Jan 012020
 

Barq's Crafted Soda Root Beer Bottle Canadian Barq’s! That’s right, they make it different in Canada. I don’t know why, but they do. Not only do they only use pure cane sugar, but they use a little less sugar in total, and there’s less sodium. The nutritional information is therefore different, as the ingredients, slightly. And they even had the decency to call it something different, Crafted Soda. That’s not what we call it down here. So that means I can review it properly as it’s own brew. It even has a different logo. I found this in Toronto last year in a grocery store near my hotel. It caused quite a stir in the online root beer community, as no one knew about its existence. Maybe it’s something that came out recently? But the real questions, is it good, and does it taste the same as American Barq’s?

The Body has a rich creamy sassafras flavor with some nice vanilla surfacing after the initial contact and caramel notes. It’s a rather middle of the road, almost generic creamy root beer. The Bite is a little prickly from carbonation, but otherwise lacking in spices. It finishes moderately smooth. The Head is very tall but fizzes down a little too fast. The Aftertaste is vanilla with hints of caramel and the slightest bit of the sarsaparilla flavor you get in American Barq’s.

This is markedly different. I even went out and got a bottle of American Barq’s just to make sure. There’s more than just sugar substitution going on for this type of flavor difference. This is clearly, not your father’s Barq’s, but it’s better in my opinion, and earns an extra half a keg. Definitely worth trying if you can find it, just to see how different the same brand can be across a boarder. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs




Dec 042019
 

Rocket Fizz Root Beer with Nutmeg Bottle So Rocket Fizz is at it again. Not to be content with having essentially cornered the market on celebrity root beer (the uniqueness of each is growing increasingly dubious), they’ve taken to copying other “premium” root beers that are out there. Like how they copied the Indian Wells Special Reserve with their Gold Mine. So now they look to copy Virgil’s Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg, spring top bottle and all, with their own root beer … with nutmeg … And that’s what they called it. Root Beer with Nutmeg. Not sure why they couldn’t come up with anything else. I mean, why not reach out to some other region of some other country completely unaffiliated with root beer and add nutmeg. Like Rocket Fizz Limited Edition Dublin Nutmeg Root Beer. Cause the Irish in Dublin are just as knowledgeable about root beer as the Bavarians. Anyhow, while they could copy the waxed cap of the Indian Wells, they seem unable to bottle a spring top bottle on their line, leading to the bizarre spring top bottle that’s just capped with a regular cap. So that spring cap is there to just, reseal it after drinking half, a pint? It’s only a pint. We can drink a pint. Plus the gasket is probably all dirty from being out in the open air. I honestly don’t think Rocket Fizz thought this thing through well enough before they launched production. But the taste?

The Body has nutmeg! This is without question. It just blasts in your face. But nutmeg is good so this isn’t a bad thing. There’s also a sweet sarsaparilla flavor with some wintergreen and other spices. Maybe a tad of vanilla? There’s a lot happening here and the balance is a little off. The Bite is undoubtedly very spicy from the aforementioned nutmeg, and the other spices, and the carbonation level is good. The Head is magnificent. The Aftertaste is some wintergreen and nutmeg that turns bitter and herbal.

It’s not quite proportioned well for me. Like the name and the bottle, it seems they rushed the recipe. I guess they didn’t want to miss the bandwagon for the whole special nutmeg root beer that’s existed for the past 20 years … It isn’t bad though, so there’s that. I appreciate what you’re doing Rocket Fizz, giving me more stuff to review and all, but maybe slow down, make a plan, get a good brew, and then launch your product. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs




Nov 062019
 

Summit Craft Root Beer BottleSummit is an Aldi brand. Aldi is a discount market where they don’t give you bags and you need to put quarters in to get shopping carts. Their standard store brand root beer is Summit Suds, which comes only in cans. They’ve done glass versions before, though they weren’t very good. I was very happy last year when I heard this root beer was being made. But, despite living near an Aldi now it never showed up, and I was left to mourn when it disappeared from all of the shelves. Then, later this year, I got a random text from my wife who was shopping at Aldi with a picture of a four-pack of this asking if I’d tried it. What luck! My son felt very proud too, as he was the one who found it. It’s not often I get a second chance at these, so reviewing it became my top priority. I don’t understand the whole aviator dog on the label. I get that there are a lot of dogs on root beer labels, but why is it an aviator? The bottle gives no clues, and maybe we’re not to know. They probably did it just to annoy me, cause they know I rant about these dog labels. Anyhow, my review.

The Body is sweet with a classic root beer flavor and a sarsaparilla tinge. It’s a little on the mild side though. There’s a decent spice Bite, from some cloves. The Head is medium tall and very foamy. The Aftertaste is a mild vanilla with sarsaparilla.

It’s pretty good, just not quite all there. I don’t know It’s a lot better than their previous try with the Vintage root beer, so there’s that. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs