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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

1,222 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,222
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 193
Gots: 710 | 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:
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 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
Ratings: 1,222 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very nice orange color with a one finger off-white head with great retention, lasting for the majority of the time it took to drink it. Sticky lacing forms down the sides.

S: Wow, surprisingly hoppy, lots of pine and citrus upfront with some caramel, toffee, and oak that come forward. Lots of vanilla comes out in the middle. It was rather resiny with a little bit of alcohol at the end.

T: More hops upfront, very piney mixed with some grapefruit. The hops transition to some caramelized sugar, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and a little bit of maple.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly boozy, but it doesn't really impede the drinkability.

O: As someone that isn't a huge barleywine fan, I liked this beer quite a bit, probably because of the barrel aging. Surprised at how hop forward it was, but I am sure this will fade with time. Great beer to have for thanksgiving dinner.

mdaschaf, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
2.09/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shared by Paul.

Thanks...sorta. The beer appears a who cares irrelevant hue with a it doesn’t matter head. The aroma brings a please don’t scent with a shitload of unnecessary hops and huge boozy sweetness. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Tons of malt and hops thrown together with no sensitivity or balance. Overwhelming alcohol and sweetness. What a disappoinment. No thanks.

Huhzubendah, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Gonzoillini, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of BARFLYB
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's in SEPA.

Bolt Cutter comes in a goblet with a small trim of off white bubbles up top leaving a skim of foam for a bit before fading off, no lace but some swirls bring it back. The body is a deep amber golden color that is on the bright side, not much activity after a bit.

Smell is big on caramel and toffee with some toasted malt characteristic. Bourbon and maple in the scent. Sweet and alcoholic, I can sniff it from the glass cold and warm. Not a distraction. Not well integrated yet, I can see this blooming later on becoming a sweeter scent as a nice hop presence is noted.

For 15% this can be a lot hotter than it is, the alcohol is masked but not fully so it seeps out in the taste all over. The hops come forefront bringing out some sharp pine, with a mix of bourbon and slight maple tones leading to some more sweet caramel. English in nature that will mature when the hops drop.

Body is above medium with a harshness from the hops and alcohol mix, that is not all that scorching. A hoppy barleywine now, that probably will tone down with time. Carbonation is muted but there and keeping the beer from being dead.

A pretty good barleywine that has both English and American characteristics with the Founders touch. If I find a bottle I'll see where it takes me. Right now, I could not see drinking more than 8oz's though as it's ripe.

BARFLYB, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a slightly dense but clear aged copper brown body with a bubbly light tan head that sticks to the glass and sluggishly slides back into the beer.

S- the nice sweet caramel malt aroma has some candy sugar notes that come through as the beer warms and a slight spicy character with some ether hints in the finish.

T- The smooth sweet caramel malt grows as the beer warms and takes on a brassy wheat malt flavor. The finish of pungent hops and alcohol gently round out each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a thick texture in the finish that is thinned by an alcohol warmth that hangs in the mouth.

O- This is a big monster barleywine with a gentle alcohol heat for 15% ABV and I was surprised at how much hops presence was in there aswell. It was a nice beer to taste but I would have preferred it without as much alcohol. This beer was a night starter and night ender in one bottle.

rhoadsrage, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

afsdan, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish amber color with decent clarity on the first pour. Subsequent pours add some yeasty sediment, as this sample has spent much of its life cellared or in the fridge. The aroma is sweet, sugary, and malty. It hides the booze well, but there is some bourbon and clean alcohol to the nose as well.

The flavor has layers of sweetness, going from brown sugar, to molasses, and finally maple. I did not initially know this was a maple bourbon barrel aged beer but as I drank it, the characteristics became obvious. The beer has mellowed a bit with age I am sure, it drank like 10-11% ABV beer, not 15% + ABV beer. Nice sweet flavors and a modest alcohol bite.

Overall, this is a nice beer and one that may not have even peaked yet. Founders has at times retired beers only to produce them years down the line. I will hold out hope for this one.

Stinkypuss, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of smakawhat
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours out of the bottle like golden caramel, hits and makes a simple one finger head, very creamy and thick, perhaps off tan in color, a very light beige. Body color is a real nice peach orange and hints of red, with very slow rising carbonation coming up, and crystal clear. The beer is really good looking.

Nose is a bit simple and strange all at once. A fascinating mix of over-ripe melon, slightly acidic and sour, with a hint of caramel like sweetness malt in the background. Not bad but and odd sense, some sour and light vinegar comes out a bit.

Palate hits with a big rush. Thick caramel malt matching the nose of this strange large melon character. Quite large, but also sort of odd in a way. The body has a little tongue playful carbonation up front, but is quickly subdued by the malt thickness. Sweetness comes out a little bit more with warmth.

Overall it's fairly interesting and fun, but not the greatest tasting barleywine I've had and it's over ripe sour fruit angle is sort of bizarre. Luckily drinks well at such a high abv, but I wouldn't pay a lot of money for this.

smakawhat, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

brandoman63, May 27, 2013
Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle received via Growling at the Moon. Thanks for the brew, Dan!

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear reddish coppper brew. Head lasts tremendously for such an abv brew, with leggy, going-nowhere lacing. Aroma is fruity, sweet, and boozy.

Taste starts syrupy sweet, a quick fruitiness in the middle, then a strong slap of hops bitterness followed quickly by alcohol. Slight numbness lingers after the swallow. Even so, not as forward with the EtOH as some less abv brews I have had. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is good. I was fearing a Beast-like affront, but I actually enjoyed this brew, as substantial as it is.

ppoitras, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

rab53, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

KAF, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of tdm168
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this bottle.

A - murky orange with a big, off white head that has great retention

S - huge bready aroma with some sugary notes

T - bready, burnt sugar, caramel, sticky, alcohol, mild bitter finish

M - full bodied, warm, well carbonated

This in my opinion is a fantastic beer. The 15% is only slightly noticeable. The malt is big, sticky, and flavorful. The burnt sugar notes were fantastic throughout. This is one of the better beers that I have had recently. I definitely this is a beer that people should be checking out.

tdm168, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared bottle. Very high ABV cannot be hidden. While I'm not hit in the face with the full 15%, this is, nonetheless, a bit too boozy for me. The high ABV comes in a very flavorful brew, which suggests various fruits and fruit brandy. Excellent hop/malt balance.

M: Rather full bodied, with excellent (low) carbonation.

chinchill, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Kelp, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -1.2%

billab914, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

iL0VEbeer, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of ShanePB
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

ShanePB, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Zaphog, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

PEIhop, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Founders 15th Anniversary Party, into a snifter.

Redder brown, with a very small offwhite head that only leaves some whisps of retention. Nose of bourbon, maple, sweet caramel and malts. Some peripheral citrus, alcohol and cotton candy even perhaps. Taste has some maple, bourbon, white raisin, alcohol, sticky caramel and bitter citrus. Alcohol is well hidden but not completely disguised. A tasty American Barleywine, but not mind-blowingly awesome.

liamt07, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
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

JohnGalt1, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

rolltide8425, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Came out much lighter than expected at 15% non barrel aged, it was an amber color, even light amber for that matter with just hints of red throughout it. Thin off white head, 1/2" in size. Pretty impressive appearance.

Aroma was a little bit of honey, substantial carapils type of malt, light melon and hop aromas.

Taste, plenty hoppy, lots of caramel, slight honey sweetness. Of course the booziness is there, this is a big ass beer. The hops seem to have more of a bittering/balancing effect moreso than flavoring hops. Sticky, but not syrupy. Can see why they call it Bolt Cutter, this definitely cuts through plenty of previously consumed beers during the Round of 32 during March Madness. The body always seems lighter than the flavor. That is impressive, even if this is not the greatest barleywine in the world. Some woody flavors in the mouthfeel downbottle. The biggest disappointment has to be that the alcohol is the most noticeable aspect tastewise. Not terrible, but it definitely stands out a little much for me. Wishing I sat on this another year or two. Sometimes drinking fresh isn't always best.

We drank this over at Layne & Courtney's because of the tactics of one David Hurley, beverage nerd at El Dorado Casino, who shut down our previously approved bottle share, because of the hurt feelings of the BMC distributor and special events area at the sports book bar. Pretty lame and disingenuous, we won't be taking our money, vacations or bottles to the El Dorado anymore.

Beerandraiderfan, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Rhettroactive, Nov 24, 2012
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,222 ratings.