Founders Nemesis 2009 | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Nemesis 2009Founders Nemesis 2009
701 Ratings
Founders Nemesis 2009Founders Nemesis 2009

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

Added by WYVYRN527 on 02-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 701 |  Reviews: 470
Photo of Arbitrator
1.36/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of westcoastbeerlvr in mid-July. Thanks, Craig.

A: Pours a slightly hazy deep orange body with copper tint. Short-lasting, thin off-white head.

S: Butterscotch, cane sugar, vanilla, orange zest.

T: This is like liquefied butterscotch and orange-vanilla candy blended together. Disgustingly sweet -- tastes like something The Bruery would have released.

M: Boozy and sweet.

O: Absolutely don't get the love for this one. It is horrid. I took a small pour and threw out most of it.

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Photo of leschkie
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of jmdrpi
2/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

finally decided to crack this one open. bottle date of 02/03/10.

appears a clear amber golden color. no head, but some bubbles stream to the surface for a bit. fakes of yeast float throughout.
aroma is all whiskey and maple syrup, as expected. boozy.

damn, this is still hot for being over a year aged. way too much bourbon, this tastes like a glass of watered down bourbon, not beer. solvent-like fusel alcohol flavors. very low carbonation.

very disappointed, especially since Fouders is one of my favorite brewers. unpleasant, I could only drank half the glass.

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Photo of Rempo
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of emdawg
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of MusicaleMike
2.29/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Incredible hazy orange body with white head, about a finger think, that needed a lot of coaxing. Seems to dissipate quickly as well. Poured into a tulip glass.

Smells delicious, and reminds me of a lot of other barrel-aged Founders beers. Sweet on the nose, with subtle hints of vanilla, maple sugar, some vinous aromas, and oak aromas. Can smell some sweet tropical fruits in the background from the alcohol. Some cherry notes in there too. Okay, I am fully prepared to really enjoy drinking this.

Wow, alcohol is definitely high...tastes like 12 or 13 % least! Very flavorful first sip, with a true lightness of body from the high portion of wheat malt, but big, bold flavors with a ton of heat. Second sip is no more enjoyable. It comes off as messy. Alcohol, maple, bourbon are not mixing well here. There is a really odd, yet familiar flavor up front. It's like eating bitter greens, earthy and more than slightly unpleasant and vegetal. Lots of heat on the finish. Unfortunately not smooth as other barrel-aged Founders beers. The more I drink, the less I like. Towards the end, it tasted almost "moldy" to me like mushrooms.

While the body is lighter than a barleywine, it still comes off as full-bodied. Not syrupy, but definitely high sugar content. Heat from alcohol and some gentle carbonation.

Sadly, this is one vintage Founders beer that stands out as the worst Founders beer I have had in my life. The beer sounds good on paper, but misses completely. Avoid.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.36/5  rDev -43%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to projectflam86 for this bottle. My 100th review.

A: Pours a a cloudy peach. There are oranges, reds, and yellows all mixing together in this brew. Almost no head. Absolutely no lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells of sweet malt, rubbing alcohol, and nail polish.

T: Starts off with a big blast of acne astringent. There is some malty sweetness in there, some toasted oats, but it's mainly big boozy alcohol. I'm not in the mood for this beer. After two years in a bottle, I figured this beer would mellow out a bit, but it didn't.

M: Sticky and chewy. This beer coats the palate, and lingers forever.

O: Honestly... this beer is gross. I wanted something exciting for my 100th review, but this beer was a huge disappointment. Founders should stick to stouts. They always knock those out of the park.

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Photo of youradhere
2.45/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a murky golden orange, no head to speak of but a light cap of lacing. Smells of sweet malt, bourbon, vanilla, raisins and honey. Taste is maple bourbon, some astringency, lots of alcohol burn still. the bourbon makes this pretty one-dimensional as it still dominates the flavor in this beer. As it warms the bourbon becomes more present and so does the astringency, it is almost distracting it is getting so bad. I like bourbon barrel character, just not this flavor of a straight shot of it in my beer, I can hardly even taste the base beer which makes it seem as though it is being masked by the bourbon. Mouthfeel is alright, it is thick enough to carry the bourbon, but could be better. Not a great beer by my standards, I think the bourbon was too much on this like Backwoods. I can't even taste the beer outside of the bourbon, I might as well be drinking straight bourbon instead of this next time.

I definitely prefer the 2010 Nemesis to this one, hands down. On to Bells 10,000 next.

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Photo of smb4087
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

Photo of nrs207
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

Photo of baconsausage
2.58/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dont much care for this at this time. Good aroma and appearance, but the flavor is laking in the like-ability. smells sweet and boozy with a hint of model glue on the finish. Nice golden color and light, slightly fizzy carbonation. Sweet, cheep scotch, ( with a drip of water) aroma with hint of froggy maple dominates the balate, with an unpleasant tannic bitterness on the finish. I drank this trying to find something good, as it is the only Founders beer I have wanted to pour out. This bruiser will go the test of time, but will still be a bruiser in the least.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.61/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Nice extra in a trade...

A: Nothing special on the look. No head with a pink / copper murky color.

S: Smells of wine, oak, sugars with maple on the backend. Smells pretty good.

T: Super boozy! Even after it warms. Not getting much else but a rubbing alcohol type flavor. Mixed in the middle are slight bitter hops with very subtle port, oak, and maple flavors on the backend. Way too boozy. All the flavors are hidden.

M: Leaves your mouth dry immediately as if you were drinking straight vodka.

D: Goes down hard because it's like drinking hard liquor straight.

All in all, I'm not quite sure why this brew is so highly regarded. Not worth hunting unless you are looking for a hard liquor tasting brew. Otherwise, if you need hops or malts, this is not your beer. Many more that are far superior in this style. BIG disappoinment.

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Photo of Gtreid
2.61/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Pours a viscous deep amber color. Almost no head appears, and the beer leaves no lace.

A: Bourbon straight away, and lots of it. I get a hefty amount of maple sugar sweetness and a big caramel malt backbone.

T: Honey, maple, and bourbon. Big caramel malt and some citrusy tartness. But I'm afraid that the bourbon overpowers the brew. It finishes very hot and sticky.

M: Heavy body. This coats the palate just like a maple syrup would. Low carbonation.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is quite low, the sugary sweetness and the buorbon just don't do it for me. Overall, this is an interesting concoction, but one I won't be having again. Skal.

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Photo of Tucquan
2.65/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Had this on 2010-09-10 in Columbia, PA

A - Dark honey with no head but some small bubbles

S - Bourbon, maple, rock candy

T - Pretty intense and too much of everything. Tons of bourbon (not my favorite flavor), too sweet maple, vanilla, honeysuckle.

M - Medium-heavy body, syrupy. It was effervescent with more carbonation than I expected.

D - I'm in the minority on this one. I really didn't like it. The strong flavors seemed to each fight for prominence. Couldn't finish it although you can tell it was made well with quality ingredients.

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Photo of dedrinker
2.68/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Amber color, light amber I guess.

A nose of alcohol and sugar - caramel, maple syrup.

Flavors of maple syrup, whiskey, and alcohol.

Split one 12 oz. bottle between 3 guys, and we still didn't finish it.

C'mon beer nerds, I mean really. Is there what we're really investing our street cred in? A new generation of jock mentality childish neanderthal flavored beers? It's gross, way to fat, big, out of balance etc. and the price is through the roof! I'm sure it's costly to produce, but that doesn't make it worth it.

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Photo of Coleybeerman
2.71/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After a long wait of arrival, i am rather of dissapointed with outcome. Poured into a Duvel tulip, the head dissipated very quickly. Sweet aroma's of malt, slight maple and alcohol. The taste, again is rather sweet with faint maple that is masked by the big 12% abv, very boozy. I generally don't complain about high alcohol content but in this case it subtracts from my overall impression of this dissapointing offering.

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Photo of prototypic
2.72/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The inaugural Nemesis release pours an orange stained gold color. It's extremely hazy and looks almost golden brown when held to light. Unfortunately, the light carbonation yields no head. That's very disappointing. Below average as a result.

The nose is pretty average. It kicks off with an interesting mix of wheat, grain, and maple. It's an odd mix that seems to be a odds. Bourbon and a little oak follow. It's still an interesting blend that doesn't seem to completely mesh. Butterscotch, vanilla, and coconut are secondary. Alcohol is noted, and seems somewhat strong. Eh. It's just okay.

The flavor kicks off with a less than satisfying mix of wheat, alcohol, bourbon, and maple syrup. While it is interesting, it doesn't taste very good. It's very convoluted and doesn't come together well at all. The bourbon and maple syrup flavors are definitely at odds. Oak, vanilla, coconut, and light banana are all secondary. While they add depth and complexity, it still tastes very jumbled and messy. Alcohol has blended nicely and tamed a little over the last 9 months. It's there, but it's not hot. Finishes grainy, syrupy, and bourbony.

2009 Nemesis has a medium body. Carbonation is very light. It doesn't feel smooth, but it's not bad. Drinkability is below average. I don't really like the flavor, it's very big at 12% abv, and it's quite the sipper. Honestly, it's a struggle to get down a bottle in a sitting.

I've always been and will always be a huge fan of Founders Brewing. Having said that, the 2009 Nemesis release is probably my least favorite release from Founders...ever. It sounds like a good idea in theory, but just doesn't work in practice. I tried this when it was released and didn't like it. I still don't. The various flavors do not work well together, and produce a less than satisfying end product. That's especially true given the price point. I know many love it, but it's not my thing.

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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 zoolzoo
2.86/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks gford217

After trying the Smuttynose Wheat Wine and a couple others that I really enjoyed, I have to admit I was pretty pumped to get my hands on this.

Almost no head even after an aggressive pour. Its orange, barely any activity. Its sort of just sitting there.

Smells pretty good. Sugary booze, barrel, maple syrup. Potent, stimulating.

Too sweet, too boozy. Too much bourbon and maple syrup. Pleasant touch of vanilla quickly destroyed by everything that is too big about this beer. Not much of a wheat character. Sip able, but more abrasive than a decent scotch.

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Photo of harrymel
2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bitch rolls out tawny and thin, small bubbles rise infrequently to an etched surface. I could smell booze as soon as I cracked the crown, plenty of alcohol, vanilla, oak, more booze, butterscotch and a hint of peppermint in the background. Flavor is sweet with plenty of toffee character and marshmallows. Vanilla and spicy mint in the background (this is intriguing). Reminds me very little of a Wheatwine, and accordingly, I find myself enjoying this one a bit. The body is medium with moderate on low carb. Would have liked a bit of a simple syrup consstency, but hey, can't have it all.

Overall, and interesting beer, the mint nuances threw me off, and the ethanol is poorly shrowded, I'd drink again, but it's a mood beer for me I think.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour is a hazy golden amber. Nose is rubbing alcohol and peaches. Taste is a bit better, very sweet caramel malt with peaches and golden fruits, fair amount of grain to the feel, lots of sugars left behind, Nikolai vodka in back with a fair bit of heat and lingering boozy finish.

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Photo of DIM
2.9/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Split with my dad. I know these made it to PA, but I sure didn't see any. Thanks to OHLRangers for the chance to try this unique offering. Dad gave it a B+.

a: This was a clear, moderately dark golden color. It poured with a short lived fizzy head.

s: Smells interesting, even if it is a bit overpowering. Plenty of sweet elements, the boozy bourbon, vanilla, lots of obvious maple syrup, and something that reminds me of the candied sugar in a tripel. The heat wafting off of this strong, but not obnoxious. Sweet and boozy pretty well sums this one up.

t: Sweet maple, bourbon, and booze up front. Sweeter than I normally like, but it does start off pretty well. These flavors carry over into the finish, which is pretty hot. There is a tingly, unpleasant medicinal quality at the end as well. All I can taste is the booze, the barrel, and the maple. Any wheatwine characteristics are all but lost. Sweet almost to the point of being cloying and too hot.

m: Medium bodied with gentle carbonation.

d: I was less enamored with CBS than most, but it was a good bit better than Nemesis. I like the idea and I respect innovation, but this is a bit of a mess overall. I don't get the idea that time would help any, I'd be afraid it would only get sweeter. Thanks for the chance Ed, I am glad I tried it. Dad liked it I'm happy to say.

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Photo of mullenite
2.93/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I was really excited to try this one with all the hype it has received. A maple-bourbon barrel-aged wheatwine? Yes, please. Where do I sign up. Thankfully this was thrown in as an extra in a trade from a very generous BeerAdvocate so I got my chance to try it.

Appearance - Hazy orange in color with pretty much no head even with a really hard pour. As a result there is very little lacing left on the glass. I left some of this in the glass last night and this morning it is crystal clear so it appears the haze is coming from chill haze, I also recall it being crystal clear while in the bottle.

Nose - Smells strongly of honey, wheat, and some citrus. There is some fusel heat in there. Not very complex, the alcohol kind of kills it as it isn't a layer but a glaring fault. I'm guessing the honey is coming from the maple but really it has an orange blossom honey thing going on and not really something I would associate with maple.

Taste - The taste... it's good at first with a really great bready, wheat, honey flavors. I would really dig this and understand the hype if it wasn't for the fact that it feels like I'm taking a shot with each sip. I have had many a beer, similar in alcohol content, that was not this hot. A little bit of heat in the background can be great, it can add a layer of complexity to the flavor. In the case of this beer it's beyond that. It is so strong it takes away from the flavor. As the beer warms up closer to room temperature some of the heat subsides and a little bit of the bourbon comes out but it is still too hot. I wish I had another bottle so I could revisit this in a couple years.

Mouthfeel - Medium, creamy, body with a slight tickle of carbonation.

Overall - I don't get the hype. It's a decent beer but Terrapin Gamma Ray blows it away as does Sam Adams Double White. I'm glad to have tried it, with much thanks to Kelp, but I wouldn't seek it out again. If I were to come across another bottle I would age it, but I'm not going to trade anything rare for it.

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Photo of brdc
2.97/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Small capped bottle poured int a snifter.

Peculiar color, a hazy, light orange, with not much of a head, just a very very thin tan covering that dissipates in seconds.
Aroma is interesting, but quite boozy. Some oak notes, a lot of vanilla, burnt sugar, and again, more alcohol.
Medium bodied, the flavor suffers - a lot - from excessive alcohol heat. Sweet notes get drowned, and what would be a good sweet sipper, feels like low quality spirit.
I can see some promise, however, and it is still possible that in another two years this will be good. The other bottle goes back to the cellar, for at least two more years..

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Photo of Magery
3/5  rDev -27.5%

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Founders Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 701 ratings
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