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Founders Nemesis 2009 - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Nemesis 2009Founders Nemesis 2009

Educational use only; do not reuse.

692 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 692
Reviews: 466
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 185
Gots: 126 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 692 | Reviews: 466
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
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

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of SocalKicks
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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!

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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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Founders Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 692 ratings.