Jul 232014

Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer Bottle A pirate themed energy drink root beer, I’ve never seen one of those before. To be fair, I had this one first. At the time ordered it, I thought they were referencing one of my favorite comedy actors, who, to the best of my knowledge has never actually portrayed a pirate. The only other Jack Black was some pirate ghost from an old Disney series that had to go and save 100 lives to avoid damnation. I don’t think that’s what these guys are going for. It does seem a jolly scull and crossbones, so let’s just assume they were envisioning some sort of Nacho Libre prequel set on the high seas in a ship called the Dead Red with an awkward, incompetent captain (Jack Black) and a delinquent crew. Root beer would somehow be involved. Probably Jack Black’s favorite drink and the crew would always be doing something to it as part of a running gag. And then Jack would yell “Who’s been screwin’ with my brewin’?” or something like that. I’d definitely watch that movie. There are also many humorous sayings written on the bottle like “Second time available in 416 years” … okay, and “Better Dead Red than just plain Dead” which remains to be seen.

This has a nice sweet and creamy Body. After the initial contact however, there is a strange flavor that surfaces and takes away from beauty of the brew. The Bite is too strange. There is too much Guarana in it. The Head is alright. The Aftertaste is of vanilla and Guarana.

Well that is pleasantly surprising. These energy drink type root beers are usually frightening at best but that’s pretty decent. Not Seal of Approval good, but good enough to warrant an occasional bottle on International Talk Like A Pirate Day, for a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon, and similar type activities. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Jul 022014

Barton Springs Root Beer Bottle After a bit of a drought in new root beers (a month or two) I snapped and went on a buying spree. The first to get to me was this. Barton Springs Soda Company is located in Austin Texas and was only founded in 2012. That’s the spirit boys, keep new root beers coming. I need at least 52 per year to keep this pace … Anyways I like the simple label. It’s direct and to the point, kind of retro, and isn’t too busy. The only flavor text reads “Made with the finest quality cane sugar” That’s usually a good thing.

The Body, is sweet, very sweet, too sweet, near sickeningly sweet. It’s all sticky and syrupy. It’s caramely with some wintergreen and a strange chemically-something-out-of-place flavor. There is a prickly Bite but not too strong. It’s pretty smooth. The Head is adequate, medium height and frothy. The Aftertaste is more sweet syrupy wintergreen with hints of some unfamiliar chemical.

Ok, what the heck? This thing is way too sweet, and I eat raw sugar cubes for a snack. Looking at the ingredients reveals something I’ve never had in a root beer before, sucralose. Seriously? They put sucralose in this on top of already 42g of cane sugar. Why would you even DO that? How can you claim that you using the “finest quality cane sugar” if your going to dump some artificial chemical sweetener in it like it was some diet swill. Clearly, at 42g, you’re no diet. Bulldog only has 41g. The sucralose is clearly the cause of weird chemical flavor and the sweetness levels to make one nauseous. Too bad, it had such potential to be good, but instead this is something I don’t want to touch again. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Jun 252014

Pallino Root Beer Pallino Pastaria is a modern Italian fast food type place that’s all around the Seattle area. Evidently the name comes from the small clay ball used in Bocce because why not? Everywhere I’ve lived over here has had a Pallino not far from it. Granted, that’s really only two areas, U-District and Redmond, but still. Despite this I’ve only ever eaten there twice and that was in the last year. Where I actually found this was at Sea-Tac airport when I was invited to the University of Washington for visit days while I was deciding which grad school to attend. On my way back to Utah I noticed the root beers at their little outlet and bought three bottles for reviewing. This was back when they actually allowed liquids on a plane. The label is simple and circular with the ingredients wrapped all around it. I find it classy and unassuming. They actually use real sassafras root bark in this one which is really cool, but they use licorice as well, and more of it than the sassafras.

The sweet Body was light on everything else though the licorice was noticeable. The Bite was light as well, giving a smooth brew. The Head was rather large but fizzed away quickly. The Aftertaste was a sticky licorice and vanilla flavor.

Ugh, too much licorice. I can’t abide these heavy licorice brews. This one wasn’t too heavy, but the other flavors were lighter than I prefer. The licorice then ruins what would otherwise be a pleasurable experience. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs