Bolt Cutter
Founders Brewing Company

Bolt CutterBolt Cutter
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Style:
Barleywine - American
ABV:
15%
Score:
91
Avg:
4.09 | pDev: 11.98%
Reviews:
246
Ratings:
1,358
From:
Founders Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  215
Gots
  672
SCORE
91
Outstanding
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.
Reviews: 246 | Ratings: 1,358 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by cvm4:
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cvm4 from Mississippi

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.

Dec 16, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle. No bottling date but this was a late 2012 release. Served in a Founders snifter.

Pours a surprisingly clear, vibrant amber with about a one and a half finger cap of pale, sandy head. A thin film rests on the surface with a small halo that leaves just a few dots of lace.

Aromas are sweet, malty and vaguely earthy with a good deal of aged hops. Vanilla, oak, maple, caramel, faint pine, toffee, old citrus, autumn leaves and sugar. Despite the fact that hop aromas seem past their prime I keep coming back for more of the inviting sweetness.

The flavors quickly overcome any negative vibes left from the smell of fading hops. Thick, sweet caramel is the predominant taste. Earthen oak, cereal, toffee, grainy malt, mild pine, sweet maple glaze, vanilla, orange peels, brown sugar, leather, faint barrel char and just a little boozey heat. I can't detect any bourbon but the combination of malts, maple and barrel is outstanding. On top of the masterful blend of flavors the 15% abv goes down like a brew with less about half of that. Delicious.

Syrupy, heavy, full feel with moderately low carbonation. Completely coats the tongue, creating a long, sweet aftertaste that is full of maple, caramel and cereal grains.

I sat on this bottle of Bolt Cutter for over two years to let the high alcohol mellow out and I must say that my plan worked beautifully. Both hops and heat have long since faded, leaving behind a fantastically sweet and complex barleywine. Excellent work by Founders creating an enduring and evolving brew that, based on this experience, I suspect could go several more years with favorable results.

Dec 29, 2014
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada

3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into balloon snifter 14/6/14

A clear amber liquid, a couple bubbles, thin film leaves a few polka dots, wide legs down the side

S still lots of pine and citrus, this would've been a palate wrecker fresh, faint bourbon, pancake syrup, orange peel, hard toffee, lots of booze

T more booze, heaps of brown sugar and caramel, faint wood, sweet bourbon, more citrus then the nose, a little sweet and boozy but enjoyable

M thank and syrupy, my lips are stuck together, heat hits the chest and throat, rind and brown sugar on the finish

O I liked it but I didn't love it, still hoppy, very sweet and boozy, I'm glad I didn't try to take this one down solo

Fruet was a hard act to follow and perhaps didn't help this ones cause, its good beer with a little barrel, lots of sugar and booze, one of those beers I want to try fresh and with 5+ years on it

Jul 01, 2014
Photo of mntlover
mntlover from Tennessee

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy burnt copper color with a nice one finger cream head from a bar pour lasts quite a while. Lots of pretty lace from such a small head. A beautiful looking brew.

Aroma is big malty notes,biscuit notes and lots of caramel, maple sticky goodness all around. Nice big fruit notes with spicy alcohol seems like sherry more to me then bourbon but its all good whatever is going on.

Taste is nice big malt sugary goodness with nice sherry like alcohol notes I swear it seems more like sherry to me of well. It all blends perfect eh 15% tastes more like 10%. Somewhere in the middle good citrus notes come out and keep this from being cloying. Instead its a big kick your butt tasty sipping brew that is hard to put down. Only draw back I see is what I paid for my 10oz pour.

Mouthfeel is well seems light for such a big brew I would say only medium.

Overall very drinkable for such a big brew. Happy I found it on tap on my vacation .

Feb 15, 2013
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marine1975 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Dec 09, 2012
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harrymel from Washington

1.98/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Alright, let's see what's going on here.

Pours a fiery orange with loose soapy light tan foam scattered over a brilliantly clarified beer. Cherry, alcohol, burning alcohol, sugar, light crystal malts, some pithy hops. Not an impressive nose whatsoever. Flavor is simply sweet. Booze, malt, sugar, brown sugar, absolutely overly boozy. Medium bodied with low carb and a wet finish that actually makes me feel like I just took a shot of cheap liquor, probably one of the least desirable mouthfeels I've had in quite some time. I tried, but this became a drainpour for me.

Apr 01, 2013
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BeerBucks from New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 14, 2013
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FleetwoodMatt from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Dec 05, 2013
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ttylicki from Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Nov 01, 2014
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CRJMellor from Arkansas

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

May 14, 2014
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HoppyBastard1 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Mar 09, 2014
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rhoadester69 from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +10%

Mar 25, 2013
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Mar 09, 2013
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Cath from New York

3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jan 27, 2015
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Mikexw from New York

3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 01, 2017
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Sammy from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Feb 17, 2019
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gos42 from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10%

Jul 03, 2013
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afsdan from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Apr 09, 2014
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mitch3114 from New York

4.96/5  rDev +21.3%
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
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JessxSpikes from Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +10%

Jan 16, 2014
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bleedsblu from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Jun 19, 2014
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WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 28, 2015
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mikeincharleston from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.2%

May 22, 2013
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metalgdog from New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 29, 2012
Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1358 ratings