May 112016

Stewart's Root Beer BottleI can’t remember where I found this but I know when I found it, the year at least. It was in 1999, a year after I’d started reviewing. I know because I have a 75th anniversary bottle that clearly says since 1924 and I can do math. It also says “Original” (aren’t they all) and “Cold-Brewed Draft”, which at first seems pretty cool until you start to think about it. Then it doesn’t really mean anything. Are they trying to say its style is cold-brewed draft (whatever that means)? They can’t be implying that the brew is a draft since it’s clearly bottled. Cold-brewing is a process for coffee, not soda or beer. Since it’s a mass produced root beer, it is most probably just a mixture of a bunch of different extracts. Calling such a procedure cold-brewing is politician like levels of stretching a definition. And thus it probably never was supposed to mean anything and is just more marketing buzzwords thrown on there to imply higher quality at a first glance and complete stupor of thought at a more rigorous examination … what was I doing again? Oh yes, reviewing a root beer.

This has a good Body, good Head, and a decent Bite. But, the Aftertaste is a weird one that lingers too long so that the more you drink the less you want.

And thus a truly average root beer continues to stand the test of time. No one will say that it’s nasty and I’m sure that no one, and I mean, NO ONE will say it’s the best. But it’s a root beer and without ones like this we wouldn’t be able to really appreciate the good ones now would we? See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

May 042016

Bottle of Milligan's Island Awesome Root Beer This was the 10th root beer that I ever reviewed. After I had had my wonderful Hank’s experience I still had that $15 in my pocket earmarked for exotic root beers. So I hit the 1998 internet again in hopes to find a root beer that I could mail order with such limited funds. Since this was in the days before Google, I’m not sure how exactly I stumbled upon this, but it looked awesome and they’d sell me a 4-pack that was only about $15 with shipping (all the way from Connecticut). I’m glad I chose it since it’s now discontinued. This has a rather confusing label. The whole tropical island seems rather out of place for Connecticut and the whole “Fooling the Public since 1492” also befuddles me. The only thing I know of that happened in 1492 was Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas and I fail to see any connection to him in this root beer. Oh well, I’m fooled I suppose.

This was good. It had a wonderful Body. The Bite was good. The Aftertaste was pleasurable but the Head was awful. It would was not only small, but it would go flat in about a minute.

What a shame about the Head. That alone was enough to stop it from getting the Seal of Approval. It was the first root beer of many to suffer that fate. I even got an email from the company several years later apologizing for the poor Head and saying that normally it isn’t like that. I told them that I’d be glad to review it again if they sent me some more, but the root beer never came. And now the company is gone. I feel somewhat responsible for their demise. It’s a shame because it was pretty good. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Apr 272016

Jumpin Johnny's Root Beer Bottle This was the first root beer I reviewed after returning from my mission in Madagascar and South Africa. I was gone for two years and the only root beer I had was my mission recipe from some extract my parents sent me. When I returned home there was a case of this, a case of Henry’s, a case of Hank’s, and a case of Iron Horse waiting for me. I waited about two weeks before trying this, drinking the others to make sure I fully remembered what good root beer tasted like. The name of this annoys me. It should be Jumpin’ or Jumping. I don’t know who Johnny is, but he clearly has some mad skills. He’s jumping over a root beer keg on speed skates while holding a foamy mug of root beer. I know I couldn’t even jump over the barrel with a mug of brew if it were on grass, let alone speed skates. The reward for this feat was of course getting his own root beer named after him.

This root beer has an exceptionally sweet and delicious Body but although it is delicious at first, it proves rather hollow. There is not much Bite and it has very little Head on it. The Aftertaste is nothing special and even turns slightly fruity after awhile which counters the sweet flavor at the beginning.

They put real sugar and clover honey making this one of the sweetest brews I’ve ever encountered. Because of the sweet delicious flavor, it does go very well with food and therefore is drinkable and actually very desirable in that a food like pizza is greatly complimented by the sweet flavor, and the pizza flavor will fill the hollowness and mask the unpleasantness of the Aftertaste. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs