Apr 222015

Sprecher Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalAnother brew that I found in Sacramento on the trip there after my mission. My grandmother mentioned that there was a really nice root beer at a cafe down a few blocks away from her house which prompted me to drop everything and take off to see if there was any truth to the rumor. I found that the stories were true and I bought three bottles. Since it was already cold, I was able to start reviewing it as soon as I got back to the house. I for many years mispronounced the name of this. I always though it was a ‘ch’ sound and not a ‘k’ sound so it’s like the German word to talk. Also, I’m not sure what the crow daemon thing is supposed to be but at least it’s not a dog…

The Body is sweet and smooth with a nice honey flavor to it. One of the best root beer bodies that I have ever tasted. The Bite is there, but not too much, more on the smooth side, like I like it. The Head is good and frothy, but, unfortunately was a little too short to rank higher. The Aftertaste is also very nice with the honey.

Wow! This stuff is great. The only thing that could be improved would to have more vanilla flavor to it and a taller Head. All in all, this is a top notch brew. The fact that they sell this in pints means you always get an extra four ounces of goodness and trust me, you’ll always be wanting it. Since I originally reviewed it the label has changed to add that it was voted #1 by the New York Times. Well, I’m awarding my Seal of Approval, which is far more prestigious than anything in the Times. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Sep 052012

Was at the Root Beer Store the other day and noticed that they finally started carrying this. I’d known about it for some time from the Orca Beverages website but they utterly refused to make arrangements with me to get some, claiming that I could get anything they sold from the Root Beer Store, when the Root Beer Store clearly didn’t have it. But at last, they did and now I have it. With a name like Hippo Size and Jumbo, you’d think that this would come in some half gallon spring top growler or something. At least a 22 oz like Sparky’s does or at the very least some fat 16 oz bottles like Sprecher. However, it comes in just a regular 12 oz bottle like almost every other root beer. The did put it in the short fat bottles though, so they put in some effort. Then they realized that everyone would be let down by the lack-of-oversized bottle so they flavor texted it with “Small Bottle, Big Taste” I guess it was easier than getting bigger bottles. Despite this, they still say in the fine print that this is “The original Texas size drink” which contradicts their flavor text about it being small. It also claims a recipe that dates to 1927 though I hear they’d been out of business for some time and just recently resurrected.

This has a dark Body with a prominent licorice flavor along with sassafras and some wintergreen. It reminds me of a generic root beer barrel candy flavor (not the A&W ones). There is a strong carbonation Bite like sharp needles on the tongue. You can feel and even hear a bubble release unless it is poured from higher than normal into the glass, strange. Yet, despite all of said carbonation it still sports a “two second Head” which is quite a letdown. The Aftertaste is wintergreen and licorice that is a bit sticky.

Honestly after every drink I just think, generic stout. There really isn’t anything to distinguish this from all of the other dark and licoricey root beers other than the strange bubble release and the lack of distinguishing features. Perhaps that’s the reason it originally went out of business (and not a vast corporate conspiracy to deprive us of root beer variety). I don’t know but I do know that I’d never touch this again. See how it rates against other root beers.

Oct 222011

The bottle on this one is pretty cool. It’s got a picture of the god Mercury drinking from a mug and has root beer bubbles everywhere. I don’t really like the fact that they call it root beer soda pop, as I like to think of root beer as a premium brewed carbonated beverage and not something as low class as a soda pop. Though, Sprecher’s calls theirs root beer soda and that is amazing, while Virgil’s calls theirs premium micro brew and it is pretty bad. So I guess what you call it isn’t nearly as important as its Body, Bite, Head, and Aftertaste. This is also sold as Freaky Dog Rooff Beer, the two are exactly the same.

The Body has a strong, dark sassafras flavor with slight licorice and wintergreen bits coming through. The Bite isn’t that good. There are not really any spices though the carbonation is at the right level. The Head is short and gone fast but not one of those two second root beer Heads. The Aftertaste is heavy wintergreen with a bit of licorice that lingers too long. It’s not really bad; it’s just not really good either.

So I guess it really is more soda pop quality, though it’s flavor isn’t really what I think of when I think of soda pop root beer, as this is distinct instead of generic. I find it curious that on the side of the bottle they have a picture of two kegs. I didn’t notice that until after I had rated it. I suppose if they were looking to make two keg root beer they can take pride in knowing that they almost hit their target. See how it rates against other root beers.