Jun 032020

Rusted Rodeo Mad Cowboy Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval This was a Christmas present from my lovely wife. Remember that the best presents are root beer. Always, forever. Especially if it’s a brand new root beer. Rusted Rodeo Craft Soda is a recent startup out of Wyoming, that only sells directly to customers, so if you don’t live near Gillette, WY (which statistically is basically everyone), you’ll need to mail order. This root beer is their flagship soda, with flavor text of “a bold, courageous, adventure-seeking, 8 second kin of guy … he’s a mad cowboy” that’s written in about 5 different font sizes. The ingredients are similarly written in different font sizes, and I doubt they listed them in order, or else this has more natural roots than carbonated water in it. It also has a rather unique bottle, which rather fun. Now, the brew itself?

The Body is complex and earthy with honey, sarsaparilla, and herb flavors mingling to give a very unique root beer that’s still not too far off of the expected flavor to come across as weird. It’s quite refreshing and not overly sweet, but well balanced and layered. There’s a notable spice Bite with clove standing out, but it’s on the milder, smoother side with a nice smooth finish. The Head is second to none. It stays forever and foams up like crazy. It’s basically perfect, so pour with caution or you’ll be waiting for a while before you can finish your pour. The Aftertaste is a nice spiced honey with faint sarsaparilla that leaves you feeling refreshed.

This is a very nice brew, a little different than your standard, archetypal root beer, but still satisfying in nearly every way. Now my only real complaint is the name. This is a quality, fine, complex and refreshing soda which is a pleasure to sip and enjoy. None of that connotes some crazy adventure-seeking mad cowboy. More like the mad cowboy’s grandfather, lazily rocking on his back porch, with a fresh batch of the family brew, enjoying the sunset while the roots and spices mingle and caress his tongue. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

May 062020

Real Sugar Soda Vintage Root Beer Bottle Another brew from my good pal Rick. This one is from Oak Cliff, Texas. Real Sugar Soda. Evidently for them, real sugar means cane sugar, which I’m sure the beet producers in Michigan would take issue with. Heck, I even consider corn syrup as “real” sugar, inasmuch as it isn’t some artificial sweetener. But cane sugar is trendy these days, so it makes sense. They’ve been around since 2009, yet I’ve never heard of this root beer, and I’ve been doing this for longer than 2009. Maybe their root beer is new but their soda company isn’t? Maybe it’s only recently they started bottling. Whatever. It’s vintage. We all love vintage root beer. Nearly everyone’s got a vintage root beer. They even address that on their bottle, saying that it “definitely belongs here”. We shall see.

The Body is sweet with a fruity sarsaparilla tinge. There’s a hint of spices and it’s a little generic while on the creamy side. The fruity is a little much for me though. The Bite is very smooth, the spices can be tasted but not felt, if that makes sense, so I wish there was a little more. The Head proved itself worthy of all accolades, which you’ve heard before so I shan’t regale you with them. The Aftertaste is more of that sweet fruity, which I don’t really like.

So, yeah, this is okay, I guess. Like, just barely okay. Just barely drinkable for discerning root beer gourmet like I am and everyone else strives to be. But is it vintage? I guess so? I mean, it doesn’t taste like some new, avant-garde type root beer, so if it isn’t that you can call it vintage. I wouldn’t call it good. Just, drinkable. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Apr 012020

Atta Boy Root Beer Bottle From Oklahoma City in the OK state of Oklahoma (I will not apologize) comes this brew. It’s made by BTB Brewing Company, which stands for Bricktown Brewing Company… so where’s the other B mean? BrickTown Brewing Brewing Company? That’s what the bottle makes it out to be. The only reason I could find out it was Bricktown was some very small print on the side. I’m just … no. I’m done. I’m not even going to do this anymore. So Bricktown Brewing Company is a sorta Midwest Chain, with all locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, R-Kansas I mean Arkansas, and Missouri. Their website says nothing about this root beer at all, why it’s called Atta Boy, why it’s a dog, or anything. But peeps like their dogs and like to name root beers after them and I like to complain about it so there we are. Anyways, the most fine and accommodating Rick sent me this for which he has my eternal thanks. Atta Boy Rick (still not sorry).

The Body is nice and sweet with a classic creamy root beer stand flavor. There’s a good amount of vanilla mixed into the sassafras core accented by some spice. The Bite is decently sharp with a fairly smooth finish. The Head is disappointing. It’s tiny short, it’s gone quickly. It ruins an otherwise impeccable root beer experience. The Aftertaste is sweet vanilla and sassafras with the tiniest hints of wintergreen which builds as you drink, making it tastier and tastier.

Wow, fine flavors, but a terrible Head. So close. If this had a Henry’s type Head I’d probably rate it 4 1/2, but it doesn’t so I won’t, I can’t, and finally I’m sorry. I really wanted to give it the Seal, but rules are rules and however yummy you may be, a root beer needs to be the whole package and experience. But also it’s still yummy so worth drinking should you be at the BTB Brewery or whatever. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs