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Founders Nemesis 2010 | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010
934 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 934 |  Reviews: 507
Photo of nas5755
3.59/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Jon at Granite for this one

The pour revealed a light tan head with a nice head, no real lacing on the glass to comment on. The nose was very pleasant, a citrus fest that is full of oranges. The taste has citrus hops that fade into roasted malts with some dark fruits melded in, a very strong pine bitterness on the finish. More like an extremely hopped imperial porter. A very nice mouthfeel, a tad syrupy with a strong hop resin, some heat that works with the beer instead of distracting. Carbonation levels are medium. A nice beer that is worth trying, could be a bit on the young side and might improve with some age.

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Photo of 321jeff
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a thin layer of off white head that quickly dissipates leaving a ring around the edge.

Smell is of roast coffee and some licorice. I think I'm getting some citrus hops in there as well.

Taste follows the aroma with lots of roast and hints of licorice and some dark fruit sweetness. Only a slight bitterness in the finish. There's also some astringency in there, which can be expected from any 12% beer. I think this one will do well with age. Drinks more like an Imperial Stout than a barleywine, but it's still tasty.

Mouthfeel is thick and viscous with minimal carbonation. Pretty drinkable for the high abv, I'd call it the stout drinker's barleywine.

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Photo of charliedvrs
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at American Craft. 11oz poured into a snifter glass. Pours a deep, dark, opaque brown, with a slight bubbling tan head sitting atop. The head fades quickly but leaves some lacing down the glass.

Nemesis smells of roasted or even burnt malts. Some chocolate and caramel sits in the background as the alcohol makes itself present with a soft bourbon smell. The taste is almost overwhelming at first, as the palate is overwhelmed by the rich, roasted malts. A strong caramel syrup flavor. The malts are s powerful it takes a second to really just how hoppy this beer is as well, as the sharp, bitter pine characteristcs blend well into the sweet, sweet malt backbone. Again, that darkest of chocolate flavor begins to creep in as the taste buds begin to reach past the more prominant flavors. Slight vanilla and a warming alcohol round out the flavor towards the end and leave you wondering what exactly just happened.

Thick and creamy, yet with a sharp bitter bight. Alcohol becomes more and more present on the tongue as the beer warms. I found myself thinking over the course of a half an hour that it reminded me of a super hopped up imperial stout and then a double black ipa. I definitely wouldn't call it a good example of the Barleywine style, but that's obviously not what they were going for. I thought it drank relatively easily, but without a doubt a last beer of the night sipper.

A quality brew worth seeking out. Excited to see how it will drink with some age on it.

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Photo of mikey711
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep brown, near black with a quarter inch foamy head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Decent hope note that is followed by some sweet biscuit malt, caramel, toffee and roastiness.

T: Very bitter up front mixing with roasted malts and some caramel sweetness. the bitterness lingers and is piney as the flavors transition a bit more towards the sweet biscuit notes.

M: Somewhat cloying and syrupy, also a bit rough around the edges. mild heat present but you can tell the abv is high on this one

D: this is the second time i have had this beer and it is not my favorite founders offering. i think with time this one has a lot of potential though

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Founder's Nemesis on tap at Bodega in Columbus, Ohio. A 10-oz pour priced at $11 (WHAT!?). Lucky me I got it during Happy Hour, half price...

Appearance: Very dark, almost black. Faint head. Thick lacing. A hefty brew!

Smell: Light compared to the appearance and taste. Booziness comes through. Some hops and malts in a nice balance, but mostly booze. Toastiness floating around.

Taste: Some oak and vanilla, as if it were barrel-aged. Booze through and through. A gentle bitterness at the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel: Low to medium carbonation, medium body, lots of booze. Warming.

Drinkability: Low, obviously. It really is too alcoholic. Don't love it.

I find this brew to be a little lost... black barleywine? I don't detect much roastiness here... and this doesn't really taste like a barleywine to me. More like a strong Black IPA, but not quite.

I've had Nemesis twice on tap and I can't get to love it. It is unbalanced and hard to enjoy.

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Photo of silentjay
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a rather dark brown that is opaque and almost black. a smallish tan head quickly recedes but leaves impeccable lacing.

dark malts with generous hopping reminds me of a Black IPA. some chocolate, a bit of molasses and maple syrup are overpowered by the citrus, earthy and herbal hops that are in abundance in this young brew. very enticing aroma.

again, hops dominate the flavor and are a bit citrusy, but very woody and earthy. a grainy malt surfaces to bring some barleywine qualities to it, and the roasted malts bring some chocolate and caramel into the equation. raisins, dates, figs, molasses, brown sugar, booze, and dirt can all be detected as well.

medium bodied with plenty of alcohol heat and astringency that makes it a harsh swallow, but leaves a nice balanced aftertaste of hop bitterness and roasty sweetness.

a sipper. lots of flavors but with a bit of harshness. doesn't wow me like the few samples of the 2009 Nemesis did, but I'm aging a couple to see how this turns out in a while.
almost 1 year revisit: hops still are very evident in the aroma, but fall a bit behind the malts which have overtaken them. molasses, grains, toffee, and caramel. booze still there, though it might be a bit more tame... hard to compare by memory.

wow. flavor has smoothed out quite a bit, cocoa first, then toffee, molasses, and caramel. then some woody and citric hops before the wonderful bittersweet aftertaste kicks in and lingers forever with very little harshness.

the mouthfeel and ease of drinking are out of this world since its cooled down a bit and the flavors have meshed.

I didn't edit my scores, but I do enjoy this one with age on it a bit more. I wish I had the will-power last year to age more, as this is close to its peak, but unfortunately this is my last bottle. Would easily score an A and be worth every penny.

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Photo of jlenik
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper appearance. Head retention visible but not prominent.
S: super hoppy. I love it.
T: I'm having trouble believing this is a barleywine. I know American BWs are supposed to be hoppy but hot damn is this awesome. Destroys your palate with an intense amount of hops.
M: Aggressive. With 100+ IBUs you need to be expecting something intense.
D: Strong but drinkable. While it is hard to take big sips it is also difficult to stop taking small sips.

summary: I was leery about this brew but it is absolutely amazing. I had to try it fresh before I put away the other two I have. I can't wait to see what at least a year does on this bad boy. Malty goodness here I come.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip sept28 2010

A darker then expected very dark brown with some red when held to the light, a fingers worth of tan head falls pretty fast and leaves a few patches of lace

S lots of hops in this one with some citrus and and candied fruit, and some chocolate too my surprise with a little booze

T again lots of hops and candied fruits, some raisins, molasses, pine and booze but not the 12% I see on the bottle. interesting that I get a little chocolate and very mild coffee not at all what I was expecting but most welcome

M a little sticky on the lips and rather silky in the mouth, pretty thick and the booze burn I was expecting wasn't really there, a little heat but not much

D for 12% and high IBU's this is very easy too drink, tasty stuff and I would regret it but would drink a few of these if I had more

almost like a massive IPA with some very subtle stout characteristics. not sure If I would want to age this one I wouldn't want the hops to fade. Interesting beer and I wish I had some to age but for now I'll just have to thank MasterSki for sending this my way

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 9/21/2010 at The Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, served in a large flute glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, dark fruit, caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out a little sweet with flavors of chocolate, dark fruit and caramel. Then a strong but complementary hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty and brings a very good balance. It seems like the perfect marriage of hoppy and malty. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is an excellent stronger beer that is worth drinking for as long as you can handle it.

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Photo of davod23
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip.

The beer is a deep, dark auburn. Raising it to the light is of little use, as this beer is nearly opaque. However, around the edges I can see that the brew has great clarity. The tan cap is but a small layer, but is nicely persistent. A bit of lace.

The smell... methinks Founders done good this time. Fresh hop cones layered with caramel and chocolate. Smells like a hop candy bar. Alcohol is definitely making itself known as well - there is some heat behind this one.

Taste is very good. Similar to the aroma, except that I get a bit of toffee and molasses in the taste that I didn't notice in the smell. Booze. Sweet, but balanced because of the insane amount of hop bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel is appropriate. Ample carbonation, medium-thick bodied, sticky finish. Drinkability is just okay, as the booziness and the bitterness wears on me a bit over the course of the bottle. Really glad this is only 12 oz, even though I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of Jdiddy
3.18/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well, Founders are my favorite brewery and I had high hopes for this. Unfortunately, I was very letdown by this years Nemesis. Nothing more than a sweet, sticky dark IPA IMO. The hops overpower what may have been an interesting combo. The malts want to present themselves but can't. Leaves a nasty coating on the mouth after drinking. Like Karo Syrup or something. I am a hophead and this just didn't do it for me. Of all the great beers Founders releases, not sure why this was Nemesis 2010. I love ya Founders but this may have been one of my least favorite beers of yours.

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Photo of tegelaar
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a pure black with a small film of cocoa colored film on top. Smells sweet and sugary with a slight medicinal quality. The taste is very earthy with a very strong bitter finish (hello 100 IBUs). It's also quite boozy tasting. It has a ton of flavor but I don't find the combo particularly good. There's no way you can drink more than one of these - intense malt, intense hops, and very boozy.

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Photo of garbercury
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Goblet, lets party.

A---Dark with good carbonation and some lacing.

S---Smell of licorice and hops, but not overpowering.

T---Combo of malt with a nice balance of hops, this one is not too strong with the hops, good mix.

M---Smooth on the palate, good mouthfeel.

D---Well, I guess at 12 percent, the party would end badly after too many of these...Have a few to cellar, curious to see how it ages...

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Photo of jwinship83
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up for a jaw dropping $6.99/bottle. ouch. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a completely opaque black body. no light comes through even when held near a lamp. a finger of khaki colored head forms on top and has good retention. small spots of lacing are left behind when it falls.

S- dark roasted malts and booze are the first things i notice coming from my glass. chocolate and coffee with some grapefruit hop notes as well. it seems to kind of blur style lines.

T- the taste is equally as dark and roasted as the smell. lots of the dark chocolate and coffee that i could smell. the hoppy finish comes on stronger than i was expecting. lots of grapefruit and pine. once again, theres lots of detectable alcohol.

M- medium to full bodied. palate coating and syrupy. nicely bitter. well carbonated. moderate warming from the booze.

D- this ones a thinker. as i said before, it blurs the typical style lines. stout meets american barleywine. a little pricey for what it is, but something ill be looking forward to drink again and it will be exciting to see what some age will do to this one. so far im liking the nemesis series.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thick and ruddy, deep copper with a thin head that fades quickly. Smells very sweet and malty, just a bit of citrus hops come through. Lots of caramel, chocolate, spice and a bit of milky coffee.
Taste is much like the smell with deep notes of caramel, sweet malt, mild citrus and molasses. Very dense, creamy and rich and very pleasing to sip. It's very hard to take much more than a sip of this stuff. I could drink this all night and might get through 2 bottles. Going on my Wants List right now.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into Newport Storm pint glass. 12% ABV, 100 IBUs.

A- Agressive pour brings a nice caramel, molasses brown beer with a big, sticky, 2-finger tan head. A little lacing as well.

S- Sugary, maple-y sweetness and alcohol.

T- Wow. Hop Tsunami. This thing is bitter! Nice roasty and sweet malt finish, the alcohol almost gets lost in the big swirl of flavors her.

M- Big, heavy, but enjoyable. Drank it faster than expected.

D- Moderate. A good barleywine, hop heads should check this one out. I like this one a lot more than the 2009. It will be interesting to see if the malt holds up when the hops in this one fade.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Tonight I pulled out one of my favorite glasses my Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre stemmed goblet which actually towers over the little twelve ounce bottle. As I popped the cap off I was greeted with a healthy hiss from the carbonation gasses escaping from the short and stubby neck in this bottle. I decided to pour straight on in the middle of the goblet because I wasn't quite sure if I could get a decent head out of this thick heavy ale. As predicted I was right, there really was no head to speak of while pouring all I could get was just a tiny thin wisp of bubbles that quickly dissipated after a few minutes. As I hold the glass up to the light I can barley see some hues of dark redish brown trying to poke through the edge of the glass and as I give a swirl there is a good amount of lacing creeping down the walls.


As typical with most American styled barley wines this is loaded with piney sticky citrus fruit hops and a huge backbone of sweetness that reminds me of black cherries and non spiced dark rum. The alcohol is blazing hot that almost stings your nostrils if you take a huge whiff which followed by some chocolate and syrupy undertones that almost remind me of molasses.


There is a lot of flavors going on here! Hops galore, loads of sweetness, and some fiery alcohol make for a great complete package. The first thing that hits your palate is the caramel sweetness and it is silky smooth and goes down easily. The next thing that really strikes me is the pungent hops that complete the finish which is so enjoyable and not clashing the sweetness but rather working with it. As I dig a little deeper into this ale and let it warm up a bit the dark fruits and chocolate really are becoming more and more prominent. For being 12% the alcohol is present but it's not nearly as noticeable as some other high ABV beers I have had in the past. I really think that this will be a stellar beer to age and I am willing to be the flavors will mesh even better in a few years.


Overall this was another great release from Founders and the Nemesis series. It was thick and syrupy, sweet and boozy with a great hoppy profile that never took front stage. This was a slow sipper and I'm glad that I left myself plenty of time to sit back and enjoy it on this lazy Sunday. If you get a chance to buy or trade for this beer I'd definitely say go for it because it will be great to try now and if you can save some for later I think you will be in for a nice surprise.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Translucent mohagany body with just a little head from an agressive pour.

Smell is molasses and earthy hops.

Taste is moasses and earthy hops. There's a wood flavor to it, but a natural wood and not a vanilla-like wood as if it were aged in a barrel. All of it is very well pronounced. Finish is long lasting hops and bitter.

Mouthfeel is thick and a little syrupy with light carbonation. Slightly hot.

The 12% abv shows and this beast is heavy. It's a sipper.

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Photo of jmich24
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Barley wine

A: Thin off white head. Very dark brown. A little sporadic lacing. Somewhat disappointing.
S: Sweet malts, pine and citrus hops some medicinal qualities, boozy.
T: Sweet malts, licorice, oil hop resin, some citrus and pine. A bit boozy.
M: Wet and crisp. Lingering bitterness. Nice creaminess.
D: This is defiantly a sipper @ 12 ABV. I don't want to put it down which helps its drinkability.

My first barley wine. And I'm very intrigued. I will seek out more.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter a deep dark brown with just a tinge of amber/brown,a thin quick to fade head atop.Aromas are a mix of big sweet molasses and juicy fruit malt,and big resiny pine hops.Hefty and sweet from the onset,molasses and alcohol dipped dark fruit, with sweet alcohol,the piny hops are big but it doesnt wrestle control away from the big sweetness.Its thick and mouth coating and goes down smooth.I like it but to me its not great,it is brash I have to say.

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Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A big aroma of hops, malt, and caramel. Typically barleywine.

T: Tasted of hops and caramel up front, with a nice malty backbone in the finish. Also had traces of licorice. Much more robust than a lot of other American barleywines.

M: A solid amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A well made, drinkable beer.

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Photo of sitarist
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark root-beer brown with amber hues, Short khaki colored head falls to a cap and ring that leaves webs of lacing all over the glass.

I smell grape bubble yum and hash oil, the aromas are sweet and earthy. This smells more like a blend of beers rather than a Barleywine.

The flavors fall right in line with the aromas with a slight bite of earthy green peppercorns and licorice. Very different!

Nice thick body, it is sticky and the carbonation pricks at my tongue, just the slightest bite.

Good beer but not one that Id go searching for. Not sure what style it even is? Im leaning towards a blend.

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Photo of BumpkinBrewer
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Review - I have no idea how to rate a beer but here are my comments

A - Pours very dark with a crimson hue around the edge of the glass, a small beige head

S - of floral hops, slight booziness, sweet mollases

T - Hoppy coupled with a pure dark chocolate bitterness. For a lack of a better phrase a mediciny cherry cordial after tone. It almost feels like its clearing my chest congestion.

M - Feels great shorterm, but will probably destroy my palate for future beers tonight. Kind of a cough syrup feel (I love that)

D - Means nothing to me. I will drink whatever is put in front of me whenever. Besides, you probably wouldnt believe me if I said I could drink this all night

Overall I'm wicked glad I got to try this beer thanks to all the MA BAs for posting when and where it was available

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Photo of gwguest
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at W. Pizza into a generic chalice.

A: Pretty beer. Nice tan head on a very dark caramel body. Not so pretty that I would look at it for days, but I wouldn't kick it out of bed. Dark for what I expect of a barleywine. So dark that I wasn't completely sure that I'd received the correct beer.

S: I'm surprised at how little aroma there really is. Mostly a bready malt aroma with touch of toffee and toasty. The environment could have been clouding my nose here, but it didn't smell all that special.

T: Fantastic. For a 'fresh' barleywine, it is amazingly smooth and together. Like the nose, toffee and caramel malts sit on top of a great malty backbone with a roasty thread. Hops are perfectly balanced and blended. Hop flavor meshes nicely with the malts into an almost singular flavor. So smooth and decadent. Reminds me a touch of SN Bigfoot with some age on it.

M: Just the way I like it. Sticky, resinous and chewy. If I had a bunch of this for winter, I'd be a happy man.

D: For a barleywine, it's just right. The only thing that gets in the way of really pushing this over the top in drinkability is it's excellence. I want to savor every drop.

Slightly warming in the tummy. I didn't know it was 12% until I signed into BA. It certainly doesn't drink like it. These beer could ruin your morning; that might just be OK.

Considering the hype around FN2010, I was prepared for a let down, but this one is right up my alley. Barleywine done right without becoming a DIPA.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #2000

On tap at Sycamore in Columbia, MO - $7 for a 10oz pour. Thanks, Sanford!

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It had some decent retention and left some sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of sharp, spicy hops - a little piney. Good roasty malt aroma with a burnt toast nose.

T - Good bitter hop bite upon first sip. Some pine and citrusy hops. Roasty like a porter with chocolate notes and a burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a warm alcohol punch.

D - This is really good. It blurs the lines between barleywine and black ipa.

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Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 934 ratings
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