Nov 182020
 

A quart of Honey & Mackie's root beer ice creamNot far from my house is a lovely craft ice cream shop called Honey & Mackie’s. They do small batch, hand mixed flavors that are truly top notch. Many a summer afternoon or evening, we’ve strolled there to get a waffle cone full of their decadent treats. They also have fries. Loaded fries that are kind of like a poutine, but not exactly but will definitely fill you up and are as high quality as their ice cream. So yeah, it’s one of those gems you find sometimes. They rotate through various flavors and this past week they made root beer ice cream, so I had to get some. Their method was to use root beer candy sticks, crush them up, and mix them in. I wasn’t sure how that would work, but I immediately went and bought a quart to give it a try.

It’s very rich and sweet with a distinct, minty root beer flavor. There’s lots of creamy vanilla, obviously, but it still tastes more root beer than float. The ice cream itself is very sticky and gooey and high quality. Despite being so rich and well flavored, it isn’t overpowering nor overly sweet.

Oh yum. This does not disappoint. It’s exactly the sort of quality you would expect from Honey & Mackie’s, if you’ve been there before and were expecting. This is hands down the best root beer ice cream I’ve ever had. I hope they bring it back as I would love to get this with maybe a scoop of cinnamon in a waffle cone. Anyways, if you’re in the Twin Cities area, you should definitely head over there. You won’t regret it.




The root beer (and some other) ice cream. It’s kind of pink. Strange color.

All of the different Honey & Mackie’s Flavors

Nov 042020
 

Virgil's Handcrafted Root Beer Bottle Virgil’s has been around for a long time. It was ballyhooed to me greatly in the 90’s by many only to leave me quite disappointed when I finally tried it. Last year, however, there was a shake up in the company for some reason. I don’t know all of the details, but for some reason the bottling was moved to a new location, the fan favorite, Bavarian Nutmeg (the only one I liked) was discontinued, and the recipe and name was changed on the flagship root beer. Now it sports an all natural recipe and the name Handcrafted Root Beer as opposed to the original Micro Brewed designation. I guess the new bottler brews bigger batches and they do so by hand? I don’t know, but it means that I can write a new review on the new recipe with the new name cause it’s a new root beer and that makes me happy. The label picture is also slightly different yet similar and somehow not as cool, like the Digitally Remastered Edition… Anyways, root beer.

The Body is kind of dark and rather complex. There’s sarsaparilla, licorice, a hint of fruity, and some other stuff going on but it doesn’t really work. The Bite is mild with no discernable spices yet harsh at the same time in mouthfeel. The Head is tall initially but fizzes down really quickly. The Aftertaste is sarsaparilla with licorice hints and fruity notes.

I like this less than their original and I wasn’t a fan of that. I don’t know how they made it worse, but they did. It just doesn’t mix well. Their last version at least had a balanced flavor, even though I didn’t like it. This is all over the place while also failing to be good. So yeah, I don’t know what they hoped to accomplish by getting rid of their best root beer flavor and making their flagship worse, but I don’t have a lot of hope for this company. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs




Oct 212020
 

Sprecher Root Beer BBQ SauceThe last good of my Sprecher Root Beer Products order. The Barbecue Sauce. I love me some barbecue sauce. I always put it on burgers, fries, chicken strips, ribs, etc. I always am pouring copious amounts of it on my barbecue. In my opinion, fries are merely a vehicle to eat barbecue sauce. So this was the one I was the most excited for. We waited for a special occasion and then made a nice rack of ribs topped with the sauce for a first taste.

It’s a rather runny sauce, which is unexpected. The flavor is a little ketchupy and tangy, with a bit of tart spice. The root beer doesn’t really come out like it does in their mustard. When cooked on ribs, it thickens nicely and gives a great flavor, though not the root beer flavor that I’d hoped.

That was kind of disappointing. I later tried it on a hamburger and a chicken burger and some fries and I’ll just give it an okay. It’s not really my style, and the root beer doesn’t really shine though. It isn’t bad by any means, just not what you’ll probably be looking for when you get a root beer barbecue sauce. I’m looking for something thick that I can dip all my things, whereas this seems more like a marinade sauce than a finishing/dipping sauce.

My rack of Sprecher Root Beer Barbecue ribs.

My rack of Sprecher Root Beer Barbecue ribs.