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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Ratings: 701 |  Reviews: 470
Photo of Lunch
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at NotB/EBF 2010 in Boston, MA into a tasting glass at the appropriate temperature (02/20/10).

A: Nice grade of a dark, golden copper capped with a slight off-white head. Looks a bit oily.

S: Pungent aroma of bourbon/whiskey with tons of oak and vanilla. Citrus undertones and a bit of hops. The maple is there, but it is subtle.

T: Complex flavor profile with a fairly sweet candied bourbon/whiskey surrounded by wood and vanilla. Citrus is there as is some honey and caramel. The maple is subtly distributed throughout and adds yet another level of complexity. Alcohol is definitely there.

M: Fuller-bodied and somewhat oily, with some heat from the booze.

D: For a 12% abv. BA beer, this one drinks quite nicely, but the alcohol is certainly not hidden completely.

Wheatwines certainly are an interesting style and Founders does a great job here adding a nice bourbon/maple barrel-aging quality to the mix. Recommended.

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Photo of manahansf
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks kpruim01!

pours a very murky brown copper. very little head at all and very light retention.

huge oak and vanilla up front just smack you in the face. light bourbon and maple with a touch of citrus.

very smooth overall. the bourbon really comes out with lighter oak and vanilla. the maple really makes its presence at the finish. lots of booze, a bit much.

very creamy and full with a bit of chew. the body looks a bit thin but it is everything but. nice carbonation mixed with alcohol really numb the gums.

this was a treat, i could see myself drinking far more of this but at 12%, 1 at a time.... i have a hard time seeing this age however the maple could begin to stand out as the other flavors cool down.

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Photo of Buebie
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After weeks of searching I hit pay dirt yesterday and finally found a 4 pack of this.

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an oversized snifter. A hard pour produces a smallish off white head, settling quicly to leave a collar of retention.
Color is a glowing, hazy, not at all transparent amber orange. Plenty of floaties in there too. Looks great.

Aroma is off the charts, with a large amount of wood, vanilla, somthing resembling an oak aged bourbon barrel. Smelling strongly of sweet rich caramel malt and maple.

Taste is quite sweet, a blasting of sweet unfermentables in there, keeping booze at bay. It is warm, but not hot or cloying. Sweet honey butter flavors providing a rich complex brew. Maple vanilla flavors, along with lightly toasted wood, malt is shinning through brilliantly. Juicy floral hops bitter lightly into the finish with flavors of pine and mango.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Finishing smooth and sweet with lingering wood, hops and sweet nectar of malt.
This is dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy orangish color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice mix of wood and maple that compliments a warm wheat malt aroma. The bourbon barrel aroma is pretty intense; very nice. The taste is good. It has a damn tasty wheat and maple flavor with excellent barrel aging. The malt bill is light, meaning it's basically pale wheat malts, bisquit, and Munich malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. The drinkability is great! The maple and bourbon hide the alcohol well and make this a very complex and highly drinkable wheat wine.

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Photo of jsh420
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled 2/3/10

pours cloudy amber with a 1 finger white head that had good retention fades to film and left no lacing

smells just like it should bourbon maple carmel vanilla but its just not that strong

taste - while the nose doesnt pack the punch i thought it would the taste does - sweet candy maple bourbon and booze - this beer reminds me of old curmudgeon if it was aged in maple bourbon barrels

mouthfeel - feel thin at first then this slick brew coats the mouth and leaves lots of heat from the booze

drinkability - well this beer is a sipper - i think this beer will only get better as it ages - right now just too hot

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

Poured straight from the bottle into my Michelob Celebrate goblet.

It pours a hazy leather brown, minimal lacing and even less carbonation.

Smells of Maple and Nutmeg, Vanilla and Bourbon mixed in there as well. Pretty faint all things considered.

Syrupy smooth, Bitterness on the sides, vanilla cream in the back. Hops are noticeable,

Starts off thin, but finishes full and viscous.

Very complex and interesting, but I find myself asking if I enjoy it, to which I must say no I really don't. I'm pretty disappointed, as I love everything Founder's has done, with the exception of the Rye stuff. I really do appreciate its complexity, but just don't like the taste.

