Nov 012017

Frostop Special Reserve Imperial Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalI haven’t been as excited to try a new root beer since Sprecher Honey. I love Frostop so a Frostop with clover honey and Madagascar vanilla sounds like heaven. This was made in a custom batch run for the people at Market Street Soda, a soda shop in Newark, Ohio. They are like a bar, but only draft and bottled sodas, with a large number of them root beers. This is a concept I’d like to see more of. They have Frostop on draft and have a good relationship with Frostop, so they got this custom brew made just for them. It’s bottled by Spring Grove. They wouldn’t ship any to me, but luckily I have some amazing fans so someone sent me two bottles in a trade.

The Body is rich and complex with lovely honey and vanilla and lots of clove all complimenting a nice sassafras core. All that clove makes one spicy Bite but it still finishes rather smooth. The Head is just perfect. It’s tall and frothy and lingers through the entire drinking experience. The creamy vanilla Aftertaste is peppered with clove accents. A perfect finish for an amazing brew.

Wow, just wow. I am a sucker for vanilla and honey brews and they nailed this one. Lots of clove on this type of root beer is quite unique and I really liked it as well, it was that extra kick to knock this into the highest echelons of root beers. Well done Frostop, two for two. See how it rates against other root beers

4.5 Kegs

Oct 252017

Crim City Soda Renegade Root Beer Bottle Crim City is a rough place. Where kingpins and their henchmen pull major heists, brawlers fill the alleys, and renegades cause all sorts of damage while ensuring someone else gets the blame. The Crim City Police Department always has their hands full but they never seem to make any progress at all. This Gotham of a town is ironically the creation of Canadians, who have grown tired of all the politeness, moose, and maple syrup that adorns their cities. They have also grown tired of large scale commercial sodas, which are so bland and artificial, and thus have launched a rough and tough, all natural, exciting soda company to combat the blasé flavors and branding of the commercial establishment. Their root beer is the renegade of the group. They were kind enough to let me order some direct, though shipping from Canuckistan (I’m not the only one who calls Canada that right?) is rather steep. They also make energy drinks under the brand of Beaver Buzz with the tagline “Dam Good” and included one for me because that’s the sort of nice guys they are.

The Body is nice and sweet with a light flavor profile. There’s some caramel and vanilla notes with spices. The Bite is harsh but has some nice spice to it. The Head is medium height and duration. The Aftertaste is the faintest caramel traces that are gone quickly.

This is nice. It’s a light brew, but the flavors are all good. I’d prefer it to be stronger, but maybe that’s the renegade’s way, cooler than strong. It’s not quite Seal material, but it’s better than average. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Oct 182017

Bottle of Hummingbird Hill Birch Rootbeer Another flavored brew. This time it’s a birch root beer. Not a birch beer. Technically this says “Birch Rootbeer”, which, if you are getting deep into the semantics of things you’d try and say isn’t really a root beer, but luckily the proper semantic definition has been established by the Standards Committee of the International Association of Gourmet Root Beer (IAGRB). It is in Standard NC 023.2-2007. I’ll only summarize it, because it costs a lot of money to buy those standards. Basically a root beer is defined as combinations of ‘root’ and ‘beer’, such as root beer, rootbeer, root bear, root beir, as well as translations such as cerveja de rais, cerveza de raiz, bière de racine, racinette, etc. Additionally, other flavors that proceed the term root beer do not disqualify it from being a root beer while flavors afterwards may do so, such as root beer and chocolate or root beer float. Got it? Good. Now on to Hummingbird Hill. I didn’t like their regular root beer so I didn’t have high expectations for this.

The Body is very birchy, but not full at all. There’s a good amount of wintergreen and it has some sour hints to it. The Bite is unimpressive. There’s some carbonation burn but not much else. The Head is inconsistent in height but lacks staying power so it is gone quickly. The Aftertaste is empty. There’s some wintergreen and a tad of vanilla but it doesn’t last at all.

This brew is unfulfilling. It it’s not gag level or anything, but it just isn’t good. Nope. I think it’s worse than their first attempt, which was also pretty bad. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs