Jan 212015
 

A bottle of Windy City Soda Root BeerThis brew had been discontinued before I ever learned about it. I was left to mourn another root beer that would never be mine. Then the great Jon came a trading. He had several discontinued brands that were still in good condition. Being a true gentleman and ethical trading partner. He sent some right away without getting petty nor impatient over the details. This is another made in Chicago/themed after Chicago brew. I’ve been seeing those pop up a lot lately. I don’t know what it is about the city that inspires people to name things after it, but I dare say it is the most common city to be found on a root beer bottle. The label is rather plain, with brown hues and a skyline silhouette. It’s almost too plain. I could see this bottle blending into the background on a shelf with other brands.

The Body is sweet with some vanilla and caramel hints but is also a tad bland. The Bite is sharp and spicy. The Head is short yet frothy. The Aftertaste is very light vanilla. It’s pretty good and also refreshing.

Not a bad brew. But pretty generic in the not-a-bad-brew category. There really isn’t a lot to differentiate it from other root beers, plus it’s a tad bland. Maybe if it was completely fresh I would like it more, but I don’t think so. It is sad that they failed. There are worse brews that bear the Chicago name that are still going strong. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs


Jan 142015
 

Henry Weinhard's Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalThis was only the second gourmet root beer I ever had but was by far the most influential. I first found it when I was 12 or so at the local Safeway and quickly became the go-to when I needed a treat. A celebration, get a Henry’s. Need to drown my sorrows, get a Henry’s. Want an extra good root beer, get a Henry’s. It helped that Safeways were pretty much in every town and they’d sell Henry’s chilled as well as in six-packs. Gas stations started getting them too so it was a a nearly ubiquitous awesome brew. There were other gourmet root beers about, but none were as good. After my brother’s car accident I had at least one of these per day. After a month or two, I couldn’t drink anything that didn’t come from glass, and I soon began the quest to find the world’s best root beer. So how did my beloved Henry’s stack up?

Nice full, sweet Body with the perfect Head. It is one of the nicest Heads of any root beer. So much so that it is my standard Head to compare against other root beers. It’s rich and creamy with lovely vanilla and honey flavor complementing the sassafras. Wonderful Aftertaste, honey and vanilla lasting the perfect amount of time. There’s not a lot of Bite, but enough spice for me. It is very smooth and that’s how I prefer it most of the time.

This is pretty much my gourmet root beer standard. I’ve had many a brew from all over the world, but not many can even stand level to, let alone surpass this. There are plenty that are better in one category or another, but Henry Weinhard’s is so good on all of it that it makes it a tough brew to beat. I make sure to drink a Seal of Approval root beer after each review to “reset” the palate. Most of the time it’s Henry’s. It is safe to say that this is the most important root beer in my life. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs


Jan 072015
 

A Bottle of Captain Jack's Root Beer Soda Argh! Another pirate themed root beer. I’d venture that the pirate theme is the second most popular root beer theme (with dog being the first unfortunately). This is brewed by the Drunk Monkey Brew Werks whose inability to spell ‘works’ properly could be from either the drunkenness or the monkey-ness. I’m not sure. Either way the fine Captain Jack has such a meticulously crafted elaborate website that all will be forgotten. The identity and back story of Captain Jack is unknown, though maybe they were going for Jack Sparrow but didn’t want to infringe on copyright or something. Or perhaps they’re going for Jack Black when he was still alive. Their stated goal is to create eco-sensitive products and locally source materials, the irony of my then having it shipped across the country from Pennsylvania is not lost on me.

The Body is sort of rich and sort of dark. There’s some wintergreen and the slightest bit of honey but not much. There’s a tad bit of Bite but not a lot. It isn’t really very smooth though. The Head is medium in height and frothiness. It lingers but not as long as I prefer. The Aftertaste is some wintergreen.

This stuff is pretty good. I wish the honey had a stronger presence though. The second bottle I had was noticeably better than the first but still within the whole range of what I was thinking. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs