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.

Feb 182012

So a little bit ago, those fine root beer lovers, The Root Beer Brothers, issued a challenge. Have root beer and granola for breakfast. Not being one to back down from a root beer challenge (unless said challenge involves the words “can”, “plastic”, or “diet”) I went to the store and got some granola.

I decided on a simple honey almond granola since I do like honey in my root beer. Then I needed to choose a root beer. I thought about A&W like the brothers, but they’d already done that so I figured I’d try something new. Since I like vanilla and honey I settled on Frostie Vanilla Root Beer, since it is ultra-vanilla creamy and there’s no honey flavor to it. I tried to find the Vance Gilbert “Root Beer for Breakfast” on Grooveshark to listen to, but it wasn’t there. Alas, I had to settle for “Root Beer” by George Jones. So with “Root Beer” on loop, I poured the granola and root beer.

The first bite was interesting to be sure, the Frostie Vanilla mixed with the granola flavors and had a melted ice cream color. It kind of tasted like a melted ice cream mix. Despite my effort to pair flavors, they were a horrible combination. Half way through my monstrous bowl, I was feeling sick to my stomach. The last bite couldn’t come quickly enough. Blech. What a terrible idea. At least with the root beer I picked. Perhaps a more stout root beer would do the trick, but honestly, I can’t see myself trying it again, not for a very long time at least. I think the following limerick sums up the experience:

There once was a brother named Root,
Whose blog posts are quite a hoot,
He challenged for cheer
granola and root beer
But when I finished I wished he’d stayed mute.

My bowl of granola and root beer.

Nov 302011

Since I’ve already reviewed the original Dang! That’s Good Root Beer, I won’t make any comments on the name of this one. Except that the bottle also says “The Original” on it. Now how can it be the original if it is the butterscotch version? Shouldn’t it say, “The Butterscotch?” Unless there’s a fake version of Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch (there is Dougie Dog Butterscotch) but then there would have to be a fake version of the original root beer as well because it has the same tag on its label (and there isn’t a Dougie Dog other than the butterscotch). Or most likely, the makers of this, probably their marketing department, didn’t really think about why it is “The Original” but figured it lent some credibility to it in the way that vague marketing phrases often do. I find it extremely curious though that the bottle for this was a different type of bottle than the other Dang! Root Beer even though I bought them at the same store at the same time.

Anyways, the Body has a very strong, extremely sweet butterscotch flavor that masks out the other root beer flavors, which are on the light side, the very light side. I hold the brew in my mouth a little longer than usual before swallowing, waiting for something more, sadly it never comes. The Bite consists mainly of a carbonation tingle which is thankfully toned down from the original (regular?) Dang! That’s Good Root Beer. The Head is of excellent height but not too frothy so it fizzes down pretty quick. The last centimeter or so lingers around a little bit longer. The Aftertaste is mostly butterscotch with a slight hint of standard root beer flavors.

It was nice to see that they made some improvements over the original Dang! That’s Good (I am really getting tired of writing this whole name out), like toning down carbonation Bite while improving the Head height and frothiness. While I often like a variant on root beer flavors, like the butterscotch, that’s no excuse for skimping out on the rest of the root beer flavors, which it seems that they did. The rule should be, keep your recipe and add the new flavor, like Frostie and Frostie Vanilla. They sadly left the Body too hollow and the Bite too off for a Seal of Approval. See how it rates against other root beers.