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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

1,170 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,170
Reviews: 212
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 188
Gots: 697 | 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
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Ratings: 1,170 | Reviews: 212 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jammer42
Jammer42

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-29-2012 23:37:16 | More by Jammer42
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%

10 oz pour in a wine glass at Barcade for their Founders blowout.

Bolt Cutter pours a murky amber, with no visibility through to the other side of the glass. What flimsy bits of foam that are actually present disappear quickly. The nose has some mice malt and barrel components, with aromas of caramel, maple, and brown sugar all commingling. A little bit of a pine hop note shines through as well. While the bourbon is a little more present in the flavor profile, I have to say it's still remarkably smooth for being a 15% beer. Besides, the maple, caramel, and brown sugar all still trump the booziness in terms of intensity. Right at the end though a brash bitterness and a flash of piney hops crash the party. It just doesn't fit, it's akin to a harsh, jangling chord ringing out against an otherwise nice piece of music. The carbonation is nicely muted, but the body is noticeably syrupy, just a bit too much. As is, Bolt Cutter is an alright beer (though not up to Founders' usual standards). I think some time to let the out of place dry hop portion that was shoehorned into the blend mellow will do it some good though.

11-29-2012 21:59:00 | More by axeman9182
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

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.

11-29-2012 21:31:54 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Evan
Evan

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-29-2012 21:19:38 | More by Evan
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-29-2012 21:07:49 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of sideshowe
sideshowe

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-29-2012 16:51:03 | More by sideshowe
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

From 11/28/12 notes. Had this on tap at the Blind Tiger VSK event in NYC. Had a sip from a friend and then an 8 oz. pour.

a - Pours an amber-clear reddish color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident. Looks as expected.

s - Smells of bready malts, bourbon, oak, toasted malts, alcohol , caramel malts, toffee, and light vanilla. Good, but much more bready than I was expecting, and a decent amount of alcohol.

t - Tastes of bready malts, toasted malts, graham cracker, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel malts, dark fruits, toffee, alcohol, butterscotch, and biscuit. Again, tons of bread and toasted malts, but more dark fruit and caramel here than the nose. A small step up from the nose for me, but the alcohol is still there too.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty thick and nice body, and some alcohol heat.

o - Overall I found this to be a good BA barleywine, but not great. While it does not taste liek it is necessarily 15% ABV, it is strong and the alcohol is there. Tons of bready and toasted malts, and some nice bourbon, I have one bottle of this and will hold onto it for a year or two to see if it mellows out a little bit. Good but not as good as some of the other Founders special beers.

11-29-2012 15:40:23 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Googs
Googs

New York

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-29-2012 04:23:55 | More by Googs
Photo of metalgdog
metalgdog

New York

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-29-2012 03:34:26 | More by metalgdog
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Slightly hazy ruby-copper pour with a thick ringlet of white foam; decent retention and a bit of lacing. Aroma was sweet and malty, toffee and butterscotch, and a hint of naphtha-like booze. Taste was pretty nice, but seemed to fade after the first couple sips for some reason. More malty goodness, toffee, butterscotch, dried maraschino cherries, some boozy heat, and a markedly bitter hop finish. The toffee sweetness faded as it warmed, otherwise my taste rating would possibly step up a notch. This wasn't quite a full-bodied beer, but on the upper end of medium, fairly mellow considering it's still pretty young, but will probably be a nice sipper in a year or two.

Hence I will save my bottles until then.

11-29-2012 03:14:34 | More by Rifugium
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev +6.2%

A - Poured out a clear, ruby/copper color with a one finger, dark, khaki-colored head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled sweet, malty and boozy.

T - This is so boozy. It is malty with caramel, toffee and butterscotch. It had a strong alcohol heat.

M - It was sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with clean finish.

O - This is a very big, boozy barleywine. Glad I was able to get some and share some.

11-29-2012 02:33:32 | More by zeff80
Photo of vobr0002
vobr0002

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +7.4%

A- brownish amber in color, murky appearance with white head that lingers.

S- boozy, toffee, caramel, bread, floral, slight citrus.

T- caramel, toffee, sweetness. Very thick and lots of hop bitterness. Lot of alcohol warmth and some bourbon on the back end.

M- thick full body with lots of carbonation.

O- this is a very good beer. Well worth seeking out and enjoying. Easy sipper.

11-29-2012 02:15:34 | More by vobr0002
Photo of TVolt1
TVolt1

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%

A; Beautiful amber colored beer with a small amount of off white head. It is a little cloudy but all in all I think it has a great appearance.

S: I am having a hard time smellin .gthis beer. I think I smell a lot of grains, small amount of hops, and a lemony.

T: Very nice, smooth taste. For a 15%er, it went down extremely smooth. It has a nice bitter finish.

M: Great, thick mouthfeel with medium carbnonation.

O: OVerall, a delicious beer! I am glad I spent a few hours driving around to find it! It was well worth the effort!

11-29-2012 02:12:05 | More by TVolt1
Photo of Optifron
Optifron

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%

Enjoyed 11/18/2012 on-tap during Founders say at Crane Alley in Urbana, IL

Appearance: Dark reddish brown. Thin lingering white head.

Aroma: Malty. A bit boozy, but definitely less so than expected. Sweet malty aroma.

Taste: Really mellow for 15% ABV. Pretty balanced sweetness with some nice hop finish. Definitely on the hop end of balance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Residual mouth watery sweetness. Have had smoother beers.

Overall: Delicious barleywine, albeit less than I hoped for Founder’s anniversary. Hides the booze well. Would certainly drink it throughout winter if it was moderately priced, but passed up my chance to buy it at $21/750mL bottle.

11-28-2012 21:48:34 | More by Optifron
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
innuendobrewskiman63

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-28-2012 16:48:55 | More by innuendobrewskiman63
Photo of anth0ny
anth0ny

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +13.1%

Deep, hazy orange color with a thin off white head, beautiful baby lacing delicately clinging to the top edges of the snifter.

Massive aroma with a full blast of pineapple and hints of caramel and booze. Woah!

Unbelievably smooth mouth for the ABV, huge syrupy body with massive hop, fruit, caramel and bourbon flavor profiles. Dangerously drinkable.

A massive sipper with a bold, enjoyable flavor. Fantastically integrated. Everything from balance to carbonation is off the chain. Founders is known for their barrel aged specialties such as KBS, CBS, and Backwoods Bastard, and this one is right on par.

*Extra notes - Had this on tap twice as well as a bottle. I'm noticing a considerably larger alcohol dominance on the nose and tongue out of the bottle. I'm definitely going to age my second bottle to see if it tones down to taproom quality.

11-28-2012 06:35:17 | More by anth0ny
Photo of GeoffreyM
GeoffreyM

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-28-2012 05:37:50 | More by GeoffreyM
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%

15th Anniversary Ale- 2012

A= Pours a nice deep hazy amber color with a thin off white head that holds some pretty steady retention and lacing for such a large beer.

S= The smell has a nice big hop bite to it as well as a big caramel sweetness to it. The alcohol does make itself present but barely in the nose. Smells like a big syrupy barleywine for sure. The hop malt balance gives it a caramel sort of aroma.

T= The taste is about where I was expecting from the nose. It starts with a big hop bite that is different because of the quick following of the big caramel sweetness in it. Tons of sweetness in the middle with a boozy finish. The hops are not as potent as that in an IIPA but they are still there in force.

M= Big and syrupy

O= This is a powerful beer. I'm a few sips in and it's really getting me toasty. A great beer for this time of year. This beer is a little boozy now and becomes a little much after a while right now. With some time I can see this being very smooth and sweet. This beer works but it's not the crazy good barleywine that one would expect Founders to make. Not all of them can be homeruns but this one is a nice double.

11-28-2012 05:04:54 | More by jjanega08
Photo of laxer8811
laxer8811

New York

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-28-2012 03:19:58 | More by laxer8811
Photo of mfield14
mfield14

Colorado

4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-28-2012 01:09:50 | More by mfield14
Photo of haazer
haazer

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%

Pretty much the first beer ordered by everyone at the Capones black friday event. Served in a minature 5.5 ounce snifter.

A- The beer is quite a beautiful maroon/amber color. Lots of dark red accents throughout but when put to light this thing glows. The head was a light tan, and suprisingly some lace did appear for this big abv bad boy.

S- The nose presents toffee, caramel malts, and some bourbon highlights that you would expect from this barleywine. There is also some sweet fruits in here which I'm betting come from the cascade hops used.

T- Sweet hard candy, jolly rancher flavor. Not cloying though, but sweet enough. Theres some tofee flavors mixed in. There may actually be more heat from the hops in here than the booze. Booze is felt but its not overbearing. The fruity flavor is there too with a big bitter bite.

M- Full bodied and highly carbed. Very warming body.

O- This is a very good barrel aged barlewine. Definitely let this thing warm up or else you'll taste booze. Founders had this kegged and bottled for about 3 months before releasing, but I'm real curious to see what a year or more would do, as this probably has infinite shelf life.

11-28-2012 00:23:25 | More by haazer
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -17.8%

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.

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%

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.

11-27-2012 03:46:04 | More by cosmicevan
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,170 ratings.