Founders Nemesis 2009 | Founders Brewing Company

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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.

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Reviews: 470 | Ratings: 701
Photo of mscudder
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one with some friends at Brick Store Pub.

A - Rich orange hue with a pale head. The color has a nice pure gleam to it.

S - Maple syrup and caramel compose the heavy sweetness on the nose. Some booze and bourbon round it out.

T - Nice sweetness compared to what I was expecting. Mostly citrus-filled flavors with bourbon, maple and vanilla. Some woody oak comes through as well.

M - Big body with a consistency closer to syrup than any pale ale!

O - Complex and simple. I wish this one was on rotation.

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Photo of JustinMatthew
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy Jim for this one.

Poured to a Yards "Ales of The Revolution" tulip glass and shared alone. Hazy burnt orange with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Smell is lite but some vanilla, peach and apricot. Taste is very nice, lots going on for being a few years old: apricot, toffee & caramel, some peach. maple & vanilla from the oak aging. Easy drinking. Very sweet but one of the nicer wheat wines I've had over the years. Currently trying to track down a 2010 and looking forward to it for comparison.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1584th Review on BA
Bottle to Founders Snifter

Thanks to Daysinthewake for this one

App- This was a deep glowing orange color with a deep sunset color. A bit clear and wasnt expecting that. The head was a bit small at quick to recede. A bit tan in color and I would say its only 1/2" at most. Didnt leave much cling or lace. Maybe a couple bubbles. A lot of sediment in this one.

Smell- There is really a lot going on in the glass. It had a ton of aromatics even after 3 years. It seems to be developing quite well. The base wheatwine is quite prevalent with a ton of deep and rich malts and a bit of mango/papaya sweetness. The maple is still sticking around quite well. A bit warm on the nose. The booze is almost too much with an ethanol aroma that makes it sting a bit.

Taste- A lot of the flavors carry over to the taste on this beer. Like I said for 3 years this is holding up well but dont think its for me. The base wheatwine doesnt show too much on the flavor vs. the nose. The maple comes through with a warm breakfast like flavor and then with the bourbon it might be a too much. It was very stinging and oaky and almost too much. Took me much longer to drink this one than I thought.

Mouth- A deeper medium body with a medium carbonation. A bit creamy and a bit full on the finish. The residual flavors of this beer are pretty much the listing on the bottle. Wheatwine sweetness, sticky maple, stinging bourbon.

Drink- I really wanted to like this one more. It seems to be dropping but it is still really good if you take the time to sip on it and just enjoy a vintage beer versus trying to just pound it quick. For 12% it drinks very full and you know its boozy.

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Photo of stalker5
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter glass to a deep golden amber with an off-white head that dissipates fast. Smells are many with burbon, maple, cinnamon, raisin, a little toasty/bready and smoked malts. Taste has some maple and bourbon hits up front, and light hops flavor. Mouthfeel is rough, full body and light carbonation. Drinkability is great I think. The only thing I'd dock it for would be the warmth from the alcohol content in it, otherwise it's great.

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Photo of wspscott
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

update on 09/28/2012
12oz bottle in Duvel tulip

found a couple of these in the basement and thought this would be a good time to revisit

A: looks like a light colored caramel syrup with no head/lace, not pretty or even very pretty
S: Caramel and toffee sweetness with a bourbon backbone in the background.
T: The bourbon is much more prevalent on the tongue vs. nose but is not at all overwhelming. At the same time, the bourbon and oak seems to linger for a really long time. Some definite tannins, but not astringent because of all of the residual sugars. The alcohol heat has basically disappeared by now, it is there, but not overwhelming or even noticeable unless you go looking for it. I think this would come across as very cloying if not for the tannins that help provide a dryness that is very needed.
M: Still very rich/creamy mouthfeel but not cloying given the tannins. A very low level of carbonation that suggests any remaining bottles don't have long to live.
D: Still very much a sippin' beer but one that has improved with age, reminds me of a creamy english-style old ale or barley wine. Kids gone to bed, an excellent way to finish off the night. All in all a better beer vs. 2 years ago, I think I have one more bottle left.

new numbers: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.0, 4.0

original review on 08/02/2010
12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
bottled: 2/3/10

Original numbers: 3.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 3.5
A: Hazy, light tan color with no head, only a thin film on the surface. The lack of a head or lace is not surprising given the 12% alcohol level. Honestly, it doesn't look very appealing or pretty :)
S: Surprisingly muted, there is some bourbon notes, but not much else. A little bit of caramel becomes noticeable as it warms.
T: The bourbon is very present, but not overwhelming, at the same time, it seems to completely dominate everything else. The alcohol is not obvious at all, which is very surprising, I would have expected a little heat.
M: Creamy/rich, yet not cloying mouthfeel. A low level of carbonation, but still a little tingle. I think the mouthfeel might be the best part of the beer.
D: This is very much a sipping/desert beer. I can't imagine reaching for another one right now. In the end, this tastes like a weak and creamy bourbon. I find it interesting, but I am not sure I like it. It will be interesting to see how this ages, I'll have to revisit in a couple of months.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
2.29/5  rDev -44.4%
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 cpetrone84
2.88/5  rDev -30.1%
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 Gosox8787
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle served slightly chilled into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Medium to light brown in color with a slight beige lacing. Does not pour a large head at all. Minimal retention.

Aroma: Big brown sugar notes upfront with some strong, boozy bourbon as well. At this age, I'm not getting the maple as much, but the sweetness is there. Unfortunately, time hasn't mellowed the alcohol bite in the nose. There is a huge booze bite.

Taste: Brown sugar, butterscotch, and a touch of maple. The bourbon notes are not huge, but there is bourbon and vanilla. The wheat contributes an interesting bread note. There's also a touch of bitterness. Interesting and complex, but suffers from still drinking a bit hot.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with lower than average carbonation. Warming throughout.

Overall, an interesting take on a wheatwine. It's not really a style I've ever been too keen on but I like a lot of the elements here. Unfortunately, everything doesn't come together as well as it should and this still drinks way hot for a beer this old. Definitely would like to see if this is a weird stage for the beer or it just drinks this hot normally.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks mike for tossing this my way a while ago. sampled side-by-side with Nemesis 2010. enjoyed from a founders snifter.

a - semi-transparent orange with TONS of bubbles and what seems to be sediment floaties all over. the same thin off-white head that was gone quick leaving a bubbly ring on the surface that was on the 2010 is present here. it is amazing how different these beers are, you'd think that the name would change. streaky lacing.

s - soft caramel toffee booziness. butterscotch and oak. some maple.

t - very boozy. butterscotch toffee caramel. the bourbon is very forward. wheaty. cloyingly sweet.

m - mouth is boozy and a bit thick.

o - overall, wheatwhine is not my favorite style, but i have had more than a few that i really enjoyed. this beer is pretty good, but not something i'd actively seek again like some other wheatwines. the 2010 had lost a lot of it's luster, but was still a few steps better than the 2009 (i know, different beer entirely, but still...same name).

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.36/5  rDev -67%
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 johnnnniee
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from JoeyBeerBelly, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a slightly hazy deep amber orange color with a thinnish white head that disappears almost instantly. The smell is sweet and malty with lots of sugary dried fruits and a bit of spice and alcohol on the nose. The flavor is sweet up front with an orange caramel sweetness to it before a big hit of warming alcohol comes at you. A little spice finds its way in towards a sweet lingering sticky finish. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet syrupy mouthfeel. This is a sipper to be sure, and I'm glad I got to try it. I can only imagine how hot this was when it was fresh.

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Photo of dpasotti
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-amber honey in color. Minimal head and lacing. Aged pale malt sweetness, vanilla, smooth bourbon on the nose. Very deep aroma on this guy.

The flavor is even more complex. Similar notes as the aroma plus definite coconut, as welll as caramelly syrup. Just a huge densely-layered beer that remains smooth. The bourbon character is perfect. It doesn't dominate, just adds another level.

Mouthfeel is pretty sturdy, as expected. Low carbonation. Had a few of these when it initially came out and I don't remember it being anywhere near this good or this rich. Overall I really wish I'd bought more of these because this is a unique and spectacular beer.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a dull, cloudy orange while yielding a thin, short-lived white head. nose is both fragrant and unique... notes of maple, bourbon, vanilla, a touch of fruit, hops, and some astringency in the background.

more of the same delivered in the flavor. on the sweet side, but nowhere near cloying. still pretty hot and some hoppiness despite 2 years of aging. chewy, medium-full bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

overall, a very nice change of pace. interesting and complex, yet i have to say i think nemesis, even at 12% ABV, is a better beer fresh. sort of a moot point given the status of the beer, unfortunately.

(originally reviewed: 12-19-2011)

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Photo of harrymel
2.88/5  rDev -30.1%
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 cvm4
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange and laced all around with sediment. Very thin off white head that lingers around the edge of the glass.

S - Very big notes of bourbon and vanilla.

T - Maple and vanilla that carries some sweetness with it. Bourbon comes through in spades but also has a lot of booziness to it.

M - Low carbonation and thin body. With a beer this big it's a bit of a letdown.

O - This beer delivers in every aspect except for the mouthfeel/body.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Andy for cracking this one. Poured into a tulip. This one pours a cloudy golden orange color with no head.

Butterscotch and toffee on the aroma with a mellow booze aroma and a bit of peppermint in the background. More of the same on the pallet with rich toffee and butterscotch. A little bit of a metallic flavor.

Full and sticky on the body with soft carbonation. Overall pretty solid. Seems to hold up nicely. Perhaps this lost some carbonation but solid all around.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I just got my CBS glass in, but I unfortunately don't have anymore bottles. So, I figured this would be worthy to break it in.

A - Pours a hazy sediment ridden burnt orange with a this sheet of khaki head. Thin webs stay on the top of the beer and leave a few spots down the glass.

S - a lot of bourbon and oak, some vanilla and maple, and a touch of booze.

T - Sweet vanilla and molasses with some citrus, I guess from the wheatwine? Not super deep or complex but different and definitely enjoyable. The alcohol is still pretty present as well...

M - Low carbonation, chewy body but slightly tannic.

O - It still might be a bit too early for this beer. The heat of the alcohol is a little much with the wheatwine base, it's sharp and not quite enjoyable as it could probably with a few more years on it. I definitely prefer Nemesis 2010 more.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/2/12
*From notes

A: Cloudy mead orange in color. A good pour yields a white .75 finger head that dissipates quickly. A non-descript collar and some sickly looking bubbles top the beer.

S: Beautifully mellowed wood. A touch of vanilla and fresh honey comb. I also get some wheat, or some sort of foundationary ingredient. But the star of the show is the spirit soaked oak.

T: This is my first, and probably only time having this, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that this must've been a beast when fresh off of the bottling line. In it's current state, I have to believe it's at or near peak. Just delicious. Toast, cigar tobacco, lots of wheat, toasted vanilla and coconut milk. Alcohol too. Just because this bad boy has mellowed out doesn't mean the booze is somehow MIA. As it warms, I get a bit of saccharin.

M: The biggest (and really only) issue I've got with this beer is the feel. Normally Founders nails this, but not on their '09 Nemesis. Undercarbed and thin(ner). Sure the texture is pleasant, but I've gotta swish this mother to get even a trace of carbonation.

O: To reiterate: DRINK FOUNDERS NEMESIS 2009 NOW! It's peaking and simply gorgeous. Giving it any more time in the cellar will certainly hurt this delicious Wheatwine. In fact it may be the best Wheatwine I've ever had, seeing as I don't normally find them all too appealing. An easy recommendation - a great bottle of beer.

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Photo of litheum94
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/3/10. Reviewed 3/16/12.

Pours a very hazy, sediment heavy, orange-golden body. Slow building and scant, off-white head; it leaves quickly.

Amazing bourbon aromas. Vanilla, molasses, maple, caramel and booze. Wow! Smoked wood and some wheat. Smells great!

Super boozy right away, with vanilla, oak and molasses, followed by a slow alcohol burn. Woody, maple syrup flavor. There's a ton of smokiness and oak on the finish, with more alcohol as well.

If you wanted to know what aging a beer on bourbon barrels can do, this is the beer to try. Great beer, and it's aged nicely.

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Photo of beerhan
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kecarl7 for sending me this finally getting around to reviewing it.

A-Poured into my CBS snifter, little to no head with a Jurassic Park amber color with a nice white lacing around the edge and thick legs.

S-Malty and biscuitty. Maple and molasses with a hint of oak

T-Lots of wheat and some bourbon notes up front followed by a caramel and maple after taste. Very sweet with a nice bite.

M-Almost no carbonation at roughly two years old and it goes down smooth. The booziness is rather subtle for how strong this beer is and it is very drinkable.

O-I think this beer is fantastic and is holding up rather well. The maple is a little more subtle than it once was but much more pronounced than something like CBS. I wish to see this make an appearance again.

