Founders Brewing Frootwood Review

Founders Brewing Frootwood Review: Craft Beer Version Of A Classic Cocktail Or Cherry Cough Syrup?

There is a such a wide range of craft beer styles and tastes which means that rarely will everyone agree if a beer tastes good. Founders Brewing Frootwood is a perfect example of a beer that has created a strong debate among beer drinkers.

Some claim it is delicious while others compare it to cherry cough syrup. When I heard the wide range of opinions, I had to try Founders Brewing Frootwood for myself and write a review.

What Is Founders Brewing Frootwood?

Founders Barrel Aged SeriesIn late 2016, Founders Brewing announced they were expanding their barrel aged beer offerings through their Barrel Aged Series. Founders is most known for KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) which is a barrel aged imperial stout that is released in April of each year. Their other barrel aged beer has been Backwoods Bastard whose base is a scotch ale. Both of these beers have been very popular so adding 4 new beers to this line up seems like a good move.

They are announcing the 4 new Barrel Aged Series beers as the release dates approach and the first one is Frootwood. The Founders website describes it as:

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.

This unique beer comes in at 8% ABV. It is available on tap, in 4 packs of 12oz bottles and individual 750ml bottles. It is a limited release so it won’t be around long.

My Review of Founders Brewing Frootwood

Initial Thoughts

Founders Brewing FrootwoodI am a huge Founders fan; they make great beer and it is typically easy to find in my area. Their KBS, Breakfast Stout and Dirty Bastard all rank high with me. So any new release will catch my attention.

I picked up a single bottle the first time I saw this at one of my local bottle shops because I didn’t want to risk it selling out. The bottle, label and branding are all very well done. Might be the best packaging from Founders so far. The label is paper and has great texture and weight to it. It really showcases itself as a high end craft beer.

Tasting Notes

It was opened and poured into a glass right out of the refrigerator. I could smell a little cherry but mostly the pouring aroma was from the bourbon barrel. The color was an amazing bright red. Carbonation bubbles surfaced and created a small head that quickly disappeared.

The first sniff provided aroma was tart cherry with a solid amount of bourbon. There was a little bit of sweetness but couldn’t tell if it was from the cherry or maple. I took a minutes to appreciate the aroma before taking the first sip.

The taste was everything I expected it to be. The flavor was tart cherry at the beginning that quickly moved to bourbon barrel. The carbonation and light body made it enjoyable and easy to drink. I didn’t get much maple until it warmed up a little but even then it was subtle. Getting closer to room temperature provided a less tart and more mellow flavor. It is a slightly dry beer in a way that urged you to take another sip.

Final Thoughts

Founders Brewing FrootwoodFrootwood reminded me of a Manhattan cocktail. Lots of cherry and bourbon notes that play perfectly with each other. I am a huge fan of the Manhattan and often drink them when at a nice dinner where craft beer isn’t an option.

My opinion is this is the craft beer version of a Manhattan and that is a very good thing. Definitely give this beer a try. Many cherry beers are either artificial tasting or sour; this is neither. It is rich, deep and delicious.

Frootwood stands as proof that craft beer is able to provide a drink for every palate.

Have you tried Founders Brewing Frootwood?

Was it delicious or cough syrup? Tell me your thoughts below.



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