1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,035 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1035
Reviews: 198
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.59%


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:
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,035 | Reviews: 198 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled in July 2012. Pours slightly hazy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange peel, light pine, clove, oak, light bourbon, light vanilla, floral, grass, herbal, and oak/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of deep malt, fruity yeast ester, and moderate oak barrel presence; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, maple, brown sugar, biscuit, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange peel, light pine, oak, clove, light vanilla, light bourbon, herbal, floral, grass, and oak/yeast earthiness. Some minimal earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, maple, brown sugar, biscuit, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange peel, light pine, oak, clove, light vanilla, light bourbon, herbal, floral, grass, and oak/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of deep malt, fruity yeast ester, and moderate oak barrel flavors; with zero cloying sweetness or booziness on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light-moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barelywine. All around great balance and complexity of deep malt, fruity yeast ester, and moderate oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 19:03:02 | More by superspak
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
BurgeoningBrewhead

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Super-surprised to pull this off the shelf! It's redemption for me; I left this on the shelf back before I knew what it was, and have been kicking myself ever since I found out what I passed over.
Poured into fluted snifter; deep, rich brown-ruby with a fluffy off-white head that fades quickly leaving sticky lacing everywhere.
Smells great; nutty toasted caramel malt, lighter notes of candied fruit. Barely any alcohol in the nose, the age has mellowed this well I'm sure (granted it aged on a shelf rather than a proper cellar)
Taste is perfect for a barleywine. As soon as it enters your mouth, it is everywhere. Sweet hearty nutty caramel malt, like thick sweet bread, candied fruit and warming alcohol. This beer is modest in its perfection; it does what it does well, without being over-the-top about it.
Mouthfeel is big, thick and sticky, although the finish isn't cloying
Overall, this is the best barleywine I have had to date. I'm so glad I managed to find one of these sitting on a shelf. It is perfect for the style, while also being a massive beer, while still being modest. Perfection.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 03:22:19 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Funny story, & you have to listen, because it's my damn review. We were at a release party & they had trivia contest. We won, but the host had one of the answers wrong. So up my ten-year old girl went to tell the host he was wrong. The guy was big about it & went out to grab a second bottle of Bolt Cutter from his car & gave it to her (well, us!). So, my first thank you ever to my baby girl for a beer! 22 oz. bottle & I loved the story behind the name of this one...one more bonus point.

The pour is a moist, dripping rust. Nose is tame to the point of being lost in the maze: caramel is the one strong component. Vanilla, booze, bourbon emerge as the beer warms past freezing (which we're calling 'summer' in Minnesota right now).

Bolt Cutter has improved immensely with age; it actually tastes like something now, & fresh, it was like drinking high-alcohol air. Booze commits a misdemeanor against my palate & I'm grateful the fireplace is across the room. I'm not saying it's too hot, I like it, but alcohol slam is the first thing I notice. Less a few hundred brain cells, I note the huge chunk of melted caramel, enough vanilla & bourbon to numb what the booziness missed, a sweetness of Belgian candy sugar. Touch of spice. Mouthfeel is thick, & pine comes in with a sappy treacle. Drinkable? Sheeeet. I could drink this like water, you know, if water could kill you in large quantities.

No kidding, this has turned from ho-hum to excellent since the release. Some beers just need some time in the corner to think about what they've done before they behave themselves. This is one. Damn good.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 03:24:40 | More by maximum12
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 04:55:32 | More by Gatch
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 3 Stars Brewing snifter.

A: Poured a very, very saturated oranges color, infinitely sticky, and with lots of lacing left on the glass.

S: Typical American Barleywine scent (not that that's bad): Hop/red wine/red velvet cake batter.

T: So much Imperial Red Ale in this: Hoppy and then some. Reminded my of SN Bigfoot, but just in a bomber. Caramel, pineapple, whole leaf hops, and then some.

M: Sticky and gooey. Not that that's a bad thing……. it's actually a good one. Shit, I dug the mouth on this one.

O: I think this was worth the $$ to spend once.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 03:04:20 | More by Chaney
Photo of DubbelTrubbel
DubbelTrubbel

Wisconsin

3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into small tulip glass

A- Clear ruby red body, poured a creamy white-tan head

S-earthy hops, toasted malt, hints of chocolate, brown sugar, spices. Strong, varied aroma

T- Quite bitter, weighing up to an intense toasty, only slightly sweet maltiness. alcohol. Only some faint barrel characteristics, these are probably gone for good

M- Slick, leaves a pleasant oiliness in the mouth

O- I think this beer could age just about forever. Quite strong and bitter still, could use some mellowing

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 05:39:40 | More by DubbelTrubbel
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml capped bottle into a tulip.

pours a dark hazy Orange with a slight head. smell is huge on booze and raisins. taste is very sweet and boozy. lots of dark fruits in this one...raisins, figs. full bodied for sure. sipper. low carbonation. ABV apparent.

overall good barleywine. would have benefited from barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 03:08:29 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of jbaker67
jbaker67

Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark golden orange with a small white head. Aroma brings out piney hops, caramel and toffee. Flavor brings out loads , toffee, and caramel malts. The hops are still prominent after a year, with a big caramel and toffee forefront. The 15% alcohol is amazingly well worked in, without destroying the complexity - the alcohol is definitely apparent, but it’s well-situated.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 12:13:36 | More by jbaker67
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a very modest head that quickly fritters away; many leggy strands of lacing, however

Smell: Boozy maple pecan, with caramel and pine undertones

Taste: Maple, pecan and caramel flavors, up front, with the ABV powerfully introducing itself in the middle; piney hops remain, to some extent (despite the age on the bottle), but the finish is much like the start

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with hardly any carbonation

Overall: Interesting concept but it just didn't pull through; there are lots of better barleywines out there

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 00:33:15 | More by brentk56
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 03:13:51 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Pintofbrown
Pintofbrown

Iowa

4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter. 2012 vintage.

Auburn body with copper highlights. One finger of egg shell foam that survives the first couple of sips then drops and leaves some tendrils of lace.

Orange and grapefruit hop aromas, even now! Sweet caramel malts and a hot booziness. Big like a barleywine should be.

Loads of vanilla on the palate. Hop bitterness on the corners of the tongue are resin-y with grapefruit and aspirin. Sweet caramel and orange on the swallow. Booze is noticeable but not overpowering. Warming produces more intricate dark fruit flavors, golden raisins and dates.

Nice and heavy feel on the tongue, creamy. Slightly dry from the hoppiness.

Age has allowed the sweet caramel and dark fruit flavors to become more apparent along side the booze and hop bitterness, which is still impressive after sitting on this a year. Bolt Cutter is a big and complex barleywine I would sip again.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 05:41:27 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, vintage 2012. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a garnet red/copper color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing left behind. The brew smells like dark fruit, caramel, vanilla, candied oranges, sweet spices, citrusy hops, wood, and some booze/bourbon. It tastes similar to the aroma, like dark fruit (cherries, raisins), sweet spices, caramel, vanilla, candied oranges, toffee, wood, bourbon/booze, citrusy hops, molasses and some light pine resin. It's mostly sweet tasting, but there's noticeable bitterness too. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's syrupy and coating with low/moderate carbonation. It's not as boozy as I expected for being 15% ABV. I thought this was a pretty good brew, hopefully Founders will make this again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 23:46:45 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened this up and shared with friends on a seriously cold-ass night. About a year old at this point I think.

Pour is a nice-looking blood red color with a finger or so of beige head. Thin patchy cap remains along with some good lacing, impressive for the ABV.

Smell is great, though very dessert-y as expected. Pretty much cake soaked in caramel and maple, with some cherry, earthy hop, and light bourbon/booze.

Taste is quite dessert-y as well, intense caramel, maple, vanilla, brown sugar-y bread. Noticeable but somewhat tame oak, bourbon is on the lower end as well. Good spicy/citrus hop bite and some dark fruit there as well. Very sweet and rich but oh so good.

Good full mouthfeel, well-carbonated. Obvious alcohol heat and big sweetness, but great flavors make this more drinkable than it probably should be.