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Photo of morimech
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with one inch of white head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Nice level of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is complex and intriguing. A bit boozy at first but after it has a chance to open up, hints of vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and a touch of spice. The flavor is also very complex. The barrel aging is noticed right off the bat with hints of bourbon and vanilla. Other flavors come into play like caramel and maple syrup. I do not know how much of the actual wheatwine I taste, probably close to zero. Alcohol heat comes into the finish and is quite strong. I would like to give this a higher taste score but the barrel aging and alcohol just dominates. The body is soft and creamy. Silky smooth despite the alcohol that introduces some heat in the mouth. At 12% ABV it is not going to be consumed in quantity. The alcohol forces this to be a sipper.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of meich75
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a thick maple color with almost no head. Sweet smell with just a hint of alcohol. Sweet maple and malt taste initially masked the alcohol. Finished with a bourbon flavour similiar to Backwoods Bastard, although I liked this one much better.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pour like golden syrup cascading into the glass. very little head some tasty lacing though

S: Smells of toffee candy sweetness. sweet bourbon.

T: Just like i would imagine. sweet maple bourbon. has a banana ester to it. reminds me of banana pancakes for some reason.... with a shot of bourbon. that makes me smile. considering its a beer the shot of whiskey flavor does come off a bit hot and leaves my breath warm after i drink it

M: real full bodied. completely coats my mouth with some slickness. a slight bit of carb

D: Nicely made beer! I can tell it has been created with love and care. lots of big flavors that meld together quite nicely but still each ingredient is showcased. While it is a bit hot that makes me even more excited for when i taste an aged one. It is a bit sweet as well so its taking me a minute to drink the whole bottle... which isnt exactly a bad thing.

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Photo of chaz410
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Got this bottle at the Flying Saucer.
Pours a thick wheat colored dark yellow body with NO head at all.
Smells of thick vanilla, maple syrup, sweet caramel and a thin alcohol undertone.
Taste is intense to say the least. Heavy heavy mapel syrup notes. A good bourbon and vanilla flavoring over some thick, spicey wheat malt with some caramel malt as well. Very strong alcohol presence. A slight hop note at the end that is piney, but it's blurred out by the alcohol burn. There was a sensation similar to butterscotch schnaups in there. This was the first beer I've had that actually gave me a low gut taste/impact as well. Similar to taking a shot of ICE 101 schnaups.
Thick smooth mouthfeel, very silky.
Not a beer to take on unless your ready for it, but if your ready, you'll be very very happy!!!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, no huge thanks to my KY friend for getting this one into my fridge. I had been dying to try it and he was kind enough to make sure I got a bottle quickly to satisfy my appetite for this monster. Served at a near perfect fifty five degrees and poured into a snifter this one was consumed on 02/21/2010.

The pour was interesting. Dark amber with loads of honey colored hints shine through the glass. Small head on top, maybe a finger deep at its zenith and settles down quickly to reveal just a slight bit of lacing that is struggling to cling to the sides. The overall color though should be noted as stunning. You really need to let this one open up to really appreciate it for what it is. Stunning use of aroma and flavor here. Rich oak notes, hints of butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, boozy bourbon notes, a light tickle of spice. Rediculously complex and yet simple. Sipping brings on touches of grapes, light fruit notes, hints of breads and light grains, really just a tremendous amount of depth and complexity. Final, fading sips are of vanilla and bourbon mixed with a rich oak note that seem to just sit oh so perfectly as they fade out.

Overall I am not really sure what to call this one but it is certainly one of the most different and unique offerings I have ever come across. Kudos to founders as usual.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured at 50 degrees into a Leffe wine-style glass.

Pours without more than a film of head over a nearly opaque orange-to-brown body; good sticky lacing.

Starts with a white wine aroma - rich fermented grapes, moving into green apple skins, spicy yeast, and some orange peel as it warmed.

Thick in the mouth, with just enuf carbonation - but a palate-filler, no doubt. Flavors are dominated by sweet bourbon whiskey, and accompanied by caramel, a faint hint of maple, and lingering rich fruits in the afterglow. Becomes a little too boozy as it warms.

For the ABV, it has decent drinkability due to the nice combination of flavors.

Was able to find several more just after this review, so will definitely be cellaring some for the next couple of years - should make for an interesting comparison.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.49/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my New Belgium globe glass. NOTE: This is a style I know very little about, so I'll do my best to rate it to both my personal tastes, and the description of the style.

Appearance: Pours a very murky burnt orange/rust color, with one finger of white head that subsides fairly quickly Good lacing.

Smell: Nutty bourbon aromas dominate. The malt is hidden behind the bourbon, and there are some fruity notes as well. Very nice.

Taste: Well, lots of bourbon. You get a strong nutty bourbon flavor without the bourbon bite. The sharpness of the bourbon is cut by the sweet malt. There is a mild chocolatey/roasted note in the finish. The alcohol is evident in this one, throughout all aspects of the taste. The beer warms nicely as it is going down. There's maybe a hint of sweetness from the maple, but that could just be because I know this was aged in maple-bourbon barrels. I am a big fan of bourbon-aged beers, but in this one, the bourbon flavors really dominate it. If I didn't know this was a wheatwine, there is no way I would have been able to guess that from the flavor profile. I can't really taste any wheat in it at all.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy. Very nice.

Drinkability: A sipper, but a very good one. If you're a fan of bourbon-aged beers, you'll enjoy this one. I don't really think it's representative of the style, but it's very enjoyable nevertheless. One is enough. While I don't know if this is really something to consider, the price (~$20 for a four pack), is a little prohibitive as well.

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Photo of bamadog
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 2/19/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a dark and deep honey color and starts with a short (1 cm) fizzy white head and fades immediately to nothing other than the thinnest ring around the surface; body is cloudy and shows little carbonation; leaves minimal spotty lacing.

Smell: Quite amazing and easily (for me, anyway) the best aspect of this beer; smell is super sweet maltiness and a sweet berry-like presence; alcohol is B-I-G in the nose and is very bourbonesque; as it warms up the, maple becomes one of the more dominant presences in the nose and it really adds a nice bit of balance to that big alcohol.

Taste: Alcohol is huge here as well and the first and formeost presence throughout the drink - very much like drinking a shot of bourbon with and astringnet woodiness and sweet compliment of vanilla; tremendously sweet maltiness quickly follows the alcohol; the maple eventually comes out as it warms as well but it still owned by the huge alcohol and sweetness. I feel that this beer needs to age for a while for the alcohol to mellow out, and I feel that the sweetness is almost cloying behind it. I've got a 4-pack on wax and will give it a shot again in 12 months to see how it's doing.

Mouthfeel: Huge warmth from the ABV; not much carbonation to speak of; body is slick and oily; mouth finishes very dry and the belly is left especially warm.

Drinkability: Lower than I'd like it to be for some of the hype surrounding this beer -- not that it's bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it is the first beer from Founders that didn't make me say, "Damn, I need to go buy more of this right now..."; ABV is pretty high and it's not really masked or blended especially well and the sweetness is a bit too much for right now.

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Photo of corby112
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark hazy golden orange color that is completely opaque with a one finger frothy off white head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic chunks floating around with visible carbonation bubbling up.

The nose on this beer is incredible. Slight earthy leathery malt notes lying underneath a luscious oak character that gives off a huge vanilla aroma with hints of toffee, subtle bourbon, sweet alcohol and maple. It's nice to have a BA beer that isn't just dominated by the liquor. Founders continues to pull this off. Hopefully the taste will be as pleasing.

This beer is surprisingly pretty hop forward with a nice dry bitterness that lingers throughout over the complex body into a sweet dry finish. Medium bodied with a strong sweet alcohol presence that slightly overpowers the leathery malt notes. Again, as in the aroma, the barrel aging crates subtle flavors which are noticeable without killing all of the other characteristics. Slight earthy oak presence with a lot of smooth vanilla and slight toffee flavor. The bourbon is there but most of the heat comes from the high ABV which is not as well masked as I would like. That being said, this beer is complex and flavorful enough to make it pretty damn drinkable. I'm not a big fan of the wheat wine style but this interpretation is pretty good. A bit too hot perhaps but it seems like it will improve greatly with some age.

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

Murky looking bronze body. Thin coating of a beige "oil spill" on top. Lacing comes in sporadic thin rings. Aroma is strong. EtOH, bourbon, vanilla, rum, barrel tannins. Mouthfeel is very agreeable. Silky and velvety. Body around medium, medium-full, though this beer does project some viscosity through the sheer creaminess of it. As I work my way through this beer, the alcohol presence really diminishes. This is quite easy to drink is spite of the a/v. Such a creamy texture throwing out flavors of oak and maple and vanilla and exotic fruits and bourbon. This is a great beer as is. In 2-4 years, I predict outstanding.

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Photo of bbeane
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a snifter... starts with a weak head that disappears quickly leaving an ever so tiny amount of lacing. Beer is reddish amber color with lots of tiny sediment floating in it

S- Smells sweet with oaky notes and a definite alcoholic aroma

T- Starts out sweet... first accompanied by notes of oak or wood, and finishes with a strong presence of alcohol

M- Light to medium bodied with very little carbonation

D- Another quality brew from Founders... If it were more available, I would definitely buy more


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Photo of nlmartin
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a coppery orange coloration. The head was thin white and resolved into a film. Thin webs of lacing remained on my glass.

Smell: The aroma of the beer has loads of sweet bourbon maple syrup. Very nice supporting roles played by bazoka joe smelling yeast, cloves, a bit of pine, very nice fruit notes apple, figs, dates a bit of raisins. Smells super!

Taste: This reminds me of a bourbon fueled Bananas Fosters. Nice maple syrup, bourbon vanilla, peppery alcohol and spices, a bit of pine hops and tropical fruit cocktail. Very nicely done. Think I will let some of these lay down for a year.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is medium. The mouth is pretty alcohol laden but I think this is working out well. The beer is a sipper for sure. Looking forward to having this several times.

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

Poured from a bottle purchased today into a Tulip

A - Very nice copper color kind of like scotch or whisky. About of finger of head.

S - Giant bourbon smell hits quickly along with vanilla, I don't smell any maple syrup at all.

T - Wow a ton of bourbon flavor right off the bat, as it warms there is a great maple syrup flavor that is very nice with the bourbon. More sweetness comes outs towards the end.

M - Syrupy goodness and buttery. Kind of like caramel and butter. Very nice.

D - Goes down great, the bourbon is always present and maybe the sharpness of it will go down with times. I definitely would not of guessed this was 12% abv. Definitely a great sipper. Another fantastic offering from Founders.

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Photo of alexgash
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Beautifully hazy peachy copper body. Pinkie finger of dense, creamy, dirty beige head. Good lacing. Complex nose of bourbon, vanilla, oak, canned pear syrup, graham crackers, tropical fruit cocktail, pepper, and bubblegum yeast.

Ripe fruit and peppery alcohol/hops up front. Bourbon, vanilla, and a soothing oakiness soon slip in. Sweet tropical fruits, with notes of strawberry, kiwi, and pear show up, mixing with the bourbon surprisingly nicely. Hints of some syrupy/fruity sweetness reveal themselves, along with almost-ripe banana bitterness and boozy banana bread in the finish. Lingering vanilla and bourbon and peaches. Warming, but not hot. Thick, luscious mouthfeel that really coats the mouth. Wow. Perfect, low-level, smooth carbonation. Excellent and a wonderful way to start off this very promising new "Nemesis" series!

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Photo of beerman207
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beer pours a cloudy dark orange with a nice pure white head that leaves lacing around the glass. Good skim left behind once the head dissipates.

S: Smell is strong of bourbon, vanilla, spiciness from the booze, and maybe even some strawberry?

T: Wow, this is where the good stuff comes in. The bourbon just hits so quickly and the vanilla tones as well as some real sweetness and even some malt I detect in the back. I do detect some faint strawberry in here and some good hop presence along with the alcohol for the finish (not bad considering the abv).

M: SMOOTH - wow is this smooth for not having any age on it. It has a creamy texture that just feels like velvet on my palate.

D: Wow. If this thing is 12%, I'm in trouble because it doesn't taste like it! Very impressive offering from Founders. I'm glad I have another to age because this should be amazing next year.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
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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Founders Nemesis 2009 from Founders Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 701 ratings.
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