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Photo of b3shine
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter. Looks good; just the color that a BB wheatwine should (opaque, but a little lighter than a barleywine. Smells decent; the bourbon and maple are present, but a little more subdued than I had hoped. Tastes very good; easily the best wheatwine I've ever had. Mouthfeel is excellent; the aging has surely helped. Overall, a great beer that I'll definitely have again in the future.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled October 2011
An aggressive pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet Tulip just barely produces a fat-one-finger thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a full amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, orange-copper tinged copper hue. The beer has a woody, perhaps slightly musty, plywood like oak character up front; the finish has a spiciness to it that accentuates some warm alcohol notes. Sweet whiskey soaked raisins, caramelized sticky malt, perhaps a hint of marmalade somehow, and, now that I have noticed it, a sweet maple note towards the finish, but really this smells pronouncedly of booze, wood and sweet toffee/caramelized character.

Sweetish and thick feeling as it first hits my palate, the finish dries out just a touch, but still retains a ton of sweetness; it gets dried out just a touch by some oaky astringency, some spicy wood and whiskey notes, a toasted maltiness and a spicy / hot alcohol note. The mixture of up front sweetness and hot alcohol are the most dominant notes here, but are a bit too much and seems to clash a bit. The sweetness is made up of caramelized flavors, some raisin notes, some definite maple like sweetness (though this is fairly subtle), sweet whiskey notes and lots of toffee like character. The heat in the finish is actually quite pronounced, it doesn’t quite make it undrinkable, but it can be close at times; it does make it undrinkable for my wife though.

Not bad, and I can see why so many people like this beer, but the whiskey notes and alcohol are just too much here for this beer to be balanced. It gets a touch more balanced as it warms, but never really quite gets there for me.

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Photo of neorunner
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Blind Beer #4 thanks to DougoftheFuture in Round 6 of the Blind Beer BIF.

Ok, I share some brewing space with a fellow homebrewer in the basement of a building he owns. He rents the upstairs to a scuba shop, the back lot to Snap-On guys, and has his printer repair office somewhere in the middle. Anyways, we affectionately call it "the shop" and this is where Mitch, Webster, and I enjoyed #4.

Middle of our brewday, Australian Pale Ale for the curious, and Webster, another guy in our homebrew club, swings by. I figure this is a great time to pop a blind beer and discuss it. Mitch, Webster, and I split a 12oz short bottle. Poured into 3 4oz. taster glasses. Mitch and Websters glasses are nice clear dark golden hue. Mine is the same color but filled with floaties of various sizes.

Aroma is molasses and booze, this stuff smells potent. Little to no head or retention, almost expected with the strong alcohol nose on this guy. Flavor wise this beer is vanilla and whiskey through and through. It almost tastes like someone added way too many whiskey soaked oak chips into a brew and blew it outa the water. Mouth feel is thick and sticky with a nice lingering aftertaste. The beer tastes like a BSGA aged in whiskey barrels. I can't think of any commercial barrel aged beers that come in 12oz. bottles and taste similar to this. Maybe a homebrew?

The reveal: Founders Nemesis 2009. Wow, just wow. Left turn from where I expected this beer. Still a tasty treat that I enjoyed sipping on and I'm glad I shared it between 3 people as it packs a punch.

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 02/03/10 Poured into snifter and small glass

A: Pours a darker apricot, orange color, tiny carbonation bubbles, touch of head disappears fairly quickly, cloudy, more carbonation in small glass

S: Sweetness, vanilla, something I can't grasp-maybe allspice, oak, bit of alcohol, pleasant

T: A lot going on here, malts, some wheatness, touch of honey, I like it

M: A touch thicker/syrupy than it looks, good stuff

O: Something different than I've ever had and I'm glad, complex, Founder's is awesome! Wish I would've shared with a friend to hear their perceptions

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Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter. It poured a darker, orange amber color with a thin white ring sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a good amount of the barrel character to it. I get a woody, vanilla flavor mixing with the bourbon alcohol. The sweeter, wheat malts come out along with a bit of caramel and maple. Great aroma to it overall.

The taste shows more of the sweeter, wheat wine character to it up front along with a little bit of the caramel and maple. In the finish I get some woody oak and vanilla coming out just before the bourbon takes over. There is a bitterness to it as well that really helps balance out the wheatwine sweetness.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall it was a great beer. The bourbon barrel had a lot of influence in the taste, but it really complimented the wheatwine flavors as well. Awesome bourbon forward beer to sip on this cold evening.

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Founders Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 701 ratings.
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