Jul 182018
 

Kiss Army Root Beer BottleSo Rocket Fizz is back with another new celebrity type root beer. They all have the same listed ingredients yet they all claim to be unique. Granted “natural flavors” can be wildly different, but I wish they’d go a bit of an extra mile to assure people like me. My doubts are beginning to grow to the point that I won’t review another of these until I have some hard evidence that it’s unique. I mean, going over my reviews it seems that they have all tasted different, but I’ll still probably have to dispatch Dr. Percival C. McGilliguddy … Anyhow. This is Kiss Army Root Beer. Load and Proud and dedicated to the Kiss Army. I must confess that I had no idea what the Kiss Army was, though I assumed it had something to do with the band Kiss ’cause I’m not that ignorant. Turns out it’s just their fan club. It’s odd that they would have the root beer devoted to the fan club and not the band, like if Faygo released a special Juggalo Root Beer (please do actually).

The Body is really dark with a lot of licorice flavor. There’s a bite of vanilla and it’s slightly creamy, yet there is also a hollowness to it, despite the copious amounts of licorice. The Bite is there. It’s got some spice and some carbonation. The Head is excellent! I’ll give them props for that. But the Aftertaste is really strong licorice, maybe a tad bit of wintergreen. It lasts too long and builds the more you drink. So I like it less and less.

I’m not a fan, no offense to the Kiss fan club, but this is one of my least favorite Rocket Fizz celebrity brews. I really don’t like this at all, yet it isn’t super horrible. Kiss fans, you should not be fooled by this, and demand a better drink to bear your name. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs




Jul 112018
 

Signature Select Root Beer BottleAfter so many years, the Safeway brand is finally being bottled. I’ve been waiting for this moment since I first started seeking out gourmet root beer and Safeway was the only supermarket in my little town. The brand has changed from the old Cragmont days of my youth. This latest brand is Signature Select, but since you can read titles you already knew that. I still like the old Cragmont logos better than what they’ve got now, but it isn’t too bad a label, pretty much what you’d expect from a store brand. I found it in the local Safeway the month I was moving to Minnesota and it was the last brew I reviewed in the state of Washington before saying goodbye. I find it fitting that my final Washington brew should be the one I wished existed since the beginning of this quest of mine, nearly 20 years ago.

The Body is sweet and kind of creamy with a generic flavor. There’s some vanilla and some sour tinge to it as well. The Bite is harsh on carbonation and low on spices. The Head is tall, but goes fast. The Aftertaste is an herbal vanilla that’s not overly appealing.

I want to like this brew. I really, really want to like this, but I don’t. It’s just not very good. What a disappointment. But I guess that’s for the best, leaving the state and all, it would be problematic if there were a root beer holding me back. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs




Jul 042018
 

A frosty mug of Ace Drive-In Root BeerBack in Chicago this past week with a rental car and no coworkers coming with me to dinner. This was a perfect time to venture further off the beaten path in search of root beer excellence. About 40 miles south west of Chicago lies the city of Joliet, which I think is still technically a suburb. There, one can find the tiny Ace Drive-In, owned and operated by the same person for the past 38 years. This place is a classic root beer stand in every sense of the word. They still have car service, which was the first time I’ve ever had the waitresses come to my window with a tray. They still make their root beer in house, poured from a tap and served in frosty mugs. They only take cash and they don’t give receipts. The whole place is beautiful and wonderful and a true blast from the past.

This has a classic creamy root beer Body but with only a little spice and nothing prominent to jump out at you. It’s well balanced, but seems a little lacking. There is a similar situation with the Bite, which is mild yet also not overly smooth. Some more spices could really improve this. It also has a decent Head, both in height and frothiness, but alas, it is a little shorter and fizzes away a little faster than ideal. Such it is with the Aftertaste as well, which gives but the slightest bit of vanilla to remind you of what it could be.

So the root beer is good, but I guess disappointing because everything else here was so amazing, I was hoping for a blow-me-away-amazing brew, instead of a solid standard type. I ordered a Chicago style hot dog and cheese fries and they were delicious. I should have ordered a second dog probably because it wasn’t huge. All and all, this is a great place, well worth the trip, even though the root beer on it’s own doesn’t quite merit it.

Three kegs

Pierson’s Ace Drive-In. A classic root beer stand in every sense of the word.



The menu on the wall. I would love to try it all.



A happy root beer reviewer, getting car service for the first time in his life. Yummy hot dog and cheese fries with a frosty mug of brew.