574deadzone (836) - North Central, Indiana, USA - FEB 19, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2013 On tap at Founders, because where else was I going to get it? Deep brown color with almost no head. Nose was a lot of maple and bourbon, very sweet and boozy. Taste was quite sweet, with some bitterness. Palate was a little hot, not as sticky as I thought it would be, and pretty smooth. Overall, Iím glad I got a chance to try it. I donít feel like itís entirely my bag, so Iím not so disappointed that I didnít get a bottle of it. Still, for fans of bourbon barrel stuff, and really sweet beers, this would be one to try to find if you can.
Update: I actually did snag a bottle somehow, and sat on it for about 9 months. Aged mellowed the harshest of the alcohol notes, bringing to the fore a lot of the maple and bourbon and making for a really nice experience. Adding a couple points to reflect this.
polomagnifico (1189) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - FEB 19, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hard as hell to get bottle. Aroma has notes of molasses, bourbon, maple syrup, caramel, toffee, vanilla and cream. Deep hazy med/dark amber hue with a small off-white head that mostly diminished and left good lace. Flavor is very sweet and medium bitter. Palate is very full bodied, oily with medium soft carbonation. Overall a very sweet and decadent brew. Should be classified as a dessert beer instead of an Old Ale. I did enjoy it.
sherm1016 (1031) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 18, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750ml bottle, labeled Curmudgeonís Better Half, split with dwm1034. Pours a deep amber color with an off white head and some lacing. Aroma is maple syrup, bourbon. A little heavy on the palate with light carbonation. Flavor is sweet, malty, bourbon, vanilla, oak, with a sweet, maple finish. This beer highlights the maple bourbon barrels very well, but the bourbon overwhelms the base beer. The maple sweetness makes up for it though. Very easy drinking at 11%+.
jstraw (1880) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 18, 2012
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle at Jerryís. Hazy dark amber with good, creamy, tan head / Slightly hot, winey, rich nose of coconut, caramel, maple, bourbon, and dark fruit / Full body, sweet, with great balance and long, marginally hot, finish / Rich, complex, flavors of coconut, caramel, bourbon, maple candy, and oak / Truly great.
thegreenrooster (3052) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 18, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pour is a murky brown with no head at all. Aroma is awesome with some big bourbon, oak, brown sugar and alcohol. Flavor is a thick molasses with a bourbon alcohol burn and some vanilla. Finish has some sweetness and sinus clearing booze. Alcohol is here in a big way but that is to be expected and with some age it may tame this a bit. A good beer made better with the barrel aging. Not many beers go well with a cigar but I think this would be the perfect complement.
portableparty (1908) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 18, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle to snifter. Pours dark red amber (copper) with no head. Aroma is sweet with strong booze and thatís about it. Taste is warming booze and caramel malt with signs of sweetness and sugar. Palate is medium and slick with a hot warming finish. Oh Founders what happened!
DalzAle (1898) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - FEB 18, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle shared by portableparty! Clear dark brown pour, a little carbonation and a very sweet boozy aroma. Flavor was heavy caramel, booze, malt and thatís about it. Didnít really care for this one at all.
pushkinwow (1803) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 17, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sample during Night of the Barrels at EBF. Hazy amber with tan head. Lots of upfront oak, vanilla and bourbon; caramel, apple and maple hit you next and then some fruit and malts. Below average carbonation with moderate body, becomes dry and fruity with alcohol and overwhelming bourbon/wood with the odd maple component as well (especially sweet with the vanilla and caramel that is already there).
libertine (176) - rochester hills, Michigan, USA - FEB 16, 2012
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2012 better half,wow!while pouring the aroma of bourbon and oak just hit ya.before it was under my nose i new i had a good idea what this was all about.pours copper with a beautiful thick tan head.lots of carbonated bubbles rising from the bottom of my tulip.bourbon and oak take center stage with a hint of maple syrup and roasted malt.once again with founders aroma stays true with flavor.bourbon and oak are right up front with a very nice background of maple and malt.alchohol not well hidden here and very pleasant and warming at the back of my throat.full bodied and nice carbonation for this style.finishes with a slight hop note and with a long finish of bourbon.this packs a punch and not for the faint of heart but definitly for the connoisseur.at 21 dollars a bottle its worth every dime.im going to get another bottle of this and store it.i truely believe the brewers at founders are the best in the world and should be so proud of who they are and the quality of what they put out.A MUST HAVE!
eachnotesecure (60) - Kentucky, USA - FEB 16, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
750ml of Better Half 2012. The best of Old Curmudgeon mixed with sweet molasses and syrup. For my money, better than CBS.