Apr 072021

Whistler Lemon Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval For the first time in awhile I went out to Blue Sun Soda. I’ve been trying to avoid in-person shopping as much as possible what with the pandemic. Plus it’s sad to me to go up there and not play video games and enjoy a phosphate. Any how, I went back, hunting for a different root beer (review coming next month) and when I asked them if they said they had anything new, they remarked that they’d just started making a lemon root beer. That sounds like a terrible idea to me. If you’ve read this blog much (or my reviews in general) you know my opinion of sour, citrusy, fruity flavors in my root beer. I’ve also not had the best experience with Whistler despite my love for what they do. To set my expectations even lower, when I posted about the new root beer on Facebook, the owner of Whistler commented that he himself didn’t like it but people kept asking for it so he made it. That’s actually hilarious and I told him to not take it bad if I panned it in my review. After all, would you be excited to drink something its own creator has dismissed as weird? But so I found myself filling my mug with a lemon scented brew.

The Body has a rich creamy root beer flavor that is almost caramely and is sharpened by lemon accents which transition to a vanilla lemon flavor. Despite a strong lemon, it isn’t sour or even feel citrusy. The Bite is mostly from prickly carbonation but it finishes smooth. The Head is medium height and staying power, sufficient for a good brew. The Aftertaste is rich vanilla and lemon, like a lemon custard, but for some reason it feels completely natural to finish a root beer like this.

No. No no no no. This isn’t right … how? It’s amazing! But it shouldn’t be. Literally nothing I just wrote makes any sense to me. Finishing a root beer with lemon custard? What? But it’s delicious. I can’t stop drinking it. I want more. It seems like the most natural fantastic root beer despite contradiction of its flavors. What dark wizardry is this? A lemon root beer has no business being this good. But I’ll be back for more. Congratulations Whistler, I award you the Seal of Approval. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Mar 032021

Root 42 Root Beer Bottle This was my Christmas present for 2020. Props to my diligent wife to be able to track it down, as it had stopped being produced in bottles several months earlier. Yet, she was able to mail order some not just from one of the last distributors, but also get in contact with the makers and get two bottles from them. That’s the sort of thing that makes a gift extra special. This is made by New Creation Soda Works in Georgia. They say it’s “as natural as the government will allow” which I assume is referring to lack of sassafras? I don’t actually know. But yeah! Fight the power, or something. I don’t know why they are Root 42. There is no explanation, so kind of like Olde No. 43 in that respect, which is one number better? I don’t know. Let’s see.

The Body is sweet and rich with a nice caramel, vanilla, and aged sarsaparilla flavors featuring prominently. They are accented by a nice nutty taste which comes from pecan. The Bite is a little harsh from carbonation and a little light on the spice. I feel it could use more depth here as well as a smoother finish. The Head is quite nice. It’s pretty tall and though it fizzes down a little faster than others, it isn’t short lasting by any means. The aftertaste is a nutty vanilla flavor with caramel hints.

This is good and rather unique. There’s some interesting ingredients in this, including lemon juice and pecan, but it works far better than you’d expect. They also use “two-fold vanilla” which I had never heard of before. There is something missing, however, I can’t quite put my finger on it. A little bit of texture and spice is missing or something, keeping this out of Seal territory, but it’s good nonetheless, and I lament the decision to only produce in cans going forward. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Feb 032021

Thunder Beast Texas Edition American Root Beer Bottle I like it when a root beer brewer makes more than one flavor. Thunder Beast has done two before, and now they’ve got a Texas Edition to add to their lineup. They’ve also added the tagline “Fight Monsters” which is related to the fact that Monster Energy is currently engaged in a trademark bullying campaign against them because Monster is in fact a known and despicable trademark bully. Seriously, I hate trademark bullies. A pox upon them! May all manner of misfortune befall all of the managers and lawyers at Monster for their crimes against root beer. Also Thunderbeast is donating a percentage of their profits to fight human trafficking and bullying, so they’re fighting monsters in another sense as well. Good on them. I don’t know why this particular brew is called Texas Edition. It says that Thunder Beast LLC is from Austin Texas when I was sure they were originally a DC company, so maybe that’s it? Their new recipe now that their HQ is in Texas? It doesn’t really say on their website. Anyhow how does it taste?

The Body has a distinct burned sugar taste, like the top of a crème brulée, which mingles with some honey and sassafras. It’s isn’t very sweet by root beer standards and there’s a fruity tinge. The Bite is harsh from the carbonation yet lacking in spice. The Head is good and tall but fizzes down quickly. The Aftertaste is that burnt sugar that ends on the fruity notes.

I really want to like this more, because I like the concept of Thunder Beast. That burned sugar is good and the root beer is unique, but it still needs a lot more to be better than just Drinkable. Oh well. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs