Sep 182013

Old Red Eye Root Beer Bottle Another recently resurrected brand bottled by Orca Beverages. I’m not sure (as of the time of this writing) if Orca is the one doing the resurrecting or if there’s just a mad rush to find a brand as part of the Great Root Beer Revival and these people are sending them all to Orca. As with the others (Red Arrow, Brownie Caramel Cream, Anchor Ginger, Hippo Size), this has a retro looking label with a prominent centered picture and then a few sentences written vertically off to the side that give some explanation about the brew. This particular iteration is supposedly named after a bull called Red Eye who was old and cranky. The only way to coax him out of his pen to do his daily “duties” was to pour his favorite root beer in a bowl for him first. I’m not sure then if his favorite root beer was this one, and if it was, how that all worked, maybe they took over another brand or it was homemade or something. I’m also not sure about what a bull had to do daily that required some coaxing. Last I checked a bull’s job, when not fighting colorfully dressed Spaniards and Lusitans, was breeding, so you’d think he wouldn’t need to be coaxed into it.

It has a full Body with a rich sassafras flavor with creamy wintergreen and the slightest hints of licorice. There are a lot of spices as well. It has a strong Bite with a lot of spice and sharp carbonation burn. Too much for me. The Head is tall but fizzes down very quickly so it looks good when you first pour it out, but not much left once you get to drinking it. The Aftertaste is minty with a tad bit of licorice that tastes like black jelly beans plus spices.

This really makes me think of an old fashioned soda fountain for some reason. There’s a lot going on here but it isn’t really my favorite. It’s more sharp and sassy than rich and creamy, but even then it’s got a darker flavor than I prefer. This still is a solid drinkable brew though. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Feb 272013

Anchor Root Beer Bottle Arr matey, another sailing themed root beer. But this is beyond the standard pirate root beers, of which there are many, this is a “tribute to all the Sea Dogs and Scallywags looking for adventure on the seas.” I doubt there are many cooler flavor texts on root beer bottles. The label is one of the best mixes of classy and awesome imaginable. It’s not too busy. A large anchor with a schooner watermark in the background with everything centered around the anchor. It’s also nice to find a ginger root beer as I like to see some innovation in the root beer world. All in all this has the makings of greatness, and it doesn’t disappoint.

The Body starts out with a full ginger flavor like a good ginger ale. This masks out all other flavors initially. The ginger slowly gives way to a nice creamy root beer flavor that is very nice. The Bite is strong from the ginger and an average carbonation fizz, but doesn’t burn by any means and actually goes down rather smooth in the end. The Head is terrible, sadly. It’s barely better than the Two Second Head, probably more like a five second Head. Tragic. The Aftertaste is a caramely vanilla flavor with ginger hints that lasts the right amount of time.

This is an excellent tasting brew. I like a good ginger ale and love the fact that they managed to successfully incorporate that strong ginger flavor without losing any of the good root beer-ness, which is often a problem with the ‘flavored’ root beer varieties. Sadly, the Head is terrible. It’s bad enough to keep it from getting a Seal of Approval, which is really a shame. But it will be a good brew to take on your next nautical voyage to wash down the catch of the day. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs