Frootwood | Founders Brewing Company

very good
189 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 591
Photo of von_kaiser
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloyingly thin robitussin. Maybe the barrel gives it that tussin appeal. Respect their out of the ordinary approach and all but this one doesn't do it for me.

 160 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful-looking beer. A crystal-clear ruby-amber color with a modest white head that lingered for a bit. Aromas of cherries, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The smell was dominated by the bourbon. The taste was big cherries, strong bourbon, nice wood and vanilla. Sweet-tasting but not overly cloying. A great beer but a bit too heavy on the bourbon. Look forward to aging this a bit.

 381 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a warm amber with just a trace of fizzy head that evaporates nearly instantly. Big sweet bourbon nose with a cherry tail. Taste follows nose at a slight distance. Smoothly on the thin side. Really very enjoyable.

 219 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a bright red with pinkish hues. a finger or more a white head with low retention but leaving behind a bit of a lacing. crystal clear and with strong brightness.

Smell: cherry, sweet and sticky maple, light booziness. more cherry sweetness.

Taste: opens with a maple syrup sweetness. flavor stays sweet with a good dose of cherry. some wood and barrel character comes in with just a little bit of oak and light bourbon. more cherry comes in, this time a touch on the over sweet and artificial side.

Mouthfeel: thick, syrupy and sticky. lots of sweetness but never quite reaches cloying.

Overall: a nice and interesting beer. a little bit short on the wood character to balance out all the intense fruit and maple flavors but still a worth while beer.

 772 characters

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very dark amber red to orange body color, stays away from real bright or real red tones for a nice change of pace on the cherry color. Quite clear but with no carbonation. Head creation is pretty solid, off pink with a light three fingers and very small bubbles in the head almost nitrosous looking. Settles with some real nice sheets of lace.

Nice amounts of light cherry, and touches of caramel and cinnamon on the nose. There's a slight chocolate component hiding in here, somewhat milk like in flavor in the aroma too.

Palate has a bit of a syrupy edge but tolerable. Thick rich cherry juice and almost big radler fruit appeal. Large amounts of butterscotch like caramel, crispy mid like palate biting down this caramel angle. Finishes sweet but not too cloying or sticky. Rounded flavors a bit, and a hint of rich booze and kirsch like flavors too.

Quite a nice take from your regular fruit beer. Fun experiment, but comes off a little large to drink.

 1,020 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled 12/19/2016. Served in a snifter glass. Pours a clear medium reddish body, one finger thick white head, good carbonation, bits of lacing. Smells of artificial cherry juice, a bit metallic, not much else. No maple or bourbon. Flavour is a bit more interesting though; slightly tart cherry fruit juice, a bit of grainy sweetness as well as maple sweetness. Not much in way of barrel character, unfortunately. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly syrupy in character but not too sticky, good carbonation, lingering maple sweetness on the backend. I can't help but feel this is a waste of maple bourbon barrels as the bourbon doesn't show up at all, but the maple is a decent addition to what is basically cherry Rubaeus.

 737 characters

Photo of justinp444
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mini snifter it has a clear red body with a white thin head. Smell is cherry, maple, vanilla, slight strawberry, oak on the end, slight bourbon and sweet malt. Taste is much the same big cherry flavor, vanilla, lots of maple, bourbon, dry oak, and sweet malt of the end. Mouthfeel is full with a moderate to full body and a moderate carbonation. A very well done cherry ale that isn't the most complex but isn't overpowering in cherry or maple bourbon barrels, well balanced, and has a great flavor as it is.

 522 characters

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
3.16/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Surprised so many high ratings on this. I didn't get any maple, and while there is bourbon on the nose - not a ton in the taste. It's not awful, I can say I enjoyed it - but with the options available today I wish I could have just bought a single bottle instead of a 4-pack. I almost think I'd like the base beer better without the barrel.

 343 characters

Photo of bbtkd
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Founders Frootwood, 8% ABV, pours medium viscosity with a two finger white foamy head, which erupted from the bottle upon opening. Nose is malt and bourbon, with slight cherry. Taste follows, with no bitterness, the maple wraps the cherry, and the sweet balances the tart - but no discernible bourbon. Mouthfeel is excellent and overall excellent. Would have preferred stronger cherry and bourbon tastes, but very drinkable as is. Certainly does not measure up to stablemates KBS or Koz, but glad I got a 4-pack.

 512 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been a big founders fan for a while and love them new ticks. I had stopped trying them though since they seemed to be getting abstract and not worth the chase or funds...bit this one intrigued me so I snagged a single 12oz.

real advertised to the t. cherry in maple bourbon indeed. Bourbon is subtle but maple kisses the cherry giving it a nice sweetness that tows the line of medicinal but never quite crosses it. good one, worth checking out.

 457 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

You have to like cherry and you have to like thin-bodied beer. I'm not a fan of either, but figured I'd give this a try. Looked pretty - rosy-orange with nice clarity and a slim beige head that quickly slipped away. I could smell the cherry immediately - and maybe something floral and/or of wood tannins blended in there. Right off the bat I was done with it. Perhaps if there were some richness to it, or depth, of a thicker feel? Tasted like watered-down, mildly sweet, carbonated cherry juice. didn't appreciate much of anything else in there flavor-wise, and the ultra light body-feel was a big detractor for me. I know it's not my thing, and folks who like fruit beers and sours and stuff may regard it quite differently. It's gonna be a hit-or-miss kinda thing depending on your tastes. Guess mine haven't changed in this regard.

 836 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Cherry ale aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. Poured from a bottle into a Founders tulip. The beer is a gorgeous crystal-clear reddish-amber beneath a thin sliver of white foam. On the nose I get cherries, toasted malt, oak, and a hint of vanilla.

Light body with a firm feel and a rich, fruity flavor. Sweet flavors of toasted malt up front balanced out by tart cherries. Just as the tartness of the cherries starts to take over, you get smooth bourbon barrel notes. No booziness at all, just rich, sweet flavors. Incredibly smooth for a barrel-aged beer. The beer finishes strong with tart cherries and sweet vanilla.

So glad I was able to try this. When I first heard about it, I wasn't sure what to expect. Still, anytime the words "Founders" and "maple syrup bourbon barrels" show up in the same sentence, you have my undivided attention. This beer is a winner and I hope they bring it back again soon.

 911 characters

Photo of Karnivool1
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Kudos to Founders to not starting off with KBS or CBS, instead they came out with Frootwood to kick off the BA Series. I drank it right out of the fridge and the smell is cherry, with decent smell of maple, with little bourbon. Taste off the bat is tart and refreshing cherry. The maple comes though more as the beer warms, with very little bourbon. Kind of expected with an ABV of 8%. Satisfying and easy drinking brew. Glad I picked up a couple 4 packs. Not sure if cellaring will do much, but I'll hold 1 bottle just to see.

 533 characters

Photo of KEH
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was a fun beer. It's a brilliant rose-colored effervescent brew. You can definitely smell the cherry and the oak. My initial impression wasn't that great, but after a few sips, I really started to enjoy it. The flavor is playfully tart with a nice sweetness to it (no real hop character to speak of, and the malts are subdued.) While I wouldn't want to stock this in my fridge, I will be looking forward to a 4 pack each year, if it were to be released. I am considering cellaring a 4 pack, as well.

 511 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Definitely agree it's a pretty rose color, and very clear. Lovely to see a little stream of bubbles rise from the middle of the glass. A cross of frothy and soapy head, thick at the edges. I'm getting a little lacing.

My initial whiffs did make me think of Backwoods Bastard. I wonder if the maple in this beer is replacing the malty notes from that one. The cherry is barely noticeable to me initially, but if I look for it, I can see it in there - maybe a little nod to a cherry soda - maybe even a little like Cheerwine.

I actually get a decent amount of cherry in this beer, it does seem to drive the beer. It has a little bit of a weak tart kriek note, without any of the complexity of a well made beer of that style. The maple acts more as a brief transition to the bourbon notes, which come in the second half of the taste and again brings a little recollection of BB. The cherry never quite leaves, nor does the ever so slight tartness it brings.

This is a light beer, I think in part due to the tart cherry flavor. The end brings a little alcohol heat with the bourbon notes, but nothing too strong.

A nice beer, a little sweet-tart offering that does allow the barrel notes to play a part. I'd liken it to Rubaeus if you replaced the raspberries with cherries and the hops with bourbon barrel aging.

 1,323 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

look: clear light blush red. Sparse slightly pink head that leaves smatterings of lingering lace.
smell: subtle cherry and vanilla, oak, and maple emerge as it warms a bit.
taste: absolutely perfect for what it is. Wonderful blend of cherry balanced with vanilla, oak, an maple. Sweet but balanced by the other flavors. So quaffable i have to muster all my discipline to slowly savor all that's happening.
overall: seems most believe the Backstage arc declined sharply after '11 Blushing Monk and CBS. I for one believe it's been mostly home runs or at worst a double or triple. Fantastic creation imo.

 602 characters

3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased two 22 oz bombers of Frootwood and put one in the fridge for NBS and the other in the cellar .
I happened too love Cherry Belgians, bourbon, maple and Founders . This combo sounds a bit strange, but I was excited to get it and give it a try .

I had to slow my pour in this small goblet, but it has a foaming head and great lacing .
The color is absolutely wonderful and it reminds me so much of many Belgian sours I've enjoyed in the past. It really reminds me of Liefmans Cuvée Brut in appearance.

The smell isn't as strong as I expected and I detect an equal combo of the cherry, maple and bourbon.

It tastes very light and crisp with great carbonation . The bourbon kind of overwhelms the cherry and the maple is hardly noticeable. It's not as sweet to me as many have described, however I like sweet brews so that may be a major factor.

Mouthfeel again is very light and crisp and the cherry is on the tongue more so on the back end .

Overall I'm enjoying it , but honestly it is an unusual combination of flavors and I can imagine many people wouldn't like it all that much . Three of my favorite flavors, so it's hard to not like it , however I would choose a Belgian cherry every day of the week over this . Once I get a second pour I will see if I can add to the review. ;)

 1,297 characters

Photo of TurboBrew
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Purchased 1/26 and poured 1/28 fresh at 39*F into a beer clean spiegelau tulip.

Pours translucent light cherry red with some lace and a 1/4 finger head. Leaves light sticky lace.

Nose is bourbon, vanillin, oak char, lightly burnt toast and tannins.

Taste is cherry and tart up front. Char and bourbon, light vanilla and sweet syrupy cherry on the tail end.

Mouthfeel is thin. Which is nice for the cherry. It compliments it well. If it was too full it would throw the balance way off.
Carbonation is perfect for the sweetness of the beer. Not overpowering but definitely noticeable and bright/effervescent.


Overall a grand slam and it is what it is.. Finally a bourbon barrel beer that doesn't put me to sleep because its 12%+ . Sidenote: I'm not a fan of much anything over 8% in beers. Bravo founders, bravo! Encore with different fruit..?? ENCORE ! :)

 884 characters

Photo of Wolvmar
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Much better than I thought. Crisp Cherry but not to sweet. Some bourbon and maple syrup. Not a dessert beer like Lizard of Koz. More like a refreshing fruit based appetizer with some punch.

 189 characters

Photo of MJSFS
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a light red wine in the glass with a thin white head that leaves spotty lacing. Aroma is sugary sweet cherries and dark liquor. Taste super sweet cherry juice and maple up front that doesn't linger and then fades to a dry oak finish. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth thin and dry. Wasn't sure what to expect from this beer. I was afraid the cherries or the barrel might be overpowering, but all the flavors are rather muted and brief. It's a nice dessert beer, and it could probably benefit from a much higher ABV in the 12%+ range to give it a little more punch.

 569 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

beautiful clear ruby appearance, dense bright white head, some lacing.

light aromas of vanilla, oak, slightly tart cherries, hint of bourbon. palate is a strange but enjoyable combination of somewhat tart fruit notes of cherry and apple, combing with sweeter bourbon character of caramel and vanilla - creates something reminiscent of candied fruit soaked in bourbon. also has that sappy maple characteristic working with the oak to create a nice woody note.

on the light side of medium in terms of body, but has a super fluffy mouthfeel, excellent stuff!

overall this one has a lot going on and i can understand why some may object, but i think its fucking great! excited to taste the result of leaving a few bottles hang in the fridge for a year or so.

 761 characters

Photo of bobv
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly vigorous pour yields a one inch head, light red (dark pink?) body, and some lacing. Nose of oak foremost followed by the fruit and maple. Taste is sweet; maple and cherry. Nice feel, almost like cherry soda. Finish of maple and cherry. Overall, I would probably have another, but I would rather cook with it by using this in a brine or marinade for chicken.

 364 characters

Photo of Benish
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: resemble a color of blush wine but a little darker. Also a small white head that only lasted seconds.

Aroma: cherries come instantly but followed by some weird aroma that I can only describe having strong note od bourbon. But it's only confusing as it conflicts with the cherries.

Taste: very sweet and full of lush cherries. Similar to the New Glarus Belgium Red but heavier. The maple is subtle but still noticeable midway through. The the whisky notes is more prominent at the finish. While the notes off all the mentioned ingredients are there, the beer seemed unsure what to represent.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Leaves a lushful sensation in the mouth from the fruits.

Overall: Its one of those beers that doesn't know what it want to be, but for whatever reason, I sure enjoyed it!

 806 characters

Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Thin,frothy,white colored head with a pink hue,dissolves quickly leaving a thick ring around the glass.Intricate spider web like patching in the center.Light cherry red colored body,with moderate clarity.Absolutely no carbonation from what I have seen so far.

On the nose I am getting quite a bit of bourbon and cheer notes,with just a little bit of maple syrup.The bourbon steals the show,but is not sk dominate as to be offensive.

On the palate I get strong flavors of cherry and maple syrup on both the front and back ends,with just a hint of bourbon showing through in the middle.This beer is pretty sweet,but no where near cloying.

The body is thin with a sticky mouth feel,and a smooth finish.

This beer is much better than I expected.The cherry label scared me a little bit,but I was pleasantly surprised.I would definitely recommend at least trying this one.

 927 characters

Photo of leefx
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous color, ample light pinkish head. Not much fruit on the nose... funky cherries on the tongue. Tangy and clean finish.

I don't get any barrel aged taste out of this. It is a bit sweet, so I guess the maple is doing it's job? May just be the cherries.


 265 characters

Frootwood from Founders Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 591 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.