Founders Brewing has given a makeover to the once-known Kaiser’s Curmudgeon, and thus emerges the Curmudgeon’s Better Half. This exclusive concoction, previously confined to Founders’ taproom and limited draft distribution, undergoes a 254-day aging process in bourbon barrels that once cradled Michigan maple syrup. This transformation adds a touch of sweetness to the old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged, making it distinct from its more frugal predecessor. Aptly, the beer label portrays the Better Half holding a pitcher of syrup, making it a fitting choice for the season when you want to pamper the better half in your life.

Appearance: A Ruby Elegance

The pour presents a profound, dark ruby hue with a modest 1/8-inch white head. As the liquid settles, it leaves behind sporadic lacing, creating an enticing visual appeal.

Aroma: A Symphony of Scents

The aromatic profile unveils a blend of spicy malt, maple sugar, and a subtle yet discernible hint of alcohol. The scent is further enriched with the presence of booze-soaked pear, creating an olfactory experience that sets the stage for the tasting adventure.

Taste: A Complex Palate Dance

Upon the first sip, the palate is greeted with the prominent notes of maple sugar, complemented by the influence of bourbon barrel aging. Dark chocolate and burnt caramel make their presence known, accompanied by a medley of dark fruit flavors. Spicy hops add a layer of complexity, and the journey concludes with a warm, satisfying finish.

Mouthfeel: Embracing Fullness

The beer embraces a full-bodied, warming mouthfeel that adds to the overall richness of the experience. Each sip is a journey, unfolding layers of flavor and texture that contribute to the beer’s complexity.

Overall: A Symphony of Flavor

In the realm of Old Ale and Barleywine, Founders Curmudgeon’s Better Half stands out as a truly delicious creation. Its complexity is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship, allowing each component to shine independently. Whether you choose to cellar it for future enjoyment or indulge in its prime, this beer promises a delightful experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Cheers to Founders Brewing for this flavorful and well-crafted libation.