Jul 252018

Fizz Roc City Root Beer Bottle anthony is a great guy. He trades me root beers that are hard to find over here, like this one. Fiz Roc City Root Beer comes all the way from Rochester New York, which is much closer to New Jersey than to Washington. Is Roc City some slang for Rochester? It’s made by College Club Beverages but doesn’t seem to be branded as College Club in any way. The brand seems to be Fiz, so that’s how I’m labeling it. Some places seem to have it as Fiz Specialty Beverages or Fiz Specialty Drinks, and I alone am left to mourn the lack of coherent standards for root beer branding and labeling so every reviewer knows what to title his post as. But maybe that’s the goal, to provide an avenue for each and every reviewer to look deep inside themselves, and use the name that they feel is best, with all being right in the end because each of us is a special snowflake and we all see the world differently, and by allowing us to call the root beer whatever we want, we all fully able to express our individuality … I’m just going to stop that train of thought right now and tell you about this brew.

Very sweet Body with prominent sarsaparilla and vanilla flavors. There’s a strong Bite with spice and tingle. It’s solid and good. The Head is very nice and tall and foamy. The Aftertaste, however, falls flat. It’s just sort of sugar and that’s all. After much goodness, you’re left with just pure cane sugar that goes quickly, which is quite a disappointment.

Not a bad bit of brew, but that poor Aftertaste has torpedoed any chance of a Seal of Approval. It’s still better than average though so don’t pass it up if you are looking for a sarsaparilla-y root beer but not a sarsaparilla. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Jul 182018

Kiss Army Root Beer BottleSo Rocket Fizz is back with another new celebrity type root beer. They all have the same listed ingredients yet they all claim to be unique. Granted “natural flavors” can be wildly different, but I wish they’d go a bit of an extra mile to assure people like me. My doubts are beginning to grow to the point that I won’t review another of these until I have some hard evidence that it’s unique. I mean, going over my reviews it seems that they have all tasted different, but I’ll still probably have to dispatch Dr. Percival C. McGilliguddy … Anyhow. This is Kiss Army Root Beer. Load and Proud and dedicated to the Kiss Army. I must confess that I had no idea what the Kiss Army was, though I assumed it had something to do with the band Kiss ’cause I’m not that ignorant. Turns out it’s just their fan club. It’s odd that they would have the root beer devoted to the fan club and not the band, like if Faygo released a special Juggalo Root Beer (please do actually).

The Body is really dark with a lot of licorice flavor. There’s a bite of vanilla and it’s slightly creamy, yet there is also a hollowness to it, despite the copious amounts of licorice. The Bite is there. It’s got some spice and some carbonation. The Head is excellent! I’ll give them props for that. But the Aftertaste is really strong licorice, maybe a tad bit of wintergreen. It lasts too long and builds the more you drink. So I like it less and less.

I’m not a fan, no offense to the Kiss fan club, but this is one of my least favorite Rocket Fizz celebrity brews. I really don’t like this at all, yet it isn’t super horrible. Kiss fans, you should not be fooled by this, and demand a better drink to bear your name. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Jul 112018

Signature Select Root Beer BottleAfter so many years, the Safeway brand is finally being bottled. I’ve been waiting for this moment since I first started seeking out gourmet root beer and Safeway was the only supermarket in my little town. The brand has changed from the old Cragmont days of my youth. This latest brand is Signature Select, but since you can read titles you already knew that. I still like the old Cragmont logos better than what they’ve got now, but it isn’t too bad a label, pretty much what you’d expect from a store brand. I found it in the local Safeway the month I was moving to Minnesota and it was the last brew I reviewed in the state of Washington before saying goodbye. I find it fitting that my final Washington brew should be the one I wished existed since the beginning of this quest of mine, nearly 20 years ago.

The Body is sweet and kind of creamy with a generic flavor. There’s some vanilla and some sour tinge to it as well. The Bite is harsh on carbonation and low on spices. The Head is tall, but goes fast. The Aftertaste is an herbal vanilla that’s not overly appealing.

I want to like this brew. I really, really want to like this, but I don’t. It’s just not very good. What a disappointment. But I guess that’s for the best, leaving the state and all, it would be problematic if there were a root beer holding me back. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs