Jan 302015
 

Root Beer Bowl XLIX
It’s that time of year when the Super Bowl comes upon us. The biggest TV event in the US and massive celebrations shall ensue. Being from the Seattle area, this is especially exciting to see the Seahawks return as defending champions. There are many wacky ways that have been used to predict the winner, from rabbits, puppys, porcupines, search engines, and video game simulations. These are of course all rubbish. The most accurate predictor is one that I’ve known for years but only now make public. It is the Root Beer Bowl Predictor. Look at the three best bottled root beers from the respective teams’ larger home zone, Seattle area for the Seahawks, all of Massachusetts for the Patriots, and see the combined ratings. The keg difference in the rating multiplied by touchdowns gives the spread. The best root beer will win. Every time. Without question. Seriously.

So let’s get on to the teams. The team “captain” in this case is the highest rated brew from the city proper. For Seattle this is the Seal of Approval rated Jones Root Beer coming in at the lowest 4 kegs. The rest of the Seahawks’ root beer team comes from a 20 minute drive to the north in Mukilteo, WA, where Orca beverages makes the near peerless Bulldog Root Beer and the solid Brownie Caramel Cream Root Beer. This gives a team rating of 12.5 with nothing but Seal of Approval brews.

For the Patriots the captain is Emack & Bolio’s Rock It Root Beer. Very delicious but a poor Head relegates it to a mere 3.5. The rest Patriots’ Root Beer team line up comes from from Worcester, MA. The first is Polar Classics Root Beer with a respectable 3.5. Their final member is a sleeper, Ginseng UP, but not the Ginseng UP name brand root beer (which I haven’t reviewed yet), but their default private label recipe that they supply to the world’s private labelers. A Seal of Approval brew at 4 kegs. Then the Patriots’ final lineup gives them 11.

Prediction: Though the Patriots have a strong root beer lineup, it isn’t enough to overcome Seattle’s all-star lineup. I see the Seahawks winning this by 10 points. GO SEAHAWKS!!!

Root Beer Bowl Team Lineups:
Seattle: Jones – 4; Bulldog – 4.5; Brownie Caramel Cream – 4 = 12.5
Boston: Rockit – 3.5; Ginseng UP – 4, Polar – 3.5 = 11




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




Mar 132013
 

Brownie Caramel Cream Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalThis was a root beer I was not excited at all to drink. While a caramel cream root beer is very intriguing, a brownie caramel cream root beer sounds terrible. I just can’t imagine putting chocolate in root beer and having it come out in any way good. I suppose Brownie might just be the name and have nothing to do with the flavor, but there’s a lot more wrong with this. There’s the Peter Pan wannabe ordering you to “Drink” his pixie concoction all framed on a what looks like a Chinese knockoff Pepsi logo. Is that even legal? Aren’t they violating at least two trademarks with that? Perhaps side text on the bottle gives some explanation. “With a Sprite on the label, it’s easy to see how this mischievous and delicious blend of root beer & caramel came about” … What? No, no, NO! That makes no sense at all, and now they’ve gone and violated a third trademark. Can it get any worse? “CONTAINS MILK” … Words fail me.

The Body has a very rich sassafras flavor that gives way to luscious caramel and cream that thankfully tastes nothing like brownies. It’s absolutely delicious. There is a prickly carbonation Bite but not much in the spice department, rather, it is nice and smooth. The Head is medium height but fizzes away in less than a minute unfortunately. The Aftertaste is more rich caramel and cream that lasts just long enough to make you want more but not so long as to be annoying when you can’t get it.

Well, I wasn’t prepared for that. I really love this flavor. I love creamy caramel flavored root beers and this takes it to a whole new level. You can really get lost in that caramel and never want to come back. It seems that the milk comes from real cream, but it works like I’d never imagined. Sweet and rich and smooth and lovely. This blew me away. The Head is disappointing but just barely good enough. I guess you can’t judge a root beer by it’s label. See how it rates against other root beers.