PW's Year of Beer: Founders Bolt Cutter

By Eric San Juan
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 6, 2014

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We love beer. That's why we're devoting an entire year to discovering (and drinking) cold ones from near and far. Know of a beer worth shouting out? Send us a note at

You only celebrate being 15 once, so if you’re going to do it, do it in style. The folks at Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. did exactly that with Bolt Cutter, a huge barleywine ale, some of which was aged in bourbon barrels and maple syrup barrels. Released for their 15th anniversary in 2012, this limited brew has been pretty scarce ever since but pops up from time to time at Founders events, such as one held at World Café Live for Philly Beer Week 2014. And if you see it, you’ll want to grab some—just be prepared for the beat down its 15 percent ABV is going to give you. Rich, sweet malts swim with notes of maple, coconut, burnt sugar, and plenty of booze warmth. Even after nearly two years it retains some of its pine-like bitterness, too. It’s a heady, complex beer you’ve got to try at least once.

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