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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

1,268 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,268
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 206
Gots: 708 | FT: 76
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: 1,268 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dsuedbeck
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a bottle in back in NYC for...a lot. My first Founders 750ml.

The beer pours into a tulip with not much head, which collapses into a ring and eventually disappears altogether. The color is a vibrant amber red with a little bit of haze. The aroma is very sweet. Kind of like a cherry cough candy. It smells more identifiably like sweet malt as the beer warms.

A really powerful taste. There's a lot of booze, especially on the finish, which I like in my barleywines. There's some hops, but not as prominent as in, say, Bigfoot or Old Guardian. Plenty of sweet malt and charred brown sugar. Pretty much dead on for what I'd expect from an American barleywine. The mouthfeel is surprisingly slick for a brew this high in ABV, with very low carbonation.

This beer is a heck of a sipper. A really nice example of what I'd like in an American barleywine -- more intense than an English version, but less hop-forward than a lot of other examples of the style. Well done as usual, Founders.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 1/8/2013 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a flight glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malts, some alcohol and some hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon. Then a significant alcohol stings quickly follows as you would expect from a beer with 15.00% ABV. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence creating a very good balance for such strong and sweet beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent sipping beer to drink for as long as you can handle it.

Photo of MSandahl23
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received in trade with Speedwayjim poured into a Founders CBS snifter.

A - Pours a glowing, brilliant amber orange color with medium clarity and a finger of frothy tan head that dies slowly over a minute or so leaving rings of lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon, butter, vanilla, toffee, sweet malt, mild citrus hop presence. The buttery and toffee aromas blossom as the beer warms and take over.

T - Alcohol/boozy up front, some citrusy hops, mild/mid hop bitterness. Caramel and some sugary malt flavors, some brown sugar. Touch of astringency, some fruity esters. A dry, biscuity, maybe a touch nutty finish with hints of roasty malts.

M - This gives a huge tingle on the lips and tongue from the healthy dose of bourbony booze found in here. From beginning to end it is there reminding me that this is indeed a 15% beer. Body is quite full and a bit sticky. Carbonation is low/medium and fits well here. Bourbon gives a bit of a warmth on each sip.

O - Balanced and more bitter/hoppy than many/most barleywines. Not as hop forward as Big Foot, but it is missing a lot of the rich malty depth typically found in the style. Rather boozy all around...keeps this towards the sipper side of the scale...tingly and warming on each sip.

Photo of GrindFatherBob
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of RMoeNay
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of vonnegut21
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of zac16125
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into a small snifter

This beer hit the market and was hot shit, 2 months later its getting killed on reviews and the BA forums. I was excited to get a hold of a bottle to try for myself.

A: Pours a very dark amber with some reddish hues when held to light. One fingers width of very light tan colored head dissipates down at a fairly quick rate. Leaves a good amount of spotty lacing.

S: Smells sweet, but like a hoppy citrus sweetness. There is a rather non-descript sugary sweetness, a melon character that is rather unique to the barleywine style, some faint hints of bourbon and vanilla-oak from the barrel, and some booze. Its unique, but I like.

T: Hops and burnt sugary sweetness are the first tastes I notice. Initially it is very reminiscent of DFH 120 Minute. Then some other notes come out including caramel and toffee, with bourbon and booze on the finish. There is some hop bitterness on the finish too. Im not sure where all the cloying sweetness comments are coming from, this beer isnt even on the higher end of the sweet spectrum in my opinion. It actually reminds me a lot of DFH 120 (although I may be biased as this was suggested to me by someone before I even tried it) with the addition of bourbon barrel notes. I love 120min, but I dont particularly like how the bourbon characters mesh with the flavor profile of the base beer here. I like the taste a lot, but Im deducting points for the aftertaste which is a bit odd at times.

M/D: This beer has an absolutely delightful mouthfeel. Full bodied, manages to stay away from becoming syrupy, a decently heavy carbonation, and a very smooth mouthfeel. The drinkability on this thing is dangerous. Great in this aspect. 4

O: Overall, this one kind of put me through a roller coaster of beer-motions. Im a whore for big boozy beers, and this is certainly one of those. I also think it has a great mouthfeel and drinkability, and I appreciate the unique qualities... BUT I just dont think barrel aging did this one much good. I love BBA beers, but barrel aging doesnt go with everything. I would be interested to try this just as a base beer. Either way, I did thoroughly enough this and highly recommend it to anyone who loves big boozy beers. This certainly isnt for everyone though.

Photo of Blanco
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of miga
5/5  rDev +23.5%

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
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
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
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
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
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
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%

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,268 ratings.