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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

228 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 228
Hads: 1,302
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 12.22%
Wants: 216
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:
Beer added by: Thickfreakness on 11-03-2012

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 228 | Hads: 1,302
Photo of homebrew311
3.09/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is bright orange with minimal head. Spotty lacing present. Nose is a solvent infused Devil Dancer character, a bit of earth, tons of earthy hops, a touch of maple and vanilla. Taste is vegetal spicy character with heavy onion hop character and solventy alcohol burn. Not a big fan. Mouthfeel is heavy with mild carbonation and plenty of burn. Overall, big disappointment here. Things are out of balance and very overpriced.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Dooper brought this one out in a big b-wine showdown with Mother of all Storms. Good times man!

From a 750 into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, creamy, off-white head with great retention. Clear burnt orange in color with medium levels of carbonation with a solid stream up the middle. Head fades to a nice wisp and sticks to the sides. A slight wisp remains with no real lacing.

SMELL: Lots of caramel and toffee, with lots of hops as well. Melon, honeydew notes and some pineapple. Lots of malty aromas with a good dose of hops.

TASTE: Caramel, melon and some spicy alcohol up front, then a big finish of spicy booze, bitter hops, pine, and some melon sweetness. Boozy, bitter-sweet and some solvent flavors as well. Not too bad though.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn at the back and some heat lingers. Boozy, but not as much as expected.

OVERALL. This wasn't bad. I enjoyed the 2012 vintage of Storms better, though it's tough to compare a barrel aged beer against a regular one. This was flavorful, interesting, and surprisingly enough, not as boozy as I'd expected. Dont'need to drink it again per se, but wouldn't turn it down if it were offered. Cheers Doops!

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Photo of Tucquan
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-11-22 in Pittsburgh, PA

A - Very hazy orange-brown with 1/3-finger tan head that fades fast and leaves mild lacing. Alcohol legs.

S - Hop floral, citrus, sweet, graham cracker, baked apple, bartlet pear, cherry.

T - Hop forward, dopplebock-like malt, caramel, pine, vinuous, cherry, rasin, apple/pear. Not overly sweet. Lingering bitter/piney finish balanced with enough of the other flavors. Taste improved as it continued to warm

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Resinous, prickly, not syrupy. Definitely a tongue-coater.

O - Quite good for such a high ABV brew. As a comparison, I liked this more than the Avery Mephistopholes.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a warm red-orange color with a thin collar of manila foam. Looks quaint in the Church Brew Works taster tulip.

Weird soapy yeasty aroma that caught me by surprise. Light caramel, hint of woodiness, and citrusy hops. Very mellow. Not a good start.

Woah. Grapefruit hops, barrel wood, whiskey notes, and the mildest of caramel notes. Of course, I forgot a big solvent-y booze note that I'm not fond of. Not very sweet, but it is decently medicinal. Hints of stone fruits, but I think that's hop-related, too.

Tuned-up way too high. Booze-forward, majorly. Body is pretty thin for the style, too. Not a good feel.

What a disappointing beer! I'm never this harsh on Founders, but c'mon! A slightly above-average American Barleywine, at best.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured slowly to a beautiful amber/red, I began pouring pretty agressively to ensure at least a decent finger of head, the head slowly rose up to a two finger stack of amber/caramel colored fluffly goodness. About 5 minutes later only a thin thin layer remains across the surface, outer ring and lacing is 10/10.

S - Mostly scotch-boozy, bready caramel sweetness and sweet brown sugar, definitely some citrusy/resinous hop aromas, and warm fuzzy feeling spices.

T - Holy tits. Lots of alcohol burn to it, but the burn isnt too strong if that makes any sense at all. Kind of like drinking a mild scotch, or a slightly watered down buttery scotch with some resinous hop qualities. Spices and sweet brown sugar/molasses/caramel mix in with the boozyness - after the initial boozyness is done rocking my palate. Traces of orange and grapefruit are evident, definitely some strong spices that balance well with the boozy qualities, although I cant pinpoint it with the glorious gangbang of flavors my mouth just endured.

M - Full bodied, if the mouthfeel was a SAT percentage rank, it'd be in the top 95% for sipperness. Medium/less carbonation, appropriate.

O - I've had scotch beers that remind me of scotch more than beer. This is like a scotch beer that is all beer (and lots of scotchy flavors). Figure that one out.

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Photo of harrymel
1.98/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Alright, let's see what's going on here.

Pours a fiery orange with loose soapy light tan foam scattered over a brilliantly clarified beer. Cherry, alcohol, burning alcohol, sugar, light crystal malts, some pithy hops. Not an impressive nose whatsoever. Flavor is simply sweet. Booze, malt, sugar, brown sugar, absolutely overly boozy. Medium bodied with low carb and a wet finish that actually makes me feel like I just took a shot of cheap liquor, probably one of the least desirable mouthfeels I've had in quite some time. I tried, but this became a drainpour for me.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and hazy copper amber orange with a moderate amount of carbonation. About one finger of off white head that recedes into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A big kick of sweet malts, hops, and booze. Sharp citrus hop aroma up front with hints of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, and mango. Some earthy hops and pine spice. Sweet malts with big hints of burnt caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Some brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup add to the sweetness. Barrel presence is pretty laid back with only slight hints of bourbon and vanilla. Alcohol scent is pretty noticeable as expected. A very big and good aroma.

Taste: Tastes as big and strong as it smells. Big presence of bitter and spicy hops up front. Notes of citrus grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, and lemon. Earthy hops and a sharp spice from pine resin. Fairly grassy. Big malt presence that adds some balancing sweetness. Notes of burnt caramel, toffee, yeast, and biscuit. Also some brown sugar and maple syrup along with a little taste of honey and vanilla. Slight taste of bourbon and wood although its pretty subtle compared to the other flavors. Alcohol heat rounds out the taste. Big and pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Heavy full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Chewy, slightly syrupy, and pretty visceral. Finishes fairly dry. Lots of alcohol warmth is felt as expected.

Overall: A very good take on a American Barleywine. A slow sipper for sure and not for the faint of heart. Big hop presence that is very sharp. It will be interesting to see how this one ages.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Considered honey golden I saw more amber hues under a stiff off white head.

The aroma is more coconut and vanilla with a malty, alcohol or pine backdrop.

Catch a lot of coconut in this with some malty pecan. Mid palate caught creamy marshmallow and whipped cream, It ends with piney hops and a little tinge of booze.

Overall it's a solid and tasty barley wine.

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Photo of Chaney
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 3 Stars Brewing snifter.

A: Poured a very, very saturated oranges color, infinitely sticky, and with lots of lacing left on the glass.

S: Typical American Barleywine scent (not that that's bad): Hop/red wine/red velvet cake batter.

T: So much Imperial Red Ale in this: Hoppy and then some. Reminded my of SN Bigfoot, but just in a bomber. Caramel, pineapple, whole leaf hops, and then some.

M: Sticky and gooey. Not that that's a bad thing……. it's actually a good one. Shit, I dug the mouth on this one.

O: I think this was worth the $$ to spend once.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-brown orange color with a decent light tan head and little lacing

S-toffee, bourbon, oak, brown sugar, vanilla, nutty, light pine

T-toffee, caramel, nutty, bourbon, oak, little dark fruit, malty

F-medium body with light carbonation, smooth and a little boozy

O-decent Barleywine and not as much booze as I expected, but wouldn't put this in my upper echelon of Barleywines

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Photo of n2185
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear copper with a finger of beige head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: super citrusy at first with orange and pineapple aromas followed by caramel notes. The barrel aromas bring up the finish with maple and slight bourbon aromas.

T: grapefruit and pineapple up front with sticky caramel, vanilla, and maple. The bourbon and oak bring up the finish with a moderate alcohol burn and slight yeast notes.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is super sticky-sweet.

O: a good barleywine overall, with lots of complexity and depth. It's a bit boozy now, but I think it will improve with age. Thankfully I got a couple of bottles so I can see just how it ages.

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Photo of CHickman
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very hazy copper amber color with a 1 finger foamy beige/sand tan head that was full of little bubbles and faded slowly, leaving very good mostly spotty foamy lacing as well as rings clinging to the sides.

Smells of booze like rum and sweet malt up front, with caramel, molasses, brown sugar, syrup, cinnamon, orange peel, citrus hops, dark fruit like cherry and plum, apple skins, raisin, biscuit, grains, bread pudding, pear, light spices and fruity candy; the booze is heavy and the sweetness intense, but this beer manages to stay complex and fruity with what seems like some hop balance even though it’s quite strong in every way. Bold and sweet may describe it best, but it was still enjoyable to inhale and relatively tame considering 15% ABV.

Tastes like it smells with booze and sweet malt up front, followed by caramel, molasses, brown sugar, dark rum or bourbon, syrup, cinnamon, orange peel, mango, citrus hops, dark fruit like cherry plum and raisin, buttery biscuit, wet grains, bread pudding (seriously, it tastes like bread pudding drizzled with hot caramel), pear, fruity candy like Skittles or Razzles, red wine, toffee, yeast and floral hops or mild spices; there is no hiding or denying the alcohol as it is present in every moment of every sip, but it is complementary to the rest of the flavors and works well in this brew. This is like belly warming booze meant for slow sipping, but it is not so offensive that it ruins the beer and remains very sweet in every sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a bisque like consistency that is thick and boozy, and meant really to sip and savor. There is light carbonation, a heavy body and an ever present alcohol bite that is a cross between a merlot and a dark rum which keeps your blood flowing and the heat churning like internal combustion; halfway through this bomber I feel flush and quite buzzed as the ABV kicks the door down and says hello, then kicks you around like a soccer ball. This is not a session beer, and most certainly one that should be shared among friends, so please avoid drinking the bomber alone like I did. Glad I drank this at home so I didn’t have to drive afterwards.

Overall I thought that this was good, but a little bit over the top; it was really strong, really sweet and really malty, but I still tasted the hops and caramel sweetness that was part of the complexity and balancing act (if you will…). This was very powerful and very strong, yet for those who like a Barley Wine Ale it may have been perfect. I’m glad I tried it and would have it again if I were sharing/splitting the bomber as it did cover up most of the ABV quite well with nice flavor so that was nice. Congrats Founders on 15 years of making great beer.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper color and is strong, sweet and malt-forward, with a spicy complexity. Typical of the style, it is very cellarable. The final product is a blend using beer that was aged in bourbon barrels, some from aged maple syrup bourbon barrels and some from standard fermentation. After blending, the beer was allowed to mature in bottles and kegs for a few months before release. I have a bottle remaining in my cellar and am interested in seeing how it ages. I thought it had a rather boozy finish to it, but the complexity made up for it.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice amber/mahogany color with half a fingers worth of off-white head

S: Plenty of hops, along with a big malt backbone and alcohol. As it warms, notes of vanilla, oak, and maple all come out and integrate nicely with the hops and sweet malts

T: Starts off with the sweetness of the malts and then goes into a combination of the hops and alcohol. The alcohol is present, but it doesn't seem like it's 15%. I'd say it seems more like the level of say Devil Dancer or even more comparably to Stone's OG BW (so around 11-12%). As it warms, the barrel notes come out more with vanilla, oak, and maple (same as in the nose). Nicely complex, especially as it gets closer to room temperature

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth

O: Now that the style (on the site at least) has been changed to American BW and not English BW, it fits the style much more. Definitely a hoppy barleywine with plenty of kick and complexities. The barrels really add a nice dimension to this beer, especially the maple barrels. I can see this one aging very nicely as the hops and alcohol fade and the barrels (should be) shining more

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Many many thanks to my bro in law Randy for this bottle. He may not be on BA but hell he has attended an Extreme Beer Fest in the past!

Nice coppery orange in color. Great aroma of caramel and hops Like a Bigfoot on steroids if you ask me. Just a huge huge flavor!!! Hops and malt simply collide in a massive explosion of flavor!!! Caramel and treacle with a slamming hop bite. Long lingering hop bitterness. Grassy and piney to say the least-set against a backround of caremel and buttery treacle..just so well balanced for a huge beer I am highly impressed. Lip smacking, sticky mouthfeel. not a trace of alcohol here. Wow-I was really expecting a hot solvent like barleywine. Have been dying to try this and I cant get enough. I do not think I have ever seen a 15% beer so well balanced and rounded. Love it.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.73/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

My allergies were acting up last night; my eyes felt inflamed and itchy, my vision blurred. From across the room, I spotted what appeared to be Goatse on a bottle label. Goatse?!?! Did White Birch make a non-ironic beer for once? I listened to the weirdos watching the Niners game and sidled over to the bottle. Oh... huh. My vision really is bad today. It's a bolt cutter. FOUNDERS!? Sweet. I love Founders. Thanks, Jason.

A: Pours a crystal clear copper-orange body with a half-pinky finger of tan head. Seems nice.

S: Boozy, raisiny caramel, brown sugar. Oxidized hops and vanilla. Not much in the way of bourbon or oak.

T: Bolt Cutter? More like Sweet Fucker. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, even a touch of maple. Vanilla -- and there's the bourbon, a little more present on the taste than in the nose. Oak presents a light astringency in the finish. It's not enough to cut the sweetness. Nor are the hops; they have a stale, oxidized earthiness and melon flavor. Really... odd.

M: It's harsh; the one-two combination of booze and slight sugary burn are irritating to the palate. It's not super-syrupy, but it's on the sweet end and is cloying in some sips. The carbonation doesn't offset said sweetness enough.

O: I might be a little more lenient on this one considering it's Founders... Or maybe I'm being harsher because I initially thought it was a Goatse beer. Whatever the case, I'm glad I don't have a bottle.

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Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received in trade with Speedwayjim poured into a Founders CBS snifter.

A - Pours a glowing, brilliant amber orange color with medium clarity and a finger of frothy tan head that dies slowly over a minute or so leaving rings of lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon, butter, vanilla, toffee, sweet malt, mild citrus hop presence. The buttery and toffee aromas blossom as the beer warms and take over.

T - Alcohol/boozy up front, some citrusy hops, mild/mid hop bitterness. Caramel and some sugary malt flavors, some brown sugar. Touch of astringency, some fruity esters. A dry, biscuity, maybe a touch nutty finish with hints of roasty malts.

M - This gives a huge tingle on the lips and tongue from the healthy dose of bourbony booze found in here. From beginning to end it is there reminding me that this is indeed a 15% beer. Body is quite full and a bit sticky. Carbonation is low/medium and fits well here. Bourbon gives a bit of a warmth on each sip.

O - Balanced and more bitter/hoppy than many/most barleywines. Not as hop forward as Big Foot, but it is missing a lot of the rich malty depth typically found in the style. Rather boozy all around...keeps this towards the sipper side of the scale...tingly and warming on each sip.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.61/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

750ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 2 finger light cream colored head with moderate to low retention. Beer is a clear orange-amber. Lacing is spotty and stringy with nice stick and thick, oily legs that really linger. A nice looking beer.

Nose is pine, sap, resin, hop bitterness mixed with notes of brown sugar, molasses and honey. Sweet and hoppy with moderately boozy overtones.

I waited almost a year for this one to "simmer down" and its still hot as hell. Like I'm drinking acetone. Opens hot. Sap hop bitterness with notes of brown sugar, molasses, green raisins and pine. Hot as hell and very sweet throughout. End is bready and yeasty with sweet molasses and booze on the finish and aftertaste. Way too much.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Hot, boozy and slick in the mouth and goes down hot, dry and thick. Finishes messy with a unmercifully lingering aftertaste.

This is as close to an undrinkable beer as Founders has ever made. I don't know where they were aiming with Bolt Cutter but they certainly missed the mark here.

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Photo of jegross2
2.3/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Reviewing the Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This American-style barleywine was brewed in honor of Founders' 15th anniversary, and is a blend of the base beer unaged, aged in maple syrup barrels and aged in bourbon barrels.
Score: 40

November 2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/11/13.

Appearance: Pours a bourbon color with a finger and a half of seafoam colored seafoam-like head that slowly settles to a thin layer. Awesome lacing ad retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Boozy caramel, an earthy spiciness, stale hops and tons of sweet, bready malt. Brown sugar, maple and light lemon too. 2/5

Taste: Tastes like a boozy, bready malt-forward stale IPA with a maple character and light spiciness. Another reviewer likened this to barrel aged Devil Dancer -- spot on! There is some caramel too. This beer is almost undrinkable, and this is only 2 months old. This beer was much tastier, albeit still disappointing, fresh, but even then it was nothing special. It has since fallen off entirely, and collapsed into a sweet malt bomb of a mess. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Malty sweet and juicy. 3/5

Overall: Founders beers are very rarely duds, but this one is an imperial stinker. When I had this beer fresh the night before FOBAB, it reminded me of a less-hoppy New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine with a little maple mixed in. Tasty, but certainly not worth the hype. Just under two months later, it's fallen off a cliff, the hops have become completely stale, and the boozy malt has taken over entirely. Considering that this bottle sat in my fridge for the duration of its "shelf life," and considering it was not even "stored" for two months, I doubt my experience had anything to do with storage conditions (though if Founders' maple aging program has taught us anything, this may be the byproduct of bottle variation). If you have not opened your bottles yet, I advise you sit on them longer -- this beer cannot get much worse and time can only serve to mellow out the booziness.

Recommendation: Avoid this one, though I presume this advice comes too little too late.

Pairings: The sink drain.

Cost: $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: A deep orange/yellow/amber color the an ivory white head that disappeared quickly.

S: Suprisingly, there was a lot of hop character present in this beer. There was subtle toffee in the background.

T: Bitter on the front end and the back end. The middle is composed of rich caramel and toffee.

M: Very heavy with great carbonation which was a pleasant surprise given that it was a 15% beer.

O: One of the best barleywines I've had. It is up there with King Henry, Mother of All Storms, and Abacus.

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Photo of josephwa
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Solid carbonation, white head, golden copper color.

S - Mild aroma to this one. But what I do get is honey, sugar and caramel.

T - Hoppy, honey, caramel, and malty. A great mix of sweet and bitter.

M - Alcohol burn for sure on this one and well carbonated. Not thin, nor thick.

O - Extremely tasty. I love it but wouldn't go out crazy with purchasing more of this. Aging would help this brew in my mind though.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of deep, yet bright golden orange. It holds a one and a half finger head of massive, soapy-looking tan bubbles, showing okay retention, and decent reproducibility. Vestiges of this sit in aggregates to one side of glass, with spots of lacing dripping down the sides. There is a definite haze, and swirls of sediment run through the liquid. Carbonation appears light. The nose initially gives deep caramel malts, hot booze, and brushes of lemony, citric hops. Bubblegum esters add sweetness, as does sticky toffee, warm bourbon, and faint maple syrup sugars. Vanilla, musky woodiness, and dirty, muddy mineral come out with warmth. Our first impression is that the beer is nicely flavored, the various barreling efforts are each visible, and the booze is massive. As we sip, raw honey sweetness, burnt caramel malts, fusel vodka booze, and dried maple candies start things off. We move to the peak with salty caramel, citric hoppy freshness, warm oakiness, medicinal phenols, more hollow fusels, and the sweetened cloying bite of warmed maple sugar. The finish wash is of thick buttery grain, caramel sweetness, insanely bittering wood, and more fumes of that fusel booze. The aftertaste breathes of fiery peppery booze, bittering citric hops, biting woodiness, raw plastic phenols, maple sweetness, caramel sweetness, and mineral. The body is full, and the carbonation is light to medium. There is wild stickiness to the feel, with the lips and tongue left coated with sugary smack. There is nice slurp, pop, cream, and froth, and the mouth is satisfyingly coated and warmed. The booze and wood both add eventual dryness, but not to the point of puckered astringency. The abv is huge, and the beer drinks accordingly as a definite, slow sipper.

Overall, what we liked most about this beer was how the beer is very much like it is described, and the soft, sticky mouthfeel. As this beer is a blend we were worried that the mix would get overly complex, and that the maple and wood would get lost. This was very much to the contrary, as the sweetness was there, while the wood was present, almost overly so. The latter gave a strong bittering pucker of flavor to the finish and aftertaste that wasn’t quite balanced out. The nose was nice, and in the same vein, while the feel was great, and greatly contributory to the experience. This is a nice beer, but a bit hot, and in need of perhaps a little more age.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just randomly found a bottle hanging out on the bad side of the shelf surrounded by BMC. Fortunately, I saved it by buying it.

The beer pours some fairly light white creamy and bubbly head that dissipates partially but leaves a film on the top of the beer. Also, a bit of lacing but not much. The beer itself is a hazy, almost opaque copper brown. The beer smell has strong caramel malt sweetness notes. Some fruit sweetness notes exist but are very faint compared to the caramel notes and a tiny hint of alcohol. Other notes include maple oak and slight hints of pine hops that barely noticeable. The taste is extremely sweet with a bit of balanced complexity. The taste shares many of the same notes from the smell. The malt sweetness is the strongest with a molasses taste as well. Light pine hops to balance out the sweetness. The mouthfeel is heavy bodied with low carbonation. The beer is also a bit thick going down but feels pretty good. Overall, a fairly good beer.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, November 2012
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange/amber color. Initially about a full finger of slightly off white head. Actually sticks around a while. Some lacing bits. Seeing some alcohol feet.

S: Getting big hop notes. Big citrus and some piney hints. Then big caramel and toffee underneath that. No bourbon at all unless it comes up later. It does smell sweet on the nose.

T: Up front, you do get some hop bitterness. Some of that orange marmalade, other citrus, etc. Getting nice bready malts. Some slim caramel and toffee. I get that maple sweetness....which I guess is from the barrels. Lots of booze does so its face later as you start.

M: Big medium bodied here. Not as thick as i thought it would be. Some booze.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7oz pour for $8.00 at Cask and Vine in Derry, NH.

Presented with a quarter inch of bone head atop a light mahogany body with a haze. A partial skim coat and zero lacing for the duration of the glass.

After the beer warms up the aromatics reveal plenty of alcoholic heft, raisins, toffee, figs, caramel, bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

On the thicker side of medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.

Chewy malt, boozy bourbon, and vanilla lead off the palate. A mild bitterness runs underneath the sweet malt and chipped toffee. A warmth on the throat carries form one sip to the next.

Finishes with lingering malt, bourbon, and vanilla.

This is one big Barleywine and the bourbon barrel finish is nicely balanced. Quite a treat to sample on tap in NH.

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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.