Oct 192016

Red Jammer Root Beer BottleOn the last day of my trip to Alberta, we went on a tour of Glacier National Park, driving through the Going-to-the-Sun Road and admiring all of the beautiful scenery. We even went whitewater rafting down a river. All along the road we saw these old timey red buses filled with tourists. They’re called Red Jammers because they’re red, and they used to have a double clutch which made a jamming noise as the drivers would shift on the steep roads. Originally, the buses were just called Reds and the drivers were called Jammers but not anymore. At the end of the road we stopped at a gift shop and I saw bottles of Red Jammer Root Beer, the Official Root Beer of Glacier National Park. I got three bottles and then parted company with my friends, and headed out into the sunset towards Washington again. I didn’t have sun glasses so I was pretty much squinting for 5 hours, I should have thought that drive through better.

The Body is weak and indistinct, not very sweet and has a hint of anise flavor in it. It is kind of gross if you ask me. The Bite is alright. The Head is bad. The Aftertaste is kind of gross with a mild anise flavor.

I don’t like this one bit. All in all it tastes like a Flathead Lake Monster Root Beer that some one stuck a licorice stick in over night, which is actually an improvement over normal FLM. I wonder if that is because they are both made by the same brewery. Of all of the root beers I’ve tried, this may be the only one that’s a simple relabel, but I’m not sure. There were differences and I did taste three bottles of each. The UPCs are different so I’m going to err on the side of this is distinct, though not much. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Oct 122016

Abita Root Beer BottleA root beer from that first summer after my mission. I ordered this online in a variety pack. There was no particular reason for picking it when I did, just another brew I hadn’t tried. Abita is a craft brewery in Louisiana founded in 1986. They proudly declare that they use pure Louisiana cane sugar in their brew. They also use “root beer flavor” which I suppose is better than cola flavor or orange flavor. They have a classy label, or at least they did in 2003. It’s still classy but the color scheme has changed. I prefer this version. The reddish-brown and deep blue with silver dots just makes me think of some dark rich brew.

The Body was strong rooty flavor, yet lacking in that there was no honey and it wasn’t very creamy. There was also a hint of icky in the Body after the initial contact. The Bite was solid, though not overly pleasurable. The Head was fair. The Aftertaste was that same icky though not really strong.

So this was a tough one to judge. It isn’t horrible but not overly good either. It wasn’t my favorite flavor profile nor did it have any special characteristics, but it didn’t have huge glaring flaws either. When it finally came down to it I had to ask myself if given the opportunity to drink this again, would I? After much deliberation and a few bottles, I must answer no. It’s that little bit of icky that really pushes it over the edge. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Oct 052016

diamondknot_bigEvery Labor Day weekend my parents come up to visit and I always have to find something new and exciting to do. Several months ago I had discovered Diamond Knot Brewing Company in Mukilteo on the waterfront. I figured that would be a good place to go on Saturday. Luckily there was also a very low tide so we went to the lighthouse park and wandered through the tide pools and fed sea worms to sea anemones because nature is twice as much fun when it’s eating other nature. The Brewery is right by the ferry terminal in a lovely old wood and stone building. Each table has a diamond knot epoxied to it. While you might think it’s some form of sailor knot, it’s actually just decorative. Go figure. I told them to bring us root beer with lots and lots of foamy Head on it and we ordered some appetizers as well.

The Body is rich and creamy with a classic root beer flavor. There’s a bit of vanilla and some nice spices and the whole thing is beautifully proportioned. The Bite is solid from a bit of spice and good carbonation, yet it’s still smooth in your mouth. The Head is the one failing. It is non-existent. Despite two attempts to get anything, in the time it took them to pour it and bring it to me it was gone. The Aftertaste is nice caramel and sassafras with a bit of wintergreen that lingers for quite awhile, which is a very good thing.

Oh yum. This is without a doubt the best tasting brew I’ve had in from a brewery in Washington to date. But the Head, where did it go. The server tried twice to get me some with some foam, any foam, but their tap wouldn’t allow it I guess. Sad day. No Seal of Approval. Their food was really delicious and their main courses looked truly epic. This place is one worth going back to.

Three and a half kegs

Onion rings, chicken wings, and artichoke crab dip. All of them amazing.

Onion rings, chicken wings, and artichoke crab dip. All of them amazing.