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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

1,202 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,202
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 195
Gots: 711 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Bolt Cutter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,202 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

djrn2, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

zestar, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Thorpe429, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

acurtis, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.2%

metter98, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Texasfan549, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
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.

BEERchitect, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

kjkinsey, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -1.2%

GRG1313, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -1.2%

ygtbsm94, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

jaydoc, May 15, 2014
Photo of Knapp85
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.

Knapp85, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

JAHMUR, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

largadeer, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
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.

TMoney2591, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

SocalKicks, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of emerge077
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.

emerge077, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of zeff80
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.

zeff80, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

one of the best barleywines of the year. not cheap, but damn good. it pours a sticky honey color with just a finger or two of white lace on top. the nose is crazy, sweet and strong, like a homemade spirit or something, its got notes of scotch, toffee, brown sugar, and orange peel. that first thing I think of when I taste this is, wow, if gummy bears were liquid, this is what it would taste like. its sort of got that artificial fruit flavor sweetness from all the malt, but it works here, and the alcohol is just ridiculous, especially when this gets up to room temperature, its downright hot. not much hops in here that I can pick out, but a lot of big flavors competing for attention, so its probably just as well. mouthfeel is thick and gooey, not much carbonation, which makes this a slow sipper. the alcohol content makes sharing the bottle must, as does the sugar, which gets tiring. still, this is what a barleywine should be, and founders has pulled this off wonderfully.

StonedTrippin, Feb 01, 2013
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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,202 ratings.