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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

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

1,036 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1036
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
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Ratings: 1,036 | Reviews: 198 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2014 02:55:24 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of PieOhMy
PieOhMy

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A. Oakish amber. Not transparent. Half inch head fades away.

S. Caremel. Burnt sugar. Toffee. Rich roasted malt.

T. Sweet. Malty. Caremel. Honey. Has an earthy resinous flavor. Ends with a big sweet/bitter punch.

M. Full. It's very rich. A honey milkshake!

O. What really stands out is how little booze is present in the flavor of this big bastard. Sugars and malt is what you get here. Very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2013 00:04:45 | More by PieOhMy
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in an amber, deep dark orange color with a thin head.

The aroma has tons of pine and citrus, a bit of sweet caramel and toffee notes. Tons of hops, with a tinge of barrel in there.

The flavor follows with just massive hops. There's grapefruit, mostly pine and resin, some floral, and then there's lots of brown sugar, caramel, molasses. On the end, there's again a punch of spice from the hops along with pine and offensive bitter notes.

The body is surprisingly light at a medium instead of a big sticky sweet barleywine. At 15%, this is really hides the alcohol.

It's great to have tried this at a tap takeover. I wouldn't pay the huge price for the bottle. It's a very good beer, but still a bit offensive on the bitterness without enough sweetness on the back.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2013 15:27:21 | More by dar482
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap. The pour is a slightly hazy reddish-amber, rather dark, and sports a thin head that quickly dies (not surprising given the high alcohol content). The nose is rather faint, but does boast some nice aromas of fruit, toffee, and hops as well as a hint of alcohol.

The beer is very full bodied and has an intense bittersweet flavor. It is very sweet up front, with big bready malt, vanilla, and cherry flavors. The alcohol seems to creep in very quickly on this one, beating the hops to the punch. By the time the hops arrive the sweet notes from the malt and alcohol have already had their way with you and warmed you up for a dry, lingering finish. I don't get any bourbon notes at all, but I do get some of the sweet oaky notes up front.

This is the second time I've had this beer on tap. Last time (about 4 months ago), it seemed a bit overpowering. This time, I knew what to expect and was able to meet it more on its own terms. I find it to be an intensely-flavored barleywine that is in sort of a transitional period right now. The hops are faded a bit, but the alcohol hasn't really mellowed out yet. I'd love to know what this tastes like in another 18 months.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2013 23:19:54 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of hagbergl
hagbergl

Maryland

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

Boltcutter was on tap at the Pub at UChicago this spring, somehow. This place gets way too many good beers for what it is. Awesome, dude. 10 oz. serving in a small tulip (and 10 oz. proved to be more than enough!).

Appearance (4/5): Dark red, ruby highlights when help up to the light, and small one finger bubbly off white head. This is a very good looking barleywine.

Smell (4.25/5): Some nice big, piney hop notes mingle with a caramel sweetness and a bit alcohol heat in nose. You can tell instantly that this one is a big American-style, hopped-up barleywine, since it has a lot of the typical characteristics of the style. Only a bit of barrel character is evident. Less than I was expecting.

Taste (4.25/5): Flavor follows the nose to a T. Very hoppy in the beginning with some piney, grapefruitiness going on. Big and sweet malt takes over in the middle, playing off the hop oils very nicely. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Bourbon barrel character does come through in the taste: subtle flavors of vanilla work their way onto the palate. But this beer is dominated by massive hop and malt presence. Alcohol is well-masked and only a steadily increasing warmth in the chest tells you this is one fierce beer.

Mouthfeel (3.75/5): Sticky, resinous, and full-bodied. The lower carbonation is appropriate to the style. This beer is a true sipper–one to be nursed for a while and allowed to warm. You'll be rewarded in more ways than one if you take this one slow. Some may find this beer cloying. I think it's great, just not the most drinkable beer ever.

Overall (4/5): Another really solid beer by the amazing brew team at Founders. There aren't too many things to complain about, though I would like to see the ABV come down a little and more barrel character in the flavor. Definitely was well worth trying. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2013 22:54:55 | More by hagbergl
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark gold with a thin, creamy white head. Head retention is surprisingly good, though only a minimal amount of lace is present in the glass.

S: Aromas of almonds, nougat, herbs, grass, pine, juniper, toffee, caramel, vanilla, biscuits, and peppery, prickly alcohol are present on the nose.

T: Complex notes of fresh bread, caramel, biscuit, toffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, toasted almonds, nougat, vanilla bean, and butterscotch are balanced by intense flavors of lemon, lime, herbs, grass, juniper berry, pine, and pepper. The finish is fiery and intense with resinous hop and bready malt notes overwhelmed by a pungent surge of alcohol.

M: Full-bodied and sticky. Carbonation is delicate and restrained. Alcohol presence is incredibly intense. This beer must be sipped very slowly.

O: This is a solid barleywine, but it is a bit harsh and over-the-top. If the alcohol presence were reigned in a bit, this would be much more likable and easier to drink, but as is, it's a bit rough around the edges. Not a bad example of the style by any stretch, but also not Founders' most refined effort either. Worth trying at least once.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2013 18:07:02 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

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

Considered honey golden I saw more amber hues under a stiff off white head.

The aroma is more coconut and vanilla with a malty, alcohol or pine backdrop.

Catch a lot of coconut in this with some malty pecan. Mid palate caught creamy marshmallow and whipped cream, It ends with piney hops and a little tinge of booze.

Overall it's a solid and tasty barley wine.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2013 21:41:41 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2013 16:50:01 | More by Alextricity
Photo of Pinknuggets
Pinknuggets

Massachusetts

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

Review 150!!!

On tap at farmhouse to sniffer (2012)

A: redish brick to brown in color there is no head but is translucent as can be and looks pretty clean

S:actually a fairly nice aroma of both bourbon and maple syrup mixed together and I have a very highly sensitivity to bourbon that being said you can can most definitely tell this is a barleywine as there is also a distinct malt aroma

T:first of all surprisingly there is no hint of alcohol at all it's not super fresh but impressive for a barleywine. It has a smooth malty flavor the maple bourbon is pretty evident as there is a maple sweetness that blends well with the natural malt sweetness

M: there is a slight alcohol burn but its more like a warming Then a burning and does not effect the taste. It goes down really smooth and easily for such a high abv but on the other hand it is fairly thick and syrupy though not sticky

O: I usually am not a fan of barleywines but I really like this one the maple undertones really cut the malt flavor and do it for me plus the fact that its 15% and doesn't stinky anywhere close to that doesn't hurt. I definitely think this one is worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2013 23:07:36 | More by Pinknuggets
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into snifter at flying saucer Kansas city. Poured a seethrough amber brown with chewey head and lacing. Huge hop aromas...way to much for me...mixed with big sweetness. Taste is sweet caramel toffee malts and lots of hops. Its a bit hot and sharp. I am so glad I didn't buy a bottle. ..its just way to hoppy. Maybe some age would mellow this out a bit but id never get again unless it was aged...

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2013 00:06:28 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper tinted orange, lightly hazed, fluffy cap of tan foam, decent lacing. Scent brings strong brown sugar and honey notes, firm hop profile with citrus zest, spice, some vanilla notes. Taste is big and sweet with strong hop notes... follows scent. Full bodies, sticky and chewy. Solid beer, but maybe a touch too big and sweet for my palate.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2013 15:26:08 | More by rfgetz
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy burnt copper color with a nice one finger cream head from a bar pour lasts quite a while. Lots of pretty lace from such a small head. A beautiful looking brew.

Aroma is big malty notes,biscuit notes and lots of caramel, maple sticky goodness all around. Nice big fruit notes with spicy alcohol seems like sherry more to me then bourbon but its all good whatever is going on.

Taste is nice big malt sugary goodness with nice sherry like alcohol notes I swear it seems more like sherry to me of well. It all blends perfect eh 15% tastes more like 10%. Somewhere in the middle good citrus notes come out and keep this from being cloying. Instead its a big kick your butt tasty sipping brew that is hard to put down. Only draw back I see is what I paid for my 10oz pour.

Mouthfeel is well seems light for such a big brew I would say only medium.

Overall very drinkable for such a big brew. Happy I found it on tap on my vacation .

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2013 20:16:27 | More by mntlover
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a warm red-orange color with a thin collar of manila foam. Looks quaint in the Church Brew Works taster tulip.

Weird soapy yeasty aroma that caught me by surprise. Light caramel, hint of woodiness, and citrusy hops. Very mellow. Not a good start.

Woah. Grapefruit hops, barrel wood, whiskey notes, and the mildest of caramel notes. Of course, I forgot a big solvent-y booze note that I'm not fond of. Not very sweet, but it is decently medicinal. Hints of stone fruits, but I think that's hop-related, too.

Tuned-up way too high. Booze-forward, majorly. Body is pretty thin for the style, too. Not a good feel.

What a disappointing beer! I'm never this harsh on Founders, but c'mon! A slightly above-average American Barleywine, at best.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2013 20:26:47 | More by thecheapies
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fills a snifter with a translucent copper that radiates light, while thin fine white foam drifts above. A nice webbing of lace coats the glass, building rings with each sip, while the head itself slowly diminishes throughout the session.

Fresh hop citrus reaches out from the glass, drawing one into a sweet lusciousness, without betraying the floral freshness. Some caramel and some pine sap are also detected. Somewhat between the hoppy American, and the Malty English styles. Warms to reveal some of the ABV, while retaining the fresh aromas of earlier.

Follows the nose, with the bitterness expected from and American style, emphasizing tangerine, but allowing the dark dried fruits to play against the bitterness. Some toasted qualities too. Sweetness is in check, but still more than anticipated form the American version. Warms well, as a sipping beer should, accentuating the nuances of the flavor profile, rather than adding to it. The finish is unusual in a pleasant way. Lingering and not subtle, but not overbearing either.

Full body and smooth. Alcohol is a primary component, yet less than one might infer from 15% abv. Prickly carbonation and a tad syrupy.

An excellent sipping beer to enjoy while conversing in a light hearted manner, as loving eyes peer deeply back into ones soul. I enjoyed this after a meatloaf benedict with béarnaise sauce, on a bitterly cold sunny afternoon, in the “city.”

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2013 20:38:46 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 1/8/2013 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a flight glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malts, some alcohol and some hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon. Then a significant alcohol stings quickly follows as you would expect from a beer with 15.00% ABV. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence creating a very good balance for such strong and sweet beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent sipping beer to drink for as long as you can handle it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2013 17:31:43 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Track 84. Served in an SN Beercamp taster. Pours the color of maple syrup with a slightly hazy clarity and a loose, off-white head. Nose expresses raisins, prunes, a medium malt profile and candied demerara sugar. Taste follows nose with a slight residual alcohol bite at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a slightly oily texture and an even carbonation. Overall, a good American Barleywine, but not worthy of the hype and the price point. I'd like to see what 3-5 years in the cellar does to this beer. That said, this brew does not drink like a 15% abv beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2013 00:52:27 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was on tap a while back at Holy Hound in York, PA enjoyed chilled in a snifter.

The color and clarity are both great a brilliant copper/bronze shade with visible carbonation and thick cream cap of light beige with tight bead and nice lace formation. The smell is very good, but comes off very hop forward and high alcohol in the nose which is appropos to the style but not especially complex so just above average accept it has some nice hop pine scents. The feel is good well above average in that it is 15% and feels like 10% tops it has hop oiliness and high bitterness level but it is relatively dry for the style making it taste similar to a Double IPA with asservtive bite and pretty hard not to have alcohol effect the palate at the abv listed but it does a decent job of concealing with some moderate carbonation.

This tastes intense! as the name implies it does not tread lightly and it means business -lots of sharp hops with piney, peppery bite and slight caramel and nutty dry malt to underscore with lots of alcohol with some fruitiness on the palate. I really dug this and it is so fresh you can't help but wonder if the intense octane of a 15% can mellow with cellaring, but the hops are very tasty so I would not hold on to this. I enjoyed how smooth it was for there aren't many 15% beers I have liked as much as this, A great tribute to 15 years in business -keep up the good work Founders!

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2013 14:59:31 | More by Slatetank
Photo of daledeee
daledeee

Iowa

3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was hyped up well. Had it on tap at $8 for an 8 ounce glass.

A very dark clear burnt orange with no head.

Nose was pancake syrup and hints of spice.

Taste is heavy sweetness, malty and spices. also plenty of apricots and spicy orange. I am glad l only had the small glass. This is one rich beer.

I didn't notice much carbonation but this is incredibly boozy. It was actually hard to drink. A very over the top beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2013 03:25:00 | More by daledeee
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Bolt Cutter

Poured into a 4oz tasting glass from the tap at iTap (Soulard).

Pours a copper color with some nice amber hues. Nice and clear. Light cream head rises up about half an inch. The beer is very nice looking. The amber and copper colors are bright and lively. The head recedes slowly and definitely leaves some sticky lacing. (4.5)

Starts off with some aroma of vanilla with some intense hop juice sweetness that comes up quick and fierce. Nice caramel and citrus notes mix in well. These notes are followed by some more vanilla and butterscotch and very nice bourbon notes. There is some nice piney and grapefruit notes as well. (4.0)

Flavor is intense. Tons of resinous hop notes! Very piney and slightly sweet with some good citrus notes and grassy hop notes. Sweetness is very present and intense but its not overwhelming at all. Caramel notes mix in with the barrel and the intense hop notes. As it warns the hop notes are much more intense and there is some nice syrupy notes mixed in there as well. The finish is quite dank but mixed in with some awesome barrel notes. Oily and slick with an intense finish that is sticky but at the same time dry because of the hops. (4.0)(4.0)

Overall. This brew got a lot of hype. And even though it’s not all undeserved because it’s a good brew it might have been a bit overblown. Very flavorful and well done mix of intense malt sweetness, caramel, toffee and vanilla notes. There is some nice dank pine as well as grassy and herbal hop notes that are also complimented by some citrus notes. (4.0)

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 23:23:11 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at When Pigs Fly. The first time I had it, I was overwhelmed. I went back on four consecutive days just to make sure I liked it as much as the first time. I did; a wonderful beer!

