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Founders Nemesis 2009 - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Nemesis 2009Founders Nemesis 2009

Educational use only; do not reuse.

467 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 467
Hads: 696
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 186
Gots: 125 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WYVYRN527 on 02-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Maple bourbon barrel aged wheat wine.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 467 | Hads: 696
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared at GRG1313’s tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is malt, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with vanilla and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some nice aromas and great flavors.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.95/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was absolutely stunning. I managed to get just one bottle for myself at Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem Pa. They managed to get 2 cases of this in and by the time I got there there was just one lonely bottle left. Not knowing at the time how great this beer was I was happy to at least get one to try. Now I wish I could have cases of this. I opened this bottle and poured it into a snifter. This was a beauty, the color was hazy and mid toned. The aroma was freakin unbelievable! The bourbon barrel aging gave this gem a great vanilla flavor that just hit you with every sip. Each sip was as good as the first. I can't describe how bummed I am that of all the great beers in the world and they retire this one before I can get more. Its eating me alive knowing I'll probably never get this again.

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Photo of brentk56
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a strawberry tinted peach color with a wispy head; just a bit of lace

Smell: Curaçao, oak, butterscotch and fusel alcohol

Taste: Butterscotch and vanilla, up front, with a growing boozy Curaçao flavor developing by mid-palate; a bit of wheat and spice cake arrives with the swallow; but the finish adds an alcohol-laden peppermint character to the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: Very complex, but the booziness makes it tough to drink; this one still may be a few years away from its peak

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy cow?! If unique is what they're after, I think they got it.

Nemesis begins with a viscous pour of deep amber-medium copper color. Building the beer, the first half of the beer gave a dull lifelessness but after rocking the bottle for the second half of the bottle, a creamy thick white head sat atop the beer in sturdy fashion. A lot of lacing is left behind while light legging is evident.

Seriously? The aromas are fan-freakin'-tastic, but only after the initial bozy aroma of straight bourbon subsides a bit (takes about a minute- had me scared there for a... well, minute) But then the caramel, toffee, maple, sorghum, molassas notes come into play. Sweet? Sure, but tempered with the softness of sweet breads, malted milk, and cotton candy. The bourbon notes persist but ride along in conjunction with the established malts and barrel aging. Do beers smell any better than this?

Flavors are every bit as complex and seductive as aromas but the power of the alcohol and hops disrupts thing too much. Additional flavors of toffee coated peanut brittle, bourbon soaked maple candy, circus peanuts and cotton candy make the beer a really special desert for alcohol-lovin' adults. Strong bitterness interrupts the elegant sweetness that makes the beer world class. Straight ethynol (bourbon) strength propels the beer from sweet and smooth into aggression and even bullying fashion. Not all is lost, those 'sweet-tooth' moments are still hiden in there... just gotta search a little harder to find'em.

The beer is malty rich, smooth and full up and finish with a part-dry, part-malt texture (think English Barleywines). Very warming, even hot at times with the fusal alcohols the beer almost nails it. Low carbonation give a cask ale-like (kinda) texture: creamy early but releasing late for drinkability.

Notice that the descriptions of wheat are not mentioned. If it were not listed on the lable, I might have missed it.

This beer is obviously intended for long-term aging. As those fusal alcohols and aggressive bitterness rounds out, the sweeter and more elegant characteristics of the beer will shine. My cellar is going to love this beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep caramel with only the fainest whisp of an off white head.

S: deliciously-sweet maple and caramel malt come together well with touches of oak and vanilla.

T: similar to the smell with some more enhanced oak and quite a bit of heat, although every balances together quite well.

M: a bit thin for how big of a beer it tastes like, and a slight knock for the quite-detectable alcohol levels.

D: very tasty and a smooth sipper. This is going to age very well.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy light amber gold color ale with a small foamy head with average retention and some good lacing. Aroma of vanilla, bourbon with some sugar from the maple; a lot more complex then anticipated. Taste is also a complex mix between some residual sugar from the maple with some notes of bourbon and vanilla with a wood mix originating from the maple. Not too hot or warming but alcohol is still present with a malt body that is slightly too sweet - a full bottle is almost too much. Interesting , complex though a bit too intense to have often.

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Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to the good doctor for this one!

Pours a tawny reddish orange, glowing in the light. A scant ring of bubbles cling to the edge, not much head. Interesting swirling patterns on the surface.

Coconut and toffee aromas, fairly sweet and confectionary.

Rich toffee, vanilla, coconut flavors, almost exclusively. Somewhat boozy in the middle and going down. Light fruity cantaloupe and oak in the aftertaste. Some fusels and woody elements, reminds me of Flossmoor's bourbon aged stuff in their heyday. Full bodied nectar. Pour this on your pancakes. Savor and sip slowly.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, orange color with ruby highlights. It had a very small, thin head that left a little residue on the glass.

S - Maple syrup, bourbon and vanilla dominate the aroma. It has a muted caramel malt aroma.

T - It hits you with a boozy alcohol flavor and a sweet maple flavor. Notes of vanilla and oak.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full-bodied beer with a powerful alcohol heat.

D - This is a really good, really strong ale. This is my third bottle of Nemesis and it gets better each time.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Most journalists are restless voyeurs who see the warts on the world, the imperfections in people and places. Gloom is their game, the spectacle their passion, normality their nemesis."

--Gay Talese

Radiant apricot with flurries of swirling yeasties and a modest crown of pastel gold that is becoming creamier as it melts. Excellent persistence and just enough snifter frosting allow the good score to be chosen.

Wheatwines don't usually have a huge amount of olfactory personality. This one benefits from a modest bourbon barrel influence, although it would be even more enjoyable if the maple syrup made an appearance. Warming adds a little more power and depth.

Nemesis 2009 is a lovely sipper for those of us who can't get enough of bourbon barrel-aged beer. The spirit is much more prominent on the palate than in the nose. In addition, this offering doesn't taste over the hill at all. That's no surprise given the ABV and the fact that it was released less than one year ago.

The malt tastes (majority) pale and (minority) caramel, with some background sweetness that is kept from being cloying by still considerable alpha acids and a firm slash of ethanol that clears the way for the next sip. This is a potent brew.

Flavors include triple sec (orange liqueur), caramelized sugar, maple sugar, vanilla beans, a few staves worth of oak and a few shots of Absolut. Drinking this vintage a year from now might be an even better experience, assuming the carbonation hangs in there.

The mouthfeel isn't huge, but it's big enough and is as silky as possible given the bracing effect of a 12.0% ABV. If you don't care for liquor or high-ABV beer, subtract at least half a point. The bubbles are perfect (laid back) at this particular point in time.

Founders Nemesis Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Wheat Wine Anti-Establishment Ale 2009 is one of the better examples of this style to have entered my glass. Then again, bourbon whiskey makes almost anything better. Here's hoping that I'm able to acquire a bottle of Nemesis 2010.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, no huge thanks to my KY friend for getting this one into my fridge. I had been dying to try it and he was kind enough to make sure I got a bottle quickly to satisfy my appetite for this monster. Served at a near perfect fifty five degrees and poured into a snifter this one was consumed on 02/21/2010.

The pour was interesting. Dark amber with loads of honey colored hints shine through the glass. Small head on top, maybe a finger deep at its zenith and settles down quickly to reveal just a slight bit of lacing that is struggling to cling to the sides. The overall color though should be noted as stunning. You really need to let this one open up to really appreciate it for what it is. Stunning use of aroma and flavor here. Rich oak notes, hints of butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, boozy bourbon notes, a light tickle of spice. Rediculously complex and yet simple. Sipping brings on touches of grapes, light fruit notes, hints of breads and light grains, really just a tremendous amount of depth and complexity. Final, fading sips are of vanilla and bourbon mixed with a rich oak note that seem to just sit oh so perfectly as they fade out.

Overall I am not really sure what to call this one but it is certainly one of the most different and unique offerings I have ever come across. Kudos to founders as usual.

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Photo of nickfl
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with half a finger of off-white foam resting on a clear, copper-orange body with significant chunks floating in it. The foam settles rapidly and leaves little lace. Not a good looking beer.

S - Strong, sugary malt with notes of brown sugar and molasses. Some smoke and strong barrel character that is (perhaps due to the malt) more reminiscent of rum than bourbon.

T - Thick, sweet malt up front with lots of caramel and maple syrup. Big, phenolic spice notes appear in the middle to remind you that this is a wheat wine along with some bitter, herbal hops. A light smoke character creeps in towards the finish and reinforces the phenolic character of the yeast. The barrel aged character only comes out in the finish with vanilla and toasted oak character, but the bourbon is largely lost in the thick malt and intense spice character. Lingering notes of smoke, maple, oak, and molasses coat the palate long after the last sip.

M - A thick, syrupy body, moderately low carbonation, and a sweet finish despite the strong bitterness.

D - Well, this beer is many things but drinkable is not one of them. It is boozy, spicy, rummy and perhaps a bit of a mess. The maple is much more apparent, and it works better, than in most other beers that list it as an ingredient. The maple richness works well with the caramel nature of the thick malt character. There is a powerful and somewhat harsh spice quality that is presumably imparted by the wheat and the wheat beer yeast. This is nice for the complexity that it brings to the brew, but it is somewhat hot and at times verges on becoming plastic like. There is a heavy dose of hops somewhere in here, clearly intended to balance the huge malt and alcohol sweetness, but any hop character is largely lost in the sea of sugar and wood such that it is only really discernible when one realizes that the beer is oddly close to being balanced and that there must have been quite a few hops in the boil to pull that off. Overall, this is a complex, rambling mess of a beer that is just as close to being genius as it is to being rubbish; basically the Beatles White Album in beer form. For a while I really went back and forth on this one; but in the end I think that its complexity and really convincing (but nonsensical) rum character may save it from the nearly cloying sweetness and close to medicinal spice, making it a really special beer and (while this isn't saying much) one of the most successful wheatwines I have had. By going with the kitchen sink approach, Founders gambled and won with this one.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Derek and Jeff for sending me bottles of this bad boy. You can never go wrong with a Bourbon-Maple beer from Founders.

A: An amazing clarity to this burnt orange beverage. Almost no head on it, but still nice to look at.

S: A nice mix of bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup, and caramel. There's a definite fruitiness and quite a bit of booze.

T: A surprising amount of sweet and citrusy fruitiness. The maple flavor is subtle along with a lot of bourbon and vanilla. A bit of bitterness and some oak/wood flavor as well.

M: The carbonation is quite minimal with a really thick and chewy body.

D: A little bit more boozy than I would like, but still really great balance of flavors. The booze will hopefully die down a bit with age.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep copper-hued body with a 2 finger-high head comprised of creamy-looking, off-white foam.

Smell: A rather expressive aroma smelling richly of toffee-flavored syrup, vanilla frosted, flaked coconut, stinging bourbon, and 'Grade B' maple syrup.

Taste: Leads with a very full sweetness and tastes of toffee, vanilla, maple, coconut, and bourbon coming together like a liquor-soaked cake. Just as I'm quietly soaking in the sweetness, a moderate amount of hop bitterness and a kick of hot, merciless booze rocks the tongue. Touch of tannic wood character as well. A few drops of further condensed wheat malt extract. Jerks back and forth and between the sweet, the heat, and the bitterness until you finally reach that warm finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-light carbonation. Smooth, sure, but it sits rather heavily on the tongue.

Drinkability: Without a doubt, a bold brew from top to bottom. A very slow, leisurely sipper for me. In a sitting, one bottle, heck, even half a bottle is enough for me. I'll be sure to revisit the remaining bottles starting at the one-year mark.

UPDATE - 6/06/12: Whipped one of these bad boys out after over two years from the initial release. Woof! Still a hot, sweet, boozy thing that nearly tried to choke the life out of me. See you in 2014, Nemesis!

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Photo of jlindros
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With Nemesis 2010 arriving next week, it's finally time to try this one, now a year old. Can't wait to try it! Oh yeah, gotta thank paco1029384756 and imperialking for sending me a couple of these bad boys!

It pours almost no head, just a light fizzy covering with big bubbles, with a super hazy murky yeast filled reddish orange almost golden copper.

The nose is awesome, with tons of malts, looooaded with malts, wheat malts especially, some dark fruits, but nothing I can specifically pick out, perhaps a touch of peach or apricot, some juicy aromas too, with just a hint of bitterness. Also plenty of bourbon, some light oak and vanilla, but bourbon just right out on the nose.

Taste is very similar to the aroma, starting again with tons of malts, especially wheat, it gets very sweet too, perhaps a little too sweet. A little bit of a boozy taste, warmth, and touch of tingly feel. Also plenty bourbon, which I think is less that the nose was, but still there, bringing a little more oak and vanilla. SOme fruit, light fruit, a little apple and apricot perhaps, I think I'm just picking those out of a hat really, it's fruit but really hard to label any specifics. There are a couple of iffy flavors too. First is a strange bitterness, almost a minerality bitterness but not the same that would come from roasted malts, and doesn't seem to be from hops, but maybe a touch... some metallic flavors too. ALso there seems to be a touch of oxidation, and I wish I covered the cap with electrical tape like I usually do, but that could be from the barrel too. The finish still has a bit more of the bitterness and oxidation, but more bourbon, creamy tastes, oak, and lots more wheat and malts. Also still pretty sweet, but dries a bit, and lingering bitterness.

The mouth is heavier and slightly syrupy with low carbonation.

It has a lower but decent drinkability, with plenty of booze, very sweet, and some of that metallic bitterness, but for 12% wheat wine its actually not that bad.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a very hazy orange amber with a tiny bit of white foamy head. The nose holds quite a bit of wheat, along with clove, banana, maple syrup, apricot, and a healthy dose of booziness. The taste, behind the slightly hefty alcohol punch, consists of honey, bourbon, molasses, charcoal, vanilla, orange peel, pepper, and dark wheat. The body is pretty thick and heavy, with a low-moderate carbonation and a surprisingly smooth feel. Though tasty and smooth, the heaviness, ABV, and subsequent booziness/alcoholic burn keep the drinkability from soaring too high.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from ughsmash so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky dark gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains honey, wheat, caramelized malts, and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of honey, bourbon and caramel. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with an alcohol bite that is mild considering the actual ABV. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice, very strong beer worth drinking for as long as you can handle it.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this with me - I was eager to try this. Poured chilled into a Unibroue tulip

A - A beautiful golden amber like a sunrise w/ quickly settling ecru cream. The clarity is on the translucent side, but pretty clear considering the barrel aging and wheat - it has a slight ring of lace. The legs are nice as it is swirled w/ clinging lace and visible carbontion in the liquid

S - The nose is fruity w/ light banana and mild floral scent w/ an alcohol presence that is expected from a 12% beer, that said it is not that off putting. The aroma has a mild caramel and vanilla from the oak w/ a hint of woody maple note w/ slight fusel tinge. The maple is there but in the grand scheme it is mild but sufficient with a sweet malt odor that is dominant

M - A moderately highly carbonated ale, full of body w/ medium high sweetness, smooth entry with layers of fruity yeast and light toasted malt. The bitterness is pretty high from midway to the finish however nothing about this is very shy including the slightly dry and bitter warming alcoholic impact. The wheatwine has a mild level of astringency w/ mild spice accents - a consistent feel throughout

T - the taste pops with vanilla and caramel sweet maltiness from the wheat and has a maple candy-like flavor. The middle is piney and mildly toasted w/ a gently oaky tasting spicy wheat and light vegetal flavor. The sweetness is there but has a mild banana-like fruitiness w/ subtle pineapple edge w/ the taste of wood and alcohol lasting in the finish.

There is a good deal of complexity with the last taste having dried banana and subtle twiggy hops w/ a flavor that I can only describe as 'pineapple vodka' with the alcohol pretty high as you might expect from a bourbon barrel aged wheatwine

D - A supremely interesting and top notch example of the style. I have only tried as many wheat wines as I can count on two hands, however I never experienced a bourbon barrel aged one and it was unique. I would not want more than 1/2 a bottle of this fresh, but aged I bet it smooths out -even though it is pretty smooth for the abv. I guessed 11% since it wasn't listed on the bottle - this is A great ale from Founders! I am eager to see what the next Nemesis has in store.

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Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jsanford for sending me this one! 12 ounce bottle into snifter. Pours a very hazy orange color with a small off white head with good retention. Minimal glass lacing, but a thin lacing cap does last for the whole glass. Aromas of strong bourbon, oak, vanilla, maple, caramel, and molasses. Huge aromas here, a bit of alcohol in there as well. Taste of huge amounts of caramel, bourbon, and vanilla on the front that transitions to smooth and sweet maple and oak on the finish with some molasses. A bit of alcohol in there as well, but it blends well with the rest of the flavor. No bitterness noticed, but a lot of sweetness present here, and there is a ton of flavor with fantastic balance. Super smooth drinking for 12%, and alcohol is extremely well hidden for the amount. Fairly mild carbonation with a huge full body. Very slick feel as well that is incredible. Overall this is just an incredible beer, I would have it again if possible.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.42/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A case or two showed up at Bocktown for around seven bucks a bottle. Appears a clouded orange tinted copper amber huewith a bright white head forming thick and leaving thin speckled lacing Aroma is straight up boozy with bourbon. A nice vanilla oak, sugar coated fruitiness going on within the bourbon tones. I can tell there's some maple notes along with a bit of honey and charred oak. Flavor is rolling with bourbon/honey charred oak vanilla and a bit of more honey/maple syrup sweetness. No real hops to speak of, this is intense beer with a big boozed up finish. Upfront there is no gag going on, if you like bourbon this a good beer for you. Sweet sticky cloying moments within the huge malt base with aged in maple bourbon barrels, adventurous warming and a bit tough to drink. Mouthfeel is viscous with syrup like textures, carbonation is easy going like I said it burns with alcohol and residual sugars add to the cloyingness. Drinkability overall is sub par for what I want this is outside the box and I love most of the barrel aged experiments from Founders but this one is a bit rough and leaves me wantng more from the experience.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours an orange/copper color. Absolutely no head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Initial smell was sweet maple smell, than sugar or fruit, followed by bourbon. Also smells of vanilla and a little oak. Great mixture.

t - Again the first taste was smooth maple syrup, followed by vanilla, and then bourbon kicks in at the end. Also some tastes of oak and malts evident. A nice combination.

m - Pretty thick and bull bodied, with little carbonation. Despite being a little hot from the bourbon, actually pretty easy to drink.

d - Overall I liked this beer a lot. I think it is a great combination of maple syrup/sugar, vanilla, and bourbon in both smell and taste. It has a sweet taste up front, but it isn't too sweet, and soon your'e hit with and bourbon taste, which is mellowed out a little by the vanilla. I would definitely have this again and I think with a little time on it for the bourbon to mellow even more, this could be an amazing beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Figured I'd open a bottle as a nightcap. Served in my Darkness snifter. Bottled February 3rd, 2010. Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors.

A - Pours with a late-rising dime of tan foam that dissipates to a thin ring. Hazy apple cider color, a mix of orange and brown. A few tiny fingers of lace. I wasn't expecting much from a 12% barrel-aged wheat wine, and I didn't get much either.

S - This is another brew that shouldn't be served too cold. Caramel, vanilla, toasted oak and coconut. There's a lot of barrel, but not an excessive amount of bourbon - guessing it's because they are second use (bourbon, then maple). There's a sugary character that isn't exactly maple syrup - more like maraschino cherry. There's a touch of booze as well - reminiscent of spiced rum.

T - Lots of toasted oak - vaguely reminiscent of Double Bastard on French Oak. Taste is a mix of cherry syrup, vanilla, coconut, and buttery shortbread cookie. Finish is very whisky-like, with a tannic dryness. Not much of the base wheat beer is left here - it's as if the wheatwine is more neutral of a base beer than a stout or barleywine.

M - Very low carbonation, body is a little too light for a 12% beer. Finishes surprisingly dry and clean. Light residual stickiness, which is unexpected for this sort of brew.

D - I probably should have shared this with my wife. It'll take me a while to finish the last 6oz. This could probably use some time to mellow out. Reminds me more of barrel-aged scotch ales than it does of barrel-aged barleywines, possibly because of the maple addition. It's definitely unique, but not something I'd be seeking out too often. Very much a dessert beer.

I was really expecting to love this beer based on the description, but it's somehow less than the sum of its parts. It's more of an A- experience for me, but I can't figure out where I've underrated it (damn the lack of .25 increments).

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Photo of jwc215
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin off-white head that becomes a thin wisp - Nice color. No real head retention or lacing.

The smell is of maple, caramel and bourbon/vanilla. Robust.

The taste is very sweet with maple, caramel, and bourbon/vanilla. There is an interesting wheat tang and something of a banana-ish fruitiness. Bourbon is strong, but doesn't mask other flavors coming through. Sweet, but with an alcohol dryness in the finish. Bourbon lasts through aftertaste.

Subtle carbonation keeps it from being too thick, though it does hit full-bodied. Booze gives it impression of it being bigger.

An interesting sipper, for sure. Something to sip on when in the mood for a slow sweet treat. Bourbon certainly shows, but with maple and a wheat wine character. If you are in a sweet, bourbon-y mood, this may drink "a bit too quickly". A nice, though pricey (over $6 for 12 oz. bottle - though glad to have paid it to try it), nightcap brew.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 4/22/11.

A: Pours an orange color with tons of floaties, reminds me of a snow globe actually. No head formation at all and no lacing.

S: Some honey, a little bourbon, some oak, a little vanilla, and a tinge of alcohol.

T: There is a solid bourbon flavor, the vanilla and oak come through. A little bit maple maybe as well. A little too boozy for my taste.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth, but a sipper for sure.

O: Pretty good, not the easiest to drink, and a little strong for my liking. I did like it more than some other wheatwines I have had probably due to the bourbon barrels.

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Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Bruery Snifter.

Pours hardly any off white head. Fades down fast. No lace. Color is a clear bronze hued gold with sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Tons of bourbon and oak. The maple syrup flavors are very sweet. Some of the abv shows. The aroma is very sweet. There seems to be some dried fruit flavors as well. This is a very big beer. Smells great.

Taste: HUGE bourbon flavor up front. Pretty hot. Tons of oak and vanilla flavors as well. The bourbon seems to cover up a lot of the flavor however. There is slightly dried dark fruits in the background. The maple syrup is present in the aftertaste. Very sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and hot. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very warm flavor. Ends very dry and hot.

Overall, this is an interesting beer. It is huge upfront with the bourbon and some age will do it will. It is pretty drinkable considering the abv. I like it.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Nemesis. A random beer from Kbutler, thanks Kevin. Poured from a bottle into a snifter. This is a beautiful beer. Its orange, slight haze, a sudden thick head of tiny bubbles, like a nitro-head. The bubbles fall back from the head in cascades. There are a few floaters in the beer but the carbonation is low. The head is all over the glass, lacing is about as high as it can be. The bubble rise through the beer at a snail's pace, the beer appears to be quite thick.

Aroma is about as sweet as a beer can be. Its approximately what I expected. I've been drinking a lot of wheatwine lately but this one has a more fruity aroma than most. Almost a coconut and pineapple aroma. Its really interesting.

This beer may be better aged and I would consider drinking it again if possible. But...this beer is super sweet and really strong / harsh. Its bright and biting. After my palate shock wore off, I could pick up some more subtle flavors. There is a bitterness at the back of the mouth and the beer IS really thick, full bodied. There isn't much carbonation in the mouth but the mouthfeel is still good. The fruit flavors follow the sweetness and they themselves are followed by the bitterness. I'm glad I had it but I'm sure my rDev will be pretty low number this time.

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Founders Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.