Curmudgeon's Better Half | Founders Brewing Company

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Curmudgeon's Better HalfCurmudgeon's Better Half
1,055 Ratings
Curmudgeon's Better HalfCurmudgeon's Better Half

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old ale aged in bourbon barrels previously used for Michigan maple syrup.

Formerly known as Kaiser Curmudgeon

Added by TCgoalie on 07-10-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,055 |  Reviews: 271
Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cmukid87
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Richter525
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fosters9
3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of WanderingFool
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HattedClassic
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer is an extremely attractive clear dark amber color with a very nice copper hue.

The smell is good. It has a pretty good sweet sugary malt note with a tiny alcohol note. The syrup note is slight but still manages to impress. The taste is better with a stronger maple syrup note that brings the flavor together. The malt note consists of a caramel and light dark fruit with a trace of alcohol.

The feel is good. It's a heavy bodied beer but has a thin texture and is extremely drinkable as a result.

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Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GuyFawkes
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage; drank 9/20/15 @ the Palace.

Ruddy brown/red appearance.

Minimal khaki head; decent lace.

Butterscotch, maple syrup & rich oak notes in the nose.

Thick, smooth mouthfeel.

Spiced cider & butterscotch flavors up front; milk chocolate notes on the finish. An odd but entirely winning combination of flavors; this aged beautifully.

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Photo of fern22
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review is for Dec 25, 2016 bottle, aged 4 years & 10 months in dry cellar

Previous drinks:
June, 2013, aged 1 year and 4 months in dry cellar
February & March 2010 on release

The most incredible beer I've ever had. I love their Crumudgeon Old Ale. It's absolutely delicious with or without a year of cold-aging. Aging it with Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel? Incredulous. Cellar aging for almost 6 years? It was so good, I knew I had to tell the world about it. So it gets a proper review.

Being as it was almost 5 years old, I suspected my bottle was beginning to hit the end of it's life. What better time to drink it than at the start of drinking during Christmas.

Pours a thick, almost viscous, slightly dark, clear, honey-amber appearance into a chalice. Absolutely gorgeous appearance. The real treat were the suspended maple syrup crystals all throughout it in a proper display of entropy. Varying in size but an incredibly delightful sight. I don't think I'll ever see something like that in a beer so wonderful again in my life. No head and no points off, because it's 5 years old.

Malt, caramel-like scents, a tiny bit of oak. The bourbon is very, very light on the nose. It's almost disappeared in a sense. An indicator of what's to come in the taste. Not too much earthiness as I've seen from 1-year aged curmudgeons.

Room temperature. Tastes of caramel, vanilla more than anything. Small notes of the oak. The taste has become so complex it's quite hard to describe how the bourbon has become mixed in with the rest of it. I think it came out, after all these years, perfectly assimilated into the rest of the beer. Halfway through you might actually think they put some butter in it as well as strange as that sounds. There is a little bit of bitterness at the end that complements its complex flavor. Far less bitterness than there were in previous vintages. It's crowning accomplishment is having the perfect amount of sweetness to it, which is balanced out with it's other small flavors.

Incredibly smooth. It goes down as described by how it looks and tastes. The aftertaste it left in my mouth very much made me want more of it. Drank it slowly to truly enjoy it and let it open up.

That's it, folks. Best beer I've ever had.

 2,279 characters

Photo of Sweffin
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of peabody
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jbaker67
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jmg480
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tonerelia
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of waddellc2
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber shared and poured into a Duvel tulip style glass. Initially the beer comes out a maple syrup brown but at the bottom of the bottle is a fair amount of sentiment that comes up a little cloudy. Little bit of dark eggshell head mostly small bubbles and some lacing.

Smells awesome. Very aromatic a lot of dark dehydrated fruit aromas that are classic in old ales. Hints of sweet brown bread and with vanilla and maple on the back end.

I really, really, really love the taste of this beer. It's very sweet, but not as sweet as I was expecting based on what everyone saying it's a massive sugar bomb (according to what I've been reading). Again with the dark dehydrated fruits and fresh baked warm brown bread with brown sugar/maple butter (yeah I'm not kidding). Little hints of cinnamon at the end providing a bit of spiciness.

Mouthfeel is the worst part, especially if you're picky about this kind of thing. I'll throw a disclaimer out there. I did this review in a side by side with regular Curmudgeon Old ale. Those not familiar, that beer has a pretty clean feel, much more so than Better Half. This beer is certainly full bodied with a long lingering flavor. Very moderate carbonation though, a little bit of bite at the end from the barrel. Earthy spiciness followed by some natural sweetness that's smooth in the middle with a warm finish that's slightly spicy and almost but not quite dry. It's pretty drinkable, but I'd recommend splitting this with no less than 2 people. Great night cap or drink to go with or possibly as dessert. Awesome beer I would absolutely get it again if it's brewed again. Thanks JJ!

 1,658 characters

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

bomber into snifter - about 4 years old at this stage.

Pours slightly murky burnt orange with a surprisingly good dense half inch head for an old barrel aged beer
Candied orange peel, honey and dried figs. Vanilla coming through from the barrel. Not getting a ton of maple
More of the same, with sweet caramel, honey and dried fruits
Medium bodied with some sprightly carb.

Overall a super tasty beer - the maple is pretty faded but the sweetness and some hints remain to leave behind a really smooth and well integrated beer. glad I tracked this one down!

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Lighting is dark, but it seems to be a brown or tawny color. Hazy. Cream colored head settles almost instantly. Dots of lacing here and there.

S: Bourbon pulls on the nose. Maple syrup. Scones. Toffee. Toast and crust. Confectioners sugar.

T: Bourbon and maple syrup flavors are the most prominent, even after all this time. Their marriage is perfect, with the sweetness of the bourbon finding common ground with the maple, but it's divergent peppery nature still playing off of it nicely. No heat at all. Cardboard-like oxidation is very apparent. Malt base is toasty and crusty. Some hop bitterness still exists too. Earthy finish.

M: thick malty body is thinning now with age. Sticky. Little carbonation left.

O: It might've been something in its prime, but this bottle did not age as favorably as I'd hoped. At four years it seems to have been in decline for a while now. It isn't drinking badly, but I do wish I had gotten to it sooner. It's just starting to fade.

 1,015 characters

Photo of Lucoli
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JimmyShaker1
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jayhunter357
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of shehateme
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 1,055 ratings