Frootwood | Founders Brewing Company

very good
173 Reviews
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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: 173 | Ratings: 534
Photo of HockeyBrewmeister
2.53/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75


Brutal! This is clearly an example of corporate brewing...

Artificial taste that is contingent on the false notion that barrel aging this brew will make it taste authentic... this taste like mediocre cough syrup!!!


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Photo of Maestro0708
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a beautiful red with a white, one finger head that recedes quickly.

Smell: Cherry, oak, maple, slight vanilla.

Taste: Slightly tart cherry, very subtle bourbon, vanilla, oak, maple.

Feel: Medium carbonation, a little thick and sticky.

Overall: This is a solid Bourbon barrel aged brew. The cherry flavors blend wonderfully with the bourbon and maple.

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Photo of JohnBroderick
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this beer. I don't think I could have more than one at a time though-The cherry became pretty overpowering after a few sips. Great summer beer though, it would have paired well if I was outside. Reminded me of a candy more than a beer-light and sweet.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No doubt this beer is pretty. Pours clear and brilliant pinkish red, a little bit of a white head turns into nothing almost immediately. Looks like flat cherry 7up. Smells of cherry, bourbon, and oak. Almost like cough syrup, but good somehow. Taste follows and again less intense than expected however a bit too sweet probably due to the maple syrup. The feel is where this one gets interesting. 8.0%!? Seems like an easy to pound cocktail juice to me! Extremely light, mild carbonation. Again reminds me of a flat cherry 7up or something of that sort. Overall, I think I'll buy one more to age just to see what happens. A decent brew, just not really my thing especially for its price tag. Cheers!

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Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful cherry brown color with a finger of fizzy head. Aroma is of cherries and some oak. Taste is sweet, almost too sweet. Light Bourbon and a marischino cheery taste. Balance is Good but sweetness is a touch overwhelming. Maple is a nice touch but adds to the sweetness

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Photo of beerguy04
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with an average white head. Little lacing. Smells fruity and boozey. Taste is is that of a barrel aged cider. Has a strong burbon aftertaste with hints of cherry and maple notes. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, great combination of sweet and heavy.

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Photo of BB1313
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/22/16. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a ruby red with great clarity and transparency; fluffy whitish pink head that falls leaving great bubbly retention and nice lacing. The aromas are bourbon forward, but in a mild and subtle way. Hints of fruit. Malts are there. The flavors are really nice. It starts off tart and sweet, but it quickly becomes balanced. Great cherry flavors. The bourbon blends very well and doesn't diminish everything else that's going on. Lots of maple. Hints of vanilla. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's medium-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's very fluffy and smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a really nice brew. The cherries and bourbon blend very well together. It can even be considered refreshing. The craftsmanship is very impressive. Well done.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a red-tinted amber color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin ring of lace around the glass

S: Lots of cherry up front, quite sweet when combined with the notes of vanilla, maple, and bourbon from the barrels. The cherry is nice and tart, more like cherry pie filling and definitely not fake or extract. Definitely cherry and barrel forward

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the tart cherry and winds through notes of vanilla, maple, and bourbon. On the sweeter side for sure. Finishes with some malt and lingering barrel notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice sipping beer, especially if you like the combination of cherry and bourbon. It could get a bit cloying after a bit just because of all the different sweet aspects, but it opens up nicely so there's no reason to chug it down

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Photo of weareallfalafel
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a slightly hazy magenta color with a finger of pinkish/white head that leaves ample lacing. Smell is weird in a great way. Lots of vanilla, oak, some maple, ample bourbon notes, and cherry. Taste is equally as weird. Cherries are definitely there, but the vanilla and bourbon are definitely at the forefront, with a touch of maple syrup in the middle, and then cherry finally shows up at the end with a slightly medicine-like quality, but not too much. Medium-full in body, with a sweet finish and lingering cherry flavor. Very, very interesting. Good and I'm glad I got to try it, but probably not a buy-again. Good in its own way for sure, but the cherry sweetness is just a tad too reminiscent of cherry cough syrup I was forced to take as a lil tot.

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Photo of bshefftz
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As other reviewers have noted, this is an unusual beer and deserves a thumbs up for innovation and drinkability. It's not really my thing but I'm glad I tried one (22 oz. at Costco).

It looks like a slightly dark bubbly Rosé and has a vinegary nose, but improves with a light, sparkling flavor with cherry sour and maple sweetness (with the sweetness far exceeding the sour) and a hint of oak. It reminds me of a high-octane version of a Lindemann's lambic, which I've never much cared for due to their negligent ABV - though I can't complain about this one at 8%. Overall a good beer if you want to try something different, or want something fruity but not too sour.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a unique beer. I don't think that necessarily translates to "good" but let's delve deeper. Pours out a color that looks almost exactly like cherry 7up. Gives a full 1" of off white head. Aroma is also a mixture of cherry 7up, bourbon and maple. I'll say I like it, different, but a neat little olfactory journey thus far already.

Taste, this really comes off like they aged a light beer in a bunch of adjunct soaked barrels. On one hand, I like it, on the other, it feels like weird. I think this might be the as of yet untaken spot for something where you want to taste barrels in the summer, but you don't want a barleywine or imperial stout aged in it. I mean, it delivers everything it said it would. Its a light bodied ale placed into some heavy hitters. Will revisit come warmer weather.

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Photo of BJB13
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 01/10/17 printed on label
12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Look- Clear, translucent amber red. Decent 1 1/2 finger pinkish white head with good lacing that diminished but remained for the duration.
Smell- Strong aroma of oak and to a lesser degree bourbon. A hint of cherry and perhaps malts.
Taste- Tangy and wine like. Woody and a little sweet with a touch of cherry and bourbon. A little bit boozy.
Feel- Light bodied and fizzy with a tiny bit of heat.
Overall- Different, lighter than I expected. Not bad, but not for me. I will give the remaining three from my four-pack to a couple of friends who I know will like this.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, cherry colored with a short pink head that dissipates leaving some lacing, clear

S: sour cherry, oak, light malt, tangy, mouthwatering

T: sweet and sour cherry, oak tannin, vanilla, bourbon, light maple syrup flavor on the finish

M: medium with higher than expected carbonation

O: very complex for a non-lambic fruit beer

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Photo of fscottkey
3.09/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.50] The bottle lists the ABV (8.0%) and it has a bottled date (01/10/2017). The beer is a medium light brown with red hues. It forms about 1/2 a finger of head with irregular white bubbles.

S: [3.25] Oak, booze, cherry.

T: [2.75] A lot of cherry. Very sweet with a small anount of tart at the end.

M: [3.50] Medium body and lower carbonation.

O: [3.25] This comes across more as a mixed drink or a Seagrams than a beer. It is excessively sweet. I know it has maple syrup. I am not get the maple flavor just a almost cloying sweetness. It is not working for me.

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Photo of smanson56
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my tulip glass. Chilled to 45*. Bottle is dated 12/20/2016 but Labeled 2017 vintage.
This beer pours a slightly reddish golden color with a thin white head on top.
The nose is sweet mostly cherries and some bourbon.
The taste follows the nose sweet cherries and a slight hint of bourbon in the back. To me the maple is lost somewhere before it got to this bottle.
The mouthfeel is smooth not overly carbonated.
Overall this beer is mostly what it is labeled as a barrel aged fruit beer. I really found no maple in this. I will say I enjoyed the flavors that were there and will probably enjoy at least one more from the 4 pack I bought. I'll let someone else enjoy the other 2.

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Photo of Barnoloid
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the pour you are greeted with a pink to light red toned ale with a frothy head that reminds me of the bubbles you get on the top of a hot tub at a mid range business hotel. Might sound offputting but you know you are going to get into it anyways. The smell is akin to a freshly opened bag of throat lozenges.

Taste wise, this is kind of all over the place. Obviously the cherry is prominent but it isn't the out and out cough medicine feel you might expect. I'm picking up a little of the barrel and maple syrup, though with the slick yet light at the same time mouthfeel leaves an aftertaste akin to accidentally tasting suntan lotion when eating food at the pool in a tropical setting. Little bit of a filmy coating left with you.

My review might sound skewed towards the negative but I honestly find it to be a really interesting offering from a brewery that keeps trying something new. Buy again? Maybe not but i'd give it a go in another year or so, see how things are ticking along. Would likely pair well with a cheese and meat charcuterie board.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at U Pick 6, Erie, PA. Another store that is too cheap to give you an itemized bill.
An undated (2017 vintage) 750mL capped bottle at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – a mixture of very faint cherry with bourbon
Head – large (Maximum 4.2 cm, semi-aggressive pour), very light pink, frothy but dense, average retention diminishing to a three to six mm frothy ring composed of tiny and small bubbles. A partial layer having a fried egg-like appearance is also present.
Lacing – none. Just some weak drag marks from the ring.
Body – Orange with a pink caste, clear. Some initial slight effervescence which quickly died.
Flavor – Odd. Starts out with some sweet cherry followed by just a hint of maple and no bourbon or woodiness. After the third swallow, a slight bourbon/wood taste begins to accumulate on my palate. No alcohol, no trace of hops, no malt, no diacetyl.
Palate – medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

This beer is by no means unpleasant – it just seems to lack direction. Is it a Kriek beer? If so, why age it in bourbon barrels. It’s certainly not a stout, something Founders does remarkably well. It seems to me to be an experimental beer that didn’t come out quite as planned, but what the hell, we’ve invested the time and money, somebody will buy it.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.5.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear light reddish color with a thin foamy head. Retention is very mild. Lacing is decent. Kind of a cherry cough syrup aroma. Big cherry taste but still has more of a medicinal taste to it. Not bad, but just not something I really want to drink a lot of. Medium bodied with mild carbonation.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is certainly not your everyday beer. It's a very interesting experiment.

The color is dirty red with a minor fizz for a head. The aroma is a mildly fruity vaguely beer like smell.

The taste is tart and sweet. The barrel aging may have mellowed a really harsh cherry beer but it did not impart so much flavor as to completely alter it. The feel is a little sticky.

This is an interesting experiment that I think would have been better with more of a beer or yeast taste, some hops, more alcohol and less sweetness. Not recommended.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.34/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very attractive ruby red with a two inch slightly off white head that leaves behind plenty of lace.

Smell is cherry extract, some honey, maple, vanilla, cranberry, and really agressive sour apple.

Taste follows cherry medicine, honey, maple syrup, cranberry, vaniila, and sour apples.

Mouthfeel is about medium, moderate carbonation at most, a little dry, and drinks easy enough considering what it is.

Overall not my thing for sure, but I can see how it appeals to some.

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Photo of Tone
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, mahogany color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of bourbon, sweet malt, and alcohol. Fits the style of a Fruit / Vegetable Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of cherry, bourbon, sweet malt, hint of hop, and slight alcohol. Overall, decent appearance, simple and bourbon-centric aroma, good feel, better blended body than aroma, but still too much bourbon.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Color is like pink zinfandel, but has a nice 1 finger head that's kind of soapy in appearance. Some hues of orange in there.

Aromas of lots of bourbon, maple, and barrel on the nose. Some malts soaked in cherry juice.

Flavor is a bit heavy on the alcohol/barrel here, but still fairly delicious. The cherries and maple peek through here and there to provide ample syrupy and kriek sweetness. Antiseptic oak finishes out the profile.

Feel is hot, boozy, but more importantly refreshing and heavily carbonated to provide a sangria-like drinking experience.

Overall, Frootwood varies from bottle to bottle; I find this particular one boozy, but others have been a little less so. Nonetheless, the variance is quite little, and still makes for a reliable delicious drinker if barrel is your thing.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear pinkish ruby, with a large pale pink head. The aroma offers up apple cider vinegar, oak, amole, cinnamon, butterscotch, cherry, and cherry hard candy. The flavor is reminiscent of cherry soda at first and cherry candy, with notes of cinnamon, maple, and vanilla at the finish. The mouthfeel is quite light bodied and foamy, with a sticky finish. Overall this is a truly WEIRD beer. This does not mean bad, but it is WEIRD. Very light ndc cherry forward, but with the classic rich, warm flavors imparted by bourbon barrels, I just cannot quite wrap my head around it.

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Photo of Beejay
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Cherry peach color, with a large pink head.

S: Maple syrup, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and almond. Smells pretty fantastic.

T: Sweet cherry and almond up front, with vanilla, oak, and maple in the finish.

M: Medium, slightly syrupy, and lowish carbonation.

O: Overall tasty, but fairly sweet. While this is a very good beer, I can't help think about what this would taste like with a Belgian dryness, and effervescent carbonation.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.99/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a lighter red than expected, but with a moderately frothy head. Lacing is prominent.

Even though my nose is almost swollen shut due to sinusitis, I can still smell the wonderful array of fruit and barrel characters in this beer. There's definitely some cherry and raspberry, and even in the nose is woodiness. I can't imagine what this would smell like if could fully smell!

This beer tastes even better than it smells. It looks as though it'd have a thin mouth, but no - it's thick and full of fruity bursting cherry and raspberry. And the best part is the presence of woodiness and maple from the barrel that plays so nicely with the fruity notes. Yum!

This is a must-have for fruit beer lovers, and one of my favorites from the barrel-aged series from Founders.

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Frootwood from Founders Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 534 ratings.
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