Nemesis 2009 | Founders Brewing Company

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Nemesis 2009Nemesis 2009
706 Ratings
Nemesis 2009Nemesis 2009

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wheatwine Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Maple bourbon barrel aged wheat wine.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 706 |  Reviews: 470
Reviews by Casey10:
Photo of Casey10
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a really nice beer that I had received in trade awhile ago finally glad I opened it up.

This was a great beer it poured with little carbination but reatained a nice semi dark color. Taste of carmel and malts.

This was a sipper for sure if you have a chance to try this please do.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Spider889
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of badnewsbeers. Live review.

Ohh, and just for Ryan, this review is entirely droided.

The appearance is really lackluster. No bubbles, no head, no foam, nada. The color is an amber with pinkish hues.

The smell begins with lots of bourbon notes. Vanilla and oak are big, along with a harsh alcohol astringency. As it warms the beer grows exponentially in deliciousness. Maple begins to come through, though it never becomes super apparent. Brown sugar and toffee round out the aroma with a pleasant sweetness.

The taste also really benefitted from some warmth. There's a sweetness that is slightly citrus in nature, along with lovely bourbon flavors. It grows in bitterness over time, to the point where I must assume that this was heavily hopped. Additionally, wheat or no wheat I feel like there could be some rye in the grain bill as well.

Spicy orange peel and peppery alcohol lead into complex malt flavors. Vanilla is very big as is caramel and tobacco leaves.

Quite boozy, this is a sipper. I kind of wonder if Founders didn't fudge the 12% abv listing on this... very low carbonation, I was wanting at least a little more.

Overall - I finally get why everyone raved about how much better the '09 was compared to the '10. I want more.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Someguy1989
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First real rarity to come out after my 21st Birthday. Missed out on it then, but finally got to have it at Todd's Taco Night.

Appearance- Served in a wine glass. Amber-Orange head with a white foam that dissipated quite quickly. Little to no lacing.

Smell- Aroma of coconut, bananas, and some maple. Had a very pleasant aroma.

Taste- More coconut, which turned to banana as the drink warmed. A slight bit of clove spice and hoppiness at the end, though nothing too extreme. The oak barrel flavor was only slightly apparent. Little maple in the taste however, and that disappointed me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Nice and thick with little booziness. The year of aging really made this thing quite smooth.

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Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Really excited to try this maple bourbon barrel aged wheat wine. Bottled 2/3/10. Pours into my glass a brilliant red orange with some hazy particulate like a fall sunset. Small white bubbles on top. Aromas feature complex layers of crisp sweet wheat, caramel and an amazing mix of bourbon, vanilla, wood and rich maple syrup. A touch of honey as well.

First sip brings crisp, dense sweet malts drenched in a wash of caramel and bourbon. Big vanilla flavors and a great kick of maple syrup. Honey and wood tones along with a kick of alcohol heat on the way down. Finishes with maple and lingering bourbon. Simply wonderful.

Mouthfeel is hefty and malty with a good mellow carbonation. A tad sweet with big viscosity. This one is a sipper and every sip is a smile. Bold, complex and flavorful, the maple really makes it. Glad I was able to try this one and look forward to more in the Nemesis series!!

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Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of 40451
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of marvin213
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A thin layer of foam quickly collects itself on the edges. It's a murky enough brown to look for sediment, and a close inspection does reveal some. I'm impressed, in fact, with how a relatively light brown disguises so many floaties.

Maple and bourbon invade the nose...and they're good. This has GOT to be the same bourbon as is used in the other Founders bourbonites. It's like a cross between a Backwoods Bastard and an Old Curmudgeon. It's a Backwoods Curmudgeon on top of Aunt Jemima. What will be next?

I'm inexperienced with wheat wines and, without being previously informed, I'd identify this as a maple-bourbon old ale. The taste is just like the smell, and I'm actually left wondering what the wheat does. More bubbles would improve the feel. I assume this is bottle-conditioned, and this one might mature like a beautiful woman if tendered appropriately.

It's big and badass, but I feel like a 12oz offering ought to be an easy single serving. This is NOT an easy single serving. Though deliciously sweet and warming, it drinks as such. Again I plead ignorance about wheatwine nuances, but this one sips more like a cognac than a beer.

