Founders Bolt Cutter | Founders Brewing Company

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233 Reviews
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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 brewandbbq
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7oz pour for $8.00 at Cask and Vine in Derry, NH.

Presented with a quarter inch of bone head atop a light mahogany body with a haze. A partial skim coat and zero lacing for the duration of the glass.

After the beer warms up the aromatics reveal plenty of alcoholic heft, raisins, toffee, figs, caramel, bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

On the thicker side of medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.

Chewy malt, boozy bourbon, and vanilla lead off the palate. A mild bitterness runs underneath the sweet malt and chipped toffee. A warmth on the throat carries form one sip to the next.

Finishes with lingering malt, bourbon, and vanilla.

This is one big Barleywine and the bourbon barrel finish is nicely balanced. Quite a treat to sample on tap in NH.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.73/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

My allergies were acting up last night; my eyes felt inflamed and itchy, my vision blurred. From across the room, I spotted what appeared to be Goatse on a bottle label. Goatse?!?! Did White Birch make a non-ironic beer for once? I listened to the weirdos watching the Niners game and sidled over to the bottle. Oh... huh. My vision really is bad today. It's a bolt cutter. FOUNDERS!? Sweet. I love Founders. Thanks, Jason.

A: Pours a crystal clear copper-orange body with a half-pinky finger of tan head. Seems nice.

S: Boozy, raisiny caramel, brown sugar. Oxidized hops and vanilla. Not much in the way of bourbon or oak.

T: Bolt Cutter? More like Sweet Fucker. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, even a touch of maple. Vanilla -- and there's the bourbon, a little more present on the taste than in the nose. Oak presents a light astringency in the finish. It's not enough to cut the sweetness. Nor are the hops; they have a stale, oxidized earthiness and melon flavor. Really... odd.

M: It's harsh; the one-two combination of booze and slight sugary burn are irritating to the palate. It's not super-syrupy, but it's on the sweet end and is cloying in some sips. The carbonation doesn't offset said sweetness enough.

O: I might be a little more lenient on this one considering it's Founders... Or maybe I'm being harsher because I initially thought it was a Goatse beer. Whatever the case, I'm glad I don't have a bottle.

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Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received in trade with Speedwayjim poured into a Founders CBS snifter.

A - Pours a glowing, brilliant amber orange color with medium clarity and a finger of frothy tan head that dies slowly over a minute or so leaving rings of lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon, butter, vanilla, toffee, sweet malt, mild citrus hop presence. The buttery and toffee aromas blossom as the beer warms and take over.

T - Alcohol/boozy up front, some citrusy hops, mild/mid hop bitterness. Caramel and some sugary malt flavors, some brown sugar. Touch of astringency, some fruity esters. A dry, biscuity, maybe a touch nutty finish with hints of roasty malts.

M - This gives a huge tingle on the lips and tongue from the healthy dose of bourbony booze found in here. From beginning to end it is there reminding me that this is indeed a 15% beer. Body is quite full and a bit sticky. Carbonation is low/medium and fits well here. Bourbon gives a bit of a warmth on each sip.

O - Balanced and more bitter/hoppy than many/most barleywines. Not as hop forward as Big Foot, but it is missing a lot of the rich malty depth typically found in the style. Rather boozy all around...keeps this towards the sipper side of the scale...tingly and warming on each sip.

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Photo of josephwa
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Solid carbonation, white head, golden copper color.

S - Mild aroma to this one. But what I do get is honey, sugar and caramel.

T - Hoppy, honey, caramel, and malty. A great mix of sweet and bitter.

M - Alcohol burn for sure on this one and well carbonated. Not thin, nor thick.

O - Extremely tasty. I love it but wouldn't go out crazy with purchasing more of this. Aging would help this brew in my mind though.

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Photo of jegross2
2.3/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Reviewing the Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This American-style barleywine was brewed in honor of Founders' 15th anniversary, and is a blend of the base beer unaged, aged in maple syrup barrels and aged in bourbon barrels.
Score: 40

November 2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/11/13.

Appearance: Pours a bourbon color with a finger and a half of seafoam colored seafoam-like head that slowly settles to a thin layer. Awesome lacing ad retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Boozy caramel, an earthy spiciness, stale hops and tons of sweet, bready malt. Brown sugar, maple and light lemon too. 2/5

Taste: Tastes like a boozy, bready malt-forward stale IPA with a maple character and light spiciness. Another reviewer likened this to barrel aged Devil Dancer -- spot on! There is some caramel too. This beer is almost undrinkable, and this is only 2 months old. This beer was much tastier, albeit still disappointing, fresh, but even then it was nothing special. It has since fallen off entirely, and collapsed into a sweet malt bomb of a mess. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Malty sweet and juicy. 3/5

Overall: Founders beers are very rarely duds, but this one is an imperial stinker. When I had this beer fresh the night before FOBAB, it reminded me of a less-hoppy New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine with a little maple mixed in. Tasty, but certainly not worth the hype. Just under two months later, it's fallen off a cliff, the hops have become completely stale, and the boozy malt has taken over entirely. Considering that this bottle sat in my fridge for the duration of its "shelf life," and considering it was not even "stored" for two months, I doubt my experience had anything to do with storage conditions (though if Founders' maple aging program has taught us anything, this may be the byproduct of bottle variation). If you have not opened your bottles yet, I advise you sit on them longer -- this beer cannot get much worse and time can only serve to mellow out the booziness.

Recommendation: Avoid this one, though I presume this advice comes too little too late.

Pairings: The sink drain.

Cost: $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of hardy008
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a one finger off white head which has very good retention and lacing, especially for such a high abv beer. Smells like toffee, caramel, vanilla, alcohol, and citrus. Smells like this will be very sweet.

Tastes just like it smells. It is sweet with toffee, caramel, alcohol, citrus, and a little vanilla. There is enough hop bitterness to keep this beer from becoming too sweet. The alcohol is noticeable and warming, but there is no alcohol burn. Has very nice flavor, and is just about perfect for a cold winter night.

Full bodied with low carbonation, and a sweet aftertaste. Leaves the mouth feeling sticky. A nice big Barleywine from Founders.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz from a friend's stash

Pours a hazy amber gold. Yellowish film for a head.

Aroma of aged malts, brown sugar, and grains.

Tastes of maple, brown sugar, and hints of scotch whisky.

Feels thick and viscous. Light sting of carbonation and booze on the tongue. Warms going down.

Excellent barelywine with some great age to it. Very worth having.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at churchkey in snifter on 5/10/14

A-Pours caramel brown with off-white head. Excellent lacing.

S-Aromas of caramel, pine, toffee.

T-Tasting notes of caramel, pine, citrus, toffee. This was outstanding where the 15.5

M-Medium body with a dry finish. Light syrupy mouthfeel. Super smooth

O-Overall this is an excellent barley wine where was the 15.5% it was the surprise beer for the night for me.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of deep, yet bright golden orange. It holds a one and a half finger head of massive, soapy-looking tan bubbles, showing okay retention, and decent reproducibility. Vestiges of this sit in aggregates to one side of glass, with spots of lacing dripping down the sides. There is a definite haze, and swirls of sediment run through the liquid. Carbonation appears light. The nose initially gives deep caramel malts, hot booze, and brushes of lemony, citric hops. Bubblegum esters add sweetness, as does sticky toffee, warm bourbon, and faint maple syrup sugars. Vanilla, musky woodiness, and dirty, muddy mineral come out with warmth. Our first impression is that the beer is nicely flavored, the various barreling efforts are each visible, and the booze is massive. As we sip, raw honey sweetness, burnt caramel malts, fusel vodka booze, and dried maple candies start things off. We move to the peak with salty caramel, citric hoppy freshness, warm oakiness, medicinal phenols, more hollow fusels, and the sweetened cloying bite of warmed maple sugar. The finish wash is of thick buttery grain, caramel sweetness, insanely bittering wood, and more fumes of that fusel booze. The aftertaste breathes of fiery peppery booze, bittering citric hops, biting woodiness, raw plastic phenols, maple sweetness, caramel sweetness, and mineral. The body is full, and the carbonation is light to medium. There is wild stickiness to the feel, with the lips and tongue left coated with sugary smack. There is nice slurp, pop, cream, and froth, and the mouth is satisfyingly coated and warmed. The booze and wood both add eventual dryness, but not to the point of puckered astringency. The abv is huge, and the beer drinks accordingly as a definite, slow sipper.

Overall, what we liked most about this beer was how the beer is very much like it is described, and the soft, sticky mouthfeel. As this beer is a blend we were worried that the mix would get overly complex, and that the maple and wood would get lost. This was very much to the contrary, as the sweetness was there, while the wood was present, almost overly so. The latter gave a strong bittering pucker of flavor to the finish and aftertaste that wasn’t quite balanced out. The nose was nice, and in the same vein, while the feel was great, and greatly contributory to the experience. This is a nice beer, but a bit hot, and in need of perhaps a little more age.

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

750mL bottle. Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with an inch of frothy head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of booze, citrus hops, raisins, caramel and earth. The taste is malty but with a surprising amount of hops. Bitter with some caramel, dark fruits, and booze. Heavier mouthfeel. This is one of the hoppier barleywines I have had, almost like a boozier Bigfoot. Slow drinker but with over 25oz of this 15% ABV beer that's a good thing. Drinks fairly well for being so high in alcohol. Overall, well made delicious barleywine. Hope I get to have another one.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened this up and shared with friends on a seriously cold-ass night. About a year old at this point I think.

Pour is a nice-looking blood red color with a finger or so of beige head. Thin patchy cap remains along with some good lacing, impressive for the ABV.

Smell is great, though very dessert-y as expected. Pretty much cake soaked in caramel and maple, with some cherry, earthy hop, and light bourbon/booze.

Taste is quite dessert-y as well, intense caramel, maple, vanilla, brown sugar-y bread. Noticeable but somewhat tame oak, bourbon is on the lower end as well. Good spicy/citrus hop bite and some dark fruit there as well. Very sweet and rich but oh so good.

Good full mouthfeel, well-carbonated. Obvious alcohol heat and big sweetness, but great flavors make this more drinkable than it probably should be.

I would imagine anyone who enjoys caramel and/or pancakes should enjoy this. I could see how this could be too sweet/boozy for some, but the flavors are rich and pretty much awesome.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, November 2012
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange/amber color. Initially about a full finger of slightly off white head. Actually sticks around a while. Some lacing bits. Seeing some alcohol feet.

S: Getting big hop notes. Big citrus and some piney hints. Then big caramel and toffee underneath that. No bourbon at all unless it comes up later. It does smell sweet on the nose.

T: Up front, you do get some hop bitterness. Some of that orange marmalade, other citrus, etc. Getting nice bready malts. Some slim caramel and toffee. I get that maple sweetness....which I guess is from the barrels. Lots of booze does so its face later as you start.

M: Big medium bodied here. Not as thick as i thought it would be. Some booze.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Bolt Cutter

Poured into a 4oz tasting glass from the tap at iTap (Soulard).

Pours a copper color with some nice amber hues. Nice and clear. Light cream head rises up about half an inch. The beer is very nice looking. The amber and copper colors are bright and lively. The head recedes slowly and definitely leaves some sticky lacing. (4.5)

Starts off with some aroma of vanilla with some intense hop juice sweetness that comes up quick and fierce. Nice caramel and citrus notes mix in well. These notes are followed by some more vanilla and butterscotch and very nice bourbon notes. There is some nice piney and grapefruit notes as well. (4.0)

Flavor is intense. Tons of resinous hop notes! Very piney and slightly sweet with some good citrus notes and grassy hop notes. Sweetness is very present and intense but its not overwhelming at all. Caramel notes mix in with the barrel and the intense hop notes. As it warns the hop notes are much more intense and there is some nice syrupy notes mixed in there as well. The finish is quite dank but mixed in with some awesome barrel notes. Oily and slick with an intense finish that is sticky but at the same time dry because of the hops. (4.0)(4.0)

Overall. This brew got a lot of hype. And even though it’s not all undeserved because it’s a good brew it might have been a bit overblown. Very flavorful and well done mix of intense malt sweetness, caramel, toffee and vanilla notes. There is some nice dank pine as well as grassy and herbal hop notes that are also complimented by some citrus notes. (4.0)

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A week after this beer was released, I was still kicking myself for not seeking it out. But by a stroke of blind luck, I came across a bottle, and I’m still not sure how. Thank you, oh sweet and merciful beer gods.

A: Pours a rusty-bolt red, slight hazy but with deep color to it. Surprisingly big head for such a hefty, alcoholic beer, too, rising to a full inch of eggshell-colored cream at a slow, determined pace. Eventually the foam falls to nothing more than a few bubbles, leaving little specks of lacing everywhere as it does.

S: Typical barleywine scents, but a twist – no, really, it smells like someone squeezed some lemon juice in here. It’s a tangy hop kick, almost acrid, wafting up effortlessly through the malts. Not a bad effect, actually: lemon and sour grape candy notes are causing some interesting interplay with the fig, caramel, molasses, and black licorice that run deep through the nose. Woody tones pick up on the back end, as well.

T: Holy hell, now I where this stuff got its name – pour some of this on a chain and you’ll cut right through it. Power in a bottle, but slow to deliver, the palate starts with a peaty, leathery earthiness and caramel nougat character. It’s all malt, but no sugar; how did they do that? Maybe it’s just that the other flavors are intense enough to push the residual sugars into the background. The hops come off in a stinging, astringent way, prickling with pine needles, blood orange, peach, and a touch of flowery hibiscus, and the booze isn’t far behind: its warmth grows to vodka-and-water solvent proportions before dying down to a more pleasing (though just as strong) taste of roasty Scotch. Yep, I’d say that’s enough to draw my attention away from any other flavor this beer can conjure up. Aftertaste is astonishingly light, leaving just a small taste of sherry and fruity candy on the tongue.

M: Fiery as all hell, but I’ve had IPAs feel thicker than this – sure, this is a sipper, but that’s really only because chugging it would be the liquid equivalent of the Cinnamon Challenge. Take heed: this beer is dangerously drinkable, as far as 10%+ beers go.

O: What the hell is going on in my glass? I think I like it, but that might just be the power of the Bolt Cutter luring me into its grasp. Give this one a year – no, two. Trust me, open it up next year to celebrate Founders’ 16th anniversary and you’ll be much happier. I mean, you’ll probably be just as happy, but at least it will stop your taste buds from burning off. Seriously, I think my hair is falling out…

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color, not much of a head though and no lacing.

Smell has huge sweet malt aroma, caramel being the most dominant, some toffee, decent citrus hop presence at first but soon is pushed out of the way by the malt, can pick up some alcohol which isn't that surprising considering its strength.

Taste is very malt heavy yet the citrus hops are surprisingly strong and help balance the flavor from being too sweet, also surprising is the lack of heat, the alcohol is definitely there and present but much tamer for a young 15% barleywine than I would have thought.

Very tasty and normally I would recommend aging barleywines but the current citrus hop presence ages a lot and will only fade with time.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: center-pour into tulip: clear deep amber with orange highlights; slim head of tan slips away without a trace

S: chewy caramel; suggestion of candied bitter orange; warm brown sugar sweetness

T: alcohol was a little sharp up front; warming, boozy; sweet orange and coriander in a solventy pool; some malty roasted/burnt orange rind

M: at just below room temp, medium body, no real carbonation, some astringence (alcohol); slight chew up front, but then dissolves and slides quickly across the palate; boozy aftertaste - probably a good cigar beer

O: hey, look, its Founders and its a barleywine. You know you're not going to go wrong. This was an excellent barleywine, but (yes, a but) I was not stopped dead in my tracks. I've had Founders Nemesis 2010 (an American barleywine), and plenty of other b'wines - this is up there with the best barleywines, but I don't know that it clearly displaces the best of the bunch.
It is obvious that you need to buy this if you see it, and I credit those with the discipline to store this for a couple of years. It will no doubt be fantastic.

Aged really well: had one on 3/2/13 and it had already morphed into a superior beer than it started off as - more citrus notes on the tongue and nose, all the malt and hop flavors melded and mellowed; super smoothness and deliciousness.

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Photo of mntlover
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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 .

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

750ml bottle at about fridge temp poured into a snifter. only a few months old.

pours out a nice, fairly clear, deep orange/ light copper color with a wonderful off white, tight head with great head retention. lots of sticky lacing and a good bit of legs are left on the glass. i maybe expected just a slightly darker color, but it still looks pretty nice.

initially i get some earthy, somewhat floral hops and lots of caramel malt sweetness. as it warms, the hops and malt are still there, but lots of booze seems to take center stage. not as complex of an aroma as i thought it would be.

tastes like a DIPA, and almost like SN- bigfoot a little bit. earthy, floral hops with enough bitterness to support an IPA. fairly thick deep caramel malt sweetness. lots of warming booze, but no real evidence that this was at all barrel aged. hints of toffee slightly charred sugars. finishes warming with lots of hop bitterness.

big, fairly heavy bodied, good carb for the style.

pretty much what it is, an american BW. but for such i highly anticipated anniversary beer from my favorite brewery, i expected a bit more. i was really hoping for more of the barrel aging to show through, which it hardly did at all. not really worth the price tag. hopefully some age can turn this beer around in the future.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Churchkey in DC, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a finger of khaki head, leaves some nice lacing.

S- Big aroma of toffee, vanilla and bourbon, as well as some pineapple and juicy hops. Very boozy.

T- The flavor is very sweet at first with lots of toffee, vanilla, bourbon and maple syrup. Towards the finish some juicy, tropical hops produce a moderate bitterness. Lots of booze, which lend a lot of fruitiness but also just a lot of heat. Barrel notes are difficult to detect besides mild hints of vanilla and bourbon, not as much in that department as I would have hoped.

M- Medium-bodied, has a thick, slightly sticky feel. Considerable amount of alcoholic warmth on the end.

O- This is a solid barleywine, but I think Founders could have done better, it's pretty boozy and fruity without a really interesting barrel quality to keep it interesting, it's just a bit disjointed, I understand the whole 15% for their 15th anniversary idea, but it wasn't necessary.

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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 SLeffler27
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fills a snifter with a translucent copper that radiates light, while thin fine white foam drifts above. A nice webbing of lace coats the glass, building rings with each sip, while the head itself slowly diminishes throughout the session.

Fresh hop citrus reaches out from the glass, drawing one into a sweet lusciousness, without betraying the floral freshness. Some caramel and some pine sap are also detected. Somewhat between the hoppy American, and the Malty English styles. Warms to reveal some of the ABV, while retaining the fresh aromas of earlier.

Follows the nose, with the bitterness expected from and American style, emphasizing tangerine, but allowing the dark dried fruits to play against the bitterness. Some toasted qualities too. Sweetness is in check, but still more than anticipated form the American version. Warms well, as a sipping beer should, accentuating the nuances of the flavor profile, rather than adding to it. The finish is unusual in a pleasant way. Lingering and not subtle, but not overbearing either.

Full body and smooth. Alcohol is a primary component, yet less than one might infer from 15% abv. Prickly carbonation and a tad syrupy.

An excellent sipping beer to enjoy while conversing in a light hearted manner, as loving eyes peer deeply back into ones soul. I enjoyed this after a meatloaf benedict with béarnaise sauce, on a bitterly cold sunny afternoon, in the “city.”

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml served in a Tripel Karmeleliet tulip because I just knocked my snifter off the counter shattering into a thousand pieces. Sad.
Vintage 2012 Anniversary!

A - Pours a hazy garnet amber with a yellowish sudsy head. The head forms a razor thin cap with speckled lacing left on the glass.

S - Candied barley, sweet citrus, caramel, toffee, bourbon barrel, spicy grains, maple syrup, orange alcohol.

T - Thick toffee malt, spicy barley, orange cream, confectioners sugar, maple syrup, honey drenched grain, grapefruit rind, the citrus hops provide good flavor and medium bitterness against this heavy handed malt. Notes of bourbon soaked wood, a peppery spicyness becomes more pronounced as it warms. The spicyness comes from the alcohol but seems to trick the palate into thinking it's from a spicy grain. Finishes malty, spicy and slightly bitter.

M - Thick syrupy body, low creamy carbonation. Fuller body for the ABV. Gets slicker as it warms.

This is big all around. It still has a good amount of grapefruit hops which it needs to combat all that sweet malt. I like this better now than when I had it 4 months ago for some strange reason. As sweet and as high as this ABV is, I found my self talking bigger drinks. This beer is very smooth and for the amount of malt this puppy packs there is a good supporting cast with the wood and hops. I've had beers in this ABV range and most can't pull it off. This one does.

I wouldn't set on this one too much longer. The remaining hops are what saves this beer from being an ultra sweet diabetes overload. Drink it now.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours muddy reddish brown with a thin ring of foam. Little lacing.

Fresh out of the fridge the aroma consists of heavy aggressive hops however, as the bee warms a lot of oak, and booze come out. Lot sof sweet caramel notes kind of contrast the hops.

Lots of hops up front. Good aggressive assault of pine and some citrus and age has tamed this one a bit. Not longer overly hoppy. As it warms more oak and booze comes through. Hops fades near the end as the strength of this beer is felt.

Medium bodied, but quite thin from what I would expect from an ABV this high. A bit too boozy at times as this alcohol is not concealed well.

Not too bad, but nowhere near the level of hype when it first came out. I absolutely HATED this fresh, but time has mellowed the hops and brought it together into a drinkable, but still not great beer.

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Photo of brystmar
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger for VSK.

Lots of sweetness as caramely booze dominates the nose and seeps onto palate as well. Tastes like they liquified those little rectangular caramels you see wrapped in clear plastic at the grocery store. Pretty boozy from start to finish, even for a barleywine.

I liked this more than some of my peers did, but even still, my 4oz pour was more than enough. This has potential to shine very brightly in few years, hope to try it again with some age on it.

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