“What tames an old ale like Curmudgeon? The tender embrace of oak and sweet maple, that’s what. The result is Curmudgeon’s Better Half, a harmonious matrimony of our deceptively smooth old ale brewed with molasses and time spent aging in bourbon barrels that have previously held maple syrup. Because all counterparts should be sweet, rich and utterly delicious.”
Appearance: She pours an attractive copper red with a thumb of lightly tanned foam atop. Steady reduction and healthy lace as we go.
Aroma: That base of gutteral sweetness, caramelisation and old damp oak is so synonymous with this brewery. The way the maple bourbon barrels are intertwined is a masterstroke. Tonnes of barleywine-like residual sugars, caramel and toffee, molasses, dark fruits-a-plenty, cola, peppery spice and dried eucalyptus. Amazing!
Flavour: Oh so Founders! Incredibly sweet – lots of residual sweetness, maple, caramel and brown sugar yet it’s so perfectly balanced by the spicy bourbon, damp woody oak and slightly menthol-like herbals. Seriously aged hops late in the piece moving to a warming finish full of damp oak, residual sugars and molasses.
Mouthfeel: Chewy and gelatinous. Unbelievably smooth and palate friendly for 12.7% ABV. Low-ish Co2 and full bodied.
Overall: Should one expect anything less than perfection from Founder’s? Nope! Coz that’s exactly what this is. Old ale or Barleywine? Who cares when it’s this good.