Nov 012017
 

Frostop Special Reserve Imperial Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalI haven’t been as excited to try a new root beer since Sprecher Honey. I love Frostop so a Frostop with clover honey and Madagascar vanilla sounds like heaven. This was made in a custom batch run for the people at Market Street Soda, a soda shop in Newark, Ohio. They are like a bar, but only draft and bottled sodas, with a large number of them root beers. This is a concept I’d like to see more of. They have Frostop on draft and have a good relationship with Frostop, so they got this custom brew made just for them. It’s bottled by Spring Grove. They wouldn’t ship any to me, but luckily I have some amazing fans so someone sent me two bottles in a trade.

The Body is rich and complex with lovely honey and vanilla and lots of clove all complimenting a nice sassafras core. All that clove makes one spicy Bite but it still finishes rather smooth. The Head is just perfect. It’s tall and frothy and lingers through the entire drinking experience. The creamy vanilla Aftertaste is peppered with clove accents. A perfect finish for an amazing brew.

Wow, just wow. I am a sucker for vanilla and honey brews and they nailed this one. Lots of clove on this type of root beer is quite unique and I really liked it as well, it was that extra kick to knock this into the highest echelons of root beers. Well done Frostop, two for two. See how it rates against other root beers

4.5 Kegs




Oct 042017
 

Henri Sodas Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval One week into my new job and I was already flying on business into the Mystic Land of the North. Talk about hitting the ground running. This particular time I was off to Montreal. I didn’t have a lot of spare time, and there weren’t any breweries that had any racinette. I stumbled across some hard root beer in a convenience store which was just simply infuriating. Then I found Henri Sodas on Facebook. Henri makes several flavors of all natural, artisan sodas, brewed in small batches in the Montreal area. I reached out them on Facebook and told them where I was staying and asked if there was a store nearby that sold their brew. I was in luck, and they quickly replied that Mandy’s Salads, a quick walk from my hotel, carried their brew. I was able to get some that very next night after dinner. There were only 6 bottles in stock and I bought them all. Thankfully I got free checked bags so I could transport it home for free. The taped seal on the bottle is a nice unique touch. Makes the bottles feel slightly more premium.

The Body is complex and herbal with a prominent sarsaparilla flavor accented by licorice, spice, and a bit of vanilla. It’s more of a sharp sarsaparilla than a fruity which is good. There is a solid Bite from the spices, though it isn’t smooth and creamy. The Head is tall, very tall. Pour with caution. The Aftertaste is an herbal sarsaparilla that finishes in a faint fennel seed, like those things you eat at the end of your meal at Indian restaurants.

Wow, this is unique and yummy, and not too far outside of the typical root beer spectrum to get a Seal. I’m quite impressed with those Quebecers. Hopefully I’ll travel back their on business soon so I can get some more. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs




Sep 272017
 

Ginseng UP American Classics Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval I am going to take some credit for the existence of this root beer. I know it sounds presumptuous, but that could be said for most of this website. You see, after I reviewed the Ginseng Up Private Label, I sent them an email congratulating them on the Seal of Approval. I also mentioned that it was strange that their Ginseng UP brand line didn’t have a root beer, especially since their tagline is “The Root of All Power” which could be a double entendre with root beer, and hoped that they’d make something equally good with ginseng. As you can see, they make one now, but it’s different from the Private Label in more than just added ginseng. This is all natural with cane sugar and no preservatives, which makes people like my lovely wife very happy.

The Body is sweet and full and creamy with a pronounced ginseng flavor and notes of caramel and a hint of wintergreen. The Bite is nice with clove the dominant spice though it finishes smooth. The Head is tall with decent staying power, not the best by any means, but nice. The Aftertaste is vanilla with a little ginseng.

Yum. They’ve made a nice creamy root beer with some additional complexity from the wintergreen and cloves. They make the ginseng work perfectly with it too, adding a nifty little twist without detracting in the least. I expected nothing less from the shadowy root beer overlords of the private label industry. Predictably, this is also sold in different bottles with different labels with the American Classics more prevalent. But it’s the same recipe. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs