Founders Bolt Cutter | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

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.

Added by Thickfreakness on 11-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
233
Ratings:
1,328
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
12.22%
 
 
Wants:
211
Gots:
691
For Trade:
67
User Reviews
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Reviews: 233 | Ratings: 1,328
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Came out much lighter than expected at 15% non barrel aged, it was an amber color, even light amber for that matter with just hints of red throughout it. Thin off white head, 1/2" in size. Pretty impressive appearance.

Aroma was a little bit of honey, substantial carapils type of malt, light melon and hop aromas.

Taste, plenty hoppy, lots of caramel, slight honey sweetness. Of course the booziness is there, this is a big ass beer. The hops seem to have more of a bittering/balancing effect moreso than flavoring hops. Sticky, but not syrupy. Can see why they call it Bolt Cutter, this definitely cuts through plenty of previously consumed beers during the Round of 32 during March Madness. The body always seems lighter than the flavor. That is impressive, even if this is not the greatest barleywine in the world. Some woody flavors in the mouthfeel downbottle. The biggest disappointment has to be that the alcohol is the most noticeable aspect tastewise. Not terrible, but it definitely stands out a little much for me. Wishing I sat on this another year or two. Sometimes drinking fresh isn't always best.

We drank this over at Layne & Courtney's because of the tactics of one David Hurley, beverage nerd at El Dorado Casino, who shut down our previously approved bottle share, because of the hurt feelings of the BMC distributor and special events area at the sports book bar. Pretty lame and disingenuous, we won't be taking our money, vacations or bottles to the El Dorado anymore.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Revised 8-18-15

A - Pours a medium to dark copper color with a nice creamy head that dies down fairly fast and leaves a thin and sticky layer and light carbonation.

S - Sweet caramel & toffee, alcohol, bourbon, and some maple syrup presence. The aroma smells syrupy, bold, thick, and the alcohol is much more subdued compared to when these were young..

T - Definitely has alcohol an presence with some heat and has mellowed some over the years. Lots of bourbon, maple, and brown sugar up front with substantial burn on the way down. After several sips the throat adjusts and the burns calms down to being almost noticeable, but still present nonetheless. Lightly spicy and after a minute or so the cascades start to surface and coats the mouth with a layer of citrus.

M - The best aspect of this beer, it's thick and full bodied which is what I would expect from something this big. Sticky, lightly syrupy, slick, viscous and velvet smooth.

O - The first several sips are intimidating because the alcohol presence is so in your face, about 1/5 in it goes away and the other nuances start to come out. There is some nice complexity but the booziness can take too much of a front seat with this beer. It's also very warm in the beginning. I have a few bottles left and they're going straight to the cellar to see how this one develops in 10-12 months.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL shared with a friend
A - deep ambe body, frothy ivory head, excellent retention & lace
S - fruity aroma, pineapple, caramel, vanilla, maple, oak, booze
T - fruity again with pineapple, mango, very sweet, caramel, honey, maple, grapefruit, vanilla, oak, bourbon, faint pine
M - full body, alcohol prickles the tongue but is well concealed especially for 15%
O - incredible complexity, craftsmanship, and quality, but one shared was definitely enough. Fun to experience.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from Saturday night. A good beer to celebrate a friend's birthday.

A- Shared between about 5 glasses from the 750ml bottle. Somewhat hazy red body with a creamy white cap. Decent head retention and tons of lace clouds everywhere from a frothy ring.

S- Big deep caramel malts and the cascade hops are noticed instantly. Some spicy raisin and some oak. Not getting a ton beyond that in the aroma specifically.

T- A ton more opens up here compared to the nose. Maple is nice and just a bit sweet atop the big caramel, raisin, dark fruit and spicy notes. Oak and bourbon are subdued but balanced in very nicely. Dry hopping lends a citrus floral feel that actually works nicely with the rest of the flavors. Slight alcohol hints.

MF- Body is creamy and somewhat silky but not as thick as I would expect. Alcohol warmth and some bitterness.

Big but very dangerously drinkable. Awesome balance of huge barrel and barleywine flavors.

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Photo of champ103
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper/orange color. A dense, two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Rings of sticky lace is left behind. Really impressive considering the ABV.
S: Hops and malt intermingle in great balance. Tropical fruits, toffee, bread pudding. The alcohol is really well masked in the nose. Excellent.
T: Follows the nose with a great balance of hops and malts. Toasted malt, tropical fruits. Reminds me of bread pudding and toffee over fruit. Almost fruit cake like even. All the layers are there. A peppermint spiciness as well. Like peppermint candy in the finish. Love it.
M/D: Surprisingly medium body, lighter that I was expecting. Not that it is thin or watery at all, just not as resiny as I was expecting. Good carbonation and very smooth. The alcohol is incredibly well integrated, well basically nonexistent. Which make for a great warming, sipper.

Wow, I really love this. I was afraid this was going to be to messy and busy. It reminds me a bit of fruit cake, and I am one of the strange people that like fruit cake. While I can see how some people might be put off. I think it works perfectly. Highly recommended.

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Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.41/5  rDev +10%
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.

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

Big thank you to Steasy66 and Mrbubbler for each sending me a bottle of this! Two awesome traders.

Appearance. Pours a hazy, deep amber-orange with a finger of thick off-white head that has a slight orange tint to it.

Smell. Big caramel and citrus hops with some brown sugar, a touch of pine, and a good hit of booze.

Taste. Brown sugar, caramel and a bit of maple followed by some citrusy hops and some pine resin. Crazy abv is hidden way to well (though there is a bit of booze).

Mouthfeel. Full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Planning to solo this one. It's a sipper but shouldn't be a problem to get through this whole bottle as far as drinkability goes ...that abv may be a different story. Hopefully won't be yelling at my neighbors in my underwear or some shit later on.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Came out an amber and gold color, half inch of head, beigeish in color. Looked pretty.

Aroma was heat, a substantial amount of hops, honey, sweet.
Taste drove a shit ton of caramel, hops and booze into my gullet. Plenty sticky stuff. Motuhfeel brought out waves of bitterness as it warmed. Would like to try a less boozy version of this beer, or maybe some kind of adjunct or a greater percentage of barrel aging to give a little more depth here.

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Photo of Resuin
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. I believe this has a couple years of age on it. Reviewed from last night's notes.

Appearance: Pours a deep caramel color and leaves a finger of off-white head.

Smell: Big oak, caramel, molasses, light pine hops, dark fruits. Pretty sweet but manageable; well balanced.

Taste: Sweet caramel, molasses, dark fruits, light hops. The alcohol is well hidden. Nice balance of sweet/bitter/alcohol.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a medium body. Finishes well balanced between bitter and sweet, fairly smooth.

Overall: Definitely a well balanced, big barleywine. I think age has smoothed it out a good amount. Not overly sweet.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle pours a lightly hazed copper color with a surprisingly delicate head that sticks around a good while...nice lace too.

Nose is almost all caramel...wow, like a boardwalk candy shop! Little bit of toffee and toast, smooth nose - that’s fo sho.

Taste is understatedly hoppy! Mashes sweetness, toast and caramel just about as well as any beer I have ever had. Alcohol is ridiculously smooth for a 13%'er...Impressive. I really like it. Mouthfeel is a tad less creamy than I expected, but that is a minor complaint. Founder’s can do some amazing beers and Bolt Cutter fits their profile well, though it is almost a disappointment if one of their beers fails to rock your socks off! That can be both a blessing and a curse, in this case I think Bolt Cutter is a very good Barleywine, but never quite reaches the ‘epic’ status that many of their beers seem to effortlessly obtain.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear ruby red, one finger head with not much carbonation.

S-Maple, hops, bourbon, some caramel and molasses.

T-Maple, bourbon, hops. Not really balanced. Slight bitterness.

M-Lighter than I was expecting, not much carbonation and some alcohol heat.

O-Needs some time to age, the beer isn't all there yet. The flavors have potential but right now the balance isn't where it should be.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful amber red with very small head. Smells like caramel toffee sweet lollipop candy. A hint of citrus. Tastes like candy with booze. What I expect from an American style barleywine. Alcohol burn on the tongue. Sweet candy brown sugar and maple. Mellow flavor overall though, and not too cloying. Thick mouthfeel and very oily. Definitely gotta be in a drinking mood. Pretty intense.

I'm not sure I understand the hate with this one. It seems like people were coming into this thinking it would be like King Henry or Sucaba with some extra maple. This is a completely different style of barleywine from those, and I found it to be rather well done. While I would have liked a bit more from the barrels, this was a fun beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle procured locally...enjoyed from my bolt cutter glass that arrived earlier today (thanks founders!!!).

a - brew poured a transparent orange amber brown with a thin fizzy head that bubbled away leaving a lip of fizzy head on the glass and some bubble islands on the surface. steady carbonation could be seen swimming to the surface for several minutes after the pour. lacing was all tiny bubbles clinging to each other to create a chunky lace look. looks good.

s - i love me a good barleywine and the smell is fairly spot on for what i like. great candied toffee malt with a glazing of fresh dank hop to really thicken things up and give it a maple syrup crossed with butterscotch type of vibe.

t - first sip is classic american barleywine. great mix of hops and malts. has a really great hopped out butterscotch vibe. the booze is there for certain, but i feel it is fairly integrated considering the heft on this beer. i've had many harsher barleywines at lower abvs.

m - surprisingly smooth and not syrupy. make no mistake, this is a big beer and on the full bodied side, but not nearly as chewy as i would've expected. i was surprised at the outcry of the heat on this one, but then i remembered that i'm a fan of big boozy and hot beers, so what seems hot to some is not all that hot to me. if you take down big beers like this on the regular...which i think is fairly common on this site...then i don't think you'll feel that this is too hot, but make no mistake, this is a 15% animal.

o - overall, put me on the happy side of the fence for this beer. i'm definitely impressed. when i had heard 4 years in a barrel the only thing i could think of was idiot's drool (shudder...) and although i expected founders to knock it out of the park, i was definitely skeptical with the 4 year investment in the barrels. i love a good barleywine and this is a good barleywine. is this Abacus (b1)? is this Alpine Great? is this King Henry? no, however i'd put this one in the company of some of my favorite BA barleywines. definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.73/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of Pencible
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to beeruser and funkydelic for sharing this one at a recent Random Sunday Tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, wood, sweet alcohol, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, sweet alcohol, wood, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I went into this one after hearing all of the hype and was really hoping that it would knock my socks off as far as the style goes. However, I found most aspects of this one to only be decent throughout. The flavor did bring a little more to the party as it was rather smooth and well balanced, but did leave something to be desired. Just a little more going on in this one would have really done it some good based on my opinion of the style. Definitely worth your time to try to get this one if you have the ammo to do so.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served this a bit below cellar temperature, letting the beer evolve some as it warms. Served this in an oversized snifter, from a 750ml bottle. A Founders brew is always worth a shot...

Appearance: Bolt Cutter pours out a crystal clear deep copper color, that is quite brilliant when held to a light. A somewhat gentle pours brings about a solid inch of creamy tan foam. Pretty decent head retention. Thick foamy lace was left clinging to the glass. A really pretty beer in my opinion.

Smell: Big, sweet nose on this beer. Seems to be a pretty healthy dose of hops in there. Sweet malt really seems to be the center piece, along with some sweet candied fruit. Raisin and plum come to mond first. Hints at fine pipe tobbacco. Toffee is there but is slightly hidden. Booze is there, but is quite subtle...

Taste: Full flavor packed into Bolt Cutter. Again big, and quite sweet. Strong dark fruits, similar to those found on a holiday fruit cake. Hops are in there but are overpowered but the sweet malt base. A bit of a boozy bite but the 15 percent ABV is quite well hidden. A little sweet but not bad.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful, full bodied mouthfeel. Pretty smooth considering its big size.

Overall: Not a bad drink, the sweetness started to get to me though. One glass is really enough for me. Alcohol is well hidden but will bite you. A sipper in my opinion. Not my favorite brew from Founders, but not bad...

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

A: Pours a clear ruby red with a big and dense tan head adorning it. Fades very, very slowly. Leaves an almost solid wall of lacing behind. Top-notch head retention.

S: Whoa, english barleywine? Not so sure about that. Very hoppy. Lots of tropical fruit like apricot, mango, pineapple along with a bunch of raisin. Noticeable alcohol sting but honestly not as much as you'd expect. Hoppiness covers it up quite a bit. As it warms up, the raisin really comes to the forefront with a touch of brown sugar.

T: Again, surprisingly hoppy. Very hoppy in fact. Lots of tropical fruit up front mixes with a very, very strong raisin aspect. Some garlicky/oniony hops too. Lots of caramel and toffee in there. Has sort of a grainy aspect towards the finish. Finishes with toffee and more garlic/onion. Some hop oil coats the mouth nicely as well, leading to a long lingering hoppy aftertaste. Booze is surprisingly well hidden though it does immediately warm the belly from the very first sip.

M: Big and heavy. Not over the top though, decent carbonation and hoppiness cuts it nicely.

O: A hell of a big beer. Big ABV, huge malt notes and huge hop notes. Lots of strong, sharp flavors all mix together quite well. Very enjoyable even for a super fresh 15% ABV beer. Hope I can pick up another one of these to cellar, curious how it ages.

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Photo of Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

5.0 A: Nearly clear dark orange color. Two and a half fingers of beige, frothy creamy head. Retention is insanely good for a beer this big and lacing covers the whole glass. Really impressed here.

4.0 S: Quite fruity with a lot of citrusy hops. Tangy fruitiness is what I'd call it as it meshes with the caramel and toffee backbone. Toasted malts with some strength. The hops also give a lot of floral aroma and perhaps a touch of herbalness as well. Peach, plum, and apple fruits from the malts. Booze is exceptionally well hidden as I can't smell any of it. It's good, but really isn't all that special. Solid hoppy BW nose.

3.5 T: Taste is good too, but it's surprisingly simple for a beer this big. A lot less citrus than in the nose with a lot more of the peach, plum, melon, and apple components. Lots of sweet neutral maltiness with lots of caramel and toffee. Again a heavy toastiness, which I like. Mild to moderate bitterness from the hops along with floral and herbal notes. Booze is much more noticeable in the taste, but it still doesn't seem like 15%.

3.5 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Slightly chewy. Not a lot of creaminess. Light warming on finish. Not bad.

3.5 D: It's decent, but I probably wouldn't trade for it again as there are much better options out there.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into snifter at flying saucer Kansas city. Poured a seethrough amber brown with chewey head and lacing. Huge hop aromas...way to much for me...mixed with big sweetness. Taste is sweet caramel toffee malts and lots of hops. Its a bit hot and sharp. I am so glad I didn't buy a bottle. ..its just way to hoppy. Maybe some age would mellow this out a bit but id never get again unless it was aged...

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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and hazy copper amber orange with a moderate amount of carbonation. About one finger of off white head that recedes into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A big kick of sweet malts, hops, and booze. Sharp citrus hop aroma up front with hints of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, and mango. Some earthy hops and pine spice. Sweet malts with big hints of burnt caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Some brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup add to the sweetness. Barrel presence is pretty laid back with only slight hints of bourbon and vanilla. Alcohol scent is pretty noticeable as expected. A very big and good aroma.

Taste: Tastes as big and strong as it smells. Big presence of bitter and spicy hops up front. Notes of citrus grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, and lemon. Earthy hops and a sharp spice from pine resin. Fairly grassy. Big malt presence that adds some balancing sweetness. Notes of burnt caramel, toffee, yeast, and biscuit. Also some brown sugar and maple syrup along with a little taste of honey and vanilla. Slight taste of bourbon and wood although its pretty subtle compared to the other flavors. Alcohol heat rounds out the taste. Big and pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Heavy full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Chewy, slightly syrupy, and pretty visceral. Finishes fairly dry. Lots of alcohol warmth is felt as expected.

Overall: A very good take on a American Barleywine. A slow sipper for sure and not for the faint of heart. Big hop presence that is very sharp. It will be interesting to see how this one ages.

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Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.
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