So awhile ago, when I reviewed Bundaberg Root Beer, I quipped that it didn’t taste enough like root beer to merit a higher rating, even though I didn’t think it was tasted bad as far as a soda goes. The fine anthony responded that he would probably rate a root beer that had a flavor he enjoyed high, even if it were a lime soda with a root beer label slapped on it. Well, being the joker that I am, I decided that the next time I sent him some root beers to review, I’d include my own “special” root beer. I bought a Stewart’s Key Lime, removed the label, scratched the paint off of the cap, and added my own label. It was “Eric’s Not-so-Gourmet Root Beer.” The label was made in the post office using a discarded receipt. In addition to the a new Seal of Disapproval, I added the standard marketing stuff, “The Original” “No Anthrax” and made sure that it was made with “totally legit root beer extract” We both shared a good laugh and it made for a funny review. So what does that have to do with Vermont Sweetwater Rugged Mountain Root Beer you ask? Well, when I poured it out, it was almost clear, a light golden color.
The Body is sweet and light and really tastes nothing like root beer. There is a crisp cane sugar flavor, some ginger and a little creamy vanilla. The Bite is also very light with a little prickle from the ginger and carbonation. The Head is tall but fizzes away very quickly. The Aftertaste is ginger and vanilla.
So it doesn’t taste like root beer at all. It tastes like … ginger ale! I do know what ginger ale tastes like. I drink it whenever I fly, and only when I fly (another story for another time) and I have Premier Gold status on United (I fly a lot). It also looks like ginger ale. They use only natural flavorings and no artificial colorings, so if they used proper root beer ingredients it should at least be brownish (licorice, molasses, brown sugar, sassafras root, etc. are all dark). What the heck? It’s like these guys did exactly what I did, except with ginger ale, and with an actual product that they advertise and sell. Don’t ask me why. Maybe they’re just trolling the root beer community. Maybe it started as an inside joke that spiraled out of control. Maybe their “refreshing taste like Grandpa used to make” is because their grandpa was trolling them, telling them that they were getting root beer when he was making ginger ale. Maybe little Timmy was deathly allergic to sassafras but wanted to drink root beer like the other kids so grandpa made him a “special root beer” recipe. I mean ginger is a root, and ale is a type of beer, but ultimately a root beer ginger ale is not. Whatever the reason for this deception, I am not amused! See how it rates against other root beers.