Nov 222017

ramblinmaple_big The third flavor of Ramblin’ root beer, the maple root beer. I got curious, with all of these flavors of root beer, just what was the most popular. It turns out butterscotch is. As of the time of this writing (October 2016) I’ve had 8 butterscotch root beers, 6 vanilla root beers, 3 sarsaparilla root beers, just 2 maple root beers, 1 birch root beer, and 1 pumpkin spice root beer. How’s that for some stats? So a maple isn’t a popular name for a root beer, but many more root beers have maple syrup in them, so it’s probably closer to butterscotch in flavor popularity though much lower in the naming. As I said last time I got this in a mixed case with the butterscotch flavor. I’d like to point out that though Ramblin’ is a resurrected brand, these two flavors are new to it, so the folks at Monarch are adding their own personal twists on revived classics. Very nice. Well I think I’ve rambled on long enough, to the review!

The Body is rich with maple and vanilla on the initial contact, but then is rather hollow after that. So much so that I can’t find any of the other typical root beer flavors. The Bite is pretty mild but it isn’t very smooth either. The Head is very nice and tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is lovely maple with some vanilla notes.

This is pretty good, but not all there. They suffer from the same fate as many others, who think you can just add in some special flavor and neglect the rest of the root beer. At least they didn’t dump in overpowering amounts of extract like they did with the butterscotch. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Nov 152017

Ramblin' Butterscotch Root Beer Bottle I always like it when a soda company makes more than one flavor of root beer. It happens a lot more lately and is a sign of the changing times. People care about root beer more and more, and they want even more variety in that most diverse of beverages. This is great for yours truly. After just a few years of being resurrected by Monarch Beverages, Ramblin’ has launched this and another flavor of root beer, maple (review coming soon). I remember how butterscotch root beers were such a rarity, now they’re everywhere. Another sign of the changing times. The label has an orange butterscotch coloring to it with some butterscotch discs on it as well, just so you know that this is the butterscotch one. I ordered a mixed case of this and the maple on their very first production run so I could be one of the first to try it. Then I queued this review for a year so I probably should have just waited until it showed up locally. Oh well, you never know if it will show up locally (but this time it totally did).

The Body is overwhelming with the flavor of butterscotch extract. There’s some traditional root beer flavors in there, but they are overpowered by an alcoholic extract flavor seething with butterscotch. The Bite is a sharp burn, like if you drink straight flavor extracts. The Head is tall and frothy. It doesn’t last forever but it lasts a long time. The Aftertaste is more butterscotch extract. It’s so strong it doesn’t taste like butterscotch.

Gah, what have they done? Did they make a mistake in their measurements and dump several times more butterscotch extract in? Did an open bottle of extract accidentally get knocked into the vat? Or do they really like it this way? I can’t stress enough that it tastes overwhelmingly like butterscotch extract, not butterscotch flavor. If you’ve ever put way too much extract in a recipe, you know what I’m talking about. If they cut the extract in half it could be good, but as it stands, stay away from this. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Apr 122017

Ramblin' Root Beer Bottle I like it when I get to taste resurrected brands. Especially if they came from a major company. Ramblin’ was originally introduced in 1979 by none other than The Coca-Cola Company. In the 80’s they even had an ad for it with a cameo by a young Sarah Jessica Parker. Additionally, this brew would often cause classic rock lovers to spontaneously break into either Led Zeppelin or Allman Brothers Band songs (I’m sure it did … I did when I was drinking it…). Yet despite that, sales slowed, and in 1995 Coke decided to Ramble On, as it were, to another root beer, and bought Barq’s, because it had bite, and Johnny could tell the world, or something. And Ramblin’ was relegated to the dust bins of history, or it was until 2015, when Monarch Beverages acquired the brand and the recipe. So now it’s back for us all to enjoy.

First I must say the Head on this is amazing. It is probably the tallest I’ve ever seen. And it has a lot of staying power, so pour with caution, or you’ll be waiting awhile. I’ve never ever said you could have too much of a Head, but this almost makes me think that. The Body is pleasant with a prominent sarsaparilla flavor in a Barq’s-y sort of way. There’s some caramel and vanilla hints as well. The Bite is not very strong though some spice is there. The Aftertaste is vanilla and sarsaparilla mixed so that it almost reminds me of cola.

This is nice, but not quite there, despite the most epic Head ever, I cannot give it a Seal. But it’ll do when gettin’ the Led out. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs