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

Apr 082015

Rat Bastard Root Beer BottleI’m generally a person who spurns vulgarity in all forms and wish the rest of the world would follow suit. I have no misconceptions however that I am, in fact, in the minority in this respect. However, I do feel that there are some, extenuating circumstances when such words may be acceptable. This is one of those times. However, to avoid being too crass, I’ll stick with the expletives printed on the bottle. Oh Rat Bastard, who conceived of you and why? Was it to make sure that one root beer could fail my easiest of metrics, coming in a pretty bottle? Perhaps. And honestly, that is the reason I sought it out. I had reviewed many root beers by that time, the summer after my mission, but I’d never given a zero. Even the vilest of brews still had at least a somewhat of a pretty bottle at that point, but not this. Also it seemed from their tag line, that they didn’t actually want it to taste good. To that end they filled it with all manner of unhallowed ingredients never seen before in a root beer like, jasmine, shiitake, mad dog weed, goldenseal, and the list goes on. Nevertheless, I approached my three bottles with an open mind. Maybe it was all for show and it was another rather generic soda. I was so wrong.

The Body was gross, strange, kinda fruity with a dash of cola? The Head was near nonexistent. There was a harsh Bite, but it was from the many strange herbs and things that should NEVER be put in root beer. It made me stick my tongue out of my mouth repeatedly after each swallow (I guess that my tongue was trying to wipe the flavor off or something.) But then came the Aftertaste which was the same rancid flavor that made me stick my tongue out in the first place.

Oh what utter vileness, what pox upon all that which is called root beer. And I drank three whole bottles of it just to make sure of the review. Truly it is as the bottle boasts, it “tastes like a son of a bitch.” I think that forcing someone to drink that many bottles of this is actually banned by the Geneva Convention. Add the ugly and offensive bottle and I finally got my zero. I don’t think it was quite worth it though. See how it rates against other root beers.


Jul 232014

Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer Bottle A pirate themed energy drink root beer, I’ve never seen one of those before. To be fair, I had this one first. At the time ordered it, I thought they were referencing one of my favorite comedy actors, who, to the best of my knowledge has never actually portrayed a pirate. The only other Jack Black was some pirate ghost from an old Disney series that had to go and save 100 lives to avoid damnation. I don’t think that’s what these guys are going for. It does seem a jolly scull and crossbones, so let’s just assume they were envisioning some sort of Nacho Libre-esque film set on the high seas in a ship called the Dead Red with an awkward, incompetent captain (Jack Black) and a delinquent crew. Root beer would somehow be involved. Probably Jack Black’s favorite drink and the crew would always be doing something to it as part of a running gag. And then Jack would yell “Who’s been screwin’ with my brewin’?” or something like that. I’d definitely watch that movie. There are also many humorous sayings written on the bottle like “Second time available in 416 years” … okay, and “Better Dead Red than just plain Dead” which remains to be seen.

This has a nice sweet and creamy Body. After the initial contact however, there is a strange flavor that surfaces and takes away from beauty of the brew. The Bite is too strange. There is too much Guarana in it. The Head is alright. The Aftertaste is of vanilla and Guarana.

Well that is pleasantly surprising. These energy drink type root beers are usually frightening at best but that’s pretty decent. Not Seal of Approval good, but good enough to warrant an occasional bottle on International Talk Like A Pirate Day, for a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon, and similar type activities. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs