Feb 7, 2017

Founders Brewing Frootwood

Founders Brewing Frootwood is a barrel-aged cherry ale. That sounds simple enough, but this 8% ABV brew is anything but. The brewery crafted this ale and stored it in oak barrels that had previously held both bourbon and maple syrup. The result, as expected, is a beer much different than the one that existed prior to that extended time in the barrel.

The cherrry fruitiness still dominates this delicate and decadent beer, but the expected sour tartness has been tempered by a good amount of sweetness and woody influence. There’s still a twinge of that cherry tartness around the edges, but the maple syrup and bourbon have tamed that aspect of the original beer.

While many beers allow the barrel to overtake base flavors, Frootwood is an excellent example of one that uses the aged influences to its advantage. The bourbon is in the mix at a level that lingers comfortably in the background with the maple syrup, enhancing the overall flavor instead of domainating it as the slightly viscous brew glides smoothly to the warming finish.

Frootwood is a wonderful beer with a dynamic flavor and excellent balance amongst its elements. For a treat, sample the beer with a small bit of homemade fudge — I was fortuitous that the wife had made some the day before I cracked open the bottle. The combination is heavenly to say the least. On its own, this barrel aged beer is perfect for after-dinner sipping.

This is a review of a promotional sample.