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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

1,257 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,257
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 199
Gots: 709 | 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
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Ratings: 1,257 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hopstout
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of Treebs
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750 ml bottle served in a Hofbrau tulip.

A: Semi hazy dark cherry color. A light tan head forms on the pour with great retention. Sticky webbings of lace are left down the glass. Looks a lot like Devil Dancer.

S: A little pine with some citrus zest. Some candied sugar with a hefty dose of bready malts. I'm not picking up any barrel notes and it doesn't smell anything like a barleywine. More like a big and boozy DIPA.

T: A little melon up front with some candy sugar and a ton of alcohol. A little maple with some citrus and bitter pine. Bready malts with a hot and boozy finish.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Pretty hot with a ton of booze on the finish.

O: This isn't close to a barleywine. Too big and boozy and not really well made. The barrel is non-existent. A bigger let down than Frangelic Mountain Brown.

Photo of SawDog505
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip. Poured aggressive and got a massive 3 inch slightly off white head, that leaves plenty of lacing, with the actual color being a bright clear orange red. Smell is biscuit, pine, apricot, tangerine, carmel, and other fruity esters. Taste is what you would expect from the nose, with a little more alcohol than the nose would have you expect, but very tame for its 15% ABV. Body is medium large, plenty of carbonation, not really dry, and so easy drinking for its size. Founders has done it again, this is a absolute treat and the alcohol is hidden really well.

Photo of dbc5
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml poured into Duchesse De Bourgogne wine glass. I had this beer on tap at the Founders 15th Anniversary party, but this is my first serving from a bottle. Thought the serving temperature at Founders was a bit too low, so I'm interested to see what I pick up with this tasting.

A: Pours an attractive amber with a 1.5 finger, off white head off a moderately aggressive pour. The head slowly recedes, but leaves a nicely, off white coating across the top of the beer.

S: Picking up a ton of caramel and toffee, as well as a present booziness. There is apparent sweetness in the nose as well. Maybe some vanilla. Hop spiciness is noticeable. Not picking up much bourbon presence.

T: Buttery caramel, booze, and a pretty strong hop presence. The alcohol is fairly present, although the sweetness offsets it somewhat. A slow sipper; I imagine it will take me awhile to work through the bottle. Some vanilla notes in the back end. As the beer warms, I'm getting some faint character from the bourbon maple barrels. Its far more muted than in CBS, but I am tasting a similar character. It definitely isn't a major player in this one, more a minor, background presence.

M: Thick and sticky. Almost an oily character after swallowing, which I attribute to the strong alcohol presence. Fairly low carbonation.

O: Being honest, this one is a bit of a letdown, as I had extremely high expectations when it was announced. I hoped the maple bourbon barrels would have a strong presence and contribute a unique character to the beer. In the end, the barrel plays a minor role in the overall drinking experience. The beer ends up primarily being a big, boozy, hoppy American barleywine. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it leaves me wanting a bit more. Will be interesting to see what some time in the cellar does to my remaining 2 bottles.

I do think this is one of the beers that needs to be drank at room temperature. Because some of the unique aspects of the beer are fairly subtle, they get somewhat lost when it is served too cold.

Photo of mjaggers
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Anonymous1
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Kinsman
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First review in a few months and not a bad beer to start back up with. Fills the glass with a beautiful coppery red color and a nice tan head on top.

Beautiful vanilla and oak notes up front with a caramel/toffee undertone. Notable alcohol aroma and even a bit of spice in there to round things out. First sip builds on the nose with a wave of sweet and heat. Bourbon and vanilla along side a healthy kick from the 15% makes for one hell of a barleywine. Definitely a slow sipper. Heavy mouthfeel as expected. Wish I had more to cellar as it's a bit too boozy right now but the price tag will keep me from doing that.

Overall, one can pretty much expect greatness from anything Founders puts out and Bolt Cutter is no different. Not a bad way to spend a quiet Friday evening.

Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of MacQ32
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured slowly to a beautiful amber/red, I began pouring pretty agressively to ensure at least a decent finger of head, the head slowly rose up to a two finger stack of amber/caramel colored fluffly goodness. About 5 minutes later only a thin thin layer remains across the surface, outer ring and lacing is 10/10.

S - Mostly scotch-boozy, bready caramel sweetness and sweet brown sugar, definitely some citrusy/resinous hop aromas, and warm fuzzy feeling spices.

T - Holy tits. Lots of alcohol burn to it, but the burn isnt too strong if that makes any sense at all. Kind of like drinking a mild scotch, or a slightly watered down buttery scotch with some resinous hop qualities. Spices and sweet brown sugar/molasses/caramel mix in with the boozyness - after the initial boozyness is done rocking my palate. Traces of orange and grapefruit are evident, definitely some strong spices that balance well with the boozy qualities, although I cant pinpoint it with the glorious gangbang of flavors my mouth just endured.

M - Full bodied, if the mouthfeel was a SAT percentage rank, it'd be in the top 95% for sipperness. Medium/less carbonation, appropriate.

O - I've had scotch beers that remind me of scotch more than beer. This is like a scotch beer that is all beer (and lots of scotchy flavors). Figure that one out.

Photo of StayWounded
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Found this at a local bottle shop the day after I got engaged. Split with a friend.

A: Not exactly what I was expecting, but nice, definitely much lighter than I expected.

S: Lot's of malt and dark fruit and caramel. Some hoppiness. Already can smell the heat.

T: Reminds me almost more of a spirit than a beer. Lots of caramel and other maltiness, very sweet. Some dryness from the hops towards the back. Alcohol is very evident.

M: Quite a bit of heat, but nice and smooth for what a heavy hitter it is.

O: A good experience. I don't know that I could afford or find this again, but I'm glad I did.

Photo of benjaminahudson
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of atoulouk
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of LaChupacabra
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L – Deep amber color with a 3-finger frothy, bubbly cream-colored head. Really nice retention and some lacing. Clear with a good amount of bubbles.

S – Caramel malt, some leathery notes, grapefruit and pine hops, and a big whiff of alcohol. Hops are pretty subdued but become more apparent after agitation (pouring, swirling, etc.).

T – Starts off sweet with caramel malt and molasses and rapidly progresses to bourbon heat. Vanilla and maple notes become more apparent as the heat smoothes out. Some bitter grapefruit hops come out at the finish. This is pretty lightly hopped for an American barleywine, but it seems to fit here for some reason.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with good carbonation, a velvety and chewy mouthfeel, and a sweet and dry finish. There is a definite throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – Out of the American barleywines that I’ve had thus far, this may be one of my favorites. It is definitely on the sweeter side of the scale (although never cloying) and only seems lightly hopped but, as I said before, it seems to work very well in this instance. I think it certainly tastes better than it smells and is more complex than the aroma suggests. Furthermore, I think the body and mouthfeel suit the beer well. Definitely worth trying in my opinion.

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a slightly dense but clear aged copper brown body with a bubbly light tan head that sticks to the glass and sluggishly slides back into the beer.

S- the nice sweet caramel malt aroma has some candy sugar notes that come through as the beer warms and a slight spicy character with some ether hints in the finish.

T- The smooth sweet caramel malt grows as the beer warms and takes on a brassy wheat malt flavor. The finish of pungent hops and alcohol gently round out each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a thick texture in the finish that is thinned by an alcohol warmth that hangs in the mouth.

O- This is a big monster barleywine with a gentle alcohol heat for 15% ABV and I was surprised at how much hops presence was in there aswell. It was a nice beer to taste but I would have preferred it without as much alcohol. This beer was a night starter and night ender in one bottle.

Photo of Gotti311
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ckobes
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of KevSal
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Slatetank
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was on tap a while back at Holy Hound in York, PA enjoyed chilled in a snifter.

The color and clarity are both great a brilliant copper/bronze shade with visible carbonation and thick cream cap of light beige with tight bead and nice lace formation. The smell is very good, but comes off very hop forward and high alcohol in the nose which is appropos to the style but not especially complex so just above average accept it has some nice hop pine scents. The feel is good well above average in that it is 15% and feels like 10% tops it has hop oiliness and high bitterness level but it is relatively dry for the style making it taste similar to a Double IPA with asservtive bite and pretty hard not to have alcohol effect the palate at the abv listed but it does a decent job of concealing with some moderate carbonation.

This tastes intense! as the name implies it does not tread lightly and it means business -lots of sharp hops with piney, peppery bite and slight caramel and nutty dry malt to underscore with lots of alcohol with some fruitiness on the palate. I really dug this and it is so fresh you can't help but wonder if the intense octane of a 15% can mellow with cellaring, but the hops are very tasty so I would not hold on to this. I enjoyed how smooth it was for there aren't many 15% beers I have liked as much as this, A great tribute to 15 years in business -keep up the good work Founders!

Photo of beergorrilla
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 50cl (17oz.) snifter glass.

Appearance: Right off the bat it pours your simple amber but you look at it has more of a cinnamon-rust color that is somewhat hazy. Head not so thick orange tinted just about 1/3" off the body.

Smell: Light alcohol scent, not crazy over it but it has a barley feel to it which is impossible to dislike.

Taste: The strong alcohol is very evident, you drink you feel. It has almost like a scotch feel to it combined with what real beer is. Barley so strong and a taste that lingers in your mouth.

Mouth: With a sweet after-taste, you feel what quality is. Not exactly smooth but just right texture combined with medium carbonation.

Overall: Made this my first beer for the year 2013 and I have to admit that I think I made the right choice on how to start the year. I lately have been taking a liking to barleywines and this one is on top of it's game. Grab a glass and lust it, Salud!

Photo of beerguy24
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.