Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half | Founders Brewing Company

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977 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
977
Reviews:
237
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
10.93%
 
 
Wants:
423
Gots:
356
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 977 |  Reviews: 237
Photo of dfhhead25
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of smakawhat
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter glass. Let's see how Kaiser here goes from his on tap version back in the day.

Nothing like Kaiser on tap. An absolutely gorgeous ruby crystal clear shimmering body, faint tan head falls leaving a whispering top and a tan collar. Spotted leopard like lacing, and faint legs of sheets. This body color is just like a gem it's beautiful.

Bouquet is mellow, soft, slight icing sugar, barleywine rich without the boozey character, mellow hops, subtle beef jerky, caramel, and faint maple syrup. I don't get the sense something really sweet is coming. This is like a real nice subdued and rich barleywine on the nose with a unique profile.

Taste bring a solid palate, bringing the nose notes nicely. Nothing overbearingly sweet, maple sugar comes in slowly, finish highlights this wonderfully. The bottle truly does manage the notion, it tastes like pancakes, pat of butter and hint of maple syrup. No sense of hot heat at all, not even warming in the stomach.

Overall, I am just shocked at how different this is in appearance and taste compared to Kaiser, it's not even the same thing, and out of the bottle it's real impressive. I was tempted to just trade this, but I am really glad I tried it. It's just great. Founders = magic in a barrel.

 1,296 characters

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Lare453
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

 1,308 characters

Photo of dvmin98
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Duff27
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

 467 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of sendbeer
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of aasher
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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.

 786 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this beer is the #9 beer on the "Top Beers - Old Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. I'm not sure how this beer is different than Kaiser Curmudgeon but it apparently is in a way that I am unaware of. On tap at the Big Hunt in DC, served in a 10 ounce tumbler. Beer is amber and slightly hazy with a lazy head of small off white bubbles, some lacing but low retention and carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, bourbon, boozy, malt, strong.

Beer is thin up front with minimal syrup notes sneaking through, giving it a strong almost drying finish, this beer again is about as sweet as a beer can be and still be considered a beer. If not for the 12% alcohol, the gravity on this thing would be through the roof. If you like big booze and palate wrecking levels of flavor, this beer is for you. Decent but too sweet.

 828 characters

Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ShanePB
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle shared by a friend
Served into a chalice glass

A: Mahogany copper body certainly on the lighter side of things. Admittedly, this isn't as dark as I was expecting for some reason. A thin off-white head forms and eventually settles out into a foamy ring. Nice patches of lacing on the walls, too.

S: Extremely sweet malts and maple syrup are first to hit the nose. Bourbon and oak wood come through, along with some hints of vanilla and toffee. Wow does that smell enticing and very rich.

T: Whoa, incredibly sweet almost to the point of being too cloying. But it's good. Sweet maple syrup dominates the flavor profile from the beginning to end. The bourbon does come through on the back end along with the barrel, but I still think it's swallowed by the maple. A bit of sweet toffee and caramel, but those are simply afterthoughts.

M: Nicely carbonated, not overdone giving this a very full mouth feel. It tastes like it's going to be very syrupy but the lively carbonation breaks it up, and keeps it from being sticky.

Talk about a sipping beer. This is certainly one to sit and savor. The overall sweetness may be a bit too much for some but the flavors it gives off are really wonderful. Too sweet? It's debatable, perhaps but a very nice drink to be sure.

 1,277 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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

 699 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to BBP for this bottle. Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Medium ruby/brown with a big glow around the edges. One finger of bubbly cream-coloured head formed and quickly receded to a few large bubbles around the edges of the glass. Decent lacing.

S - Sweet caramel, raisins, bourbon, vanilla, toffee. Not specifically getting any maple syrup but there is a big overall sweetness. Very complex.

T - A big hit of bourbon up front with vanilla and oak flavours. The barrel aging characteristics definitely dominate the base beer flavours but hey are still present - contributing some toffee, brown sugar, dark caramel and raisin flavours. The alcohol is noticeable but not distracting. The maple syrup shows up in the finish, adding a nice sweetness.

M - Medium to full body, creamy. So smooth and silky. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent beer. Was really happy that I got chance to try this one.

 913 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of LoveStout
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of a77cj7
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Sweffin
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 436 characters

Photo of outoffocus
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of dar482
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The color is a deep dark ruby red that is clear.

The aroma is just huge. There's oak chips, vanilla, tons of sweet caramel, some honey, brown sugar. The bourbon really shines through with some alcohol in there.

The flavor follows with lots of oak, wood, bourbon, and vanilla character. There's then that smooth mellow sweetness. It's so delicious with that smooth caramel, molasses, brown sugar sweetness that rolls around the tongue. It's almost like sipping on a sherry with the sweetness and big booze character.

Then follows still with that tinge of bitterness and alcohol that triggers to clean off the palate. It's great that the bitterness is still in this big sweet beer.

The body is medium to heavy, though not too large.

This beer is one of the best examples of what barrel aging can do to a beer. It completely lifts the original beer to another level. The barrel character is huge and defines what bourbon barrels do.

I thankfully had this next to Old Curmudgeon. What the barrel does to this is incredible. With the huge aroma and the mellowing out of flavors, yet still with the bitterness, the barrel makes this beer exceptional to world class.

 1,165 characters

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 977 ratings.
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