Nemesis 2009
Founders Brewing Company

Nemesis 2009Nemesis 2009
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Wheat Beer - Wheatwine
4.19 | pDev: 12.65%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Nemesis 2009Nemesis 2009
Notes: Maple bourbon barrel aged wheat wine.
Reviews: 470 | Ratings: 710 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohneHoodlum:
Photo of JohneHoodlum
JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Dec 06, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Spider889
Spider889 from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Apr 29, 2011
Photo of webmanspidey
webmanspidey from Michigan

4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Founders. This was served in a small snifter, a dark golden color without much head.

The most obvious presence in the smell is bourbon, but there are some hints of maple, nuts, fruits, sugar, and spices (maybe cloves?) mixed in as well. Alcohol's presence sticks out prominently here.

Taste has a prominent bourbon character as well, but it is mellowed out by nuttiness and maple. The alcohol has a strong presence, but not so much to diminish the flavor.

This is definitely unique and interesting, and worth seeking out.

Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

May 14, 2012
Photo of McUbermensch
McUbermensch from Kentucky

4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served cold from a bottle and poured into a tulip.

I tried to let this warm as much as I could as the establishment I ordered it from had it in a fridge.

The appearance was a cloudy orange. I would have liked to have poured this from the bottle myself to allow the yeast sediment to stay in the bottle. Pretty sure that the rough pour made it cloudy.

The nose was mostly maple with some subtle barrel notes.

Mouthfeel was solid and exactly what I would expect from a beer of this style.

The first sip of the beer was sweet and mapley but it quickly started reminding me of a peppermint. I'm a bourbon drinker and I could hardly detect the bourbon save the nose. Perhaps the mint flavor I was getting was a mixture of maple and bourbon but it was so much like peppermint that's all I could compare it to.

If you have this drink it now. I doubt more time would do this beer any good.

Jan 20, 2014
Photo of schwee
schwee from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -4.5%

May 08, 2012
Photo of MordorMongo
MordorMongo from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Jan 13, 2013
Photo of kodt
kodt from Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.5%

Jan 05, 2014
Photo of WJVII
WJVII from Wisconsin

3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass as a tasting, this brew has a overpowering smell of bubblegum. The color was an orange hazy mess. There was also wheat present and a lot of alcohol and bourbon. The taste had raisin, bubblegum, alcohol and bourbon along with a little maple. This was thick and had medium carbonation. There was a little more alcohol present to make this harder to enjoy more than 2 bottles.

Apr 17, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
FreshmanPour77 from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 02-21-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy golden brown color, no foam at the pour, no real lacing ring to speak of, seemed flat at first

S - Maple/caramel mixed in with a heavy nose of bourbon

T - Big bourbon taste with some hop bit at the end, a warm feeling comes over me. Maybe it's the start of the 12% ABV hitting me? But no I have had lunch. It's gotta be the bourbon! Couldn't tell much of anything else in this brew except some hops piggy backing the bourbon for a little extra pine bit to it

M/D - Ok normally not my kind of brew but for sure I'm glad I was able to get some courtesy of Shango42. A full bodied flavor that goes down strong with a sting of heavy alcohol. It warms the sole and I'm looking forward to cellaring the rest and add to this review, I'm curious how this will age and what time will do to this! I great brew from Founders, If you still can purchase some I would recommend it.

Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Dirt
Dirt from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Aug 06, 2013
Photo of rye726
rye726 from Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not exactly what I was hoping for with this one. A good beer, but no where near the quality of Founders other barrel aged beers.

Copper colored body with a tan head. Plain nose has hints of bourbon, maple, vanilla, hops and candy malts. Similar flavor profile, not alot of depth. Sweet with some whiskey barrel. Medium to full body drinks well. Not bad, may age well.

May 31, 2010
Photo of liamt07
liamt07 from Canada

4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of TMoney2591 via the Support Your Team BIF. Thanks dude, poured into a snifter. No bottling date.

Pours a translucent golden orange with no head, even through a fairly aggressive pour; a couple bubbles and the slighest collar hang around. Nose is sweet, sweet caramel (and maple? courtesy of the maple bourbon barrels) with a big whiff of bourbon-y goodness, however I would imagine the bourbon being more upfront when fresher. Malt is big, and I get a sense of the wheat here as well. Taste is initially bourbony, and the sweetness and bourbon fades into some toasty wheat and finishes bitter and still hot from the bourbon, as it's felt in the mouth the entire way through. As it warms, more maple shines through and becomes quite complex. Warming, and the alcohol can be felt in the gullet LONG after the sip is done. Full bodied with a low carbonation, a big sipper here. Interesting, and a style completely new to me.

Nov 14, 2010
Photo of BAsbill
BAsbill from California

4/5  rDev -4.5%

Jun 12, 2013
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Bruery Snifter.

Pours hardly any off white head. Fades down fast. No lace. Color is a clear bronze hued gold with sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Tons of bourbon and oak. The maple syrup flavors are very sweet. Some of the abv shows. The aroma is very sweet. There seems to be some dried fruit flavors as well. This is a very big beer. Smells great.

Taste: HUGE bourbon flavor up front. Pretty hot. Tons of oak and vanilla flavors as well. The bourbon seems to cover up a lot of the flavor however. There is slightly dried dark fruits in the background. The maple syrup is present in the aftertaste. Very sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and hot. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very warm flavor. Ends very dry and hot.

Overall, this is an interesting beer. It is huge upfront with the bourbon and some age will do it will. It is pretty drinkable considering the abv. I like it.

Mar 12, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo from District of Columbia

4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very promising wheat wine: hefty, complex and rich. A bit rough around the edges, and it may benefit from some cellaring taking it to another level.

Presentation: 12 oz capped brown bottle. Founders branded label with a light brown aged design and centered around the name of the brew and a small seal. Notes several bragging statements, main description of the brew, and year of bottling (2009). Served into a snifter.

A - Deep amber pour with a fair 1/4" creamy head, short retention, some lacing and minimal surface memory.

S - The aroma is outstanding with a nice wheat malt presence, layers of sweetness with fruity notes, bourbon-vanilla and alcohol tones.

T - Flavor is rich, stimulating, and only hindered by a sometimes unbalanced boozy edge that feel a bit too prominent. Rich sweet range over nice wheat currents, malt and grain, candy and hardened caramel, bitter touches with a fruity richness seal the envelope.

M - Medium-full to full body, smooth and warming finish with small but fair carbonation.

D - Great sipper, only hindered now the expectation of what it could be. Certainly enjoyable but a bit brash at times.

Notes: Surviving its own hype... Which is no small thing since this offering was highly expected. The brew is gnarly enough for the preceding reputation, and some caution with a passionate enjoyment and rating has more to do with the potential one imagines after the taste than with a mediocre brew. This time this sure deserves that expectations that Founders raises, which for me is not always justified.

Mar 09, 2010
Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
TheRemyLeabeau from Ohio

4.94/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time. I have only had it with three years of age on it I never had the beer fresh. It was honestly like drinking candy to me, the flavor was balanced throughout and as it warmed the sweetness seeped out even more than when cold. I honestly believe that its hard to consider a beer based of other people's reviews because everyone is so different that depending on your preferences you might like it/love it/hate it for any beer. So if you're like me and have a massive sweet tooth for sugar goods then this beer is right up your alley!

May 13, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays from California

4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber, with a mild white head, good lace.

S: Wheat and sweet pils type malt, notes of lemon.

T: Interesting beginning with a maple play. This segways into some bitter piney hops, smooth malt almost pastry like flavour all the way through.

M: Full-bodied, creamy, soft carbonation.

D: Another well made effort from Founders, it's a crime they're not available in the Southland.

Dec 11, 2010
Photo of EROCK75
EROCK75 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Mar 12, 2012
Photo of ClePaul
ClePaul from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Nemesis

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 16/20

Overall 87/100

Summery: Nice big barley wine. Not a huge fan of the style. So for me it's about as good as it gets~

May 23, 2015
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo from Georgia

4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Revisiting Nov 30, 2010 at about 10 months old and some age has done wonders for an already excellent brew.

Again served in a Duvel tulip. Pours amber with a whole lotta floaties and a good white head that recedes to a light foamy cap and ring leaving some spotty lacing behind.

Aroma is fantastic, I feel like I'm sticking my nose straight in the maple bourbon barrel and not a glass of beer. Also a lot of vanilla, a bit of fruit, banana and pear, some caramel, spice, some alcohol as well on the nose, very good strength.

Flavor is a delicious balance of bourbon whiskey, maple syrup, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, green raisins, spice. Alcohol burn has diminished drastically but this monster of a beer does still leave me with some warmth in my chest.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, finishes a bit sticky, low carbonation.

This was a bit too boozy for me when fresh but really drinking very, very nice right now. Can't wait to see what additional aging will do!


Original Review, March 7, 2010:

12oz bottled Feb 3, 2010. Served in a Duvel glass. Pours amber/copper with a very small off-white head that quickly reduces to a light ring and doesn't leave much lacing at all.

Aroma is a little quiet but improves with warming. Features caramel malts, some bourbon and oak, good dose of vanilla, a bit of spice and hops, a touch of the maple syrup.

Flavor improves on the aroma, more sweet caramel malts, maple syrup is more prominent, wood, some floral hops, vanilla, bourbon is very strong along with the alcohol, a good dose of spice on the finish. Almost a beer version of whiskey, very boozy. Interesting at the very least.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit sticky, low carbonation.

Glad to get my hands on this, good right now but not blown away, especially for the price. However, this should benefit greatly with some age and I will update the review later.

Appearance 3.5, Smell 3.5, Taste 4.0, Feel 3.5, Overall 4, Score 3.75

Mar 07, 2010
Photo of manahansf
manahansf from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy copper and orange color crowned with a creamy, one-finger white head. The head gives off a bold vinous aroma with complex hints of vanilla and maple. The flavor is even more complex! The thick viscous body and low carbonation allow the drink to flow slowly and smoothly. Big bourbon flavor with a sweet background slowly evolves into a more vinous taste with sudden flashes of vanilla and maple syrup. The finish warms and continues the cameo appearances of the complex aged flavors. The finish is very slow and lingers as it warms your core. Yum.

Feb 24, 2010
Photo of Luweezy
Luweezy from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Apr 05, 2014
Photo of bound4er
bound4er from Wisconsin

3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Amber colored with a two finger head that breaks slowly to a full covering skim. Minimal lacing.

S. Muted with a bit of vanilla and maple coming through. Some swirling coaxes out a spiced fruitiness and a herbal undertone. I expected more given the hype.

T. Booze and Juicy Fruit fruitiness. Finishes with some nice maple flavor and tongue tingling bitterness. Again, I was expecting a lot more.

M. Nice creaminess here. This beer remains light on your palate given its high ABV.

D. One is enough for me - this is a sipper. I am glad I bought a single and not a 4-pack of this stuff. Give me a Founders Porter, Impy Stout, Harvest Ale, Centennial IPA .... over this stuff any day.

Mar 19, 2010
Photo of drewd0g
drewd0g from New York

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The color very nice. A kind of ruby red copper color. there's some floaties in the beer, probably because of the wheat. Nice Lacing.
S - Strong smell from the Bourbon barrels
T - The maple syrup taste comes at you strong followed by a slight warming on the throat, very pleasant though.
M - Creamier than i expected. real full body.
D - I'm really enjoying this one. Slow sipper but each sip is better than the previous. Highly drinkable for 12%

I would buy this again

Apr 27, 2010
Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 710 ratings