From down in New Orleans comes one of the most unique takes on root beer that I’ve ever seen. The fine people at Fest decided to make a Pecan Root Beer in addition to some other awesome sounding flavors, like an almond cola and a bourbon cream soda. Each of these also has a “proper” name, after some jazz influence from the city. These names are to be used by those that are truly hip and jive to the inner beat of the city. The root beer’s name is Papa Joe, after the jazz pioneer Joe Oliver, who was better known as King Oliver. And if that’s got you confused it’s because your too much of a square to realize that Louis Armstrong, who was mentored by King Oliver, called him Papa Joe. That’s how on the level the cats at Fest are, and they’ve got a root beer to prove it.
The Body is very sweet and has strong caramel pecan notes over a medium sassafras flavor. The Bite is lacking in spice yet not smooth. It does have a good carbonation level. The Head is very tall but has no staying power and is gone before the first few sips are taken. The Aftertaste is a wonderful vanilla praline flavor that lasts the right amount of time.
I like this take on root beer. I’ve often though that a nut flavored brew might be the way to go and this has shown that it really is. Unfortunately, there’s still some depth that’s missing in this brew, so I can’t quite give it the Seal. I do recommend giving a Papa Joe a try, since you’ll never try another root beer like it. See how it rates against other root beers.