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


Jun 032015
 

Dominion Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalThe third root beer from the mini mart across the street from Safeco Field in 1998 that doesn’t actually exist anymore sadly. This was made by the Old Dominion Brewing Company, before it was bought and its original location was torn down. So it’s from the old Old Dominion Brewing Company. This is made with Virginia honey which must be better than regular honey or they wouldn’t make such a point about it. I love a root beer with honey. Sadly the label doesn’t give me much to go on about. It’s got some lines going out like a fan, and it’s got its name. No conundrums or cliches or ridiculousness. Just plain classy gourmet root beer. No real special story about how I found it either, you’ve heard that before. So I guess on to the review I wrote 17 years ago.

Very nice Body. Head is good but it could use more. The Bite is nice but not too much and the Aftertaste is pleasant.

Alright, I’ll admit I needed to write more back then. It’s a shame I didn’t but I’ll tell you this is a solid and delicious root beer. You know those honey brews always do it for me. Especially when they’ve got maltodextrin in them. It makes them feel so good in your mouth. At the time I originally reviewed it, it was the first solid four kegs I’d ever given. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs


May 202015
 

Hot Rod Magazine Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalShortly after I began reviewing root beers my good friend found me this in Seattle. If you can’t tell the picture is of some sort of car completely consumed in flames. Above it reads “Something to drink when you’re hot” and below the destruction it reads “we’re sure he’s dead anyone got a root beer?” in two different fonts. This is both awesome and confusing but since I was but a mere teenager at the time, it was overwhelmingly awesome. It was also a limited edition root beer made for Hot Rod Magazine. The back side of the label says you can win a free year’s subscription if you send them a picture of something with wheels. There’s no expiration date on that. I wonder if I can still win 17 years later? For some odd reason this is only 11 ounces instead of the normal 12. If any root beer seems to be a mere private label in disguise, this fits the bill, however, I can find no other root beer that matches the same ingredients in my collection. The closest is Jack Black’s Dead Red, which has all of the same ingredients listed other than the sweetener, Jack Black’s uses cane sugar while this uses HFCS. Then there’s that whole “Natural and Artificial Flavors” that could be completely different. This is bottled by Generation Foods who also makes the Skeleteens line so it is probably just a variation of the Jack Black’s recipe. Yet it does have different ingredients and a different name so it is a unique root beer on its own.

This is one of those root beers with a nice sweet smooth Body. The Head is lacking but it doesn’t go flat. The Aftertaste is adequate. The Bite is wonderful with Brazilian Guarana. The worst part is that it is caffeinated but it does add to the Bite.

I like it. I really do. I like Jack Black’s as well, but this one is better, smoother, sweeter. The Head is a drawback, it it is much better than the two second Head. This was one of the first Seal of Approval’s I gave, though I haven’t seen this in years. It’s a shame. It’s the only guarana energy type root beer that’s worth drinking on a regular basis. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs