Jan 282015
 

Hank's Premium Root BeerSeal of Approval More than any other root beer, Hank’s is the reason that Eric’s Gourmet Root Beer Site exists. You see, the web was young and free hosting was just recently made available at places like Geocities. It was the cool thing to do to make a website. After seriously considering making a website about a combination of three of my favorite things, cheese, Jethro Tull, and Star Craft, (The Eric’s Cheese, Jethro Tull, and Star Craft Site was going to be AWESOME I swear) the idea came to make one about gourmet root beer instead. Since I’d only tried eight different kinds of gourmet root beer (there wasn’t a lot of variety in a town of 5,000 people) at that point I figured I needed to expand a bit. I found Hank’s online and asked my Mom to order it for me. I had a whole $15. She called and they said that they’d never sent anything to Washington State before and they figured it’d be very expensive. She said she’d have to call back because she was buying it for her son who was making a website but he didn’t have much money. Then they decided that since it was for a website, and thus free publicity, they’d send a whole case as a free sample. How very generous. Also, it put a lot of expectation on me to actually follow through and make the website since I was paid in advance as it were. And thus Eric’s Gourmet Root Beer Site was born.

This is sooo goooood! It has a wonderfully full Body that is rich and creamy and a nice spicy Bite. The Head is almost perfect. Aftertaste is very pleasant.

As you can tell, I really liked it then (I’ve kept what I originally wrote back in 1998). It put me in quite an enigma because at the time it was the best brew I’d ever had, but I hadn’t had very many. I put it at 4.5 kegs and after many years I revisited it in my Ultimate Root Beer Showdown and realized that after nearly 150 root beers, it was still the best. I really love this stuff. It is perhaps as close to perfection as we can come in this imperfect world. See how it rates against other root beers.

5 out of 5 Kegs, Elixer of the Gods


Jan 142015
 

Henry Weinhard's Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalThis was only the second gourmet root beer I ever had but was by far the most influential. I first found it when I was 12 or so at the local Safeway and quickly became the go-to when I needed a treat. A celebration, get a Henry’s. Need to drown my sorrows, get a Henry’s. Want an extra good root beer, get a Henry’s. It helped that Safeways were pretty much in every town and they’d sell Henry’s chilled as well as in six-packs. Gas stations started getting them too so it was a a nearly ubiquitous awesome brew. There were other gourmet root beers about, but none were as good. After my brother’s car accident I had at least one of these per day. After a month or two, I couldn’t drink anything that didn’t come from glass, and I soon began the quest to find the world’s best root beer. So how did my beloved Henry’s stack up?

Nice full, sweet Body with the perfect Head. It is one of the nicest Heads of any root beer. So much so that it is my standard Head to compare against other root beers. It’s rich and creamy with lovely vanilla and honey flavor complementing the sassafras. Wonderful Aftertaste, honey and vanilla lasting the perfect amount of time. There’s not a lot of Bite, but enough spice for me. It is very smooth and that’s how I prefer it most of the time.

This is pretty much my gourmet root beer standard. I’ve had many a brew from all over the world, but not many can even stand level to, let alone surpass this. There are plenty that are better in one category or another, but Henry Weinhard’s is so good on all of it that it makes it a tough brew to beat. I make sure to drink a Seal of Approval root beer after each review to “reset” the palate. Most of the time it’s Henry’s. It is safe to say that this is the most important root beer in my life. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs


Nov 192014
 

Frostie Vanilla Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval About a year or so after I found Frostie Root Beer I encountered Frostie Vanilla at a grocery store in Provo where I was studying. They’re still going for the whole Christmas theme though now the snowy field has been replaced with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the frosty mug o’ brew is now a tall root beer float, or something with a scoop of ice cream. It’s like they wanted it to be a root beer float soda, but wanted me to review it so they’re calling it a vanilla root beer instead. I can only say that that is a wise choice, because everyone knows that a soda that I won’t review based on the semantics of its name is clearly not worth drinking.

This has a sweet, creamy Body with lots of luscious vanilla. The Bite is on the weak side but not too bad. The Head is adequate, though it could be frothier. The Aftertaste is a wonderful vanilla flavor that lasts a long time.

Wow, delicious. This is really got a nice vanilla flavor while still being a root beer. It basically tastes like a normal Frostie root beer with the strange unnatural flavor replaced with vanilla. A wise and excellent improvement I say. Clearly, some great sage was present at the birth of this brew, guiding them so they’d make me happy. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs