Founders Bolt Cutter | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
1,348 Ratings
Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
238
Ratings:
1,348
pDev:
12.1%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
214
Gots:
680
Trade:
65
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,348 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Lare453
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Founders 15th Anniversary Party, into a snifter.

Redder brown, with a very small offwhite head that only leaves some whisps of retention. Nose of bourbon, maple, sweet caramel and malts. Some peripheral citrus, alcohol and cotton candy even perhaps. Taste has some maple, bourbon, white raisin, alcohol, sticky caramel and bitter citrus. Alcohol is well hidden but not completely disguised. A tasty American Barleywine, but not mind-blowingly awesome.

 466 characters

Photo of BeerOps
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Sweffin
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Dicers
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sendbeer
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by someone at Zwanze Day. Chris I think? Served in a Zwanze glass.

A - Light off-white foam settles to wisps, a thin collar, and minimal lace. Mostly transparent amber body.

S - Maple, caramel, light vanilla, a hint of bourbon, brown sugar, some nutty notes. There's perhaps a touch of alcohol as this warms up. For an 'American' barleywine there's fairly low hop presence; there's perhaps a bit of pine mingling with the booze.

T - The taste is similar, with notes of rum cake, caramel, maple, honey-drizzled bread, and bit of oaky vanilla. Not a ton of bourbon flavor here; just nice sweet barleywine flavors that manage to avoid getting overly cloying thanks to a low but sufficient amount of hop bitterness. Alcohol is better hidden as well.

M - Some definite alcohol heat at this stage, but nothing overwhelming for 15%. Smooth texture, medium-full body, lower carbonation, and a mildly tannic finish. Perhaps a bit undersized for 15%, but still fairly big.

D - I was skeptical this would be good, but I ended up really enjoying this beer; enough so that I went out and bought a bottle. I suspect it will be excellent in 6-12 months, but it's enjoyable in small quantities right out of the gate. Congrats to Founders on 15 years!

 1,253 characters

Photo of IPAchris
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

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

 843 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey DC's Founders Anniversary party with a few other founders offerings. Served in a snifter. 10 ounce pour. Beer is clear and orange-ish with a soft white head with low retention, no lacing and low carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is nice. Bourbon, sweet, malt. Aggressive. A little heat as well.

Beer is dry on the finish, light on the body but maintains the sweetness upfront. The bourbon and oak are lost in the palate, maybe the ABV is thinning the beer too much. Overall it is a good beer but from Founders I was expecting an amazing barrel aged experience. One of the poorer showings from their BA beers honestly. I might have it again.

 661 characters

Photo of lupercmda
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of ShanePB
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of tobelerone
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm revisiting this beer 2.5 years after originally rating it a solid 4. The time in the cellar has rendered this a masterpiece - everything is in perfect balance now, the hops are toned down but there is still a faint bitterness in the finish counterbalancing the massive notes of toffee and brown sugar. Secondary components of oak and whiskey deepen the experience.

I'm a barleywine fanatic and have had many of the world's best at this point. Properly cellared Bolt Cutter is up there near the top of the food chain now. Maybe not that god tier echelon, but close. Wish I had more of these and hadn't drank or traded the half dozen or so I had so early in the game.

 670 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.13/5  rDev +2%
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.

 1,355 characters

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Dark amber; slightly translucent. Half a finger of tan coloured head.

S - A big sweetness up front with caramel and toffee aromas coming through. Some citrus and a bitter hop presence also come through. No oak is detectable in the nose.

T - Big sweetness from the malt base up front that adds caramel, toffee and brown sugar flavours is balanced out by a massive hop bitterness and a touch of citrus. A warming alcohol presence also helps to balance out the massive sweetness. The oak is present but is very much secondary in this beer. Although a warming alcohol presence is noticeable, the alcohol is very well hidden overall considering the 15% ABV.

M - Full body; thick and chewy. Light carbonation. Full of sticky hop oils.

 763 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of outoffocus
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Davepoolesque
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.

 365 characters

Photo of eawolff99
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 491 characters

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 1,348 ratings
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