Founders Nemesis 2010 | Founders Brewing Company

Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010
Liked This Beer
4.18 w/ 933 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 933 |  Reviews: 507
Photo of soupyman10
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one not really knowing what I was getting myself into - no really "style" labeled on it, so what was it...a double IPA? An imperial stout? Honestly, I finished it and still didn't really know what to call it, besides a monstrously hoppy malt-bomb, if there is such a thing. This thing was just enormous. Deep brown color with an off white head that dissolves surprisingly quickly. Flavors and aromas are likewise - huge resiny, syrupy hops, enormous toffee, chocolate, dark dried fruit, raisins and molasses. Maybe alcohol in there, although it's pretty quiet, especially for an ABV as high as it is. Overall, a delicious brew that isn't quite at the top level that Founders frequently reaches, but is still quite tasty, if somewhat overpriced ($6 per bottle).

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this almost by accident at Lundeen's in DeKalb. Figured I couldn't pass up a chance to purchase an entire 4-pack.

A: Pours pitch black into the glass, looks like a stout as no light could possibly escape this one. Head begins decently thick, resting a couple inches above the beer itself, then slowly melts away into a cap while leaving behind some scant lacing.

S: This is a bit weird. Loads of hops certainly but also loads of bitter chocolate and maybe a touch caramelized brown sugar (if you imagine it to be there). Give the glass a swirl or two then take a sniff and a fruitiness escapes from this rather dense cloud of bitter chocolate, can't really put my finger on it but it is nice to see something break trough the cloud. All things being equal though, I am not ready to fall in love with the aroma.

T/MF: Somehow I got honey and nuts before being taken over by a slowly creeping hoppiness. The deeper I get into this beer to more the chocolate begins to take over with a bracing bitterness that holds on to the back of your tongue and refuses to let go.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.22/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Dark brown on the edges black in the center body with a small white head that quickly ran away

S - Sweet citrus hop flavor with a big malty aroma

T - Big citrusy hop flavor with a huge sweet malty backbone. Not really picking up on any specific malt notes, maybe a little roast. A bit of a boozy flavor as well. Finishes with a mixture of bitter hops and coffee.

M - heavy body, very little carbonation, syrupy texture as well.

D - A bit too hot. This thing definitely needs some time to mellow out. I think I'll wait a good while before opening any of the other bottles of this monster.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Very dark brown, almost opaque. Small but fluffy, long lasting tannish white head. Lots of lacing.

S - Big citrusy hops, caramel, a little bit of roast, and a little bit of pleasant boozy alcohol.

F/M - Piny/citrusy hops, dark malts: bitter chocolate, raisins. Slight solventy alcohol flavor. Resinous and very bitter. Very astringent and very dry in the finish. Full bodied, full viscous, oily and slick mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

D - Thick, full, sweet and boozy. Very astringent and very bitter. This one will definitely improve with age.

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Photo of infi
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/14/10.

Poured into a snifter.

Translucent, dark-brown body. Tons of mini bubbles in this barleywine. There's a nice thin and foamy tan head that slowly recedes into a cap. Dotted lacing up around the glass as well. On the nose is a thorough malt toastiness with hints of honey. There's actually barley characteristics to this beer, which really engulfs the nose. If there were hop aromas in this, the time passed since the bottling date really shows. No pine/citrus aromas detectable.

Begins with a sticky hop bitterness that immediately transitions into the malt/barley breadiness, alongside hints of dark fruits like figs and plums. Also, there's a noticeable caramel sweetness throughout the brew. Apparently, the 12% ABV was palpable for many before, but it's completely absent for me. Very smooth and flavorful. If you've got a single bottle of Nemesis 2010 but was apprehensive to open because of the booziness, I'd say it's safe to open to drink right now. It's drinking really great. Overall, the balance of bitter and sweet are on point with the alcohol being held at bay.

Medium-bodied - smooth and silky. Completely opposite of its carbonated appearance for sure. Drinks like a nice liqueur. I was a bit skeptical on paying $5.99 for a single 12 oz., but I find that it was worth it. If you've got a four-pack, drink one now and continue to age the rest. I'm sure this will be drinking very beautifully in the near future.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Matt for setting a couple of these aside for me today. Nemesis 2010 pours out a very dark brown, almost black with little more than a small white lacing. Big whiff of hops and honey up front, with some figs and a strong alcohol perfume. Damn, the taste is straight on booze and hops, a real palate bruiser that leaves a very bitter ending. The body is very big, making it a slow sipper along with the somewhat intense, almost acrid flavor profile. Drinkability? Not so great right now, but I could see this one developing quite nicely with a couple years of age to it. I felt the same way about the 09, but unfortunately I drank all of my supply. This one I am going to hold on to and revisit a ways down the road.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. 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? that i'm not so sure.

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Photo of klewis
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A; Pours black with a small foamy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Syrupy with strong aromas of milk chocolate, plums, and figs. Rich and complex.

T: Chocolate. Cocoa. Coffee. Night. Full-flavored with an upfront sweetness quickly followed by a gripping bitterness.

M: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Thick, oily, and chewy.

D: I'm usually more positivistic in my reviews; it takes a certain kind of beer to make me wax poetic - and this is it. This is WORTH $5.50 for a 12 oz. bottle.

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

Thin but tight head...not very long lasting though. But this IS a barleywine and I've never had one with a rich, thick head with staying power. Dark brown, almost looking like a lighter-colored stout in the body, but with more carbonation evident.

Not a very strong smell but what there is of it is dominated by malts, as you'd expect. Dark bread and dark fruits is the impression that I get. I expected more of a vinous characteristic but it's not there. The 12% abv is very well masked so far. Sure you get some red wine but you don't get the alcohol. Impressive.

Okay, the alcohol makes its entrance in the first sip, but not in an overpowering, vaporous or solvent way. It's well-balanced with the other flavors which are earthy, exhibiting hints of chocolate, black pepper and some of that dark fruit. There's also a bitterness and the hint of citrus in it that makes me believe there's a hops presence that's bringing it forward...backward actually, as it hits the back of the throat, but it does hit more forward on the palate than I' used to. If it weren't for the absence of Belgian yeast this would taste a lot like a Belgian quadrupel...and a good one at that.

The bitterness is strong but doesn't stick around too long. The alcohol intensifies on the nose and the tongue as the beer warms and leaves a warming sensation on the roof of your mouth. If you're not a fan of that what are you doing buying a barleywine?

Not a beer to drink everyday and definitely not one to have more than one of in an hour. This is a gentleman's beer that is best sipped on a cool evening. This could be one of my favorite barleywines to date, but I've only had about five of them...there's still research to do!

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Photo of largadeer
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to brian23456 for the bottles.

Into a wide-mouthed goblet, this beer appears opaque and black, very stout-like. A finger of leather-hued head rises and then descends into a thick lingering film with scattered lacing. The nose belies the appearance, it's quite fruity and hoppy with only a hint of acidic char. The fruity aroma brings to mind raisins, black mission figs, plums and earthier fruit, while the hop profile is more citrusy and resiny. The taste took me by surprise - it's intensely bitter with a green, resiny hop character. Fruity pineapple-like esters reside behind the hop attack, along with roasted and caramelized malts and a touch of alcohol. It's rich, but not overly so; this borders on Black IPA territory, but it's got too much malt heft and barleywine fruitiness. Interesting category-defying stuff, I like it, but I couldn't drink a ton of it. The alcohol also sneaks up on you pretty quickly.

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

A: Surprisingly thick and sticky head for such a high alcohol beer, color is dark brown with a bit of burgundy - 4.00, S: Dark molasses and fusil alcohol are the first smells to hit my nose, some prune juice and raisin, faint grapefruit discernible in the depths of the aroma - 4.00, T: Extreme hop bitterness that is actually well balanced by a hearty load of malts, mild distilled spirits such as rum, there is also a mountain of grapefruit pith and pungent pine juice, strong hop bitterness, dark fruits including plum and figs, somewhat sharp alcohol burn, burnt caramels - 3.50, M: A little syrupy, medium mouth feel, creamy - 4.00, D: A monstrous beer, loads of hops, a decent beer and good representation of the style but with not my cup of tea - 3.00

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Photo of morimech
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of those style bending beers. I have seen this beer called a barleywine, dopplebock, double black IPA, etc. But is it good regardless of style? Black in color with a modest tan head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass. This beer certainly smells wonderful. Deep malty aromas with hints of caramel and molasas. Some vanilla, is this barrel-aged? A little pine and grass. I expected a lot more hop aroma for 100 IBUs. The flavor was a little bit of a letdown. Far too bitter, harsh, and hot to be thouroughly enjoyed. Starts off with some wonderful malty elements. Hints of rich caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. Bitterness comes in and demonstrates its full 100 IBU power. The alcohol finishes with plenty of warmth. This beer definately needs some age to mellow out and blend together. Moderate body and nicely carbonated. Not as thick and chewy as a 12% ABV could be. Has some very good qualities but just too harsh at this time.

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Photo of BikeChef
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to score a bottle of this. Fig and prune flavors dominate this brew. Definitely fits into what I would think of as a darker barleywine. The 12% really is not noticeable at all. Good, and I love Founders, but I don't know if this is really worth searching out or worth the hype. Just kinda an average Barleywine.

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Photo of nkersten
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a new belgium tulip. Brown/dark red in color, very small off white head that fades to a ring around the edge. Smell is very sweet malts, vanilla bean, fresh mission figs, bitter hops. Taste is resinous dark fruit, hop bitterness but no distinct hop flavor. Finishes with a slightly roasted chocolate malt flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy and coating, light to medium carbonation. Not terribly drinkable, this one is heavy and boozy. A good barleywine, but there are many others I prefer.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shifter glass.

Pours a very dark! Stout like deep dark brown with an off white head. Lots over bubbles in the head. Aromas Of caramel, roasted malts, some brown sugar and a hint of honey. Really complex. The flavors are complex also but there is a distinct warming alcohol burn. Rich caramelized sugar notes, some chocolate shaving s and even some vanilla. Really complex. The mouthfeel is slick and boozy, but really has a huge flavor profile to help contain the booze. Drinkability for a barley wine is nice. Really reminds me of a strong ale, but this is something to drink slowly.

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black body, a reddish topaz around the edges in the light. Two fingers of tan foam that dwindles to one, and then down to a broken skim eventually. Not much lacing.

Fresh green hops and toffee first thing. Some sweet toasted creme brulee aroma too.

Rich and sweet, drinkable without getting cloying. The wet hops give it a deeply resinous hit of greenery, bittersweet roast coffee and tobacco traces in the aftertaste, with a little citrus rind from the hops. Smooth and pleasant, more of a nightcap than anything. Alcohol is perceptible now and then, but doesn't overshadow. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Photo of Chaney
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently saw this one in DC for $30 for a 4 pack. Yikes! Yesterday, I got this one at the Springfield Whole Foods for a $1.59/12oz. thanks to the beer buyer and my main man Kevin!

A: Pours a thick dark brown, almost black. It's like the sky looks right now in DC at say...6:50PM. Kind of bubbly for a Barlywine, and with a slight foam around the edges.

S: Actually, I smell soft citrus fruits and that is definitely a bit odd for an American Barleywine. Usually, in that style I get a strong boozy, licorice type of nose. However, there is just enough of that kind of compact "dark" scent to let you know that you are drinking a barleywine.

T: Pineapple? Yes....I think that is most definitely the first fruit I'm getting here. Weird huh? Maybe there is a hint of licorice, but even then, I really have to concentrate to find it. After it warms a bit, a mild chocolate-coated raison taste comes to the surface.

M: Smooth as silk! Is this an English Barleywine? It has the smoothness to suggest that....but....nope....not according to Founders. No alcohol burn in any way shape or form, and the texture is thick but not too. The sweetness is there, but in a natural, organic sort of way.

D: My advice to people: Don't put this one on the shelf and wait for it to "mellow out" or "settle." Hot damn!....this barleywine is about as smooth as that style gets, especially at 12%. Buy it and drink it now. Cheers!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my glass a deep dark garnet brown that borders on black when you view it from a distance. A quarter inch of khaki head on top leaves some splotchy lacing as it falls. Aromas start off with dark fruits and toffee melding with some roast, coffee and cocoa. Piney, herbal hops make themselves known alongside dense malts.

First sip brings smooth, dense malts upfront with tons of dark fruits, toffee and roast. Notes of cocoa and coffee combine in as the brew flows down with a good hit of bitterness from pine resiny hops. Sweetness is there but is well balanced. Alcohol is well hidden also. Tasty dark barleywine.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with good carbonation. Pretty easy to drink considering the ABV on this one. Overall, another tasty treat from Founders and a nice twist on a standard barleywine. Borderline on the price for this one though.

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Photo of beerhan
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's about time I review this beer but I've been too busy drinking it all week. I must say that this is one of my favorite beers of all time but has one big flaw--It is way too drinkable for being 12%


Poured into a snifter, dark black with a thin quickly dissipating brown head

Smells quite tame, little chocolate, dark berries

Tastes very chocolatey with a smooth finish. Very little bite. As nemesis warms up it feels more like wine and chocolate being paired together. It's an all around beautiful experience.

Way too drinkable, I keep kicking these back. I have been paying five dollars for a decent sized snifter and have been very happy. It just tastes and feels so good that I am sad that this beer will only be made once.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

09/04/10- Had this one on-tap at the Founder's brewpub.
A: Dark brown with mahogany hues, it has a slow developing tan-cream head that settles to a big bubbly ring.
S: Nice green hops, piney, earthy like old wood, sweet oats, stout characteristics with molasses sweetness.
T: Heavily hopped creamy stout (molasses and raisins) and a lingering toast with nice piney hops. Rum and caramel come through.
M: Sticky but not overly syrupy, foamy with a slow carbonation.
D: Only OK. 8 oz is enough.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Alex, into a Bells tulip...Pours a dark brown that is clear and watery...Complex aroma that is fresh wet hops balanced with chocolate malt, little alcohol on the finish distracts...Taste is nice but a little too dry hopped for me for a bw, I'd love to try this again in 3-6 months if it dies down a little the malt will come through better and this should be outstanding. Chocolate comes through and its really roasty so almost works, just not quite there yet. A little too boozy.

Much better the 2009 nemesis, this is worth trying now and then again over the next couple months.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very deep brown... head pulls a fast one towards the end of the pour and suddenly appears, approx. a finger tall, nice and sandy. The retention is mediocre, leaving a pleasant ring around the beer which is pretty acceptable considering the alcohol content.

S + T: The aroma and flavour are some strong points here... big, sweet maltiness with notes of brown sugar, molasses, and sticky caramel all coming together without ending up cloying or overdone, though it does take it to the edge of that realm. An herbal bitterness pulls it back on the finish, giving it a rather "defined" character.

M + D: A little nip of carbonation on the tip of the tongue which smooths out and finishes a with just a touch of stickiness to leave a little smacking of flavour behind. Certainly worth giving a try... I look forward to trying it against the 2009 with a little bit of age to see how the test of time stands up them both!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.2/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown, almost black. Little head. Very heavy malt nose with molasses and charred sugar and some bitter and earthy hops. Really I find this quite heavy and a bit overbearing. The taste has that same combination of heavy bitterness from both the hops and charred sugar, and a stiff, dry, heavy maltiness. Fairly leaden and really nothing here that elevates this above the norm. Relatively thick in the mouth, and fairly unremarkable. For my money this is a wildly bad value. Oh well.

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Photo of hardy008
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color with a one finger tan head with good retention. This is the first black Barleywine I have seen. The aroma has bourbon, charcoal, chocolate, and vanilla. If this tastes like it smells, it will be boozy and sweet.

It is boozy and sweet, and hoppy too. I did not pick that up in the aroma. The charcoal is not as strong in the taste as in the aroma, but the bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate come through nicely, as well as some dark fruit. Most likely raisins.

Full bodied, a little high on the carbonation, with a lot of alcohol burn. Both very sweet at times, and very hoppy at other times. A complex beer which I like, but I think I will like it more after it has some time to age in the cellar. I should be able to age the rest of the bottles for 1 to 2 years with no problem.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

pour is super deep brown with an almost black body. very thick creamy head that lasts a bit or so. light retention. very thick and chunky looking.

citrus hops mixed with booze and candy. dark fruit and molasses stand out the most. subtle cherry. major booze.

lots of heat up front with dark bitter cherry and an almost cough syrup flavor. fairly powerful hop bitterness through out but emerging through the finish. a ton of booze through out. quite warming in the end.

very thick with a moderate carbonation. mix of alcohol and carbonation tingle and numb the gums.

i bet this would age quite well. right now, there is just way too much going on and the flavors just don't come together as they should.

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Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88.7% out of 100 with 933 ratings
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