Jan 252012

So this root beer had a lot of stuff they claimed on the label. It’s an “Extra Rich Draft Style Soda” It’s also “Caffeine Free” though I don’t know why so many root beers make a point of claiming that since almost all root beers are caffeine free. I do like draft style and extra rich, though, I’ve found that it’s about 50% of the root beers are what they claim with regards to taste and texture. But there’s more. It is also “Made with micro filtered naturally pure water” which I suppose means that they use an all natural micro filter or something. Maybe they found a natural micro filter and used that on the water. Surely they couldn’t use a regular micro filter on naturally pure water because if the water was already pure what is the point of micro filtering it again. Maybe the brewers have a little OCD with washing their hands and demand double purity. Either way, there is a lot of text on this label. I guess pictures are overrated.

It has a sweet creamy Body that is sadly also watery. It has all of the right flavors but they’re just watered down. The Bite is excellent. It comes in solid after the initial contact with both carbonation and some cinnamon spice that finishes smooth. The Head is almost perfect. It’s very tall but could be a little frothier. I’ll even go so far as saying that it has a “draft style” Head. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla and spices but quickly washes away under all of the extra water they put in this.

It appears that they took a great root beer, and then watered it down to stretch it farther. You know cut costs in the tight economy or something. It’s a shame. If they kept it to the original potency this has all of the makings for a top ranking. Oh well. See how it rates against other root beers.

Jan 182012

That’s right folks, there is an exclamation mark after the word root beer in the title. Unlike the few others that have done this, So Duh! and Dang! That’s Good, the fine people at Big Ben’s are emphasizing that it is Root Beer! They also say “Satisfying!” so they are pretty close to getting carried away with those exclamations. But, when you consider that Big Ben’s has been around continuously since the 1920’s with a line of 23 different flavors and 11 different packaging styles, there is a lot to be excited about. Such a robust independent soft drink company these days is a rare find indeed. Normally, they don’t ship their sodas in glass bottles but thankfully made an exception for yours truly. That way I didn’t have to go all the way to Pennsylvania to get it. Choice!

It has a full dark Body. It is strong with sassafras and hints of anise and wintergreen. It is only slightly creamy. I prefer more creamy. The Bite is very mild, mostly from carbonation. The Head builds to a good height but isn’t very frothy at all and quickly fizzes away. The Aftertaste is mild wintergreen and sassafras.

So overall it’s a decent brew but there really isn’t anything exceptional about it. It is the sort of standard supermarket line of root beer that you’ll find out there (for those supermarkets that bottle them in glass) which makes sense from a soda company with so many flavors that doesn’t specialize in root beer. Good enough to keep in business but it isn’t winning any awards. See how it rates against other root beers.

Jan 112012

What a name! What a picture! I love a good pun and this takes it to a whole new level. A guitar rocket ship blasting through the “Rock It” title banner. This is on the level of a picture of a sword guitar with the caption “one does not simply ROCK into Mordor” Such awesomeness could only come from the people at Emack & Bolio’s, makers of fine gourmet ice cream that is both rocket and rock and roll themed. They say that they microbrew their sodas to both compliment their ice cream or taste great on their own. The only other Rock themed root beer I’ve tried so far is So Duh! Rockin’ Root Beer which is amazing so I had high hope for this one.

This is a very unique brew. The Body is rich and full but not dark. It’s sweet and crisp from the cane sugar and there are hints of vanilla coming through. It tastes great! The Bite is strong from a combination of spices and the carbonation. The carbonation releases suddenly from the liquid and gives a slight acidic flavor and burn as it bites you. The Head is very strange. It is very dark colored and bubbles up quickly to a medium height. Then, rather than fizzing away, the bubbles coalesce into larger and larger bubbles before the one large bubble pops. This all happens in about 10 seconds and I’ve never seen anything like it before. It seems that their carbonation process is different than the normal method (water and CO2 are separate ingredients rather than carbonated water) and that may have something to do with it. The Aftertaste is sort of spicy caramel with some vanilla. It is really good.

So, this brew does taste great and it would make a wonderful root beer float. In fact, the way it is carbonated would probably work great to build an epic frothy float. The flavors are all in place for this brew but the Bite and the Head are just a little too off for the Seal of Approval. It will go great with food though, and would be a fun change up from the normal root beer routine so it’s definitely worth getting now and again. See how it rates against other root beers.