Founders Bolt Cutter | Founders Brewing Company

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1,339 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
1,339
Reviews:
236
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
12.22%
 
 
Wants:
213
Gots:
682
For Trade:
67
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,339 |  Reviews: 236
Photo of avalon07
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
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 Immortale25
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a slightly dense but clear aged copper brown body with a bubbly light tan head that sticks to the glass and sluggishly slides back into the beer.

S- the nice sweet caramel malt aroma has some candy sugar notes that come through as the beer warms and a slight spicy character with some ether hints in the finish.

T- The smooth sweet caramel malt grows as the beer warms and takes on a brassy wheat malt flavor. The finish of pungent hops and alcohol gently round out each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a thick texture in the finish that is thinned by an alcohol warmth that hangs in the mouth.

O- This is a big monster barleywine with a gentle alcohol heat for 15% ABV and I was surprised at how much hops presence was in there aswell. It was a nice beer to taste but I would have preferred it without as much alcohol. This beer was a night starter and night ender in one bottle.

 934 characters

Photo of kscaldef
2.21/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The creation of a new style? Possibly the first quintuple IPA. Very hoppy and very strong, and little else to be said about it. Medium amber color, with no head. The body is fairly thin, which exposes the high alcohol content in a harsh and unenjoyable way. No barrel character to be found. Not actually a drinkable beer. Maybe it'll mellow with time, but I don't have high hopes.

 380 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mltobin
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, vintage 2012. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a garnet red/copper color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing left behind. The brew smells like dark fruit, caramel, vanilla, candied oranges, sweet spices, citrusy hops, wood, and some booze/bourbon. It tastes similar to the aroma, like dark fruit (cherries, raisins), sweet spices, caramel, vanilla, candied oranges, toffee, wood, bourbon/booze, citrusy hops, molasses and some light pine resin. It's mostly sweet tasting, but there's noticeable bitterness too. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's syrupy and coating with low/moderate carbonation. It's not as boozy as I expected for being 15% ABV. I thought this was a pretty good brew, hopefully Founders will make this again in the future.

 807 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper tinted orange, lightly hazed, fluffy cap of tan foam, decent lacing. Scent brings strong brown sugar and honey notes, firm hop profile with citrus zest, spice, some vanilla notes. Taste is big and sweet with strong hop notes... follows scent. Full bodies, sticky and chewy. Solid beer, but maybe a touch too big and sweet for my palate.

 351 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml capped bottle into a tulip.

pours a dark hazy Orange with a slight head. smell is huge on booze and raisins. taste is very sweet and boozy. lots of dark fruits in this one...raisins, figs. full bodied for sure. sipper. low carbonation. ABV apparent.

overall good barleywine. would have benefited from barrel aging.

 323 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes taken on 11/30/2012.

poured into boltcutter tulip glass.

Appearance: Copper orange bodied beer with a huge 2 fingers of thick and fluffy white head. Thick lacing coats all over the glass.

Smell: Pine hops. Really sweet pinaapple upside down cake with cherries. Almost a sherry or brandy sweetness in the nose of this beer.

Taste: Pineapple hops start this beer off. Tropical fruits, candied sugar, butterscotch. This beer is really sweet, but it got a bigger hop profile than I would like in an English Barleywine that adds balance. Maybe a little maple and bourbon, you really gotta work to find it though. Its got a bit of a booze kick that you can taste as a touch of astrigency.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Well carbonated beer, but its surprisingly still a little syrupy. Warming booze that slides down you throat.

Overall: I think the is a really good Barleywine. Its leaning more towards an American Barleywine, too much hop presence to be an English Barleywine. Its a really aggressive beer that a little rough around the edges right now. I do feel that this is going to be great with a few years on it. Age this beer and I think this will become alot closer to an English Barleywine in a few years. I wish the barrels had more presence that was the biggest dissapointment from this beer.

 1,352 characters

Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of ppoitras
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle received via Growling at the Moon. Thanks for the brew, Dan!

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear reddish coppper brew. Head lasts tremendously for such an abv brew, with leggy, going-nowhere lacing. Aroma is fruity, sweet, and boozy.

Taste starts syrupy sweet, a quick fruitiness in the middle, then a strong slap of hops bitterness followed quickly by alcohol. Slight numbness lingers after the swallow. Even so, not as forward with the EtOH as some less abv brews I have had. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is good. I was fearing a Beast-like affront, but I actually enjoyed this brew, as substantial as it is.

 674 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Dave_Treat
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Fettpopps
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Howlader
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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.

 951 characters

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.

 587 characters

Photo of egrace84
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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.

 1,608 characters

Photo of Gotti311
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of crobinso
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Founders Bolt Cutter from Founders Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,339 ratings.
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