Jan 292014

Sea Dog Root Beer Bottle It seems that Ol’ (young actually) Capt’n Eli taught his dog how to brew root beer. At least that’s what the first issue of the graphic novel said if I remember correctly. Sea Dog is made by the same people and I learned about it after I sadly told them that while good, they wouldn’t be getting the Seal of Approval. I asked if they had any other root beer, specifically the Sea Dog that was mentioned on their site at the time, if it was a different recipe. They said that it was and they said they’d send me some Sea Dog to try. Sea Dog is also a brewery for those other beers and actually predates Capt’n Eli yet it seems that Eli was the one who made it. Confused yet? You should be. Since the Sea Dog mascot is the same as Eli’s dog in the novel (plus him teaching the dog was part of the flashback origin story), maybe it does actually form a single root beer continuum. Eli taught his dog to brew root beer with the root beer machine, then later he wanted to make his own root beer because, let’s face it, dogs will eat anything and just because a dog likes it doesn’t mean people will. Glad that’s all cleared up.

It has a full flavored, smooth Body but unfortunately too much anise (I expect that he learned that from the Cap’.) There is not much Bite. It is really smooth which I do like though I think it should have a little bit more too it. The Head is excellent! It is difficult to pour a whole bottle into a mug. The head lasts almost as long as a diamond. Unfortunately it doesn’t taste so good. The Aftertaste is a creamy vanilla and anise. Not really bad but not overly good. Overall it is a solid brew but not quite exceptional.

I must say, Sea Dog is pretty good. There is a lot of attention to details for a dog. It reminds me a lot of Capt’n Eli’s but it’s got a better head and the flavor is a little different as well. I’d say I like Eli’s better, which fits with the whole root beer continuum, but not much better. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Feb 202013

Bulldog Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval This isn’t your regular gourmet root beer. It’s one of those few that are actually brewed using the highest quality ingredients (according to their site) such as cane sugar, real vanilla, and honey. The label itself is rather classy but falls victim to far too many root beer cliches. First is the dogs. So many root beers with dogs on the label. This one takes it a bit further since the entire brewery is named after a dog. The two dogs do have names, Barley and Hops, but so do most of the other dog root beers. Also, Bulldog sports “The Original”, a tag line whose disappearance from labels would bring nothing but immense joy, along with “Handcrafted” which isn’t nearly as overused but still too prevalent. Their bold “Unleash the Taste” (pun I’m sure is intended), though, is a nice and very appropriate slogan.

The Body is wonderful! Lots of honey, vanilla, and the other essential flavors. Sweet and creamy, the kind of flavor you could just snuggle up to if that were possible. The Bite is not much but sufficient. The whole thing has a very rich and smooth mouth feel from the maltodextrin. The Head is frothy but not much, not flat by any means just less than is desirable. The Aftertaste is of vanilla and honey and very pleasing though a little sticky.

When I took the first drink I exclaimed “Oh wow!” This is one of the best tasting root beers that I have ever had the pleasure to drink. “Unleash the Taste” indeed! I don’t care what their label is like, I’ll drink this stuff whenever I can get it. It’s really a shame about that Head, if it were tall and extra frothy this may have made it into the highest echelon of root beer rankings. However, I am still very proud to award it my Seal of Approval. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs

Oct 172012

Just look at that root beer. What class! A tall 22 oz wine bottle sealed with red wax. It is small batch brewed and you can only buy it in the Hamptons. Of course such a fancy and high class bottle, with a name like Miss Lady, features an elegant woman clad in a flowing white lace dress holding a parasol, right? Wrong! You’d think that’s what it’d have, but as you can see it’s an old wrinkly dog there instead. Really? A dog? I mean, you went to all of that work and then put a dog on your label, like so many others have? And not even a snooty rich people dog like a poodle but a wrinkly pug? I must say that I’m disappointed. Other than the label picture though, this is pretty cool. They even hand write what bottle number you purchase (I got 315 and 316 in case you were wondering) so this is a really exclusive brew. It’s all natural as well. All of that coolness doesn’t come cheap though, it’ll cost you $6 a bottle and that’s before shipping. Or you can go to some farmers markets in the Hamptons (you do have a summer home there, right?) and skip the shipping. I must say that I was excited to try this, as well as a little concerned, since I like to always recap the empty bottle and make it look as close to as it was before I opened it. The whole wax seal presented a new and unique challenge. As you can see though, I didn’t do half bad.

This has a very light Body with mild honey and sarsaparilla flavors. There’s the slightest hint of licorice as well but really the whole thing is very subtle. It isn’t overly sweet either. It reminds me of an herb tea sweetened with a little honey. There is a small Bite that’s a little prickly, but it isn’t very strong. the Head is nothing special. There’s nothing on the way of spice burn either. The Aftertaste is honey and anise that doesn’t linger very long.

So another herb tea root beer eh? It’s not the first one I’ve had from New York, nor the best I might add. What is it with them over there? Maybe such light, refreshing, herbal brews are more common in that region than I know. It isn’t bad, and I do enjoy drinking it if it were called something else. It has a lot of the right flavors but not a lot of them, sadly. A cold carbonated herb tea is not what I would reach for when I want a root beer. See how it rates against other root beers.