Curmudgeon's Better Half | Founders Brewing Company

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Curmudgeon's Better HalfCurmudgeon's Better Half
BA SCORE
4.31/5
Outstanding
1,055 Ratings
Curmudgeon's Better HalfCurmudgeon'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.

Formerly known as Kaiser Curmudgeon

Added by TCgoalie on 07-10-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
271
Ratings:
1,055
pDev:
10.9%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
440
Gots:
355
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,055 |  Reviews: 271
Photo of karatebartender
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Thanks to Teresa's for offering this on tap!

Served in a tulip glass, a slightly hazy mahogany brown color, with a small cap of ivory head that dissipated mostly but left some very nice lacing on the glass. Aroma was pretty boozy, with obvious notes of dark sugars and dark dried fruits, woody and leafy afterthoughts. Tasted delicious...brown sugar, molasses, maple, quite boozy, but not really a distinctive bourbon profile until it was allowed to get a bit warmer; raisins, figs, worty malts, with touches of vanilla and licorice. Very complex and tasty, quite smooth, and more so at a warmer temp; alcohol is obvious, but it doesn't detract from the smoothness. Full bodied, and very drinkable. I had no problem ordering another.

 777 characters

Photo of nicknameddad
1/5  rDev -76.8%

Photo of jwat
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of bhir
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of mjaggers
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 london1o1
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Duff27
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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 Dope
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A beautiful dark ruby pour with a huge, dense off-white head atop it. The retention is so good it takes a good 5 minutes for it to recede an inch. Almost annoying because I want to try it! Leaves a solid wall of lacing. Perfect.

S: Loaded with bourbon. Sweet molasses, brown sugar, caramel and oaky vanilla. Hint of dark fruit like raisin and perhaps figs. Maybe a touch of maple but it could be my imagination.

T: Whoa, there's the maple up front and throughout the beer. A wonderful mix of maple syrup and bourbon notes. Molasses, caramel, brown sugar and oak. Maybe a bit of toffee. Super malty - sweet but not cloying, the bourbon helps cut it down a bit.

M: Not as heavy as you might think for an 11.9% beer. It's definitely got some weight to it but it's not syrupy. Carbonation is dead on. Very smooth.

O: It's VERY heavy on the bourbon and the maple flavors are quite strong too. Sweet as can be but what would you expect from a maple syrup bourbon barrel old ale? The flavors compliment each other nicely and nothing is too overpowering. What a great beer, there's nothing else quite like it out there.

 1,119 characters

Photo of 1Adam12
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Big Hunt on President's Day. Served in a something or other; I shamefully didn't write that part down. Glassware fail. Let's pretend it was in my Founders tulip.

Pours a fairly-dark caramel-copper color with a bit of an off-white head and some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some really nice maple notes along with some toffee and caramel. The background has a bit of bourbon, oak, and vanilla with some butterscotch thrown in for good measure. For whatever reason, I also got notes of caramelized banana. Either way, it was awesome, so let's roll with that.

The flavor certainly didn't fall off. Great maple and barrel notes with sweet caramel and a touch of fruit. Brown sugar there as well. Caramelized banana yet again. I can't get away from that. Medium-full body with a slick texture and nice carbonation. Just a touch of warming booze. Founders strikes again. One of America's beer champions.

EDIT:

Original review of the first batch of Founders Kaiser Curmudgeon:

Pours bright ruby with a nice white dad and lacing. Nose is a bit rich. Caramel and fried banana are the initial scents. Slight sweetness. Taste is quite sweet. Caramel and candied fruits. Slight banana. Mouthfeel is rich and only slightly hot. This will age very nicely.

4.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 4.0 (September 4, 2010)

 1,335 characters

Photo of dwduncan2
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of KarlSpackler
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of jacewg
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of brooklynbrews
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.36/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Better Half, bottle bought at Whole Foods Chelsea in NYC for $15.99.

"Old Ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels"

Adorable-naive label, with the loving Curmudgeon's wife making an appearance (the man remains impassive and rather grouchy). I sense a divorce, or separate beds for the rest of their lives. Maybe this beer is just too sweet for the old fart?