 1,151 characters

Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of merlin48
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours into a snifter an orange amber body that is clear and radiant. Small offwhite head quickly disappears without any lacing.

Unique aroma for a beer. Hot buttered rum, maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla.

Medium full body has a subdued carbonation and oaky tones.

Taste is sublime, taking wheatwines to a new level. Vanilla, maple syrup, bourbon, cream of wheat, and earthy woody oak tones that fully emerge at room temperature all meld nicely. A bit of alcohol warmth blends well.

Wow! This adventurous ale turned out extremely well. Very tasty, indeed, but definitely a sipper.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a slightly hazy orange color with a very small white head. The aroma is maple syrup, sugar, alcohol and whiskey. The flavor is alcohol, oak, vanilla and maple. The alcohol burns a little bit on the way down. This is one boozy wheatwine. Thick mouthfeel and very low carbonation. A very nice beer but I wish the alcohol was hidden a little bit better.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of 1Adam12
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of bsp77
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Cloudy orange that has an inner glow, with just a wisp of a head and spotty lacing.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, rosewater, maple syrup and coconut. Strong whiff of alcohol. Smells more like a cross between Bourbon and a fruity tropical drink than a beer. My wife said it smells like the dessert wine Muscat.

Taste: Caramel, vanilla, oak, cherry and maple syrup upfront. Finishes with lingering spice and pepper. Can't really detect any wheat. As it warms, the spice subsides and it resembles sweetish Bourbon even more.

Feel: Chewy and thick with very low carbonation. Very warming, almost causing a burning sensation as it goes down. Becomes smooth and silky as it warms a little.

Drinkability: Strange beer. Never had a Wheatwine before, but this is probably not a typical example. Seems more like a barrel-aged Barleywine mixed with tropical flavors. Another slam dunk from Founders.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a four-pack being held for me at From the Vine down in Columbus. Been excited to try it and as a side note, if you're in the area, stop by From the Vine. Picked up a lot of goodies there lately, including Black Tot.

Appearance- Pours a translucent shade of burnished copper into my New Belgium snifter. Half a finger or so of creamy beige head rises off the beer, dies down to a thin coating, and then sticks around for the rest of the drink. Mild lacing left as well.

Smell- A lot going on here. Strong notes of maple, bourbon, deep vanilla, and wood are most easily detectable. Smells quite sweet with the maple richness lending a unique quality to other smells I'm used to detecting in bourbon barrel aged beers.

Taste- Very complex, very sweet, and not a drop of alcohol detectable in this one. Again a rich overlay of maple and bourbon barrel flavors. Syrup, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, and something that I can't quite put my finger on. Almost a slight peat or smokiness, not really sure where I'm getting it though. Flavorful and very sweet, though not unbearably so.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is surprisingly thick and smooth with just enough carbonation to keep such a rich and sweet beer moving. Though a sipper, drinkability is also surprisingly high given the ABV and sweetness.

Overall, very impressed. Founders really knows how to use a barrel, and I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Served at 46F.

My first Wheatwine. I love Barleywine, so here we go...

A: Dark brown with absolutely no head. At all. This beer looks like a menace, like it could kick your ass in a dark alley.

S: Wow. Maple and alcohol (Bourbon) on the nose. Very very warm smelling. I get impression of maple syrup, and it's making me think pancakes.

T: Lots going on here. This thing is a beast. Where to start? Well, there is a solid sweet backbone that benefits greatly from the maple. Warm and spicy in the mouth, there is a substantial alcohol bite about halfway through that lingers long after the beer is across the palate. This is a beer to be sipped respectfully.

M: Thick without the benefit of heavy carbonation. Almost chewy it is so heavy, but it suits the style very well.

D: Do I want more? Yes. Do I want it right now? Maybe not. Either way, this beer really hits the spot, and I think any lover of huge Barleywines or other massive beers will appreciate this one.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.42/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A case or two showed up at Bocktown for around seven bucks a bottle. Appears a clouded orange tinted copper amber huewith a bright white head forming thick and leaving thin speckled lacing Aroma is straight up boozy with bourbon. A nice vanilla oak, sugar coated fruitiness going on within the bourbon tones. I can tell there's some maple notes along with a bit of honey and charred oak. Flavor is rolling with bourbon/honey charred oak vanilla and a bit of more honey/maple syrup sweetness. No real hops to speak of, this is intense beer with a big boozed up finish. Upfront there is no gag going on, if you like bourbon this a good beer for you. Sweet sticky cloying moments within the huge malt base with aged in maple bourbon barrels, adventurous warming and a bit tough to drink. Mouthfeel is viscous with syrup like textures, carbonation is easy going like I said it burns with alcohol and residual sugars add to the cloyingness. Drinkability overall is sub par for what I want this is outside the box and I love most of the barrel aged experiments from Founders but this one is a bit rough and leaves me wantng more from the experience.

 1,143 characters

Photo of rudylaw
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Looks like apple cider with the slightest hint of a head. Hardly any lacing to speak of.

Tons of booze in the nose off the bat. Vanilla, caramel, banana, maple and butterscotch round things out. Just an awesome and complex aroma!

All of the same on the taste buds but there is also a hint of cherry syrup. Possibly some coconut notes as well... but very faint.

Low carbonation and finishes clean. At 12%, this took me awhile and at about the 8oz mark, I should have folded the tent... but I wasn't wasting a drop since the bottle ran me $6! All in all, a solid effort that should really shine with a few months in the cellar.

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Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of glid02
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy golden color with a thin white head that quickly subsides into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells like a barrel-aged beer should - loads of bourbon and vanilla notes with lighter amounts of butterscotch. Also present are sweeter malt aromas however I'm not sure I would guess it was a wheatwine from the smell alone.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malts with mild biscuit flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by vanilla and butterscotch notes. Midway through the sip hints of heavy molasses join in and carry through to a surprisingly bitter ending. As the beer warms the bourbon flavors are tempered a bit however they really never fade.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with light and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I certainly enjoyed this beer and will definitely revisit it again however I can't imagine tasting a barrel-aged wheatwine much better than this (both a good and bad thing). Big ups to Founder's for pushing the barrel-aged envelope although I'm unsure how much further it can be pushed.

 1,207 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of 05Harley
2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on 2/3/10.

I've had several of these over the last year and this is the last of them.

Purchased @ West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago Illinois

Price - $5.99

Appearance: Pours orange in color with a faint white cap that disappears quickly to an equally faint ring around the glass. Not quite clear, definitely has a slight haze with some fines in suspension.

Smell: Alcohol right up front, no disguising this one. Notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak come to mind.

Taste: Just as it smells, an almost medicinal flavor. Not very good. If you like straight booze this ones for you.

Mouthfeel: Has a decent enough body with a somewhat oily residual feel. Low carbonation if any.

Drinkability: Not in my opinion. A definite sipper, probably could have had it on the rocks. I struggled to finish the bottle each time I experienced it.

I appreciate the effort in producing it, however it just isn't for me.

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Photo of Brenden
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is another huge, boozy beer from Founders. This beer is either a nightmare or nearly divine, depending on the drinker's regard for spirits and hard liquor.

It's a deep, rich, burnished orange-brown color, somehow both thick and somewhat opaque in the look. A yellow-tinted head doesn't seem to be rising too tall but it sticks around, creamy and thick, and it leaves some good spotting and even some patching on the glass as it goes.
This is as much the beer equivalent of bourbon as I've ever encountered, with less to overtake it or shadow it, even if just slightly, than in a big stout. It's sweet, not too syrupy, hot but not overwhelmingly so, and plenty complex. Molasses, toffee, vanilla, breads, oak; there's so much here, and it's a pleasure to sip and unwrap. There's a little bit of a sugary undertone, and there's a discernable underlying wheat/malt base to hold it all together. It's a slow sipper, absolutely, but it's so rich and deep it needs to be anyway. Drunk exactly the way one would drink bourbon, disappointment seems impossible.
The body is very interesting; it seems medium but there's so much happening it's almost difficult to say. It has a certain necessary thickness without cloying or filling, and it's not velvety but it is undeniably smooth.

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Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 706 ratings