Sep 162015

Bottle of Unkle Munkey's Nearly Famous Root Beer I got this as a birthday present from my wife, a six-month late birthday present, but it’s the thought that counts. Actually it wasn’t her fault. You see, this used to be called Wang Gang Nearly Famous Root Beer. She knew I needed that and ordered it. But the supplier was out of stock, as well as every other place that sold it, so she couldn’t give me anything (though she got a refund). Finally, one day, I found someplace that actually had it, but when it arrived it was Unkle Munkey’s Nearly Famous Root Beer. The label and ingredients and nutritional info are all the same. I don’t know why they changed their name. The only problem I can find with the name Wang Gang is if you have the maturity of a highschooler. Granted, if I had a gang, I probably wouldn’t call it the Wang Gang. Then again, maybe Unkle Munkey took over Wang’s gang, in some epic kung-fu battle no less. We may never know. The label itself has all the text inside of braces (or curly brackets if you prefer) like some Java or C++ function. I half expect to see a semicolon at the end of each line of text as well, but no. Maybe they had no intention of invoking computer programing (or at least not a language that I am familiar with) but that’s the vibe I get from the bottle. I’m not sure how to take the “Nearly Famous” portion of the name. Is it a joke, or some dark prophecy that they’ll never quite amount to root beer fame? That depends on their quality.

The Body is sweet and mild and fruity. It tastes like maybe there’s some cherry flavor or something, but not in a good way. The Bite is sharp from carbonation but doesn’t really have much in the way of spices, which is the opposite of what should be. The Head is short and moderately frothy. There really isn’t much Aftertaste at all, just a fruity hint.

It’s not nasty in anyway, it just also really isn’t good in any way. Its a pretty forgettable brew, and thus the Nearly Famous suits them well. It’s neither good nor bad enough to achieve any sort of fame or recognition. It makes me wonder why they even bothered to make it at all if they already knew the end results. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Sep 132015

Dead World Twilight Shuffler Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know how much I like zombie stuff. This stemmed from playing Humans vs. Zombies Tag in grad school and then hanging out with all of my Zombie Tag friends. Therefore, I was overjoyed to see that Caprice Brands had made Deadworld Premium Zombie Beverages, a full line of zombie themed sodas. Deadworld is a zombie comic (which I haven’t read sadly) where the zombies, led by King Zombie, have largely taken over the world. Each of the 12 flavors is centered around characters in the comics. Two of these flavors are root beer and vanilla root beer, so getting them became my number one root beer priority. The fine folks at Caprice Brands were kind enough to let me order a custom four-pack of the two flavors. The “regular” root beer is named Twilight Shuffler, after Tattoo, a half-human and half-zombie who can move from one dead body to another. She is trying to remember her true identity by getting lots of tattoos. I’m sure it makes more sense if you read the comics.

This has a nice Body with some wintergreen and vanilla standing out wrapped in spices. Yet, the total flavor mix is unique, giving it a sort of a familiar yet different feel. The Bite is prickly and spicy and a little stronger than I prefer. The Head is very tall but only with medium staying power. It finishes with a wintergreen and vanilla Aftertaste.

This is great stuff. This soda’s tagline is “All natural flavors of un-natural tastes” and you know what, it does taste un-naturally good. I’m so glad that my first zombie themed brew is so excellent, that I can recommend it to all zombie hunters and lovers for any zombie occasion. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Sep 092015

Bottle of Jones Soda Co. Root BeerSeal of ApprovalOne of the first 10 root beers that I ever had. I found this at a gas station somewhere in southern Washington State. We were returning from the family trip to California where I found the Mendocino Taubold’s Private Reserve Root Beer. Jones is actually based in Seattle and I’ve walked past their headquarters near Safeco Field many times on the way to Mariners games. Jones is unique in that they always are changing the picture on their label. The pictures that they use are submitted by people and voted on. Sadly, no picture of mine has made it to the label, though they let you order custom labels as a consolation prize.

A sweet, pleasant Body though a little on the light side but not too weak. The flavor is what root beer should taste like. It has a strong carbonation Bite leaning a little on the harsh side but not too harsh. The Head is tall though a it dissipates faster than I would like but the liquid stays fizzy and therefore still desirable. The Aftertaste is good and of the original flavor and fades away gradually.

All in all, there is nothing really wrong with this and a lot right. I really enjoy it. At one point in 2005 or so, I reviewed it again to see if I really liked it as much as I had when I found it in the 1998. I did. I like it. It’s good. I’ll “Run with the little guy”. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs