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

Sep 282016

Thunder Beast Black Label Root Beer Bottle This the fanciest root beer that I’ve encountered so far. It comes in a wine bottle (rumored to be recycled) with a cork and a wire cage. Then it’s all wrapped in gold foil on the top. Talk about classy. This is the premium offering of the most metal root beer brewers, Thunder Beast. It makes me extremely happy to see the root beer world head in this direction, as it means that we are finally getting the respect we deserve. My lovely wife gave this to me on Valentine’s Day because what could be more romantic? Now the actual reviewing of this is problematic. Thunder Beast Black Label is a seasonal root beer, using seasonal ingredients. Which means that it could be different every time. I could probably buy several bottles over the course of several years and average them out, but that gets expensive. So I’m just going to review my gift and leave it at that with the caveat that it could be better or worse depending on when you buy it.

The Body has nice honey and maple flavors but is missing something in its core. The Bite is mild, it’s a very smooth brew. The Head is practically perfect. The Aftertaste is vanilla and maple.

I like this more than the regular Thunder Beast, but not a lot more. I really want to love this stuff since it’s so fancy, but it just doesn’t quite have all it needs in the Body and Bite departments. Add some more sassafras and some spices and then they’ll have a brew worthy of the container. As it, though, it’s still worth getting for a special occasion or to put in a gift basket. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs