Founders Nemesis 2010 | Founders Brewing Company

507 Reviews
Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcann2pu on 07-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 507 | Ratings: 933
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle into a stemmed new Belgium glass. Been hanging onto this for a couple years, figure now that I'm snowed in is as good a time as any to enjoy it. 2010 vintage, enjoyed 2.10.13.

A- Pours a dark cola brown with red. Fizzy as it pours, but not much head to speak of. A little ring.

S- Mostly dark fruit. A little vanilla.

T/M- I remember this being hop-forward when fresh, but hardly any hops left, unsurprisingly. It's aged very nicely, though. Dried fruit, raisins and cherries. Brown sugar. Vanilla. A little bit of booze on the finish, as it warms. All in perfect balance. Despite the fizzy look as it poured, almost no carbonation, with a medium mouthfeel. It definitely has a port-like quality.

O- Wonderful. I remember liking it fresh, but I love it three years in. A perfect sipping beer. One of those "better than the sum of its parts" situations. I wish I had more! (ISO...)

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Photo of thecheapies
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Leftovers from the Founders Tap-Takeover at D's 6-Pack.

Damn. Another accidental pint pour! And, topped-off, too.

Pours purple-y, brown-black. Some sudsiness on top. Looks hefty.

Smells of rich toffee, dark caramel, grape, and an earthiness from what was heaps of pine/herbal hops.

Following the nose with more toffee and grape notes. Still has a pine-like hoppiness that is much more subdued compared to how I remember it fresh. Dark roasty malts have started to caramelize and sweeten a bit. Flavors are more delicate. A rounder profile.

Drinks almost with a full body. Carbonation is light-medium. Alcohol is pretty well-masked.

Glad to be able to re-experience this barleywine after over two years. Thought I might never get to revisit it.

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Photo of beagle75
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque, dark brown color showing some light penetration at the edges. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Malt is rich, treacly, with underlying tones of butterscotch and booze.

T: Begins very off-dry, with heavy crystal malt and volatile alcohol that far outdistances any hops flavors. Roasted qualities emerge during the middle, where flavors are sufficiently spirituous as to suggest at barrel-aging. Flavors slowly dry out by the finish, where charcoal-affected bitterness is strong.

M: Thick viscosity, slightly acidic and warming on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: Whether this is truly a barleywine or rather an imperial porter, this is a very big beer in terms of abv and flavor intensity. Bitterness is surprisingly present, over two years after production, although other hop-derived components sensory experience have fled. What remains is the richness, lending an inherent decadence that demands slow savoring or pairing with something equally potent.

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

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Very dark caramel brown color. Head is a small half finger of light cocoa color and on the thin side of creamy in appearance. Lace is minimal but I'm not surprised with this being so high in abv.

Smell is rich, sweet, light caramel and some brown sugar or maple. Hard candy and alcohol. Quite nice.

Taste is not as sweet as the nose but does taste like those red almost clear hard candies. Some toffee and light caramel. Not as good as the nose.

Mouth is on the bright side with medium carbonation. Body is kind of thin with a long wet finish that leaves a bit of alcohol burn in the throat.

Overall I didn't think this was half bad but I think I waited too long to crack it. I received this as an extra in early 2011. Should have cracked it then. It tasted a lot like the Third Coast batch 8211 I cracked about a month ago, way over it's prime. This is my fault not the beer. I will grade accordingly.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours a deep, dark tobacco brown/black. Good finger and a half of tan colored head that falls rapidly to a lazy quarter finger ring. Lacing is solid.

S. Classic American Barleywine...lightly piney hops, fig, cherry, slightly burnt baking chocolate, caramel, and stone fruits. Very nice.

T. Brown sugar, caramel, bitter, citric, and piney hops, drying booze presence, ashy flavor from oak char, dark chocolate, raisin. There is a pronounced burnt toast characteristic to this, presumably from the barrel. The finish, as a result, is very drying, with the hops adding a heavy dose of bitterness. A lot of nice characteristics, but they don't tie together as well as they should, with the brew lacking balance.

M. Full bodied and moderately carbonated. The front and the mid are pleasantly sweet but the finish is awash with a bitter hop blast and charred barrel character. Unfortunately, these characteristics clash, with the drying finish dominating the overall experience.

O. A solid American Barleywine. With a more balanced flavor profile, this would be a top notch example for me.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - darker than I expected, a standard pours erupts a half finger of head that fades in a minute or so

S - alcohol and bourbon hit first, then some truly wonderful oaken and vanilla aromas, which have me grabbing the bottle to see a mention of barrel aging, but there is none. I would bet there is, or maybe the bourbon is just that strong.

T - The bourbon and alcohol more than make themselves known, big and strong, super great even, a big beer without the ego, a barleywine through and through

M&D&O - its a big beer, that much is very clear, you may not expect it at first, but it can sneak up on you, because its bigger than you imagine. and two years on this Barleywine was plenty, tastes great

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

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, nice label. This is the 2010 (i.e. the final) vintage. I THINK a 4-pk of this went for about $20, but they were sold out before I could get to the store. Thanks, Sanford, for hooking me up with one of these! Into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Almost black in the glass (this was characterized, I think, as a 'dark barleywine' when it came out?) but shows nice clarity and a beautiful antique walnut finish when held up to the light. Beige cap with pretty good retention.

Smell: Lots of dark, toasty caramel, herbal, slightly piney hops, and well-incorporated alcohol/dark fruit (maybe macerated figs?).

Taste: Whereas the booze is a pleasant hint in the aromas, all 12% comes roaring through here. When coupled with 100ish IBUs, this still is pretty ballsy even after two years. Bitterness doesn't feel that high w/age, but it's still quite strong, with strong herbal flavors. What does surprise me a bit is the lack of the rich, sticky dark caramel flavors so apparent on the nose. Just a hint of pleasing roast, but nowhere near 'stout' levels. Just a ghost of dark caramel on the finish, but again, not as rich/caramelly as suggested by the nose. As this hits room temperature, a bit of figgy/port sweetness, along with some burnt sugars. If I'd waited for this to hit room temperature, I might have enjoyed it more along the way.

Mouthfeel: Boozy, fairly rich.

Conclusion: Nothing offensive here, but if I was to see these sitting on a shelf in some oft-overlooked bottle shop (even under good conditions) I'm not sure I'd pick up another one. I love Founders, but this isn't one of their better brews, IMO. I think this might have been great at closer to 80 IBUs and 10% abv? As it is, it's fairly tasty (and much better at room temperature), but it'd be hard to cough up $5 for another 12oz bottle.

80 B-

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Photo of marvin213
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark, it looks more like a stout than a barleywine. Granted this one's been sittin' for a couple years now, but there's little head to speak of. The nose is a leathery, licorice molasses. It smells like it would ooze instead of pour.

It tastes like a stout--the black licorice IS there--and it's a little figgy if ya ask me. The burn is there like a barleywine brings, but it's still more of a stout than anything else. 100 IBUs? Guess those went by the wayside these last 700-ish days. Must've saved this one in large part because I simply don't like it. Maybe it's past its prime, but this one's forgettable for me.

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

This beer pours a deep, clear brown, actually pretty much black as far as I can see. Head.. minimal. Lacing, decent.

Aroma is very rich and complex. Very sweet but simplistically mellow at the same time (never syrupy/cloying). This beer has a balance of dark fruits, malts, sugars and earthy, minimal resinous, yet non-abrasive hops. Also has a surprising underlying large amount of roastiness.

The tastes begin with a dark fruity malty sweetness before becoming drier and more roasty as it moves back across the palate. Flavors initially leaned toward the roasty malt, almost bitter chocolate like stout, but as the beer warms a pleasant ripe fruitiness takes over. For a claimed over 100 IBU's there isn't much bitterness, (maybe the age) particularly nothing like some other over the top American Barleywines which can't even be put in the same category as this gem.

Mouthfeel is great; an insanely thick, smooth and chewy body with slowly emerging fine bubbles of carbonation. Finish is substantially long lasting, and seemingly different each sip, bouncing back and forth between resiny hops, candied fruit sweet and roasty malt.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the drinkability of this beer, especially after the year or so of age. This is insanely smooth and balanced, with a robust and complex style-crossing body and flavor.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was given to me by a very generous person. Glad I get to try this. Poured into a snifter with an aggressive pour.

A- Pours a deep, dark, brownish hue with lighter brown and ruby highlights around the edges. It has a tan head that didn't amount to much and didn't hang around very long. The head retreated quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass.

S- Huge aroma. Smells very boozy. Rich maltiness, with dark fruits, vanilla, and caramel, sweetness.

T- Rich dark chocolate hits first. Sweet, rich, malty goodness follows. I think the 100 IBU's in this beer have faded. I'm not getting much of a hop bite. Warming feeling from the 12% ABV. Very complex and interesting. Hints of smokiness, and rich nuttiness.

M- Full bodied thickness. Not too much carbonation here. Seems like the perfect amount for the ABV.

O- Wow. Glad I got to try this one. I have no idea how it tasted fresh, but this one is good with 2 years on it. A wonderful sipping beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from JoeyBeerBelly, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid dark brown with beautiful ruby highlights when held to light. A smallish beige head quickly dissipates to a smattering of bubbles on top. Smells rich and malty with lots of dark and burnt sugars and a pleasant dark fruit element. Hints of roast and earthy spicy hops provide lots of balance. The flavor is a bit sharp with roast and dried dark fruit up front. Some sweet maltiness breaks through before a healthy bit of warming settles on the palette. The finish is a bit drier than I was expecting with a long lingering roasty almost ashy finish. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this one, me so than the 2009 nemesis which was a bit too sweet for me. Dark a bit roasty and a big beer, if you stuck it into a bourbon barrel you'd have beer geeks worldwide fighting for a taste of it.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish brown. Very dark with little head.

S: barley really comes through. Surprisingly the alcohol doesn't really take too much away from the other notes. Sweet. Oaky. Complex and well balanced.

T: Oaky sweet, smalt comes through which is surprising it wasn't dominated by the high ABV. Complex and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Sits with good body and no overpowering flavors.

Overall a great beer. It reminded me a lot of JW Lees harvest ale but this one was a little more balanced. And it was cheaper. :)

Great showing again from Founders.

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

Dark mahogany pour with a one finger tan head with decent retention and nice lacing. Molasses and dark fruit dominate the nose along with hints of toffee, caramel, cocoa, oak, and just a touch of vanilla. Sadly, most of the hoppiness is gone from the aroma. Really complex taste with hints of figs, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, caramel, toffee, oak, and a bit of vanilla, booze, and cocoa. The mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and slightly syrupy but smooth as silk with a nice subtle hop bitterness on the finish. I thought perhaps I'd waited too long to open this, and the hops may have faded just a bit, but everything I don't like about barley wines was absent. This was an amazing beer! Definitely improved with age. Just reinforced why Founders is one of my all-time favorite breweries.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with some red hue and almost zero head and a touch of lacing.

Smells big and malty. Loads of caramel malt and some of the once more prominent pine and citrus hop smell has faded.

A little caramel with some back end bitterness. A little bit of earthiness with some fig.

A little thin bodied with medium carbonation.

Not aging too well. The hop flavors have faded into just bitterness and the malt doesn't stand out enough on its own although it did get better as warmed and I still prefer this vintage to the '09.

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Photo of jegross2
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the 2010 Nemesis from Founders Brewing Company out of Michigan.
Score: 89

This beer was released in the middle of July 2010 if memory served, but the bottom half of the bottle stamp is missing. It looks like the date is from June, August or September. My best guess is June 2010. Served in a Kate the Great snifter and enjoyed on 06/03/12 with Robbie Moy.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a ruby highlight in the upper center body of the beer. One finger of creamy tan head at pour quickly settles to a ring around the glass. Amazing lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: Creamy caramel, vanilla, malt and a little chocolate. A touch of earthy citrus, though most of the hops have faded. A bit of woody bourbon, toffee and fig. 4.25/5

Taste: Woody caramel malt and a bit of bitter stale hops. A touch of bakers chocolate, and a little bit of blackberry. A touch of mustiness. Nutty caramel aftertaste. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel. Modestly sweet and malty finish. 4/5

Overall: I personally think this beer peaked about six months ago when I had it in January 2012. Crack yours sooner than later, as this one is probably on the decline.

Recommendation: Probably not worth seeking out because this beer is on the decline, but still a tasty beer to try.

Pairings: Tootsie Rolls.

Cost: $17.99 for a six pack.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a murky, deep mahogany with a thin, tan head that doesn't stick around long - not unexpected given the style and ABV. some lacing, though largely unremarkable on that front.

nose isn't quite as robust as i was expecting, but it is an eclectic bouquet: roasted malt with notes of chocolate; citrus hops; and slight hints of earthiness.

taste follows and exceeds the nose. flavor profile is bold and brash, particularly the roasted malts and citrus hops; their synergy is quite the experience. 12% ABV astonishingly well-hidden, though i suppose with everything going on in this beer, maybe it's not as surprising as i think. a bitter, hoppy finish.

mouthfeel is medium to heavy with some chew to it; middling carbonation. for such a big beer, it's drinkability is relatively high. i would have no problem having another. in fact, i just might.

in the final analysis, i'm a bit torn. this beer gets a lot of press, and while it is really good, i can't help but wonder how much of it is driven by its relative scarcity. definitely an upper eschelon barleywine, but does it justify the hype? maybe.

original review on: 09-22-2010

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

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

A: Dark molasses brown. A generous pour yields a healthy and dense 1.75 finger head. It lingers for some time. Solid lacing and a thick collar follow.

S: Heavy, brooding bourbon, booze and wood. Somewhat sweet. Dark cane sugar and plums round out the nose.

T: Big, bold and charry. Plenty of bourbon and spirit notes up front. It singes the palate before rolling on the mid, where a thick layer of medium to heavy toast coat my tongue. The finish is decidedly nutty, with some dark cocoa and tannin. The warmer this gets, the more pronounced the wood becomes.

M: Thick, rich and well textured. The carbonation is spot on. Complex and inviting.

O: Founders Nemesis '10 could easily take a few more years in the ol' cellar. This is going quite strong and is in a really great place. I'd say it's at least a good eight to ten months off from peak, if not a bit more. Of the two Nemesis' that Founders produced, I do (slightly) prefer the 2009, though this is certainly no slouch. Thumbs up for another winner from Founders.

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Photo of draheim
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip. Pours a deep cola brown w/ a 1-finger head that settles pretty quickly to a thin film.

Aroma is fruity & malty w/ plenty of hops to back it up, surprisingly so for a 2010 beer. Some nuttiness. Nice enticing aroma.

Taste is rich and malty, balanced by the hops. A hint of vanilla. Warming sweet booze.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, perfect carb.

Overall a really good, straightforward barley wine.

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Photo of BennyL1
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle > New Belgium globe.

2010 Nemesis pours a rich dark brown/black with a slim mocha colored head.

Aromas of dark fruits and roasted malts. Some caramel in there as well, nice and complex.

Taste has rounded out nicely with some age. Follows the smell, with dark fruits like figs. Dark chocolate presents itself as well as some lingering bitterness. A bit of molassas rounds things out quite nicely. Little burn in the aftertaste from the alcohol content. This brew has a heavier body with adequate carbonation.

Really enjoyable brew that has a complex side to it that it really interesting. Wouldn't mind still having a bottle of this in the cellar.

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

bottle into my deschutes snifter.

a - pours an abysmal dark brown, just shy of an opaque black.
a hard pour gets me a thin cap of tan head and fine, spotty lacing.

s - massive dark fruits. plum, raisin, black cherry, faint anise, faint port.

t - starts off with a chocolate malt character that has subtle vanilla undertones. weaves through a tapestry of dark fruit flavors including raisin, plum, and fig, then crescendos in a pleasing, pine resin bitterness. finishes sugary and slightly boozy. as the beer warms, malt character becomes roastier and a faint alcohol spiciness kicks in.

m - full bodied with the right amount of carbonation. medium co2 profile, noticable alcohol warming.

o - a damn fine beer. enjoyable and very drinkable given the 12%. I'm quite surprised how well the hops have held up and how well everything blends together. maybe the best barleywine i have tasted thus far. really wish founders was still brewing this.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, brownish-black with a very tiny, light-tan colored head that diminishes quickly. Scent is immediately a lovely aroma of dark fruits and dark malt. Some caramel malt as well. Some toffee and nuttiness as well. I get a bit of fresh biscuit and fresh baked pie...blackberry? No hops in the aroma. Taste is immediately chocolatey with some tasty dark fruits. More coffee/espresso notes than I was expecting. Definite tobacco and leather-like flavors...lots of tobacco. A bit of burnt malt with sweet toffee and warming booziness. Still a good amount of warmth to this beer. Some mellow hoppiness throughout...but nothing along the lines of SN Bigfoot or anything. Finishes with sweet, burnt maple syrup/brown sugar flavor. Mouthfeel is very full bodied, creamy...somewhat sticky and still a bit hot. Drinkability is fairly long as you sip. Overall, this is a big beer. Still pretty boozy, but nice complexity and great flavors. Quite the sipper.

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Photo of Treebs
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle split 2 ways. Thanks to daneilnovak3 for the share. Served in a mini tasting snifter.

A: Pours a dark purplish color with some light brown hues mixed in. A light tan head forms on the pour and quickly recedes to a thin film and ring.

S: Lots of dark fruits are present up front. Sweet grapes and dark figs mostly, with a oat malt bill.

T: The taste is a lot like the nose, but more complex. The same fig earthiness and grape sweetness are present up front, but it quickly makes way for slight leather, oat malts and minimal booze on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a slightly thick and syrupy mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

O: A very solid beer. At this point the hops had drastically faded and this turned into a slightly above average English barleywine IMO. It still had some layers of flavor though and I'm glad I got try it.

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Photo of Doodlesby
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a small half pint Sam Smith sample glass

This beer pours a dark red color. Like if the the
Burgundy met Amber and they got together and had a baby. This beer goes down so smooth for 12% ABV. The sticky mouth feel is there but each sip I have gets better and better.

Great overall beer... too bad its retired. :(

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Photo of MDDMD
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown golden coloring with a small off-white head and some lacing

S-caramel and fruit with some hints of yeasty bread

T-caramel and dried fruits with some malt and yeasty character and a mild bitter hop finish

F-medium body with light carbonation, smooth slightly sticky mouthfeel with an overall richness and warmth

O-a nice well-balanced barley wine

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

I was lucky enough to have this on tap and boy does it pack a punch. The aroma is a wonderful blend of coffee and roasted caramel malts.

From the first sip you can definitely feel the alcohol, but thankfully you can't taste it. There was a surprising amount of hops in the taste as well as the sweet caramel malt and a subtle hint of fruit.

It was incredibly smooth and the flavor developed as it got slightly warmer. This might be the best I have had from Founder's so far.

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Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 933 ratings.
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