Bottle Shop Series #1: Nemesis
Founders Brewing Company

Bottle Shop Series #1: NemesisBottle Shop Series #1: Nemesis
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Barleywine
Ranked #93
Ranked #7,728
4.07 | pDev: 7.62%
Nov 06, 2022
Dec 10, 2020
Bottle Shop Series #1: NemesisBottle Shop Series #1: Nemesis
Notes: What’s your Nemesis? Ours is a barleywine-style ale brewed with roasted malts and no shortage of hops for a pleasantly bitter, booming flavor. Pouring with a slight and subtle mahogany hue and a multitude of flavors that melt on your tongue – this is one Nemesis you’ll feel good about keeping around.
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Photo of krh
Reviewed by krh from Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Finished off the last of the 2021 4-pack. Think it mellowed as it aged. A nice mix of flavors, though lacking the barrel aged profile I prefer. 1 bottle is enough for a session, though I won't seek this out again.
Nov 06, 2022
Photo of tzbel013
Reviewed by tzbel013 from Tennessee

4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
With the sad absence of Lagunitas' Brown Shugga, I found this beautiful concoction from Founders and glad I did. It pours a hazy mahogany red with literally no head. The hoppy notes become immediately apparent on the nose but don't overpower the heavy maltiness of the brew. Surprisingly the 11.2% alcohol is very well hidden so it is definitely a sipper. This is truly one of the best of it's style and now my go to option.
Oct 20, 2022
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 3-8-2021 served in a Belgian snifter.

Appearance. A well proportioned, semi-durable beige head lies over an essentially black and opaque body.

Moderately boozy feel and flavor with the ABV more hidden in the aroma. The relatively high hop load is also largely hidden in the aroma but can't be missed in the flavor.

Feel. Smooth, full body with little alcohol harshness given an ABV over 10%.
Aug 01, 2022
Rated: 3.87 by einman from Minnesota

Jul 24, 2022
Photo of Bouleboubier
Reviewed by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
From recollection... I will look for another bottle, and I'm sure I've seen one recently. Should've reviewed it at the one and only time I've tried this, shortly after it was released in NJ. My lasting impression was that this was unlike any American-style barleywine I've tried. I'm surprised this isn't catergorized under American Strong Ale or something of the like... Take what you know about barleywine and kind of chuck it away. This had an undeniable dark dried fruit -slash- near port/PX sweetish vinous foundation to it. Any caramel or dank citrus-pine hop flavors were rather buried or deeply-woven in, if at all present. Sans spice, it could've been mistaken for a sort of Firestone Walker barrel-aged anniversary blend (but not as distinct and signature in its barrel character)... Zooming out to about a year and a half after its initial run, I think it's maybe prime time for me to try it again, see how it's evolved. Definitely an oddball. [14 Jul 2022] ... tried this again yesterday and what stood out is that, yes, it's pretty much an American Barleywine, fruity, bitter, and all, but certainly with some darkish, GORP overtones [18 Jul 2022] (1933)
Jul 14, 2022
Photo of Franziskaner
Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Black in color with minimal light penetration. There’s a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering three quarters of the top. Light lacing is present. The aroma is of a plethora of dark malt and a touch of smoke. I’m tasting dark roasted malt. The mouth is thick and sticky.
Jul 10, 2022
Rated: 4 by a77cj7 from South Dakota

Jul 02, 2022
Rated: 3.71 by Gipsy_Danger from Colorado

Jul 01, 2022
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Reviewed by trevormajor from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle, born on 3/9/21, poured into a Founders snifter at 55 degrees F:
L - dark brown with a hazelnut head; looks like a stout
S - biscuit, toffee
T - caramel, toffee
F - thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation
O - very nice, hoppy like an American barleywine
Jun 26, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by shigg85 from Japan

Jun 21, 2022
Rated: 4.04 by robotic_being from Florida

Jun 16, 2022
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Reviewed by mschrei from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I love Barleywine and I love Founders. So sadly with those expectations, this one is just okay. Good smell and taste, but not very strong like I expect from the style. Maybe it’s because I really like barrel aged and English style Barleywine and this is neither. I’ll let it warm to see if it rounds out and strengthens, may amend this review at that point.

Note-slightly improved as it warmed, but not enough to change ratings.
Jun 12, 2022
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured at fridge temp. Pours a gorgeous dark brown - almost black. Tan head that quickly disappeared. The nose is really nice. Candied malts, chocolate, black licorice, tobacco, roasted malts, molasses, and burnt toffee. Although the description says that it was brewed with no shortage of hops, I'm not really getting very much on the nose. The taste is another story. Mix of sweet and bitter. Definitely pine and citrus peel on the back end and extending into the aftertaste. Toffee, candy, grass, leather. Really nice. Mouthfeel is fairly light to medium. ABV is not detectable.
May 13, 2022
Photo of ChipChaight
Reviewed by ChipChaight from New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
03.09.21 bottle from Pioneer Supermarket on the UWS NYC. Pours an opaque dark amber with a finger of rocky very light tan head that sticks around, nice lacing, smell is sweet doughy malts, molasses, dark caramel, dried figs, dried dates, raisins, hints of fudge and coffee, taste is sweet to slightly sour candy dark malts, pumpernickel, dark caramel, molasses, grassy and pithy bitter finish that lingers, hints of roast coffee, feel is surprisingly light bodied to thin, creamy carbonation, sweet. Sweet/malty, some dark malt character, assertive bitterness. Guinness dialed up to 11.2.
Apr 11, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by DrStiffington from New Jersey

Apr 03, 2022
Photo of nelsonracite
Reviewed by nelsonracite from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
I thought it was a decent beer. It had a malty sweet taste to it. Goes down smoothly. At first it gives a bitter punch but it mellows out well. Overall I enjoyed the beer.
Mar 23, 2022
Photo of DIPA_Davi
Reviewed by DIPA_Davi

4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Full disclosure, I’m not a barley wine fan. I bought this because it’s clearly hoppy, and I love monster IIPAs. I’d say this falls closer in taste, smell and mouth feel to triple IPA than a barley wine. Fine by me, I love it, and the fact that it’s a year old makes me wonder home much better it would have been with the hops closer to bottling. Hope it comes round again!
Mar 17, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by SayBoom from Ukraine

Mar 17, 2022
Photo of Spade
Reviewed by Spade from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
12 oz. bottle; pours a deep mahogany with a slowly-forming head. The taste is malty sweet with a hop bitterness coming through at the finish. Mouthfeel is full and filling. The 11.2% abv sneaks up on you, if that's even possible.
Mar 06, 2022
Photo of agreenman19
Reviewed by agreenman19 from Connecticut

4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
L - pours a syrupy amber that settles into something much browner with a ruby tinge. Caramel head that's mostly present around the edges.

S - figs and dark fruits. Dates, plums, and caramel candy. Less booze than expected! Maybe a touch of vanilla and oak.

T - whiskey-themed affair with a strong rye bitterness and dark cherries mixed with rusted metal. Quite a few hops, which is something of a head-turner. A pleasant surprise, even if it is a little ham-fisted and overdone. Sweetens up as it warms with more of those dark fruits coming through.

F - solid body with lively carbonation, but still silky smooth and befitting of a barleywine.

O - kinda strange, but kinda dig it! Unusually hoppy which doesn't jive terribly well with the rest of the barleywine base, but certainly makes things interesting. Distinct Founders flavor profile makes this one a winner all the same. Strangely drinkable for this amount of ABV, hops, and syrupiness. Or maybe I'm just thirsty. I should drink some water.
Feb 19, 2022
Rated: 4.4 by Luckydog91 from Texas

Jan 28, 2022
Photo of BubbleBobble
Reviewed by BubbleBobble from New York

4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Pours near black, with maybe a few specks of red at the edges, 1" foamy tan head with decent retention and excellent lacing given the high ABV. Nose is deep, resinous hops, molasses, light pine and leather. Flavor is very hop forward - even after the 10 months on this bottle - with aggressive resin, citrus pith, grapefruit oil, and leather, offset by a bit of tacky sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly moderate with solid carbonation - it drinks a lot lighter than expected and hides all of that alcohol. Overall, this is a great bitter sipper.
Jan 23, 2022
Photo of josanguapo
Reviewed by josanguapo from Spain

4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
De Hopt. En copa Mahou Barrica. Jugando a Fortnite. Con queso morado de Codi y caña de lomo de Mercadona. Brutal barleywine lupulada que esta a la altura de la deliciosa bigfoot de sierra nevada, con todo lo que uno espera del estilo muy bien ejecutado
Jan 23, 2022
Rated: 4.48 by rangerred from Tennessee

Jan 17, 2022
Rated: 3 by jeschaefer from Texas

Jan 05, 2022
Rated: 4.05 by d5001986 from Wisconsin

Jan 03, 2022
Rated: 5 by tatecarson from Louisiana

Jan 03, 2022
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
Reviewed by BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look: Pours a rich shade of chocolate brown with a dense head of beige foam, consisting of tiny pinhole sized bubbles. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Aroma: Subtle aroma of sweet chocolate and baked apples against a bitter backdrop of rich pine sap, cigars and molasses.