I would imagine anyone who enjoys caramel and/or pancakes should enjoy this. I could see how this could be too sweet/boozy for some, but the flavors are rich and pretty much awesome.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 02:20:36 | More by Chico1985
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml served in a Tripel Karmeleliet tulip because I just knocked my snifter off the counter shattering into a thousand pieces. Sad.
Vintage 2012 Anniversary!

A - Pours a hazy garnet amber with a yellowish sudsy head. The head forms a razor thin cap with speckled lacing left on the glass.

S - Candied barley, sweet citrus, caramel, toffee, bourbon barrel, spicy grains, maple syrup, orange alcohol.

T - Thick toffee malt, spicy barley, orange cream, confectioners sugar, maple syrup, honey drenched grain, grapefruit rind, the citrus hops provide good flavor and medium bitterness against this heavy handed malt. Notes of bourbon soaked wood, a peppery spicyness becomes more pronounced as it warms. The spicyness comes from the alcohol but seems to trick the palate into thinking it's from a spicy grain. Finishes malty, spicy and slightly bitter.

M - Thick syrupy body, low creamy carbonation. Fuller body for the ABV. Gets slicker as it warms.

This is big all around. It still has a good amount of grapefruit hops which it needs to combat all that sweet malt. I like this better now than when I had it 4 months ago for some strange reason. As sweet and as high as this ABV is, I found my self talking bigger drinks. This beer is very smooth and for the amount of malt this puppy packs there is a good supporting cast with the wood and hops. I've had beers in this ABV range and most can't pull it off. This one does.

I wouldn't set on this one too much longer. The remaining hops are what saves this beer from being an ultra sweet diabetes overload. Drink it now.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 00:50:58 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very hazy copper amber color with a 1 finger foamy beige/sand tan head that was full of little bubbles and faded slowly, leaving very good mostly spotty foamy lacing as well as rings clinging to the sides.

Smells of booze like rum and sweet malt up front, with caramel, molasses, brown sugar, syrup, cinnamon, orange peel, citrus hops, dark fruit like cherry and plum, apple skins, raisin, biscuit, grains, bread pudding, pear, light spices and fruity candy; the booze is heavy and the sweetness intense, but this beer manages to stay complex and fruity with what seems like some hop balance even though it’s quite strong in every way. Bold and sweet may describe it best, but it was still enjoyable to inhale and relatively tame considering 15% ABV.

Tastes like it smells with booze and sweet malt up front, followed by caramel, molasses, brown sugar, dark rum or bourbon, syrup, cinnamon, orange peel, mango, citrus hops, dark fruit like cherry plum and raisin, buttery biscuit, wet grains, bread pudding (seriously, it tastes like bread pudding drizzled with hot caramel), pear, fruity candy like Skittles or Razzles, red wine, toffee, yeast and floral hops or mild spices; there is no hiding or denying the alcohol as it is present in every moment of every sip, but it is complementary to the rest of the flavors and works well in this brew. This is like belly warming booze meant for slow sipping, but it is not so offensive that it ruins the beer and remains very sweet in every sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a bisque like consistency that is thick and boozy, and meant really to sip and savor. There is light carbonation, a heavy body and an ever present alcohol bite that is a cross between a merlot and a dark rum which keeps your blood flowing and the heat churning like internal combustion; halfway through this bomber I feel flush and quite buzzed as the ABV kicks the door down and says hello, then kicks you around like a soccer ball. This is not a session beer, and most certainly one that should be shared among friends, so please avoid drinking the bomber alone like I did. Glad I drank this at home so I didn’t have to drive afterwards.

Overall I thought that this was good, but a little bit over the top; it was really strong, really sweet and really malty, but I still tasted the hops and caramel sweetness that was part of the complexity and balancing act (if you will…). This was very powerful and very strong, yet for those who like a Barley Wine Ale it may have been perfect. I’m glad I tried it and would have it again if I were sharing/splitting the bomber as it did cover up most of the ABV quite well with nice flavor so that was nice. Congrats Founders on 15 years of making great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 02:49:18 | More by CHickman
Photo of MusicaleMike
MusicaleMike

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass. Brilliant copper color with a ruby red tinge and wonderful clarity throughout. Shows of some lazy carbonation in the beer. Topped by a sticky, sea foam like head, cream colored. Lacing on the glass too.

Smells heavily of citrus, specifically tangelos, or others that are rich and ripe, with lots of sweetness. Sweet malts are laying underneath, with a rock candy quality. As it warms, the alcohol can be smelled throughout. Sherry notes linger.

This is a massive barley wine. Full bodied, rich, and soft on the palate. On the front end, citrus hop bitterness prevails, and it is quite clear after that point that the massive malt quantity takes over. Fusel alcohol is easily detected on the exhale and swallow. In the aftertaste on can pick out the sweet caramel malts. It's nothing too complex, but a simple American Barleywine that has a good flavor, and represents the style well. Residual heat.

I'm finding this to be a good, not great beer for its style. I think the beer could use more age, but I wouldn't be willing to shell out $40 for this beer. Nor if it was $20.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 08:25:13 | More by MusicaleMike
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thank you to Steasy66 and Mrbubbler for each sending me a bottle of this! Two awesome traders.

Appearance. Pours a hazy, deep amber-orange with a finger of thick off-white head that has a slight orange tint to it.

Smell. Big caramel and citrus hops with some brown sugar, a touch of pine, and a good hit of booze.

Taste. Brown sugar, caramel and a bit of maple followed by some citrusy hops and some pine resin. Crazy abv is hidden way to well (though there is a bit of booze).

Mouthfeel. Full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Planning to solo this one. It's a sipper but shouldn't be a problem to get through this whole bottle as far as drinkability goes ...that abv may be a different story. Hopefully won't be yelling at my neighbors in my underwear or some shit later on.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 00:25:59 | More by Rutager
Photo of JdoubleA
JdoubleA

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a Maudite snifter

Appearance - Clear golden amber like red gold. Beautiful when lit. Small head that disapates quickly.

Smell - Boozy caramel with some oak notes.

Taste - Acohol, caramel, and Oak. Fairly straight-forward and not insanely complex. Mild bourbon and oak overtones. Becomes richer as it warms.

Mouthfeel - Slick and rich, yet thin due to the alcohol. Average carbonation tingle, appropriate to style. Coats the tongue a bit.

Overall - Glad to have it and look forward to opening up my other bottle in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 19:03:48 | More by JdoubleA
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL shared with a friend
A - deep ambe body, frothy ivory head, excellent retention & lace
S - fruity aroma, pineapple, caramel, vanilla, maple, oak, booze
T - fruity again with pineapple, mango, very sweet, caramel, honey, maple, grapefruit, vanilla, oak, bourbon, faint pine
M - full body, alcohol prickles the tongue but is well concealed especially for 15%
O - incredible complexity, craftsmanship, and quality, but one shared was definitely enough. Fun to experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 02:18:50 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: Pours a beautiful clear ruby red copper body with a bubbly off white head that fizzles to wet bubbly lacing.

S: Rich roasted caramel malt, loads of barley, peppermint candy, caramelized sugar, and astringent booze becomes full force once warm.

T/M: Rich roasted malts and spicy barley continue in the flavor. Spicy bourbon booze that covers the palate with apple peel in the dry finish. Once warmed the sweet maltiness fades to the upstaging spicy barley and heavy booze profile. The finish is much dryer and leaves a resinous pine film behind with butterscotch and faint coffee on the end. Full sticky body with moderate carbonation.

O: Wow this is big time. Booze, spice, barley and great sweet melts. Complexity that changes with different temps and becomes a powerhouse once warmed. Even though the booze erupts in the warmth it's still smooth and refined.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 21:57:04 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. For my good friend Tim Villard, may this bolt cutter open up the gates of heaven for you.

A: Pours a clear copper brown with a dense off white head. Hard to see any visible carbonation, either very small bubbles or none at all. Laces the sides of the glass nicely.

S: For being bottled around a year ago, the malts smell like they are still in the fermentation tank. Neither bready nor fruity, but still a serious malting. Hops are present with a hint in the background. Bourbon and maple syrup arent very distinguishable but do add a sweet oaky aroma.

T: Fantastic barley wine flavor with a compliment of oak. Real nice blend of malt and hops that really shines with its complexity. Very balanced mix of the bourbon and maple barrels that dont overwhelm but instead add depth. Touch of sweetness in the finish, lingering malt aftertaste.

