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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

1,149 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,149
Reviews: 209
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 175
Gots: 690 | 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: 1,149 | Reviews: 209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aawwweee shit. Another fouders big bottle series. As luck would have it, local advocate of beer Orangesol tipped me off to a place that had bottles for sale. This was my first time purchasing one of these "backstage?" 750's with no bottle limit or secret handshake at the door granting me access to such a privilege.

I opened this at a tasting I hosted this past weekend that was stout themed. (Im a douche like that.) Color me excited for this: wearing my bold cutter hat, founders shirt, bolt cutter boobie tassels and matching underoos. Ok, none of that is true except for the tasting and opening part. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears a hazed copper orange with 2 fingers of frothy yellowish tan head. Patchy webs of lace stick to the glass and display solid powers of retention. There is ruby clarity noted when held to the light along with a lighter yellowish coloring around the edges.

The nose has fruity, citrus, floral and pine aromatics primarily centric to hop charcter. This is pretty much what the entire focus of the nose is about with hints of herbs and a bit of catty appeal. There is some solvent alcohol cutting through with a mild tingle of accenting caramel sticky candy sweetness.

The taste is all about the hops with a huge solvent to fusel alcohol inclusion. Focusing on the hop character it is fruity, floral, pine-like, herbal and a bit catty. Did I mention solvent booze is readily apparent numbing the tongue more with each sip? Hints of caramel grain attempt to poke through but with no residual sweetness. Ample to excessive bitterness with alcohol running rampant. Almost like mandrin oranges and tannic dry woodiness are the last things noted.

This is medium bodied with a modest amount of carbonation. It has a big alcohol impact and hoppiness. This is like vodka with a splash of resinous DIPA added. Aging would be wonderful to tone the booze down but having the hops fade would leave this pretty boring and lifeless. It will be interesting to see how this developes but you wont catch me buying any more of this.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 20:06:32 | More by stakem
Photo of abraxel
abraxel

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-27-2012 16:11:11 | More by abraxel
Photo of Kaydogg
Kaydogg

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-27-2012 15:06:15 | More by Kaydogg
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle procured locally...enjoyed from my bolt cutter glass that arrived earlier today (thanks founders!!!).

a - brew poured a transparent orange amber brown with a thin fizzy head that bubbled away leaving a lip of fizzy head on the glass and some bubble islands on the surface. steady carbonation could be seen swimming to the surface for several minutes after the pour. lacing was all tiny bubbles clinging to each other to create a chunky lace look. looks good.

s - i love me a good barleywine and the smell is fairly spot on for what i like. great candied toffee malt with a glazing of fresh dank hop to really thicken things up and give it a maple syrup crossed with butterscotch type of vibe.

t - first sip is classic american barleywine. great mix of hops and malts. has a really great hopped out butterscotch vibe. the booze is there for certain, but i feel it is fairly integrated considering the heft on this beer. i've had many harsher barleywines at lower abvs.

m - surprisingly smooth and not syrupy. make no mistake, this is a big beer and on the full bodied side, but not nearly as chewy as i would've expected. i was surprised at the outcry of the heat on this one, but then i remembered that i'm a fan of big boozy and hot beers, so what seems hot to some is not all that hot to me. if you take down big beers like this on the regular...which i think is fairly common on this site...then i don't think you'll feel that this is too hot, but make no mistake, this is a 15% animal.

o - overall, put me on the happy side of the fence for this beer. i'm definitely impressed. when i had heard 4 years in a barrel the only thing i could think of was idiot's drool (shudder...) and although i expected founders to knock it out of the park, i was definitely skeptical with the 4 year investment in the barrels. i love a good barleywine and this is a good barleywine. is this Abacus (b1)? is this Alpine Great? is this King Henry? no, however i'd put this one in the company of some of my favorite BA barleywines. definitely worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 03:46:04 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of augustg
augustg

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper reddish color witha thick light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S- HOPS! and soem malt but the hop presence really stands out on this one. Not a bd thing at all but unexpected from a Barleywine

T- The Hops come through again upfront followed by some really srong pineapple and vanilla notes. Bitter finish and a bit of burn at the very end of this beer. Not overly boozy at all.

M- Good mouthfeel overall Not to thin.

O- This beer is excellent and I feel will age very well. Can'y wait to try another in 6 months or so.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 03:35:19 | More by augustg
Photo of avalonct
avalonct

Michigan

5/5  rDev +23.5%

11-27-2012 02:31:15 | More by avalonct
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML poured into a snifter

A- Pours very syrupy . A half a finger of a dense off white head. A ton of alcohol legs. A hazy copper color. A menace of a looking beer.

S- There is a lot of hops on the nose. A slight sharp pine, some overly ripened grapefruit. Caramel and toffee. A slight vanilla and a nice oak character.

T- A crisp bitterness up front. Followed up by an obvious alcohol presence. It sweeps over with a bit of the oak flavor and dry feel. There is a very slight touch of bourbon and vanilla. The malt profile of this beer is very caramel and toffee forward which is accented nicely by the vanilla. Hop flavors are more dominant on the nose. The hops are slightly citrus and overly ripened fruits, flavors of an aged IPA.

M- Thick and syrupy. I wouldn't call it hot but it is without a doubt a very warming beer. More drinkable then I was expecting. Good carbonation and a bitter palate.

O- This is a beast of a beer. Approach only if your ready to embrace some intense flavors. I like fresh barley wines, barrel aged barley wines and barley wines aged at least a year. I like the fresh ones because they have an intense hop profile, and aged ones because the hop profile has died and allowed the malts to take over. This beer is sort of stuck in limbo between the three, partially aged in barrels for about 5 months total. Its good now but I see it as a beer that will improve incredibly with age.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 23:40:41 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of jereb33
jereb33

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-26-2012 23:08:03 | More by jereb33
Photo of todisht
todisht

Alabama

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-26-2012 21:03:59 | More by todisht
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

11-26-2012 17:35:41 | More by THECPJ
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

11-26-2012 17:13:52 | More by orangesol
Photo of rolandboy
rolandboy

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-26-2012 04:27:58 | More by rolandboy
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-26-2012 03:40:41 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 00:56:26 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of jnikkel
jnikkel

Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

11-25-2012 22:48:13 | More by jnikkel
Photo of jmich24
jmich24

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-25-2012 22:29:58 | More by jmich24
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-25-2012 22:02:29 | More by koopa
Photo of eagles22
eagles22

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

11-25-2012 21:54:57 | More by eagles22
Photo of Dave_Treat
Dave_Treat

Virginia

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-25-2012 21:41:06 | More by Dave_Treat
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 19:29:57 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

2.08/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

It's been a while since I've bothered to review, but this one seemed worth my time...

Appearance -- Bright orange with high clarity and a quarter-inch sudsy white head. Its appearance in the glass is more akin to a DIPA.

Aroma -- WHOA hops. Resinous hop dankness with overtones of tangerine and stone fruit, along with a base of caramel malt sweetness. DIPA?

Taste -- Again, VERY hoppy, akin to Devil Dancer. In fact, I'd swear this WAS Devil Dancer if it weren't so much sweeter and boozier. Assertively hoppy, but very focused in aromatics and flavor, and not enough in bitterness. Lots of simple caramel malt sweetness that, instead of lending balance to the massive hop presence, tends to make the flavor profile messier. As far as barrel character, there's really none to be found. Maybe underneath all of those hops somewhere, or maybe it's adding to the saccharine malt sweetness? Simple

Mouthfeel -- Fuller-bodied with firm carbonation. Too much carbonation for the style, but like everything else with this beer, it fits more snugly in the American Double/Imperial IPA category.

Overall -- This is my first real letdown from Founders. I consider them to be one of the best breweries in the business, but this falls way short. This is essentially Imperial Devil Dancer with a touch of maple. Really lacking in depth or the bones to make me believe this will benefit at all with age, in my super-duper humble opinion. Your mileage may vary, of course, since I don't like vintage 120 Minute, Double Crooked Tree or Devil Dancer. Maybe those are your bag?

Looking for a nuanced, complex barrel-aged barleywine with personality? LOOK ELSEWHERE.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 19:00:00 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Hophead717
Hophead717

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

11-25-2012 18:18:25 | More by Hophead717
Photo of MikeConklin
MikeConklin

New York

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-25-2012 15:41:18 | More by MikeConklin
Photo of MarcatGSB
MarcatGSB

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Here is my ticket for the hype train, now show me where I sit...

A: Pours a very bright copper color, very transparent, with a decently fluffy white head, that sticks around for a decent amount of time and showcases some very good lacing. A visually appealing beer.

N: Boom, straight money cascade. Lots of that tropical/resiny hop coming forward...it's pleasant, and almost unexpected. Trace amounts of vanilla, oak, and maybe even some brown sugar.

T: Big hop presence once again. Lots of tropical fruit notes with that resin like bite. Some of those typical barleywine notes likes toffee and caramel...a bit of that dry oak and bourbon coming through again, but it's every so vague. Kind of leaves you wanting, but it's still good.

M: Big beer, that's for sure. Huge sticky mouthfeel gives you the full dynamic of this beer...huge!

Drink and Overall: Overall, it's a very solid barleywine. Simple as that. The hop makes me think more of an American Barleywine than an English...compare it to a fresh JW Lees and the comparison is amazing.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 14:06:51 | More by MarcatGSB
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear ruby red with a big and dense tan head adorning it. Fades very, very slowly. Leaves an almost solid wall of lacing behind. Top-notch head retention.

S: Whoa, english barleywine? Not so sure about that. Very hoppy. Lots of tropical fruit like apricot, mango, pineapple along with a bunch of raisin. Noticeable alcohol sting but honestly not as much as you'd expect. Hoppiness covers it up quite a bit. As it warms up, the raisin really comes to the forefront with a touch of brown sugar.

T: Again, surprisingly hoppy. Very hoppy in fact. Lots of tropical fruit up front mixes with a very, very strong raisin aspect. Some garlicky/oniony hops too. Lots of caramel and toffee in there. Has sort of a grainy aspect towards the finish. Finishes with toffee and more garlic/onion. Some hop oil coats the mouth nicely as well, leading to a long lingering hoppy aftertaste. Booze is surprisingly well hidden though it does immediately warm the belly from the very first sip.

M: Big and heavy. Not over the top though, decent carbonation and hoppiness cuts it nicely.

O: A hell of a big beer. Big ABV, huge malt notes and huge hop notes. Lots of strong, sharp flavors all mix together quite well. Very enjoyable even for a super fresh 15% ABV beer. Hope I can pick up another one of these to cellar, curious how it ages.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 06:53:27 | More by Dope
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,149 ratings.