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.