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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

1,259 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,259
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 200
Gots: 708 | 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: 1,259 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RonnieRotten
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of guido19
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of funkel81
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Brew33
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Jeffo
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
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!

Photo of Florida9
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
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."

Photo of mfavoino
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Photo of stakem
3.36/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Photo of Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Photo of Alextricity
3.44/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Photo of mbmiche
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mjtiernan
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Ruby red with some shades of brown haze. Small cap of foam that disappeared quickly leaving just a ring around the edge. Significant alcohol legs.

S: Big aroma! Malty sweetness, some boozy alcohol, and a solid dose of pine/citrus hops.

T: Big flavor too! Super sweet, lots of oak, pretty boozy and a high dose of hop bitterness for a BA barleywine.

M: Thick and syrupy. Too sweet and boozy to be drinkable. Some alcohol burn in the finish.

O: Not enjoying this. The hops characteristics remind me of FFF Behemoth but overall it’s not nearly as good.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a short lived off white head even with a fairly aggressive pour... the brew is clear dark orange... only random dots of lacing... I keep looking for legs in the glass.

The nose is nostril coating malty with thick vanilla and maple essence... the bourbon is more than present and the malty sweetness is only balanced by a decent piney hoppiness.

Flavor mirrors the aroma and shows brown sugar and something that I associate with candied pecans... bitterness is thankfully still fairly present after all this time so is a piney/grapefruit zest hoppiness... could use more hops though.

Medium/big bodied with a light carbonation that only accentuates the thickness on the palate... pretty damn hot even after at least 10 months in the bottle.

A bit of a mess at this point, but a bit more refined than when it was first released... I have a couple more but would like to get some to put away for the long haul... I think this one is going to be muddy for quite a while and then emerge a better beer.

3.25/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of jmgrub
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of thedarkestlord
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of nataku00
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.