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.

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Reviews: 507 | Ratings: 933
Photo of BBP
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours very dark. Almost stout-like in appearance. Great head and retention as well.

The aroma is very hop forward despite it's age. Very pungent. Ample pine and a hefty amount of caramel malt. Somewhat balanced but still substantially hoppy.

Extremely bitter but balanced and smooth. Well rounded despite the excess of hops. Incorporates everything I expect from a barleywine in all the right proportions. Depth and intensity while incredibly easy drinking.

The body is medium full and medium light in weight. Somewhat sticky in the finish.

Overall, this was very smooth, and if this isn't the peak time to have this, I can't imagine how good it could taste. It's almost like a DIPA/barleywine combo and I love it for it.

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

$12 for a 12 oz bottle at Brick Store. Poured into a tulip pint glass. 2010 Vintage.

a-pours a very dark amber color, with a good amount of fluffy, tan head. Leaves some lacing behind.

s- like raisins. some vanilla coming through, and generally very sweet-smelling.

t- sugary and of dark fruit. very boozy. some chocolate hints. almost no hops or bitterness detected. this is too sweet for me. it takes away from the rest of the flavors.

m- syrupy, cloying, slightly under-carbonated.

o- disappointment...but it was 2yrs old.

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Photo of travMI13
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, illegible "Bottled On" date. 12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: A soft, low, fluffy, off-white head sits atop a deep brown-black body. Deep sienna edges with nice lacing. This might pass for a stout (not imperial, of course) if I didn't know better.

S: Vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, and booze. Still smells kind of hot, which is surprising.

T: Sweetness up front with the brown sugar and molasses. Smoked and roasted malts on the back end with an incredibly dry finish. Some heat is present. The hops that brought this to 100 IBU have obviously faded away. Definitely a sipper, and definitely a barleywine.

M: Sticky up front and so dry on the finish. What an interesting combination. The lingering feeling is dry roastiness. I usually like barleywines that finish stickier, so this is certainly different. Not sure how much I dig the finish.

O: As usual, another solid offering from Founders. It has been forever since I had this fresh, and I didn't take any notes, so I can't compare the fresh bottle with the aged bottle. That was a mistake. I think that, fresh, the hops would hold up the front end to match the dry finish. I wish I could have this fresh again. Or maybe even barrel aged.

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

pours a deep, dark brown. impossibly fine, light tan head, ridiculous lacing. aroma is a mix of smoky malts, oak, charred sugars and caramel.
malt-forward on the tongue, but really light for a 12% ABV. as big and syrupy as this beer is tho, the back-end is clean with a big, spicy hop bomb. mouthfeel is out-of-this-world; as good as any beer, any style i can remember.
wish i had a dozen of these to keep coming back to for a few years.

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Photo of tobin999
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearence: dark dark brown with nearly no head

Smell: Caramel, toffee vanilla very little hops present in the aroma

Taste: caramel, burnt malt bitter chocolate. nice bitterness to keep it form being to sweet.

Taste: almost syrupy with just enough carbonation to keep it that way

Overall: very nice beer! Still a little bitter bet pretty well balanced.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to phnphilly for this one.

A - Deep brown to black with ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Oily dots of lace stay behind.

S - Sweet caramel, toffee, prunes, rum soaked raisins, candied orange and grapefruit hops and alcohol.

T - Sugary sweet caramel and toffee, decent amount of fruity alcohol, rum soaked raisins, candied grapefruit and piney hops balance out the sweetness, molasses on the finish brings some sweetness back.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation. Warming alcohol with a bit of a numbing bite.

D - Still fairly hoppy for being 1 yr+ old. Strong, flavorful barleywine.

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Photo of mindspin315
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a small tan head. Faded away quickly. Deep dark brown body with light brown and mahogany color coming through in the light. Alcohol legs and lacing are very impressive here.

Graham crackers, burnt toast, pie crust, fresh cut tobacco, toffee, and a mild citrus zest. Sweet earthy malt profile and a little bit of a hop presence is still detectable even with a year+ age on this one. As you take the aroma, more and more keeps revealing itself.

The citrus zest aroma also imparts itself in the taste. A faint wash of pine, vanilla, and molasses on the back of the tongue. Caramel and toffee flavors from the sweet malts. Very delicate mouthfeel. Everything is just smooth and glides over the palate. This is actually very drinkable for a 12% beer.

Wow this is one barleywine that tastes awesome with age on it. Note: I didn't try this fresh, but that's not to say I can't appreciate what I feel are the aged qualities here. Makes you wish every barleywine were this great!


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Photo of billab914
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter. It poured dark brown in color with a thin, bubbly lacing scattered across the top of the beer and concentrating around the edges.

The aroma shows a good amount of caramel and toffee flavors to it. I get some oak to it along with a little bit of a citrus hop presence. A little bit of the darker malts show through with some roasty, chocolaty notes.

The taste has more of the caramel malts and toffee flavors to it up front. In the finish I get more of the roasty, bitter malts coming out with a little chocolate to them. The roasty, bitterness gives it a nice balance.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall it was a very good beer. I thought the little bit of dark, roasted malts added some great balance to the sweeter, caramel malts. Very flavorful and drinkable beer of the style.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doopie brought this one out for random beer night a while ago. Thanks for sharing dude!

From a bottle into a mini-snifter
IBUS: 100

APPEARANCE: A dark pour produces a cascading, medium sized, tight looking, light tan head with phenomenal retention. Color is a deep bistre brown with no carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a wisp and coats the sides of the glass. A good wisp remains until the end and leaves some lacing down the glass. Great looking beers.

SMELL: Mostly caramel malts and plenty of aromatic floral hops. A touch of oak as well, but the hops are certainly still the centerpiece here.

TASTE: Caramel and toffee sweetness up front, with some butterscotch and nuts in there as well. A good dose of hoppy bitterness at the finish with some floral and piney flavors riding out after the swallow. A bold and lingering aftertaste of caramel and toffee sweetness as well as some floral hoppy bitterness. Well balanced and well executed. The alcohol plays a supporting role as well.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down surprisingly smooth for the abv and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. No heat on this one either. Great feel.

OVERALL: Admittedly I’m not the hugest barleywine fan, but Founders always agrees with me, and when I saw the 100 IBU tag, I thought it would be something I’d enjoy. Luckily I was right. The sweetness was perfectly balanced with the hoppy bitterness and the alcohol had mellowed out nicely. This one looked and felt fantastic as well. A very enjoyable brew that I was happy to get a crack at. Thanks again for sharing Doops. Recommended.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Founders goblet

A: Pours a dark amber/brown, but almost black. Two fingers of very dense light tan foam with a fairly vigorous pour. Amazing retention and very nice lacing. Perfect.

S: A good mix of sweet dark fruit and caramel, supported by light citrus hops and quite strong oak. Slight over ripe fruit similar to added hops.

T: Very nice. Strong caramel, hop bitterness, and oak flavor dominate. Dark fruits and dark chocolate (interestingly) help support the flavor in the background. I get light roasted malts in the background, too. I still get that slight over ripe pineapple flavor that I smelled in the aroma. Very complex, and the sweet flavors mix very well with the roasted malts and hop bitterness.

M: Medium to thick (but closer to thick) mouthfeel with soft carbonation.

O: I really like this beer after some age on it. The hops have taken a backseat to a very complex beer. Also very balanced.

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Photo of TheFlern
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This isn't your typical barleywine . . .

Appearance: Pours almost a jet black, okay. White head dissipates to a thin layer. Good lacing.

Smell: Alright, this is different. In a good way!!! So we've got some burnt malt flavor, hops offsetting that, a slight sweetness in the background. Oak, delicious. Perhaps some coffee/chocolate aromas as well. Interesting to say the least.

Taste: Follows the nose. Very complex. This is a real thinking beer to sip on for a night. Love it.

Mouthfeel: Perfect amount of carbonation. Little to no bitterness detected despite the hops presence in the taste and aroma. Very top notch.

Overall: This is a black barleywine, imo. Love it. Wish more breweries would experiment with the barleywine style in this way. Lots of creativity yet to be tapped in this direction. Founders, hats off to you!!!!

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Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Pours a browish/amber color, thin ring, some wisps on top.

S - The booze has really smoothed out with the year of aging and there's a nice amount of fruity notes and caramel sweetness. A nice touch of oak in there as well. All smooth and well-rounded.

T - Caramel, burnt sugars, molasses, smooth booze, dark fruity notes, and some oak. Again, the 12% is just super-smooth and enjoyable. Finish is sweet caramels and oak.

M - Medium, soft carbonation, creamy oak finish.

O - An enjoyable Barleywine, but not amongst the best of this style. The year really did some good, smoothing out the 12% and taking away some of the big barrel notes I found when fresh. Good, not great.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Very dark brown body with a fleeting khaki head. Sticks to the side of the glass. Some lacing, but not great. Remarkably dark for a barleywine.

Smell - Roasted malts and a load of hops. Citrusy hops, despite the age of the bottle. A fair amount of booze as well. Not much caramel. Like a Cascadian Dark Barleywine.

Taste - Follows the smell. Roasted malts as a chocolatey base. Hops up front. Slight caramel flavor in the middle, but it's tough to pick out between the harsher hop and roasted malt flavors. Booze in the end.

Mouthfeel - Sweet, but not overly sweet. Bitter and boozy, though. Leave a bit of unpleasantness on the palate.

Overall - The roasted malts detract. It makes the beer harsh. I like my barleywines to taste like candy. This doesn't. It's like an amped up Cascadian Dark Ale.

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Photo of adamdarcy
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Last bottle at Park Place Liquor in Grosse Pointe, MI.

I don't prefer barleywines. I don't like wine, and when I see the term "wine" on a beer bottle, I usually avoid. This time, the term "Founders" on the bottle over-road that tendency.

This was a "zen" like experience in that words won't do the experience justice. A little bit of light made it through the bottle, but not enough to change the color from "pitch black" to a dark brownish hue. The smell was slightly alcoholic, leather, dare-I-say "wine", woody, pine, cigar or pipe tobacco - the taste totally followed the smell. No wonder the olfactory bulb contains the only exposed nerves in our body! Anyway, just a wonderful, wonderful brew. Checked their website, and noticed they don't seem to make this anymore. Shame. But try and try again to trade for this if you have to. It's worth it!

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Photo of mjtiernan
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of heyta...thanks bud!

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Very dark brown. Small head quickly disappears leaving a thin ring around the edge and an archipelago of bubbles across the top. Looks very oily.

S: Licorice, caramelized molasses, vanilla, rum soaked raisins and oak.

T: Taste is similar to the nose....sweet roasted malt, oak and vanilla...the biggest difference being the hops during the finish. The bitter finish disrupts the smoothness of the whole experience, which is a bit unpleasant. Decent complexity and the alcohol was tucked in there nicely for such a big beer.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Fairly oily.

O: Between the slightly cloying sweetness and the bitter finish, I wouldn’t call this my ideal barleywine experience. It was a beer that offered a friendly challenge to accept its extremes...kind of like that shady neighbor who you aren’t quite sure about, but on a day-to-day basis you get along just fine.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to jerryfreak for this bottle.

A: Pours a deep, dark, molasses brown with just the tiniest amount of red around the edges. There is almost no head to this beer, just the thinnest of halos around the surface of the brew.

S: This beer smells super malty, and extremely boozy. I also pick up notes of plums, raisins, and brown sugar. There is some honey in there too. But the booze in unmistakable.

T: Starts off with flavors of sweet malt, burnt toast, and just a tad of sea-weed. The fruits (plums, raisins, cherries) come through after the first hit, but the finish is nothing but tart and funky. Huge booze on the back end, and flavors that are just a bit off.

M: This is a full bodied beer. It's sticky, chewy, and totally cloying to the palate.

O: I'm seriously disappointed in this beer. I was expecting a lot from a Founders barleywine and I was let down. The booze is too dominating and the flavors are too murky.

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Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 or 12oz pour into a snifter.

A Black with a light tan, short head. Head doesnt stick around. Leaves a frothy, murky top.

S Roasty, burnt, chocolate, bready, bittersweet.

T Burnt, coffee/espresso, quite dark chocolate, sweet and spicy up front, malty in the middle, piney and burnt bitterness in finish with some bittersweet chocolate really hanging on.

M Thick, smooth, creamy.

O This was great. A lot more chocolatey than I'd expect to find in a barleywine. Very complex, well balanced and surprising and pleasant at every turn.

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Photo of match1112
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to beerhan for this bottle! pours a deep brown almost black with ruby highlights around the edges. a quarter inch of tan head left as quickly as it came. smell is that of dark fruit, burnt sugar, malts and alochol. taste is very sweet and well balanced for a 12% abv, i cant taste the alochol at all. mostly sweet malts and fruits with a sugar punch. mouthfeel is a full bodied beer with a sticky feel. surprisingly the 100 ibu's and high abv were not noticable at all in the drink. overall this is a very good beer that is drinking pretty good right now.

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

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Not the usual barleywine that I'm used to. Poured a dark coffee brown, with a patchy cap of delicate bubbles. Aroma of dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, and booze. Smooth taste, sweet with caramel, molasses and toffee, dark chocolate, with a light fruitiness detectable, and a piney bitterness mixed with bourbon coming in soon after. A bit heavier than medium-bodied, smooth and velvety, and pretty drinkable for a stronger beer. Very nice.

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into 9 oz snifter at TJ's 8th Anniversary Event. Pours a luscious black with a thin head that quickly exits. The nose is a rich blend of chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. Reminds me of Parabola. The taste is also very remniscent of a a bourbon barrel stout. Loaded with cocoa and vanilla with a boozy backbone. The mouthfeel is smooth as silk. Overall, this is extremely well done.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an essentially black body with a small-sized, light beige head. Thin sheets of lacing on the way down.

Smell: An initial note of not the expected roasted grains, but of fire-charred biscuit tops. Then, there's the coffee conveying roast, along with a bit of sweetish chocolate, booze, and a scant fruitiness.

Taste: Sharply roasted malts, though a fair amount of sugary caramel, some scarce bitter chocolate and burnt biscuits. Noted alcohol early on. Hops convey resiny pine and pithy citrus fruits. Soundly bitter. A bit more sooth chocolate past the mid-point, as well as a hint of soft serve vanilla ice cream. Finishes with a rebound of hard roastiness, more liquor, and touch of burnt almond.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: As another beer billed as a black barleywine, it's not quite as enjoyable as another, the Jack & Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada's run of 30th anniversary beers.

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

Bottle into a pint. This brew appears a dark brown with creamy tan head. Solid retaining powers for a brew of this strength. Spotty and webby lacing sticks to the glass. When held to the light, some ruby clarity is seen through the body.

The smell is rich of fruity alcohol and hops that flirt betwen fruity and citrus components. A light veggie aspect is noticed along with an herbal kick. The malt comes out with notes of chocolate raisins, caramel and toffee. At times there is a trace of vanilla. As the brew warms up, it increases with a feel of burnt molasses.

The taste picks up with seemingly all the character found in the aroma. Fruity alcohol mixes with some herbal notes in the forefront. As the flavors mingle, more of a veggie taste comes forward that clashes a bit with bitter burnt grain. Overall quite roasty with slight notes of coffee, molasses and bold fruity alcohol. As it warms uo, it gets slight piney with a resinous bitterness that lasts.

This is a full bodied brew with a feel that includes a modest amount of carbonation. Overall a very bold offering. It has a creamy yet resinous feel with big alcohol impact and flavor that's fruity with solid warmth. I enjoyed this offering from the bottle much more than my experience on draft. This is drinking sort of like a monsterous black ipa at the moment. I think it could benefit from a bit more aging to let the flavors really blend together.

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

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Dark purple-ish brown that you can round up to black, with faint ruby highlights under a finger of soft tan head that drops & clings to the sides. Looks rich, with gauzy lacing that slides down slowly.

Smells of a rich, deep stewed prune & raisin fruitiness, hoppiness like cooked grapefruit, orange peel, with a rum-like zing, some toffee. This is a big ol' nose. Some slightly overcooked pie crust comes in.

Big malt & hop flavor, dark fruits again, a little molasses, a lot of rich, dark caramel & a strong, bracing booze presence. Yeah, definitely getting the booze, but it's a welcome guest. Even a little mint shows up.

Full, smooth, a little sticky, a little warming. Real nice.

Damn, this is good. There's nothing unexpected here flavor-wise, except how awesome this tastes. They just got everything right & I'm loving it.

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Photo of raznug
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a very dark reddish brown color with a ¼”of head that dissipates very quickly.
Smell: Nemesis smells of molasses and some oak followed by a little alcohol in the end.
Taste: Molasses, malt and a nice blend of alcohol and oak flavors mix nicely on the palate.
Mouthfeel: This beer feels a bit thinner than expected with a rather dry finish.

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Photo of Jules11788
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany color that lets just a little bit of light through; no head, no lacing

S: Strong sweet woody malts, toffee, and bourbon

T: Starts off with some flavors of sweet raisins, malts, and toffee; transitions into a bittersweet malty booziness and finishes with some more bitter woody notes and booze

M: Medium viscosity, barely any carbonation; smooth on the tongue but with lots of booze at the end that lingers

O: This was pretty good, but it was way too boozy and bitter for me. With a couple years in the cellar to mellow out, I bet it will be phenomenal

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