Today I have a very exciting ale from the fine folk of Founders Brewing Company. Nemesis is their newest small batch series which aims to craft beers that are “diabolically brewed to decimate ordinary average run of the mill tasting beer” and release a unique product once a year. Out of sheer coincidence I was lucky enough to spot the last four pack on the shelves of The Four Firkins almost a month ago and there is no doubt it will be difficult to find, but surely worth your time and money even at about $5 a 12oz bottle. This years Nemesis is a Wheat Wine that was aged in the same bourbon barrels often used for their barrel aged Breakfast Stout [review] but with the addition of maple syrup and a very serious 12% ABV as well as 70 IBU. Nemesis pours a modestly dark hue that is a mix of red and an apricot hue that is very opaque but when brought to light becomes very bright and slightly translucent. Head is white and but a single finger of tight bubbles that last for a few minutes. Aroma is full of strong alcohol esters, a good dose of bourbon as well as sweet maple, toffee and caramel notes. A complex melody of flavors are present including bourbon, maple syrup, intense alcohol, sweet wheat esters and a variety of modest herbal and earthy notes. A few sips even reminded me of s’mores, minus the chocolate with creme esters being the primary attribute. This is one complex and highly alcoholic ale but I find the play between the maple and wheat to create very enjoyable flavor profile that helps balance and contrast the serious alcohol and bourbon esters nicely. Definitely not an ale for those unaccustomed to strong ales but a delicious brew that is certainly worthy if you stumble upon it. An intriguing contrast of stiff alcohol and bourbon with maple and sweet grains. As many of you know flavors are most detectable at around room temperature and this ale is a prime example of something to consume at proper serving temperature as the alcohol esters are much more assertive (and offensive to the palate) when served cold, yet delightfully complimented when served at near room temperature. Unquestionably a daring ale that I have sincerely enjoyed and would recommend to others, at least in small doses. Give it a shot and ride your bike.