To begin with, it's a very pretty beer. In a snifter it was a beautiful chery amber color, very vibrant. The rather small tan head left a good deal of lace.

The aroma was some sweet fruit and citrus. Pretty boozy.

Lots of figs in the taste, other dark fruits noted. A bit of orange. Nicely hopped.

I expected it to be boozy, with an ABV of 15%, but I thought the alcohol was well-hidden, and didn't think the alcohol was too intrusive.

Loved this beer. Wonder how it would age.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 20:53:26 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of DrewV
DrewV

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Pizza Plant here in Buffalo, NY.

A: Clear amber-orange with a fairly thin 1-finger head.

S: Smells of Juicyfruit, very sweet and slightly boozy. On-tap, this was a bit overly cold. As it warmed, the booze came through much more pronounced.

T: Much like the nose, Juicyfruit was in the forefront, followed immediately by the booze. Very sweet, not much balance from the hops. Nothing offensive, this is a quality brew. But a bit one-note-ish.

M: A bit thinner than I would expect. By contrast, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is a "big" beer, while this is more like a fine wine.

O: A quality brew, but a bit too fruity for my tastes. I prefer bigger beers, and I was a bit disappointed by this one. Bolt Cutter reminds me strongly of Middle Ages Druid Fluid, except at a higher ABV. I guess for the price I paid it was a decent deal on tap, but the bombers at $23 are outrageous. Way too steep for a 15% ABV beer -- I'll settle for Bigfoot, which is a bigger, more balanced beer, at 10% for 1/4 the cost. [Lest anyone think I'm biased, let it be known that I'm a HUGE fan of Founders. Their Porter and Imperial Stout are to die for. But this one didn't quite strike me as a winner.]

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2012 23:22:42 | More by DrewV
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger for VSK.

Lots of sweetness as caramely booze dominates the nose and seeps onto palate as well. Tastes like they liquified those little rectangular caramels you see wrapped in clear plastic at the grocery store. Pretty boozy from start to finish, even for a barleywine.

I liked this more than some of my peers did, but even still, my 4oz pour was more than enough. This has potential to shine very brightly in few years, hope to try it again with some age on it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2012 16:29:17 | More by brystmar
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

10 oz pour in a wine glass at Barcade for their Founders blowout.

Bolt Cutter pours a murky amber, with no visibility through to the other side of the glass. What flimsy bits of foam that are actually present disappear quickly. The nose has some mice malt and barrel components, with aromas of caramel, maple, and brown sugar all commingling. A little bit of a pine hop note shines through as well. While the bourbon is a little more present in the flavor profile, I have to say it's still remarkably smooth for being a 15% beer. Besides, the maple, caramel, and brown sugar all still trump the booziness in terms of intensity. Right at the end though a brash bitterness and a flash of piney hops crash the party. It just doesn't fit, it's akin to a harsh, jangling chord ringing out against an otherwise nice piece of music. The carbonation is nicely muted, but the body is noticeably syrupy, just a bit too much. As is, Bolt Cutter is an alright beer (though not up to Founders' usual standards). I think some time to let the out of place dry hop portion that was shoehorned into the blend mellow will do it some good though.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 21:59:00 | More by axeman9182
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barcade BK, Founders tap night.

A - Low offwhite head with ok lace and retention. Cloudy burnt sienna, cognac body.

S - Huge apple brandy nose, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, dried apple, light caramel.

T - Soft round booze, caramel, dried apricot, vanilla extract, sharp oak, dark brown sugar. Long afterglow of warm booze caramel and nutmeg.

M - Expansive mouthfeel with a solid body. Great staying power without feeling syrupy.

O - Insanely smooth. I can't believe this is 15%; it could definitely get you into a world of trouble if you're not paying attention. A stellar barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 21:31:54 | More by vfgccp
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/28/12 notes. Had this on tap at the Blind Tiger VSK event in NYC. Had a sip from a friend and then an 8 oz. pour.

a - Pours an amber-clear reddish color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident. Looks as expected.

s - Smells of bready malts, bourbon, oak, toasted malts, alcohol , caramel malts, toffee, and light vanilla. Good, but much more bready than I was expecting, and a decent amount of alcohol.

t - Tastes of bready malts, toasted malts, graham cracker, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel malts, dark fruits, toffee, alcohol, butterscotch, and biscuit. Again, tons of bread and toasted malts, but more dark fruit and caramel here than the nose. A small step up from the nose for me, but the alcohol is still there too.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty thick and nice body, and some alcohol heat.

o - Overall I found this to be a good BA barleywine, but not great. While it does not taste liek it is necessarily 15% ABV, it is strong and the alcohol is there. Tons of bready and toasted malts, and some nice bourbon, I have one bottle of this and will hold onto it for a year or two to see if it mellows out a little bit. Good but not as good as some of the other Founders special beers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 15:40:23 | More by mdfb79
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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.