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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
90
outstanding

228 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 228
Hads: 1,298
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 212
Gots: 712 | 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: 1,298
Photo of harrymel
1.98/5  rDev -50.6%
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. (570 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.09/5  rDev -47.9%
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. (1,654 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.14/5  rDev -46.6%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
2.21/5  rDev -44.9%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of jegross2
2.3/5  rDev -42.6%
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. (2,225 characters)

Photo of 30MinutesSouth
2.45/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A beer legendary for being a hot, unbalanced mess upon its release still lives up to it's rep over 2 years later by being a slightly less hot but just as bad tasting mess. (171 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.61/5  rDev -34.9%
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. (1,081 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.73/5  rDev -31.9%
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. (1,429 characters)

Photo of CraftFan5
2.86/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Not sure why this one has such high ratings. The nose was meh, and the flavor was sickeningly sweet. It almost tasted artificial. So glad I didn't drop $28 for a bottle a few months ago. (189 characters)

Photo of SteelersX
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper/orange in color. white head that dissipates.

Smell - sweet with noticeable alcohol. mixture of fruits. Noticeable hop aroma but not as hoppy smelling as I was expecting which is a good thing.

Taste - MEH. Hits the roof of my mouth with a sticky sweet fruit bomb and stays there for minutes after a sip. A fair amount of pineappley hop flavor. Bourbon barrels? No. Maple? Maybe due to the overpowering sweetness. Some bitterness at the very end.
Mouth feel is sticky. coats my lips and doesn't go away.

Overall not worth my sobriety. If this beer was 10% I would be happier. The price tag is ridiculous for what this is. So many better beers out there for the money. A fail from Founders in my opinion.
Hey - you can't bat 1000

The high ratings has to be the hype talking. No Rare flavor here. (804 characters)

Photo of rudzud
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2012 vintage split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a crystal clear honey hue with a big one finger head that faded to leave suds.

S - Aromas of sweet malts, bourbon, cardboard, lots of booze.

T - Taste is sticky sweet caramel, cardboard, alcohol is hidden but loads of cloy sugar.

M - Mouthfeel is sticky sweet, cloy, messy.

O - Overall this beer was a complete and utter mess, awful.

Serving type: bottle (436 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.01/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750 ml bottle served in a Hofbrau tulip.

A: Semi hazy dark cherry color. A light tan head forms on the pour with great retention. Sticky webbings of lace are left down the glass. Looks a lot like Devil Dancer.

S: A little pine with some citrus zest. Some candied sugar with a hefty dose of bready malts. I'm not picking up any barrel notes and it doesn't smell anything like a barleywine. More like a big and boozy DIPA.

T: A little melon up front with some candy sugar and a ton of alcohol. A little maple with some citrus and bitter pine. Bready malts with a hot and boozy finish.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Pretty hot with a ton of booze on the finish.

O: This isn't close to a barleywine. Too big and boozy and not really well made. The barrel is non-existent. A bigger let down than Frangelic Mountain Brown. (835 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a golden amber color with a small tannish cap ich quickly reseds leaving a minimal lacing and minor lacing clinging to the glass.

S: Booze soaked toffee, light vanilla and honestly...that is about it sadly.

T: The flavor is boozey and sweet upfront with a load of toffee, some btterscotch, faint maple, lighter fruits with a modest Earthiness. The finish is rather hot, sweet, thin and dry yet slightly sticky.

M: Medium-bodied,hot, slightly sticky feel. This beer needed more body. Th alcohol can sometimes give the appearance of thinness and this is also my major complaint against Mother of All Storms.

O: This beer has great potential., While I think the booze sting will subside leaning toward fuller a body and mouthfeel in the future I feel this beer was just to much to soon and to young. (813 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.09/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is bright orange with minimal head. Spotty lacing present. Nose is a solvent infused Devil Dancer character, a bit of earth, tons of earthy hops, a touch of maple and vanilla. Taste is vegetal spicy character with heavy onion hop character and solventy alcohol burn. Not a big fan. Mouthfeel is heavy with mild carbonation and plenty of burn. Overall, big disappointment here. Things are out of balance and very overpriced. (434 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 vintage rudzud and I sat on for a while waiting for the booze to die down.

Pours a big creamy fluffy head, nice lacing, legs too, mostly clear auburn reddish color.

Nose big sweet candy malts, toffee caramel candy, creme brulee, sweet malts. Aged soft malt with some booze.

Taste is super sweet candy, toffee caramel, nutty, but also bbq sauce like notes, bitter rind hops, chewy sweet syrupy malts, messy malts. Bitter rind finish, boozy alcohol, etc.

Mouth is boozy and boozy, decent carb, but hard to get down. (524 characters)

Photo of effyeaAB
3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm not one to review often but this is a beer that I feel inclined to review for a couple of reasons. 1)It's a very hyped up release 2) I had to have people in different parts of New York go around to pick some up for me and 3) The price. So here we go...

A - Normal. It's a burnt orange copper-ish type color, zero head which was to be expected but nice alcohol legs which isn't really that important.

S - Hella boozy, I LOVE big boozy beers, hell my favorite beer is BCBS so go figure but this is just raw booze and you can definitely tell they dry-hopped the day lights out of it. I'm getting zero bourbon barrel here. And maybe, MAYBE some of the maple barrel character but could very well just be the caramel coming through. Citrus and pineapple are quite prevalent too which is kind of awesome to be smelling in a English BW.

T - More of the raw booziness, it literally dries your mouth out and I know it isn't the hoppiness either, it's just a booze-fest. Intense sweetness that's to be expected up front but again that dryness, it's just not hitting the mark for me in regards to what was advertised and what was delivered. Maybe they should re-classify it as an American BW???

M - Thin! Too darn thin.

O - It's a smart beer, 15% for their 15th Anniversary and they aged it in everything that you need to age it in to get beer nerds to prick up their ears. I mean if you read the beginning of the review I fought to get my hands on this stuff I was terribly excited but frankly and I know that this may be looked down upon but for the price it's just not worth pursuing. I'm very excited to have 3 more bottles of this to age and I'm hoping and praying that the hops die down and that the booziness kind of mellows itself out but for right now it's average at most. (1,779 characters)

Photo of bobhits
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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. (2,702 characters)

Photo of schmidtmattsays
3.22/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle 3/12/15. Smells like a barleywine - not a particularly good one. Not a lot of booze on the nose for a 15% beer. Getting a lot melon, old hops, and oxidization from the taste. Not very enjoyable - wouldn't pass on a pour but definitely not seeking this thing out at all. (288 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Dooper brought this one out in a big b-wine showdown with Mother of all Storms. Good times man!

From a 750 into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, creamy, off-white head with great retention. Clear burnt orange in color with medium levels of carbonation with a solid stream up the middle. Head fades to a nice wisp and sticks to the sides. A slight wisp remains with no real lacing.

SMELL: Lots of caramel and toffee, with lots of hops as well. Melon, honeydew notes and some pineapple. Lots of malty aromas with a good dose of hops.

TASTE: Caramel, melon and some spicy alcohol up front, then a big finish of spicy booze, bitter hops, pine, and some melon sweetness. Boozy, bitter-sweet and some solvent flavors as well. Not too bad though.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn at the back and some heat lingers. Boozy, but not as much as expected.

OVERALL. This wasn't bad. I enjoyed the 2012 vintage of Storms better, though it's tough to compare a barrel aged beer against a regular one. This was flavorful, interesting, and surprisingly enough, not as boozy as I'd expected. Dont'need to drink it again per se, but wouldn't turn it down if it were offered. Cheers Doops! (1,322 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A fine looking beer. Clear, light chestnut brown. Forms a moderate sized white head that reduces to a very large, very bubbly ring around the edge. Leaves some large clumps of lacing on the way down.

S: Fairly hoppy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Mostly orange and other citrus with some citrus rind, a small bit of pine, and a lot of caramel malts, and even more pungent alcohol.

T: Taste is sweet. Very sweet. Lots of caramel malt, but there's a lot of hops as well. Citrus and citrus pith. There is some very light barrel character on the back end, with some light notes of oak and vanilla, but they are most overpowered by the hops and the strong pungent boozy character.

M: On the heavier side with a mild viscosity. Lower-medium carbonation. Mild to moderate bitterness.

O: This one really reminded me of an "Imperial Devil Dancer" if there was such a thing. Sweet, hoppy, and boozy this one was more like a triple IPA than a barleywine, offering up very little barrel character, but lots of sugar and lots of alcohol. A good beer, but far from "exceptional." (1,083 characters)

Photo of mfavoino
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750 ml bottle shared with Treebs.

A: Bright ruby color with a small head that retained well. Sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: Some pine and citrus hops on the nose. Booze definitely comes through in the nose and is dominant.

T: Initially I got some piney hop flavors, candied sugar and caramel malts, but then the booze just took over. Hot and detracted from the rest of the beer. I had to ask my buddy if this was a barrel aged beer because I wasn't getting any of the barrel that I would expect.

M: Medium body, syrupy, and too much booze heat.

O: The booze took away from a lot of potential. I'm not even sure I would characterize this as a barleywine. (678 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aawwweee shit. Another fouders big bottle series. As luck would have it, local advocate of beer Orangesol tipped me off to a place that had bottles for sale. This was my first time purchasing one of these "backstage?" 750's with no bottle limit or secret handshake at the door granting me access to such a privilege.

I opened this at a tasting I hosted this past weekend that was stout themed. (Im a douche like that.) Color me excited for this: wearing my bold cutter hat, founders shirt, bolt cutter boobie tassels and matching underoos. Ok, none of that is true except for the tasting and opening part. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears a hazed copper orange with 2 fingers of frothy yellowish tan head. Patchy webs of lace stick to the glass and display solid powers of retention. There is ruby clarity noted when held to the light along with a lighter yellowish coloring around the edges.

The nose has fruity, citrus, floral and pine aromatics primarily centric to hop charcter. This is pretty much what the entire focus of the nose is about with hints of herbs and a bit of catty appeal. There is some solvent alcohol cutting through with a mild tingle of accenting caramel sticky candy sweetness.

The taste is all about the hops with a huge solvent to fusel alcohol inclusion. Focusing on the hop character it is fruity, floral, pine-like, herbal and a bit catty. Did I mention solvent booze is readily apparent numbing the tongue more with each sip? Hints of caramel grain attempt to poke through but with no residual sweetness. Ample to excessive bitterness with alcohol running rampant. Almost like mandrin oranges and tannic dry woodiness are the last things noted.

This is medium bodied with a modest amount of carbonation. It has a big alcohol impact and hoppiness. This is like vodka with a splash of resinous DIPA added. Aging would be wonderful to tone the booze down but having the hops fade would leave this pretty boring and lifeless. It will be interesting to see how this developes but you wont catch me buying any more of this. (2,058 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in an Illinois State shaker pint glass.

Fifteen great years from Founders. Cheers! This celebration pours a mostly clear auburn topped by a finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, sweet caramel, a hint of vanilla, pine resin, and a decent dose of booze. The taste brings in more of the same, with the alcohol merging with the citrusy hops, boosting them to the heavens. The sweetness of the caramel (joined by what may or may not be a kiss of bourbon/maple) remains intact, but it's beginning to clash a bit with the boozy hops, which leave a chlorophyll-laden aftertaste that lingers for a bit. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a decent anniversary b-wine, but one that's clearly way too hot at the moment, and one whose overly-expressive hops kill any real sense of the barrels and of balance. It's not really all that bad, but there are plenty better barleywines out there, especially for the money. (990 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty caramel/deep copper color. The cream colored head is short but frothy, dense bubbled and settles inot a sparse cap.

The aroma is very sweet and is dominated by a candied fruit malt presence and a strong tropical fruit hop presence. Very English barleywine aroma. Candied orange and apricot to go along with an overall toffee scent. This is coupled with a pineapple and mango hop aroma. Too sweet for my liking.

The taste starts off very much like the aroma. Big candied fruit and toffee presence. Overripe apple and pear provide some fruity flavor, some raisin as well. The hops have an apricot flavor but also a peppery and grassy bitterness. Though there is an array of flavor it doesn't have much depth to it. Not very complex in the malt profile. Some alcohol flavor in the end.

The feel is light, almost watery, with prickly carbonation. Some slight stickiness but nothing compared to the style. Very sweet on the palate but has some peppery bitterness to offset. Plenty of noticable alcohol presense, big belly burn with this one.

Disappointed in this beer. Has more of an english profile and lacks depth in the body. I am also not a big fan of the toffee malt/tropical fruit combination. (1,213 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To my surprise, I saw this at the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, Michigan and decided to try it out. I hope you're all ready to roll your eyes at this review and spit on your screen!

Appearance: A nice ruby-like color. No head to speak of, and no lacing either .... which I guess is to be expected.

Smell: Honestly smelled like a chlorine pool to me, for the most part ... after awhile that note seemed to fade and I just got a really odd mix of super sweet malt with hops. Unusual.

Taste: It's a barleywine. It's 15%. In the words of Ralph Wiggum, "It tastes like burning." The beer isn't overly bitter, but it burns quite a lot with a lot of alcohol in the flavor. I found that I was mainly concentrating on getting all of it down, rather than trying to pick up on flavors. I could finish my 4oz sample, but I'm not convinced I could have much more.

It's too big for me. Sweet, heavy, and copious amounts of alcohol in the flavor. Could definitely benefit by mellowing out over the course of a year or so. (1,015 characters)

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