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

Nov 012017

Frostop Special Reserve Imperial Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalI haven’t been as excited to try a new root beer since Sprecher Honey. I love Frostop so a Frostop with clover honey and Madagascar vanilla sounds like heaven. This was made in a custom batch run for the people at Market Street Soda, a soda shop in Newark, Ohio. They are like a bar, but only draft and bottled sodas, with a large number of them root beers. This is a concept I’d like to see more of. They have Frostop on draft and have a good relationship with Frostop, so they got this custom brew made just for them. It’s bottled by Spring Grove. They wouldn’t ship any to me, but luckily I have some amazing fans so someone sent me two bottles in a trade.

The Body is rich and complex with lovely honey and vanilla and lots of clove all complimenting a nice sassafras core. All that clove makes one spicy Bite but it still finishes rather smooth. The Head is just perfect. It’s tall and frothy and lingers through the entire drinking experience. The creamy vanilla Aftertaste is peppered with clove accents. A perfect finish for an amazing brew.

Wow, just wow. I am a sucker for vanilla and honey brews and they nailed this one. Lots of clove on this type of root beer is quite unique and I really liked it as well, it was that extra kick to knock this into the highest echelons of root beers. Well done Frostop, two for two. See how it rates against other root beers

4.5 Kegs