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Founders Nemesis 2010 - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

893 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 893
Reviews: 503
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 212
Gots: 271 | FT: 16
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcann2pu on 07-29-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 893 | Reviews: 503 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Tonight I pulled out one of my favorite glasses my Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre stemmed goblet which actually towers over the little twelve ounce bottle. As I popped the cap off I was greeted with a healthy hiss from the carbonation gasses escaping from the short and stubby neck in this bottle. I decided to pour straight on in the middle of the goblet because I wasn't quite sure if I could get a decent head out of this thick heavy ale. As predicted I was right, there really was no head to speak of while pouring all I could get was just a tiny thin wisp of bubbles that quickly dissipated after a few minutes. As I hold the glass up to the light I can barley see some hues of dark redish brown trying to poke through the edge of the glass and as I give a swirl there is a good amount of lacing creeping down the walls.


As typical with most American styled barley wines this is loaded with piney sticky citrus fruit hops and a huge backbone of sweetness that reminds me of black cherries and non spiced dark rum. The alcohol is blazing hot that almost stings your nostrils if you take a huge whiff which followed by some chocolate and syrupy undertones that almost remind me of molasses.


There is a lot of flavors going on here! Hops galore, loads of sweetness, and some fiery alcohol make for a great complete package. The first thing that hits your palate is the caramel sweetness and it is silky smooth and goes down easily. The next thing that really strikes me is the pungent hops that complete the finish which is so enjoyable and not clashing the sweetness but rather working with it. As I dig a little deeper into this ale and let it warm up a bit the dark fruits and chocolate really are becoming more and more prominent. For being 12% the alcohol is present but it's not nearly as noticeable as some other high ABV beers I have had in the past. I really think that this will be a stellar beer to age and I am willing to be the flavors will mesh even better in a few years.


Overall this was another great release from Founders and the Nemesis series. It was thick and syrupy, sweet and boozy with a great hoppy profile that never took front stage. This was a slow sipper and I'm glad that I left myself plenty of time to sit back and enjoy it on this lazy Sunday. If you get a chance to buy or trade for this beer I'd definitely say go for it because it will be great to try now and if you can save some for later I think you will be in for a nice surprise.

Bmoyer0301, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of Vonerichs
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Translucent mohagany body with just a little head from an agressive pour.

Smell is molasses and earthy hops.

Taste is moasses and earthy hops. There's a wood flavor to it, but a natural wood and not a vanilla-like wood as if it were aged in a barrel. All of it is very well pronounced. Finish is long lasting hops and bitter.

Mouthfeel is thick and a little syrupy with light carbonation. Slightly hot.

The 12% abv shows and this beast is heavy. It's a sipper.

Vonerichs, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of jmich24
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Barley wine

A: Thin off white head. Very dark brown. A little sporadic lacing. Somewhat disappointing.
S: Sweet malts, pine and citrus hops some medicinal qualities, boozy.
T: Sweet malts, licorice, oil hop resin, some citrus and pine. A bit boozy.
M: Wet and crisp. Lingering bitterness. Nice creaminess.
D: This is defiantly a sipper @ 12 ABV. I don't want to put it down which helps its drinkability.

My first barley wine. And I'm very intrigued. I will seek out more.

jmich24, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

oberon, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A big aroma of hops, malt, and caramel. Typically barleywine.

T: Tasted of hops and caramel up front, with a nice malty backbone in the finish. Also had traces of licorice. Much more robust than a lot of other American barleywines.

M: A solid amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A well made, drinkable beer.

avalon07, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of sitarist
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark root-beer brown with amber hues, Short khaki colored head falls to a cap and ring that leaves webs of lacing all over the glass.

I smell grape bubble yum and hash oil, the aromas are sweet and earthy. This smells more like a blend of beers rather than a Barleywine.

The flavors fall right in line with the aromas with a slight bite of earthy green peppercorns and licorice. Very different!

Nice thick body, it is sticky and the carbonation pricks at my tongue, just the slightest bite.

Good beer but not one that Id go searching for. Not sure what style it even is? Im leaning towards a blend.

sitarist, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of BumpkinBrewer
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Review - I have no idea how to rate a beer but here are my comments

A - Pours very dark with a crimson hue around the edge of the glass, a small beige head

S - of floral hops, slight booziness, sweet mollases

T - Hoppy coupled with a pure dark chocolate bitterness. For a lack of a better phrase a mediciny cherry cordial after tone. It almost feels like its clearing my chest congestion.

M - Feels great shorterm, but will probably destroy my palate for future beers tonight. Kind of a cough syrup feel (I love that)

D - Means nothing to me. I will drink whatever is put in front of me whenever. Besides, you probably wouldnt believe me if I said I could drink this all night

Overall I'm wicked glad I got to try this beer thanks to all the MA BAs for posting when and where it was available

BumpkinBrewer, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of gwguest
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at W. Pizza into a generic chalice.

A: Pretty beer. Nice tan head on a very dark caramel body. Not so pretty that I would look at it for days, but I wouldn't kick it out of bed. Dark for what I expect of a barleywine. So dark that I wasn't completely sure that I'd received the correct beer.

S: I'm surprised at how little aroma there really is. Mostly a bready malt aroma with touch of toffee and toasty. The environment could have been clouding my nose here, but it didn't smell all that special.

T: Fantastic. For a 'fresh' barleywine, it is amazingly smooth and together. Like the nose, toffee and caramel malts sit on top of a great malty backbone with a roasty thread. Hops are perfectly balanced and blended. Hop flavor meshes nicely with the malts into an almost singular flavor. So smooth and decadent. Reminds me a touch of SN Bigfoot with some age on it.

M: Just the way I like it. Sticky, resinous and chewy. If I had a bunch of this for winter, I'd be a happy man.

D: For a barleywine, it's just right. The only thing that gets in the way of really pushing this over the top in drinkability is it's excellence. I want to savor every drop.

Slightly warming in the tummy. I didn't know it was 12% until I signed into BA. It certainly doesn't drink like it. These beer could ruin your morning; that might just be OK.

Considering the hype around FN2010, I was prepared for a let down, but this one is right up my alley. Barleywine done right without becoming a DIPA.

gwguest, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #2000

On tap at Sycamore in Columbia, MO - $7 for a 10oz pour. Thanks, Sanford!

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It had some decent retention and left some sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of sharp, spicy hops - a little piney. Good roasty malt aroma with a burnt toast nose.

T - Good bitter hop bite upon first sip. Some pine and citrusy hops. Roasty like a porter with chocolate notes and a burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a warm alcohol punch.

D - This is really good. It blurs the lines between barleywine and black ipa.

zeff80, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of hawks10
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Finnegan's in Plainfield - 8oz pour into a snifter...

Pours dark brown, almost black, but crimson around the edges when held up to the light. Two fingers of light tan head forms and lasts for a while, leaving some lacing behind...

Wow, not what I was expecting! Strawberry jelly spread over fresh bread. Sweet and tropical, rivals some of the better IPA's in terms of citrus hop goodness...A tiny bit of roast and caramel malts round this one out...

Surprisingly sweet, citrus hops everywhere. Malty, thick with a bit of roast. Alcohol heat is present but adds a nice touch to the flavor and experience of this one...Hoppy finish, but not too bitter...

On the heavier side, lower carbonation. Alcohol is apparent but not a nuisance...

Very tasty and quite drinkable for a 12% beer. Felt this one was much more well rounded and overall just a better beer than the 2009...

hawks10, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of soupyman10
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one not really knowing what I was getting myself into - no really "style" labeled on it, so what was it...a double IPA? An imperial stout? Honestly, I finished it and still didn't really know what to call it, besides a monstrously hoppy malt-bomb, if there is such a thing. This thing was just enormous. Deep brown color with an off white head that dissolves surprisingly quickly. Flavors and aromas are likewise - huge resiny, syrupy hops, enormous toffee, chocolate, dark dried fruit, raisins and molasses. Maybe alcohol in there, although it's pretty quiet, especially for an ABV as high as it is. Overall, a delicious brew that isn't quite at the top level that Founders frequently reaches, but is still quite tasty, if somewhat overpriced ($6 per bottle).

soupyman10, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this almost by accident at Lundeen's in DeKalb. Figured I couldn't pass up a chance to purchase an entire 4-pack.

A: Pours pitch black into the glass, looks like a stout as no light could possibly escape this one. Head begins decently thick, resting a couple inches above the beer itself, then slowly melts away into a cap while leaving behind some scant lacing.

S: This is a bit weird. Loads of hops certainly but also loads of bitter chocolate and maybe a touch caramelized brown sugar (if you imagine it to be there). Give the glass a swirl or two then take a sniff and a fruitiness escapes from this rather dense cloud of bitter chocolate, can't really put my finger on it but it is nice to see something break trough the cloud. All things being equal though, I am not ready to fall in love with the aroma.

T/MF: Somehow I got honey and nuts before being taken over by a slowly creeping hoppiness. The deeper I get into this beer to more the chocolate begins to take over with a bracing bitterness that holds on to the back of your tongue and refuses to let go.

bluemoonswoon, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Dark brown on the edges black in the center body with a small white head that quickly ran away

S - Sweet citrus hop flavor with a big malty aroma

T - Big citrusy hop flavor with a huge sweet malty backbone. Not really picking up on any specific malt notes, maybe a little roast. A bit of a boozy flavor as well. Finishes with a mixture of bitter hops and coffee.

M - heavy body, very little carbonation, syrupy texture as well.

D - A bit too hot. This thing definitely needs some time to mellow out. I think I'll wait a good while before opening any of the other bottles of this monster.

jpmclaug, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of domtronzero
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Very dark brown, almost opaque. Small but fluffy, long lasting tannish white head. Lots of lacing.

S - Big citrusy hops, caramel, a little bit of roast, and a little bit of pleasant boozy alcohol.

F/M - Piny/citrusy hops, dark malts: bitter chocolate, raisins. Slight solventy alcohol flavor. Resinous and very bitter. Very astringent and very dry in the finish. Full bodied, full viscous, oily and slick mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

D - Thick, full, sweet and boozy. Very astringent and very bitter. This one will definitely improve with age.

domtronzero, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of infi
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/14/10.

Poured into a snifter.

Translucent, dark-brown body. Tons of mini bubbles in this barleywine. There's a nice thin and foamy tan head that slowly recedes into a cap. Dotted lacing up around the glass as well. On the nose is a thorough malt toastiness with hints of honey. There's actually barley characteristics to this beer, which really engulfs the nose. If there were hop aromas in this, the time passed since the bottling date really shows. No pine/citrus aromas detectable.

Begins with a sticky hop bitterness that immediately transitions into the malt/barley breadiness, alongside hints of dark fruits like figs and plums. Also, there's a noticeable caramel sweetness throughout the brew. Apparently, the 12% ABV was palpable for many before, but it's completely absent for me. Very smooth and flavorful. If you've got a single bottle of Nemesis 2010 but was apprehensive to open because of the booziness, I'd say it's safe to open to drink right now. It's drinking really great. Overall, the balance of bitter and sweet are on point with the alcohol being held at bay.

Medium-bodied - smooth and silky. Completely opposite of its carbonated appearance for sure. Drinks like a nice liqueur. I was a bit skeptical on paying $5.99 for a single 12 oz., but I find that it was worth it. If you've got a four-pack, drink one now and continue to age the rest. I'm sure this will be drinking very beautifully in the near future.

infi, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of jamie2dope
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Matt for setting a couple of these aside for me today. Nemesis 2010 pours out a very dark brown, almost black with little more than a small white lacing. Big whiff of hops and honey up front, with some figs and a strong alcohol perfume. Damn, the taste is straight on booze and hops, a real palate bruiser that leaves a very bitter ending. The body is very big, making it a slow sipper along with the somewhat intense, almost acrid flavor profile. Drinkability? Not so great right now, but I could see this one developing quite nicely with a couple years of age to it. I felt the same way about the 09, but unfortunately I drank all of my supply. This one I am going to hold on to and revisit a ways down the road.

jamie2dope, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of perrymarcus
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a murky, deep mahogany with a thin, tan head that doesn't stick around long - not unexpected given the style. some lacing, though largely unremarkable on that front.

nose isn't quite as robust as i was expecting, but it is an eclectic bouquet: roasted malt with notes of chocolate; citrus hops; and slight hints of earthiness.

taste follows and exceeds the nose. flavor profile is bold and brash, particularly the roasted malts and citrus hops; their synergy is quite the experience. 12% ABV astonishingly well-hidden, though i suppose with everything going on in this beer, maybe it's not as surprising as i think. a bitter, hoppy finish.

mouthfeel is medium to heavy with some chew to it; middling carbonation. for such a big beer, it's drinkability is relatively high. i would have no problem having another. in fact, i just might.

in the final analysis, i'm a bit torn. this beer gets a lot of press, and while it is really good, i can't help but wonder how much of it is driven by its relative scarcity. definitely an upper eschelon barleywine, but does it justify the hype? that i'm not so sure.

perrymarcus, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of klewis
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A; Pours black with a small foamy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Syrupy with strong aromas of milk chocolate, plums, and figs. Rich and complex.

T: Chocolate. Cocoa. Coffee. Night. Full-flavored with an upfront sweetness quickly followed by a gripping bitterness.

M: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Thick, oily, and chewy.

D: I'm usually more positivistic in my reviews; it takes a certain kind of beer to make me wax poetic - and this is it. This is WORTH $5.50 for a 12 oz. bottle.

klewis, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Naugros
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thin but tight head...not very long lasting though. But this IS a barleywine and I've never had one with a rich, thick head with staying power. Dark brown, almost looking like a lighter-colored stout in the body, but with more carbonation evident.

Not a very strong smell but what there is of it is dominated by malts, as you'd expect. Dark bread and dark fruits is the impression that I get. I expected more of a vinous characteristic but it's not there. The 12% abv is very well masked so far. Sure you get some red wine but you don't get the alcohol. Impressive.

Okay, the alcohol makes its entrance in the first sip, but not in an overpowering, vaporous or solvent way. It's well-balanced with the other flavors which are earthy, exhibiting hints of chocolate, black pepper and some of that dark fruit. There's also a bitterness and the hint of citrus in it that makes me believe there's a hops presence that's bringing it forward...backward actually, as it hits the back of the throat, but it does hit more forward on the palate than I' used to. If it weren't for the absence of Belgian yeast this would taste a lot like a Belgian quadrupel...and a good one at that.

The bitterness is strong but doesn't stick around too long. The alcohol intensifies on the nose and the tongue as the beer warms and leaves a warming sensation on the roof of your mouth. If you're not a fan of that what are you doing buying a barleywine?

Not a beer to drink everyday and definitely not one to have more than one of in an hour. This is a gentleman's beer that is best sipped on a cool evening. This could be one of my favorite barleywines to date, but I've only had about five of them...there's still research to do!

Naugros, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to brian23456 for the bottles.

Into a wide-mouthed goblet, this beer appears opaque and black, very stout-like. A finger of leather-hued head rises and then descends into a thick lingering film with scattered lacing. The nose belies the appearance, it's quite fruity and hoppy with only a hint of acidic char. The fruity aroma brings to mind raisins, black mission figs, plums and earthier fruit, while the hop profile is more citrusy and resiny. The taste took me by surprise - it's intensely bitter with a green, resiny hop character. Fruity pineapple-like esters reside behind the hop attack, along with roasted and caramelized malts and a touch of alcohol. It's rich, but not overly so; this borders on Black IPA territory, but it's got too much malt heft and barleywine fruitiness. Interesting category-defying stuff, I like it, but I couldn't drink a ton of it. The alcohol also sneaks up on you pretty quickly.

largadeer, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of deereless
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Surprisingly thick and sticky head for such a high alcohol beer, color is dark brown with a bit of burgundy - 4.00, S: Dark molasses and fusil alcohol are the first smells to hit my nose, some prune juice and raisin, faint grapefruit discernible in the depths of the aroma - 4.00, T: Extreme hop bitterness that is actually well balanced by a hearty load of malts, mild distilled spirits such as rum, there is also a mountain of grapefruit pith and pungent pine juice, strong hop bitterness, dark fruits including plum and figs, somewhat sharp alcohol burn, burnt caramels - 3.50, M: A little syrupy, medium mouth feel, creamy - 4.00, D: A monstrous beer, loads of hops, a decent beer and good representation of the style but with not my cup of tea - 3.00

deereless, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of morimech
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of those style bending beers. I have seen this beer called a barleywine, dopplebock, double black IPA, etc. But is it good regardless of style? Black in color with a modest tan head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass. This beer certainly smells wonderful. Deep malty aromas with hints of caramel and molasas. Some vanilla, is this barrel-aged? A little pine and grass. I expected a lot more hop aroma for 100 IBUs. The flavor was a little bit of a letdown. Far too bitter, harsh, and hot to be thouroughly enjoyed. Starts off with some wonderful malty elements. Hints of rich caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. Bitterness comes in and demonstrates its full 100 IBU power. The alcohol finishes with plenty of warmth. This beer definately needs some age to mellow out and blend together. Moderate body and nicely carbonated. Not as thick and chewy as a 12% ABV could be. Has some very good qualities but just too harsh at this time.

morimech, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of BikeChef
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to score a bottle of this. Fig and prune flavors dominate this brew. Definitely fits into what I would think of as a darker barleywine. The 12% really is not noticeable at all. Good, and I love Founders, but I don't know if this is really worth searching out or worth the hype. Just kinda an average Barleywine.

BikeChef, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of nkersten
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a new belgium tulip. Brown/dark red in color, very small off white head that fades to a ring around the edge. Smell is very sweet malts, vanilla bean, fresh mission figs, bitter hops. Taste is resinous dark fruit, hop bitterness but no distinct hop flavor. Finishes with a slightly roasted chocolate malt flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy and coating, light to medium carbonation. Not terribly drinkable, this one is heavy and boozy. A good barleywine, but there are many others I prefer.

nkersten, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shifter glass.

Pours a very dark! Stout like deep dark brown with an off white head. Lots over bubbles in the head. Aromas Of caramel, roasted malts, some brown sugar and a hint of honey. Really complex. The flavors are complex also but there is a distinct warming alcohol burn. Rich caramelized sugar notes, some chocolate shaving s and even some vanilla. Really complex. The mouthfeel is slick and boozy, but really has a huge flavor profile to help contain the booze. Drinkability for a barley wine is nice. Really reminds me of a strong ale, but this is something to drink slowly.

Augustiner719, Sep 20, 2010
Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 893 ratings.