Frootwood is a Fruit Beer brewed by Founders Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.
Brewed initially as a cherry ale, the pour is a cloudy ruby red that’s topped by a slightly pink cap of white foam that offers modest retention. Gobs of lace and residue coat the glass as the head recedes.
Tart cherry dominates the aroma, but as this ale was aged in bourbon barrels, it also imparts a scent of vanilla and booze.
The palate starts with a mild cherry flavor that quickly turns tart. It’s followed by sweet vanilla and a hint of warming alcohol. As the ale was finished in oak barrels that also held maple syrup, the taste turns sticky sweet with a muddled blend of vanilla and maple. The oak imparts a mellow earthiness to the base.
The feel is smooth and creamy with a medium body and less-than-moderate carbonation.
Tart cherries do their part but it’s unfortunate the oak doesn’t have a greater presence as the vanilla and maple flavors are overpowering. Its sticky sweetness resembles cough syrup and can become tiresome. That being said, if your sweet tooth is aching, perhaps you should give Frootwood a try.