1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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: 177
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
Ratings: 1,156 | Reviews: 209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: growler

01-10-2013 00:55:26 | More by avalon07
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 20:04:20 | More by thagr81us
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 14:56:29 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of iL0VEbeer
iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-30-2012 05:53:56 | More by iL0VEbeer
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 23:46:45 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-23-2012 05:56:09 | More by AgentZero
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

4/5  rDev -1.2%

01-10-2013 07:56:39 | More by chippo33
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.2%

01-06-2013 19:05:29 | More by Hopheadjeffery
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 01:11:43 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

06-27-2013 15:43:04 | More by claspada
Photo of wrightst
wrightst

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

07-11-2014 02:42:57 | More by wrightst
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 bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-21-2012 01:44:30 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

04-13-2014 21:37:17 | More by Duff27
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper/orange color. A dense, two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Rings of sticky lace is left behind. Really impressive considering the ABV.
S: Hops and malt intermingle in great balance. Tropical fruits, toffee, bread pudding. The alcohol is really well masked in the nose. Excellent.
T: Follows the nose with a great balance of hops and malts. Toasted malt, tropical fruits. Reminds me of bread pudding and toffee over fruit. Almost fruit cake like even. All the layers are there. A peppermint spiciness as well. Like peppermint candy in the finish. Love it.
M/D: Surprisingly medium body, lighter that I was expecting. Not that it is thin or watery at all, just not as resiny as I was expecting. Good carbonation and very smooth. The alcohol is incredibly well integrated, well basically nonexistent. Which make for a great warming, sipper.

Wow, I really love this. I was afraid this was going to be to messy and busy. It reminds me a bit of fruit cake, and I am one of the strange people that like fruit cake. While I can see how some people might be put off. I think it works perfectly. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 04:42:32 | More by champ103
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

07-05-2013 03:31:00 | More by illidurit
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL shared with a friend
A - deep ambe body, frothy ivory head, excellent retention & lace
S - fruity aroma, pineapple, caramel, vanilla, maple, oak, booze
T - fruity again with pineapple, mango, very sweet, caramel, honey, maple, grapefruit, vanilla, oak, bourbon, faint pine
M - full body, alcohol prickles the tongue but is well concealed especially for 15%
O - incredible complexity, craftsmanship, and quality, but one shared was definitely enough. Fun to experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 02:18:50 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale amber brown in color with pale yellow highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of malty sweetness upfront in the aroma with grassy earthy notes, booze heat, plenty of hop character and mild caramel but with slight brown sugar presence.

T: caramel sweetness was more noticeable on the palate with a good hoppy profile that was accompanied by grassy earthiness, plenty of bready malts, the booze was all up in your grill with a touch of underlying brown sugar.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, hoppy, boozy and crisp finish.

O: I honestly was a little let down from all the hype but then again it's just hype after all. It can be that I've had some AMAZING barelywines lately too. I was just decent and nothing more

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 00:53:59 | More by Gobzilla
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 popery
popery

California

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

02-01-2013 22:08:39 | More by popery
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

01-28-2013 16:29:05 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of KAF
KAF

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

07-09-2014 01:11:15 | More by KAF
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 sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

07-10-2013 20:37:47 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Lare453
Lare453

Florida

4/5  rDev -1.2%

04-24-2013 02:27:52 | More by Lare453
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,156 ratings.