M: The beer hits the tongue with a creamy full body that has low carbonation. Finish leaves some stickiness as expected with the flavors this beer holds. Alcohol has settled down a good deal since I had it last year. Certainly something you want to sip on.

Overall a very well constructed brew that I feel is under-appreciated. Sure it has bourbon barrels and maple barrels and those flavors dont overwhelm your senses. Instead it is about a smooth complex blend that is; easy drinking yet serious, mild yet complex and strong but tame. Glad I set down this bottle, again Rest In Peace my good friend Tim Villard who thoroughly enjoyed strong barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 22:47:28 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of PaulyB83
PaulyB83

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a snifter

A- Bright burnt orange with a small off white head that quickly dissipated. Swirling the glass you can see the alcohol of this thing as it coats the glass and lingers on the sides.

S- Giant sweet malts of toffee, not much in the way of hops.

T- Again big malts, with a noticeably high level of alcohol, still even with that the perfect malt sweetness of this thing that I love in great barleywines and old ales makes me crave more.

M-High viscosity, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation

O- I found this to be a great beer and was happy to find a local restaurant that had bottles of this. One bad thing though was I was alone and had to drink the whole bottle by myself. Needless to say by the end of my meal I had to sit in my car for a good hour before I could drive home, and the next day wasn't very fun. I've only ever gotten that drunk like 2 or 3 other times in my life and wouldn't have this time if I hadn't had to drink the whole thing. Anyway, many seem to say this beer is too hot and I had about 8 months after bottling and didn't find the alcohol to be too dominate. Definitely try this if you get the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 22:10:14 | More by PaulyB83
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bolt Cutter opens to an intensely sweet, hoppy aroma that is instantly reminiscent of syrupy pink grapefruit juice with a dash of pine resin, lemon, and dandelion stem, and below that, a thick sugary base of Candi sugar, brown sugar, and a heaping spoonful of fruit esters, including orange, berry, and cherry, as well as light touches of fig, raisin, and plum. Smatterings of biscuit, whole wheat dough, and light toast crust add an earthy base. As a whole, the nose is very nice, geared toward the sugars as is typical in Barleywines, but nicely balanced and heavily aromatic, the interplay between brown sugar and fruit ester especially nice.

On the tongue, the beer proves darker than the sugary nose let on, the initial flavors being full of dark, rich fruits, including fig, prune, plum, black cherry, and raisin, with touches of berry and blood orange adding slightly lighter notes. These are joined by a heavy alcoholic overtone, the 15% ABV coming in strong, but blending nicely with the massive fruits in a dessert-like fashion. The combination of alcohol and fruits is reminiscent of wild ports or cognacs, with a touch of bourbon thrown in for good measure. The hops add a nice thick layer of syrupy pink grapefruit, as well as lighter lemon and faint pine notes, which help keep the sugars in check. Brown breads, yeasty rising whole wheat dough, toast crust, and biscuit form an earthy base, and the entire beverage is threaded with strong vanilla bean, and lighter caramel and toffee, with even some molasses and black pepper. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, but here the booze becomes overly obvious, and the late stages of the aftertaste take on a vodka-like overtone that somewhat mars the presentation. Mouthfeel is a syrupy, viscous heaviness that is reminiscent of agave nectar in feel, and carbonation is light.

Overall, this is fantastic beer, and while the nose was good, the flavors are excellent, and paired with a perfect mouthfeel. Only the strong alcoholic aftertaste proves jarring; the rest of the beer is sweet, sugary heaven.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 00:19:01 | More by jondeelee
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

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

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 04:58:10 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper color and is strong, sweet and malt-forward, with a spicy complexity. Typical of the style, it is very cellarable. The final product is a blend using beer that was aged in bourbon barrels, some from aged maple syrup bourbon barrels and some from standard fermentation. After blending, the beer was allowed to mature in bottles and kegs for a few months before release. I have a bottle remaining in my cellar and am interested in seeing how it ages. I thought it had a rather boozy finish to it, but the complexity made up for it.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 16:41:04 | More by CuriousMonk
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,035 ratings.