Sep 022015
 

Dog n Suds Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalOne from my BYU days, I ordered it in a variety pack online and when I got it one of my friends at the time told me how much she loved Dog n Suds. I didn’t actually ask for more info so I was completely lost as to what they were going for in their name. There’s a dog holding a hotdog and a mug of root beer so I assumed that the name came from a dog with a sudsy root beer, or maybe one is supposed to order a hotdog and the root beer supplies the suds. At the time it was an enigma but one I didn’t care to expend too much effort to solve (this was back before Percival C. McGillicuddy was on the scene). Finally someone emailed me at explained that it was a hotdog/root beer stand chain, hence ‘dog’ n ‘suds’. That would explain the whole “Drive In Style” on their bottle. I’ll just leave the original ratings table review the same so you can see the whole process of it back then.

The Body is creamy and good. The right type of flavor with nothing overly special but nothing wrong at all. It is all there. The Bite is a little on the weak side but I have said it before and I will iterate it, I like it SMOOTH! The Head is also nice and “sudsy?” though not as frothy as some of the others but definitely adequate. The Aftertaste also has got the right stuff.

I say that this root beer is just plain good. I understand the whole suds part of the name, it really is actually sudsy but in a good way. Though, unfortunately, it’s another brew to be tagged with ‘dog’ too much of that. Also, it’s a shame none of those drive-ins are remotely near me over here. Oh well. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs




Jul 112015
 

Indian Wells Brewing Company Special Reserve Root Beer bottleSeal of Approval Premium gourmet root beer is now officially a thing. There’d been a few before, notably Virgil’s Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer and Thunderbeast Black Label (blog posts coming soon). Miss Lady kind of qualifies as well. But this one finally makes it official in the way that butterscotch is no longer a unique variant of root beer. The Indian Wells Brewing Company also makes Death Valley Root Beer which, well, I’m not a fan of, to put it lightly. Despite that, when I contacted them about a mail order, they even offered to send a free sample. Now that’s some guts. The 22 ounce bottle is absolutely beautiful and wax sealed. The brew itself is aged in Iberian chestnut barrels and made with real birch, sarsaparilla, ginger, and other nice ingredients including pure cane sugar for those who care about that.

The Body is full and complex with a rich and creamy texture and an aged flavor. There’s a dark rooty core accented by a little licorice. There are notes of birch and wintergreen and some vanilla. There’s also a hint of bitterness but this gives way to more pleasant flavors. The Bite is solid and spicy at just the right amount. The Head is excellent. It’s very tall and foamy to the bottom of the mug. The Aftertaste is rich vanilla with caramel hints.

Wow. I wasn’t expecting that level of complexity and spiciness. It’s quite a bit different from the standard vanilla and honey brews I constantly rave about, but I love it all the same. This is one you can quaff, but is far better to drink slowly to savor all that is going on. I’m proud to give this one my Seal of Approval. Finally, a premium gourmet root beer that’s worth getting for more than just the awesome bottle. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs


Jun 242015
 

Chowning's Tavern Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalI know what you’re thinking. “Eric, Chowning’s Tavern is just Dominion Root Beer with a different label.” Yes, this is true. This is just a relabled Dominion. However, way back in 1998 when I tried Dominion root beer it had significantly different ingredients. And in between then and now, they had changed their recipe as well. So this is the third iteration of Dominion and Chowning’s Tavern Root Beer where they’ve kept their name the same. It really bugs me when companies doe that since I don’t like going back and changing reviews. Therefore I’m just filing this under Chowning’s Tavern. It’s a stretch by my standards, I know, but it’s a new root beer with a “new” name. This is only served in Colonial Williamsburg Taverns. I’m not sure if the strange colonial looking man on the label is mister Chowning but he looks like a Chowning.

The Body is nice with a prominent sassafras flavor accented by honey and spice. It’s quite a standard root beer flavor, but executed superbly. The Bite is spicy and solid but it ends smooth. The Head is tall and lasts throughout the entire drinking experience. The Aftertaste is also very nice; vanilla with a hint of wintergreen.

This hits the spot. It’s not as good as the original Dominion Root Beer of yore, but it’s definitely a delicious well balanced brew in every department. I’d drink this again and again, if it were available around here. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs