Founders Bolt Cutter: 15% abv
Well, it has been a while, Founders, but we’re back with another review, and hopefully it isn’t a roast. We have high expectations for Founders because they produce a high quality product consistently. This should be no different, and unfortunately for Founders, there has been a lot of hype around this particular beer. Almost to the point of it being annoying, we’ve heard about the 15th anniversary of Founders. We are happy for you, we baked you a cake, but my understanding was that there were TICKETS for buying this beer. TICKETS. This beer is not going to see the London Symphony Orchestra, here. Now it is time to see if Founders did it right for their 15th birthday, or if all the hype was just the usual marketing nonsense.
Founders Bolt Cutter is a barleywine. As we have said in the past, barleywines are heavy in alcohol content, which gives them the “wine” designation, but they are definitely beers. Most barleywines will sit at about 10-15%, with beers rarely exceeding the 15% limit. This one certainly does its best to be up there at 15%. Don’t be afraid my friends. Just as Devil Dancer could be tamed, so too can the Bolt Cutter. Also, for your information, pouring this over any type of metal will effectively do nothing, despite the name.
This beer, as soon as you start to smell it, will come off with big fruitiness and sweetness. Notes include honey, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, lime, green apple, barley, wheat, green grape, oak, and even some vegetal notes. This is a very sweet, complex nose, and gives us a huge variety of smells that you would expect and enjoy out of a barleywine style ale.
When you taste the beer, the arrival contains a lot of the same sweet flavors that the nose has. This includes honey, vanilla, barley, molasses, toffee, lemon, melon, and some cream. It’s a relatively satisfactory arrival, which leads into a relatively satisfactory body. The body has more sweetness, with caramel, butterscotch, honey, maple, grain, barley, wheat, cream and melon. Finally, in the finish there is slightly more hoppy, piney bitterness that accompanies the sweetness. There is definitely grapefruit and pine, but there is also cream, honey, caramel, toffee, barley, orange, apple skins, and allspice. The finish is medium in length, but admittedly not totally impressive.
This is not an unworthy beer. Let’s be honest though: if you don’t have this one by now, you’re probably never getting it. We were very excited to do this review, but paid a hefty price to try this beer. The end result is a good, enjoyable experience that will get you drunk, breaks the bank, and is virtually impossible to procure. We still think it is good quality and we will score it based off of our standard criteria. Nonetheless, if you want a good barleywine, visit some of the standards first and see if they treat you better.