May 4, 2010

Founders Nemesis

I know, I know. It's been over a month since my last post. I don't even have a good excuse. Because believe me, I've been drinking plenty of good beers. Right now I'm at home, watching one of my favorite shows (Golden Girls. And if you haven't heard, Betty White is hosting SNL this Saturday. You better believe I'll be watching!), and drinking a Founders Nemesis. I'm having such a good night I wanted to write about it. So here I am.

I picked up the Nemesis a couple of months ago. I knew it was a rare find. Here's why: it's part of a limited-release beer series, of which the 2009 release is the first. Each year's release will be limited, and in whichever style head brewer Jeremy Kosmicki chooses.

The 2009 Nemesis is a maple bourbon barrel aged wheat wine. It comes in at 12% ABV (good thing I'm just having this one). The beer was aged for 9 months in barrels that were in the brewery's storage space 80 feet underground in a gypsum mine.

I have to say when I read the description I wasn't sure I would like it (maybe why I've waited so long to try it?), but it's far exceeded my expectations, and is only getting better as it's getting warmer.
The pour is a nice, hazy orange. The smell is of bourbon, maple, caramel, and vanilla. There's some fruitiness, and a lot of booze, which had me worried. I should have known better than to worry, though. Founders knows what they're doing, and I've never tasted a beer of theirs that I didn't like. Nemesis proves no different. The taste is smooth - a touch of bitterness, and a nice sweet, fruit taste as well. The alcohol is present in a burning sensation, but isn't overwhelming at all. As with the nose, maple and caramel are in there, too.

Overall I think this is a complex beer. It's a sipper, but a sipper that I want to more than sip. It's really, really smooth and delicious. It may not be to everyone's taste. Believe me, I get that. But I have to say I already can't wait to taste the 2010 release.