Aug 132014
 

O-So Vanilla Butterscotch Root Beer BottleYet another resurrected brand by Orca Beverages. Though this one bucks the Orca standard format of label design, it’s originality points are vastly diminished by it’s name, which is on the lines of Dang! That’s Good and So Duh! They predictably couldn’t resist the “O-So Delicious” text on the bottle. This is but the third butterscotch brew I’ve encountered and the only vanilla butterscotch root beer. I wonder what it is with annoying names and butterscotch anyways? Is it the whole, “we’re such rebels, we won’t follow proper naming conventions or flavor conventions, just check out our amazing butterscotch?” However, like so many hipsters whose originality comes from bucking convention, they’ve become a convention in unto themselves and the only irony is now the lack thereof. At least this one, in true hipster fashion, can claim to have been doing butterscotch before butterscotch was mainstream, at least if their “since 1946″ is to be believed.

The Body is sweet and hollow. While it’s in your mouth there are really only faint traces of butterscotch and vanilla and not a lot else. I search in vain for the classic root beer flavors. The Bite from spices is non-existent but the carbonation level is very sharp and prickly so you can’t really taste much until you swallow. It does, however, feel very smooth and rich in your mouth. The Head is medium tall and lingers awhile but not forever like some. The Aftertaste is a solid vanilla and butterscotch flavor that still doesn’t have a lot of characteristic root beer to it.

Because why would a butterscotch root beer actually taste like root beer? I actually think this has the best butterscotch flavor profile of the three, but it has the worst root beer profile. Probably due to the fact that root beer which tastes like root beer is too mainstream. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs


May 022012
 

I like a diverse brand. Any brand that feels they need to make more than one root beer flavor makes the world a better place in my opinion (except for Journey but that’s another story). So I was pleased to find that Hosmer Mountain makes a sarsaparilla root beer as well as their regular. Note that isn’t a sarsaparilla. I don’t review sarsaparillas. They’re not root beers. This is a sarsaparilla root beer, much like Dang! That’s Good makes a butterscotch root beer, and Frostie makes a vanilla root beer. Though, my most recent experience with a sarsaparilla flavored root beer (Hartridge’s) didn’t turn out so well so I wasn’t sure what to expect for this one. Though this one is “bottled in the land of swift moving waters” so has to be good right?

It has a nice creamy Body with a distinct sarsaparilla flavor in addition to the more standard root beer flavors. The brown sugar is noticeable. The Bite is adequate without being overbearing from both spices and carbonation with the overall mouth feel very smooth. The Head is nice and tall. It fizzes down a tad faster than I prefer, but it still lasts plenty long. The Aftertaste is sticky wintergreen and vanilla with hints of sarsaparilla.

Yum! Though it has sarsaparilla, it’s still definitely a root beer and it’s definitely good. It seems that with this one they corrected all of the flaws of their regular root beer and then added that sarsaparilla to change things up a bit. And you know what, variety is nice. I look forward to more of this in the future. See how it rates against other root beers.


Jan 182012
 

That’s right folks, there is an exclamation mark after the word root beer in the title. Unlike the few others that have done this, So Duh! and Dang! That’s Good, the fine people at Big Ben’s are emphasizing that it is Root Beer! They also say “Satisfying!” so they are pretty close to getting carried away with those exclamations. But, when you consider that Big Ben’s has been around continuously since the 1920′s with a line of 23 different flavors and 11 different packaging styles, there is a lot to be excited about. Such a robust independent soft drink company these days is a rare find indeed. Normally, they don’t ship their sodas in glass bottles but thankfully made an exception for yours truly. That way I didn’t have to go all the way to Pennsylvania to get it. Choice!

It has a full dark Body. It is strong with sassafras and hints of anise and wintergreen. It is only slightly creamy. I prefer more creamy. The Bite is very mild, mostly from carbonation. The Head builds to a good height but isn’t very frothy at all and quickly fizzes away. The Aftertaste is mild wintergreen and sassafras.

So overall it’s a decent brew but there really isn’t anything exceptional about it. It is the sort of standard supermarket line of root beer that you’ll find out there (for those supermarkets that bottle them in glass) which makes sense from a soda company with so many flavors that doesn’t specialize in root beer. Good enough to keep in business but it isn’t winning any awards. See how it rates against other root beers.