Apr 252018

Bull's Head Root Beer Bottle Awhile back I got in touch with another Seattle reviewer, The SodaFry, who reviews all sodas as well as french fries and french fry dishes, which includes fried green tomatoes evidently. Anyways he went up to Canada to find sodas and fries and brought back a few extra bottles of this stuff for which I traded him some extra, hard to find brews that I had. It all went down in the underground bus tunnel at Westlake and kind of felt like some black market deal. Bull’s Head is a Quebecois beverage company that started in 1896 making ginger ale. It has a long and storied history with their ginger ale, while the root beer is a more recent edition. It has a really cool stubby little bottle that few other root beers have every come in. The label also looks old fashioned, like it might have back in the 1890s, and coupled with the stubby bottle, gives the brew a very unique and sort of special feel. It’s also 100% natural for people who care about that sort of thing.

The Body is mild with vanilla as the prominent flavor. It isn’t a very sweet brew, but it is well balanced. The Bite is mild as well with only a little spice. The Head has good height but dissipates quickly. The Aftertaste is light vanilla with some bitter hints.

All in all this is a pleasant and refreshing brew. While it has great potential, it just doesn’t deliver enough. It just needs a bit more oomph in all departments. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Mar 212018

Old Bottle Brewery Root Beer Bottle The Old Bottle Brewery is a small home brewery founded in 2014 in Ruston, Louisiana. It’s just a small part time operation though they have big, professional aspirations for the future. Even though they are small, they make their own root beer and were even kind enough to send me some. Their brew is made with all natural ingredients like molasses, wintergreen, vanilla, and nutmeg. All the ingredients are listed on the “label” which is tied around the bottle neck. Unfortunately if you brew all natural, you don’t get to use sassafras, and that can be bad for the total flavor. Apart from that tied on tag, the bottle is entirely plain, but all that really matters is how it tastes.

The Body is complex with a lot of different flavors; vanilla, molasses, some wintergreen, and spices, but it lacks a solid core to pull it all together. Nevertheless, it is still pleasant. The Bite is nice from all of the spices and still finishes a bit smooth. The Head is excellent, so full points there. The Aftertaste is also very pleasant, with vanilla and light molasses and spices.

This isn’t bad, but doesn’t excel. It’s got all of the wonderful peripheral flavors but really lacks the sassafras core. There are other brews that suffer from this same problem, but this is among the better ones. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Oct 042017

Henri Sodas Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval One week into my new job and I was already flying on business into the Mystic Land of the North. Talk about hitting the ground running. This particular time I was off to Montreal. I didn’t have a lot of spare time, and there weren’t any breweries that had any racinette. I stumbled across some hard root beer in a convenience store which was just simply infuriating. Then I found Henri Sodas on Facebook. Henri makes several flavors of all natural, artisan sodas, brewed in small batches in the Montreal area. I reached out them on Facebook and told them where I was staying and asked if there was a store nearby that sold their brew. I was in luck, and they quickly replied that Mandy’s Salads, a quick walk from my hotel, carried their brew. I was able to get some that very next night after dinner. There were only 6 bottles in stock and I bought them all. Thankfully I got free checked bags so I could transport it home for free. The taped seal on the bottle is a nice unique touch. Makes the bottles feel slightly more premium.

The Body is complex and herbal with a prominent sarsaparilla flavor accented by licorice, spice, and a bit of vanilla. It’s more of a sharp sarsaparilla than a fruity which is good. There is a solid Bite from the spices, though it isn’t smooth and creamy. The Head is tall, very tall. Pour with caution. The Aftertaste is an herbal sarsaparilla that finishes in a faint fennel seed, like those things you eat at the end of your meal at Indian restaurants.

Wow, this is unique and yummy, and not too far outside of the typical root beer spectrum to get a Seal. I’m quite impressed with those Quebecers. Hopefully I’ll travel back their on business soon so I can get some more. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs