Apr 072021

Whistler Lemon Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval For the first time in awhile I went out to Blue Sun Soda. I’ve been trying to avoid in-person shopping as much as possible what with the pandemic. Plus it’s sad to me to go up there and not play video games and enjoy a phosphate. Any how, I went back, hunting for a different root beer (review coming next month) and when I asked them if they said they had anything new, they remarked that they’d just started making a lemon root beer. That sounds like a terrible idea to me. If you’ve read this blog much (or my reviews in general) you know my opinion of sour, citrusy, fruity flavors in my root beer. I’ve also not had the best experience with Whistler despite my love for what they do. To set my expectations even lower, when I posted about the new root beer on Facebook, the owner of Whistler commented that he himself didn’t like it but people kept asking for it so he made it. That’s actually hilarious and I told him to not take it bad if I panned it in my review. After all, would you be excited to drink something its own creator has dismissed as weird? But so I found myself filling my mug with a lemon scented brew.

The Body has a rich creamy root beer flavor that is almost caramely and is sharpened by lemon accents which transition to a vanilla lemon flavor. Despite a strong lemon, it isn’t sour or even feel citrusy. The Bite is mostly from prickly carbonation but it finishes smooth. The Head is medium height and staying power, sufficient for a good brew. The Aftertaste is rich vanilla and lemon, like a lemon custard, but for some reason it feels completely natural to finish a root beer like this.

No. No no no no. This isn’t right … how? It’s amazing! But it shouldn’t be. Literally nothing I just wrote makes any sense to me. Finishing a root beer with lemon custard? What? But it’s delicious. I can’t stop drinking it. I want more. It seems like the most natural fantastic root beer despite contradiction of its flavors. What dark wizardry is this? A lemon root beer has no business being this good. But I’ll be back for more. Congratulations Whistler, I award you the Seal of Approval. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Oct 172018

Whistler Classic Soda Butterscotch Root Beer Bottle So the fine folks at Whistler Classic Soda have been busy. They’ve built the wonderful Blue Sun Soda Shop, a veritable cathedral of craft soda. It’s just north of Minneapolis, which means I can now drop by. I’ve seen soda shops before, but none like this. Soda is first and everything else comes second. They’ve got over 1300 flavors of glass bottled sodas, over 100 root beers. Granted, I’ve had almost all those root beers, but they still get some new ones. Plus, they’ve got a classic arcade with a window looking into the bottling plant. With a super fast soda chiller (3 minutes) this is a place you can just spend the afternoon, drinking your favorite brews and slamming quarters in the pinball machines (which I did when I picked up this root beer). Whistler itself has even expanded their flavors to include this butterscotch root beer among other new ones. They got bigger bottles too. You’ll have to click the picture in this post to see the cap which denotes the flavor. Returnable bottles and identical labeling help keep the costs lower.

The Body has a nice full butterscotch flavor, but a conspicuous lack of anything else. There’s also something off under the surface, an alkaline flavor of sorts. This flavor continues into the Bite, which is mild other than this alkaline burn. The Head is short, but it lingers. The Aftertaste is a light, sweet, butterscotch that is eventually replaced with this baking soda type flavor.

Yeah, this is not the best. It isn’t terrible though. I just really don’t like it. Why can’t I like these guys’ soda. They’re 0/3 for drinkable ratings, but I love everything else about these guys. I’ll be a frequent visitor of their store, but I don’t see me buying more of their root beers. Maybe their next flavor will be a win? Here’s hoping. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Feb 222017

North Star Craft Soda Root Beer BottleAnother brew received in trade from that great root beer lover Tony. This comes out of Minnesota, if you couldn’t guess by the large silhouette of the state on the label. I’m not sure why the only star on the label happens to be on the south eastern corner of said state and not the north as the name would suggest. Another root beer mystery for the ages. Like why they had to use so many different fonts, or underline all of the ‘o’s. It is bottled by Whistler. It appears that this is just a different brand from the same company. The main point of this is non-returnable bottles as opposed to Whistler’s returnable bottles. Evidently, this is “crafted in teeny batches”. How small a batch does it have to be to qualify as teeny? A couple of bottles? A couple of cases? A couple of pallets? Either way, it doesn’t sound like they make much of this at a time. They also use “super filtered water” which is another term that’s as ambiguous as it is uncommon. It’s also made by a “handful” of people. I shudder to think what their recipe is like. Perhaps a bit of sugar, a tad of sassafras, a smidgen of cinnamon (it is a teeny batch after all).

The Body is sort of sour and fruity with a generic creamy root beer flavor. It has a Bite that is sour and sharp, which is not what I like. The Two-Second-Head doesn’t help it either. The Aftertaste is some nice vanilla with a slightly fruity tinge.

This root beer just fails to impress in every category. I wouldn’t drink it again and neither should you, but I will say that it is an improvement over the original Whistler, albeit much more generic. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs