1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,257 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,257
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 199
Gots: 709 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Bolt Cutter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,257 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of CB_Crowe
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of LambicKing
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Bolt Cutter

Poured into a 4oz tasting glass from the tap at iTap (Soulard).

Pours a copper color with some nice amber hues. Nice and clear. Light cream head rises up about half an inch. The beer is very nice looking. The amber and copper colors are bright and lively. The head recedes slowly and definitely leaves some sticky lacing. (4.5)

Starts off with some aroma of vanilla with some intense hop juice sweetness that comes up quick and fierce. Nice caramel and citrus notes mix in well. These notes are followed by some more vanilla and butterscotch and very nice bourbon notes. There is some nice piney and grapefruit notes as well. (4.0)

Flavor is intense. Tons of resinous hop notes! Very piney and slightly sweet with some good citrus notes and grassy hop notes. Sweetness is very present and intense but its not overwhelming at all. Caramel notes mix in with the barrel and the intense hop notes. As it warns the hop notes are much more intense and there is some nice syrupy notes mixed in there as well. The finish is quite dank but mixed in with some awesome barrel notes. Oily and slick with an intense finish that is sticky but at the same time dry because of the hops. (4.0)(4.0)

Overall. This brew got a lot of hype. And even though it’s not all undeserved because it’s a good brew it might have been a bit overblown. Very flavorful and well done mix of intense malt sweetness, caramel, toffee and vanilla notes. There is some nice dank pine as well as grassy and herbal hop notes that are also complimented by some citrus notes. (4.0)

Photo of Myst
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at When Pigs Fly. The first time I had it, I was overwhelmed. I went back on four consecutive days just to make sure I liked it as much as the first time. I did; a wonderful beer!

To begin with, it's a very pretty beer. In a snifter it was a beautiful chery amber color, very vibrant. The rather small tan head left a good deal of lace.

The aroma was some sweet fruit and citrus. Pretty boozy.

Lots of figs in the taste, other dark fruits noted. A bit of orange. Nicely hopped.

I expected it to be boozy, with an ABV of 15%, but I thought the alcohol was well-hidden, and didn't think the alcohol was too intrusive.

Loved this beer. Wonder how it would age.

Photo of thegerm87
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

5.0 A: Nearly clear dark orange color. Two and a half fingers of beige, frothy creamy head. Retention is insanely good for a beer this big and lacing covers the whole glass. Really impressed here.

4.0 S: Quite fruity with a lot of citrusy hops. Tangy fruitiness is what I'd call it as it meshes with the caramel and toffee backbone. Toasted malts with some strength. The hops also give a lot of floral aroma and perhaps a touch of herbalness as well. Peach, plum, and apple fruits from the malts. Booze is exceptionally well hidden as I can't smell any of it. It's good, but really isn't all that special. Solid hoppy BW nose.

3.5 T: Taste is good too, but it's surprisingly simple for a beer this big. A lot less citrus than in the nose with a lot more of the peach, plum, melon, and apple components. Lots of sweet neutral maltiness with lots of caramel and toffee. Again a heavy toastiness, which I like. Mild to moderate bitterness from the hops along with floral and herbal notes. Booze is much more noticeable in the taste, but it still doesn't seem like 15%.

3.5 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Slightly chewy. Not a lot of creaminess. Light warming on finish. Not bad.

3.5 D: It's decent, but I probably wouldn't trade for it again as there are much better options out there.

Photo of sludgegnome
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Hopeswimmer
1/5  rDev -75.3%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle at about fridge temp poured into a snifter. only a few months old.

pours out a nice, fairly clear, deep orange/ light copper color with a wonderful off white, tight head with great head retention. lots of sticky lacing and a good bit of legs are left on the glass. i maybe expected just a slightly darker color, but it still looks pretty nice.

initially i get some earthy, somewhat floral hops and lots of caramel malt sweetness. as it warms, the hops and malt are still there, but lots of booze seems to take center stage. not as complex of an aroma as i thought it would be.

tastes like a DIPA, and almost like SN- bigfoot a little bit. earthy, floral hops with enough bitterness to support an IPA. fairly thick deep caramel malt sweetness. lots of warming booze, but no real evidence that this was at all barrel aged. hints of toffee slightly charred sugars. finishes warming with lots of hop bitterness.

big, fairly heavy bodied, good carb for the style.

pretty much what it is, an american BW. but for such i highly anticipated anniversary beer from my favorite brewery, i expected a bit more. i was really hoping for more of the barrel aging to show through, which it hardly did at all. not really worth the price tag. hopefully some age can turn this beer around in the future.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A week after this beer was released, I was still kicking myself for not seeking it out. But by a stroke of blind luck, I came across a bottle, and I’m still not sure how. Thank you, oh sweet and merciful beer gods.

A: Pours a rusty-bolt red, slight hazy but with deep color to it. Surprisingly big head for such a hefty, alcoholic beer, too, rising to a full inch of eggshell-colored cream at a slow, determined pace. Eventually the foam falls to nothing more than a few bubbles, leaving little specks of lacing everywhere as it does.

S: Typical barleywine scents, but a twist – no, really, it smells like someone squeezed some lemon juice in here. It’s a tangy hop kick, almost acrid, wafting up effortlessly through the malts. Not a bad effect, actually: lemon and sour grape candy notes are causing some interesting interplay with the fig, caramel, molasses, and black licorice that run deep through the nose. Woody tones pick up on the back end, as well.

T: Holy hell, now I where this stuff got its name – pour some of this on a chain and you’ll cut right through it. Power in a bottle, but slow to deliver, the palate starts with a peaty, leathery earthiness and caramel nougat character. It’s all malt, but no sugar; how did they do that? Maybe it’s just that the other flavors are intense enough to push the residual sugars into the background. The hops come off in a stinging, astringent way, prickling with pine needles, blood orange, peach, and a touch of flowery hibiscus, and the booze isn’t far behind: its warmth grows to vodka-and-water solvent proportions before dying down to a more pleasing (though just as strong) taste of roasty Scotch. Yep, I’d say that’s enough to draw my attention away from any other flavor this beer can conjure up. Aftertaste is astonishingly light, leaving just a small taste of sherry and fruity candy on the tongue.

M: Fiery as all hell, but I’ve had IPAs feel thicker than this – sure, this is a sipper, but that’s really only because chugging it would be the liquid equivalent of the Cinnamon Challenge. Take heed: this beer is dangerously drinkable, as far as 10%+ beers go.

O: What the hell is going on in my glass? I think I like it, but that might just be the power of the Bolt Cutter luring me into its grasp. Give this one a year – no, two. Trust me, open it up next year to celebrate Founders’ 16th anniversary and you’ll be much happier. I mean, you’ll probably be just as happy, but at least it will stop your taste buds from burning off. Seriously, I think my hair is falling out…

Photo of Durb777
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Davit
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of DJ-22
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of bluesplit63
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of pjs234
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Tiger33
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of pschul4
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Drucifer
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I hope this beer kicks it up a bit after warming. As it is right now, it's somewhat one-dimensional. It's nice and smooth with good malty tones. Bit of an alcohol burn on things. Overall, it's pretty nice. Too bad I don't have another to lay down to see how it ages. Regardless, happy anniversary Founders. Here's to the next 15 years.

(And it is opening up nicely, just so ya know.)

Photo of Ynot2
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of AlMarzo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.