Jan 102018
 

Tractor Soda Company Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval Tractor Soda Company is a fairly new company out of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Like a lot of new entrants to the soda market, they are focusing on only organic and non-GMO ingredients with no HFCS. Somehow they even manage to use organic sassafras in this brew, which I thought was against some FDA rules. They demand everything is responsibly sourced as well to have minimal environmental impact. So much do they want to reduce their impact, that they’ve discontinued bottling in favor of only shipping syrups to various soda fountains. This is, actually, more environmentally friendly, but not as much fun for a root beer gourmet like myself who doesn’t do soda fountains. Luckily, after they had discontinued bottling, I found a couple at the Seattle Rocket Fizz store, and was able to grab four. Very lucky indeed.

The Body is rich and complex, with sassafras, birch, wintergreen, and other herbs mixing together for an elaborate take on the archetypal root beer flavor. Then aged vanilla surfaces to steal the show. It isn’t overly sweet though, and there’s a dark molasses flavor as well that’s a bit out of place. The Bite is near perfect with the right amount of cinnamon and nutmeg and carbonation mixing together for a tasty burn. The Head is nice and tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is aged bourbon vanilla. I love that flavor.

Delicious! … and complex, and wonderful. This is a solid brew by any measure. I wish it were a little bit sweeter, and not so much molasses, but those are minor complaints on arguably the best organic brew I’ve had so far. What a shame they don’t bottle it anymore. Maybe someone near by will get it on draft. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs




Dec 272017
 

Polar Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalA few years back Polar changed their recipe slightly. No doubt it was in response to my not-quite-good-enough review. They also had the decency to change their name a bit so I could review it as a new root beer. Thank you Polar, now if only everyone else would follow suit. Gone are the ‘classics’ and the ‘premium’ in their name. Now it’s just Polar, just plain old ordinary Polar (which incidentally is the worst acronym for anything edible). Maybe plain old Polar, then it takes sides in that whole “soda” vs. “pop” war. They also made it significantly less dangerous, so there isn’t a warning on the label. But, how does it taste?

The Body is full and sweet. There’s rich and creamy vanilla and nice caramel hints. The Bite is spicy yet smooth, just how I like it. There is a most excellent Head on this. It’s so tall I can’t pour it all in my mug without letting it fizz down first. And it lasts forever. A sweet vanilla Aftertaste seals the deal for this one.

I am pleased. They fixed everything that was wrong with them before and have a superb brew for all. Maybe what was really wrong was the extra explosives they originally put in there to weaponize it and now that it’s gone, the flavor is improved. I’m not sure, but whatever they did, they did it right. So recommendation, drink it whenever you can find it. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs




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