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Founders Bolt Cutter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

228 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 228
Hads: 1,305
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 12.22%
Wants: 214
Gots: 711 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 228 | Hads: 1,305
Photo of Treebs
3.01/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing 1/2 finger, vanilla colored, foamy, frothy head on top of a clouded ruby red brew.

Coconut, roasty, caramel, vanilla, very strong and pleasant. Slight hint of heat.

Whoa, @ 15% I was expecting a ridiculous amount of heat and sugar, that's not the case. Smooth, a bit watery, easy drinking, slight burn on the late after taste, mild carbonation. Strong Iced Tea flavors are rampant, missing much of the tropical barrel flavors found in other BA B-wines. Lots of caramel and toasted malts.

A very nice way to celebrate an anniversary... Highly recommended, it's up with some of the best. Thanks!

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Photo of lovindahops
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After being the dd for the wine and chocolate festival at the fair, I definitely deserved to open one of my two bolt cutters.

A- With an aggressive pour, bolt cutter pours a reddish amber body with a solid head of tan foam that rises to the top of my surly tulip. As the head recides, remnants of the foam drift to the edges of the glass. Strong carbonation rips through the glass

S- sweet caramel and earthy tones lead off a richened fruit presence. Some vanilla oak and slighlty sweet syrup are present in this bold barleywine

T- Very strong surge of butterscotch and fruit like candy is galvanized as the predominant characteristics from the get go. An earthy presence flows through with an extreme presence of hoppiness characterized by piney flavors. Certainly bold but masking the alcohol well throughout the tasting. Really a big sweet barleywine flavor as was hoping for

M- A little thin but still sweet and clinging to the pallet

O- I really enjoyed this as an all out flavor assault for a barleywine. I wish I could sense the bourbon that everyone mentioned but nevertheless this is a wild brew that some aging will do well. I'm looking for a few more of these. Thanks founders!

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Photo of Gatch
4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Been sittin' on this for a loooong time! 15th Anniversary Ale - 2012.

A: Beautiful, slightly hazy, bright rose color with shades of pink. Frothy but fairly thin/light off-white head that builds steadily and fades in a similar manner leaving behind some great lacing and retention. Simply stunning!

S: Where to begin...seriously massive malt character. Bread, sugar, booze, barrel, yeast. Aroma is intimidating but also inviting and exciting at the same time. A sign of things to come...

T: Extremely happy that I waited so long to drink this judging by what others have said. While it's still incredibly sweet, boozy, and heavy, I can only imagine how much more amplified these qualities would have been for the first several months after bottling. Having said that...the flavors are massive and truly delicious. Tons of sweet, sugary booze...woody, earthy barrel & bourbon...bready, roasted malt...sugary, dark fruits. This is a true "barleywine." Almost qualifies as a spirit.

M: Viscous with plenty of carbonation to go around. Held up very well. Such a serious beer with serious flavor. For what it is, this is amazing.

O: The definition of "treat." A very special beer. Should I feel selfish drinking the entire 750ml bottle by myself? Nah. It's my sincere hope that Founders can have another 15+ years of success!

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Photo of zac16125
4.09/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To my surprise, I saw this at the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, Michigan and decided to try it out. I hope you're all ready to roll your eyes at this review and spit on your screen!

Appearance: A nice ruby-like color. No head to speak of, and no lacing either .... which I guess is to be expected.

Smell: Honestly smelled like a chlorine pool to me, for the most part ... after awhile that note seemed to fade and I just got a really odd mix of super sweet malt with hops. Unusual.

Taste: It's a barleywine. It's 15%. In the words of Ralph Wiggum, "It tastes like burning." The beer isn't overly bitter, but it burns quite a lot with a lot of alcohol in the flavor. I found that I was mainly concentrating on getting all of it down, rather than trying to pick up on flavors. I could finish my 4oz sample, but I'm not convinced I could have much more.

It's too big for me. Sweet, heavy, and copious amounts of alcohol in the flavor. Could definitely benefit by mellowing out over the course of a year or so.

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Photo of mjtiernan
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of daledeee
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was hyped up well. Had it on tap at $8 for an 8 ounce glass.

A very dark clear burnt orange with no head.

Nose was pancake syrup and hints of spice.

Taste is heavy sweetness, malty and spices. also plenty of apricots and spicy orange. I am glad l only had the small glass. This is one rich beer.

I didn't notice much carbonation but this is incredibly boozy. It was actually hard to drink. A very over the top beer.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: deep reddish orange color. a finger or so of a tannish head that leaves a strong lacing on the sides. opaque but with a slight glow to it with the light

Smell: dark crystal malts, sweet dark fruits, some alcohol, lots of caramel and toffee. fairly light on the bourbon, noticeable maple

Taste: opens with dark fruits and a slightly sweet dark crystal roastiness. transitions to toffee and caramel, maybe some molasses, certainly some maple. Backend is full of hot booze. just a touch of oaky bourbon.

Mouthfeel: sticky and chewy, lots of hot alcohol.

Overall: at a year and a half old, I don't see too much age on this beer. Maybe some dry hopping and such are gone but its not too different then when it came out. still lots of hot booze in it. I think this beer is still not hitting its stride. If i get another I may have to wait till its 5+ years old. Another great founders backstage series.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML poured into a snifter

A- Pours very syrupy . A half a finger of a dense off white head. A ton of alcohol legs. A hazy copper color. A menace of a looking beer.

S- There is a lot of hops on the nose. A slight sharp pine, some overly ripened grapefruit. Caramel and toffee. A slight vanilla and a nice oak character.

T- A crisp bitterness up front. Followed up by an obvious alcohol presence. It sweeps over with a bit of the oak flavor and dry feel. There is a very slight touch of bourbon and vanilla. The malt profile of this beer is very caramel and toffee forward which is accented nicely by the vanilla. Hop flavors are more dominant on the nose. The hops are slightly citrus and overly ripened fruits, flavors of an aged IPA.

M- Thick and syrupy. I wouldn't call it hot but it is without a doubt a very warming beer. More drinkable then I was expecting. Good carbonation and a bitter palate.

O- This is a beast of a beer. Approach only if your ready to embrace some intense flavors. I like fresh barley wines, barrel aged barley wines and barley wines aged at least a year. I like the fresh ones because they have an intense hop profile, and aged ones because the hop profile has died and allowed the malts to take over. This beer is sort of stuck in limbo between the three, partially aged in barrels for about 5 months total. Its good now but I see it as a beer that will improve incredibly with age.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a slightly muddy copper rust color with some golden hues and a nice cap of beige head.

The aroma has a nice grassy hop blanket with some boozy caramel notes and dark fruits like raisins. The pallet is a bit of the sweet side. Vanilla and raisins with brown sugar and some notes of grassy hops on the background.

The body is full and with good carbonation. Overall this one is enjoyable but a bit pricey. I just assume grab Bigfoot or something to that nature.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy light orange caramel with a powdered dusting, and large bubbles mixed in.

S: Aroma of cotton candy , caramelized sugars, sweet oranges, light oak aromas and sweetness comes on strong.

T: Lots of Sugary cotton candy flavors, caramel along with fruity tastes and berry flavors. I am reminded of Fruit Stripe gum. Tons of red ale flavor and crystal malt flavors. Excellent balance with not an overabundance of hops but great flavor. This beer clearly shines with the fruity esters from the yeast and a refreshing flavor overall rather than a tannic overhopped and overboiled mess. I pick up light melon as some other reviews have picked up as well. This really blends well with the overall amount of bitterness in this beer and I wish more beers would follow this suit.

M: Thick body with a low level of carbonation. just right

O: Overall this is a great beer and glad to have tried this but with the outrageous price, I would never buy again.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap. The pour is a slightly hazy reddish-amber, rather dark, and sports a thin head that quickly dies (not surprising given the high alcohol content). The nose is rather faint, but does boast some nice aromas of fruit, toffee, and hops as well as a hint of alcohol.

The beer is very full bodied and has an intense bittersweet flavor. It is very sweet up front, with big bready malt, vanilla, and cherry flavors. The alcohol seems to creep in very quickly on this one, beating the hops to the punch. By the time the hops arrive the sweet notes from the malt and alcohol have already had their way with you and warmed you up for a dry, lingering finish. I don't get any bourbon notes at all, but I do get some of the sweet oaky notes up front.

This is the second time I've had this beer on tap. Last time (about 4 months ago), it seemed a bit overpowering. This time, I knew what to expect and was able to meet it more on its own terms. I find it to be an intensely-flavored barleywine that is in sort of a transitional period right now. The hops are faded a bit, but the alcohol hasn't really mellowed out yet. I'd love to know what this tastes like in another 18 months.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

10 oz pour in a wine glass at Barcade for their Founders blowout.

Bolt Cutter pours a murky amber, with no visibility through to the other side of the glass. What flimsy bits of foam that are actually present disappear quickly. The nose has some mice malt and barrel components, with aromas of caramel, maple, and brown sugar all commingling. A little bit of a pine hop note shines through as well. While the bourbon is a little more present in the flavor profile, I have to say it's still remarkably smooth for being a 15% beer. Besides, the maple, caramel, and brown sugar all still trump the booziness in terms of intensity. Right at the end though a brash bitterness and a flash of piney hops crash the party. It just doesn't fit, it's akin to a harsh, jangling chord ringing out against an otherwise nice piece of music. The carbonation is nicely muted, but the body is noticeably syrupy, just a bit too much. As is, Bolt Cutter is an alright beer (though not up to Founders' usual standards). I think some time to let the out of place dry hop portion that was shoehorned into the blend mellow will do it some good though.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up in a great trade with Evan! Crystal clear copper-mahogany pour with a one finger creamy off-white head with decent retention and crazy lacing. Deliciously sweet malty nose with hints of resiny, citrusy hops, pine, butterscotch, wood, and booze. The taste is rich and complex with a strong, boozy, malt forward sweetness with hints of vanilla, tobacco, maple, caramel, dark fruit, tea, oak, and butterscotch. The mouthfeel was really boozy up front, but as it came to temp, it became almost creamy. Still thick and syrupy, but really smooth with a nice warming, bitter finish. Overall, this is one complex and flavorful beer. Would love to see what cellaring does for this one.

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Photo of schmidtmattsays
3.22/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle 3/12/15. Smells like a barleywine - not a particularly good one. Not a lot of booze on the nose for a 15% beer. Getting a lot melon, old hops, and oxidization from the taste. Not very enjoyable - wouldn't pass on a pour but definitely not seeking this thing out at all.

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Photo of standardcherry
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark orange/golden color with a big, creamy looking tan head.
S: Hoppy citrus aroma, sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, woody scent. There's a sweet, almost bubblegum-like aroma at the end. Strange, but not bad.
T: Smooth malty flavor, followed by maple and a ton of citrusy/earthy hops bitterness. Fruity flavors (pineapple and citrus) mixed with caramel, maple, oak and booze. A hint of vanilla as well, but the hoppy bitterness dominates. It's ok, but I'd definitely let it mellow a bit if I had another bottle.
M: Surprisingly drinkable for a barleywine this huge. Full bodied with a sticky mouthfeel. Great carbonation for the style.
O: Glad I got to try this beer but I wouldn't buy it again. If I had another bottle I'd let it hang out for another year or two to let the hops mellow more.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml into bubble snifter at about 45 degrees.

Pours with a very short, soap-bubble head over a chill-hazed amber body. Decent lacing. Appears still.

Aromas are quite sweet. Lots of maple syrup and bread - adult french toast. Mostly malts, but there seem to be some sharp hops still trying hard to power through. Vanilla and bourbon also show.

Taste is full of sweet - the vanilla and syrup nearly drown out everything else. Touch of rye-like spice. Hop bitterness still lingers, much as with the aroma. Altogether, seemed like a coffee which had too much artificial sweetener syrup mixed in.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky - as expected with a 15% BW. Really lingers on the palate.

All that said, I'm a sweet-tooth, so this beer did not offend me... I enjoyed it. Not your prototypical Barleywine, but that's OK with me. Glad I cellared it for 18 mo's - may have taken the initial edge off of it.

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Photo of CraftFan5
2.86/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Not sure why this one has such high ratings. The nose was meh, and the flavor was sickeningly sweet. It almost tasted artificial. So glad I didn't drop $28 for a bottle a few months ago.

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Photo of cvm4
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - Pours a red mahogany body with a one finger light tan head.

S - Malty aroma with caramel, toffee and candied sugars.

T - Rich malts along with brown sugar and maple syrup. I can definitely pick up some of the bourbon barreling on the back of the taste. Just straight forward and a delight to drink.

F - Full bodied, low carbonation. Smooth body with low abv heat.

O - A very unique barleywine to drink that has held its own overtime. I think this one still has some legs on it.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.09/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

It's been a while since I've bothered to review, but this one seemed worth my time...

Appearance -- Bright orange with high clarity and a quarter-inch sudsy white head. Its appearance in the glass is more akin to a DIPA.

Aroma -- WHOA hops. Resinous hop dankness with overtones of tangerine and stone fruit, along with a base of caramel malt sweetness. DIPA?

Taste -- Again, VERY hoppy, akin to Devil Dancer. In fact, I'd swear this WAS Devil Dancer if it weren't so much sweeter and boozier. Assertively hoppy, but very focused in aromatics and flavor, and not enough in bitterness. Lots of simple caramel malt sweetness that, instead of lending balance to the massive hop presence, tends to make the flavor profile messier. As far as barrel character, there's really none to be found. Maybe underneath all of those hops somewhere, or maybe it's adding to the saccharine malt sweetness? Simple

Mouthfeel -- Fuller-bodied with firm carbonation. Too much carbonation for the style, but like everything else with this beer, it fits more snugly in the American Double/Imperial IPA category.

Overall -- This is my first real letdown from Founders. I consider them to be one of the best breweries in the business, but this falls way short. This is essentially Imperial Devil Dancer with a touch of maple. Really lacking in depth or the bones to make me believe this will benefit at all with age, in my super-duper humble opinion. Your mileage may vary, of course, since I don't like vintage 120 Minute, Double Crooked Tree or Devil Dancer. Maybe those are your bag?

Looking for a nuanced, complex barrel-aged barleywine with personality? LOOK ELSEWHERE.

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Photo of yamar68
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty mellow looking, boozy beer - burnt copper body topped with a slight half finger of pale khaki head that recedes after a few seconds... a thin collar retains pretty well and produces some oily booze legs.

Interesting... incredibly dynamic smelling beer but very smooth, oaky vanilla, citrus peel, some faint booze warmth, sweet syrupy malt character, surprisingly tame to the nose. Blossoms with some warmth... some dessert candies and sweet dark fruit comes to the forefront.

A lot more happening in the taste... sharp bourbon notes, that same vanilla oak, honey, pineapple and other tropical fruit, some caramel and leather... not so apparent though, certain aspects of the beer are overshadowed by the booze bill which I think makes it an excellent candidate for the cellar. As the beer nears room temperature, the beer really ties itself together. Booze translates to bitter juicy fruits, pineapple... balanced.

Dry, bitter, sake type finish is actually pretty enjoyable. Mouthfeel is spot-on, not too oily and not too thin.

Great stuff.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. For my good friend Tim Villard, may this bolt cutter open up the gates of heaven for you.

A: Pours a clear copper brown with a dense off white head. Hard to see any visible carbonation, either very small bubbles or none at all. Laces the sides of the glass nicely.

S: For being bottled around a year ago, the malts smell like they are still in the fermentation tank. Neither bready nor fruity, but still a serious malting. Hops are present with a hint in the background. Bourbon and maple syrup arent very distinguishable but do add a sweet oaky aroma.

T: Fantastic barley wine flavor with a compliment of oak. Real nice blend of malt and hops that really shines with its complexity. Very balanced mix of the bourbon and maple barrels that dont overwhelm but instead add depth. Touch of sweetness in the finish, lingering malt aftertaste.

M: The beer hits the tongue with a creamy full body that has low carbonation. Finish leaves some stickiness as expected with the flavors this beer holds. Alcohol has settled down a good deal since I had it last year. Certainly something you want to sip on.

Overall a very well constructed brew that I feel is under-appreciated. Sure it has bourbon barrels and maple barrels and those flavors dont overwhelm your senses. Instead it is about a smooth complex blend that is; easy drinking yet serious, mild yet complex and strong but tame. Glad I set down this bottle, again Rest In Peace my good friend Tim Villard who thoroughly enjoyed strong barleywines.

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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.