Appearance: Served in my Lost Abbey snifter, my assertive pour produced a classic snow-capped one-finger head that dies rather soon, leaving only a mantle and serious lacing. Better Half looks like an old ale indeed (or a better barleywine), with a mysterious, slightly shiny amber color that almost begs to have one of those million-year-old flies encased inside.

Smell: Huh... scrambling to sniff *anything at all*. Alright, there is some cookie dough, banana bread, brown sugar and bourbon at the end. Crushed raisin and fruitiness. Suck on that sweeeet toffee! As it warms up, it becomes sweeter and more bourbony, with wood and cat-litter dust at the end.

Taste: If you love bourbon (and I do), you'll love this. Reminds me of drinking Evan Williams 2001. Booze, fire, tad of smoke. White chocolate, "tarta al whisky", rum-soaked bread, then cookies and more fire. SWEET AND HOT! Liquid caramel. At the end, I feel like I'm swimming in bourbon and sliding down a barrel. Can you say unbalanced?

Mouthfeel: A little thin for such a monster. It feels weak in the mouth, then goes down with intense dryness and outrageous heat plus a nice touch of bourbon.

Overall: This has got to be one of the sweetest, booziest, most unbalanced brews EVER. Didn't enjoy the Kaiser on tap, and this is no better. I love bourbon and sweet beers (hello CBS!) but this just ain't right.

 1,764 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft, served in a small goblet that held 10 oz. at most.

Copper color, transparent when held to the light. A cirrus skim melted across the surface, looking like a smudged melting marshmallow. Some lingering webs of lace stuck around the edges.

Strong bourbon aromas of toasted coconut, vanilla and brown sugar. Slightly sweet with a little hint of maple woodiness.

Tasted similar, some mellow oaky traces dried things out, along with some caramel flavor and maraschino juice astringency from the alcohol... Big on the vanilla/brown sugar/maple combo with a significant alcohol presence from the barrel. Lingering bourbon traces in the aftertaste. It's well blended and fairly drinkable, medium bodied and sticky on the lips. Overall, it's worth trying or looking for, but not really worth any extra hoop-jumping to buy a bottle.

 838 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Gfunk720
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. Out of my CBS snifter.

A- A bright reddish amber, on the darker side. Very clean and clear. A healthy off white head forms and reduces to a thin layer that retains. Light lacing.

S- Tons of sweet malt, caramel, and molassas. I get some touches of heat, as well as oaky maple bourbon. Pretty amazing.

T- Just buttery smooth, which is quickly followed by a hoppy punch. The caramel, bourbon, and oak then really go to work. Amazing complex, and just kind of dances across the tongue. Sweet, but not too sweet. I do get some touches of maple candy as well.

M- Amazing. Light on carbonation, but I feel it works perfect for this beer. The body and mouthfeel just have the perfect thickness.

O- Though very reminicent of Backwoods Bastard, this beer is a little different. I think the balance of body, barrel aging, and complexity, is quite amazing. Quite curious to see what this turns into with some age, as if it smooths out it will be euphoric.

-GFunk

 970 characters

Photo of s1ckboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Riggsenater
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of areich6
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Hoppedup616
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to land this bottle, poured into a Great Lakes snifter.
Poured almost syrupy, this one really stuck to the glass. Molasses in color, and had a minimal off white head that left pretty quickly. Smell was extremely sweet, totally amazing. Carmel, bourbon, wood, slight maple, but more than CBS in more opinion. Whoa...this tastes incredible. Maple is more prominent in the taste, which I was fond of. Still very sweet, and had a very nice bourbon character. Alcohol was very well hidden, something Founders is really good at doing. The mouthfeel was also thick and syrupy, not that much carbonation, but I loved it. This beer was worth the wait. Haven't tried the original Curmudgeon, but it's next on my list. I look forward to enjoying this beer again.

 764 characters

Photo of dnh2
5/5  rDev +16%

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