Every now and then the makers of a root beer will feel that it’s time for a change. This could come from a desire to improve their product or perhaps to cut costs. When this occurs they seldom let the public know, and even less often do they change their name to sufficiently differentiate the pre and post change products. Thomas Kemper, for reasons I know not, has gone down this route. I’m not sure when it started, but I did notice that the bottle and label have changed significantly as of late. Indeed the ingredients are slightly different as are the nutritional values. And it’s lost the Pure Draft portion of its name. Implying of course that it is no longer pure nor draft, and instead it’s just a root beer. They do pepper the bottle with some little catch phrases like “Cane Sugar Soda” and “Small Batch” and my personal (ironically) favorite “Every Batch Made from Scratch”. Noticeably missing is “Original” since this no longer is the original Thomas Kemper Pure Draft Root Beer. I wonder if they improved it.
The Body has a noticeable honey flavor that’s a little fruity, which happens with some honeys. It tastes mildly of sassafras and there’s some vanilla in there as well. It’s nice but the flavors are not very strong. The Bite is more like a nibble with a smallest bit of spice. Yet, it isn’t really smooth. The Head is very tall and frothy as is should be, enough to get some bonus points. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla with some cane sugar and honey going on, but not nearly enough I’m afraid.
This one is rather bland unfortunately. Sweet but bland. It’s got some of the right flavors, but they aren’t nearly pronounced enough. While their Pure Draft was good but not quite there, this is rather ‘meh’. They should have stuck with the original, HFCS notwithstanding. See how it rates against other root beers.