Bolt Cutter
Founders Brewing Company

Bolt CutterBolt Cutter
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Barleywine
4.05 | pDev: 12.1%
Mar 24, 2021
Nov 03, 2012
Bolt CutterBolt Cutter
Notes: 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.
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Photo of BeardedWalrus
Reviewed by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottled in 2012, poured into a brandy snifter. Color is a beautiful mahogany brown, with some burnt orange in direct light. Nose is big and sweet, lots of brown sugar and maple. Taste is similar, with sweet caramel, toffee, and oak notes delivering a delicious experience. The feel is slick and sweet, with with a relatively mild body that makes it surprisingly drinkable at 15% abv. Overall, it's another great brew from Founders, and i count myself lucky for having gotten a bottle.
Mar 24, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by bigred89 from Maryland

Oct 25, 2020
Rated: 3.75 by jschott75 from Illinois

Oct 17, 2020
Photo of SFC21
Reviewed by SFC21 from Florida

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottled in 2012, so just about 8 years of sleep on this big guy.

Look is rusty/copper body that still has some carbonation left. Nose is butterscotch, dark bread, and sweet potato. The nose barely carries over to the taste, though, as the hops and 15% ABV takes over. A lot of bourbon notes, overripe orange, big, earthy hops and a slightly medicinal finish. Pretty smooth and not a lot of heat considering the ABV. I cellared this one as the initial reviews in 2012 said it was too hot and needed time. I'm glad I did, this aged really well.
Aug 13, 2020
Photo of TreyIsWilson
Reviewed by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A - Pours a clear amber with a thin off white head. Light amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, oak and bourbon.

T - The taste is toffee, caramel, grapefruit rind, oak, piney hops and bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel with a dry mouthfeel.

O - After 7 years this is still a big bad beer. The flavors are pretty well rounded with a big boozy finish.
Dec 22, 2019
Photo of Joe_Tool
Reviewed by Joe_Tool from New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Let this one sit. Got a case of it back when they were making it. A bunch of my good friends took some off of me so I didn't have to tell the wife I spent $220 on a case of beer. I said let them sit for 5 years as it was horrible then. It improved a lot but was a bit of a disappointment. Still hot and cloying. If you still have one, wait. It's not worth cracking it yet. It may never get there but it certainly isn't yet.
Jun 16, 2019
Photo of dafla67
Reviewed by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Just drank a bottle last week (March 2019). Simply awesome. Pour a murky amber. Aroma of pine, bourbon & malt. Tastes so smooth even after 7 years. Full bodies. I am a Barleywine fan and this is one of my all time favorites. Needs to come out of retirement, more so then a third year in a row of CBS (and I really like CBS as well).
Apr 04, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottled 2012; drank 2/27/14.

Murky bright orange hue.

Bright white head; minimal lace.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Oak, caramel, smoke & grapefruit flavor; age hasn't harmed this sturdy monster one bit.
Feb 19, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by Sammy from Canada (ON)

Feb 17, 2019
Rated: 4 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Jan 05, 2019
Rated: 4 by heysuz from Indiana

Jan 05, 2019
Rated: 3.67 by hopkrid from Florida

Oct 07, 2018
Photo of GregBarleycorn13
Reviewed by GregBarleycorn13 from New York

4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Had in the cellar the last 6 years. I can't remember a better barleywine I've had in a long time. Still a great aroma and taste was all that a barleywine should be. Even after six years. Too bad it's not being made anymore.
Mar 25, 2018
Rated: 3.81 by Warren2621 from Indiana

Feb 25, 2018
Rated: 3.93 by Futbolmanby from Michigan

Feb 16, 2018
Photo of Davepoolesque
Reviewed by Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Bottled in 2012, 15th Anniversary Ale. Another one of the first beers I ticked away in my "cellar". This must have been a beast back in the day. Pine, chocolate, caramel, toffee and oak. Medium bodied. Still lots of pine resin, dry bitterness. Eh, Big American Barleywines aren't really my bag. This is still going strong. Could probably easily age another 5 years.
Jan 19, 2018
Rated: 4.38 by liquorpig from Massachusetts

Jan 06, 2018
Rated: 4.1 by MrZach76 from Pennsylvania

Dec 30, 2017
Rated: 3.52 by Mikexw from New York

Dec 01, 2017
Rated: 4.3 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Nov 20, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by t2grogan from Arizona

Nov 09, 2017
Photo of Tony210
Reviewed by Tony210 from New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pours dark amber, minimal head
Smells of maple syrup, cola, slight bourbon.
Thick, syrupy deliciousness, some bourbon, some maple syrup, touch of cola on he finish.
Thick, full bodied
O. Right up my alley

Draft st a Prohibition Pig
4.75 rating
Sep 19, 2017
Rated: 4.21 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan

Aug 20, 2017
Rated: 3.47 by marqoid from Arizona

Jul 04, 2017
Rated: 3.72 by TboneRN from Minnesota

May 29, 2017
Rated: 4.28 by kidzord from Illinois

May 20, 2017
Rated: 3.23 by mltobin from Connecticut

May 20, 2017
Rated: 4 by kylehay2004 from Illinois

Mar 25, 2017
Rated: 4.12 by Richter525 from Michigan

Mar 15, 2017
Photo of bobv
Reviewed by bobv from Vermont

4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Moderate pour yields a 3/4 inch slightly off white head over a medium amber / mahogany body with some nice lacing. Nose of raisins, alcohol, and a little bit of hops that are still present after more than 4 and a half years in the bottle. As it warms other aromas come out; bourbon soaked dark fruit and fruit cake. Taste follows with a malt sweetness and a bit of sweetness from the maple/bourbon barrel part of the blend. As it warms the flavors change as well, with some caramel, molasses, and brown sugar flavor coming out after a while and there is also a little spice thing going on as well. Oh, the booziness hasn't changed at all! Ha! Feel is almost syrup-like, with not quite medium carbonation. Wow! Overall, I'm glad I held onto a couple of these.
Mar 05, 2017
Photo of mitch3114
Reviewed by mitch3114 from New York

4.96/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
My holy grail barleywine. I remember when this came out in 2012 I couldn't really afford a 20.00-25.00 bottle of beer. Most of the beverage centers around had it and one by one the bottles were going.

There was this one place in Saratoga that had one bottle left for like a year. I finally decided to pull the trigger and when I went there it was gone. Now, 2017 I stumbled across it in the day after a founders tap takeover at the Ruck in Troy.

Four years has aged this beer into a magnificent journey. Raisins and dried fruits, brown sugar and nicely mellowed hops all blend together nicely into a very enjoyable beer that was every bit that I hoped for
Feb 05, 2017
Rated: 4.49 by jmg480 from Pennsylvania

Dec 07, 2016
Rated: 3.5 by rspauldi from Texas

Oct 04, 2016
Photo of scottfrie
Reviewed by scottfrie from California

3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
750ml bottle into tulip. 2012.

A: Pours a dark caramel/ruby color with a thin short lived cap of dark tan foam that faded into a fuzzy and long lasting collar. Spots of soapy lace was left down the glass.
S: Super sweet almost syrupy nose with notes of candy fruit and tons of caramel and leather. Very rich and potent smelling. I get hints of vanilla and a touch of spice. The booze is noticeable but not hot.
T: Super rich and potent barleywine flavors, but amplified. I get the usual notes of caramel, leather, tobacco, and raisin, but everything is taken to eleven. Very intense flavors. Flavors are also on the stupidly sweet side, to the point of syrupy, but I wouldn't say this is cloyingly sugary. Leafy hop bitterness lingers long after the swallow. The bitterness throughout pokes through the sweetness. Booze is noticeable in the aftertaste with a kiss of warmth but it's not hot. Hints of bourbon, hints of chocolate, hints of maple syrup.
M: Thick body, heavy sticky syrupy mouthfeel, super sweet and super bitter. Soft low carbonation. Sticky. Booze is actually fairly smooth. You can tell from the booze its a heavy beer but the booze isn't hot.
O: One of the most intense barely wins I've had. Flavors on the sweeter side, but overall it all kinda works well together. Just super intense overall, very potent. Bitterness is intense.
Sep 27, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by MurphDog14 from Illinois

Jul 19, 2016
Rated: 4.44 by chillin from Indiana

May 30, 2016
Photo of ryan1788a5
Reviewed by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Red-orange in color with great clarity. No head at all, and only pencil-thin wisps of lacing.

S: Sweet malt base of bread, toast, caramel, and treacle. The hopping has faded but still holds some power as spicy and earthy aromas pull through easily. Pine and wet forest floor. Faint whiffs of bourbon and oak.

T: Caramel, treacle, toasted biscuit, bread crust. Pinch of cocoa. Still a big pull of spicy and earthy hops. Pine and bark. Faint cardboard. Fruit skins. Ever so slight tease of bourbon and oak. Alcohol rides up a bit, but never gets distracting. Long earthy and toasty finish.

M: Huge, thick body. Very chewy. Alcohol warms through and through. Still plenty of prickling carbonation.

O: Four years in the cellar and I feel this beer very easily could do double that time and then some. Though the hops have calmed down a little, they still pack a punch. Alcohol is taming itself nicely. I really wish I had another bottle. This is an excellent American barley wine that is built for the cellar.
May 16, 2016
Rated: 4 by tim007007 from Illinois

May 15, 2016
Rated: 3.84 by DCgolfpro from Maryland

Apr 26, 2016
Rated: 4.03 by BeerOps from Illinois

Apr 17, 2016
Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1361 ratings