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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.

1,149 Ratings
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 Knapp85


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

This poured out as a reddish orange color with a thin white head on top. The head settles just leaving some scattered spots on top and some very thin lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is potent, very big orange citrus notes here as well as some earthy hops and plenty of ethanol. The smell almost reminds me of a cleaning product of some kind but at the same time it still smells good. The taste of the beer gives of some massive malt characteristics, it's boozy and sweet, elements of caramel and apple in there some maple and some bitter hops as well. The mouthfeel of the beer is medium to heavy, it's smooth and oily, lightly carbonated. Overall it's a big beer, lots of nice things going on in this one. Might be interesting to have again someday once it's been aged for a little. This beer has a lot of complexity and is very good. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2012 01:21:22 | More by Knapp85
Photo of bs870621345

New Jersey

2.25/5  rDev -44.4%

11-23-2012 23:26:29 | More by bs870621345
Photo of SteelersX

New York

2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper/orange in color. white head that dissipates.

Smell - sweet with noticeable alcohol. mixture of fruits. Noticeable hop aroma but not as hoppy smelling as I was expecting which is a good thing.

Taste - MEH. Hits the roof of my mouth with a sticky sweet fruit bomb and stays there for minutes after a sip. A fair amount of pineappley hop flavor. Bourbon barrels? No. Maple? Maybe due to the overpowering sweetness. Some bitterness at the very end.
Mouth feel is sticky. coats my lips and doesn't go away.

Overall not worth my sobriety. If this beer was 10% I would be happier. The price tag is ridiculous for what this is. So many better beers out there for the money. A fail from Founders in my opinion.
Hey - you can't bat 1000

The high ratings has to be the hype talking. No Rare flavor here.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 23:19:04 | More by SteelersX
Photo of pzymali


3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

11-23-2012 21:34:30 | More by pzymali
Photo of Jimmys


4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-23-2012 21:03:30 | More by Jimmys
Photo of jbird419


5/5  rDev +23.5%

11-23-2012 18:30:06 | More by jbird419
Photo of BMart


4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-23-2012 15:52:18 | More by BMart
Photo of ejimhof


3/5  rDev -25.9%

11-23-2012 12:57:52 | More by ejimhof
Photo of brez8791


2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

11-23-2012 12:32:18 | More by brez8791
Photo of joefuzz

New York

4.93/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours deep orange with a very small off white head

smells is fairly hoppy for a english barleywine some amazing citrus notes with a slight sweetness.

taste like a iipa on the first sip...as it warms the malt character shines through with a slight oak taste if i didn't see 15%abv on the label i would have never guessed

mouthfeel is on the lighter side with light carbonation

overall if you are comparing this to king henry you will be very thrown off. this beer is exquisite in its own right...something completely different, awesome beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 07:27:11 | More by joefuzz
Photo of AgentZero


4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

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


4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served cellar temp into a pint glass, split with my dad and sister over thanksgiving leftovers

A - Pours a murky honey-brown, three fingers of brown-orange head, good retention and lacing

S - malt forward nose, caramel, followed by hops and a little burn of alcohol

T - as with the nose, malt and breadiness up front, sweetness of caramel and maple syrup, then a rather large hop presence at the same time as the alcohol starts its subtle, slow burn

M - smooth, thick, and warming

O - excellent barrel aged barleywine, nice balance of hops and malt, aging in the different barrels gives a good amount of complexity. A great offering from Founders, happy to have had the opportunity to get my hands on this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 01:41:57 | More by ncketchum
Photo of mdaschaf


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very nice orange color with a one finger off-white head with great retention, lasting for the majority of the time it took to drink it. Sticky lacing forms down the sides.

S: Wow, surprisingly hoppy, lots of pine and citrus upfront with some caramel, toffee, and oak that come forward. Lots of vanilla comes out in the middle. It was rather resiny with a little bit of alcohol at the end.

T: More hops upfront, very piney mixed with some grapefruit. The hops transition to some caramelized sugar, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and a little bit of maple.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly boozy, but it doesn't really impede the drinkability.

O: As someone that isn't a huge barleywine fan, I liked this beer quite a bit, probably because of the barrel aging. Surprised at how hop forward it was, but I am sure this will fade with time. Great beer to have for thanksgiving dinner.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 00:57:39 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of huskermike12


1.75/5  rDev -56.8%

11-22-2012 22:26:35 | More by huskermike12
Photo of Shane-o86


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

A- Pours into a glass a blood orange with a one finger head that disapates after a minute or so. Leaves nice lacing objects the glass the entire time.

S- Immediate smell of crisp hops and Carmel.

T- Taste the hops at first but they soon mellow out and the malty Caramel taste takes over. Alcohol taste is present but not overwhelming for the ABV. Slight fig aftertaste.

M- Almost creamy mouthfeel but remains very crisp.

O- overall a very good barleywine, however there are similar if not better ones for less money.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 20:48:18 | More by Shane-o86
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

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

On tap at the Founders 15th Anniversary Party, into a snifter.

Redder brown, with a very small offwhite head that only leaves some whisps of retention. Nose of bourbon, maple, sweet caramel and malts. Some peripheral citrus, alcohol and cotton candy even perhaps. Taste has some maple, bourbon, white raisin, alcohol, sticky caramel and bitter citrus. Alcohol is well hidden but not completely disguised. A tasty American Barleywine, but not mind-blowingly awesome.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2012 18:08:26 | More by liamt07
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Such a beautiful hue. Burnt marmalade or blood orange. Slow, lazy bubbles rise to feed the head. Head is the color of lightly burnt marshmallow. Head dies off to a thin film and a cluster of bubbles. Thick seams of lacing. Very pretty.

S-A surprisingly intense haymaker of hoppiness. Hops are sudsy, and candied citrus. Tropical hops too. Wood-induced spice. The notes from the barrels start to set in after the hops waft out of the glass a bit. Dried-out biscuit and rich toffee. Caramel liqueur. Fruit cake and dried plums and figs. Vanilla extract and yes, even a bit of warm Maple Syrup. Herbal tea with a shot of Bourbon. Astonishingly complex.

T-The hops attack first. Soap and bitter pine followed by tangy grapefruit. Apricot hops too. Then a neat amalgamation of Maple Syrup infused with Bourbon. The syrup flavor is great. Coffee Cakes and baklava. Fig Newtons. The more I dissect the flavors, the more noticeable the oak becomes. Vanilla and scorched wood. Caramel all over the place. Boozy carrot cake...I could go on forever.

M-For 15%, this doesn't feel incredibly full. Don't get me wrong, it is full bodied, but it isn't massive. I kinda like that. Super, super, super dry. High, lingering bitterness. This goes down with frightening ease. Soft carbonation. Pretty boozy, but what would you expect from a monster like this?

O/D-Great beer. Shocked by its hoppiness. Impressed by its complexity. That being said, it is about one tier below some of the best Founders beers I have tried. Still, this is one of the better beers I have had in the past month or so. I would consider this brew a great success. So complex it makes my head spin. What a great beer to have with some turkey and stuffing.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 17:29:19 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of LarryByrd


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

11-22-2012 15:29:11 | More by LarryByrd
Photo of JamesShoemaker


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml split with my Mom, reviewed from notes. I felt very privileged to have access to this beer, some skillful convincing of the distributors on the part of my local store.

A - great looking beer, beautiful reds and oranges, much lighter than I expected it to be. Translucent. Pours a finger of foam that recedes fairly quickly, lacing up the sides, and some carbonation bubbles.

S - lots of hops, very floral. It smells like it's going to taste like a big, sweet, sticky bomb. The hops hide the alcohol deceptively.

T - hoppy at the beginning, receding into some bitterness at the end of the initial hop note. It moves into sweetness, caramel, licorice, the barleywine flavors. It's not nearly as strong as I expect, but I don't care for how heavy it is. It's still very drinkable though.

M - very syrupy. The alcohol remains hidden behind the hops and sweetness. The beer isn't quite as "hot" as I've read some people on BA describe it, but it's clear that the beer would benefit from some years in my cellar.

O - a good offering, the Backstage Series continues to impress. I prefer Old Numbskull (because I like my BWs hoppy), but Bolt Cutter is still delicious.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 13:57:45 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of tripledbrew


4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-22-2012 05:49:22 | More by tripledbrew
Photo of mkennedy119


4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-22-2012 05:03:49 | More by mkennedy119
Photo of qwe2323


4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-22-2012 04:11:06 | More by qwe2323
Photo of jisom123


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We have to stop comparing the backstage series beers to each other.

Smells like cotton candy, maple syrup and an enjoyable booziness.

Very limited barrel flavor, and limited maple.

Great mouthfeel.

Hint of Belgian trip yeast flavors. Doesn't mesh well.

Not worth the price. Too much going on in the wrong departments, too little going on in the right departments. Still a good beer. not great.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 03:04:56 | More by jisom123
Photo of denimdemon


3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

11-22-2012 02:59:56 | More by denimdemon
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 01:55:30 | More by n2185
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,149 ratings.