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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,174 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,174
Reviews: 212
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 188
Gots: 700 | FT: 73
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bolt Cutter is a cellarable barley wine with an ABV of 15%. Dry-hopped with a mountain of Cascade hops, it’s balanced by a malty sweetness and spicy complexity, resulting from barrel aging some of it in bourbon barrels, some in maple syrup-bourbon barrels and some not at all (standard fermentation only). We’ve allowed the beer to mature in bottles and kegs since July so that it would be perfect for its release next month. Bolt Cutter pours a deep copper color and is best sampled at different temperatures to allow the flavors to unfold.

(Beer added by: Thickfreakness on 11-03-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,174 | Reviews: 212 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bobhits:
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

3.15/5  rDev -22.2%

Pours a dense protein and yeast infused body with dark ruby and orange coloring. Given a good forced pour it produces a nice inch or so of head in my founder snifter, but it doesn't last or provide lacing. There are some huge alcohol legs that show what is left of the carbonation. Given the alcohol none of this is surprising.

Given the size of this beer the aroma is a bit subtle. There's a tone of caramel sugars with nice American hop aromas (I get a stone like centennial (SP?) hope aroma though there's something else that leads me to believe I might be off on this or there's another hop I should be picking up). Finishing out there's a good bit of sweet sugars with vanilla notes that are coming from the oak aging. I don't get straight bourbon here, but the oak and vanilla are there.

Deep caramel malt is accented by vanilla notes from oak aging. Bolt Cutter mixes the sugary flavor with a nice bit of a bittering hops and a hint of an alcohol finish. Given the 15% abv. there is far less of a bite from alcohol than I had expected. Founders has for some reason decided that anything in a 750 ml should be as sweet and sugary as possible. This one is a lot less over the top than their others (fake sugar infused hazel nut coffee, maple syrup mixed in coffee and bourbon, over the top sugary barely wine aged in sugar infused maple barrels, or a super sugary fruit beer), but make no mistake this is a sugary sweet beer. While there is a good effort to balance the beer with hops it doesn't make it there. This beer is much like their standard barley wine with oak and vanilla added in.

I'm not sure how to score this. 15% is rather subtle. The carbonation is very good for the alcohol levels and there's still a bit of an alcohol bite left here. This beer is not overly dense or thick so don't expect the thick syrupy smooth mouth feel of some of the great English Barely Wines (JW Lee I'm talking about you). The final verdict is this is good, but not great in this regard.

Bolt Cutter comes in at nearly 23 a bottle here in Kentucky after tax. I have a bottle to age and see if this one ages well (what 3-5 years? Really let me know how long I should age this one, PM me darn it!). Ultimately this is very good beer, but it is sold in the wrong format (nobody needs 750 ml of this and it is hard to review with company) and it never really mixes into a full beer. There's too much sugar to go with the bite. It isn't clean flavored and it is so freaking big. This beer just doesn't come together in the end. Don't get me wrong, this isn't bad, it isn't something to be insulted, but it isn't worth the money and if I didn't have another bottle I'd not even consider buying it again.

01-12-2013 11:14:31 | More by bobhits
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -5.9%

Great to get this beer,one of my favorite breweries from the home state.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep burnt orange with a thinner but tightley formed off white head atop.A mix of alcohol dipped dark fruits and cake in the nose,not much hop presence,almost like a CHRISTmas fruit cake to me.Sweet with alot of fruitiness on the palate,raisin/prue to go along with alcohol dipped cherries with a decent earthy dryness and leafy hops in the finish.It's big and chewey and the drying hops seem to come more into play as I drink more,this is all of the 15% it says it is.Iam going to bed early tonight.

07-06-2013 00:22:42 | More by oberon
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

04-11-2013 01:39:01 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours an amber-copper color, sort of cloudy and hazy with an off-white head that settles quickly after a hard pour, no real lacing to mention. Aroma is heavy and thick; sweet toffee, burnt sugar, rosey fruits, plums, figs, juicy dates soaked in booze, light vanilla, oak, a touch of wood. Taste hits hard up front with sweet, burnt brown sugar, booze drenched raisins, figs, plums, some backwards woodiness. Creme brulee comes to mind with the burnt sugar and slight vanilla hints. Butterscotch in the background maybe, too. Hop profile is a bit ashy and dry with a light perfume aroma to them, adding a reasonable amount of bitterness to make sure the sweetness isn't cloying (which it's not). The booze profile is mostly reminiscent of bourbon-whiskey; it's warming and relevant and noticeable, slightly warm and a little more so as the beer approaches room temp, but it's never too hot to drink. I would imagine this would mellow out a bit and become excellent with some more time on it. Thick, sticky, heavy body, low carbonation.

Surprised by how good this was, reviews were pretty mixed so I didn't know what to expect. While it was pretty tasty, I think it might mellow out a bit more with some age. Unfortunately, the price tag on this one is a little much for what you're getting.

12-31-2012 22:19:50 | More by tectactoe
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

07-04-2014 02:31:47 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of sabitu
sabitu

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

01-12-2013 22:59:29 | More by sabitu
Photo of supa0525
supa0525

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

04-21-2013 16:03:56 | More by supa0525
Photo of danthehopslamman
danthehopslamman

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

08-10-2013 06:20:40 | More by danthehopslamman
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%

On tap at When Pigs Fly. The first time I had it, I was overwhelmed. I went back on four consecutive days just to make sure I liked it as much as the first time. I did; a wonderful beer!

To begin with, it's a very pretty beer. In a snifter it was a beautiful chery amber color, very vibrant. The rather small tan head left a good deal of lace.

The aroma was some sweet fruit and citrus. Pretty boozy.

Lots of figs in the taste, other dark fruits noted. A bit of orange. Nicely hopped.

I expected it to be boozy, with an ABV of 15%, but I thought the alcohol was well-hidden, and didn't think the alcohol was too intrusive.

Loved this beer. Wonder how it would age.

12-15-2012 20:53:26 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of thetommo
thetommo

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

12-14-2013 02:36:53 | More by thetommo
Photo of DaftPatrick
DaftPatrick

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

03-01-2014 03:10:40 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of Whalermikes
Whalermikes

Oregon

5/5  rDev +23.5%

07-27-2014 04:20:24 | More by Whalermikes
Photo of mverity
mverity

Florida

4.26/5  rDev +5.2%

Bottle courtesy of @heatwave33. Amber brown in color with hints of deep red. Cream colored head, faded into thin wisps and a craggy medium collar. Aroma is of molasses, earthy burnt wood, tobacco, and some earthy spices. Taste is spiced and tobacco up front, faded earthy hops, woody and a touch boozey at the very end. Nice toffee/molasses flavor running throughout too. Nice full body and low to medium carbonation.

04-23-2014 04:50:29 | More by mverity
Photo of jisom123
jisom123

Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -1.7%

We have to stop comparing the backstage series beers to each other.

Smells like cotton candy, maple syrup and an enjoyable booziness.

Very limited barrel flavor, and limited maple.

Great mouthfeel.

Hint of Belgian trip yeast flavors. Doesn't mesh well.

Not worth the price. Too much going on in the wrong departments, too little going on in the right departments. Still a good beer. not great.

11-22-2012 03:04:56 | More by jisom123
Photo of VernonKell
VernonKell

Michigan

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-07-2013 01:40:30 | More by VernonKell
Photo of Dbrulet
Dbrulet

Iowa

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

07-30-2013 14:28:58 | More by Dbrulet
Photo of bierdabbler
bierdabbler

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

12-08-2012 16:57:03 | More by bierdabbler
Photo of megamass
megamass

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

01-13-2013 06:27:58 | More by megamass
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

03-17-2013 23:20:34 | More by Jason
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz

California

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

12-05-2012 05:03:55 | More by mctizzz
Photo of aquazr1
aquazr1

California

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

06-03-2014 04:27:20 | More by aquazr1
Photo of Shankopotamus
Shankopotamus

Ohio

4/5  rDev -1.2%

03-10-2013 21:08:29 | More by Shankopotamus
Photo of fenlop54
fenlop54

Wisconsin

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

05-12-2014 20:38:45 | More by fenlop54
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-29-2012 21:07:49 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of Mattco
Mattco

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.2%

06-24-2013 13:00:18 | More by Mattco
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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,174 ratings.