Founders Nemesis 2010 - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

918 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 918
Reviews: 506
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 208
Gots: 265 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcann2pu on 07-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 506
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, nice label. This is the 2010 (i.e. the final) vintage. I THINK a 4-pk of this went for about $20, but they were sold out before I could get to the store. Thanks, Sanford, for hooking me up with one of these! Into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Almost black in the glass (this was characterized, I think, as a 'dark barleywine' when it came out?) but shows nice clarity and a beautiful antique walnut finish when held up to the light. Beige cap with pretty good retention.

Smell: Lots of dark, toasty caramel, herbal, slightly piney hops, and well-incorporated alcohol/dark fruit (maybe macerated figs?).

Taste: Whereas the booze is a pleasant hint in the aromas, all 12% comes roaring through here. When coupled with 100ish IBUs, this still is pretty ballsy even after two years. Bitterness doesn't feel that high w/age, but it's still quite strong, with strong herbal flavors. What does surprise me a bit is the lack of the rich, sticky dark caramel flavors so apparent on the nose. Just a hint of pleasing roast, but nowhere near 'stout' levels. Just a ghost of dark caramel on the finish, but again, not as rich/caramelly as suggested by the nose. As this hits room temperature, a bit of figgy/port sweetness, along with some burnt sugars. If I'd waited for this to hit room temperature, I might have enjoyed it more along the way.

Mouthfeel: Boozy, fairly rich.

Conclusion: Nothing offensive here, but if I was to see these sitting on a shelf in some oft-overlooked bottle shop (even under good conditions) I'm not sure I'd pick up another one. I love Founders, but this isn't one of their better brews, IMO. I think this might have been great at closer to 80 IBUs and 10% abv? As it is, it's fairly tasty (and much better at room temperature), but it'd be hard to cough up $5 for another 12oz bottle.

80 B-

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter a deep dark brown with just a tinge of amber/brown,a thin quick to fade head atop.Aromas are a mix of big sweet molasses and juicy fruit malt,and big resiny pine hops.Hefty and sweet from the onset,molasses and alcohol dipped dark fruit, with sweet alcohol,the piny hops are big but it doesnt wrestle control away from the big sweetness.Its thick and mouth coating and goes down smooth.I like it but to me its not great,it is brash I have to say.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 9/16/10.

A: Pours a black color with a reddish-brown tint and a small, dark khaki head into my very large snifter. The lacing is really sticky and appears in the form of small dots and long vertical streaks. There are some interesting bubbles developing in the film left on top of the beer.

S: Many separate, but cogent aromas drift out of the glass. Big malty aromas of dark chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar fight for the spotlight with piney and grapefruit hops, as well as the presence of anise and maple syrup. (Is this one brewed in maple barrels?) Also, my nose twinges with alcoholic heat every sniff I take.

T: This is really confusing my palate. It is very sweet and tangy right off the bat, with some astringent chocolate flavors, but it also has an undercurrent of strongly bitter hops nipping at the back of my tongue and sides of the palate. The aftertaste is a mixture of sweeter citrus flavor on the tip of my tongue and dry grapefruit right on the middle of my tongue.

M: Nemesis '10 has a cloying medium feel with a strong bite and dry finish.

D: The high a.b.v. is not very noticeable in the taste, which certainly helps its drinkability. I am certainly going to have repeat tastings of this as it matures with age.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Latte foam is unwavering; the brew is nearly black as well. Nose is filled with pine sap, mint, citric peel, tobacco, ripe plums and thick caramel. So lush and creamy, a silky carbonation caresses the palate. At first, the taste buds register this as a massive malt bomb, as a thick slab of caramel sweetness is smacked down. Thankfully, the alcohol and hops had kickass duty with an estery warmth and peppery citric peel-ladened hop character. It's tough to balance a bigger beer like this, though Founders hits their mark here. Possible cellar pick, but the freshness now is too good to wait for.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my glass a deep dark garnet brown that borders on black when you view it from a distance. A quarter inch of khaki head on top leaves some splotchy lacing as it falls. Aromas start off with dark fruits and toffee melding with some roast, coffee and cocoa. Piney, herbal hops make themselves known alongside dense malts.

First sip brings smooth, dense malts upfront with tons of dark fruits, toffee and roast. Notes of cocoa and coffee combine in as the brew flows down with a good hit of bitterness from pine resiny hops. Sweetness is there but is well balanced. Alcohol is well hidden also. Tasty dark barleywine.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with good carbonation. Pretty easy to drink considering the ABV on this one. Overall, another tasty treat from Founders and a nice twist on a standard barleywine. Borderline on the price for this one though.

Photo of nickadams2
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours black with reddish brown hue when held to light. Half inch khaki head dissipates into a thick, bubbly ring. Gobs of lacing cover the glass.

S_ Hoppy citrus, pine, and sweet malt.

T_ Surprisingly well balanced. Hops upfront but don't necessarily dominate.Citrus,pine,cherry,figs,sweet malt,cream and a hint of chocolate.Slight espresso in the aftertaste. Everything comes together beautifully.Slight alcohol burn.

M_Thick and viscous. Kind of syrupy. Coats the mouth nicely.

D_Definite sipper. Very enjoyable though.

Photo of marvin213
3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark, it looks more like a stout than a barleywine. Granted this one's been sittin' for a couple years now, but there's little head to speak of. The nose is a leathery, licorice molasses. It smells like it would ooze instead of pour.

It tastes like a stout--the black licorice IS there--and it's a little figgy if ya ask me. The burn is there like a barleywine brings, but it's still more of a stout than anything else. 100 IBUs? Guess those went by the wayside these last 700-ish days. Must've saved this one in large part because I simply don't like it. Maybe it's past its prime, but this one's forgettable for me.

Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a dark mahogany body with a small beige head that quickly falls into a lasting collar. Delicate sheet lacing adorns the goblet.

Interesting aroma boasts cocoa, ripe dark fruits, floral and pine hops, toasted caramel, and boozy alohol.

Medium body has a surprisingly smooth feel and a restrained carbonation. Definitely some alcohol heat here.

Taste opens with subtle dark roasty notes and dark fruits, seguing into a major league hop bitterness that is mostly pine but edged with citrus. Toasted caramel and a malty nuttiness add more depth. Alcohol warmth is obvious and adds a whiskey note.

More complex than the 2009 Nemesis but seems a lot boozier. Still, a very interesting and worthwhile experience.

Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle acquired at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.
Pours very dark amber, dense in its intensity, firm in its conviction. Next to no head, but some fine lace dected on the glass on close inspection.
Nose of embers of rum raisin, smoke, and peat, that follows through onto the palate, tongue, mouth and throat. In the finish, more smoke, some vanilla and malty goodness seal the deal.

Tasty nighcapper, bold, flavorful and quite smooth and tasty. High quality Barlery wine.

If your local quality beer broker/store owner/beer guy can get some of this stuff, do not hesitate

Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brown color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of caramel, toffee, leather and some roasted malts. I don't get much hop character in the aroma.

The flavor is chocolate, toffee, grass, pine and something that reminds me of trash. Medium bitterness. The flavor is just average, not near as good as I expected.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of 1Adam12
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first poured this and held it to the light I actually said "woah". It's so dark! Trying to think of a darker barleywine, and I'm not sure any come to mind. Smells of lots n lots of malt, and dark fruits. Lots of fig, and..chocolate? Smells boozi as well. Obviously detection of hops. Huge nose. Taste is big as well. Very malty and figgy. Slightly hoppy. Very sweet. Red grapes, then the finishing layers are chocolate followed by coffee. Bourbon is noticeable, and well blended into the rest of the beer. Sipping isn't consistent. Some sips taste awesome, others taste like a hot mess, this is why I gave it a 4.0. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, smooth. Very enjoyable beer. Not sure I could drink a ton of it only because of how sweet it is, but very nice.

Photo of djmitche
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At Founders in GR. Almost as dark as the breakfast stout, but with some ruby hilights. The head is white and laces nicely as it settles. The nose is quite sweet and rich, but the flavor comes across nicely balanced - big and chewy, and certainly sweet, but with some nice citrusy hops. The flavor arc runs smoothly fromthe sweet, effervescent front to the refreshing finish with no bumps in between.

Photo of bsp77
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark reddish-brown with minimal head but some nice lacing lines.

Smell: Citrus, caramel, cherry and roasted barley. Smells like a cross between a Barleywine, an IPA and an Imperial Stout.

Taste: Taste mostly follows the aroma. Strong citrusy hops balance a caramel, cherry and dark fruit malt backbone. A light roasted character contributes some chocolate and coffee. Fairly bitter finish.

Feel: Low carbonation, with a full, boozy, smooth and oily body. Somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: Interesting and fascinating beer that straddles the line between a Barleywine and a Black IPA. Reminds me of Surly Darkness or Goose Island Nightstalker but with the malt center of a Barleywine. Despite its strengths, it is not something I feel a strong desire to return to.

Photo of deebo
3.57/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kegs of 09 and 10 tasted side by side.

A-both are dark brown with a light tan head.

S-Both also have a pleasant malty sweetness.

T-09 has upfront malt and smoked flavor that ends with a bitter lingering.

M-Vapory alcohol end note with a smooth light body.

D-Smooth upfront but a bit of a punch that lets you know this is over 10% ABV.

O-09 is creamier and more balanced than the less aged version. Would like to let the 2010 bottle age and mellow out. The 2010 is similar but has more carbonation and provides more astringency.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a nice dark brown with a small white head. Nose is malty & sweet with a bit of bourbon but it's not strong.

Taste is obviously very malty and rich, it's got a light alcohol bite but it's not killer. Mouthfeel is really Rick an creamy. It's good but not amazing.

Photo of mjtiernan
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of heyta...thanks bud!

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Very dark brown. Small head quickly disappears leaving a thin ring around the edge and an archipelago of bubbles across the top. Looks very oily.

S: Licorice, caramelized molasses, vanilla, rum soaked raisins and oak.

T: Taste is similar to the nose....sweet roasted malt, oak and vanilla...the biggest difference being the hops during the finish. The bitter finish disrupts the smoothness of the whole experience, which is a bit unpleasant. Decent complexity and the alcohol was tucked in there nicely for such a big beer.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Fairly oily.

O: Between the slightly cloying sweetness and the bitter finish, I wouldn’t call this my ideal barleywine experience. It was a beer that offered a friendly challenge to accept its extremes...kind of like that shady neighbor who you aren’t quite sure about, but on a day-to-day basis you get along just fine.

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

300th review! hooray for me!
thanks to jpmclaug for this one

12oz bottle at cellar temp poured into a nonik pint glass. cant quite make out the bottling date.

pours out a dark ruby maghony color with one finger of creamy tan head. very nice retention with big bubbles amidst some creamy fine foam. blood on a wall like drippy lace.

big aromas of heavy sticky malt. burnt caramel, molasses, maple syrup, vanilla, bourbony like booze but not as strong as you would think for 12%. bits of ripe dark fruit. woody, piney, resiny, citrusy hops. time really opens the glass up.

so smooth and silky soft on the palate. thick and chewy body, but soft and easy on the palate. goes down way to easy, could be dangerous. flavors of sticky caramel, molasses, oaky vanilla, ripe dark fruits, bourbon like alcohol, but it is masked so well. very well balanced with sticky resiny woody piney hops. coats the palate after each sip with intense hoppy bitterness and almost a cinnamin like alcohol heat.

a great barlywine and im so glad i got a chance to try this. this is highly recommended from me. drinks great now with wonderful hops, but will still most likly age well.

Photo of ehammond1
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2010)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, 1noa!

(Aged for 3 years)

Nearly black in color, though truly a very dark brown. Small to moderately-sized dark brown head of moderately sized bubbles. Decent stick, especially for the age and known (somewhat) high ABV.

I really like the aroma on this quite a bit. Lots of dark malts, a touch of coffee, definite oxidation, but complementary, just a hint of a licorice character, and some raisin. All very nice and appropriate for a 3-year old black barleywine.

The flavor is nice, as well, with the dark malts, oxidation, raisin, and very mild licorice character combining nicely. The lingering finish is very nice. Though there's a little bit of a char character, there's also some chocolate candy bar and mild roast that seems to go real nice together that just lingers on and on.

Medium to close to full in body for the style. Somewhat chewy. Moderate carbonation for the style.

Very tasty. I wouldn't want to sit on this any longer. Drink now if you're still holding on to bottles.

Photo of ohmybock
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I like Founders a lot, but I have mixed feelings about this brew. It pours nicely and is quite dark, but it doesn't have the opaque blackness of something like an impy stout when held up to the light. That's okay though, since this isn't an impy stout. The profile reminds me quite of bit of Sierra Nevada's recent black barleywine. This one smells better than the SN brew, yet Nemesis doesn't taste as good. Unfortunately, Nemesis has a strong, long-lasting, soapy flavor that ruins it for me. Perhaps that is hop-related and would fade with time, but I'm not sure. Nemesis doesn't strike me as a beer that would benefit with age. Conversely, I think the SN version might improve with age. Neither brew is overly roasty or full-bodied, yet neither is as hoppy in the bitterness/taste/aroma department as I thought they might be for Amercian barleywines. Both brews oddly lack in the malt/body department and are too watery for barleywines (whether they be English, American, black, blonde, or somewhere in-between). To be honest, I don't feel the need to run out and buy more of either one. They were both fun to try once, but for me...that's enough. I'm starting to think I often don't care for the combination of dark/hoppy/sometimes-strong brews. Well, I do enjoy the Imperial Stout from Smuttynose so that's at least one dark, hoppy, strong ale I like. Perhaps there's a Black/Cascadian IPA or two I enjoy at times as well.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of Coryking. What a great extra.

Poured into my SN XXX glass this brew pours a very very dark brown with ruby highlights. The head is quick to die out, but does manage to leave some lacing.

S: Very strong citrus/pinny hop aroma. Sweet caramel in the background. I'm not getting chocolate, but this brew has a sweetness to it.

T: The flavor of Nemesis is the epitome of an American Barleywine. 100IBU tough wrecking bitter hoppyness. This is how I like the American version of this style. Hops are pinny with small fruit hints. Carmel malt sweetens the brew and gives it backbone to stand on. Alcohol is present in an unusual complementing form.

MF: Mouthfeel is really average, but good. It's medium body, and the carbonation is the same.

D: For 12% ABV and 100IBU you cannot ask for much more. Seriously this is highly drinkable.

Overall, Founders continues to impress me. This is up there with Old Guardian and Old Ruffian as the best barley wine I've had. Man this is a good one.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown and amber beer, brown head to it. Smelled too much of alcohol frankly, didn't do it for me here.

Taste, whoosh, this is a strong beer, alcohol fire, heat, big bitterness, big hopping, everything is big about this beer, except the nuances I guess. Molasses, toffee, maybe some chocolate malt to this one. Syrupy. Brown sugar.

All in all, I think I would rather age this one, had to drink it fresh to get a base feel for it, but because it lacks the massive hop blast that Bigfoot does, I'd say age this one a few years, but if you can't resist, its not like its gonna suck.

Thanks to oreo for the extra, very nice.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet pure black with a thing off white head. The scent is of sugary molases. There's a hint of alcohol on the nose as well. The flavor is much like the nose, very sugary. Maybe a little too sugary. The mouthfeel is ever present with high alcohol burn and medium bodied. This is definatly something that should be cellared many many years.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears like a pitch black hue, when held toward to the light it picks up some deep cola brown ruby highlights. Head is light tan forms thick with fine bubbles coating the sides of my chalice with each sip.

Aroma has dark ripened fruit plums raisins, dark chocolate roasts blended. Evident booze in the nose with herbal spicy hop character standing out amongst the malts.

Intense rich sweetness, wrapped with dark chocolate and hop bitterness. Quite a nice package with some honey like tones in the center with those deep ripened fruits coming off caramelized. It really does pull of a dark roasted malt driven hoppy as hell, Great Lakes barleywine.

This year's Nemesis pulls off the drinkability vibe that 2009 just couldn't work for me. Big malty a bit viscous on the palate, carries itself well with moderate carbonation and slick traces of hop oils.

Drinkability overall is dangerous I can actually gulp this beer in enjoyment, most higher alcohol beers are sippers this is a perfect cigar beer but it feels like you could session it. Until you realize the punch it's packing.

Photo of rudylaw
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium to dark brown with a sizeable head.

The aroma is packed with chocolate, toffee, caramel, wood and a bit of hops.

Taste hits you with chocolate, caramel, hops, bread and vanilla cookie. Fairly sweet finish but somewhat dry as well thanks to the hops that are present. Founders constantly doctors with, and usually always improves on, these high gravity beers and this is no exception.

This 2010 version is very smooth! Medium body with medium to high-medium carbonation.

This barleywine is shockingly drinkable now... I can't wait to try it again in a few months!

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Leon's Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with hints of roastiness and loads of sticky pine hops. As it warms the hop aromas gain additional complexity with the addition of floral and earthy notes.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Thick dark caramel malt flavors are quickly joined by robust pine and earthy hop flavors. Midway through the sip slight amounts of roasted malt flavors and semi-sweet chocolate make a brief appearance before fading out into a solidly bitter ending. As the beer warms hints of alcohol hit the back of the palate on the way down and the bitterness increases further.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this beer smelled very nice however the flavor profile was a bit too muddled and didn't meld as well as I'd like. An interesting beer that's worth a shot but I wouldn't trip over myself to seek it out.

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Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.