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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,036 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1036
Reviews: 198
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.59%


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: 1,036 | Reviews: 198 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 20:53:26 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 04:24:40 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 23:48:33 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

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…

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 23:16:26 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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.)

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 00:50:32 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of DrewV
DrewV

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Pizza Plant here in Buffalo, NY.

A: Clear amber-orange with a fairly thin 1-finger head.

S: Smells of Juicyfruit, very sweet and slightly boozy. On-tap, this was a bit overly cold. As it warmed, the booze came through much more pronounced.

T: Much like the nose, Juicyfruit was in the forefront, followed immediately by the booze. Very sweet, not much balance from the hops. Nothing offensive, this is a quality brew. But a bit one-note-ish.

M: A bit thinner than I would expect. By contrast, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is a "big" beer, while this is more like a fine wine.

O: A quality brew, but a bit too fruity for my tastes. I prefer bigger beers, and I was a bit disappointed by this one. Bolt Cutter reminds me strongly of Middle Ages Druid Fluid, except at a higher ABV. I guess for the price I paid it was a decent deal on tap, but the bombers at $23 are outrageous. Way too steep for a 15% ABV beer -- I'll settle for Bigfoot, which is a bigger, more balanced beer, at 10% for 1/4 the cost. [Lest anyone think I'm biased, let it be known that I'm a HUGE fan of Founders. Their Porter and Imperial Stout are to die for. But this one didn't quite strike me as a winner.]

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2012 23:22:42 | More by DrewV
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 07:44:21 | More by MattyG85
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crimson/chestnut with 3 fingers of fluffy tan head. Insane lacing & above average head retention

S: Some pine & citrus, some boozey cakeyness as it warms

T: Brown sugar, pine in spades, a touch warming booze & woody hops up front along with dryness. Pineapple & grapefruit as this warms with a touch of cakeyness & more pine, just a hint of fruit cake there as well. Finishes with pineyness, backed up by treacle, dryness & pineapple upside down cake (like the kind they had in MREs) , plus a little booze sting

MF: Much chewyness, fairly firm carbonation, skews very hoppy

I liked this, would love to age some, but I suspect all the hoppyness would fade quickly. A sipper. Pricey, but I didn't feel cheated

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 03:12:17 | More by russpowell
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by someone at Zwanze Day. Chris I think? Served in a Zwanze glass.

A - Light off-white foam settles to wisps, a thin collar, and minimal lace. Mostly transparent amber body.

S - Maple, caramel, light vanilla, a hint of bourbon, brown sugar, some nutty notes. There's perhaps a touch of alcohol as this warms up. For an 'American' barleywine there's fairly low hop presence; there's perhaps a bit of pine mingling with the booze.

T - The taste is similar, with notes of rum cake, caramel, maple, honey-drizzled bread, and bit of oaky vanilla. Not a ton of bourbon flavor here; just nice sweet barleywine flavors that manage to avoid getting overly cloying thanks to a low but sufficient amount of hop bitterness. Alcohol is better hidden as well.

M - Some definite alcohol heat at this stage, but nothing overwhelming for 15%. Smooth texture, medium-full body, lower carbonation, and a mildly tannic finish. Perhaps a bit undersized for 15%, but still fairly big.

D - I was skeptical this would be good, but I ended up really enjoying this beer; enough so that I went out and bought a bottle. I suspect it will be excellent in 6-12 months, but it's enjoyable in small quantities right out of the gate. Congrats to Founders on 15 years!

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 06:26:17 | More by MasterSki
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle. Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with an inch of frothy head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of booze, citrus hops, raisins, caramel and earth. The taste is malty but with a surprising amount of hops. Bitter with some caramel, dark fruits, and booze. Heavier mouthfeel. This is one of the hoppier barleywines I have had, almost like a boozier Bigfoot. Slow drinker but with over 25oz of this 15% ABV beer that's a good thing. Drinks fairly well for being so high in alcohol. Overall, well made delicious barleywine. Hope I get to have another one.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 04:39:30 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of spartanfan
spartanfan

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a clear, deep amber color with a small off-white head that quickly fades to a ring. Minimal lacing is left behind.

S: aromas are of sweet caramel, brown sugar, and mild citrus.

T: sweet tastes of caramel balanced by citrusy hops. Not quite as much hops as I was expecting, and this reminds me more of an english style barleywine than american. When cold alcohol is practically not existent, but as it warms the alcohol becomes more apparent.

M: Full mouthfeel with a perfect amount of carbonation. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes a bit too hot.

O: A very solid, very strong barleywine. I'd like to try it with some age on it and would buy it again if I ever get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 17:46:44 | More by spartanfan
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When turning fifteen years old, you either go big or go home. Founders charges into triple nickle territory with this massive American barleywine with a balanced, complex, and strong palate throughout.

Much like brandy, the tawny caramel beer shows good clarity with amber and orange highlights. A swirl of the glass shows as much brandy legging as it does beery froth. Carbonation patiently layers the surface with off white creme and never brings lacing into the conversation.

A strong whiff of bourbon and caramel gather in the nose, along side of hearty-sweet notes of brown sugar, pecans, toasted almonds, and maple. Fruit character accompanies the sweet scent with cherries, apricots, grapefruit, and oranges. Pine and vegetal hop notes allow for an earthen balance to the fruit and sweetness. My mind keeps returning to notions of peanut brittle, fruitcake, and bourbon.

Equally strong, a thin syrup and honey taste satisfies the sweet tooth while a quick rebuttal of citrusy hops rise to nearly balance the sweet. Sharp hop bitterness grows alongside of the emerging alcohol to eventually control the finish over that of malt and fruit. Marmalade, peppery alcohol and cherries are the lingering taste even as the beer turns to resinous pine-like bitterness to finish.

Full bodied, however the beer shows incredible dryness, for both the good and bad. There's enough sweetness to become a carriage for carbonation that provides creamy textures early on. But the malty-dry middle palate allows the immense alcohols to dominate the finish, making the hops seem harsh and the esters tasting like children's cough syrups. Moderately fusal, you must live the sheer taste of ethanol to fully appreciate this barleywine.

With it's overall hot temperament, the beer seems "green" or under-matured. And like many other strong beers of Founders, I'm sure this anniversary ale is destined for greatness with proper cellar conditions. But right now the malt richness doesn't properly balance the fifteen percent strength, the hops are raw- as if it's trying too much to garner imperial IPA-type taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 18:00:39 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a snifter.

A: Nice bright amber with a decent off-white head.

S: Smells of slightly aged hops, caramel, a bit herbal, strong alcohol.

T: Bitter citrus and pine, dank earthiness, mild cidery sweetness, faint maple, palpable booze.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: Honestly, this tastes like an overly bitter, overly boozy American barleywine to me. Not much barrel character to speak of, and the hops and alcohol together give the beer a slightly astringent feel. I don't think aging this will improve it, but who knows.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 06:02:04 | More by Etan
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LaChupacabra for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a very sweet flavor and a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think it tastes better than it smells.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 22:18:45 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of siradmiralnelson
siradmiralnelson

Iowa

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml capped bottle into Delirium Tremens Snifter. 1st review of Bolt Cutter 12/2/12. Thanks to my wife.

A. Pours 2+ finger head. Big head for a Barleywine. Thick lacing. Excellent retention. Color is dark amber. Good looking beer. 4.5

S. Brown sugar, spice, caramel, has some hop bitterness, a bit of alcohol heat. Get quite a bit or raisin, and brown sugar as it warms. Smells like a pretty tasty Barleywine with a bit of hop punch. Smells a tad hot at this point. Slightly reminescent of Devil Dancer. 4

T. Brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, oak, raisins, a bit of alcohol heat, a punch of hops at the back provides some bitterness on the back of the tongue. The 15% is remarkably not very apparent. I was enivishioning Devil Dancer on the tongue, but this is pretty smooth. Some age should only smooth it out even more. 4.5

M. Full bodied. Finishes with quite a bit of sweetness and a bit of bitterness.

O. Impressive. Has the potential to be great. Was impressed at the smoothness of this beer being 15% and being young. I also thought that not all of the flavors had married together yet. Very interested to see what time does to this Anniversary creation.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 23:39:07 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a golden amber color with a small tannish cap ich quickly reseds leaving a minimal lacing and minor lacing clinging to the glass.

S: Booze soaked toffee, light vanilla and honestly...that is about it sadly.

T: The flavor is boozey and sweet upfront with a load of toffee, some btterscotch, faint maple, lighter fruits with a modest Earthiness. The finish is rather hot, sweet, thin and dry yet slightly sticky.

M: Medium-bodied,hot, slightly sticky feel. This beer needed more body. Th alcohol can sometimes give the appearance of thinness and this is also my major complaint against Mother of All Storms.

O: This beer has great potential., While I think the booze sting will subside leaning toward fuller a body and mouthfeel in the future I feel this beer was just to much to soon and to young.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 19:32:54 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

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

reviewed from notes taken on 11/30/2012.

poured into boltcutter tulip glass.

Appearance: Copper orange bodied beer with a huge 2 fingers of thick and fluffy white head. Thick lacing coats all over the glass.

Smell: Pine hops. Really sweet pinaapple upside down cake with cherries. Almost a sherry or brandy sweetness in the nose of this beer.

Taste: Pineapple hops start this beer off. Tropical fruits, candied sugar, butterscotch. This beer is really sweet, but it got a bigger hop profile than I would like in an English Barleywine that adds balance. Maybe a little maple and bourbon, you really gotta work to find it though. Its got a bit of a booze kick that you can taste as a touch of astrigency.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Well carbonated beer, but its surprisingly still a little syrupy. Warming booze that slides down you throat.

Overall: I think the is a really good Barleywine. Its leaning more towards an American Barleywine, too much hop presence to be an English Barleywine. Its a really aggressive beer that a little rough around the edges right now. I do feel that this is going to be great with a few years on it. Age this beer and I think this will become alot closer to an English Barleywine in a few years. I wish the barrels had more presence that was the biggest dissapointment from this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 14:59:56 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of FoundersPounder
FoundersPounder

New York

4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Small amounts of lace and deep amber, but still lighter than I expected.

S- Bourbon and Vanilla hit the nose instantly. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, even got a little Coffee and Chocolate in there somewhere. Extremely Flavorful.

T- A lot hoppier than I was expecting but what a pleasant surprise. Malt and Vanilla most prominent than the Bourbon/Boose, as it reveals its 15% ; still fantastic for an ABV that high.

M- Full bodied; Warming

O- Another fantastic brew from Founders. Might even be my 2nd favorite to date behind the CBS. Stocking up on this and plan on aging as many bottles as possible to share on special occasions for years to come.

Viva La Nemesis

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 20:41:58 | More by FoundersPounder
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 17:13:55 | More by Tucquan
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger for VSK.

Lots of sweetness as caramely booze dominates the nose and seeps onto palate as well. Tastes like they liquified those little rectangular caramels you see wrapped in clear plastic at the grocery store. Pretty boozy from start to finish, even for a barleywine.

I liked this more than some of my peers did, but even still, my 4oz pour was more than enough. This has potential to shine very brightly in few years, hope to try it again with some age on it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2012 16:29:17 | More by brystmar
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 21:31:54 | More by vfgccp
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 15:40:23 | More by mdfb79
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Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 02:33:32 | More by zeff80
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.