Nov 252015

Olde No 43 Root Beer Bottle This comes from some restaurant in Massachusetts called The Edge. I didn’t go there though, anthony did. They make Kayem Hot Dogs, Fresh Burgers, Fried Clams and Fries. That’s it. Do you want something else? No. Do you need anything at your restaurant other than burgers, dogs, fried clams, and fries? Definitely not. According to the bottle this is “Homemade” and by homemade they mean made at the Empire Bottling Works in Rhode Island. Interestingly Empire does quite a few custom root beers. They aren’t just vanity labels either. Each has its own unique recipe usually catered to the taste of the restaurant owner. That’s good because I don’t really like Empire Root Beer at all. I have no idea why it is called Olde No. 43. There is no explanation given anywhere on their site. But somewhere, a long time ago, in the olde days, the 43rd something made such an impression that a root beer was named after it.

The Body is rich and spicy with a nice sassafras flavor. It’s dark but not from licorice, but molasses. There’s an excellent Bite from the spices and a good carbonation level. The Head is, sadly, pathetic, gone in seconds, short while it’s there; a travesty really. The Aftertaste is slight wintergreen and molasses with just a hint of spice wafting away.

This tastes amazing. It’s like those dark and spicy types but without the licorice and molasses instead. I knew if they got rid of the licorice everything would taste better, and now I have the proof. But that whole, “two second Head” sorry, no Seal of Approval for you. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Jun 182014

Spike's Root Beer Bottle This brew comes from Spike’s Junkyard Dogs, a hotdog restaurant chain in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. From the looks of their site they make some pretty epic all natural fresh hotdogs and claim to be the “World’s Best Hotdog-Maybe Better!” I’m sure they’re better than anything you can get on the International Space Station so why not? The brew itself is made by Empire Bottling Works to “[their] specification, bottled in 12oz. brown bottles, privately labeled, and available only in [their] stores. It’s and old fashioned ‘adult’ root beer – less sweet, less foamy, and a nice finish” According to the “Top Dog” Ok, I know I’m overdoing it on the quotes this time. Sorry. The ingredients to confirm it’s different than any of the other root beers I’ve had coming out of the Empire. They opted to go with the dog theme for their chain and root beer, even putting a dog on the label, though that fits a lot better with them than with a lot of others. When it arrived my wife I saw a large dark, wet looking splotch covering the whole bottom corner of the box. I flew into a rage at the postal service destroying yet more of my precious root beers and quickly opened the box to reveal perfectly dry and intact contents. The mark was a huge grease stain, no doubt from the hotdogs. Brilliant Spike, give me a heart attack.

This has a dark Body with a dominant sassafras flavor. The cane sugar is evident as well as the slightest whiff of wintergreen and that’s it. No creamy, no spicy, no licorice-y no nothing. It isn’t overly sweet yet just barely sweet enough. It’s very simple. The Bite is simple as well, some carbonation burn and that’s really it. It is nice and smooth from start to finish. The Head is very tall and decently frothy. It fizzes down at a moderate pace but still leaves traces of foam to the very end. The Aftertaste is some more sassafras with the tiniest bit of wintergreen.

There is nothing unpleasant about this brew. It’s got a solid root beer core without the slightest extra bit of accents, the complete opposite of the Intergalactic Root Beer I had right before it. This is a root beer that everyone will like, but I doubt anyone will truly love. There’s just nothing extra whatsoever. They say on the label that it’s best when you “lap it up while dining on one of Spike’s World Famous Junkyard Hot Dogs” and I’m inclined to believe them. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

May 292013

Olde Rhode Island Molasses Root Beer Bottle It’s nice to see that even the tiny state of Rhode Island can get their own brand of root beer, and an Olde one at that, even if it is made by Empire Bottling Works. In fact they’re so olde they don’t even have a website. They’re so olde that their New England recipe is just old in comparison. They’re so olde that their label looks as though it’s as olde as the company, or that they spilled some root beer on it. And they’re so olde that they don’t even care. They don’t have to, because once you become so old that you’re olde, you’ve moved beyond such things.

The Body of this root beer is dark and rich, I like it. It was even a bit sticky from the molasses. I wish it had a bit more vanilla in it though. The Bite was very harsh from carbonation but not much from spices which was disappointing. The Head was absolutely pathetic, especially considering the amount of carbonation in the brew. The Aftertaste was mild and creamy wintergreen which is very nice.

Over all it has solid flavor without any bad tastes, but it’s so olde that it is lacking in a few flavors that those old root beers will have. The poor Head (too olde for that) and harsh Bite were also major downsides. But what do they care, they’re olde in Rhode Island … Molasses! See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs