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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

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

1,271 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,271
Reviews: 222
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 207
Gots: 710 | FT: 78
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
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Ratings: 1,271 | Reviews: 222
Photo of blackcompg
4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've been aging this bottle for nearly 2 years, been looking forward to this for awhile now, here we go...

Appearance - Pours about 2 fingers of rich tan orangish foam - the head literally has a creaminess in it's appearance, body is a gorgeous burnt orange amber, extremely hazy and nearly opaque, definitely has legs when swirled in a snifter, leaves rings of soft lace after each sip.

Smell - Big fresh baked fruitcake, ripe dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, dark cooked toffee, vanilla caramels, and a wedge of rum cake.

Taste - I'm nearly speechless... All of the flavors mentioned above literally explode across my palate, I'll try to break this down... There is fruitcake here, with the roasted crust and sweet baked dark fruits of plum, dates, cherry, and apricots - sweetness of roasted caramels and dark toffee, maple in the nose but not so much in the mouth, and all the while there is a backbone of bourbon, oak, and dried vanilla bean - the bourbon here is so complimentary and fits so well, absolutely delicious. Long into the finish I get some light grassiness and citrus pith from the hops, definitely mellowed by the lingering oak and bourbon.

Mouthfeel - This is the higher side of medium, but not quite full, as the bourbon and oak work so well at keeping the sweetness from asserting, keeping it in check, while the oak provides a bit of dryness. Carb is definitely on the lower side, very smooth, and is perfect for keeping the very full and bold flavors balanced with the bourbon and drying oak, perfectly ushering in the muted hop nuances at the end of each sip.

Overall - You know that this is a big beer with each sip, but the flavors are so well balanced and complex. Every nuance and flavor is a complimentary part in a wonderful symphony. All of the barleywine flavors you want are here, along with the bourbon and oaky characteristics of the barrel, add in the mellowed hops and vanilla bean and you have a very special barleywine. Find one with some age, at any cost. What a wonderful treat.

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4/5  rDev -1.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Tjmurray386
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

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4/5  rDev -1.2%

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3/5  rDev -25.9%

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4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of bleedsblu
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style glass. Liquid comes out a nice autumn amber brown color that glows a hearty leaf changing autumn red when held up to the light; absolutely perfect clarity. There's a nice almost orange creamsicle colored head with mostly small bubbles present. Gave it a hard pour and it sticks around for a little while, even just a skimming at first. Nice lacing and glass retention.

Great smelling beer, might not be the perfect representation of the style, but I dig it; almost as if it were geared towards me. A wee bit of bourbon and a large amount of caramel malts a bit nutty, but high quality nuts like pecans and maybe even some almond. A bit of a deep dark fruits, like raisons, black cherries, apples, dates/figs, and maybe even some apricots added in. A lot going on in the smell and it's good. There's some gentle citrus hops at the end.

Taste is a slight step up. Really don't need to elaborate much on it because it's pretty similar to the smell. The nuttiness isn't quite as strong as the smell, but still present. Bourbon present, but the best parts of it. Sweet grainy and lots of caramel. Nutty again with bitterness and sweetness (like going from pecans to almonds). Again with all the above mentioned fruits; the hops are more detectable in the flavor. You can tell the hops have faded a bit, but I still think the 2 years on this brew has done it well.

Mouthfeel is pretty close to perfect. It's full bodied with a nice lingering flavor without being too heavy; the weight of it actually feels a little light. Good carbonation level, not much of a bite from that. It's not overwhelming but there is some heat from the alcohol, not a burn, just detectable heat. Nice and smooth with an appropriate bitter finish. Nice lingering flavor and a comforting warmth to it. Really nice drinkability. I think this is an under appreciated/under talked about beer (just my opinion). Quality all the way; another great beer from a great brewery.

Photo of zachraymer
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Tanger112
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of FreshZ
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of ncstateplaya
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of striker2160
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of gcamparone
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Founders KBS goblet. Bought this in November 2012, been stored at cellar temp. since then.

Appearance - Pours a hazy nectarine-colored body with a 1 finger off-white head that reduces slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell - Reminiscent of an aged DIPA - piney, heavy malt, caramel, citrus rind, and bready/grainy. Some booze on the nose, but for 15% it's not too strong.

Taste - Sweet with heavy malt upfront - molasses, honey, caramel, spices. The follow through is piney, resinous, muted, and astringent with a boozy burn. The finish is slightly roasty.. burnt toffee, sugar, char.

Mouthfeel - For 15% alcohol, it's actually kind of watery. Low carbonation.

This was my first bolt cutter.. when it first came out people complained of an unbalance, hot mess. It's not quite at that level, but it's definitely not amazing either. An average high ABV barleywine at best.

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4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of incubuscience
1.5/5  rDev -63%

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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,271 ratings.