Aug 132014

O-So Vanilla Butterscotch Root Beer BottleYet another resurrected brand by Orca Beverages. Though this one bucks the Orca standard format of label design, it’s originality points are vastly diminished by it’s name, which is on the lines of Dang! That’s Good and So Duh! They predictably couldn’t resist the “O-So Delicious” text on the bottle. This is but the third butterscotch brew I’ve encountered and the only vanilla butterscotch root beer. I wonder what it is with annoying names and butterscotch anyways? Is it the whole, “we’re such rebels, we won’t follow proper naming conventions or flavor conventions, just check out our amazing butterscotch?” However, like so many hipsters whose originality comes from bucking convention, they’ve become a convention in unto themselves and the only irony is now the lack thereof. At least this one, in true hipster fashion, can claim to have been doing butterscotch before butterscotch was mainstream, at least if their “since 1946” is to be believed.

The Body is sweet and hollow. While it’s in your mouth there are really only faint traces of butterscotch and vanilla and not a lot else. I search in vain for the classic root beer flavors. The Bite from spices is non-existent but the carbonation level is very sharp and prickly so you can’t really taste much until you swallow. It does, however, feel very smooth and rich in your mouth. The Head is medium tall and lingers awhile but not forever like some. The Aftertaste is a solid vanilla and butterscotch flavor that still doesn’t have a lot of characteristic root beer to it.

Because why would a butterscotch root beer actually taste like root beer? I actually think this has the best butterscotch flavor profile of the three, but it has the worst root beer profile. Probably due to the fact that root beer which tastes like root beer is too mainstream. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Mar 142012

So more into my questing of small microbrewery root beers. I had heard about this one from another blog and wrote an email to them since they didn’t seem to have a way to buy it online. A fine chap by the name of Dennis wrote me back and said that they didn’t sell it online but if I called they’d be glad to send me some and “it is the very best.” I called and made the purchase. About a week later I get a rather large padded envelope on my door step containing the two bottles of Surf City Root Beer, a gift certificate for $5 of merchandise at Brewbakers Restaurant and Brewery (if I’m ever in Huntington Beach, CA I guess), a restaurant menu, a brewery menu (all the different beers you can custom make), and a box hop jump tea bags. Huh? What are hop jumps? It seems from the description that they are dried hops that you put into a draft beer to make it taste fuller. I don’t know, I’ve never drank beer. I gave them to the British guy I work with and he thought they were hilarious, though he hasn’t tried them yet. I honestly think they put them in there for padding between the two bottles. And who sends root beer in only a padded envelope? These guys are different for sure, but I suppose that’s how surfer dudes are. So how is it?

Wonderful Body! Raw honey and spices complimenting solid sassafras flavor. It is also creamy from the delicious vanilla. While it isn’t overly complex, it is perfectly proportioned. The spices give a solid Bite. The Head is very nice. It’s tall and frothy as a root beer Head should be. The Aftertaste is a delightful blend of spiced vanilla and honey with the vanilla the last flavor to fade. This is beauty in the form of root beer!

Good gravy! What a shock to my root beer world. After the first bottle I realized they weren’t kidding about it being the best. I needed to make sure. I brought out the bottle of So Duh!, Hank’s, and Iron Horse for the Ultimate Root Beer Showdown just to make sure I knew where the top brews stood. Then I had my second bottle of this stuff. Then another bottle of So Duh!. Well, it isn’t quite the very best, but there was no doubt in my mind that it is an Elixir of the Gods. See how it rates against other root beers.

Mar 072012

So another root beer from Anthony’s wonderful package from the East. I’d known about this one for awhile and was looking forward to giving it a try. Curiously, the week I had slotted to taste test it, I got an email from a nice chap named Fred giving me a heads up about ABC Root Beer and telling me that I should try it. It was thus ordained to be. Due to my recent luck of excellent brews, I expected the best. I really like the honey theme to the bottle as well. I love honey in root beer. And this is “brewed with a delightful blend of honey” which I assume means there’s more than one type of honey in it. Or, does it mean that the amount they blend in is a delightful amount leaving a total blend that is a delightful one?

Well, this is quite a ‘stout’ brew. It has a very rich Body with accents of honey and wintergreen. There is a tad too much licorice for my tastes. The Bite is a bit harsh from carbonation though light on spicy. The Head is medium height and fizzes down too quickly. The Aftertaste is a sticky licorice and wintergreen with some honey. It lasts a little too long in my opinion.

Huh, where’s all of that honey they boast about on the bottle? I mean, I could taste some honey, but their whole label was covered in honeycomb with picture of a black bear (what do bears eat?) With that kind honey focus, I was expecting Langer’s or So Duh! Rockin’ levels of honey. At least Thomas Kemper levels. But alas, the honey isn’t quite at the level. It isn’t bad though. This is good ‘stout’ root beer but I prefer creamier, smoother ones. See how it rates against other root beers.