Founders Nemesis 2010 - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010

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911 Ratings

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Ratings: 911
Reviews: 504
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 212
Gots: 269 | FT: 15
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: 911 | Reviews: 504 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jampics2
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter.

In the dictionary, several antonyms are listed for the word 'nemesis' including blessing, good, and godsend. Does that mean Founders is positioning this series of ever-changing strong beers to be the opposite of good? The first release is actually maturing quite nicely after initial booziness, will this one follow in it's footsteps?

Nemesis is dark black, opaque, with some amber highlights and a spotty light tan head. The foam quickly recedes, but that's to be expected with such a high gravity beer. There is little lace to be witnessed, more of a ring of booze like that found in a cognac snifter.

The smell of the beer is pungent and very expressive. Both the hops and malt are really discernable in the mix. The hops give some citrus and pine notes, and the malt is roasty and gives off some chocolate scents of varying darkness. There is also a bit of booze, which keeps this from scoring any higher. An expressive hoppy, malty, boozy bomb.

When I take my first sip, I swear I hear my tastebuds scream. They're blanketed in flavor and drowning in complexities. Nemesis starts off with huge sweetness from the malt, almost reminiscent of dark cherry or raisin. Then, a forest of pine and grapefruit trees slams the palate. The beer is so agressive and the malt seems to drop in and out, re-emerging as roasted coffee and chocolate. Initial sweetness, then hoppiness, the roast, then a lingering bitter taste. This is a roller coaster of flavor, ending in a huge tunnel of booze and bitterness. A beer that will make children cry and women scream.

The beer is thick with creamy carbonation, and has a great mouthfeel. Unfortunately for this batch, it's not the most drinkable right now due to the booze, but the flavors are starting to smooth a bit more than when it was brand new. Hopefully that improves as the months go by and the alcohol starts to die out.

A few years will tell if this beer becomes a legend in its own right. I'm optimistic for this - I think it's already on the way in fact. But, even if Webster disagrees, I can prove this beer is a godsend right now - after all, the word Nemesis does stem from the name of a Greek Goddess of retributive justice. So there, English majors, put that in your snifter and quaff it.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

gotta love heading back east. Bottle I found up in NYC. Had to do it. Pours black and effing sexy. Big citrus and pine hop aroma and sweet malt, caramel some chocolate and molasses. the flavor is enormous, very bitter with big sweet caramel and maple. the hops have a huge flavor presence as well, grapefruits and oranges. Loving the big black barleywine, split this 12er with a couple good friends. Probably could've easily drank the whole thing myself. Fun beer.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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 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 dc55110
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark Walnut. Small collection of head that quickly dissipates.
The aroma is of caramel, molasses, raw sugar, roasted malt, hints of dark fruit.
The flavors are very similar to the aromas, caramel, molasses and dark fruits. With a little hint of hops on the finish.
Syrupy in a good way, with just enough carbonation to keep it from being too thick. The finish is clean, leaving just enough behind to remind you that you want more.
With nearly a year on it, the 2010 Nemesis is developing nicely. it's complexity will shine for awhile. I'll checking in on this over the next few years.

Photo of augustgarage
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ShogoKawada for this one. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Spirit Sippers snifter.

Rosewood liquid, nearly opaque with very faint garnet highlights. A rich beige collar persists, ringing an eery surface slick. Fine even lacing and lightly viscous legs.

Figs, prunes, stewed fruit, leather, brandy, and more emerge in the nose. Packed with esters from the alcohol, though there is no sharpness or solvent quality.

Moderately bitter palate entry followed by a cavalcade of flavors similar to the aromas. A touch of hibiscus, orange blossom, and other floral/tea-like notes come forward as well. Rich, medium-dry finish with hints of licorice and saffron. Hops contribute flavor, but they become part of the whole so much that it is difficult to pinpoint their individual contributions.

Slick, medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, and gently warming.

An excellent example of the style, which skirts the line between English and American versions.

Photo of davod23
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip.

The beer is a deep, dark auburn. Raising it to the light is of little use, as this beer is nearly opaque. However, around the edges I can see that the brew has great clarity. The tan cap is but a small layer, but is nicely persistent. A bit of lace.

The smell... methinks Founders done good this time. Fresh hop cones layered with caramel and chocolate. Smells like a hop candy bar. Alcohol is definitely making itself known as well - there is some heat behind this one.

Taste is very good. Similar to the aroma, except that I get a bit of toffee and molasses in the taste that I didn't notice in the smell. Booze. Sweet, but balanced because of the insane amount of hop bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel is appropriate. Ample carbonation, medium-thick bodied, sticky finish. Drinkability is just okay, as the booziness and the bitterness wears on me a bit over the course of the bottle. Really glad this is only 12 oz, even though I enjoyed this beer.

Photo of cbutova
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz growler fill in NY, wish I could do these kind of things in MA. Enjoyed after seeing The Breeders live in a Philadelphia basement, awesome. Reviewed from notes.

A- Very dark brown with a tan cap that has decent retention. A nice ring regenerates itself following every sip along with a random cloud. A very nice coat of fine lace.

S- Mainly roasty caramel malt, you know it will be a strong Barleywine. There are a good amount of citrus and earthy hops too, seems to go on and off between hops/malt.

T- A Barleywine with more roast malt than usual and a unique blast of citrus fruit flavors from the hops. The balance is unlike any other Barleywine I have had. The citrus isn't very zesty, it is mostly fruity and works nicely. I also sense vanilla, cocoa and pineapple.

MF- This beer is downright hot, it was burning my throat after about 12oz. Fairly creamy thick oily body that is moderately bitter and has smooth, fine carbonation.

DB- Unique beer, it seems like a roast Barleywine with an IPA-esque hop profile. It seems like it would age pretty well because the malt character could hold on it's own. A beastly beer in multiple ways, left my throat on fire.

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

Rum soaked raisins, caramel, toffee, burnt sugar; malt forward with definite HUGE sugar notes and very faint ABV.

Chestnut brown body, two fingers of meringue-like off-white foam.

On the taste burnt sugar toffee fades to slight dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut flavored coffee (emphasis), alcohol (not hot but warming). Medium to high carbonation, with a frothy and oily mouthfeel; light on the tongue. Very easy to sip as the alcohol is surprisingly mellow.

The flavor is varied and complex enough to remain interesting, while being extremely drinkable.

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

A vigorous pour yields 3 fingers of beige head that stays for quite some time.  Color is an extremely dark red, almost black really.  Smells are alcohol, hops, dark malts, raisins and other dark fruit.  Taste is hops at the front followed immediately by alcohol, plums, some yeast with a very hoppy finish.  Mouthfeel is sticky, drying and thick.  This beer is pretty interesting, extremely hot and hoppy right now.  I'm curious how it will taste in a couple years.  Definitely not a beginners beer, but very good. 

Photo of jwinship83
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up for a jaw dropping $6.99/bottle. ouch. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a completely opaque black body. no light comes through even when held near a lamp. a finger of khaki colored head forms on top and has good retention. small spots of lacing are left behind when it falls.

S- dark roasted malts and booze are the first things i notice coming from my glass. chocolate and coffee with some grapefruit hop notes as well. it seems to kind of blur style lines.

T- the taste is equally as dark and roasted as the smell. lots of the dark chocolate and coffee that i could smell. the hoppy finish comes on stronger than i was expecting. lots of grapefruit and pine. once again, theres lots of detectable alcohol.

M- medium to full bodied. palate coating and syrupy. nicely bitter. well carbonated. moderate warming from the booze.

D- this ones a thinker. as i said before, it blurs the typical style lines. stout meets american barleywine. a little pricey for what it is, but something ill be looking forward to drink again and it will be exciting to see what some age will do to this one. so far im liking the nemesis series.

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

I had this on-tap at Pinnochio's. It has a dark, thick cola like appearance with a medium white, sticky head. Big citrus/pine on the aroma. Lots of hop flavor, but pretty balanced. The citrus really shines and is especially prevalent in the finish. A full bodied brew that drinks like a much smaller brew. This beer goes down way to easy to be a 12% beer, IMO the alcohol is almost to well hidden. A great beer that deserves to be seeked out.

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

Bottled 7/14/10, poured into a snifter. Seems like this release (accidental or not) snuck up on everyone. I didn't really enjoy 2009's super fresh and the description of this as a massive, malty and hoppy black barleywine keeps my expectations in check.