Taste: Dark chocolate through and through, with plenty of hop bitterness. I'm getting pleasant flavors of toasted pecans, toffee and brown sugar. It's actually fairly sweet after a while; still bitter and hoppy upfront, but mellowing out into smoother, more well rounded and sweet flavors of toasted nuts and milk chocolate over time.

Feel: Almost porter like, medium bodied, well carbonated and rich. Filling but not in a bloating type of way. 11% abv is not apparent.

Overall: Probably the most memorable beer I've had from founders this year.
Dec 27, 2021
Photo of cwm51662
Reviewed by cwm51662 from Indiana

4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
This is a good beer for those like me that don't mind a little hop-forward but not a lot hop-forward. First whiff is pine and a little caramel. Color somewhere between deep deep amber and jet black. I liked the description earlier, "bitter on bitter", and definitely hit the spicy alcohol sooner rather than later. A great choice for me when I get an "IPA urge" but know I don't really like them.
Dec 25, 2021
Rated: 4 by NickThePyro from Washington

Dec 22, 2021
Photo of minstrelwb
Reviewed by minstrelwb from Indiana

3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
A bittery barley wine? Not what I expected and the taste was only average to less than average. Looked fine but really, that is not the most important thing. Don't mind trying or that Founders tried making it, just ok.
Dec 21, 2021
Photo of ryan1788a5
Reviewed by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep mahogany brown color. Clarity looks to be good. Creamy beige head retains very well. Wispy lacing.

S: Whiffs of earthy, piney hops reach the nose first. Crystal malt sort of sweetness- toffee, treacle, caramel. Bread crust and pumpernickel. Roasty and chocolatey aromas too.

T: Very earthy and hoppy up front- pine, bark, modest amount of gripping bitterness. Toasty and crusty malt flavors of burnt crust, pumpernickel rye, soot, and bitter dark chocolate. Sweeter notes of dark caramel, blackstrap molasses, and toffee at its core. Brush of spicy alcohol. Quick flash of a raisin-y sort of fruit taste. Finishes with a lot of lingering earthy, piney hops and bitter dark chocolate roast.

M: Very full-bodied and thick. Weighty, though not sludgey. There's a nice fluffy, creamy sort of texture. Enamel raking hop astringency.

O: A very hop forward black barleywine. A really great body and texture go a long way to enhance drinkability. It does get bitter-on-bitter with a lot of sooty roasted malt and a big hop presence, though. The core barleywine sweetness fights to balance things, but ultimately that bitterness wins. By the end of the session, I found myself liking it quite a bit. You don't see too many beers like this on the shelf anymore, so it was a refreshing change of pace sort of beer.
Dec 19, 2021
Rated: 4.2 by Nunya from Ohio

Dec 16, 2021
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Deep, garnet hued body, clear; thick, frothy, light khaki head, rich and sticky. Huge, earthy sweetness on the nose; roasted grain and spicy caramel scents. Fruit-like sweetness and spiciness to the taste; spruce and anise; relatively mild bitterness; big booziness. Heavy body; residual sugars coat the palate; nice counterbalance with the sweetness and dryness.

This is a wonderful barleywine, rich and complex.

Pouring temperature: 54 °F; bottling data: BOTTLED ON 03.09.21
Dec 16, 2021
Rated: 3.54 by Avitra from California

Dec 11, 2021
Rated: 4.17 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Nov 28, 2021
Rated: 4.16 by Tcsox from Massachusetts

Nov 28, 2021
Rated: 3.94 by prototypic from Ohio

Nov 27, 2021
Rated: 3.67 by nmann08 from Virginia

Nov 25, 2021
Rated: 4 by LXMRTN from New Hampshire

Nov 23, 2021
Bottle Shop Series #1: Nemesis from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 254 ratings