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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: 1,297
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 5.24%
Wants: 213
Gots: 710 | FT: 73
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: 1,297
Photo of blackcompg
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've been aging this bottle for nearly 2 years, been looking forward to this for awhile now, here we go...

Appearance - Pours about 2 fingers of rich tan orangish foam - the head literally has a creaminess in it's appearance, body is a gorgeous burnt orange amber, extremely hazy and nearly opaque, definitely has legs when swirled in a snifter, leaves rings of soft lace after each sip.

Smell - Big fresh baked fruitcake, ripe dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, dark cooked toffee, vanilla caramels, and a wedge of rum cake.

Taste - I'm nearly speechless... All of the flavors mentioned above literally explode across my palate, I'll try to break this down... There is fruitcake here, with the roasted crust and sweet baked dark fruits of plum, dates, cherry, and apricots - sweetness of roasted caramels and dark toffee, maple in the nose but not so much in the mouth, and all the while there is a backbone of bourbon, oak, and dried vanilla bean - the bourbon here is so complimentary and fits so well, absolutely delicious. Long into the finish I get some light grassiness and citrus pith from the hops, definitely mellowed by the lingering oak and bourbon.

Mouthfeel - This is the higher side of medium, but not quite full, as the bourbon and oak work so well at keeping the sweetness from asserting, keeping it in check, while the oak provides a bit of dryness. Carb is definitely on the lower side, very smooth, and is perfect for keeping the very full and bold flavors balanced with the bourbon and drying oak, perfectly ushering in the muted hop nuances at the end of each sip.

Overall - You know that this is a big beer with each sip, but the flavors are so well balanced and complex. Every nuance and flavor is a complimentary part in a wonderful symphony. All of the barleywine flavors you want are here, along with the bourbon and oaky characteristics of the barrel, add in the mellowed hops and vanilla bean and you have a very special barleywine. Find one with some age, at any cost. What a wonderful treat. (2,043 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style glass. Liquid comes out a nice autumn amber brown color that glows a hearty leaf changing autumn red when held up to the light; absolutely perfect clarity. There's a nice almost orange creamsicle colored head with mostly small bubbles present. Gave it a hard pour and it sticks around for a little while, even just a skimming at first. Nice lacing and glass retention.

Great smelling beer, might not be the perfect representation of the style, but I dig it; almost as if it were geared towards me. A wee bit of bourbon and a large amount of caramel malts a bit nutty, but high quality nuts like pecans and maybe even some almond. A bit of a deep dark fruits, like raisons, black cherries, apples, dates/figs, and maybe even some apricots added in. A lot going on in the smell and it's good. There's some gentle citrus hops at the end.

Taste is a slight step up. Really don't need to elaborate much on it because it's pretty similar to the smell. The nuttiness isn't quite as strong as the smell, but still present. Bourbon present, but the best parts of it. Sweet grainy and lots of caramel. Nutty again with bitterness and sweetness (like going from pecans to almonds). Again with all the above mentioned fruits; the hops are more detectable in the flavor. You can tell the hops have faded a bit, but I still think the 2 years on this brew has done it well.

Mouthfeel is pretty close to perfect. It's full bodied with a nice lingering flavor without being too heavy; the weight of it actually feels a little light. Good carbonation level, not much of a bite from that. It's not overwhelming but there is some heat from the alcohol, not a burn, just detectable heat. Nice and smooth with an appropriate bitter finish. Nice lingering flavor and a comforting warmth to it. Really nice drinkability. I think this is an under appreciated/under talked about beer (just my opinion). Quality all the way; another great beer from a great brewery. (1,988 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Founders KBS goblet. Bought this in November 2012, been stored at cellar temp. since then.

Appearance - Pours a hazy nectarine-colored body with a 1 finger off-white head that reduces slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell - Reminiscent of an aged DIPA - piney, heavy malt, caramel, citrus rind, and bready/grainy. Some booze on the nose, but for 15% it's not too strong.

Taste - Sweet with heavy malt upfront - molasses, honey, caramel, spices. The follow through is piney, resinous, muted, and astringent with a boozy burn. The finish is slightly roasty.. burnt toffee, sugar, char.

Mouthfeel - For 15% alcohol, it's actually kind of watery. Low carbonation.

This was my first bolt cutter.. when it first came out people complained of an unbalance, hot mess. It's not quite at that level, but it's definitely not amazing either. An average high ABV barleywine at best. (913 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. I believe this has a couple years of age on it. Reviewed from last night's notes.

Appearance: Pours a deep caramel color and leaves a finger of off-white head.

Smell: Big oak, caramel, molasses, light pine hops, dark fruits. Pretty sweet but manageable; well balanced.

Taste: Sweet caramel, molasses, dark fruits, light hops. The alcohol is well hidden. Nice balance of sweet/bitter/alcohol.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a medium body. Finishes well balanced between bitter and sweet, fairly smooth.

Overall: Definitely a well balanced, big barleywine. I think age has smoothed it out a good amount. Not overly sweet. (680 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of mverity
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle courtesy of @heatwave33. Amber brown in color with hints of deep red. Cream colored head, faded into thin wisps and a craggy medium collar. Aroma is of molasses, earthy burnt wood, tobacco, and some earthy spices. Taste is spiced and tobacco up front, faded earthy hops, woody and a touch boozey at the very end. Nice toffee/molasses flavor running throughout too. Nice full body and low to medium carbonation. (417 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (1,732 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
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. (1,104 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,608 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.65/5  rDev +16%
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! (1,324 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (572 characters)

Photo of DubbelTrubbel
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
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 (501 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at MacGregor's Grill and Tap Room in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a hazy dark orange, with no head or lacing at all.

Aromas include bourbon, brown sugar, citrus, and molasses.

The taste is similar. The flavors are weirdly muted all around. There's a little bit of maple syrup flavor, with more brown sugar, honey, and molasses, and a medium to high bourbon presence. Still boozy at this point.

Medium bodied, a little thin for a BA barleywine. Sticky mouthfeel.

A bit of a disappointment, really. I've had much better BA beers from Founders. (545 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (385 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -12%
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 (558 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 Pintofbrown
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (901 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (807 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (1,006 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,575 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.01/5  rDev 0%
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. (2,749 characters)

Photo of MusicaleMike
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (1,106 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of JdoubleA
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (543 characters)

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