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

1,255 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,255
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 199
Gots: 710 | 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: 1,255 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of brewandbbq
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7oz pour for $8.00 at Cask and Vine in Derry, NH.

Presented with a quarter inch of bone head atop a light mahogany body with a haze. A partial skim coat and zero lacing for the duration of the glass.

After the beer warms up the aromatics reveal plenty of alcoholic heft, raisins, toffee, figs, caramel, bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

On the thicker side of medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.

Chewy malt, boozy bourbon, and vanilla lead off the palate. A mild bitterness runs underneath the sweet malt and chipped toffee. A warmth on the throat carries form one sip to the next.

Finishes with lingering malt, bourbon, and vanilla.

This is one big Barleywine and the bourbon barrel finish is nicely balanced. Quite a treat to sample on tap in NH.

Photo of Yabev15
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Jsmitty1967
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of BMMillsy
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful amber red with very small head. Smells like caramel toffee sweet lollipop candy. A hint of citrus. Tastes like candy with booze. What I expect from an American style barleywine. Alcohol burn on the tongue. Sweet candy brown sugar and maple. Mellow flavor overall though, and not too cloying. Thick mouthfeel and very oily. Definitely gotta be in a drinking mood. Pretty intense.

I'm not sure I understand the hate with this one. It seems like people were coming into this thinking it would be like King Henry or Sucaba with some extra maple. This is a completely different style of barleywine from those, and I found it to be rather well done. While I would have liked a bit more from the barrels, this was a fun beer.

Photo of golf4collet
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of eyemustard
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of KFBR392
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Bright red color with brown accents. Thin head on the pour with maintained slightly throughout, very pleasant lacing on glass as beer was drank. I would describe the look of this beer as aggressive, violent in a very wonderful way.

Smell: A crazy bright sweetness going on here. A potent combination of malt and toffee/caramel. Makes your mouth water in anticipation for what this beer could bring. The high alcohol content plays a role here but it is more of an undertone during the aroma.

Taste: The front of this beer is a very strong start. A pleasant sweetness hits right away and got me excited for what else was coming. But unfortunately, the malty sweetness gets overrun by the high booze content in this beer. Where an elite barley wine would take off, this beer lacks a solid body. Needs more of a hop, caramel, malt, molasses attack in the body. Instead the body thins out and slowly fades away into a alcohol sting. There is some hop presence in the finish but bring a sourness more then anything else.

Mouthfeel: A pleasant smoothness for how high the alcohol content is. The active presence of the malt is here, a high lacing covers the palette. A little thin but overall pretty good.

Overall: I had huge expectations for this beer. I love Founders and barley wine ales, so naturally I fell in love with the idea of this beer. I waited and waited and it didn't live up to the hype I created for it. You have to give credit for Founders going for it all here though. 15% ABV is high even for a barley wine. I appreciate what they were able to do here with their 15th Anniversary beer but overall I was a little disappointed.

Photo of Chugger
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of randylangford
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of mjtiernan
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Ruby red with some shades of brown haze. Small cap of foam that disappeared quickly leaving just a ring around the edge. Significant alcohol legs.

S: Big aroma! Malty sweetness, some boozy alcohol, and a solid dose of pine/citrus hops.

T: Big flavor too! Super sweet, lots of oak, pretty boozy and a high dose of hop bitterness for a BA barleywine.

M: Thick and syrupy. Too sweet and boozy to be drinkable. Some alcohol burn in the finish.

O: Not enjoying this. The hops characteristics remind me of FFF Behemoth but overall it’s not nearly as good.

Photo of Tittles
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of TCgoalie
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Arbitrator
2.71/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

My allergies were acting up last night; my eyes felt inflamed and itchy, my vision blurred. From across the room, I spotted what appeared to be Goatse on a bottle label. Goatse?!?! Did White Birch make a non-ironic beer for once? I listened to the weirdos watching the Niners game and sidled over to the bottle. Oh... huh. My vision really is bad today. It's a bolt cutter. FOUNDERS!? Sweet. I love Founders. Thanks, Jason.

A: Pours a crystal clear copper-orange body with a half-pinky finger of tan head. Seems nice.

S: Boozy, raisiny caramel, brown sugar. Oxidized hops and vanilla. Not much in the way of bourbon or oak.

T: Bolt Cutter? More like Sweet Fucker. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, even a touch of maple. Vanilla -- and there's the bourbon, a little more present on the taste than in the nose. Oak presents a light astringency in the finish. It's not enough to cut the sweetness. Nor are the hops; they have a stale, oxidized earthiness and melon flavor. Really... odd.

M: It's harsh; the one-two combination of booze and slight sugary burn are irritating to the palate. It's not super-syrupy, but it's on the sweet end and is cloying in some sips. The carbonation doesn't offset said sweetness enough.

O: I might be a little more lenient on this one considering it's Founders... Or maybe I'm being harsher because I initially thought it was a Goatse beer. Whatever the case, I'm glad I don't have a bottle.

Photo of Jwale73
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Track 84. Served in an SN Beercamp taster. Pours the color of maple syrup with a slightly hazy clarity and a loose, off-white head. Nose expresses raisins, prunes, a medium malt profile and candied demerara sugar. Taste follows nose with a slight residual alcohol bite at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a slightly oily texture and an even carbonation. Overall, a good American Barleywine, but not worthy of the hype and the price point. I'd like to see what 3-5 years in the cellar does to this beer. That said, this brew does not drink like a 15% abv beer.

Photo of powz87
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of schmityl
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of hopswap1
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of DocJitsu
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant, clear, golden amber color, with a small, short-lived light tan colored head. Aromas consist of sorghum and boiling barley wort. There's a candied presence on the nose as well. A bit of alcohol wafts off the top of the glass. The mouthfeel is chewy, a bit oily, and has a slight carbonation scrub on the back of the tongue. The carbonation burns a little more when the alcohol emerges. Sorghum and toffee flavors up front, but the alcohol bitters the flavor too quickly and continues to invade the palate after the finish. The alcohol is just too much. I'm really quite disappointed.

Photo of MordorMongo
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of ROBSTARR
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of outoffocus
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,255 ratings.