Aug 122015

Jackson Hole Buckin' Root Beer When my sister graduated from BYU she asked me to help her move to Pullman, WA where her husband was going to complete his degree. My job in helping included riding along with them so they wouldn’t be as bored. I switched between riding with my sister in their car, and with the moving truck. When we finally got there and he was gassing up the truck before returning it, I found this Jackson Hole Buckin’ Root Beer at the station. The picture doesn’t actually depict a bucking bull, but some dude flying in the air above one. I think it’s implying he got bucked off or something. I never was into rodeo that much but whatever. The rest of the label is nice and orderly without trying to throw a million tag lines at you. That’s a cowboy characteristic for you. It’s buckin’, see it bucked, that’s it.

A nice rooty Body with a spicy Bite made drinking this root beer rather enjoyable. The flavor was like that of a root beer barrel candy. The Head wasn’t very frothy and fizzed away very quickly which disappointed me. The Aftertaste was sweet and spicy. There was a noticeable lack of vanilla flavor so it wasn’t very creamy however.

Not a bad brew, though lacking in a few departments. Factoring the lack of into both body and Aftertaste, coupled with the less than favorable head it is slightly more than drinkable at best. I do know some people who swear this is the best one out there *cough* root beer store guy *cough* but I won’t even give it a Seal. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Aug 052015

Boylan Root Beer BottleThis is produced by the Boylan Bottling Company (I know big surprise) and has been around since 1891. It’s actually one of the more common brands of gourmet root beer. I’ve found it all across the nation and even in Canada. Yet, when I first got this over a decade ago, I mail ordered it in a variety pack. I probably should have just waited until I found it in my many travels, but you never know what you are going to run across before you buy it. Their website says that they let their sodas speak for themselves with “no hype, no marketing gimmicks.” So you’d forgive me for never knowing they were a commonly available until age and miles verified the fact. And to think, some of the others I passed up that day are long gone and I’ll never get a chance to try them … The bottle is kind of unique and with the painted logo rather old fashioned. For some reason it says Boylan Bottleworks on the bottle whereas the website calls themselves the Boylan Bottling Company. I’m not sure why they do that. There is no explanation anywhere. Even Wikipedia says that it was called the Boylan Bottling Company since its founding. So I’m at a loss.

This has a very strong Body and an alright Aftertaste. It says “best head” on the bottle but the Head is not that good. The Bite is okay.

This is a pretty ‘meh’ brew. It’s also pretty middle of the road so I can see why it would catch on. As one of those pure cane sugar sodas, people who like that would stock it. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Jul 292015

Mad River Root Beer Bottle In high school I had several friends that were obsessed with the Mad Max trilogy. They even bought cars that looked somewhat like The Last V8 Interceptor and tried to make them more so. It was an infectious craze and soon we all would make ridiculous Road Warrior references at all occasions. It should come as no surprise then, that the in first variety pack of root beer I ever ordered, I had to include Mad River, because that is clearly what Mad Max would drink. It even says “Drink Mad” on the bottle. Upon receipt of my brew, I was of course the envy of our little group of Mad Max maniacs. But there’s so much more depth to this bottle than a Mel Gibson reference. They plastered all sorts of taglines and catch phrases on this in the hopes that one of them would stick. From clich├ęs like “The original” to “Live it up, this is not a rehearsal” They even tell about their cold brewed process and how their all natural, a fact that escaped me back then because I didn’t even care. Evidently they even use some “traditional methods of a 125 year old brewery” whatever that’s supposed to mean. Interestingly the river in question is a rather small part of the label. You’d think they’d put more emphasis on that.

This has a fabulous Bite, but the Head is terrible, the Body is weak and the Aftertaste is strange.

And thus it was that this root beer, despite all of its catchphrases, missed the most important one, something to do with Bite. That’s all I could remember of it. It was completely unremarkable other than when it hit your mouth it bit just perfectly before turning all weak and strange. Unsurprisingly, this is long since out of business. I guess the market for Mad Max obsessed teenagers buying the soda for a novelty could only take them so far. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs