Dec 102014

Bottle of Angus O'Neil's Root BeerAussie brew number 2! It’s made by Slade’s Soft Drinks which is located in Victoria Australia and was started over a hundred years ago by the O’Neil brothers. This drink supposedly dates back to the founding and it uses a “secret recipe”. Angus was the son of one of the two brothers. The company was originally called O’Neil Brother’s Soft Drinks but they changed to Slade’s because they deemed it “appropriate” whatever that’s supposed to mean. This one took me forever to get a hold of. It was always frustrating because it was just out of reach. First Slade’s Soft Drinks ‘liked’ my Facebook page, but never responded to any messages about me getting any of their root beer. Then I found a case on Ebay and asked the seller if they’d ship to the US. They said they would but it would be over $100. If they only shipped two bottles, shipping would be only $50 but they’d still charge me for the full case of root beer. I balked and the item expired. I searched high and low and found markets in India that sold it but nobody shipped to the US. Throughout this time I’d tried to contact the company directly but they never responded. Then one day, out of the blue, they did. After a month of negotiations I finally got it shipped to me. It wasn’t cheap. And then they didn’t even bubble wrap the bottles and so one leaked due to damage (is it just me or does the post like to damage fragile packages?). At least I had one pristine bottle to review. It comes in a 375 ml bottle like Bundaberg, though it’s a screw cap.

The Body is sour and fruity with a sarsaparilla flavor. The sour fruity, though, is by far the strongest profile. The Bite is acidic and with a hint of spice burn, not much. The Head is tall, but it fizzes down quickly. The Aftertaste is a light licorice flavor that gives way to ginger and vanilla. That part is rather nice actually.

The sour is really overpowering, but the aftertaste is quite nice. It reminds me of Francis Hartridge’s but better. I’d say that this is the best foreign brew (excluding Canada) so far, though that really isn’t saying much. I’d still pass on it though, if I were offered it again. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Oct 242011

“G’day Mate, I ‘ear you been lookin’ for some root beer Down Under. Well Bundaberg’s all we got, it’s Australian for root beer.” I suppose that would be how the conversation would go if I went to Australia and was looking for a root beer. It has a pretty cool short bottle that is actually 0.7 fl oz larger than the standard root beer bottle. It is also brewed so that got my hopes up. On the label is says “Invert bottle before opening” I found this rather curious. I wasn’t sure if they were saying that because ingredients would settle, or if they were implying that right-side up for them down there, would be upside down for us up here which would then require us to invert the bottle before we opened it to avoid spilling it everywhere. Not to ruin my root beer though, I dutifully inverted the bottle and made sure it was then right-side up before opening. When I poured it into the glass I noticed particles in suspension. So it seems that the reason to invert it is the former and not the latter.

The Body on this is not really like anything I’ve ever tasted before. The very first drink of the bottle makes me almost gag of surprise but then it isn’t so bad. Then is a strange and complex flavor that is fruity, so much fruity. I didn’t expect that fruit flavor at all. Not really much root beer flavor, but not terrible. It is actually very sweet. The Bite is very mellow and sour. The Head is actually not bad. It builds to a medium height and has a decent amount of frothiness to it. It still fizzes away faster than it should, though. The Aftertaste is a very tart fruity flavor with the faintest trace of some creamy vanilla.

It actually isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem to be a root beer. If you relabeled the bottle and called it something else (I’m not sure what) I am sure that it would be a quite good whatever it should be called. I suppose this is what the Aussies think root beer should taste like. It is also pretty disappointing because based on the ingredients, it should be much better than this. Intriguingly, like Mercury Root Beer, they put two kegs on the bottle. I think that this time they are spot on. See how it rates against other root beers.