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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 GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into two small snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Bottled 2/3/10

A: Pours a clear light-orange with not a trace of head. Extremely still.

S: Delicious aromas of fruity alcohol, maple syrup, oak, and a hint of fresh strawberry.

T: See above, with hints of oak, maple, bourbon, and a HUGE amount of raw alcohol.

M: Rough/hot alcohol. Fruity and spicy, with plenty of burn. Astringent and minty finish.

D: 1/2 of one of these is more than enough. I'd love to see what 6-12 months of just sitting the bottle will do to this.

Photo of waltonc
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up from Archer Liquors. Pours hazy orange with about a centimeter of light tan, nearly white head. Smells of bourbon, booze, brown sugar, vanilla, and a faint presence of maple syrup. Flavor follows in the scent's footsteps, with a touch of fruit as it warms up. This is a very sweet, boozy beer. But the body and flavor stand up well to the alcohol, making this a fantastic sipper. Thick bodied, with a surprisingly good level of carbonation. An over the top thick, sweet, somewhat syrupy beer, but quite good.

Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Wheat-wine aged in bourbon barrels and maple syrup barrels
Abv 12.5%

L= 4.5 Little to no carbonation with a white rim. Pours a beautiful hazy wheat orange.

S= 4.0 The finest bourbon that exist on the nose with late sniffs of sweet maple syrup. It's a very layer and complex smell. The color gives it away that this is not your average beer.

T= 4.5 wow! Up front sweet malt then it stops goes into bourbon and you think that's how its going to end no! you then get hit by maple syrup sweetness! This is a great beer. God bless you.

F= 4.5 Everything flavor has a different character. The finishing character is maple syrup sweetness. Its very smooth, soft like velvet.

D=4.5 One is truly all you need. I can imagine myself on a porch early spring late fall. The flavors could hold up in even 35 degree weather. Such big flavors and so complex. I'd love to try this beer a couple of years from now after cellaring. World class!

Photo of alcstradamus
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper/orange with a 1/4 inch of head. The smell is chock full of huge bourbon notes. The base beer for this obviously wasn't able to stand up to the barrels, although I'm not going to say that it is necessarily a bad thing because this one is beautiful. Rich vanilla and caramel notes entice me to take a sip, but first I have to stick my nose in a little while longer. I am picking up some mild clove notes as well as some crayon wax which is a weakness. Alcohol is definitely noticeable but is luckily not just a distracting heat.

The taste is rich in vanilla and clove. Wow...for as boozy as this is, it sure doesn't have any burn. The barrels definitely imparted tons of flavor, but since this is their third run it appears that most of the heat has died down. A nice maple sweetness sits on top of the booze, with some caramel and toffee as well. Somehow, despite the mouth destroying flavor, it still seems somewhat light and airy.

The body is slightly fuller than medium and carbonation is fairly low but still gives some sting. This one drinks like a fresh English Barleywine. Definitely a sipper, but a very interesting one at that. I would only probably want to revisit it once every 6 months or so. Too bad a vertical will never be possible!

Definitely worth seeking out if you like sweet, boozy barleywines.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy and dense in appearance. Light hazlenutty dull orange-bronze. Thin white head simmers to little more than a thin ring of bubbles.

Smell is intoxicatingly of maple and bourbon. A little coarse grain and alcohol over wood lends an aroma nearly vinous in nature of oak aged woody fruit. Just the slightest bit funky too.

Taste is smooth. Don't expect too much common flavor out of this one, but keep an open mind. Bourbon dominates with nice smooth vanilla, but not too boozy (despite the present alcohol). Plenty of raw maple goodness without being overly sweet. Fruity, with some pear and very ripe cantaloup. Alcohol sharpens up at the end, then everything drops slightly to a tightening bitterness. Firm enough on grain to cary the other tastes, but not much to speak of in wheat flavor, except for a long lingering aftertaste well after the hops and other flavors have died down.

Thick and chewy, much what you'd expect from a wheatwine, but also a bit fumy on alcohol. Nicely creamy.

Very bourbony, with notable alcohol. Great flavors, but lacks some rounded balance. May need some age to smooth things out. Overall an uniquely bourboned and sweetened wheatwine with a lot going for it. Sippable, worth enjoying for its complexity and intriguing depth, but not attractively drinkable as an easy one to put down. Definitely leaves you wanting another sip though.

Photo of cpmichael
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A: No carbonation or head to speak of. A light amber colored beer, very inviting, but surprised at the lack of head.

S: Not as aromatic as I expected. Bourbon is the most prevalent, with a sweet scent. Alcohol can be smelled, but does not suggest the high ABV. %

T: First thought, "damn, this thing is tasty." This beer is truly complex. There is a balance between bitter and sweet with this beer. The first is a bitter/biting sensation on your tongue, from the alcohol no doubt, but immediately this is followed by the sweetness of this beer. The bourbon and maple elements of this beer combine to create an awesome finish. I also notice hints of vanilla, adding to this beer's pleasantness.

M: Nemesis is lighter/ thinner than I expected (although, I have never had a wheatwine, so exceptions based on barleywines) No heaviness to this beer.

D: Founder's does it again. A great beer. For a beer at 12%, this thing is dangerous. I could easily drink the rest of my four pack tonight. I won't, because I'd pass out on the third one. This beer is delicious. I assume this is an atypical Wheatwine, but this beer does make me want to try others.

Photo of jwinship83
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle that was bottled on feb 3, 2010. drank from a stone IRS snifter glass.

A- this one pours out a golden colored body with orange highlights. a small and quickly vanishing white head forms. this beer is pretty still looking.

S- the nose is intense and unique. strong odor of alcohol and bourbon hit me right away. very sweet. the maple comes through faintly at the end. not much of the usual scents from a wheatwine. lots of oak and vanilla from the barrel.

T- the bourbon and alcohol that i could smell comes through just as fiercely in the taste. the barrel is in there also. vanilla, oak, and coconut. intensely sweet. very complex.

M- medium to full bodied with a very low level of carbonation. strong warming from the alcohol. very dry finish.

D- this one claims to be unique on the label, and unique it is. when it is fresh like this it has almost a liquor like feel about it. i dont think i could have more than one of these, but it is certainly a treat to savor and sip.

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 jjanega08
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= A basically flat beer.... I had the same problem with Bells 9000 last night but I think that one may have had even more carbonation than this. A vigerous pour unleashes a small thin head. So thin I can see the beer underneath it and it doesn't last more than a second before falling to nothing at all. No lacing from the no head. The color however is somewhat pleasent looking. A nice hazy amber color pushing a mahogony darker amber color.

S= Not a lot of odor in this one either. Digging deep I get the bourbon in it. Founders has the best bourbon barrels I've ever had the pleasure of tasting beer from. The bourbon smell is just great with loads of vanilla in it and just a clean oak smell. Almost coconutty in the smell. Other than that though the smell is small. Prolly lacking from the lack of head on the beer. No maple which I was looking forward to.

T= This beer goes up from here. Again the barrels that founders has are great. Nice vanilla oaky coconut flavors in it. Not nearly as hot as I was expecting either. A hint of alcohol burn and taste but not as much as I figured there would be. Mellowed nicely by the barrel notes. Great wheaty smoothness to it and the hop bite is right on as well. The hops are one of the biggest differences in this and Backwoods Bastard from them. Nice bitterness lasts on the back of the tongue. There is a small amount of maple in the taste I suppose but I might just be imagining it because I want to.

M= No carbonation in this one... thick and chewy but not as much as I would have suspected from the lack of carbonation. The appearence does not do the mouthfeel justice. Much smoother and cleaner than the sticky mess it appeared to be.

D= Awesome barrels at founders and a fine beer. Not what I was expecting when I read about the first Nemisis realease and this one is worth seeking out. The only problem I have with this beer is the lack of carbonation.

Photo of stakem
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the usual founder's 12oz stubby brown bottle into a snifter. Bottled date of 2/3/10

Pours a clear golden orange color with a thin cap of slightly tanned/yellowish head. Spotty amounts of lace cling to the glass with each sip. The aroma has a broad array of character to offer. Sweet smells ranging from a somewhat candy/fruity sweetness to a dominating amount of vanilla. Also includes aromatic notes of slight orange/citrus hops and a bite of alcohol in the end to bring it all together. Taste is sweet upfront with lots of vanilla/oak characteristics but ample citrus hop bitterness to balance it out before the onset of the warming alcohol that gives a dry finish. Lingering tastes of hop bitterness along with vanilla oak characteristics cling to the palette while the alcohol warms the back of the throat. The alcohol is not hidden at all in this heavy bodied and lightly carbed wheatwine. Overall a very good sipper.

I had to have one of these as soon as I could. I am very excited to see what some time will do to the other bottle I have.

Photo of MPLS
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Spent a fair amount of time tracking this one down around the Twin Cities, might as well pop it open before I considering cellularing the rest.

