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Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half
BA SCORE
4.31/5
Outstanding
982 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:
982
pDev:
10.9%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
423
Gots:
356
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 982 |  Reviews: 237
Photo of MajorBuckeye
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Ray7233
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of will1256
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of TheBierBoutique
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of minterro
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle gotten from Dusty’s Cellar. Rated during the MSU Louisville game.

Really like the bottle, simplistic but elegant.

A&S: fruity esters, sweet malts, big alcohol tones. Tons of unfilteredness. Semi translucent light copper colored beer. Off-white head that doesn’t really hang around because of the ABV probably.

T&M: very hot and warming. Sweet matly upfront. Black licorice finish. Maple syrup midway to the finish. Other tones include caramel, dark fruits (mostly raisins), and brown sugar. Very smooth and viotile when drinking it, it seems to evaporate out of your throat. Medium bodied low carbonation.

O: Didn’t really live up to my personal hype about it, but it was still really good and fairly unique. To me it almost seemed like a mix of mostly old ale but partially Quad.

 797 characters

Photo of marvin213
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The look isn't all that impressive, but I know this is a bad ass beer. It's translucent and a surprisingly light brown with even a yellowish tint. I respect the sediment floating all around--even on the first small pour--so perhaps I should replace "impressive" with "predictable." It must be that lighter old ale that confused me as I just casually expected yet another bourbon barrel, pitch black stout.

The nose definitely conjures up thoughts of Old Curmudgeon. It definitely has that sweeter molasses, maple syrup type feel to the aroma. The taste is pretty magnificent, as it embodies what big beers can be. It IS so much better than Old Curmudgeon, and it IS its "better half!" That syrupy sweet, sugary molasses mixed with that semi-bitter, almost chalky, sediment floating big Ol ale that George Washington would've drank really makes for the like the perfect coupling! A phenomenal concoction! That's what it is: a concoction.

I sort of understand (I'm not a brewer)--with these ingredients and the barrel aging and all--how this is a limited edition brew. As the market gets saturated with them, however, I must say that this one definitely meets and/or exceeds expectations. Cheers, and Go Heels!

 1,212 characters

Photo of nknauz
5/5  rDev +16%

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

Had on tap at The Beverage Source in Newark, Ohio Founders tasting. Served in a tulip glass.

Wow! This beer is hands-down one of the finest I've ever had. Sweet, malty, and at 11.9% it packs a wallop!
A - Poured about inch or so of head that thins without too much lacing. Nice amber color
S - Big time malts with definite hints of caramel, vanilla, maple, and bourbon.
T - Sweetness hits first, but fades quickly as the 11.9% kicks in and you pick up the bourbon in there. Amazing and clean finish with little to no burn. Smooth as can be. Vanilla and maple hints linger back.
M - Pretty well bodied with light cabonation
O - If you see it, get it. I drove 40 minutes to have this one and would go further if I had to. Also enjoyed the Breakfast Stout and KBS on draft and I'd choose Curmudgeon's Better Half over both. Awesome job Founder's!

 845 characters

Photo of CORKSCREWFISH
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

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

I have had this in bottles as well and on tap at Founders and at a bar 3/18/12.

The color is deceiving to me, I expected darker...however, the flavor waiting in the glass is out of this world.

The smell...it is apparent immediately that the famed Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup process was used.

Boozy...Yes please...it doesn't hide the fact it is aged in Bourbon barrels.

When I got it poured, I ordered a small 4 oz glass of another beer to let this warm, the warmer it got, the more incredible it became.

I hate to say it, but I would have to say this beer is neck and neck with CBS, if not better IMO.

 607 characters

Photo of jaidenjb
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Still not sure why this has not been merged with Kaiser's Curmudgeon yet but guess I'll review it until it has. had it again as CBH up at Night of the Barrels in Boston and 3 weeks ago in a bottle thanks to Huhzebenda; thanks Matt. I liked it much more from the bottle.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel, oak, bourbon, maple, roasted malts, and toffee.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, maple syrup, oak, vanilla, sugar, bourbon, and toasted malts.

m - Medium to full body more on the full side, and low carbonation. Thick and smooth.

o - A very nice maple beer. Some nice sweet maple, vanilla, and caramel, would certainly like to have it again.

 741 characters

Photo of Gushue3
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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

Poured into Duvel glass

A: Finger and a half khaki head, pretty clear, deep ruby amber color, good carbonation, bit of lacing

S: Some bourbon, maple syrup, caramel, oak, brown sugar, touch of vanilla and earthiness

T: A nice blend of flavors here; sweetness upfront, not as much bourbon as the nose would lead you to believe, oak, touch of raisin, little bit of spice

M: Smooth and creamy, decent carbonation, medium to full bodied, warming finish

O: Very good stuff, wish I had some more

 497 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 3/15/12 tasting notes... Paired this with some opening round NCAA Tourney action. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into CBS snifter.

A) This is a pleasing looking burnished brandy. It starts with nearly a finger of head that settles to a wispy dusting. There was not much lacing, seemed to have some alcohol legs.

S) Nice blend of aromas. I picked up some vanilla, maple syrup, caramel, Levi Garrett Tobacco. It's fairly sweet, with a nice hint of the bourbon.

T) Definitely lives up to the expectations I had after savoring the aroma. Vanilla bean, sweet maple syrup, some dark fruits,a little brown sugar, a little woody bourbon barrel cask. The alcohol is well hidden. Well balanced flavors, that deliver a great taste.

M) Nearly full bodied and lightly carbonated. This one is silky smooth. Finishes fairly sweet with complementary earthiness. Nice aftertaste.

O Simply put, this is an outstanding ale. If you are lucky enough to try this one, do not hesitate. Thanks to Founders for another fantastic offering.

 1,022 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

 1,164 characters

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

Thanks a ton to Chico1985 for sharing, reviewed from notes.

A- Pours out amber with a light tan head. Nice creamy texture and size with good retention. Tons of thick lace all over the glass.

S- Bourbon forward with notes of vanilla, oak barrel and whiskey. Backed up by caramel, maple, dark fruit and brown sugar.

T- Maple sweets and bourbon forward. Nice maple syrup notes, whiskey, oak, raisin, dark fruit, alcohol and caramel.

MF- Silky and oily thick body with moderate carbonation. Feels slick and warm with a slight bitterness.

Maple forward, more so than CBS with a great old ale and bourbon presence. Really enjoy the interplay between those elements.

 664 characters

Photo of szmnnl99
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of nopucophop
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of orangesol
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle at Al's of Hampden. Thanks for the chance to try this one Al.

A - Pours slightly murky copper orange with a small half finger tall off white head leaving very thin streaks of lace down part of the glass.

S - Smells of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, oak, brown sugar and the maple syrup from the bourbon barrels. A bit of booze develops toward the end of the glass but it still smells great.

T - Starts off with lots of sweetness - mostly caramel, toffee, butterscotch, brown sugar, etc. - slowly giving way to hints of oak, vanilla and the maple syrup / bourbon from the barrels. The booze is light initially growing stronger and stronger as it sits in the glass. Finish is pretty sweet with a touch of booze burn, lingering on the pallet for some time after consumption.

M - Medium body with a rather sweet flavor and moderate carbonation. The sweetness is strong throughout, lingering long after the finish.

O - I rather enjoyed this one. It packs a ton of flavor and it was still pretty easy to drink, minus the slight booze kick. I am really starting to like all these Old Ale's I have been having recently.

 1,148 characters

Photo of Durb777
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Chico1985
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml split between myself and cbutova.

Pours a translucent amber, lots of flecks and haze on the 2nd pour however. Off-white head retains pretty well.

Big bourbon and maple in the scent, oak, some dark fruits and toastiness.

Like the scent, lots of bourbon, maple and oak up front but not too much heat. Molasses and caramel malts are big too and sweeten things up. Slight cocoa, dark fruit and brown sugar.

Smooth, lowish carbonation, lots of bourbon flavor with some alcohol heat but not bad for the ABV.

Took some time to grow on me but I found it very enjoyable. It's a bit of a bourbon/maple bomb but quite tasty, kinda like a bourbon pancake.

 654 characters

Photo of GRPunk
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- A careful pour created a 1/2-finger, off-white head that thins to a light film. The body is clean on the first pour. Amber edges toward a garnet/red with light carbonation. Light, sticky spots are left on the glass. A more aggressive,second pour meant a full finger of foamy head that still dropped pretty quickly. Stick improved with a second pour.

S- Quite sweet at first, lots of maple and wood. Some caramel and brown sugar, a little leather and tobacco leaf. Hints of raisin.

T- Very flavorful. Definitely pick up the maple syrup and bourbon. A little raisin and some spice (cinnamon, pepper, a little anise?). At points it's all about bourbon, nice and smooth. It really changes from sip to sip with warmth.

M- Nice and viscous as expected at the higher ABV for the style. Light carbonation combines with spicy hops and alcohol to provide a little bite.

O- Rich, full flavored old ale is wonderful. I tend to get underwhelmed by the style as I'm always expecting something really bold. This might be bait toward the extreme for the style, but I like it. After 1-1/2 glasses, I paired it with wheat crackers and cheese (Swiss, Havarti, and Gouda). It went together quite nicely. Worth the money. Definitely a special beer, not for every day consumption. Take your time and enjoy it. I'm about to finish off the last small pour now,

 1,378 characters

Photo of Redglimmer
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of SawDog505
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip glass. Pours a dirty brown, with a one inch white head, leaves some lace. Smell is vanilla, maple, fig, and bourbon. Taste is very aggressive, with pungent vanilla and bourbon leading the way. Body is on the larger side, good amount of carbonation, not overly dry, and a sipper yet very drinkable. This was a wonderful experience and Founder's one again you leave me in awe.

 406 characters

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 982 ratings
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