Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half | Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half
BA SCORE
4.31/5
980 Ratings
Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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.

Added by Jason on 01-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
237
Ratings:
980
pDev:
10.67%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
424
Gots:
356
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 980 |  Reviews: 237
Photo of siege06nd
3.68/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 1,747 characters

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 baybum
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of alexsergio
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of szmnnl99
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Brew33
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of JRod1969
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of mikeincharleston
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of vonnegut21
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of bacher468
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ScottP
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of aussiebeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of homebrew311
3.87/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Florida9 for helping me out with this one.

A: pours a light clear golden, almost no head, minimal lacing

S: nose is big on the molasses along with vanilla, and bourbon, not picking up much maple on the nose

T: sugary and sweet at the beginning, a bit of boozy heat comes in, Creme brûlée character in there as well, maple is minimal. This tastes like a different beer than kaiser curmudgeon

Mf: thick syrupy body, low carb

O: this is suPer sweet and lacks the deliciousness that I recall from kaiser curmudgeon. Not getting a lot of maple at all.

 565 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, joshrosborne!

A lighter than expected, but very pretty nearly clear copper and golden with a very persistent, moderately sized light khaki colored head of tightly bubbled foam atop. Leaves fairly thick lines and spots of stick down the glass. Very pretty, especially for the style.

Nice caramel and toffee notes, along with a bit of wood and nut combine nicely with bourbon notes and some lingering maple characters. I wish it all a bit more pronounced, as in the flavor, but this is certainly very nice.

The flavor is fantastic and just as expressive and delicious as I was hoping for. This is like melted caramel and pecan pie with a bourbon whipped cream frosting atop...only in beer form. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, turning this monster into an incredibly drinkable, tamed beast. Really impressed.

Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Just a touch oily. Very drinkable.

Exceptional. One of my favorites within the style. Well done, Founders!

 1,015 characters

Photo of Kerrie
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of thecheapies
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The initial pour looked a deep brownish-red with awesome clarity. Topping the beer off added lots of chunky sediment and broken-up yeast cake and really clouded the beer. The head that collected is a half moon of coarse bubbles. They haven't popped yet.

I'm waiting for CBH to warm up, but I'm getting a starter waft of fresh fennel and dry caramel. As it slowly warms, one can pick up on maple, barrel wood, English malt, licorice root, milk chocolate, molasses, and faint whiskey. An aged old ale, in the nose, with featured notes of barrel complexity.

Firmly steeped in molasses (not without bitterness), maple, licorice, bourbon, light roastiness, figgy fruits, caramel brittle, date, fennel, herbal elixiry sweetness, and some bitterness in the tailend. Amazingly complex. I feel like this beer probably dried up a little, too, but I can't know for sure. Has a grand appeal. The fennel/licorice presence in the flavor is really intense. Almost as much dried fruit as there is caramel. Atypical ale. Nothing like I've ever had before.

Full-bodied with light tackiness on the lips. Soft carbonation. Nothing even close to 11.9% represented here. Mellowed beautifully.

I wasn't expecting this kind of flavor profile evolution. I assume this has strayed from what it was, which I would've greatly enjoyed. But, I still love what it has become. Adventurous beer that I purchased already aged. Too fun.

 1,405 characters

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.

 553 characters

Photo of Exiled
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of wvsabbath
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jvillefan
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy red-orange with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is sweet caramelized malts with vanilla, oak, Bourbon, maple syrup, some dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with sweet caramelized malts, vanilla, brown sugar, black licorice, and dark fruits. Through the middle, lots of oak, Bourbon, and maple syrup come through with some molasses. The finish is a mix of sweet caramelized malts, oak, vanilla, maple syrup, Bourbon, molasses, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. The maple Bourbon barrels really add some great complexity to the beer while keeping the balance spot on.

 800 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 980 ratings
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