Jan 022019

Gold Mine Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval Another super premium packaged root beer. There’ve been more of these as late, and I for one am happy to see root beer taken to the next level. This is from Rocket Fizz, maker of many celebrity root beers of varying quality. The bottle size and wax seal immediately made me think of Indian Wells Special Reserve. They actually are both made at the same place, but are unique recipes. Plus this has shiny gold wax. In keeping with the old-timey feel, they have stock certificates in the Rocket Fizz Gold Mining Company. Each stock certificate is worth 1/5th of a root beer, a Death Valley Root Beer, which is also made by Indian Wells, but well, um, isn’t a root beer worth getting at all. So, yeah, stock in a worthless root beer is available as part of the gimmick with this. But what about the brew itself?

It has a rich creamy Body with distinctive, yet not overpowering licorice. Like, just enough that I still like it, which isn’t a lot. There is a minty hint to it as well. The Bite could be spicier, but it is present. It’s mild and on the smooth side. The Head is most excellent. Very tall and foamy and just perfect. The Aftertaste is a sweet, spiced vanilla. Very pleasant.

It’s a complex and yummy brew, though not as good as the Special Reserve, it still squeaks by at a Seal of Approval, just barely. I was quite on the fence with this, but the second bottle won me over. Who cares about those stock certificates, just give me more of this. Though, at the price point ($7/bottle), I doubt I’ll be buying much more. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

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