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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,255 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,255
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 199
Gots: 710 | FT: 72
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,255 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mmulebarn
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of bmjivi221
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Ricklikesmibeer
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Cheezus
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Tidesox28
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Bakker
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of maristfan
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heard this was being released to the public today so I made a special trip to my local beer bar Mosaic in Astoria Queens to give it a try. Poured from a 750ml bottle.

For 15% this is a very approachable barley wine. A perfect amber color and inviting smell, it doesnt have the fear factor smell lots of barleys do nowadays. The mouthfeel is all about the syrup at first but then it finishes almost light on the tongue. You can taste the effort to balance it with the citrus of the hops, tons of flavor, but it's not overally boozy. I really like this beer. Founders knocked it out of the park again. It doesn't take long before I'm sharing it and the bottle is done. Can only imagine what age will do to this beer, it is already nuanced and complex, tons of malt and I'm usually not a malt loving guy. If you can, get a bottle for you and a friend, it's an awesome share.

Photo of jnikkel
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Steggun
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Ivegotmule
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of kirkfrailey
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of schnarr84
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Gatch
4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Been sittin' on this for a loooong time! 15th Anniversary Ale - 2012.

A: Beautiful, slightly hazy, bright rose color with shades of pink. Frothy but fairly thin/light off-white head that builds steadily and fades in a similar manner leaving behind some great lacing and retention. Simply stunning!

S: Where to begin...seriously massive malt character. Bread, sugar, booze, barrel, yeast. Aroma is intimidating but also inviting and exciting at the same time. A sign of things to come...

T: Extremely happy that I waited so long to drink this judging by what others have said. While it's still incredibly sweet, boozy, and heavy, I can only imagine how much more amplified these qualities would have been for the first several months after bottling. Having said that...the flavors are massive and truly delicious. Tons of sweet, sugary booze...woody, earthy barrel & bourbon...bready, roasted malt...sugary, dark fruits. This is a true "barleywine." Almost qualifies as a spirit.

M: Viscous with plenty of carbonation to go around. Held up very well. Such a serious beer with serious flavor. For what it is, this is amazing.

O: The definition of "treat." A very special beer. Should I feel selfish drinking the entire 750ml bottle by myself? Nah. It's my sincere hope that Founders can have another 15+ years of success!

Photo of ThickNStout
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of augustg
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper reddish color witha thick light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S- HOPS! and soem malt but the hop presence really stands out on this one. Not a bd thing at all but unexpected from a Barleywine

T- The Hops come through again upfront followed by some really srong pineapple and vanilla notes. Bitter finish and a bit of burn at the very end of this beer. Not overly boozy at all.

M- Good mouthfeel overall Not to thin.

O- This beer is excellent and I feel will age very well. Can'y wait to try another in 6 months or so.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Many many thanks to my bro in law Randy for this bottle. He may not be on BA but hell he has attended an Extreme Beer Fest in the past!

Nice coppery orange in color. Great aroma of caramel and hops Like a Bigfoot on steroids if you ask me. Just a huge huge flavor!!! Hops and malt simply collide in a massive explosion of flavor!!! Caramel and treacle with a slamming hop bite. Long lingering hop bitterness. Grassy and piney to say the least-set against a backround of caremel and buttery treacle..just so well balanced for a huge beer I am highly impressed. Lip smacking, sticky mouthfeel. not a trace of alcohol here. Wow-I was really expecting a hot solvent like barleywine. Have been dying to try this and I cant get enough. I do not think I have ever seen a 15% beer so well balanced and rounded. Love it.

Photo of jvillefan
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: A deep orange/yellow/amber color the an ivory white head that disappeared quickly.

S: Suprisingly, there was a lot of hop character present in this beer. There was subtle toffee in the background.

T: Bitter on the front end and the back end. The middle is composed of rich caramel and toffee.

M: Very heavy with great carbonation which was a pleasant surprise given that it was a 15% beer.

O: One of the best barleywines I've had. It is up there with King Henry, Mother of All Storms, and Abacus.

Photo of reebtaerG
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at churchkey in snifter on 5/10/14

A-Pours caramel brown with off-white head. Excellent lacing.

S-Aromas of caramel, pine, toffee.

T-Tasting notes of caramel, pine, citrus, toffee. This was outstanding where the 15.5

M-Medium body with a dry finish. Light syrupy mouthfeel. Super smooth

O-Overall this is an excellent barley wine where was the 15.5% it was the surprise beer for the night for me.

Photo of anth0ny
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, hazy orange color with a thin off white head, beautiful baby lacing delicately clinging to the top edges of the snifter.

Massive aroma with a full blast of pineapple and hints of caramel and booze. Woah!

Unbelievably smooth mouth for the ABV, huge syrupy body with massive hop, fruit, caramel and bourbon flavor profiles. Dangerously drinkable.

A massive sipper with a bold, enjoyable flavor. Fantastically integrated. Everything from balance to carbonation is off the chain. Founders is known for their barrel aged specialties such as KBS, CBS, and Backwoods Bastard, and this one is right on par.

*Extra notes - Had this on tap twice as well as a bottle. I'm noticing a considerably larger alcohol dominance on the nose and tongue out of the bottle. I'm definitely going to age my second bottle to see if it tones down to taproom quality.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently, picked this up a couple of weeks before the actual release... lucky me! Here we go!

A- Poured at just below cellar temp into my Bruery Tulip. A gorgeous copper/amber hue that shows excellent clarity. A thick and fluffy three finger head that holds on nicely as it slowly fades leaving chunks of thick lacing all over my glass! Kinda like looking thru orange blossom honey... clear, yet thick enough to distort whatever lies behind it. Better carbonation than I would have thought.

S- WOW! Caramel candy corn, brown sugar and butter grilled pineapple, ALCOHOL, vanilla sugar, and some toasted nuts. Butterscotch, mango, papaya, marshmallow, sweet pink grapefruit with a nice sweet malt backbone. Picking up alot of hops for an English Style B.W. This has a wonderful depth, but I bet as the alcohol edge mellows in a few years, this one will really shine and become world class.

T- Maple Creme Brulee-Flambe!!! Huge alcohol as I expected from a 15% B.W. so no surprise here! Lots of grilled tropical fruit notes. Like grilling pineapple and mango with a brown sugar butter sauce! Has some little hints of nutty pancakes with light amber maple syrup, marshamallow, caramel rum syrup and freshly scraped vanilla pods. Butterscotch with a shot of dark rum may better describe this fine brew.

M- Nice and chewy like a cinnamon sticky bun with vanilla icing. Really glides down your throat, especially as it warms up. Burns like a nice scotch going down. Like liquid toffee. Carbonation really dies down and becomes thick and viscous as it comes to proper temp. Buttery and honey with a warm glow.

O- This is really fantastic and should develop and get even better with age. Sweet like honey nectar, pineapple, and vanilla caramel candy. Notes of maple syrup, vanilla, tropical fruit and butterscotch... The alcohol is really huge on this one... but that's not something I mind. Really nice on a chilly fall night.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: center-pour into tulip: clear deep amber with orange highlights; slim head of tan slips away without a trace

S: chewy caramel; suggestion of candied bitter orange; warm brown sugar sweetness

T: alcohol was a little sharp up front; warming, boozy; sweet orange and coriander in a solventy pool; some malty roasted/burnt orange rind

M: at just below room temp, medium body, no real carbonation, some astringence (alcohol); slight chew up front, but then dissolves and slides quickly across the palate; boozy aftertaste - probably a good cigar beer

O: hey, look, its Founders and its a barleywine. You know you're not going to go wrong. This was an excellent barleywine, but (yes, a but) I was not stopped dead in my tracks. I've had Founders Nemesis 2010 (an American barleywine), and plenty of other b'wines - this is up there with the best barleywines, but I don't know that it clearly displaces the best of the bunch.
It is obvious that you need to buy this if you see it, and I credit those with the discipline to store this for a couple of years. It will no doubt be fantastic.

Aged really well: had one on 3/2/13 and it had already morphed into a superior beer than it started off as - more citrus notes on the tongue and nose, all the malt and hop flavors melded and mellowed; super smoothness and deliciousness.

Photo of josephwa
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Solid carbonation, white head, golden copper color.

S - Mild aroma to this one. But what I do get is honey, sugar and caramel.

T - Hoppy, honey, caramel, and malty. A great mix of sweet and bitter.

M - Alcohol burn for sure on this one and well carbonated. Not thin, nor thick.

O - Extremely tasty. I love it but wouldn't go out crazy with purchasing more of this. Aging would help this brew in my mind though.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,255 ratings.