socaltay (204) - Ventura, California, USA - FEB 19, 2012
Aroma is full of sweet maple syrup and bourbon notes that seem to get more syrupy as the beer warms. The appearance is amazing it ruby red color that has some brown in it. The taste is pretty spectacular also. It starts off with the flavor of curmudgeon on the tongue but the middle of the mouth is wear much more complexity from the barrel aging come in. The finish has a bit of alcohol on the tongue yet it is very well hidden for an 11.9% abv beer. Overall this beer is wonderful. Ontbeertaster (2362) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 19, 2012
Tap, just happened to walk into a bar this and thought I would see what all the buzz was for. I don’t usually like barley wine like ales. But wow. This one is worth the buzz I would say. It was quite amazing. It had a light head. The colour was fairly dark. Didn’t look filtered. The aroma is bourbon, a bit mapley. Taste is very complex, lots going on. Lots of bourbon lots of sweet dark fruits lots of heavy malts. All blending very to make a very smooth tasty tasty beer Holtguy (178) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - FEB 19, 2012
Bought this bottle and the cashier asked me, "What are you going to do with it?" I must have looked at him askance, because he then said, "Drink it? Age it? Sell it?"
I said, "Oh, I’m going to drink it."
I guess if this beer is hard to find, it’s because of the black market. Not unlike trying to get bleacher tickets to Cubs - Cardinals game at Wrigley on a Saturday in June.
Anyway, this beer starts off hot. Alcohol in the aroma and a strong alcohol flavor upon first sip. My taste buds puckered initially, which is odd because this beer is not sour.
Anyway, this beer turned out to be quite awesome if I do say so myself. Once it warmed, the flavors came through. Sweet bourbon flavors melded perfectly with the base of Curmudgeon Old Ale. I didn’t notice any maple flavors, per se, though the sweetness probably had something to do with the maple. I would go so far as to say this beer is great. It could be greater though, and I guess that’s why the guy at the beer store asked me what I was going to do with it. This one probably could use a little aging to soften it up.
574deadzone (1419) - North Central, Indiana, USA - FEB 19, 2012
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, I’m glad I got a chance to try it. I don’t feel like it’s entirely my bag, so I’m not so disappointed that I didn’t 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 (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - FEB 19, 2012
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 (1274) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 18, 2012
750ml bottle, labeled Curmudgeon’s 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 (1967) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 18, 2012
Bottle at Jerry’s. 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 (4396) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 18, 2012
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 (2350) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 18, 2012
Bottle to snifter. Pours dark red amber (copper) with no head. Aroma is sweet with strong booze and that’s 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 (2037) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - FEB 18, 2012
Bottle shared by portableparty! Clear dark brown pour, a little carbonation and a very sweet boozy aroma. Flavor was heavy caramel, booze, malt and that’s about it. Didn’t really care for this one at all.