Dec 262018

Tommyknocker All Natural Root Beer BottleI told you last time that I hoped it was the last time. Alas, it was not to be. Strange to hear me bemoaning a new root beer to review, but I’m just getting tired of Tommyknocker’s antics. They’re like the gambling addict who can’t quit when he’s ahead, or even when he’s losing badly. Just one more try they say, I’ll win it back, I’ll win more… It never works that way. They had a Seal of Approval, with their New Root Beer, they’d finally achieved some redemption, but no, they wanted to give it another shot, another spin on the wheel, and change their recipe. At least they had the decency to change their name again. Now it’s All Natural Root Beer, because evidently that’s just what they needed. They also dispensed with their “1859” and “original” from their labels, knowing that trying to claim the same original recipe since inception was so laughable it had become sad. Despite my annoyance, I dutifully purchased my bottles to see what they’d concocted this time.

The Body is medium strength with maple and aged vanilla flavors that are all out of balance and don’t ensemble well at all. It’s also sort of sour. The Bite is spicy yet smooth so that’s at least good. The Head is excellent! The Aftertaste is a clumsy mix of maple, vanilla, and wintergreen wrapped in some sour herbs.

Tommyknocker, what have you done? This is by far your worst brew yet. Though the Head and the Bite are good, the Body and the Aftertaste fail hard. It’s like you stopped trying halfway through. I figured it wouldn’t impress, but to be downright bad? Every try before at least had a rather rich mapley goodness, but now, it’s barely there. You had the Seal, you were ahead, but like the gambler, you put it all on black for double or nothing, and it landed on green. I’m sure in two more years they’ll tweak their recipe and name yet again. I have a feeling it will only get worse. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Dec 192018

Tousignant Root Beer Bottle A few weeks ago I was back in Montreal, doing the businessy things I’m wont to do on such trips and thinking about root beer when the daily work is done. In addition to my internet searching, I asked the locals, and by that I mean this guy (BFTAG) in my guild (relic) in the mobile game I play (Summoner’s War). His first reply was along the line of “What’s racinette?”, which, sadly, was a response I got way too much over there. Like, racinette is literally the French Canadian word for root beer and it’s written on every bottle of it. Yet, nearly every place I’d ask, including the A&W, I’d get this blank stare from people. Anyhow, when I told BFTAG about root beer he had no idea, but some intense googling revealed Chez Tousignant, a burger place with a bottled house root beer. I told him and he said he loves that place and if I were to go, to ping him on game chat and he’d meet me there. And a couple days into the trip, I did just that. And found myself in a nice little burger, hot dog, and poutine joint being greeted by the Frenchyiest (Quebeciest?) French Canadian imaginable. So we got some amazing Tousingant burgers and dogs and grabbed some brews. Tousignant has about 6 flavors of house soda, which are custom bottled just for them. My guildie was surprised that I had a cream soda and was saving the root beer till I could get back home. Reviews of bottled root beer much be done right, after all.

The Body has a sweet, yet sour sarsaparilla flavor on the initial contact with vanilla coming through after a bit. The Bite is on the mellow side, with only a little spice accents. The Head is very tall and foamy, yet doesn’t linger as long as the best do. The Aftertaste is wonderful, a more mature sarsaparilla and vanilla flavor without any of the sour.

This is pretty good, but that initial sour kick really ruins it for me. It could have a spicier Bite too, oh well. I imagine it’d pair wonderfully with their Tousignant Burger and Dogs, that signature seasoning was divine. So I give it a solid drinkable. Definitely worth dropping by. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Dec 122018

Big Muddy Root Beer Bottle This brew comes from Big Muddy Brewing in Murphysboro, Illinois. The brewery is named after the Big Muddy River which is, you guessed it, big and muddy. Or, at least it seems to be so if the Wikipedia article is to be trusted. I’ve never been there so I have to take their word for it. There’s a lot of questions I have for these guys without any real answers to be found. Like, why a Sasquatch? If you asked most people where they imagine big foots (feets?) to be found, I doubt Illinois would be near the top of their lists. The website is rather devoid of facts about the brewery leaving more questions then answers. It’s also devoid of mentioning this root beer, which is another question I have for them. The wonderful Vince sent this my way, proving once again why he is such an invaluable asset to the root beer community.

The Body is sweet and crisp with a rich honey flavor and some sarsaparilla undertones in a Barq’s-y sort of way. There’s an adequate Bite from spices that is accentuated by an interesting effervescent mouthfeel. The Head is tall but fizzes away too quickly. The Aftertaste is some nice honey.

Pretty good. I like that bubbly effervescent mouthfeel. Quite unique. But, it just doesn’t quite do it for me. There’s nothing really wrong with this. It just doesn’t impress me like a Seal of Approval brew should. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs