Jun 062012

Not to be confused with Wild Bill’s Rocky Mountain Root Beer. The same way Vinepark River City Root Beer is not to be confused with River City Root Beer, or Route 66 with Root 66 with Old Town Root Beer 66. Ok, people, what’s up with this. I mean, can’t you think of unique identifiers for your brews? Have you ever thought of doing a Google search on your root beer name before you start your company? I mean, whenever I write a technical paper, the first thing I do is search the title in quotes to make sure no one else has the same title. I did the same thing with my name, E. Sortomme, there aren’t any other technical authors that use E. Sortomme so if you read something from him, it’s from me. See, nice and simple like. Not saying that Northwoods Soda and Syrup Company is the primary offender (they could have had the name first for all I know), but finding them was just the straw that broke the camel’s back if you will. They do have a much classier label than the bullet riddled other Wild Bill’s, so I suppose this is after Wild Bill went into retirement and became all high society or something. A last note on these guys, they proudly declare in the ingredients that this soda is sweetened with “Michigan Beet Sugar.” And why not? What’s wrong with beet sugar anyways? I think pure cane sugar is really overrated. Plus I once spent a summer weeding a sugar beet field for $5 an acre. So beet sugar will always hold a special place in my heart. Especially after the sugar beet factory co-op failed miserably and went bankrupt, wiping out the financial resources of many farmers in the region … Anyways, the root beer.

A sweet carmely flavor with some creamy vanilla and hints of licorice make up the full Body of this brew. The Bite is good as well from some spices and carbonation. The Head is ok. It foams up to a decent height but then quickly fizzes down. The Aftertaste is caramel with some licorice accents and vanilla.

So, not bad at all. It’s definitely a solid brew, yet it doesn’t really do anything for me. I don’t know why, but when I drink it I just don’t feel moved the way I should by root beer. Oh well. See how it rates against other root beers.

Nov 162011

Yet another Route 66 themed root beer. What is it with Route 66 that makes people want to name a root beer after it? And why do they insist on naming their root beers after it knowing full well that there are other root beers named after Route 66? I suppose it is an iconic American road, not to mention very long, and root beer is an iconic American food so I see the connection. It’s also plausible that before the days of the internet multiple places on the route could decided to name their root beer after it with no knowledge of the other. Plus, who doesn’t like a good pun? And this bottle is full of the puns. “Get to the ROOT of Route 66” and “Get Your SUGAR Fix On Route 66.” I think I would have enjoyed them better if I hadn’t already heard these puns before or thought of them before. And what is up with their choice capitalizations? The bottle does make the claim of being “The Finest Root Beer on The Route” and since I’ve had several other Route 66 root beers I can definitely put that to the test.

It has a nice full Body that is dark and rooty with wintergreen and a tiny hint of honey coming through. The Body is also pretty creamy from the vanilla. The Bite comes in with cinnamon and a little prickly bit of carbonation but still has a smooth finish. The Head, however, is pathetic. It is very short, less than a centimeter, and fizzes away in seconds. It’s what I like to call the “Two Second Head.” Such a Head actually plagues a lot of root beers but that’s no excuse. The Aftertaste is a bit sticky and creamy with traces of wintergreen and honey.

So wow, delicious, delicious. They sure figured out what great root beer should taste like. I also think they are right, it is the finest root beer of the Route 66 root beers (at least that I’ve had so far). But, I just can’t give a Seal of Approval to a brew with a Two Second Head. Sorry, I can’t. I mean, give it the same height but very frothy and it’d be a 4. Give it a Henry’s Head, and we’re talking 4.5 or 5 out of this. But the Two Second Head, nope sorry. See how it rates against other root beers.