A: This is a bright colored beer, a honey-orange color, with an extremely hazy body. The head is minimal, but it is a high ABV beer. I'm have not had a lot of examples of this style, but it's glow is certainly inviting. Trace carbonation is present. A small saliva ring sticks and an amoeba swims atop the beer, changing shapes with each sip.

S: Sweetness is predominant in the nose: Maple, butterscotch, oak, vanilla, white grape alcohol. The alcohol doesn't burn the nostrils for being 12% though.

T: The sweetness is obviously king in this beer. The maple is fantastically smooth. It really reminds me pear that has been soaked in bourbon and instead of the normal fruit casing it's covered with oak the width of the smallest pencil shaving. The finish sticks around and has a very dry bourbon bite.

M: The body on this brew is pretty big, perhaps the taste leads me to think of a syrup like viscosity as it really coats the mouth leaving a butterscotch trail all the meanwhile adding a little warm. The carbonation is minimal and makes for a silky-smooth beer. I wonder if this beer will end up tasting relatively flat with a few years on it, but for now it's fantastic feeling.

D: I am guilty of having a sweet tooth and this is definitely a dessert beer. It's really pleasant for 12% alcohol. I would like to see the alcohol mellow with aging, but would be worried about the trace carbonation fading.

Photo of WakeandBake
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy amber/orange color pour , almost no head just a small lace leaving ring , soft tiny carbonation bubbles very nice looking . Aroma is of tangy wheat malt,apple,honey, vanilla,smokey burbon , bread crust , wood and a hint of maple . Flavor is a little fruity up front , with bubblegum ? hints if too cold, smokey burbon ,toasted wheat, lots of vanilla and more burbon , very noticeable warming effect , long boozy finish with some earthy hop notes , nice level of hop bitterness seems hidden behind the burbon .Full body ,with a chewy mouthfeel, slightly sticky, Wow this this thing kicked my ass ! I needed a little nap after drinking that .
A little boozy for me at this point going to let the rest of mine sit and mellow out a little . Nice job Founders .

Photo of ndolover
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start off with saying I hate wheat wines...worst style ever! Very high in alcohol with limited ability to cellar.

With that said, this is by far the best wheat wine I have ever had.

A: Almost no head and fairly flat looking, golden amber with orange hues. very clear and almost brilliant

A: up front maple, with alcohol and boozy notes burning my nose. sweet notes redolent of apricots, bannana, plum, and grapes. bourbon and alcohol persists as it warms

F: boozy wheat, and fruit esters...some sharp notes and even tea bag at times, but subsides as it warms.

M: thick rich, with heavy alcohol notes, some fusels, but not overly so.

O: A wonderful beer that is surprising for a wheat wine. I really thought I would hate this beer, but was really enjoyable. I would suggest sharing as 12 oz is quite a bit...and should be shared in front of a fire on a cold day

Photo of b3barron
4.81/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a stemless wine glass. Head is nonexistent but color is beautiful - a "golden amber" if that makes any sense. Smells of booze and raisons with plenty of bourbon, vanilla, and woodiness. This smells fantastic. Taste follows the smell - load of bourbon and vanilla. This stuff is incredible. Mouthfeel is oily and viscous. Drinkability is about perfect for the style. I've only had a handful of wheatwines but this takes the cake and I need to find a way to secure a few more bottles. I'm not sure if Founders intends on continuing to make this but they have a winner here in an underrated style.

Photo of GRPunk
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sabretooth has Wolverine, The Joker has Batman, I have Founders.

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- A normal pour left a slow forming, 1/2 finger, khaki head. The body was a cloudy, copper-orange-peach with moderate carbonation. The head dropped to a thin film that left wonderful sticky rings on the glass.

S- It's so complex. There's an intial sweetness of fruit with something of a brown sugar and honey mixture (maybe the maple described on the bottle) and a whiskeyish alcohol in the background. The smokiness and vanilla of the bourbon qualities is enhanced with a little warmth.

T- A little Joey Lawrence "Whoa!" My first thought was sweet honey with a great mix of herb-like qualities. There's a touch of spicy hops to bring the sweetness into check. With some warmth there's something of rich, stewed fruits (apricot maybe) with a slight buttery flavor. Again, the bourbon comes through more as the beer warms.

M- It's quite viscus with a bit of a coating sensation. There's a light prickle of carbonation. The most profound feel is of warming alcohol on the throat. It's very present, yet not harsh at all.

D- It's a sipper, but oh so good. This is a "hyped beer" that I think really lives up to expectations. It's a great way to warm a snowy, February day. The only thing holding me back from getting a case of this is my pocketbook and availability.

Photo of kmattingly
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is rare that a high alcohol beer makes me want to sip and quaff at the same time, but Nemesis accomplishes this feat. The taste of bourbon screams shot, while the backbone of hops/sweetness of maple says take your time. I would love to have two or three of these beers at one sitting, but the abv makes this desire moot. All in all a fantastic beer.

Photo of Bulkman
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this tonight, & it was bottled on my birthday, 2/3/2010 - so only 10 days in the bottle - maybe this will be my annual birthday celebratory beer.

Aggressive pour into my New Belgium snifter yields a minimal white head, with a dark copper color. When held up to light, it has superb clarity, though you can't see through it. The laser etching at the bottom of my glass releases a constant stream of carbonation, which forms an oily-looking swirling layer of very fine bubbles on the surface. No lacing to speak of either, but after each sip, clusters of small foam do cling to the sides of the glass.

Don't let the lack of head fool you. It's not needed. The aroma exploding out of this is of straight bourbon whiskey, reminiscent of Old Grandad, with an underlying sweetness & maybe a bit of hops. Right up my alley & a big part of what I really enjoy about bourbon barrel-aged beer.

Taste follows the nose closely, with some woody undertones & finishes with a mild, though very pleasant, alcohol burn as I exhale.

The oily-looking layer on the surface coats my tongue with a creamy, sweet, medium body that lingers long after each sip. In fact, it feels thicker as the alcohol burn dissipates.

I'm finishing my 12 oz. as I type these final words & it's only now that I realize how drinkable this beer is. For me, it is an excellent meld of two of my favorite things: whiskey & beer. I could easily drink 2, maybe 3 of these over a few hours. I've been waiting impatiently for this ever since I spotted it last fall on Founders site, and it did not disappoint. It is simply outstanding & I can't wait to see how my other 7 bottles develop over time. If you get a chance to get some of this, don't pass it by. You'll regret it.

Photo of KeefD
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Seems to ooze out of the glass with the viscosity and color of honey. OK, maybe not as thick as honey, but damn thick and the carbonation bubbles move slowly to the top. No head or lacing, looks almost flat in the glass. Lovely aroma of wheat, light bourbon barrel, and some maple-like sweetness. Wow, the flavor in this beer has some amazing complexity. Sweet, honey like start, light twang from the wheat, followed by nice caramel notes, and finishes slightly warm with toasty, oaky, bourbon finish. There is also a nice bitter, citrusy hop flavor that comes forth in the middle that fades nicely in the toasty, maple and oak finish. Wow, this really is a fantastic beer. I really thought this was going to be a sickly sweet beer upon first sip, but the finish is one of the most complex I've ever tasted, especially from a wheatwine. Very full mouthfeel, and while it's sweet and high in ABV, it's surprisingly easy to drink. This is a true winner and easily the best wheatwine I've ever had!

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

was a gift from one of my tenants who works at a beer store, good tenant and awesome gift.

poured a 12 oz bottle in to two brandy snifters, there was a little head that quick dissipated just leaving the tawny elixir.

the aroma is rich; malty, alcohol, wheat, with wisp's of maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla.

the flavor is full on malt followed by the warming sensation of alcohol. it is a little sweet but it is a wheat beer and that is to be expected for the size of this beer. the maple and oak are in the background and i think will become more apparent as this wheatwine gets some age and those hotter alcohols break down.

the mouthfeel is a little viscus and sticks to the inside of the your mouth with caramelized malt goodness.

this beer is very good but not as drinkable as it will be with a little age, IMO a little young, wheat beers are not long aging beers but nemesis 09 needs a little bit of time give it 60 - 90 days to 6 months you will be happy you did. i would keep it under a year, wheat beers are not the best cellaring beers.

Photo of enfield249
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden honey color with almost no head, but the little there is white.

S - Lot alcohol, some wheat and malt. Full!

T - Very strong whiskey flavor. Sweet, maple syrup, and slight woodyness.

M - Very full, cloying, lots of alcohol warmth.

D - The only reason this didn't get a 4.5 was that I couldn't drink more than one a month. It's a great mighty beer.

Photo of sweemzander
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Reviewed on Feb. 05)
12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled Feb.03,2010

(A)- Pours a hazy, but fairly thick golden copper color that produced a large fluffy & frothy white head with some great retention behind it. Its just sticking to every inch of the glass. Surprising due to how much alcohol is in this.

(S)- Lots of bourbon-like characters behind the smell. Plenty of spicy oaky vanilla. Bits of toast, butter, and honey far back in the background. Not smelling much of the maple, but then again, the bourbon & vanilla are quite potent this fresh from bottling (only 2 days!)

(T)- Precisely like the smell was. Lots of bourbon & vanilla in front of a toasted wheat & honey.

(M)- A good carbonation level to it. This is only two days in the bottle. The boozy bourbon & oaky vanilla from the barrels really take the center stage. Its also a little hot right now, But I am excited to see how time will change this.

(D)- Definitely a new & exciting beer from Founders. Has a very potent bourbon oak with how fresh it is, but I am excited to see how time in the bottle will develop this one over the coming months & years; this has serious stuffing to last for a long time. Pretty good now, but I think it will be even better after 6 months or a year.

Photo of rudylaw
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Looks like apple cider with the slightest hint of a head. Hardly any lacing to speak of.

Tons of booze in the nose off the bat. Vanilla, caramel, banana, maple and butterscotch round things out. Just an awesome and complex aroma!

All of the same on the taste buds but there is also a hint of cherry syrup. Possibly some coconut notes as well... but very faint.

Low carbonation and finishes clean. At 12%, this took me awhile and at about the 8oz mark, I should have folded the tent... but I wasn't wasting a drop since the bottle ran me $6! All in all, a solid effort that should really shine with a few months in the cellar.

Photo of Shumista
4.97/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucky enough to get a chance to get a hold of some of this stuff. I had been looking forward to this limited release for a long time.

Pours a translucent copper amber with a small white head. Looks great. The smell is buttery and dominated by maple and bourbon but there is also some oak and alcohol. The smell is very reminiscient of Backwoods Bastard in my opinion. Definitely tastes like a Founders barrel aged beer, very reminiscient of there other barrel aged beers. Taste is exactly what the description of the beer promises. It's like a barleywine (wheatwine) with huge overtones of maple, bourbon and oak. The alcohol is noticeable but I like it that way. Its a warming sipper of a beer. Complaining this beer is too boozy would be like complaining a good glass of bourbon is boozy. Its strong and meant to be sipped and the alcohol is pleasant and warming. For me because I'm a huge fan of barrel aged beers and barleywines are my favorite style it does not get any better than this. The mouthfeel may be my favorite part of Nemesis though. Its thick, creamy, velvety, smooth, warming and most of all comforting. A great evening sipper. It's a shame this will only be brewed once, I could drink them all year long.

Typically I don't like to use phrases like the "the best beer I've ever had". This one is top 5 for sure though. I can't describe how important it is that every fan of barleywines (wheatwines) and other strong ales do everything in their power to get a hold of at least one of these. More of an experience than a beer.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cool, a nice surprise to see this at my local beer store. I picked up a single and can't wait to try it.

Golden amber color with not much head fills the glass. A small rim of white surrounds the glass. Not a whole lot happening in terms of carbonation.

Interesting, sweet smell with hints of yeast. I can depict the maple syrup in the scent. There is also quite a bit of alcohol esters. Not your typical beer smell.

Whoa. What a robust mouth full of taste! I first notice an almost warm taste upon entry into my mouth...Then comes an explosion of creamy, thick maple. It is so thick. At the end, the bourbon barrel hits with a pleasant mild kick mixed with alcohol esters.

The mouthfeel is unlike anything I can recall in recent memory. Such a thick creamy texture like I'm drinking thickness of marshmallow cream with the weight of a large marble.

Don't buy a 4 pack and expect to drink them in one evening by yourself. The perfect beer to slump next to a warm fire and contemplate the meaning of life. This beer makes me smarter.

Photo of Tiklmelmo
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice translucent copper color. Almost has the appearance of a jewel when held up to the light. Quarter inch of thin bubbly head with moderate to low lacing.

S - Lots of bourbon in the nose. Almost smells like a shot of nice bourbon. Some caramel / toffee underneath, but the bourbon definitely dominates. Smells good if you like bourbon.

T - Taste mostly follows the nose. Creamy, rich nutty bourbon with some vanilla and maple. Almost tastes like a nice almond nougat. Only downside is a pretty strong alcohol heat. Might pick up another of these to lie down for a year or more. Can't say that this is best for drinking now, unless you're looking for a real strong sipper. Has the potential to be a 4.5 or a 5 later.

M - Really nice thick creamy mouthfeel. Low to moderate carbonation. If the booziness was toned down a bit more, this would be almost perfect here.

D - Definitely a nice sipper, but I'd hold off at least 6 months to a year before cracking another of these.

Overall, this has a lot of potential with some age. The vanilla and maple flavors really meld nicely once you get past the booze. But, that said, it's not quite ready for prime time.

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Founders Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 692 ratings.