Dec 172014
 

Napa Valley Soda Co. Root Beer Bottle One day I’m walking through Macey’s (a grocery store) in Provo and I spot this new root beer on the shelves. I’d tried one other brew from Napa Valley Soda Company, Rutherford, and it was an experience I wished I could forget. Closer inspection revealed that this iteration is certified organic instead of merely being all natural. The label had clearly changed from the peaceful bliss of Rutherford. Gone were the green valley and the sunny days and the lazy fliers and in its place a swirling vortex of doom. This cavernous void was no doubt the result of Rutherford Root Beer being unleashed upon the valley. Only one hot air balloon managed to escape the destruction, with the valley’s last hope for salvation, the new and improved Napa Valley Soda Company Root Beer. Only a truly excellent brew of the highest caliber could save them.

The Body is ok, very sweet but fruity and kind of weak. The bite is really not there at all. The Head is awful; it fizzes away in like two seconds. The Aftertaste is fruity as well, but luckily it goes away quickly.

Ok, this isn’t good at all. It has a hint of the right stuff, but not enough, not nearly enough to save them from the apocalypse they created. Most likely because natural flavor is the last ingredient. It’s better than Rutherford, but not much. At least they could claim they were making progress, however it was too little too late. Like with Rutherford, they wrote some spiel about Napa Valley and quality and what not, but once again, the product does not live up to the “tradition of excellence.” And thus the vortex of doom overcame them and the company has since been closed. Frankly, I’m not surprised at all. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs


Dec 032014
 

A bottle of Rutherford Root BeerNestled in the quiet, green Napa Valley was the Napa Valley Soda Company. They looked at all of their peaceful serenity and bounteous vineyards and thought to themselves that they should harness the power of the valley and make a root beer, and other sodas. They named them after their favorite places in the valley. Calistoga Cola, Oakville Grape, St. Helena Citrus, and Rutherford Root Beer, amongst others. According to them, “Napa Valley has long been synonymous with quality, good taste, and natural beauty. Napa Valley Soda Company has captured this essence in a … natural soda” I found this on a journey to Sacramento. The label features an areal view map of the valley with the cities and geological features after which their sodas are named marked for all to see. Hot air balloons and an air plane survey the tranquility.

The Body is weak, watery, fruity, and tastes kind of like a cola or maybe medicine. There only a very little Head. The Bite, however, is good. The Aftertaste is fruity and medicine like that left a bad taste in my mouth long after I was finished drinking it.

Yuk! This stuff is absolutely horrible. If what they claimed about Napa Valley is true, I don’t know how this root beer slipped by them. Maybe the “essence” captured is like the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones which destroys everything if you remove it from its dwelling place. Whatever the case this is one of the worst brews I’ve ever had. See how it rates against other root beers.

One out of five root beer kegs


Oct 082014
 

Natural Brew Draft Root Beer BottleAnother brew from my very early days of reviewing. This one, like Health Valley, was also found the the “Health Food” section of the local Safeway. It was actually the root beer I reviewed right after the Health Valley as the next day I went to Safeway to see what other glass bottled root beers could be found. This stuff was the very first product I ever encountered that listed “Evaporated Cane Juice” as an ingredient. This is a pet peeve of mine. Anyone who knows anything about how sugar is made knows that all cane sugar is evaporated cane juice and beet sugar is evaporated beet juice. All crystallized sugars start as liquids that are then evaporated. Do the people who label sugar this way believe that we think crystallized sugar is mined somewhere in solid form like salt or something? I mean, seriously, we’re not that dumb. This also has one of the highest non-sugar carbohydrate level (5g) of any root beer. I’m not sure what makes it a “draft” root beer when it’s clearly in a bottle, but that’s another rant for another day.

It starts out with a full Body and good Bite. Then a strong licorice flavor surfaces that grows stronger the more you drink, however. The Aftertaste is very strong licorice.

I am not too fond of this one. I also admit that I was significantly less descriptive in the old days about how the root beer tasted. I don’t like it. It’s got way too much licorice flavor. Though, the cinnamon and cloves give it that good Bite. If you like herbal, licorice-y, spicy, evaporated cane juice brews, however, you’ll probably like this this. I surely don’t. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs