Nov 222017

ramblinmaple_big The third flavor of Ramblin’ root beer, the maple root beer. I got curious, with all of these flavors of root beer, just what was the most popular. It turns out butterscotch is. As of the time of this writing (October 2016) I’ve had 8 butterscotch root beers, 6 vanilla root beers, 3 sarsaparilla root beers, just 2 maple root beers, 1 birch root beer, and 1 pumpkin spice root beer. How’s that for some stats? So a maple isn’t a popular name for a root beer, but many more root beers have maple syrup in them, so it’s probably closer to butterscotch in flavor popularity though much lower in the naming. As I said last time I got this in a mixed case with the butterscotch flavor. I’d like to point out that though Ramblin’ is a resurrected brand, these two flavors are new to it, so the folks at Monarch are adding their own personal twists on revived classics. Very nice. Well I think I’ve rambled on long enough, to the review!

The Body is rich with maple and vanilla on the initial contact, but then is rather hollow after that. So much so that I can’t find any of the other typical root beer flavors. The Bite is pretty mild but it isn’t very smooth either. The Head is very nice and tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is lovely maple with some vanilla notes.

This is pretty good, but not all there. They suffer from the same fate as many others, who think you can just add in some special flavor and neglect the rest of the root beer. At least they didn’t dump in overpowering amounts of extract like they did with the butterscotch. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Nov 152017

Ramblin' Butterscotch Root Beer Bottle I always like it when a soda company makes more than one flavor of root beer. It happens a lot more lately and is a sign of the changing times. People care about root beer more and more, and they want even more variety in that most diverse of beverages. This is great for yours truly. After just a few years of being resurrected by Monarch Beverages, Ramblin’ has launched this and another flavor of root beer, maple (review coming soon). I remember how butterscotch root beers were such a rarity, now they’re everywhere. Another sign of the changing times. The label has an orange butterscotch coloring to it with some butterscotch discs on it as well, just so you know that this is the butterscotch one. I ordered a mixed case of this and the maple on their very first production run so I could be one of the first to try it. Then I queued this review for a year so I probably should have just waited until it showed up locally. Oh well, you never know if it will show up locally (but this time it totally did).

The Body is overwhelming with the flavor of butterscotch extract. There’s some traditional root beer flavors in there, but they are overpowered by an alcoholic extract flavor seething with butterscotch. The Bite is a sharp burn, like if you drink straight flavor extracts. The Head is tall and frothy. It doesn’t last forever but it lasts a long time. The Aftertaste is more butterscotch extract. It’s so strong it doesn’t taste like butterscotch.

Gah, what have they done? Did they make a mistake in their measurements and dump several times more butterscotch extract in? Did an open bottle of extract accidentally get knocked into the vat? Or do they really like it this way? I can’t stress enough that it tastes overwhelmingly like butterscotch extract, not butterscotch flavor. If you’ve ever put way too much extract in a recipe, you know what I’m talking about. If they cut the extract in half it could be good, but as it stands, stay away from this. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Nov 082017

Mustache Mike's Raw Dawg Root Beer Bottle Mustache Mike’s is husband and wife company that started in 2006 to sell Italian Ice is Southern California. Italian Ice is some manner of dairy free, silky smooth, frozen confection that I guess is really amazing. I’ve never had it nor even heard of it before now so I can only guess that it’s something of a glorified sorbet. Anyways, they’re currently experimenting with getting into sodas and particularly root beers. At the time of this writing (about a year ago) they were only selling their Raw Dawg Root Beer at the same place that Doggone Good Root Beer is sold. The owners probably know each or else I can’t imagine they’d want such competition. I heard about this from my good pal the Root Beer Tracker and got a trade set up. I like their logo, and sincerely hope that the real-life Mike has such a mustache. I find it interesting that its sweetened with “pure cane sugar” and corn syrup as usually they pick one or the other.

The Body is sweet and spicy with nice caramelized sugar and vanilla flavors. It reminds me of a classic root beer stand flavor. There is a lot of spicy Bite but it’s also prickly and a little harsh. The Head is tall but fizzes down quickly. The Aftertaste is spicy vanilla with a candy sort of flavor.

This is really good, but just not quite there in every category. Perhaps if the Head lasted a little longer and the Bite was a little less harsh and the sassafras flavor a little stronger and the candy flavor not there. But alas, no Seal for you. It is rather distinctive though so it’s worth a try. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs