Frootwood | Founders Brewing Company

very good
189 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: 189 | Ratings: 591
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
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 -6.6%
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 +5.3%
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%
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 -8.1%
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 -6.3%
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 -6.8%
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 -6.1%
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 -0.8%
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 -15.7%
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 -12.6%
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 -2.3%
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 -9.8%
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 +6.8%
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 +26%
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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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The infatuation that Founders Brewing has with maple bourbon barrels lands them at the precipice of local cherry fruit. In much the same way that Stone Temple Pilots had their weird era, these brewers use fruit and barrels to reach new heights of weirdness in taste.

Frootwood pours a hazy ruby crowned with a cottony white froth. Sweet and fruity on the nose, the scent is of cherry kool-ade but with that unmistakable scent of sweet bourbon. Cherry pie hits the palate with a splash of jolly rancher and pastry breadiness. Caramel and maple round the taste as balance is achieved on the middle palate.

Its sweet fruitiness shows a slow and patient retreat as its candied malts stubbornly linger across the tongue. Bold bourbon nuances bring their own vanilla cream soda, caramel, maple and peppery warmth to the show while the finish is one of spicy booze, peppercorn and.

Oddly enough, the flavors work in a simplistic and charismatic fruit filled way. Bing cherries play out once again like cherry pie, buttery crust and all. Warm and spicy, the ale trails with an aftertaste of holiday mulled red wine and cider.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours clean reddish brown, finger white head leaves spotty lace. Aroma of cherry and wood. Taste is on the sweet side, cherries in the forefront with wood and vanilla notes present. There may be a tinge of bourbon there, but not much. Overall good brew, different, would drink again.

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Photo of ichorNet
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I recall first reading about this and thinking it to be a pretty awful idea doomed for failure from the start, but here I am drinking a bottle and... honestly, this is pretty damn good in its own weird way. I'm surprised, for sure. Hopefully it ages well as I have 3 more bottles. I committed to a four pack because it was, in all honesty, fairly cheap for what you get (paid about $12.50).

Pours a lightly-hazed reddish/blush color with some light amber tonalities and a rather thick cap of eggshell-white head that sinks down to a solid couple fingers, leaving behind striking, cobweb-patterned lace. Loving the retentive head here, and the color of the beer is pretty great as well. Very solid presentation.

Wow, the nose is chock-full of bourbon and woody sweet notes. There's a slight tart note, probably from the cherries, mingling with some toffee, tannins, vanilla and lighter maple syrup. Flashes of ethanol, ripe raspberry and damp earth. The cherries start coming out a lot more once this warms, eclipsing the previously very-prominent bourbon barrel character with some light sweetness and more tart aspects. If you like cherries and bourbon, I have a feeling you'll enjoy smelling a glass of this beer.

Flavor is a bit more heavy on the sugary aspects, with toffee, syrup and vanilla-laced oak hitting the front of the palate before an earthy, tempered finish which highlights the oak and bourbon. There's a slight, tangy ethanol heat that lets you know this isn't a small beer, right before the big burst of cherry flavor and a warming finish that invites you to sip and enjoy this unique brew. I'm actually really happy with the way this came out... like I said, I am in awe that this concept actually works and makes for a drinkable beer. Founders' old Cerise was a really nice full-strength, full-malt cherry ale with a lot of fruit character as well, so maybe I shouldn't have doubted them, but I digress.

Feel is smooth and palatable with a mildly syrupy quality, which makes sense given the maple syrup bourbon barrels and the fruit involved here. The cherry flavor can get a bit medicinal at times, for sure, but the warming sweetness from the barrels and the vanilla flavors really help rein it in to the point where it remains drinkable. Glad I took a chance on this one, and I guess we'll see if a couple of these bottles keep for a while in the cellar as an experiment.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two-fingered white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Crystal clear red/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Bourbon and cherry nose, flavor is sweet cherry bourbon, hops and higher ABV are hidden. 12oz bottle, $9.99 part of mixed 6-pak from Hannafords Supermarket Concord, NH.

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Photo of VTR
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to finally find this beer and all they had left was three and sadly I'm glad that's all I got. S/like other cherry beers I have had. I was hoping to get some oak, bourbon, vanilla, maple....something but I had to work to really find anything that jumped out. T/I was expecting more from this beer. You gave a real sweet almost artificial cherry (medicinal) taste and no real bourbon or maple flavors that I was expecting. As the beer warmed the bourbon and maple made a very small and brief appearance at the finish. O/I was expecting more from this series but I'm glad I got to try this but I will not purchase this again.

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Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is light pinkish red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that gradually died down, leaving a thick collar around the edge, a large patch of bubbles on the surface, and some bits of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of oaky vanilla are present in the nose along with some hints of cherries and bourbon.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that the cherry flavors are a little stronger and there are additional hints of maple syrup, the latter of which lends a touch of sweetness. The maple syrup becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Once warmed up a bit, the taste of this beer has a very good balance between the cherry, maple syrup, and oaky vanilla flavors.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Treyliff
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a lear ruby color with a foamy white head that has a pink hue, reduces to a thin film floating on top

S- aroma is subtle, but boasts several distinct aromas; opens with maraschino cherry, followed by earthy wood, light bourbon, brown sugar & maple syrup

T- slightly tart up front with an immediate hit of cherry juice, followed by caramel sweetness, along with cherry cordial. Mid-palate gives subtle earthy woody oak and just a trace of bourbon. The finish gives a maple sweetness that works as a nice compliment to the cherry tartness, lingers of cherry and maple

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that finishes foamy and slightly viscous, abv hidden well

O- quite unique in itself and very drinkable. All elements are there, but work together in harmony, very good

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Clear scarlet with a few prickly bubbles, a foamy off white, pink tinged head that dies down fairly quickly, but leaves a nice ring with foamy lacing.

S: A nice balance of creamy bourbon and sugary notes, perked up by some tart cherry. There's coconut, vanilla, caramel, and perhaps of touch of maple, with some tart cherry candy.

T: Very sweet and sugary. Tastes like cherry flavored candy, mostly sweet and syrupy with just a touch of tartness. The bourbon maple barrel adds lots of sweetness. Toasted coconut, vanilla, creaminess, a hint of maple, and a generic sugary sensation. Fairly crisp, but quite sweet.

F: Medium-light bodied. Not quite thin, but very light. The carbonation is nice, though, and it's very drinkable.

O: A nice dessert beer, but not something I would drink often. Way too sweet for my tastes.

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

Pretty good beer for what it was. Crisp and refreshing. I didn't get much barrel. But I did find that it tasted good. Alcohol is hidden very well. I compare this to blushing monk except with a cherry infusion instead of raspberry.

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Photo of aronamerican
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressive beer. Pours a clear reddish-brown. Light carbonation. Maple and cherry briefly introduce themselves before surreptitiously departing and allowing a pleasant besiegement of oak to transpire.

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