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Founders Nemesis 2010 | Founders Brewing Company

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507 Reviews
Founders Nemesis 2010Founders Nemesis 2010

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcann2pu on 07-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 507 | Ratings: 933
Photo of weizenbob
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle of a 12% ABV, 100 IBU barleywine: bring it on! Sampled in a snifter. An aggressive pour yields about half a finger of creamy tan head that elegantly fades leaving some sticky lacing on the glass and a patch of soapy bubbles left over from the pour. The color is a shade darker than cola, well into the porter range. It's not terribly impressive to look at, but a beast none the less.

Aroma bursts forth from the bottle as soon as the cap seal is broken, as though there is too much to be contained in a twelve ounce container. Held up to the nose, red grape aromas emerge. Malted barley is on the bill as well as an alluring floral hop character that blends wonderfully with the sweet emerging fruitiness. A subtle yeasty character holds it all together. What a treat to the nose.

The taste is a brewer's kitchen sink. There are so many flavors coming off this beer that it's difficult to distinguish any of them upon first sip. The first thing I'm picking up on the tongue is black licorice. It's sweet and intense. There's a strong notion of blueberries soaked in alcohol. You do notice the alcohol, but it feels like more like a 7% ABV brew rather than the 12% that's actually present (in fact, it drinks a lot like Centennial IPA in that regard). It's still difficult to distinguish individual flavors due to the intensity of each one and their harmonious balance. The brew finishes with a boatload of floral hops which you don't really get the full effect of in the midst of so many intense flavors. It's only after the flavors have dissolved in my mouth that I realize my palate has been assaulted by the potency of the hop oils. There is a mild lingering sweetness in the aftertaste that compliments the hop temperament. It's actually pretty spectacular that 100 IBUs are balanced out so well with the rest of the brew.

It's no surprise that with so much going on, this beer is thick. The relatively high alcohol content provides a smooth texture and a bit of warmth but this is also so malty that it should be in danger of coming off as syrupy. However the thickness is in wonderful proportion to the mild carbonation which keeps things from getting sludgy. The hop finish is a little disarming, but otherwise it sips like a fine liqueur.

Drinkability is in the eye of the beholder and in this case, dependant on the situation. You are definitely not going to session this beer, and you'd be doing yourself and the brew a disservice if you did (not to mention your wallet). This is meant to be sipped and savored and even shared. It drinks easy for 12% alcohol but really deserves to be appreciated in an intimate setting, either over conversation with a close friend, or to accompany a good book. In any case, be sure that you drink this in a situation that will allow you to slow down and appreciate what Nemesis has to offer.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. August 06, 2010 bottled date on the neck.

(A)- Pours a very dark brown almost black color that produced a good tan colored foamy head. Decent retention; actually it is great retention considering the ABV. Lets lots of spotty lacing behind. The darkest Barleywine I have ever seen.

(S)- A rich malty profile. Almost has a roasted character to it that is rather stout-like in character. A nice caramel and fig-like sweetness.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A wonderful rich malty barley profile with a great caramel sweetness. Bitter, but minimal and fitting. Rather smooth despite the robustness of it.

(M)- Where in God's name is the 12%ABV?! Smooth as can be for the style and has a great malt profile. Hoppy as hell, but barely noticed due to the richness of the malt profile. This delivers a party in the mouth. Ridiculously smooth for the style.

(D)- A sipper for sure due to its richness, but a homerun for the style. Superb ABV integration, but it does catch up to you later on. The bottle did not last long. Well-done yet again Founders!

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one was poured into a tulip glass. A HUGE thank you to Geneseohawk for this fantastic extra!

Appearance- This only had about a half-finger of beige colored head that degrades quickly to a slight ring around the glass. The body of this beer is completely black.

Smell- The nose is jam-packed with dark fruits and sweet malts. There is plum, dark cherries, and red grapes. I would be surprised to not smell the slight alcohol with how big this one is. There is just a hint of brown sugar in here as well. This is intoxicating!

Taste- There is a ton of roast on the palate that was not in the nose. The finish has a nice bit of char, but it is not overwhelming or inappropriate for the beer. The dark fruits definitely are here, however, they do not come through as strong as they do on the nose. Still some dark cherry and raisins.

The year of aging has got rid of any strong hop notes that may have been here. There is slight bittering in the finish, but that is it. I also am extremely pleased that the bourbon I taste lacks any heat. Just a really incredible sipping experience.

Mouth feel- This is a bigger medium body that is more slick than creamy. It could be bigger from carbonation, but it may just be diminished from the year of aging.

Overall- This barleywine is a huge surprise and aging has only made it better by all accounts, except maybe the mouth feel. I really hope I have the opportunity to have this again!

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Photo of gfreed
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, have a grilled-cheese sandwich and a bowl of corn chowder and Cambridge Common, then have this beer for dessert. Don't drink anything afterward-- you won't want to ruin the taste of this beer with anything else. There is surprisingly little aroma to this, but there's so much going on in the taste that it would require several glasses to decode it all. At 12%, however, it wouldn't be wise to have more than one. Still, there are enough raisins, chocolate, apricots, cherries and pepper in the taste to make anybody happy; the body is nicely dense without being thick, with just enough fizz to give it some sparkle. The alcohol is well hidden but does eventually catch up-- enjoy this is small quantities. Absolutely worth hunting down and buying a few extra bottles.

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

Pours out a very dark cola-like brown/black, and the head doesn't stick around long at all. It's wispy and built of big bubbles, which scatter to form a crown around the edges, and even that doesn't look all that great. But then, Nemesis is a 12% beer, so this is expected.

Oh my, the aroma. It's a beautiful, bountiful thing. Lots going on. Elements of fresh-cut wood, sherry, and big wet fruits (plum, fig, raisin, grape) out front; cacao nibs, citrus fruits, salt water taffy, and vanilla much further back. A hint of smoke? Gorgeous.

Earthy and fruity, the flavor is a delightful thing. Fruits are big and juicy, although not all that sweet, and flashes of chocolate milk, cocoa, tobacco, vanilla, sherry, and grape juice flash by. Sweet molasses and grapefruit peel citrus further back. Smoked wood, molasses and leafy green hop bitterness mingle in the long finish. It's so good I don't even want to bother trying to describe it much further. It is what it is, and it feels almost wrong to try and put into words.

Smooth, round, silky, velvety, buoyan...feels like hot sex on the tongue. Wonderful.

Considering the style and ABV, there is nothing unwelcoming about this beer whatsoever; it is in no way a chore to finish. In fact, it is a pure pleasure. Founders knocks yet another out of the park.

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

Shared a 1-year aged, 12 fl oz bottle of this w/ hawksfan82 @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO (price unknown). Poured from the bright blue colored bottle w/ 2010 labeled on it into a 12oz Snifter Glass. No freshness date to be found.

Aroma- Has an extremely rich barley aroma with tons of licorice. Is very boozy and has a maltiness thats I'm not sure I've ever smelt. Very strong all around (probably got more intense with age).

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger head that is off-white and stays for a minute. Has the dark brown colored body with possibly highlights throughout. Definitely has legs and tons of viscosity while swirling it around in the snifter. Leaves sudsy lace.

Flavor- Extremely intense and has an unreal amount of complexity to it! Strong malts, nice and boozy but then has a sweetness that is present through the whole drink. The hops are medium and may have a bit of caramel throughout times of drinking but not strong.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Low-Medium Carbonation, Chewy, tons of alcohol strength, and then leaves a boozy/dark fruit finish with barley.

Overall Impression- I was very happy to have had this one again but aged this time! It did get more complexed and enjoyed it thoroughly. Had good hops in here and while it was viscous, you could still get tons of character in the taste and aroma. Try to find this one for yourself and keep in your cellar for a year or so.

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

A: Reddish brown. Very dark with little head.

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

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

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

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

Great showing again from Founders.

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Photo of jlandis
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Rich deep black in color with thin tan head that slowly forms after the beer has been poured. Most of the time the head forms as you are pouring, but clearly this beer doesn't care about doing things the normal way.

S - Bright grapefruit with sweet candy like malt sweetness. In the background I'm picking up a subtle roasted dark chocolate aroma. This reminds me a bit of those Black IPAs I have been having recently. A nice combination of aromas that you might not expect to see together.

T - Bitter grapefruit and roasted coffee mixed with a fantastic dark chocolate flavor. In the finish there are dark fruits (cherries and grapes). The roasted coffee sits in the finish and just invites you for the next sip.

M - Medium to full body with solid carbonation.

This is another fantastic example of an American Barleywine with an interesting coffee chocolate twist. The more American Barleywines that I have the more I love the style. I think I need to keep my eyes open for some others.

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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 vtfan77
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark garnet, almost stout-like until it is held up to the light. A half inch of light tan head quickly dissipates, giving way to a decent ring of lace.

S- Again, almost stout-like with immediate aromas of coffee, molasses, chocolate, and caramel. The intense maltiness is backed by a piney hop presence that struggles to crack through the malty fortress and only barely succeeds. A touch of fruit in the form of black cherries is evident, as is a strong dose of alcohol. Outstanding.

T- Syrupy malt is quickly balanced by piney, earthy hops before it gets cloying. Fantastic balance between roasted and sweet flavors. The hops add a nice bitterness that truly complements that malt rather than clashing.

M- Thick and slightly syrupy, balanced only a little by the relatively light carbonation. Very appropriate for the style.

D- Goes down way too easy for a 12% beer. I could smell the alcohol, but damned if I can taste it. It's rich and flavorful but so smooth and easy to drink. A sipper for sure, but I could "sip" about two or three bottles' worth.

A gnat flew into my beer about five minutes into my enjoyment of it. Did that stop me from drinking the rest? Hell no! Like the Irishman of joke, I pulled him out and commanded him to spit out what he had drunk. He died rather than relinquish his precious bounty. That's how good this beer is. Seriously, one of the best barleywines I've ever had. I have to get more of this to age. Highly recommended.

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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 TheSevenDuffs
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ewright for including this one in a trade.

Poured in to a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark brown with one finger of thick brown head that settled nicely and stuck around for a while.

S - Very sweet up front with notes of dark caramel, brown sugar and candy. A nice hop bitterness rounds out the nose with some earthy notes.

T - Full of flavour. A lot of bitterness comes through from the hops with some earthy flavours, but the malts - which provide most of the flavour to this beer are just bursting with flavour. The malts add notes of dark caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar and are just packed with sweetness. The bitterness is a perfect balacne to the sweetness.

M - Thick, heavy, syruo-like. Very lightly carbonated. Silky. Amazing mouthfeel.

D - Remarkably drinkable for 12% ABV.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours incredibly dark, practically black, with one finger of off-white head, that subsides fairly quickly. Tons of lacing.

Smell: Hops, hops, and more hops. Notes of citrus, grassy hops, and tobacco, but backed by a sweet smell of roasted malts in the background. The sweetness serves to accent the hoppy notes. Great smelling beer.

Taste: Lots of bitter hops right away. Boozy, too. The hops linger in the background for the entire sip, but the initial bite quickly fades into a caramel, syrupy malt sweetness. The sweetness doesn't overpower, but simply takes a little bit of the edge off of the hops. The beer is definitely bitter, but not so to be overpowering - the raw hop flavor really comes through. I wouldn't say it's overly complex, however - but that being said, it's a great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick and creamy, which helps support all of the intense flavors.

Drinkability: Phenomenal beer. It is definitely hoppier than most barleywines, even for an American-style one. Some may prefer a little bit more complexity, and I would be tempted to age one, but I'm afraid it would lose the hop flavors, which are a major part of this beer. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would have it again. Despite the high ABV, it's hard to sip this one - it's too good.

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Photo of imscotty
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sept. 2013 Update. Enjoyed my very last bottle for my birthday. Still great but I would say it is on the other side of peak. Drink now.

March 2013 review below:
A: Pours a slightly translucent reddish black. Little head or lacing but fairly well carbonated.

S: Malt, caramel, alcohol, vanila, fig, cherry, some earthy tones.

T: The taste has smoothed out since I had it fresh two years ago. The hops are mostly gone and now the deep malty caramel tastes stand out. Not sweet, this has aged quite nicely, I do not see it improving any more with age so enjoy one now. There is a nice bitter roast finish to this beer. Deeper, subtle earthy tones linger on the tongue.

M: Still nicely carbonated, medium bodied.

O: This is a great beer with big bold flavor. I would not call this a classic style American Barlywine, more of a hybrid beer. Whatever its designation, I could drink this everyday. If only I could, I wish I had stocked up when I had the chance. A great, bold, complex and balanced beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Released around 9/2010 so this is at least over a year old at this point.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Nice foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, bread, brown sugar, molasses, some dark fruits, and some citrus zest hops. This beer smells absolutely amazing. Taste is almost exactly like the smell with rich malty dark bread, brown sugar, molasses, slight dark fruits, and citrus zest on the finish. A very mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with a well hidden ABV. I really enjoyed this beer and I am very glad I got to try one of these.

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Photo of gwguest
4.53/5  rDev +10%
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 jt31914
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had it on-tap yesterday and then in a bottle today

A: Black, or at least very very dark brown. Not much lacing or carbonation, but that's to be expected.

S: Booze, barley, dark malt/chocolate almost. Nice hops as well. An interesting smell, but probably the weakest part of the beer.

T: Phenomenal! I much prefer this to '09. Heavy barley and dark malt tastes mixing on the palate, with a nice faint nuttiness to balance out the strength of the flavors. Also, some alcohol heat on the finish, but it is almost welcome warmth to me.

M/D: Smooth, almost velvety like bourbon as it sits in your mouth, and then finishes just as smooth. Admittedly not overly drinkable, but for the style it's in my top 5 for sure.

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Photo of mcann2pu
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: 07/14/10

A kicked up American Black Barleywine: 100 IBU's 12% Alc. By Vol.

Appearance: Pours a midnight black, motor oil color, opaque in the glass, if you tilt the glass and look at the top you can get some light through it, pencil thin dark tan head, some fine lacing that sluggishly marches down the glass back into the brew.

Smell: interesting smell, a little yeasty, dark malted smell, hops.

Taste: great taste, really is a sort of fusion of styles in my opinion, first I get a dark malty taste, then a middle of a smooth wheatwine/ barleywine taste, with a slightly alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: good smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: very drinkable for the 12% alc. It's a great beer, and I'm certainly going to be enjoying a few more of these.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours decently for a finger thick of clumpy tan head, and the body is nearly black; however, reddish hues are visible when held up to the light.

The aroma is hop centric... Lots of arid floral characteristics and maybe some lemon rind. There is a toasty malt undertone, which may be described as a combination of coffee and toffee mixed together.

In the taste it seems to be maltier than I expected. There are rich caramel overtones, and cherry/woody hints. The hops are there in the way of spruce, but not dominating. This is a well crafted barleywine.

This is lightly carbonated, and oily slick... Very warming to the palate in the finish.

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Photo of JoeMans
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

via Trade:

A: Deep, dark amber color. Minimal lacing that dissipates quickly.
S: Minimal sweetness, dried fruit, syrupy nose. Got a bit of smoke towards the end.
T: This beer starts out strong, and finishes with some dry dark chocolate. As it develops the thickness intensifies, the bitter chocolatey notes drop but the sweetness retains.
M: Thick and rich boozey notes, full body and a very long finish.
O: I've never had this beer fresh, but after 4 years its really solid. Almost 2 different beers from start to finish. I hope Founders will revisit this like they're doing to some other older brews.

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

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

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

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

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

Presentation- 12oz. bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice.

Appearance -Dark reddish brown, one finger head that quickly recedes, leaving beautiful lacing on the glass.

Nose- Malty banana spice bread with some woody notes and a hint of hops. Perhaps a bit of vanilla hiding out in the background.

Taste- Malty with a slight sweetness that's quickly covered by the bitterness of the hops, leaves a very pleasant hoppy after taste. As it warms the sweetness moves forward somewhat but never takes center stage. Also the alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and smooth, very pleasing sizzle to the carbonation keeps this from coming across syrupy.

Drinkability- This is a sipper. This beer is not overbearing but the alcohol hides out so well that you can drink this faster than you should.

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

Courtesy of Coryking. What a great extra.

Poured into my SN XXX glass this brew pours a very very dark brown with ruby highlights. The head is quick to die out, but does manage to leave some lacing.

S: Very strong citrus/pinny hop aroma. Sweet caramel in the background. I'm not getting chocolate, but this brew has a sweetness to it.

T: The flavor of Nemesis is the epitome of an American Barleywine. 100IBU tough wrecking bitter hoppyness. This is how I like the American version of this style. Hops are pinny with small fruit hints. Carmel malt sweetens the brew and gives it backbone to stand on. Alcohol is present in an unusual complementing form.

MF: Mouthfeel is really average, but good. It's medium body, and the carbonation is the same.

D: For 12% ABV and 100IBU you cannot ask for much more. Seriously this is highly drinkable.

Overall, Founders continues to impress me. This is up there with Old Guardian and Old Ruffian as the best barley wine I've had. Man this is a good one.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Andy's Corner Bar in Bogota, NJ. Served in a tulip glass.

I'm told to expect anything from an amber to a dark-colored beer for barleywines, but this is just something else. Somewhere between ruby red and burnished mahogany, this is quite the pretty beer to behold. The edges of the beer are distinctly maroon, accompanied by a subdued head that leaves some crazy funky lacing that is just everywhere. From the first whiff, I'm getting a ton of dark fruit, including raisins and dates, infused with hefty notes of burnt caramel and roasted malt. Mild hints of cocoa also permeate through, with just a little bit of hoppiness too.

On the first sip, the palate is greeted with a good dose of the sweetness from the nose, both from the fruity esters and substantial malt character. There's a slight burnt sugar quality to go along with the caramel, making for a very intriguing taste. Some piney hops make their appearance soon after, contributing a bitterness that doesn't quite balance out the initial sweetness, but that's not a bad thing at all. There is also a substantial booziness lying underneath all the different layers, but I think I can safely surmise that the age imparted to this beer has mellowed it out somewhat in that department. The alcohol provides a welcome counterpoint to the all the various flavor aspects and does its part in making this a delicious brew. Color me impressed. The body is weighty to this bad boy, which is a good thing, given the clout of its ABV and how easy it is to drink. Finish is drying, leaving you thirsty for more of it, so you'll have to pace yourself. I know I tried, but it really didn't work. Oh well!

Founders is a model of consistency when it comes to producing excellent beers and Nemesis is no exception to this. It is finely crafted and only gets better with age, so I would definitely recommend this right now. Just an all-around fantastic brew.

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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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Founders Nemesis 2010 from Founders Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 933 ratings.
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  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!