Sep 272017

Ginseng UP American Classics Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval I am going to take some credit for the existence of this root beer. I know it sounds presumptuous, but that could be said for most of this website. You see, after I reviewed the Ginseng Up Private Label, I sent them an email congratulating them on the Seal of Approval. I also mentioned that it was strange that their Ginseng UP brand line didn’t have a root beer, especially since their tagline is “The Root of All Power” which could be a double entendre with root beer, and hoped that they’d make something equally good with ginseng. As you can see, they make one now, but it’s different from the Private Label in more than just added ginseng. This is all natural with cane sugar and no preservatives, which makes people like my lovely wife very happy.

The Body is sweet and full and creamy with a pronounced ginseng flavor and notes of caramel and a hint of wintergreen. The Bite is nice with clove the dominant spice though it finishes smooth. The Head is tall with decent staying power, not the best by any means, but nice. The Aftertaste is vanilla with a little ginseng.

Yum. They’ve made a nice creamy root beer with some additional complexity from the wintergreen and cloves. They make the ginseng work perfectly with it too, adding a nifty little twist without detracting in the least. I expected nothing less from the shadowy root beer overlords of the private label industry. Predictably, this is also sold in different bottles with different labels with the American Classics more prevalent. But it’s the same recipe. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Sep 202017

JD's Old Fashioned Root Beer Bottle This brew hails from Dallas Wisconsin. A woman by the name of Jen makes it just as a hobby to do in her spare time, much like me who drinks root beer and writes about it in his spare time. I’m sure the ‘J’ in JD is for Jen but I’m not sure where the ‘D’ comes from. It doesn’t appear, from my Paypal receipt, to be her last name and her Facebook page is a little light on the details. If you’re not from the Dallas, WI area, getting this is rather problematic. As it is just a hobby of hers, it’s sold mainly at farmers markets and some craft breweries. None of which are overly accommodating for mail orders. However, if you are a patient fellow, you just might be able to get some mailed out from J herself. It has a simple little label that reminds me of Spring Lake Root Beer, and is most likely just printed out on her computer at home.

The Body is dark and spicy with some caramel and vanilla undertones. Licorice and features prominently. The Bite is spicy but not carbonated enough for my liking. The Head is very short yet foamy. It’s just there isn’t enough carbonation to build a proper Head. It is gone too quickly. The Aftertaste is licorice and some wintergreen that turns a little bitter.

This is alright, but not quite good enough for me to want again. I’m just not a fan of that dark licorice flavor, though the light vanilla and caramel help quite a bit, the final deciding factor was the dismal Head. I suspect I may have gotten a bad batch, but I’ve got to review it as I see it, not as how I think it was mean to be. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Sep 132017

Pint of Rockets Root BeerDay 2 (er 3 kind of) of my road trip saw us leaving Butte with a need for lunch in the future. Billings was the next logical stop and was a necessary one. As you may recall, back in May I was in Billings, and though I got one root beer, my dinner plans that day fell short, and I missed another draft brew by an hour. Rockets Gourmet Wraps and Sodas, on the same block as Montana Brewing Company, closes at 4 everyday. I’d sworn then that if I ever returned to Billings, I’d not miss it. And there I was, driving straight into Billings. The place is really classy with large selection of gourmet wraps. They also make six flavors of soda including their root beer and a huckleberry cream. They kept trying to give me a small sample but I demanded they wait until I was good and ready to review, and get mine and my families food ordered.

The Body has a strong wintergreen and vanilla flavor which completely dominates the drinking experience. It’s not a bad flavor though. The Bite is strong as well from all of that wintergreen, kind of sharp on the tongue. The Head is short, but present, though it doesn’t last long. The Aftertaste is bitter from all of the wintergreen.

So, lots of wintergreen and vanilla. Kind of like that Wooley Bugger Root Beer which is brewed also in the same town. Not really my thing but not bad. It goes with those tasty wraps they have. I got a Bayou wrap which was delicious and spicy. I also had to try their huckleberry cream soda and that was great too. So this place is worth a visit if you’re in town, or driving through it.

Three kegs

My Cajun wrap. Basically red beans and rice in a wrap. Spicy and yummy!

My Bayou wrap. Basically red beans and rice in a wrap. Spicy and yummy!