Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half | Founders Brewing Company

Founders Curmudgeon's Better HalfFounders Curmudgeon's Better Half
BA SCORE
93.5%
Liked This Beer
4.31 w/ 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
Liked:
916
Avg:
4.31/5
pDev:
10.67%
Alströms:
-
 
 
Wants:
423
Gots:
355
Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 980 |  Reviews: 237
Photo of dar482
4.84/5  rDev +12.3%
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

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

Another wonderful beer from Founders. I'm really digging the large format bottle special releases- all of them have been welcome additions so far. This one is no exception. Pours a dark amber with a solid head for the abv and style. The head sticks around for the duration of the beer. Lovely bourbon aromas to start, with vanilla, a bit of spicy oak, and a nice punch from the residual alcohol. Some Maple develops at the end. The taste is even better, with very well integrated flavors of chocolate, vanilla, maple, oak, Bourbon, and molasses notes. On the sweet side, but it all works very well. Silky in the mouth, and a pleasurable experience all around. A very tasty beer indeed.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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 eawolff99
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half

LOOK: Medium brown color, good clarity, light tan foam.

SMELL: Amazing notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, malt, toffee and caramel upfront. The notes resonate in the glass.

TASTE: Malty and oaky, with a touch of maple but mostly just sweetness, smooth bourbon notes, vanilla and caramel. Really tasty stuff; rich and complex.

FEEL: Full bodied, smooth, low-medium carbonation.

OVERALL: A really great beer. Drink it first or last as it tends to overshadow others. The expressive barrel notes and most excellent base beer of Curmudgeon taste like they were always meant to be together.

 623 characters

Photo of enelson
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

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

On tap at Blue Dog in Chalfont, during their wealth of riches event.

The beer pours a dark golden amber color with good head retention and lacing. Those comes across as sweet and strong, as I pick up vanilla, cherry cough drop, some light maple and a hint of hazelnut. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but is really dominated by the cherry cough drop and vanilla. The high abv. is definitely noticeable in this beer, though the beer is not at all hot or heavy on the palate. Mouthfeel is fairly full, and the beer has a long, rich, sweet finish.

While I thought this a pretty good beer, it was just a bit too sweet and boozy for me. I was able to try this side by side with frangelic mountain, and preferred that beer to this one.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lot of maple in this beer. Take CBS, drop the stout smoothness, add Old Ale heartiness and, surprisingly, ratchet up the maple to make this incredible beer.

 159 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.72/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/15/12
*From notes

-- Consumed side by side with a 2010 Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale --

A: A straight pour down the center of the glass yields a meager .25 finger white and bubbly head. Pink grapefruit-crimson in hue. Decent retention, collar and lacing.

S: Sweet. Quite sweet, in fact. Heavy gobs of maple are right there, and the bourbon fills in where the sap does not.

T: It's extremely sweet right out of the gates, and it never lets up. Unlike CBS, the base beer here just doesn't have the strength to stand up to the maple bourbon barrels, which overwhelm all other aspects of the brew. Sure there's more control here then say Kuhnhenn's BB 4D, but CBH just doesn't present the depth and concentration of flavor. The mid dries out a slight bit, though as it does the booze really wallops the palate. The back is jam packed with maple syrup, toasted coconut and vanilla. For as tasty as this is, the beer simply lacks the layers of flavor I've come to expect out of Founders barrel aged brews.

M: Unlike most of Founders offerings, the balance in the mouth is off. It takes a lot of swishing and chewing to get that frothy feel I so enjoy about good beer. It's a bit oily and simply undercarbed for my liking.

O: Put this on the shelf year-round and watch the rDev fall. I think that (yet again) the hype train has gotten a moderate hold of a reasonably good beer. This lacks key components of the best in-style, and the maple bourbon barrels overwhelm the delicate nuances of what an Old Ale should be.

I've put my other bottle in the cellar, hoping that a bit of age will solve some of these issues. But when they're rudimentary like this, I doubt the foundation will really change that much.

All in all a good (not great) beer, though it's certainly the weakest entry in Founders Backstage series to date.

 1,866 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, generously shared by Eric at a pre-4elf bottleshare today, 12/14/2013. Poured probably 6oz into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Thanks a lot buddy, hope you found that hot blonde...

Pours a thick and viscous but clear amber body, fairly decent but not close to a finger's worth of white head, retention is decent. Becomes a fairly placid brew with a thin film on top, no collar. Not much lacing to be found. Really, I think the labeling makes me perceive this as maple syrup in appearance.

Smells nice and sweet- similar to Sweet Repute really. Very caramelly and toffee heavy with a decent dose of maple syrup sweetness. Very sweet and not particularly hoppy or anything like that. Its a one note beer that really stands out. Love that maple syrup booziness.

Same as the nose- very tasty, very sweet and caramel forward with a nice complementary maple flavour. Its quite boozy actually, which I would have figured to go away with a year plus on it, but I guess not- never had it fresh so I don't know. In any case, it's very sweet but not in a cloying way. It's probably better fresh.

Thick, viscous and full-bodied. Carbonation is a bit low, but this is still an enjoyable sipper. Running a bit hot as mentioned before. Not bitter at all- very nice and caramel-forward with complementary toffee and maple notes on the backend.

Such a sweet beer, makes me wonder if that's a Founders thing. In any case, I think this was a nice treatment of Old Curmudgeon that still worked out even all this time later.

 1,523 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a candy apple red hue. Produced a nice cap of tan froth. Decent retention. Good lacing. Tons of sediment floaties unfortunately.

(S)- A nice mellow-like rich maple, caramel, toffee, and fig profile. Very subtle dry oak.

(T)- Right off the bat, the rich maple, vanilla, and gingerbread-like malt flavors are really nice. Underneath that is the caramel/toffee/fig finish.

(M)- A nice smooth carbonation level. A really nice balance too. Too bad all the sediment showed up though. . . it is causing it to get really chewy and grainy; tons of bitterness as it warms. Well hidden ABV and a balanced richness.

(D)- Despite the sediment really throwing off the mouthfeel and some aspects of the taste and appearance, this is really quite nice. The maple really enhances this and created a nice twist from the usual Curmudgeon ale.

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Photo of rudzud
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Armsby Abbey to kick off their anniversary week party.

A - Poured into a standard stemmed chalice a hazy caramel hue with a nice dense creamy one finger head that fades to leave great thick side lacing.

S - Aromas of rich oaky vanilla bourbon and barrels with light toffee and caramel. Nice and warm and inviting.

T - Taste is good raisins, darkfruits, light bourbon notes. Some light maple syrup-esc sweetness. No alcohol on th taste really which is nice, all the flavours meld nicely with eachother though the age is definitely noticeable.

M - Mouthfeel is excellent for the ABV, very smooth and drinkable with some light carbonation.

O - Overall this was a very nice old ale, would have liked to have drank it fresh. Still though this was quite tasty and super drinkable.

 794 characters

Photo of fredmugs
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

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

Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

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

Photo of beergorrilla
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excited for this one no doubt!

A-Pours a crimson brownish color. Minimal head dies down. Off-white head. Leaves hundreds of lacing spots. Barely hazed.

S-Whoa! Smells awesome. Very powerful. A mix of maple syrup, oaky bourbon, sweet sugars. Alcohol is noticeable but adds depth. Lots of vanilla extract as well. Very aromatically sweet. I am a big fan of the nose. Excited to try.

T-The aging in maple syrup Bourbon barrels has done wonders. The maple syrup is delicious and the underlying Bourbon flavor is a perfect compliment to the intense overall sweetness of this brew. Heaps of molasses, and brown sugar. Vanilla extract and wood that just lingers forever. Great depth. Like a pancake dipped in bourbon then topped off with maple syrup.

M-Full bodied and syrupy like SYRUP of course. Carbonation is very mellow. Slick sugary feel. Alcohol dries me out a bit but that is expected with the ABV. Big fan of the huge body.

O/D-I loved this beer. Big, syrupy, sweet and deep. Oh so rich in flavor. I didn't get a chance to try CBS but this one makes me feel pretty lucky to be able to try. At $17 a 750 ml, it is pricey but anytime Founders does a beer like this you would be foolish not to try. Great beer!

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Photo of mltobin
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a deep, dark burnt orange color with tangerine edges and a two finger, frothy yellowish-beige head that very slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet boozy aroma with a pretty strong barrel presence.  Lots of earthy oak, maple and bourbon along with some leathery malts, toffee and hazelnut. Oak is strongest element which is surprising.  As it warns, the molasses character comes out and meshes nicely with the maple.  Still, the nose is surprisingly a bit bland with too strong of an oak presence for my liking.

Medium bodied with lots of boozy heat and a strong barrel presence.  Dominant dry oak flavor with booze and sweet maple notes.  Underneath, there is some more booze and leathery malt.  Sweetness kicks in as it warns with hints of toffee, caramel and hazelnut. Dry and spicy with subtle molasses.  Still pretty hot however and a bit harsh.  6oz is plenty.  

 959 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rfgetz
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper tinted orange color, cloudy, spotty bubbles. Nice first whiff brings a blend of vanilla sugar, toffee, light maple syrup. Taste expands on nose with burnt brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, toasted nuts, light maple syrup, oak. Not as hefty or creamy as hoped, medium bodied, smooth, some lingering heat. Solid flavorful brew from Founders.

 351 characters

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93.5% out of 100 with 980 ratings
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