The beer is a deep, clear mahogany as it pours into the glass before settling in a near black, with a barely visible mahogany/blood red tint against light. A vigorous pour produces a fine, thick light khaki colored head that slowly fades to a thin cap and film. Leaves behind thin sheets of lacing that erode to a layer of splotchy dots across the glass. Almost looks like a stout.

Aroma is very rich and complex, remarkably not showing any booze or hotness. Very sweet (but not cloying) balance of dark fruits, malts, sugars and resiny hops. Also has a surprising underlying roasty and smoky aroma like a coffee stout.

Like the nose, I'm very surprised to find this is much more balanced and smooth so fresh (compared to the slight mess 2009 was). Front of the palate is dominated by a fruity and malty sweetness before becoming drier and more roasty as it moves back across the palate. Flavors initially leaned toward the roasty malt, almost bitter chocolate like stout, at cooler temperatutres, but as the beer warms a pleasant ripe fruitiness takes over (reminding me of their non-BA wheatwine). For a claimed over 100 IBU's there isn't much bitterness, particularly nothing like some other over the top American Barleywines.

Mouthfeel is my favorite part of the beer; an insanely thick, smooth and chewy body with slowly emerging fine bubbles of carbonation. Finish is ridiculously long lasting, and seemingly different each sip, bouncing back and forth between resiny hops, candied fruit sweet and roasty malt.

I'm very impressed with the drinkability of this two weeks after bottling. This is insanely smooth and balanced, with a robust and complex style-crossing body and flavor. I thought this was a stellar beer, but was slightly disappointed that this wasn't quite the same type of left field style obliterating beer that 2009 was (ok, I might exaggerate that point a bit, but you get the idea).

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

Very dark purple. Without holding it up to the light, it looks like an imperial stout. It has a thin head that quickly disappears.

The smell is a strong malt aroma. There are hints of caramel and plums.

Tastes like roasted barley, maple, molasses, and oak. Slight bitter after taste.

Thick and syrupy mouthfeel. Like a mouthful of oatmeal.

Dangerously drinkable for such a strong beer. This one is a sipper. I already started feeling tipsy and I'm only 3/4 of the way done. This beer has matured nicely. I remember it being very boozy when it was first released.

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

100 IBUs
12 oz bottle (released September 2010) poured into a New Belgium snifter on 10/28/2010, a little short of two months from the release.

Appearance 5/5
Pours in a clear, silky looking brown stream, with a big tan colored head. Good head retention and excellent lacing, typical of a hoppy beer.

Aroma 4/5
Upon smelling with a blindfold on, I would have guessed this an American IPA: fresh smelling piney, citrusy, and maybe grassy notes. No roast or sweetness from the malts is perceptible in the smell initially, although some sweetness shows up later. I am surprised that I don't smell the alcohol.

Taste 4/5
Taste has a different story from smell: fruity sweet, with fruitiness leaning a wee bit towards the darker kind (think raisins). The hop bitterness doesn't seems to bother initially and it might appear the hops are there only to balance the malts, with no significant presence taste wise. This, however, is wrong. Right before the finish the enjoyable fruitiness gets its ass kicked by intense hop bitterness and worse, roast. What remains after the sweetish finish is a lingering abrasive bitterness and alcohol warmth, that combine to give a burning sensation in the throat. However, over a quick sip, the impression would be of a flavorful hoppy ale that has notes of dark fruit with some (appropriate) bitterness, and a long roasty bitter finish. Given some time for the beer to attenuate and for the malts to come forward in nose, this beer would taste really good, provided the roast doesn't interfere negatively.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Low carbonation, silky feel, and medium body: the mouthfeel on this beer is just right.

Drinkability 4/5
Fresh as it is, it's not all that "hot". The 12% is well hidden, and the drinkability is affected not by the alcohol, but by the astringency of roast.

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.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber pour into tulip glass with thin, yet foamy head that dissolves into significant lacing. Nose is hops and vanilla (hoppier from the growler than the taste I had at the tap), taste is oaky, hops on the front, mapley (brown) sugar and sweetness when aerated, with more vanilla. Alcohol taste is well-covered by hops, and delivers a remarkably clean finish. Mouthfeel is creamy. Overall experience is nuanced and complex, but not subtle. Bitter (hoppy) and sweet at the same time. Impressive, but not sessionable. Becomes sweeter as it warms; nose becomes entirely vanilla. For non-hops fans, consider tasting at slightly below room temperature.

Photo of aasher
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to grab a pint of this on tap at the Black Sparrow in Lafayette. It poured a midnight black with mahogany shades and was medium bodied. It smells kind of like an imperial stout mixed with an American strong ale. It's pretty interesting and luckily nothing like last year's wheatwine. The flavors were sweet with an oaky finish and almost had a maple component to it with some alcohol on the backend. It drank much better than I thought. It wasn't overpowering and was very smooth. I appreciated this one.

Photo of LanceW
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a large fan of heavy stouts... The nemesis was a natural choice for my self. The color was much dark in the snifter than what I originally anticipated. The Aroma was very sweet and the hints of Oak were obviously twisted around the sent of alcohol. The Flavor was great but very strong. I took me nearly 45 mins to sip down this tasty treat.

I will say... I enjoyed this beer a couple of time already this year but there is no way I would drink 2 back to back.

Photo of MowryJC
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 poured into a snifter at the Founders Taproom.

A - Midnight black with dark ruby highlights when held to light. One finger dark eggshell head recedes moderately fast into a substantial film. Small amounts of lacing left down the side of glass, but not surprisingly there isn't too much.

S - Nice malty aromas of roast, deep chocolate, and dark fruits (mostly raisin, some cherry) come on strong. Hop aroma is faint in the nose, but perhaps a little pine and grapefruit come through. Not very boozy smelling, just a bit on the back end, and it pleasantly comes together with the rest. I could have used a little more nose, but I'm splitting hairs

T - Chocolate and coffee roast flavors are perfectly balanced and don't overwhelm the awesome raisin and cherry flavors, great carmelized sugar flavors. The hops come through nicely as well, citrus and pine, with some pith. As it warms the candied dark fruits come out even more. Yum.

M - So smooth, a little creamy, and not too thick, allowing a nice drinkability to the whole affair without being thin. The alcohol comes through, but just like the smell it melds great with everything else.

Overall, This is a very nice American Barleywine, everything layers great and it's nice and fairly complex. I look forward to what Founders spins out under a new name.

Photo of homebrew311
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep dark brown, some light passes through on the pour and just a tiny bit passes through once it is settled in the glass. Thin white head and a trace of lacing, not much retention

S: the aroma is big and bold, full of rich caramel malts along with molasses and a huge hop character. There is a hint of roasted character mixed in with the big earthy and herbal notes.

T: the front starts off highlighting the roasted grains, this quickly transitions to a big malty sweetness with hints of licorice and molasses, this is all followed by a huge hop bite in the form of pine and bitterness. A little bit of heat on the finish goes nicely with the strong hop character

MF: the body is big and viscous with a medium level of carbonation

D: well this is certainly a bold and robust beer that begs to be sipped slowly, but at the same time it is delicious and packed with flavor. So far the Nemesis series is showing that Founders not only knows how to elevate an imperial stout- but that the same is true with barley/wheat wines

Photo of paco1029384756
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep crimson color with one finger of creamy off white head. This one needs a fairly vigorous pour.

Scent of soda, caramel, raspberries, juicy hops, dry earth and some alcohol. The alcohol is pretty subdued, but still apparent, hopefully a bit of age will take care of that.

Taste of sugar, caramel, lightly citrusy hops, a hint of chocolate, some raspberries, and a hint of alcohol. It's more fruity than I was expecting, less bitter too, but still a good beer. I am looking forward to seeing how this ages.

Mouthfeel is oily, heavy and smooth with a low amount of carbonation, magnificent.

Photo of match1112
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to beerhan for this bottle! pours a deep brown almost black with ruby highlights around the edges. a quarter inch of tan head left as quickly as it came. smell is that of dark fruit, burnt sugar, malts and alochol. taste is very sweet and well balanced for a 12% abv, i cant taste the alochol at all. mostly sweet malts and fruits with a sugar punch. mouthfeel is a full bodied beer with a sticky feel. surprisingly the 100 ibu's and high abv were not noticable at all in the drink. overall this is a very good beer that is drinking pretty good right now.

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.

Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 911 ratings.