Nemesis 2010 was the second of two Nemesis releases from Founders and was a 12% ABV black barleywine. This beer was limited and never to be seen again and begged for some time to just sit around and see what happens.

It pours completely black and opaque. Looks like a stout, minus the body. Very little head that pretty much remains consistent until agitated.

The smell has dark and chocolate malts mixing with a heavy dose of licorice making up the dominant features. There is a hint of hops and a small bit of caramel, but black licorice definitely is the most recognizable out of anything.

The taste is that of a really hopped up stout, or a stout mixed with a black IPA. The medium body convinces your palate that it's far from a stout, but the chocolate malts bring a big presence to the front of the flavor. Even though this beer is about 4 years old, there is a decent amount of hop character left. Black licorice and bitter coffee are followed by a bit of caramel and a hint of dark fruit.

This beer has done quite well over time. The big hop addition gave it plenty of preservation and the malt base added a great balance to it. Everything has blended nicely and creates a very unique flavor. If black licorice isn't your thing, this one won't be up your alley, but the flavor does develop as you drink and you get the subtle layers of sweetness, malts and hops that I believe this beer was meant for. Not sure if I would let this go for much longer, but at this 4 year mark, it's drinking quite well.


Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.

Posted on June 20, 2014 .