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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

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

1,156 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,156
Reviews: 209
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 175
Gots: 694 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Bolt Cutter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,156 | Reviews: 209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LaChupacabra for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a very sweet flavor and a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think it tastes better than it smells.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 22:18:45 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

07-14-2013 21:26:34 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

01-17-2013 23:45:59 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4/5  rDev -1.2%

12-08-2013 17:37:40 | More by metter98
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 nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-18-2012 23:05:03 | More by nmann08
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

07-14-2013 21:46:03 | More by acurtis
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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

When turning fifteen years old, you either go big or go home. Founders charges into triple nickle territory with this massive American barleywine with a balanced, complex, and strong palate throughout.

Much like brandy, the tawny caramel beer shows good clarity with amber and orange highlights. A swirl of the glass shows as much brandy legging as it does beery froth. Carbonation patiently layers the surface with off white creme and never brings lacing into the conversation.

A strong whiff of bourbon and caramel gather in the nose, along side of hearty-sweet notes of brown sugar, pecans, toasted almonds, and maple. Fruit character accompanies the sweet scent with cherries, apricots, grapefruit, and oranges. Pine and vegetal hop notes allow for an earthen balance to the fruit and sweetness. My mind keeps returning to notions of peanut brittle, fruitcake, and bourbon.

Equally strong, a thin syrup and honey taste satisfies the sweet tooth while a quick rebuttal of citrusy hops rise to nearly balance the sweet. Sharp hop bitterness grows alongside of the emerging alcohol to eventually control the finish over that of malt and fruit. Marmalade, peppery alcohol and cherries are the lingering taste even as the beer turns to resinous pine-like bitterness to finish.

Full bodied, however the beer shows incredible dryness, for both the good and bad. There's enough sweetness to become a carriage for carbonation that provides creamy textures early on. But the malty-dry middle palate allows the immense alcohols to dominate the finish, making the hops seem harsh and the esters tasting like children's cough syrups. Moderately fusal, you must live the sheer taste of ethanol to fully appreciate this barleywine.

With it's overall hot temperament, the beer seems "green" or under-matured. And like many other strong beers of Founders, I'm sure this anniversary ale is destined for greatness with proper cellar conditions. But right now the malt richness doesn't properly balance the fifteen percent strength, the hops are raw- as if it's trying too much to garner imperial IPA-type taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 18:00:39 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -1.2%

12-09-2013 17:09:42 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

02-04-2013 03:09:56 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

02-04-2013 23:40:39 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

05-15-2014 00:35:03 | More by jaydoc
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

03-09-2013 21:48:53 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Great to get this beer,one of my favorite breweries from the home state.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep burnt orange with a thinner but tightley formed off white head atop.A mix of alcohol dipped dark fruits and cake in the nose,not much hop presence,almost like a CHRISTmas fruit cake to me.Sweet with alot of fruitiness on the palate,raisin/prue to go along with alcohol dipped cherries with a decent earthy dryness and leafy hops in the finish.It's big and chewey and the drying hops seem to come more into play as I drink more,this is all of the 15% it says it is.Iam going to bed early tonight.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 00:22:42 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev -1.2%

01-29-2013 06:01:49 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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

This poured out as a reddish orange color with a thin white head on top. The head settles just leaving some scattered spots on top and some very thin lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is potent, very big orange citrus notes here as well as some earthy hops and plenty of ethanol. The smell almost reminds me of a cleaning product of some kind but at the same time it still smells good. The taste of the beer gives of some massive malt characteristics, it's boozy and sweet, elements of caramel and apple in there some maple and some bitter hops as well. The mouthfeel of the beer is medium to heavy, it's smooth and oily, lightly carbonated. Overall it's a big beer, lots of nice things going on in this one. Might be interesting to have again someday once it's been aged for a little. This beer has a lot of complexity and is very good. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2012 01:21:22 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 19:29:57 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, ruby/copper color with a one finger, dark, khaki-colored head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled sweet, malty and boozy.

T - This is so boozy. It is malty with caramel, toffee and butterscotch. It had a strong alcohol heat.

M - It was sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with clean finish.

O - This is a very big, boozy barleywine. Glad I was able to get some and share some.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 02:33:32 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In a highball glass, this beer pours a tawny brown, frothy foam around the edges and a decent skim across the surface that lasts for awhile.

Sticky sweet, heavily malty aroma with a significant dose of dried fruit. Pretty average for the style, nothing out of the ordinary.

Flavors are smooth and malt driven, plenty of dried fruit, some apricot and sultana. Sticky sweet though not cloying. Smooth feel with a fairly well disguised abv. Medium to full body, with a light level of carbonation. Fairly straightforward barley wine, enjoyable enough, though glad I was able to pay less than retail. Happy 14th to Four Moon... here's to many more.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 06:46:26 | More by emerge077
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

12-06-2012 22:45:19 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

01-14-2013 06:56:36 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

01-13-2013 04:05:46 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4/5  rDev -1.2%

05-30-2014 01:28:24 | More by nickfl
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 RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I hope this beer kicks it up a bit after warming. As it is right now, it's somewhat one-dimensional. It's nice and smooth with good malty tones. Bit of an alcohol burn on things. Overall, it's pretty nice. Too bad I don't have another to lay down to see how it ages. Regardless, happy anniversary Founders. Here's to the next 15 years.

(And it is opening up nicely, just so ya know.)

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 00:50:32 | More by RblWthACoz
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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,156 ratings.