Frootwood | Founders Brewing Company

very good
191 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
We took a crisp, light-bodied cherry ale and hid it away in oak barrels that have held both bourbon and maple syrup. After a lengthy stint, it emerged a changed beer, blanketed in notes of warm vanilla and earthy sweetness. The wood proves itself the star of this beer, adding depth and taming the tart cherry while the maple imposes a velvety texture that lingers for not a moment too long.

Added by WCKDVBZ on 10-23-2016

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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 598
Photo of craigbelly
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cherries, bourbon, oak, maple syrup are all on prominent display. It borders on the edge of being to sweet, but I love how the maple holds next to the strong cherry flavor. Only thing a bit lacking is the bourbon, I could go for a little heavier presence.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip, 2017 edition, apparently a one and done.

looks nice reddish amber body, large foamy white head tinged with pink. light carbonation, decent lacing.

aroma is faintly wine like.

taste is very sweet, but also a tartness from the cherries. faint alcohol burn.

slightly over medium on the mouth. a certain sweet/tart slickness on the tongue

overall, an interesting drink. enjoyable, could be a little less sweet and could do without the slick coating

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Photo of nuggetlover
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on tap at Whole Foods Glen Mills
pours a dark red, because cherries
getting some barrel, LOTS of sweetness
so... I do not love cherry beers. this is a cherry beer. but sweeter.
like I said, this is not my wheelhouse. I hate when people rate sours, and give them low scores because sours are not their thing. I am trying to be objective. but I also wouldn't seek this out again....

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 12/22/16. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a slightly hazy orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. The brew smells mostly like cherries, along with some maple, vanilla and oak. It tastes like sweet cherries, vanilla, maple, molasses, oak, and some bready/grainy malt. Don't really pick up too much bourbon at all. I can tell the vanilla and oak from the barrel but I just don't get much of that boozy bourbon flavor in this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick, smooth and easy to drink. I liked this beer but I wish there was more bourbon noticeable. But with that being said, it was still pretty good! $4.99 a bottle.

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Photo of Brolo75
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

Pours a clear mahogany color with a white head, lots of carbonation, nice looking color. Bourbon barrel aromas up front with a touch of toasted coconut, hint of tart cherries, not getting any of the maple or alcohol, smells promising. Like the nose there are subtle notes of bourbon barrels and toasted coconut, hit of cherry tartness that lingers throughout the taste, touch of maple sweetness, getting mostly barrel and cherry, very dry tart finish, leaves a sticky feel on the palate.

Overall, it's a quality beer but the bourbon, barrels, and cherries don't really mix well, I like beers with cherries but this one just doesn't do it for me. Enjoy the bourbon barrel and cherry notes but then it feels like its lacking something, maybe the maple sweetness is present when the beer is fresher.

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Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear reddish color with a small, white head of foam. It smelled of cherry and very sweet notes. Nice cherry flavor, a hint of oak and a touch of maple.

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Photo of degueulasse
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It has the sweetness of cherry and maple and a soft kick due to its barrel-aged nature, and the flavors mesh rather well, the tart notes fitting with the more sugary ones to make a rather complex beer. Drank this one straight from the bottle (didn't have a glass).

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Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very nice looking white with a little reddish hue. The beer itself is a pretty good looking reddish amber that is clear. The overall appearance is definitely a looker when the reddish amber and white head are next to each other.

The smell and taste are both good. Both a delicious sweet cherry note and maple syrup note that go extremely well together to create a nice sweet note with a slight tart and molasses like bitterness. The wood is very, very fain and subtle compared to the other notes in the smell and comes out a little more in the taste, where it takes the edge off of the sweetness. The vanilla is there and sweet but gets lost in all of the other notes.

The feel is good. It's a medium bodied beer that is on the border of being heavy bodied, which may be because of the syrupy note from the maple syrup. The beer has a light carbonation that is fairly sharp.

Overall, this is a weird beer with weird notes and a weird name. It's still worth it try. Personally, I think Founders did a good job with this beer.

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Photo of Bum4ever
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Clear and dark amber color, great look. No head on this, but since the wife poured it, that might have something to do with it.
S: I get oak and cherry and some vanilla.
T: Sweet cherry flavor with a lot of oak and maybe a hint of vanilla. Super sweet, but as like the only one who liked Lizard of Koz, I enjoy this.
F: Light to medium for something barrel aged.
O: I like this, if I could find it in 4 packs here I would probably indulged a time or 2.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Light brown with just a slightly red tint; thin head
S: Cherries, bourbon
T: Cherry juice, bourbon... fairly sweet a touch of wheat
M: Sweet, medium-bodied, a hint of alcohol
O: Overall this is a cup of cherry juice mixed with a shot of whisky. Both flavors I enjoy but here they're only okay together. Also far too sweet for my palate

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Photo of rudzud
2.89/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear strawberry hue with a thin one finger white head that fades to leave thin wisps and a light halo.

S - Aromas of stale old cherry juice, sticky sweet syrup, light maple, light vanilla. Very vegetative with loads of green bell pepper.

T - Taste is loads of sweet cherry juice, oaky vanilla, faint faint maple. Some decent bourbon flavour and burn. Finish is very bready and yeasty.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly crisp, alcohol hidden well. The cherry and maple though gives the illusion of a sticky syrupy finish though that is rather unpleasant.

O - Overall, on paper this looked like a a pretty nice idea. Cherries, bourbon, oak, maple syrup. What comes out though is not the sum of it's parts though. Really, really unfortunate.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of mchegash
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A light red-orange. Very clear, an average amount of rising carbonation. Minimal head. 3.5

S: Whisky, cherry, vanilla, pepper 4

T: Loads of vanilla, balanced out by some tart cherry and bourbon. I am not really sure if the taste is super coherent though. It kind of tastes like someone just took a tart cherry beer and poured a bit of bourdon in. Certainly an interesting beer. Just not sure if the taste is quite as good as I would like. 3.75

F: Body and carbonation are both average. Taste is perhaps a bit syrupy. 3.5

O: I have to say that I was disappointed with this beer. It was an interesting experiment, however I don’t think it was a successful experiment. To be clear, it’s not a failure either, just a mediocre and a bit strange beer. 3.5

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Photo of tprinzing
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Innovative new one from Founders. I like it (My son loves it). For me, the first few sips have a wonderfully balanced medley of the cherry, maple, and bourbon flavors. Later, (probably due to my somewhat fried tastebuds seasoned by years of crazy hot chili peppers ) I find myself wishing the bourbon was more significant. It's a bit sweet, but that is better than the cherry stouts I've had so far which trend the bitter direction (too far).

This is the best cherry beer I've had to date, but I'm still waiting for the grail of cherry flavor beers (which I feel would be based upon a stout)!

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Photo of jlindros
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been really turned off by most of their big beer series in the last couple of years, esp with the price they fetch and pretty lame execution on many of them. However, I tried this at a tasting and thought it was pretty good, so got a bottle to try more of it. 2017 vintage.

Pours a decent frothy bubbly fizzy 1/2 finger slight pinkish head that fades at a med pace with some sticky lacing, semi clear fairly hazy slight pinkish light red strawberry juice color.

Nose brings some nice barrel character plenty of maple syrup, some bourbon notes and toasted oak, raw oak, a little candy syrup with a bit of a cherry syrup, a sweet candy malt, Belgian golden malts and a little candi sugar like character, mild fruity esters, a little candy apple, some iced tea herbalness, and some mulling spices.

Taste starts fairly sweet, a bit syrupy but not a ton, some sweet cherry juice and cherry syrup, a little cough syrup, mild maple less than the nose, some toasted and raw oak, very little bourbon, into some fruity esters again I think, a little candied apple like character, sweet candy malt, syrupy golden malt, into that mild herbal iced tea again. Finish is a bit sticky, a hint of warming booze, lingering cherry juice.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, not quite as syrupy or sticky as I expected from the sweetness, decent carb, a hint of warming booze.

Overall I remember it being a lot better when I tried it at the tasting event, but this seems to fall in line with what I originally expected it to be, very sweet, lots of cherry flavor, not much barrel, at least it's not too boozy or sticky on the finish, but it's quite sweet and cherry fruity so hard to drink much, there's no way I'm going to finish the whole bottle.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought On-line

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a very nice reddish color, very nice carbonation, with a quick/fizzy off-white head, which leaves some minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some cherries. The taste is malty, yeasty, with some cherries. Medium body. Overall, a tasty brew.

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Photo of donspublic
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into shaker (yeah that's right) 1 finger cream head that recedes to a pool and hangs around, nice lacing. Clear reddish Amber in the glass. Smells of bourbon, some tart cherry laying underneath the bourbon. Wow, passed this puppy up in the bottle and lucked out finding it on tap. Sweet cherry in the front, with the maple and bourbon coming in and mellowing out the sweet cherry. Finish isn't too sweet and where the bourbon really gets to shine and introduce a little vanilla to the party. Mouthfeel is good no alcohol at all from this, just cherry, maple bourbon goodness. I passed on this because of the cherry, not a big cherry fan, but this beer sold me

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Photo of Sabtos
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper-red with a soft, white film leaving delicate white curtains.

Smells like light, sweet cherry schnapps, hint of maple, with a little booziness that is almost lozenge-like.

Thank god the flavor isn't cough syrupy...I actually get a little light, smooth wood, and hints of maple first, with plenty of tart but sweet cherry that's slightly boozy taking over. As I sit with it though, oddly enough, the cherry starts to mellow out, and the maple and wood attempt to take center stage, giving this an odd balance that somehow works, but is unlike any other beer I've had.

Feel is wet, round, a touch warm, finishing semi-dry and a little sticky.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a cognac snifter.

Pale red in color, clear with just a little bit of foam.

Smell is very bourbony with a lot of vanilla, and some fruity tones of cherry and raspberry.

Taste is sweeter than I thought it would be. Lots of cherries and a bit of almond up front. Followed by some vanilla and maple syrup. Finish is a little warming, and sweet-sour. Tastes like a barrel aged Kriek by Timmermans.

Medium bodied, and pretty sticky on the lips.

This was a bit of an oddball. I liked it quite a bit, but not really feeling like spending 6 bucks on another. Nice sipping beer though.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a relatively clear reddish amber in color with moderate amounts of gentle active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate burnt orange colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy white head with a slight pinkish highlight to it that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer (probably about 85%) and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of oak and vanilla with light to moderate aromas of slightly sweet cherries and bourbon.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of slightly grainy malts with a moderate amount of maple syrup sweetness. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of slightly sweet cherries and a moderate amount of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Light amounts of lingering sweetness with a hint of bourbon booziness.

M: Just shy o medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I really enjoy the combination of bourbon/vanilla/oak, cherry, and maple as it was quite successful in my opinion. The flavors and aromas really opened up as this beer warmed and the complexity also increased. Definitely not a small, easy drinking beer but enjoyable as a dessert beer.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.71/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 750mL bottle poured into a Founder's tap room snifter. Bottled on 1/5/17, making this just under 3 months old at this point.

A: Pours a medium body, pink-red hue to a nice and clear beer. Big, thick white head. Very pretty.

S: Definitely bright cherry up front and a good amount of bourbon. Not a ton of maple present, but it's noticeable.

T: Pretty sweet up front, big cherry and maple notes. Middle of the mouth is fantastic as you get a big burst of tartness from the cherry and some sweetness from the bourbon. Finish is clean and most of the maple is here.

M: Medium body, great carbonation. Definitely not too boozy. Good amount of sweetness, not overkill at all.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Founder's has been on a bit of a dull streak with their backstage series. Koz was pretty good, but had it's flaws. Sticking with the fruity-sweet theme (rather abundant in the Backstage Series), they go with essentially a "maple-BA Cerise". Based on accomplishing what they tried to do with this, I'd say great success. They perfectly incorporated the sweet cherry ale with the even sweeter maple bourbon barrels and they came together nicely. I think the main reason is the tartness from the cherry was still able to come through a bit to balance the sweetness of the barrels. This one is super tasty and drinkable. Not an all-time classic, but a great first entry in this Barrel-Aged Series.

Recommendation: Another must-try barrel-aged beer from Founder's.

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Photo of egregor35
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

From a snifter at Founders Taproom, Grand Rapids -3/23/17
Look- Light red hue with thin white head
Smell- Prominent cherry with a light smoky quality
Taste-Bright, tart cherry at outset, secondary smoky/bourbon notes on back end
Feel- Not overwhelmingly syrupy, but sticky enough to notice.

Overall: Very interesting brew, one of my favorite styles done in a way that enhanced the overall quality without pulling it too far away from the norm. Would seek out again.

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Photo of maximum12
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I hope the beer is as cool as the label; Founders knows marketing. 12 oz. stubby.

The pour looks like water-cut cherry juice. The nose is general sweet fruit & an almost thick air coming off the beer.

Frootwood is the best cough syrup I’ve ever had. Thick & syrupy, this doesn’t so much imbibe as coat. Sweet cherry, sweet vanilla, sweet molasses, & bourbon that’s had all its edges sanded off by sweet sandpaper. Like liquid sliders, this does down…holy crap. Already gone.

Exactly as advertised - good beer.

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured Frootwood into Teku glass
A - Pours a light strawberry color with a quarter finger of white foam.
S - On first sniff, vanilla, toffee, some light whiskey and berry flavors. The vanilla from the barrel is exquisite.
T -Cherry icee on first taste. Vanilla, richness of smooth whiskey (toffee, butter, rum ) YUM. On the aftertaste I'm getting more cherry vanilla goodness.
M -Medium to heavy carbonation, light to medium mouthfeel.
O - A nice barrel aged beer. Cheers!

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Photo of smcolw
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Two finger initial bar poured head. The liquid is a reddish copper. Although a bit dark, it appears clear. Some streaks for lace.

Unusual mild smell of vanilla, cream and far back on the horizon, sour cherry. Very mellow and attractive.

Similar to a combination of Rodenbach and a sweet Kriek, this is interesting and a bit candy-like (very sweet). The body is rich with a carbonation level low enough to overextentuate the body. The finish and aftertaste were sugary, a bit too much so. I get a little too little sourness throughout.

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Photo of HoodviewBrew
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminds me of Rubaeus with some bourbon and maple. It's a good change-of-pace beer to have once or twice a year but not an every day drinker. Like other reviewers, the maple syrup is pretty subtle. It comes out more as the beer warms up.

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Frootwood from Founders Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 598 ratings.
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