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Founders Nemesis 2010 | Founders Brewing Company

506 Reviews
Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 506 | Ratings: 932
Photo of BierFan
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Half finger of khaki colored foam. Body is black like a stout.

Smell: Fruity hops with some dark malt coming through. Molasses from the malt and tropical fruit from the hops.

Taste: Mostly molasses with a little coffee from the malt. The hops give a nice bitterness with orange and tropical fruit flavors.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a thin cola colored head that doesn't retain well but for a beer this strong that's to be expected. The aroma is breathtaking, with notes of Grand Marnier and orange marmalade, along with juicy citrusy hops, gourmet chocolate, kona coffee, dark fruits, molasses and toffee, vanilla and some alcohol...one of the best smelling beers I've come across. The flavor is a little less impressive than the aroma but not much, with fresh hop notes upfront (citrus, pine and resin), along with caramel and toffee, vanilla, orange marmalade, belgian chocolate and spiced rum. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich and drinkability is alarmingly good. Really exceptional brew from Founders here, tastes kind of like the most delicious Belgian truffle with orange liquor filling.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, I don't agree with the style. This should be renamed an imperial black IPA. It's far from any barleywine I have ever tasted.

A: Deep brown to almost black, with little light shining through. The cream-hued head dissapears quickly and leaves a film on the surface. Lacing is minimal, as to be expected with a beer like this.

S: Some alcohol is present on the nose, but very faint. Resinous, citrusy and grassy notes dominate, with some roasty, burnt aromas lingering in the backround.

T: Hops dominate at first, with some pineapple, lemon peel, and fresh grass, followed by some roasted malt, chocolate, and earth. It finishes very clean, and there is almost no alcohol present.

M: Full bodied and viscous. Hops give this beer an oily feeling in the mouth that lingers for eons.

D: An excellent brew. Founders has done it again. Once again, I don't agree with the style, but then again, this is something of a different color. It's worth the price, and will surely cellar well over the next year or so.

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Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep, deep brown which turns black in the glass, not much head but a ring sticks around and in turn leaves nice lacing.

S - I can't be sure, but this smells kind of like a piney DIPA. I guess that's somewhat to be expected. Decent hit of dark malts which impart a certain roasty smell.

T - Caramel malts followed quickly by a venerable porcupine of IBUs jumping all over your tongue on the way down. Some fruit and a touch of that roasted smell comes through as flavor, but not much.This is a strong brew in more ways than one.

M - Quite light for a 12% beer, but still coats your mouth with a sticky resinous layer.

D - Way to easy to drink this stuff if you are a lover of the enamel-wrenching hops; otherwise you might want to sit on it until the roasted characteristics reveal themselves, maybe in a year or two.

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

Very very dark but not quite black molasses color with no head and very minimal lacing. Smell is rich chocolate and dark fruit. Kind of reminds me of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mmmmm. All of the flavors mix very well together. The sweet chocolate, bitterness and dark fruit meld into one. You can't really pick them apart. Also note this beer is very sugary. More than most beers I know. Bitterness is nicely present as well. I admit I did not care for any Black IPA I have had but this Black American Barleywine is quite nice. Most unique tasting beer I had in awhile.

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

Very excited about this one. Last years was fantastic. Ive never had a black barleywine but it was the logical next step spurred from the popularity of black IPAs.

A- Poured straight into a snifter. It is indeed black. Not stout thick, but just as dark. Some light can pass creating umber highlights. Next to no head, even with a rough pour. Bubbles do form a thick collar though which stays around and leaves lots of little pearls of lace.

S- Very similar to many black IPAs Ive had. Very spicy hops come second to some molasses, caramel, roastiness, raisin and a touch of chocolate. The roastiness is light but adds to the spiciness of the hops.

T- The best part of the taste is the little flashes of chocolate that come every once in a while. Bitter and sweet is the name of the game here. Malts are sweet, fruity, sugary and roasty and hops are piney, citric and medicinal.

M- Full bodied with a creamy carbonation.

Last years was much better. This is a good and interesting beer, but just not my type of thing.

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Photo of JoshRadTxist
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So glad I picked this up because for one thing, I need a 12%er tonite. Hence this review may be biased.

A: Black plum-molasses color, amber tinted where the light shines through the bubbles stuck on the side of the glass. Very minimal head is tan. Lacing very intense and scintillating in the lamplight.

S: Not so much getting the hops in the nose. Cookie dough, sugar, ok-raisins, a rather mild sweet aroma.

T: If hops are not in the nose for me, they're in the taste. First taste is primarily hopcentric rather than malty. Great clean mineral bitterness turns to soy-sweet malt, then a subtle honey aftertaste. Belch brings back the hop.

M: Average for the style, thick and chewy. Finishes clean, not dry, but clean

D: Sipper for the fact your body obviously doesn't want much of this fast. It's not cloying in the taste. It's just that I am content to sip, wait five minutes, sip again. Like the Nemesis has restraint built in. + points for that!

I'm a big fan of this brew; I suppose it's even worth the $4.75!

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Photo of bs870621345
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with amber highlights when held up to light. Has an half inch of head that fades leaving almost no lacing.

Smells of molasses, citrus (orange/pineapple), caramel, and coffee in there. No alcohol presence.

Taste is mostly citrus up front, sweet caramel/molasses in the middle and towards the end, with a gentle alcohol burn on the end. Very pleasant...want to see what happens in a few months.

Mouthfeel is full and sticky, good for a barleywine.

Drinkability is low, its a sipper for sure. Inviting but only would want to sip this one.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

pours out a surprising jet black with two fingers of tan head. hey its a black barleywine! lacing is impressive. it looks like i am drinking FBS.

smell is fusel alchohol right away. hey its a big fresh barleywine, i guess i should expect it to be hot. subsides into beautiful pineapple and mango scents.

taste is big impressive pineapple hops up front! amazing unique hop profile big pineapple flavor.
then some roasted malt that is delicious and becomes more prominent as it warms. finishes hot and boozy not enough to be a huge flavor issue.

mouthfeel is lovelty big smooth, substantial, with just enough carbonation. much win here.

drinkability isnt great a big time sipper even witthout being hot and boozy. one is enough. also -

water : wicked witch = nemesis : your teeth's enamel.

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Photo of maximum12
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a 4 pack of this at Dennis Bros a couple days ago & have been thinking about it ever since. The 2009 was insanely good, so I'm thinking there's no place to go but down. Right? Hope not!

Pour is a bit of a surprise, a red so dark it appears to be black until held up to the revealing light of the sun (or clouds, today). The nose is smash-mouth, roundhouse, iron-club of hops. Wow. This smells more like a IIPA than 3/4 of the IIPAs I've had. Alcohol, too, is very apparent.

Nemesis 2010 is a corrosive mix of caramel, hops, hops, & sickly malts. The caramel is a big blast out front, quickly shunted aside by a cream of hops, which are shushed & kicked by the malts...which have a weird, almost oxidized taste to them. I think it's just the high IBUs mixing strangely with the sweetness of the malts, but I'm not sure, & it throws a bit of a wet blanket over the whole experience for me. As it warms the odd taste retreats into the background a bit.

Well carbonated for a barleywine, smooth as a baby's butt in your mouth, or something. I don't think I could take more than a bottle of this, the alcohol, while not strong on the tongue, is warming the depths of my bowels like an October bonfire.

Well...pretty good. Always expect a unique angle from Founders, but unlike the vast majority of their beers, which I adore, this one missed the bullseye for me. I bought a case of the 2009, I don't see myself buying more of the 2010. Am interested to see how it ages, though. Into the cellar with you other three lads!

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You would be safe to call this a Black Barleywine. Only when held directly to a very bright light can you see the faintest red highlights. Two finger antique head head slowly recedes to a slim cap. Surprising amount of lacing is left encompassing the glass.

Dark aromas dominate the nose. This is a hoppy beer but the hops have a hard time breaking through. Roasted malt, dark chocolate and cherry aromas are strong. Booze and molasses are secondary smells but meld well with the stronger notes.

The hops may have been missing from the nose but they are assertive on the tongue. Strong pine and grapefruit pithy bitterness. Slight citrus flavors come and go through out. Deep roasted malt flavor and caramelized sugars. The complexity I anticipated was not there but I cannot complain about the flavor as a whole. Warming booziness is noted but not offensive.

Full bodied but not thick. Low carbonation is very appropriate. Creamy texture, drinks very smooth. Deep flavors and biting bitterness dig into the palate for a long finish.

This is a sipper, no doubt about it. Flavors are big and bold, not going to be pleasing to everyone. I for one am a fan. Nemesis 2010 is well constructed and delicious. May not be the easiest to drink but I will call it enjoyable. Worth the search.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle.

Dark red/black pour. Nice carbonation. Excited to drink this.

Smells are very hoppy, piney. Sweet. Some dark fruit. Smells barleywinesque, which is expected I guess.

Tastes are sweet piney hops right away. some darker sweet fruits then appear. a bit of roasted malt goodness too. Alcohol there, not distracting however.
Nothing surprising shows up.

Thick, rich ,and a bit sticky. Enough carbonation, which is nice. Goes down pretty easy.

This is a good beer. But it's not much more than an (slightly above) average run of the mill hopped up barleywine. I don't taste any diabolical brewing either. So I don't know if it lives up to the "NEMESIS" hype.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.86/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, dark brown color with minimum head. Some head can be manualy created from agitation with some residue around the edges lingering. Not much lacing. The appearance is not that impressive, but decent considering the style.

The nose is pleasant with an essence of chocolate, molasses, raison, and a lot of heat. I am also detecting woody bourbon with a hint of cherries. Each smell seems to conjure a new smell which is one of my favorite nose features of a beer.

Oh yes. This is a delicious drink even fresh. I'm excited to try this again with some age under its belt. Up front is a dose of chocolate with a wonderful woody note. This transitions to some bitterness that takes the form of a coffee like taste. All the while chocolate and molasses exist as an undertone throughout. Some raison and red grape is present along with some bitter hop or coffee presence, it is hard to say. The heat that is present in the nose is hardly noticeable in the taste. You are left with a silky smooth brew which tastes like a cross between a stout and a barleywine.

The mouthfeel is a Founders like medium in the mouth. They don't seem to produce many heavy in the mouth type beers. It is smooth but should likely improve with age. A nice drying and pleasant coffee like aftertaste lingers.

This is the best barleywine I've had to date. Founder's has delivered once again making me more excited for Nemesis 2011.

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

Managed to get my hands on a few bottles of this in Chicago. It pours pretty dark into my snifter.

The nose is dark green. Not sure how else to describe it. It's hoppy but pretty subdued given the 100 IBUs.

The taste isn't super bitter, in fact it's quite balanced.

It's not super full on the mouthfeel, nothing really like Founders' stouts. It's full but not ridiculous like Breakfast Stout.

It's quite alcoholic but it doesn't really come through all that much. That said, at 12%, you're not going to be drinking many of these.

EDIT - Had this again 10 March 2012, and it has aged really well. Hops have faded a bit, lots of rum-raisins and such now.

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Photo of jera1350
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In a tulip, a very dark brown color with a ruby tint to it. The head is tan and looks a hint soapy, but mostly creamy.

Wow, the hops smell amazing. Bright citrus and pineapple with sweet caramel and milk chocolate malt. A mouthwatering array.

The hops are citrusy with some ripe pineapple and a bit of pine. The malt adds some lovely sweetness in the forms of caramel and brown sugar. Their is a bit of a roast to the malt at the end too. Pretty nice complexity and the alcohol is impressively hidden for a 12 percent beer.

Velvety soft and creamy mouthfeel. Just rolls down with fluffy soft ease. Obviously full bodied.

This drinks really nicely and is a great example of the style. Can't wait to enjoy the rest of these as it develops over time. Founders is simply amazing at how they continue to crank out outstanding new beers with their continuous lineup of regular ones.

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Photo of boomer31
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I loved Nemesis 2009 and have been looking forward to this since it's oops early relase last month. Picked up a 4 pack today.

A - Deep deep brown on the edges but near black all around. A vigorous pour into a DFH Signature glass leaves a sticky beige head

S - Sugar, malt, alcohol then fruity hops in that order. The malt lingers in your nose which is remeniscent of an english barley wine.

T - Alcohol on is huge here but it mixes well with the piney hops on your toungue. There must be a huge malt backbone here but it really gets lost in the mix due to the sugar and piney hops.

M - Rich and creamy which is intruiging as it's so high in ABV. I do think this will get better with age because the body is there.

D - A slow drinker for sure. Huge sugar, malt and alcohol here.

I'm a bit disappointed in this latest offering. I visited Founders while in MI and had some tremendous barrel aged beers. I sure hope Nemesis 2011 mimicks some of those beers! This just falls short for me in the American B-wine category.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 bottle into my Unibroue tulip

Spotty surface head dips into a mahogany body with crimson edges when held to the light

Very sugary on the nose with a boatload of vanilla and caramel sweetness . Oddly, my first whiff was of citrus hops, but subsequent sniffs reveal far more earthy hops.

Hmmm...this beer feels quite raw and there's some real promise here, but strangely the flavors taste distinctly different rather than complimentary. There's the heavy malt base that lays the foundation with the sugary sweetness and bite of booze. At the end the hops swoop in a carry a light tingling bitterness, but the cohesion is lacking. It's like that ridiculous Stride flavor change gum where the flavors are distinct, but don't necessarily mesh.

The mouthfeel is similarly confounding for me. It starts a bit oily on the front on the tongue and finishes a bit watery and flat. Maybe puberty will help this youngster find its way into maturity, but it's just not there yet.

It's somewhat enjoyable but not particularly memorable.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep crimson color with one finger of creamy off white head. This one needs a fairly vigorous pour.

Scent of soda, caramel, raspberries, juicy hops, dry earth and some alcohol. The alcohol is pretty subdued, but still apparent, hopefully a bit of age will take care of that.

Taste of sugar, caramel, lightly citrusy hops, a hint of chocolate, some raspberries, and a hint of alcohol. It's more fruity than I was expecting, less bitter too, but still a good beer. I am looking forward to seeing how this ages.

Mouthfeel is oily, heavy and smooth with a low amount of carbonation, magnificent.

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Photo of levifunk
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into my kbs snifter.

a - pours black. very dark for a barleywine. no head.

s - big smell on this one. big hops and sweetness similar to how DIPAs smell. both pine and citrus hops. caramel sweetness. not as much booze as i was expecting

t - as the nose leads on, hops and sweetness. there is also a charred malts flavor that accentuates the hops bitterness. Its amazing how much of a sweetness there is, but yet there is a deep lingering bitterness. Very tasty right now, and should develop spectacularly as there is a solid malt flavor to take over as the hops dies down.

m - medium-heavy body. carbonation is there, but not so much as to take away from the thickness.

overall - very happy with this beer. I had it on tap a couple weeks before the bottles came out and didn't like it at all....not sure why, but it tastes so much better in the bottle. if you had it on tap, try a bottle.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep dark brown, some light passes through on the pour and just a tiny bit passes through once it is settled in the glass. Thin white head and a trace of lacing, not much retention

S: the aroma is big and bold, full of rich caramel malts along with molasses and a huge hop character. There is a hint of roasted character mixed in with the big earthy and herbal notes.

T: the front starts off highlighting the roasted grains, this quickly transitions to a big malty sweetness with hints of licorice and molasses, this is all followed by a huge hop bite in the form of pine and bitterness. A little bit of heat on the finish goes nicely with the strong hop character

MF: the body is big and viscous with a medium level of carbonation

D: well this is certainly a bold and robust beer that begs to be sipped slowly, but at the same time it is delicious and packed with flavor. So far the Nemesis series is showing that Founders not only knows how to elevate an imperial stout- but that the same is true with barley/wheat wines

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Near black pour with mahogany highlights at the edges of the glass and a dense, 1-finger, tan head. The aroma is heavily roasted and caramelized malts with subtle hints of chocolate, dark fruit, and notable alcohol. Soft grapefruity hops balance it out. The flavor is immesely deep and rich. Lots of sharp, piny and citrusy hops upfront that are washed away by deep, velvety chocolate, burnt caramel, and black strap molasses. Some notes of black pepper and alcohol linger on the finish. The body is oily and full with soft carbonation.

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

Pours dark brownish-black with a thin oatmeal-colored head.

Smells great. A huge sweet hop blast. Very citrusy but sweet at the same time. Like sugar-coated orange or grapefruit peels. Also lots of caramel malts. A little heat from the alcohol.

Taste- wow! Very bitter, very sweet. The crisp bitter hops hit you like a ton of bricks but there's also a pronounced sweetness. I've never had hops dipped in sugar but I imagine this is what they might taste like. Nice dark carmel malts are evident as well. Maybe some molasses. Finishes long and bittersweet. Mostly bitter.

Medium weight beer that is nicely carbonated and smooth. ABV is high but not harsh.

There is a lot going on in this beer. Very bitter but also very sweet almost sugary buy not syrupy nor cloying. Great to smell and even better to taste. I have to admit that I am not a huge barleywine fan but I guess this one worked so well for me because the dry, bitter hops balanced the rich sweetness.

I'd love to drink lots of this but it would knock me on my ass. In this case I say: bring it!

Well done Founders!

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Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark mahogany which shows through a deep, clear copper when held to light. There is a big creamy tan head that leaves excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma is an interesting mix of things but the most prevalent is the big citrus hop presence, lots of juicy grapfruit and pine. Caramel malts, sweet fruits, molasses, vanilla and chocolate.

The taste also starts with the huge citrus hop kick, oranges and pineapple, before giving way to a mixture of dark chocolate and caramel malts. The finish is nice and bitter with floral, resinous pine sticking on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, very sticky and prickly, with a moderate carbonation.

I really enjoyed this beer, a big hoppy, roasted barleywine. I certainly haven't had many like this before but I know I like it. I think I like it a bit more than last years Nemesis actually.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is dark, but not quite motor oil. There's actually a fair bit of trasclusence during the pour. However once it gathers in the glass, this thing is a completely solid black. A very gentle pour led to a one-finger thick tan/cream head - but it doesn't hang around very long. Quickly recedes to a nice crown that builds with the slightest bit of agitation. No real lacing to speak of.

My first sniffs of the aroma revealed primarily aggresive hops with a good malt, caramel backbone. As it warmed, though, some more character began to reveal itself - there's a medley of aromas here that vacillated between cocunut, brown sugar and fruit. I couldn't quite peg it down, and sometimes it included two, or all three, of those notes.

The taste wasn't quite as complex - at least not according to my palate. There's the strong hop character, supported by a decent malt backbone. There's also a roasty character on the backend, with an underlying note of licorice. In general, this is quite dry. The taste reminds me a bit of Batch 9000, but without quite as much licorice emphasis.

The mouthfeel initiatially felt a bit thin to me, but as it warmed and I delved further into the brew, the experience seemed to change - by the end, it was fairly full-bodied and sticky.

All in all, this was a good beer. Although the net result of my review here will probably be a pretty good score, I felt like the taste was a bit lacking. It's a good taste for sure, but I want to really be floored by these types of limited releases - and I just wasn't.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Big hunt last night.

Reddish brown with red highlights, there is no head here. The nose is hoppy, with citrus and green pine. Really aggressively hopped, there's also a solid barleywine base with caramel, booze, sugar and lots of sweetness. Somewhat bready too. The palate opens sweet and hoppy with lots of bitterness. Pine and citrus rind dominate the palate, along with plenty of caramel and brown sugar. Sweet on the finish, there's pine resin green hops and caramel.Medium to full in body with low carbonation, this is decent. I will pick up a couple of bottles when I can.

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Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.
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