Dec 242014

Moosejaw_BigI can’t look at the name of this and not think about The Arrogant Worms, a Canadian comedy folk band whose song, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate contains the phrase “A bridge outside of Moose Jaw spans the mighty river. Farmers cross in so much fear their stomachs are a quiver. Because they know that Tractor Jack is hiding in the bay …” (Coincidentally I also had two bottles of Captain Jack’s Root Beer to review right after this one…) It is a glorious song. Interestingly the pizza place and brewery this comes from is named after the town of Arrogant Worms fame. And there’s some homage/connection to Al Capone as well. Why not? It wouldn’t be the first time he was affiliated with root beer. Other than that if there was one thing I could say to describe this brew it would be Sodium Benzoate. Why? Because they want to let you know just how many times they put it in there. It’s listed in parentheses as the last ingredient in the ingredient “Rootbeer Extract”. Then they add a “Sodium Benzoate Solution” which of course contains it in parentheses again, and finally it’s also included in their “Sparkling Foam” ingredient. After each mention of Sodium Benzoate they say “(Preservative)” so you’re getting into nested parentheses. Seriously, we figured out that it was a preservative the first time. So yeah, this brew is chalk full of sodium benzoate evidently.

The Body is sweet and spicy with honey and wintergreen and some slight bit of fruity. There’s a solid spicy Bite. The Head is short, but frothy and lingers. The Aftertaste is some fruity honey and spice. I suspect that the honey used in this was a fruity type honey which is where that flavor comes from.

I like the spicy honey, but not the fruity and the poor Head. And after all of the ballyhooed sodium benozate, I really didn’t notice it in there. All in all it’s pretty decent and would go well with their pizzas I’m sure. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Dec 212011

I discovered this brew when the Capos-Capone Pasta Sauce ‘liked’ my page on Facebook. I looked at who they were and discovered that they made this root beer. But wait, why would they ‘like’ me if I hadn’t even tried their product? So I shot them an email, apologizing profusely for not having tried their esteemed brew and asking them how I could acquire it (you don’t want to anger Mr. Capone’s ‘family’ after all). They were very understanding and offered to send me some to review. Maybe they were a little too friendly. Great, now I’ve given them my address, I hope they weren’t mad about my ignorance of the Capone Family Secret, I mean, it was a secret after all. But a few days later, instead of receiving a hail of 0.45 calibers delivered from a Tommy gun and a quickly passing 1928 Cadillac Town Sedan, or a pair of cement shoes and a new apartment at the bottom of Lake Washington, I received two bottles of root beer each in it’s own burlap sack. That’s pretty cool. I’ve never gotten root beer shipped like that before. I would expect nothing less from the Family. It says on the bottle that this is soda was the only thing ever found in Al Capone’s warehouses during the many times they were raided (along with pasta sauces it seems). So how did Mr. Capone like his root beer?

This is one of those brews with a nice, creamy, full Body. It has a nice spicy caramel type flavor that surfaces after the initial contact. The Bite is good. It grabs you with those spices and a carbonation tingle but then lets you go slowly and smoothly for an excellent finish. The Aftertaste is lovely vanilla and a hint of spicy caramel that you could just swim in (you’ve never swum in vanilla?). The Head is a bit perplexing. The first bottle I had didn’t have much of a Head, but it was very frothy and lingered long enough to not be fatal to the rating. The second bottle had a huge Head that was medium frothy and fizzed down until the last centimeter. That last centimeter stuck around awhile. So either way the Head was good enough, though, I prefer a Head I can count on.

So this is quality stuff. Clearly Mr. Capone would settle for nothing but the best. Dare I say it, if he had focused on selling this, he wouldn’t have needed any other of his ‘businesses’. Or, I’m sure he could have had his sentence commuted if he had sent this stuff to the Governor or the President. Perhaps his greatest crime was keeping this under wraps for so long. Either way, I’m glad it’s been released now so we can all enjoy it and I am proud to award it my Seal of Approval. See how it rates against other root beers.