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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

228 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 228
Hads: 1,300
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 29.43%
Wants: 216
Gots: 711 | FT: 74
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:
Beer added by: Thickfreakness on 11-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 228 | Hads: 1,300
Reviews by tectactoe:
Photo of tectactoe
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

 1,290 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of ThickNStout
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle. No bottling date but this was a late 2012 release. Served in a Founders snifter.

Pours a surprisingly clear, vibrant amber with about a one and a half finger cap of pale, sandy head. A thin film rests on the surface with a small halo that leaves just a few dots of lace.

Aromas are sweet, malty and vaguely earthy with a good deal of aged hops. Vanilla, oak, maple, caramel, faint pine, toffee, old citrus, autumn leaves and sugar. Despite the fact that hop aromas seem past their prime I keep coming back for more of the inviting sweetness.

The flavors quickly overcome any negative vibes left from the smell of fading hops. Thick, sweet caramel is the predominant taste. Earthen oak, cereal, toffee, grainy malt, mild pine, sweet maple glaze, vanilla, orange peels, brown sugar, leather, faint barrel char and just a little boozey heat. I can't detect any bourbon but the combination of malts, maple and barrel is outstanding. On top of the masterful blend of flavors the 15% abv goes down like a brew with less about half of that. Delicious.

Syrupy, heavy, full feel with moderately low carbonation. Completely coats the tongue, creating a long, sweet aftertaste that is full of maple, caramel and cereal grains.

I sat on this bottle of Bolt Cutter for over two years to let the high alcohol mellow out and I must say that my plan worked beautifully. Both hops and heat have long since faded, leaving behind a fantastically sweet and complex barleywine. Excellent work by Founders creating an enduring and evolving brew that, based on this experience, I suspect could go several more years with favorable results.

 1,640 characters

Photo of cvm4
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - Pours a red mahogany body with a one finger light tan head.

S - Malty aroma with caramel, toffee and candied sugars.

T - Rich malts along with brown sugar and maple syrup. I can definitely pick up some of the bourbon barreling on the back of the taste. Just straight forward and a delight to drink.

F - Full bodied, low carbonation. Smooth body with low abv heat.

O - A very unique barleywine to drink that has held its own overtime. I think this one still has some legs on it.

 487 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into balloon snifter 14/6/14

A clear amber liquid, a couple bubbles, thin film leaves a few polka dots, wide legs down the side

S still lots of pine and citrus, this would've been a palate wrecker fresh, faint bourbon, pancake syrup, orange peel, hard toffee, lots of booze

T more booze, heaps of brown sugar and caramel, faint wood, sweet bourbon, more citrus then the nose, a little sweet and boozy but enjoyable

M thank and syrupy, my lips are stuck together, heat hits the chest and throat, rind and brown sugar on the finish

O I liked it but I didn't love it, still hoppy, very sweet and boozy, I'm glad I didn't try to take this one down solo

Fruet was a hard act to follow and perhaps didn't help this ones cause, its good beer with a little barrel, lots of sugar and booze, one of those beers I want to try fresh and with 5+ years on it

 872 characters

Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

 604 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of supa0525
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 669 characters

Photo of thetommo
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Whalermikes
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of mverity
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

 417 characters

Photo of jisom123
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 401 characters

Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Dbrulet
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of bierdabbler
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mctizzz
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Shankopotamus
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.