Jan 302013

I love my coworkers. They’re always willing to bring me back root beers from their trips. This one was brought back from Texas by my esteemed colleague Jimmy Jeff, who has family there and goes often. H-E-B is a grocery store chain in Texas and northern Mexico. The fact that they not only have their own root beer in glass bottles, but have one of the coolest and completely original bottles puts them in a class above almost any other grocery chain in existence in my opinion. An added bonus, if you like being bilingual, is that the label is also in Spanish, which sets this also in a class of its own since all other root beers I’ve encountered with bi-lingual labeling did so in French and English (to keep the Québécois happy). So they’ve got about everything going for them up to this point. How is the brew itself?

The Body has a rich medium sassafras flavor that is creamy with vanilla hints surfacing. There are nice caramel overtones as well. The Bite is well balanced between spice and carbonation while not being overly strong. The Head is tall and moderately frothy though it fizzes down faster than I prefer. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla and caramel flavor that turns slightly bitter at the end before vanishing. The bitterness doesn’t build though, so it doesn’t affect the rest of the brew the more you drink. It’s kind of like eating bread dipped in olive oil, the slight bitter notes at the end.

Yum. I like it. It’s got the right attributes and still has a unique flavor. Is it good enough for the Seal though? I was right on the line with this so I drank a third bottle (because I had one) and freezer chilled it to see if it gets better or worse in the frosty mug. I normally don’t need a third bottle, and usually don’t have one but this one was just so on the line between 3.5 and 4 I figured it could help. The head turned incredible and everything else was just as rich and developed as before. I was convinced. The Seal of Approval it is. I really want to go visit an H-E-B now. If this is the quality of their store brand root beer, I wonder what other treasures they’ve got there. See how it rates against other root beers.

Apr 252012

So the fine people at beveragesdirect.com brought to my attention that there were several fine brews that they sell that I hadn’t reviewed, including III Dachshunds,which just so happens to be the root beer analogue of Dos Equis (Two ‘X’s in Spanish, you know 2 ‘x’s, 3 Dachshunds, it totally makes sense). They sell a lot of it to one man in particular. He travels around the world, so more people have the opportunity to meet him. He gives motivational speeches, just by looking in your direction. He once said something stupid, just to see what it was like. He’s, the Second Most Interesting Man in the World (almost as cool as the Most Interesting Man). He doesn’t always drink root beer, but when he does, he prefers III Dachshunds. Of course when I heard this I immediately made arrangements to procure all of the necessary brews. So why does he prefer it?

Because it has an amazingly sweet and creamy Body. It has the right flavors, sassafras, caramel, vanilla, and hints of wintergreen. There’s a pretty good Bite from carbonation and spices as well, but it is still very smooth going down. The Head, unfortunately, is barely an inch tall. It is however very frothy so it lasts several minutes. The Aftertaste is creamy vanilla with accents of wintergreen.

This is a delicious brew. I understand why the Second Most Interesting Man in the World prefers it. Probably the next time I’m out deep sea fishing, safariing, white water kayaking, or otherwise adventuring in the second most interesting way possible, I’ll have this at my side, at least some of the time. Sayth the bottle, “Time for a Treat” Indeed. I’ll take two if you please. See how it rates against other root beers.

Apr 042012

Wow! A picture of a tower with the caption “Ye olde fashioned root beer”? It just makes me think of old text based RPGs and spoofs of such games. I think, I’ll write the rest of this as if it were a Dungeon Man game, but it’s not, it’s Tower Man!
Thou behold a tower. Thou enter the tower. In the room there is a window, an exit to the north, and a table with a flask and a bottle of old fashioned root beer.
What wouldst thou deau?
>Get ye flask
You cannot get ye flask. You are left wondering why you cannot get ye flask.
What wouldst thou deau?
>Get ye olde fashioned root beer
You pour the root beer into ye flask, for some reason you can now get ye flask of ye old fashioned root beer.

The Head of ye olde fashioned root beer is medium height but gone in mere seconds. The Body is extremely dark and rooty. The dominant flavors are sassafras, licorice, and mint. It’s sort of creamy. There is a strong Bite, both from spices and prickly carbonation on the tongue. The Aftertaste is sticky minty licorice with the faintest traces of vanilla.

You continue to drink ye olde fashioned Tower Root Beer. It definitely tastes ye olde fashioned. It isn’t bad, but not extremely good because you like creamy root beers that have significantly less licorice and much nicer Heads. You decide that if presented with more of this root beer, you’d rather pass and get something else. Hence, you exit the tower in search of better brews. At least you were able to get ye flask. See how it rates against other root beers.