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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

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

1,186 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,186
Reviews: 212
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 192
Gots: 712 | FT: 75
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Bolt Cutter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,186 | Reviews: 212 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gobzilla
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale amber brown in color with pale yellow highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of malty sweetness upfront in the aroma with grassy earthy notes, booze heat, plenty of hop character and mild caramel but with slight brown sugar presence.

T: caramel sweetness was more noticeable on the palate with a good hoppy profile that was accompanied by grassy earthiness, plenty of bready malts, the booze was all up in your grill with a touch of underlying brown sugar.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, hoppy, boozy and crisp finish.

O: I honestly was a little let down from all the hype but then again it's just hype after all. It can be that I've had some AMAZING barelywines lately too. I was just decent and nothing more

Gobzilla, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev -1.2%

KevinGordon, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of illidurit
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

illidurit, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of mrfrancis
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark gold with a thin, creamy white head. Head retention is surprisingly good, though only a minimal amount of lace is present in the glass.

S: Aromas of almonds, nougat, herbs, grass, pine, juniper, toffee, caramel, vanilla, biscuits, and peppery, prickly alcohol are present on the nose.

T: Complex notes of fresh bread, caramel, biscuit, toffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, toasted almonds, nougat, vanilla bean, and butterscotch are balanced by intense flavors of lemon, lime, herbs, grass, juniper berry, pine, and pepper. The finish is fiery and intense with resinous hop and bready malt notes overwhelmed by a pungent surge of alcohol.

M: Full-bodied and sticky. Carbonation is delicate and restrained. Alcohol presence is incredibly intense. This beer must be sipped very slowly.

O: This is a solid barleywine, but it is a bit harsh and over-the-top. If the alcohol presence were reigned in a bit, this would be much more likable and easier to drink, but as is, it's a bit rough around the edges. Not a bad example of the style by any stretch, but also not Founders' most refined effort either. Worth trying at least once.

mrfrancis, Jun 10, 2013
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.

Jwale73, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of IPAchris
4/5  rDev -1.2%

IPAchris, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

enelson, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of popery
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

popery, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of sweemzander
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

sweemzander, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-copper color, sort of cloudy and hazy with an off-white head that settles quickly after a hard pour, no real lacing to mention. Aroma is heavy and thick; sweet toffee, burnt sugar, rosey fruits, plums, figs, juicy dates soaked in booze, light vanilla, oak, a touch of wood. Taste hits hard up front with sweet, burnt brown sugar, booze drenched raisins, figs, plums, some backwards woodiness. Creme brulee comes to mind with the burnt sugar and slight vanilla hints. Butterscotch in the background maybe, too. Hop profile is a bit ashy and dry with a light perfume aroma to them, adding a reasonable amount of bitterness to make sure the sweetness isn't cloying (which it's not). The booze profile is mostly reminiscent of bourbon-whiskey; it's warming and relevant and noticeable, slightly warm and a little more so as the beer approaches room temp, but it's never too hot to drink. I would imagine this would mellow out a bit and become excellent with some more time on it. Thick, sticky, heavy body, low carbonation.

Surprised by how good this was, reviews were pretty mixed so I didn't know what to expect. While it was pretty tasty, I think it might mellow out a bit more with some age. Unfortunately, the price tag on this one is a little much for what you're getting.

tectactoe, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

DmanGTR, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish body with large head that goes away real quick and leaves a little bit of lace. Aroma is boozy at first and then there are sweet malts like caramel/toffee/sugar that hit me with minimal hops. Sticky, full-bodied, the booze is prevalent with a little bit of woodiness to help it smoothly finish. There are some dark fruit flavors and a sugary, vanilla like boozy sweetness but the alcohol in this is just a little too much and overpowers the other characteristics of the beer.

clayrock81, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of rfgetz
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper tinted orange, lightly hazed, fluffy cap of tan foam, decent lacing. Scent brings strong brown sugar and honey notes, firm hop profile with citrus zest, spice, some vanilla notes. Taste is big and sweet with strong hop notes... follows scent. Full bodies, sticky and chewy. Solid beer, but maybe a touch too big and sweet for my palate.

rfgetz, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of eawolff99
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

eawolff99, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

TheBeerAlmanac, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev -1.2%

ColForbinBC, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of maximum12
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Funny story, & you have to listen, because it's my damn review. We were at a release party & they had trivia contest. We won, but the host had one of the answers wrong. So up my ten-year old girl went to tell the host he was wrong. The guy was big about it & went out to grab a second bottle of Bolt Cutter from his car & gave it to her (well, us!). So, my first thank you ever to my baby girl for a beer! 22 oz. bottle & I loved the story behind the name of this one...one more bonus point.

The pour is a moist, dripping rust. Nose is tame to the point of being lost in the maze: caramel is the one strong component. Vanilla, booze, bourbon emerge as the beer warms past freezing (which we're calling 'summer' in Minnesota right now).

Bolt Cutter has improved immensely with age; it actually tastes like something now, & fresh, it was like drinking high-alcohol air. Booze commits a misdemeanor against my palate & I'm grateful the fireplace is across the room. I'm not saying it's too hot, I like it, but alcohol slam is the first thing I notice. Less a few hundred brain cells, I note the huge chunk of melted caramel, enough vanilla & bourbon to numb what the booziness missed, a sweetness of Belgian candy sugar. Touch of spice. Mouthfeel is thick, & pine comes in with a sappy treacle. Drinkable? Sheeeet. I could drink this like water, you know, if water could kill you in large quantities.

No kidding, this has turned from ho-hum to excellent since the release. Some beers just need some time in the corner to think about what they've done before they behave themselves. This is one. Damn good.

maximum12, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of outoffocus
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

outoffocus, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty caramel/deep copper color. The cream colored head is short but frothy, dense bubbled and settles inot a sparse cap.

The aroma is very sweet and is dominated by a candied fruit malt presence and a strong tropical fruit hop presence. Very English barleywine aroma. Candied orange and apricot to go along with an overall toffee scent. This is coupled with a pineapple and mango hop aroma. Too sweet for my liking.

The taste starts off very much like the aroma. Big candied fruit and toffee presence. Overripe apple and pear provide some fruity flavor, some raisin as well. The hops have an apricot flavor but also a peppery and grassy bitterness. Though there is an array of flavor it doesn't have much depth to it. Not very complex in the malt profile. Some alcohol flavor in the end.

The feel is light, almost watery, with prickly carbonation. Some slight stickiness but nothing compared to the style. Very sweet on the palate but has some peppery bitterness to offset. Plenty of noticable alcohol presense, big belly burn with this one.

Disappointed in this beer. Has more of an english profile and lacks depth in the body. I am also not a big fan of the toffee malt/tropical fruit combination.

Gmann, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of Pencible
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear gold with moderate off white head.
S: It smelled like strong sugary citrus and candied apricot, with some fresh grapefruit and pine.
T: It tasted like bittersweet citrus and sugar, with some grapefruit and light chocolate and pine. It had a clean and bittersweet aftertaste with alcohol warming.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was reminiscent of Flying Mouflan, but a little less malt balance. It had a wonderful hop profile in the scent and taste, with a solid body. The alcohol was definitely noticeable, so it needed to be sipped. Age might help mellow, but it would also totally change the character of the brew. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and was happy to get to try the rare brew.

Pencible, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
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.

lordofthewiens, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -1.2%

smartassboiler, May 17, 2013
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

bpfrush, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Such a beautiful hue. Burnt marmalade or blood orange. Slow, lazy bubbles rise to feed the head. Head is the color of lightly burnt marshmallow. Head dies off to a thin film and a cluster of bubbles. Thick seams of lacing. Very pretty.

S-A surprisingly intense haymaker of hoppiness. Hops are sudsy, and candied citrus. Tropical hops too. Wood-induced spice. The notes from the barrels start to set in after the hops waft out of the glass a bit. Dried-out biscuit and rich toffee. Caramel liqueur. Fruit cake and dried plums and figs. Vanilla extract and yes, even a bit of warm Maple Syrup. Herbal tea with a shot of Bourbon. Astonishingly complex.

T-The hops attack first. Soap and bitter pine followed by tangy grapefruit. Apricot hops too. Then a neat amalgamation of Maple Syrup infused with Bourbon. The syrup flavor is great. Coffee Cakes and baklava. Fig Newtons. The more I dissect the flavors, the more noticeable the oak becomes. Vanilla and scorched wood. Caramel all over the place. Boozy carrot cake...I could go on forever.

M-For 15%, this doesn't feel incredibly full. Don't get me wrong, it is full bodied, but it isn't massive. I kinda like that. Super, super, super dry. High, lingering bitterness. This goes down with frightening ease. Soft carbonation. Pretty boozy, but what would you expect from a monster like this?

O/D-Great beer. Shocked by its hoppiness. Impressed by its complexity. That being said, it is about one tier below some of the best Founders beers I have tried. Still, this is one of the better beers I have had in the past month or so. I would consider this brew a great success. So complex it makes my head spin. What a great beer to have with some turkey and stuffing.

VelvetExtract, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of BMart
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

BMart, Nov 23, 2012
Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,186 ratings.