Sometime in the past three years since I originally reviewed Oogave, they broke up with Esteban. I’m not sure what happened, but it must not have been pretty. Not only is Oogave’s root beer no longer named after him, but Esteban’s Seal of Approval is also gone. It may have had something to do with reformulating the recipe, for somehow, though the ingredients listed on the bottle are still the same, they managed to drop 2 calories from their brew so they could list it as a 100 calorie beverage. To be fair, the “natural flavors” from Esteban’s Root Beer could have been completely different from the “natural flavors” in the Agave Root Beer. Or maybe they just dropped half a gram of agave nectar to reduce it from 25.4 g to 24.9 g, as both would read the 25 g which is listed on the labels. Perhaps there was a great argument over the matter with Esteban storming out over the final decision, vowing they’d never get his approval again. Gone with Esteban is a sensible label. While it’s cool to have the bottle painted, what little yellow and white paint there is, when on a clear bottle, hardly shows up at all in the picture. Grrr!
The Body is very mild with a prominent agave nectar flavor and some herbal notes. There’s something bitter and out of place as well. It isn’t very sweet and it isn’t very good. The Bite has a strange sort of burn to it. The Head is a little shorter and fizzes down a little quicker than I prefer but isn’t bad. The Aftertaste is sort of sour and bitter with an herbal agave flavor. I’m not going to mince words, this is not good.
Ugh, this is really bad. I can see now why Esteban wanted no part of it. Whereas before it was a good soda bad root beer type of drink, now it’s just bad all around; though it does taste more like a root beer should. I seriously doubt that they just removed a measly 0.5 grams of agave nectar to change it this much. Either way, I recommend you steer clear of this one. See how it rates against other root beers.
funny, i actually have a bottle of this in my fridge and i did not realize it was probably this new formula! i just compared ingredients and since they were the same i passed it off. so i have another soda to review it seems.
I’d imagine you can’t just fudge the calorie listing so it has to be at least slightly different. It tastes much different too.
Pretty neat that they painted the bottle, but I guess that barely matters if it’s gross. I guess the price of the betrayal of Estaban is they can never again use a bottle labeler.
No they can’t. Well played sir, well played.
You’re right. This stuff is bad. Thanks for telling it like it is! I didn’t even like the old, Esteban-approved version. Here’s my review from last year: http://rootbeerrundown.blogspot.com/2012/12/oogave-estebans-root-beer_13.html