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Founders Nemesis 2010 - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010

Educational use only; do not reuse.

918 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 918
Reviews: 506
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 209
Gots: 267 | 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 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djmichaelk
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of AGDMainer (thanks Abe!) into a perfect pint.

A - Deep auburn brown, with amber highlights. Not much of a head, even at nearly room temperature, which is maybe to be expected given the high abv. Nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - Very barleywine-ish, with lots of brown sugar and toffee, backed by plenty of piney hops and a little earth. Reminiscent of Bigfoot, but more on the sweet side.

T - Like my first Bigfoot, this took a few sips for me to center myself on it. Bitterness from the hops is more pronounced, and then the usual barleywine flavors come in, with toffee and burnt sugar, then some sweet tobacco and earth. Very nice, definitely one of the better-tasting barleywines I've had. Some heat, but I'm surprised at how little. It's hidden reasonably well.

M - Thick and viscous without being syrupy. Light carbonation that works perfectly in this one.

D - Would be on the low side ordinarily with this high an abv, but the flavors and feel are so good that I have to bump it up a little. I'd reach for anther if I had one.

O - This is a very good beer, with the potential to develop into an outstanding one. I'd love to try this again in a year. I'll be looking for more of this for sure.

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jwinship83
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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 yourefragile
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Augustiner719
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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 wethorseblanket
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gosox8787
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 12 oz. stubby bottle I have kept in the cellar for a couple years. Decided to open this up recently so I chilled this down. Poured into my Kate the Great tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours almost zero head. Surprisingly lack of carbonation. Dark brown in color but some light does get through.

Aroma: Nice earthy pine tones from the hops. Definitely a pretty strong hop presence given the age. Chocolate and caramel backing with almost no oxidation.

Taste: Pine, light citrus and a strong earthiness really take hold and dominate. The malt comes through nicely and lends a slight cocoa bitterness. Lots of chocolate and brown sugar. Hides the ABV really well.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is definitely noticably absent. Not flat persay but close. Medium bodied.

Overall, a really nice tasty black barleywine with some nice hop character. Nicely balanced. The lack of carbonation (not sure if it just this bottle?) does not hurt this too much at all.

Photo of tewaris
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
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 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 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 LanceW
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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 BostonHops
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 and ABV. 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? maybe.

original review on: 09-22-2010

Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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 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 beerbully
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Looks like a glass of coca-cola.Dark no head mild lacing

S-some hops with malty sweetness maybe some molasses and caramel

T-sweet.tastes exactly as it smells. Some citrus hops but very sweet. hops hit immediately and then the sweetness comes. mild oakiness. molasses flavor.

M-no carbonation. feels like a flat soda.

O-very good beer but not spectacular would be better if it didn't feel so flat

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

A: Black/dark chocolate color, becomes somewhat see through around the edges of the beer as I tilt the glass. Minimal head and lacing left around the glass.

S: Dark, chocolate malt, maybe some lightly toasted malt in there as well, sweetness throughout, a bit of alcohol present in the smell when I really dig into the smell, but its not a bad scent and is a nice additional layer to the dark/chocolate smell.

T: This hides the 12%abv very well. Dark chocolate, lightly roasted/toasted malts and a bready/biscuit flavor to it, a little bit of caramel in the middle,dark fruits, hops don't seem very strong at this point but add a bit of bitterness and earthy flavors in the middle and on the finish

M: thick and rather still, a bit syrupy.

O: This is my one and only bottle of this beer, wish I had picked a few up and tried at least one earlier on in its life, but this is very good as it is now. Haven't had much in the way of barleywines but I am liking this one, especially with the chocoloate/dark malt flavor being the strongest of the flavors. It is going down very easy for its strength. If I was somehow lucky enough to find a single sitting in a store somewhere I would pick another up for sure.

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

A wonderful find still on the shelf in Altoona, PA in June 2011, 11 months after its release.

A: Poured into my Founders Brewing Company glass with a small off white head. After about a minute only a fine ring around the rim of the glass remains, lacing nicely as I drink. When I had the beer on tap back in the fall, however, the head was full and bubbly, that has certainly gone down a bit.

S: The smell is still pretty boozy, roasted malts underneath. Caramel, molasses, raisins, and perhaps some chocolate mixed in as well.

T: The taste really shines through with this one. The caramel and molasses start the taste off, but get curbed by the boozy taste that follows. A big hit of roasted malts rest on the palate for a significant amount of time. Very much like a combination of a nice stout and a good barleywine. More impressed with every sip I take.

MF: Light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation left over. The booziness warms you as you drink, and the roastiness of the malts keeps you sipping.

O: I really liked this beer fresh when I had it on tap at Zeno's a few times, and now that I'm finally getting around to reviewing it I like it even more. Really exciting to see what this does with another year on it!

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

Courtesy of JAXSON over on ratebeer, thanks Jeremy! Yes! Pours mahogany with tan head. The aroma is roasty - burnt malts, pine hops, grapefruit hops, earthy black tea and some black licorice. The taste is smooth to start and gets a bit rough with booziness at times. I get firm pine hop bitterness, grapefruit hops and then a thick slab of burnt malts mixing with chocolate malts. Yummy.

Photo of jampics2
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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 aerozeppl
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a weird and interesting beer.

A: Black in color. Minimal brown head. Spotty lacing. About what you would expect for the style. Not particularly appealing.

S: Nice sweetness in the nose. Dates. Dark fruit. Roast and chocolate. Tons of hops. Every time you smelled this beer it yielded something else.

T: Sweetness up front.Faded hops that I think was more a factor of everything else beating them into submission. Big malt backbone. Really just a super complex beer. It was almost as if everything you could put into a beer you tasted in this. It reminded me of Sierra Nevada's black barleywine. Really hoppy.

M: Not as thick as I would have though. The carbonation was really nice and worked with the body well.

D: Really nice big beer. A drinka. There was so much going on in this beer. The taste kept changing with temperature. A really great beer.

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

The rockstar trader aasher sent me this beer in a recent trade. He's been reminding me to try it since then but I've forgotten until now. Thanks again, Al for the hookup!

Pouring into a Jester King snifter that sent miikezombie me. Dark coffee in color with a thin, persistent light tan foam.

Rich, malty nose with caramel, toffee. Mild licorice. Subtle cracked black pepper.

Subtle smokiness underlies the massively malty flavors. Toffee, molasses. While hop flavor may have faded, a moderate bitterness persists to maintain order.

Medium-light in body, moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a deceptively powerful beer whose caramel, toffee malt character and exception balance help to belie the massive strength of such a big beer. Wish I had another to age.

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

Very dark for a barleywine: almost black. Pretty tan head and good lacing.

Nose is quite strong with smokey malt and hops.

Taste is really interesting. Intense roasted malt and hop bitterness blended in. The taste also goes along with it's stout like color. Coffee bitterness is unique for this beer.

Mouth feel is very heavy yet carbonated. Drinkability may suffer a little due to the intense taste. Not for me.

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.

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