1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,234 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,234
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 199
Gots: 711 | 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:
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 added by: Thickfreakness on 11-03-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Bolt Cutter Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,234 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chris2nite
1/5  rDev -75.3%

Photo of JaysusJr
1/5  rDev -75.3%

Photo of Hopeswimmer
1/5  rDev -75.3%

Photo of vermontorbust
1/5  rDev -75.3%

Photo of incubuscience
1.5/5  rDev -63%

Photo of huskermike12
1.75/5  rDev -56.8%

Photo of harrymel
1.96/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Alright, let's see what's going on here.

Pours a fiery orange with loose soapy light tan foam scattered over a brilliantly clarified beer. Cherry, alcohol, burning alcohol, sugar, light crystal malts, some pithy hops. Not an impressive nose whatsoever. Flavor is simply sweet. Booze, malt, sugar, brown sugar, absolutely overly boozy. Medium bodied with low carb and a wet finish that actually makes me feel like I just took a shot of cheap liquor, probably one of the least desirable mouthfeels I've had in quite some time. I tried, but this became a drainpour for me.

Photo of CityofBals
2/5  rDev -50.6%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.08/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

It's been a while since I've bothered to review, but this one seemed worth my time...

Appearance -- Bright orange with high clarity and a quarter-inch sudsy white head. Its appearance in the glass is more akin to a DIPA.

Aroma -- WHOA hops. Resinous hop dankness with overtones of tangerine and stone fruit, along with a base of caramel malt sweetness. DIPA?

Taste -- Again, VERY hoppy, akin to Devil Dancer. In fact, I'd swear this WAS Devil Dancer if it weren't so much sweeter and boozier. Assertively hoppy, but very focused in aromatics and flavor, and not enough in bitterness. Lots of simple caramel malt sweetness that, instead of lending balance to the massive hop presence, tends to make the flavor profile messier. As far as barrel character, there's really none to be found. Maybe underneath all of those hops somewhere, or maybe it's adding to the saccharine malt sweetness? Simple

Mouthfeel -- Fuller-bodied with firm carbonation. Too much carbonation for the style, but like everything else with this beer, it fits more snugly in the American Double/Imperial IPA category.

Overall -- This is my first real letdown from Founders. I consider them to be one of the best breweries in the business, but this falls way short. This is essentially Imperial Devil Dancer with a touch of maple. Really lacking in depth or the bones to make me believe this will benefit at all with age, in my super-duper humble opinion. Your mileage may vary, of course, since I don't like vintage 120 Minute, Double Crooked Tree or Devil Dancer. Maybe those are your bag?

Looking for a nuanced, complex barrel-aged barleywine with personality? LOOK ELSEWHERE.

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.09/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shared by Paul.

Thanks...sorta. The beer appears a who cares irrelevant hue with a it doesn’t matter head. The aroma brings a please don’t scent with a shitload of unnecessary hops and huge boozy sweetness. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Tons of malt and hops thrown together with no sensitivity or balance. Overwhelming alcohol and sweetness. What a disappoinment. No thanks.

Photo of kscaldef
2.18/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The creation of a new style? Possibly the first quintuple IPA. Very hoppy and very strong, and little else to be said about it. Medium amber color, with no head. The body is fairly thin, which exposes the high alcohol content in a harsh and unenjoyable way. No barrel character to be found. Not actually a drinkable beer. Maybe it'll mellow with time, but I don't have high hopes.

Photo of bs870621345
2.25/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of hikeeba
2.25/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of jegross2
2.28/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Reviewing the Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This American-style barleywine was brewed in honor of Founders' 15th anniversary, and is a blend of the base beer unaged, aged in maple syrup barrels and aged in bourbon barrels.
Score: 40

November 2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/11/13.

Appearance: Pours a bourbon color with a finger and a half of seafoam colored seafoam-like head that slowly settles to a thin layer. Awesome lacing ad retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Boozy caramel, an earthy spiciness, stale hops and tons of sweet, bready malt. Brown sugar, maple and light lemon too. 2/5

Taste: Tastes like a boozy, bready malt-forward stale IPA with a maple character and light spiciness. Another reviewer likened this to barrel aged Devil Dancer -- spot on! There is some caramel too. This beer is almost undrinkable, and this is only 2 months old. This beer was much tastier, albeit still disappointing, fresh, but even then it was nothing special. It has since fallen off entirely, and collapsed into a sweet malt bomb of a mess. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Malty sweet and juicy. 3/5

Overall: Founders beers are very rarely duds, but this one is an imperial stinker. When I had this beer fresh the night before FOBAB, it reminded me of a less-hoppy New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine with a little maple mixed in. Tasty, but certainly not worth the hype. Just under two months later, it's fallen off a cliff, the hops have become completely stale, and the boozy malt has taken over entirely. Considering that this bottle sat in my fridge for the duration of its "shelf life," and considering it was not even "stored" for two months, I doubt my experience had anything to do with storage conditions (though if Founders' maple aging program has taught us anything, this may be the byproduct of bottle variation). If you have not opened your bottles yet, I advise you sit on them longer -- this beer cannot get much worse and time can only serve to mellow out the booziness.

Recommendation: Avoid this one, though I presume this advice comes too little too late.

Pairings: The sink drain.

Cost: $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of skinnycox
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Photo of victory4me
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.58/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

750ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 2 finger light cream colored head with moderate to low retention. Beer is a clear orange-amber. Lacing is spotty and stringy with nice stick and thick, oily legs that really linger. A nice looking beer.

Nose is pine, sap, resin, hop bitterness mixed with notes of brown sugar, molasses and honey. Sweet and hoppy with moderately boozy overtones.

I waited almost a year for this one to "simmer down" and its still hot as hell. Like I'm drinking acetone. Opens hot. Sap hop bitterness with notes of brown sugar, molasses, green raisins and pine. Hot as hell and very sweet throughout. End is bready and yeasty with sweet molasses and booze on the finish and aftertaste. Way too much.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Hot, boozy and slick in the mouth and goes down hot, dry and thick. Finishes messy with a unmercifully lingering aftertaste.

This is as close to an undrinkable beer as Founders has ever made. I don't know where they were aiming with Bolt Cutter but they certainly missed the mark here.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.71/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

My allergies were acting up last night; my eyes felt inflamed and itchy, my vision blurred. From across the room, I spotted what appeared to be Goatse on a bottle label. Goatse?!?! Did White Birch make a non-ironic beer for once? I listened to the weirdos watching the Niners game and sidled over to the bottle. Oh... huh. My vision really is bad today. It's a bolt cutter. FOUNDERS!? Sweet. I love Founders. Thanks, Jason.

A: Pours a crystal clear copper-orange body with a half-pinky finger of tan head. Seems nice.

S: Boozy, raisiny caramel, brown sugar. Oxidized hops and vanilla. Not much in the way of bourbon or oak.

T: Bolt Cutter? More like Sweet Fucker. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, even a touch of maple. Vanilla -- and there's the bourbon, a little more present on the taste than in the nose. Oak presents a light astringency in the finish. It's not enough to cut the sweetness. Nor are the hops; they have a stale, oxidized earthiness and melon flavor. Really... odd.

M: It's harsh; the one-two combination of booze and slight sugary burn are irritating to the palate. It's not super-syrupy, but it's on the sweet end and is cloying in some sips. The carbonation doesn't offset said sweetness enough.

O: I might be a little more lenient on this one considering it's Founders... Or maybe I'm being harsher because I initially thought it was a Goatse beer. Whatever the case, I'm glad I don't have a bottle.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of MordorMongo
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of brez8791
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of iatethecloudsfor
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of illidurit
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of sustyhops
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of dkw0063
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,234 ratings.