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Founders Bolt Cutter | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Bolt CutterFounders Bolt Cutter
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
1,344 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:
237
Ratings:
1,344
pDev:
12.1%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
214
Gots:
678
Trade:
64
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,344 |  Reviews: 237
Photo of dar482
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in an amber, deep dark orange color with a thin head.

The aroma has tons of pine and citrus, a bit of sweet caramel and toffee notes. Tons of hops, with a tinge of barrel in there.

The flavor follows with just massive hops. There's grapefruit, mostly pine and resin, some floral, and then there's lots of brown sugar, caramel, molasses. On the end, there's again a punch of spice from the hops along with pine and offensive bitter notes.

The body is surprisingly light at a medium instead of a big sticky sweet barleywine. At 15%, this is really hides the alcohol.

It's great to have tried this at a tap takeover. I wouldn't pay the huge price for the bottle. It's a very good beer, but still a bit offensive on the bitterness without enough sweetness on the back.

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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 eawolff99
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

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.

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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.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Pours a reddish amber color with decent clarity on the first pour. Subsequent pours add some yeasty sediment, as this sample has spent much of its life cellared or in the fridge. The aroma is sweet, sugary, and malty. It hides the booze well, but there is some bourbon and clean alcohol to the nose as well.

The flavor has layers of sweetness, going from brown sugar, to molasses, and finally maple. I did not initially know this was a maple bourbon barrel aged beer but as I drank it, the characteristics became obvious. The beer has mellowed a bit with age I am sure, it drank like 10-11% ABV beer, not 15% + ABV beer. Nice sweet flavors and a modest alcohol bite.

Overall, this is a nice beer and one that may not have even peaked yet. Founders has at times retired beers only to produce them years down the line. I will hold out hope for this one.

 863 characters

Photo of epyon396
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's in SEPA.

Bolt Cutter comes in a goblet with a small trim of off white bubbles up top leaving a skim of foam for a bit before fading off, no lace but some swirls bring it back. The body is a deep amber golden color that is on the bright side, not much activity after a bit.

Smell is big on caramel and toffee with some toasted malt characteristic. Bourbon and maple in the scent. Sweet and alcoholic, I can sniff it from the glass cold and warm. Not a distraction. Not well integrated yet, I can see this blooming later on becoming a sweeter scent as a nice hop presence is noted.

For 15% this can be a lot hotter than it is, the alcohol is masked but not fully so it seeps out in the taste all over. The hops come forefront bringing out some sharp pine, with a mix of bourbon and slight maple tones leading to some more sweet caramel. English in nature that will mature when the hops drop.

Body is above medium with a harshness from the hops and alcohol mix, that is not all that scorching. A hoppy barleywine now, that probably will tone down with time. Carbonation is muted but there and keeping the beer from being dead.

A pretty good barleywine that has both English and American characteristics with the Founders touch. If I find a bottle I'll see where it takes me. Right now, I could not see drinking more than 8oz's though as it's ripe.

 1,369 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a short lived off white head even with a fairly aggressive pour... the brew is clear dark orange... only random dots of lacing... I keep looking for legs in the glass.

The nose is nostril coating malty with thick vanilla and maple essence... the bourbon is more than present and the malty sweetness is only balanced by a decent piney hoppiness.

Flavor mirrors the aroma and shows brown sugar and something that I associate with candied pecans... bitterness is thankfully still fairly present after all this time so is a piney/grapefruit zest hoppiness... could use more hops though.

Medium/big bodied with a light carbonation that only accentuates the thickness on the palate... pretty damn hot even after at least 10 months in the bottle.

A bit of a mess at this point, but a bit more refined than when it was first released... I have a couple more but would like to get some to put away for the long haul... I think this one is going to be muddy for quite a while and then emerge a better beer.

3.25/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

 1,033 characters

Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of rudzud
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2012 vintage split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a crystal clear honey hue with a big one finger head that faded to leave suds.

S - Aromas of sweet malts, bourbon, cardboard, lots of booze.

T - Taste is sticky sweet caramel, cardboard, alcohol is hidden but loads of cloy sugar.

M - Mouthfeel is sticky sweet, cloy, messy.

O - Overall this beer was a complete and utter mess, awful.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

 451 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of avalon07
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Fair lacing.

S: A big aroma of hops, caramel, and malt.

T: Tasted of hops (a lot of hops, as you would expect), caramel, malt, and a fruity quality. The booziness of the beer, in spite of the high ABV& isn't an issue. This is a complex, assertive, powerful flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp finish. Full-bodied.

O: Certainly not a session beer, this one is an aggressive beast, but well made and drinkable.

 574 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
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

 872 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mltobin
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Stinger80OH
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jbaker67
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark golden orange with a small white head. Aroma brings out piney hops, caramel and toffee. Flavor brings out loads , toffee, and caramel malts. The hops are still prominent after a year, with a big caramel and toffee forefront. The 15% alcohol is amazingly well worked in, without destroying the complexity - the alcohol is definitely apparent, but it’s well-situated.

 385 characters

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 1,344 ratings
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