This root beer is made by the same people who make Penny Frosted root beer. I learned this fact when I was trying unsuccessfully to get the Penny Frosted Root Beer direct from the company. According to some guy named Ryan who works there, Crooked Oak is “a similar root beer flavór with a lot more love and time going into the process and ingredients.” So it’s their premium brand offering, the Lexus to Penny Frosted’s Toyota. That’s a new one in the craft soda world. The label itself tries really hard to drive this point home, saying things like “of the finest quality” and “Handcrafted” and “Limited production” and whatnot. There’s even signatures by people who approved this particular batch of root beer. And there’s also a large number 10 in red, but there is no explanation as to what it means. Maybe 10 ingredients? 10 painstaking days making this? 10 steps for the approval process? We may never know. Whatever it is, all of this really clutters up the label and makes me think of official forms and stuff. I guess the most important question is, how does it compare to Penny Frosted.
This has a sweet crisp body with a standard creamy root beer flavor and a hint of what seems sarsaparilla in there. The Bite is sour and sharp and spicy. But the sourness stays in the Bite and goes away later so it doesn’t really ruin anything. The Head is tall but fizzes down quickly. The Aftertaste is very light vanilla and some sarsaparilla. I think.
This is a pretty good root beer, AND it’s better then Penny Frosted in basically everything. Good job guys. I don’t like it enough to give it a Seal of Approval, but I’ll acknowledge their effort to make a better root beer than their entry brand. You know, after you’re more established in life, get some raises and a nice bonus, you can move up from the Penny Frosted and impress your friends and neighbors with Crooked Oak in your fridge. See how it rates against other root beers.