First of all, I know it doesn’t say “Draft Style” on the bottle. However, their website, as well as several other websites that sell it, do call it “Draft Style” so I’ll go with that name. The label itself is pretty cool. I really like the whole skyline and the search lights. You can’t see it from the picture, but it’s also shiny and reflects light at certain angles. I had resisted getting this one for awhile because it shares a recipe with Cool Mountian Root Beer (which as of this posting I haven’t written a blog post on). However, after a (rather profitable) correspondence with Bill, the owner of both Chicago and Cool Mountain brands, I learned of the slight differences. It comes from the fact that they are not bottled at the same facility and thus the water and sugar used will have slightly different flavors. It’s still pushing the limits of a new root beer, I know, but I felt I had to give it a side by side comparison at least. Since didn’t want to buy a full case I snagged three bottles in a variety pack from Beverages Direct and then got a bottle of Cool Mountain. First I’d review Chicago on it’s own merits.
The Body is nice and full. It’s almost creamy but not really. I want to say there’s vanilla in there somewhere. There’s also the slightest hint of cola in a Barq’s-y sort of way. Bite is prickly from carbonation but not really spicy, neither is it smooth. The Head is very tall but fizzes down quickly. The Aftertaste is some vanilla and that very tiny cola-ish-ness that doesn’t really last long.
Not a bad root beer. Nothing overly special special, though not bad in any way. Then I did my side to side comparison with Cool Mountain. After half a bottle of each I swore there was a slight difference. I had my wife administer a blind taste test and 2/2 times I correctly identified the right root beer. It wasn’t up in the air either, as soon as I had tried the Chicago I definitively pronounced it so. From that I’d say that there is a >75% chance that they are different brews and so I’ll stick to it. The Cool Mountain also seemed a bit better than I remembered, but I don’t like to go back and change reviews. Plus, the differences weren’t that big so the Chicago gets the same keg rating even though it rates slightly higher. Anyways, not a bad root beer to get a keg of for your party if you live in Chicago. See how it rates against other root beers.