Oct 172018

Whistler Classic Soda Butterscotch Root Beer Bottle So the fine folks at Whistler Classic Soda have been busy. They’ve built the wonderful Blue Sun Soda Shop, a veritable cathedral of craft soda. It’s just north of Minneapolis, which means I can now drop by. I’ve seen soda shops before, but none like this. Soda is first and everything else comes second. They’ve got over 1300 flavors of glass bottled sodas, over 100 root beers. Granted, I’ve had almost all those root beers, but they still get some new ones. Plus, they’ve got a classic arcade with a window looking into the bottling plant. With a super fast soda chiller (3 minutes) this is a place you can just spend the afternoon, drinking your favorite brews and slamming quarters in the pinball machines (which I did when I picked up this root beer). Whistler itself has even expanded their flavors to include this butterscotch root beer among other new ones. They got bigger bottles too. You’ll have to click the picture in this post to see the cap which denotes the flavor. Returnable bottles and identical labeling help keep the costs lower.

The Body has a nice full butterscotch flavor, but a conspicuous lack of anything else. There’s also something off under the surface, an alkaline flavor of sorts. This flavor continues into the Bite, which is mild other than this alkaline burn. The Head is short, but it lingers. The Aftertaste is a light, sweet, butterscotch that is eventually replaced with this baking soda type flavor.

Yeah, this is not the best. It isn’t terrible though. I just really don’t like it. Why can’t I like these guys’ soda. They’re 0/3 for drinkable ratings, but I love everything else about these guys. I’ll be a frequent visitor of their store, but I don’t see me buying more of their root beers. Maybe their next flavor will be a win? Here’s hoping. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Oct 102018

Sky Valley Root Beer BottleSeldom do you find an organic root beer. Even rarer is one that isn’t some diet abomination. A friend, The Root Beer Tracker found this and we set up a trade. After he mailed it I realized that I could have just bought it at Whole Foods and saved myself some shipping, oh well, I got to share some root beer love. The brew itself is made by Sky Valley Foods in Danville, VA. They have slightly lower than average sugar but are by no means a diet. The bottle is rather plain, with not much other than the bear and the name. Plus they mention it’s organic, twice. Three times if you count the USDA Organic seal. Five if you count the back of the label. Nine if you count the ingredients as well. And 10 if you count their website. Basically they want to make sure that anywhere you look you’ll see at least three mentions of organic, in case there was any doubt. I personally couldn’t care less about organic, but I do care about taste and Head and whatnot.

The Body is not very sweet. There’s vanilla and a decent core with some slight licorice notes, but then there is some strange aged, fruity, sour, flavor that surfaces. Perusing the ingredients shows apple cider vinegar, which fits the flavor perfectly. Why would they do that? There really is no Bite to speak of. None whatsoever, a big gaping hole is all there is. For the lack of Bite, it is only sort of smooth. The Head is decent, both with height and staying power. The Aftertaste is vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Again, why would they do that?

Seriously, they lost me with apple cider vinegar. I can’t think of anyone, who, drinking a root beer, thought to themselves, “you know what this needs, some apple cider vinegar” Yet that’s what they’ve made. It really just messes the whole thing up. It’d be okay without that, but with it, no good at all. Just stay clear of this one. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Oct 032018

A pint of Two Brother's Brewery Cinnamon Root Beer Two weeks ago I was back in Chicago and there was only one root beer that was on my mind. The root beer was one I’d tried to get before, I’d gone to the restaurant and ordered it. They said they didn’t have it but another tap room might. So, just to be sure I called the tap root and they confirmed they had it. But, when I showed up, the bar tender said they didn’t and sorry, next time I should ask to speak to the bar tender. This, of course, did not leave me feeling happy about the Two Brothers Brewery. They said they were out because their brewing equipment for the root beer was under repairs. Also that the root beer is actually brewed over a period of 21 days, yet there’s no alcohol so I think that means they take all of the ingredients minus the sugars and start brewing and don’t add yeast or something. However it works that’s what they say they do and they make a cinnamon root beer which made me hope it was like the old Myers Avenue Red. Anyways, when I landed I gave them a call to confirm that they did have their root beer, and then I drove down and ordered some.

The Body is smooth and sweet and largely dominated by a strong and spicy cinnamon flavor. There’s a solid sassafras core beneath it all as well but the cinnamon steals the show. It’s very unique. The Bite is nice and spicy and hot, giving a true cinnamon burn if you drink it too fast. The Head is medium height and is sufficiently foamy to last awhile. The Aftertaste is a sweet, slightly burning cinnamon.

Yum! It’s really good, though I wish it had some creamy vanilla to compliment that cinnamon. Nevertheless, it’s still a solid, yummy brew that performs well in every category. I sat on the fence quite a bit with this one, it’s right on the line between a 3.5 and a 4. Maybe I should go down to 3.5 because of the troubles of getting it, but maybe it should get bonus points because of that unique cinnamon flavor. I’ve been in this position before and I’ll need to take the same decision. If there’s any doubt, no Seal, because a Seal of Approval brew should be overwhelmingly good. Still, it’s uniqueness merit’s a visit if you’re ever in the Chicago area. Their food is yummy too.

Three and a half kegs

My food at Two Brother's Round House

My meal of a reuben and fresh cut potato chips. It was so good.