15% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Red-orange hue with a medium head.
Aroma: Very boozy, almost like brandy.
Taste: Pineapple, caramel and some biscuit flavors. Some maple as well. A bit of an alcohol burn at the end.
Mouthfeel: Strong bodied.

Founders’ 15th anniversary ale, Bolt Cutter, certainly impresses with its high booziness that’s noticeable throughout each sip. Complex flavors of pineapple, caramel and biscuit turn this beer into a sweet yet savory barley wine. It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart — the 15% ABV creates a bit of an alcohol burn at the end. This is a beer that can only get better with age, so if you happen to see one in stores, definitely snatch it up.

10% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Hazy bronze with very little head.
Aroma: Caramel and toffee. Some type of dry fruit as well…maybe fig or raisin?
Taste: Molasses with some raisin. A bit of spice at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied, with a some minor bitterness at the end.

Arcadia’s Cereal Killer is a sweet, smooth barleywine that proves you don’t have to always stick to the trend. While most American barley wines are typically very hoppy, Cereal Killer is very balanced and malty, much like an English barley wine would be. While the brew does contain some sweet flavors (primarily fruit), Cereal Killer is a warm, boozy beer that keeps you on your toes. I’ve had this on cask before and was hesitant to try it again, but the regular, bottled version is certainly much more up my alley.