "hot" for being a 11.9% ABV year-old ale, but still pretty drinkable and definitely full of flavor. Lots of sweetness and oak flavors, along with a very, very mild maple characteristic. Was this one worth the price? Probably not, but it was still pretty damn good. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 20:46:33 | More by tectactoe
Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.