Review: Founders Brewing Curmudgeon’s Better Half
It’s been six years since Founders Brewing last released Curmudgeon’s Better Half, and in that time it has become one of their most highly requested beers. This past August, the brewery finally caved to the demand and included it once again in their annual Barrel-Aged Series. So what is this fan-favorite? It’s an old ale brewed with molasses and aged in bourbon barrels that previously held maple syrup. That sure sounds like a sugar bomb, but let’s see.
The beer pours a rich amber with a generous caramel-tinted head. The nose is all toasty malt and some chewy, salted caramel, though the aroma isn’t nearly as sweet as the molasses and maple syrup barrel would suggest. The palate is similarly balanced. It’s rich and coats the palate with a gentle, honeyed sweetness that still maintains enough biscuit character and subtle bitterness to be refreshing. It’s boozy for sure with generous bourbon notes of vanilla, toffee, and some light roast coffee, but the alcohol is almost undetectable amid the complex, sweeter elements. All told it’s extremely drinkable. I can’t see having too many of these in one sitting, especially at such a healthy abv, but it’s by no means exclusively a dessert beer. Well done, Founders.
12.7 % abv.
A / $17 per 4-pack / foundersbrewing.com
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