- Style: Old Ale
- ABV: 12.7%
- IBU: 35
After being on a hiatus since 2012, Curmudgeon’s Better Half is back by popular demand! Curmudgeon’s Better Half is Curmudgeon, which is brewed with molasses and aged in oak, only Better Half is aged for 254 days in oak barrels that previously held deliciously sweet Michigan maple syrup. The results are undoubtedly remarkable.
As the clean, deep copper like beer filled my glass, a big luscious off-white head quickly rose to the top. The color of this beer was mesmerizing. As I stared for a moment into the glass amazed by this beautiful color, the head started to settled down to a thin foam that just coated the top of the beer. Bourbon scents were dominate on the nose, with notes of vanilla, oak, dates, dry figs, raisin, prune, black cherry, white pepper, and a hint of clove in the back. There was also a strong aroma of ethanol. I thought this thing was going to be so hot I’d be blowing flames! But I was deceived…there was no heat at all.
The ambrosial flavors of vanilla, brown sugar, and dried dark fruits, were all upfront with craisins in the middle. This was all followed by an immediate mellow sweetness. The back end was loaded with toasted malts, giving it a smooth nuttiness. The finish was filled with fresh fruits of fig, and hints blueberries. Think of freshly made buttermilk pancakes with toasted walnuts, drizzled with silky warm caramel and grade B maple syrup, then topped with a plum compote, and a dollop of Irish butter. The label explains it all.
The body was buttery smooth, with a bit of an oil sensation on the tongue. It was fairly light, and really easy to drink…maybe too easy. This beer is dangerously smooth for having an ABV of 12.7%. When I see something about maple syrup in a beer or in the aging process of a beer, I automatically think the beer will drink like syrup, but this did not…it didn’t leave my palate sticky which I assumed it would, but we all know what happens when you assume.
I was blown away by how complex, balanced, and smooth this beer drank. There are layers upon layers of flavors and aromas. It’s definitely ready to drink now, however, I’m interested in seeing what a few months on the shelf will do for this beer. I will most certainly be picking up a few more bombers. This beer is too ridiculous to not have more laying around for the cold nights ahead. If interested, Founder’s also bottled these in 12oz 4-packs, making it sizable to drink a bottle in one session.