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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
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Ratings: 1,222 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of johnnnniee
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy burnished copper with a huge frothy whit head that persists forever. Aromas of sweet sugary malt, brown sugar, pine and earthy hops with a touch of alcohol and a hint of dried fruit. The flavor is sweet rocket fuel. Sweet sugar, molasses, prunes and cherries with a solid shot of earthy pine hops. The alcohol is present enough to remind you that this is a big beer, but I've had more obtrusive alcohol presence in smaller beers before. There's a solid shot of hop bitterness I would assume to counter the huge malt bill that this must have. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation, and a sweet syrupy resinous lightly hot mouthfeel. I enjoyed sipping on this for most of the night. It is a touch hot, maybe that will mellow with time, but I enjoyed it.

johnnnniee, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -1.2%

tobelerone, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle opened on 6.2.13

A - Pours a dark orange-light brown, clear, with a small light tan head with good retention.

S - Caramel, booze, oranges.

T - Caramel, bitter orange, lots of booze heat.

D - Good carbonaiton with a medium body. Good heat and bitterness.

O - Caramel is nice, but he thin and hotness with a bit to much bitter orange.

HuskyinPDX, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of chippo33
4/5  rDev -1.2%

chippo33, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Dark amber; slightly translucent. Half a finger of tan coloured head.

S - A big sweetness up front with caramel and toffee aromas coming through. Some citrus and a bitter hop presence also come through. No oak is detectable in the nose.

T - Big sweetness from the malt base up front that adds caramel, toffee and brown sugar flavours is balanced out by a massive hop bitterness and a touch of citrus. A warming alcohol presence also helps to balance out the massive sweetness. The oak is present but is very much secondary in this beer. Although a warming alcohol presence is noticeable, the alcohol is very well hidden overall considering the 15% ABV.

M - Full body; thick and chewy. Light carbonation. Full of sticky hop oils.

TheSevenDuffs, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into balloon snifter 14/6/14

A clear amber liquid, a couple bubbles, thin film leaves a few polka dots, wide legs down the side

S still lots of pine and citrus, this would've been a palate wrecker fresh, faint bourbon, pancake syrup, orange peel, hard toffee, lots of booze

T more booze, heaps of brown sugar and caramel, faint wood, sweet bourbon, more citrus then the nose, a little sweet and boozy but enjoyable

M thank and syrupy, my lips are stuck together, heat hits the chest and throat, rind and brown sugar on the finish

O I liked it but I didn't love it, still hoppy, very sweet and boozy, I'm glad I didn't try to take this one down solo

Fruet was a hard act to follow and perhaps didn't help this ones cause, its good beer with a little barrel, lots of sugar and booze, one of those beers I want to try fresh and with 5+ years on it

wordemupg, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

THECPJ, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of avalon07
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Fair lacing.

S: A big aroma of hops, caramel, and malt.

T: Tasted of hops (a lot of hops, as you would expect), caramel, malt, and a fruity quality. The booziness of the beer, in spite of the high ABV& isn't an issue. This is a complex, assertive, powerful flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp finish. Full-bodied.

O: Certainly not a session beer, this one is an aggressive beast, but well made and drinkable.

avalon07, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Griffith
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Griffith, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of vfgccp
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.

vfgccp, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Hopheadjeffery, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

claspada, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of Lare453
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Lare453, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of Axnjxn
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Axnjxn, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of bluejacket74
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

bluejacket74, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Duff27, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -1.2%

bsuedekum, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -1.2%

wethorseblanket, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle pours a lightly hazed copper color with a surprisingly delicate head that sticks around a good while...nice lace too.

Nose is almost all caramel...wow, like a boardwalk candy shop! Little bit of toffee and toast, smooth nose - that’s fo sho.

Taste is understatedly hoppy! Mashes sweetness, toast and caramel just about as well as any beer I have ever had. Alcohol is ridiculously smooth for a 13%'er...Impressive. I really like it. Mouthfeel is a tad less creamy than I expected, but that is a minor complaint. Founder’s can do some amazing beers and Bolt Cutter fits their profile well, though it is almost a disappointment if one of their beers fails to rock your socks off! That can be both a blessing and a curse, in this case I think Bolt Cutter is a very good Barleywine, but never quite reaches the ‘epic’ status that many of their beers seem to effortlessly obtain.

twiggamortis420, May 20, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to beeruser and funkydelic for sharing this one at a recent Random Sunday Tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, wood, sweet alcohol, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, sweet alcohol, wood, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I went into this one after hearing all of the hype and was really hoping that it would knock my socks off as far as the style goes. However, I found most aspects of this one to only be decent throughout. The flavor did bring a little more to the party as it was rather smooth and well balanced, but did leave something to be desired. Just a little more going on in this one would have really done it some good based on my opinion of the style. Definitely worth your time to try to get this one if you have the ammo to do so.

thagr81us, Jan 12, 2013
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,222 ratings.