Friday, December 11, 2009
My official review is that Joe's Real BBQ gets 5 (five) IBCs. That's being generous too. I like Joe's, so i don't want to slam his root beer, but it's really not that great. It's unfortunate. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try it if you go down there. The rest of the dining experience more than makes up for the little bit that the root beer lacks. Plus, if you go on your birthday, you're meal is free, and that right there is some sweet action.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I picked up a 2 liter bottle of their root beer, and i am not sure if there is any other sizes or variations on packaging available. The bottle is a typical 2 liter plastic bottle. The label is very plain, lots of writing and text, with a limited color scheme. It's brown and white, with a little bit of yellow splashed in there for "flare". I don't know. Companies like this just want to throw something out there to get a small piece of the big pie, so the label doesn't have to be flashy or memorable. It just has to convey the message, which i suppose this one does just fine. There are some swirly designs in the background and carbonated bubbles coming off the word "Fizz", i guess to accentuate that this stuff if fizzy.
At least the root beer lives up to its name. It is indeed very fizzy. There is a lot of carbonation in this drink, which is fine by me. It's not enough to kill you or anything, but they don't hold back on it. Other than that, this root beer is completely forgettable. There is nothing very appealing about it. The root beer flavor is very watered down, which is too back because it's not a bad flavor. It also has a good aroma, but the taste fades so fast that you forget what it even tastes like right after you drink it. Even for the store brands, this one doesn't really make a mark, and being on the low end of the store brands is a sad place to be. It's not completely awful and is basically everything i expected it to be, but that still makes it a fundamentally bad root beer.
My official review is that Big Fizz Root Beer gets 3 (three) IBCs. I would say it's a high 3 because i don't detest this stuff, but it is not good enough to earn a low 4, so i have to mark this one down as sub-par. I don't know how widely spread out Rite Aids are across our great nation, but chances are that unless you're in some podunk, one-hat town there are other options out there for you as far as root beer is concerned. And in those cases, i suggest you look somewhere else for a decent root beer.
Monday, November 9, 2009
This root beer comes in 12 oz. clear glass bottle. It's not necessarily a typical bottle though, it's a little different shaped. Kind of old fashionedy. Anyway, the sticker label is very colorful, complete with a rainbow hot air balloon and the flowery, hippie love child font (which i am not sure Microsoft is actually responsible for) spells out the name of the soda company over a spiraling galaxy like swirl. Probably influenced by the San Francisco hippy movement of the mid to late 1960's. I don't really care for the label, but in this case, i don't think that's what's most important.
I have long held that root beer in clear glass bottles is usually disappointing. Well up until now, every root beer in a clear glass bottle has backed that theory up. This root beer however flies in the face of all the presumptions i had about this. For starters, this root beer has a good amount of carbonation, something which is not common in clear glass bottle root beers. Most has little to no carbonation, but Napa Valley comes stocked with just the right amount. Second, the flavor is full and satisfying, while most other clear glass bottle root beers seem watered down and bland. The distinct full bodied root beer flavor and slight carmel undertones really impressed me. Granted, it's nothing earth shattering or completely new, but all that aside, it is a very refreshing and surprisingly good root beer. Both my wife and i thoroughly enjoyed it, and at $2 for a 4-pack, there's really no excuse why this stuff shouldn't get the approval of everyone else also.
My official review is that Napa Valley Root Beer gets 8 (eight) IBCs. This is a solid root beer, one i think has universal appeal. It's good, inexpensive, and refreshing. I am pleased with it, and i want to say thanks again to my coworker Heather for picking this one up for me. I'm adding it to my regulars list. I am not sure if Big Lots are located all across this great nation, but if you find yourself near one, you should stop in and pick up some of this stuff.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
My official review is that Journey Desert Sage gets 1 (one) IBC. I don't know who in their right mind would think this company makes quality root beers. I haven't tried any of their other sodas, but i think any soda company worth its salt can be judged entirely from its root beer, and this company happens to have three root beers. So far, Journey has two strikes. That's enough for me to never want anything to do with them again, but i will continue my quest to track down the final Journey root beer. Don't hold your breath though.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Anyway, Pearson Bros. root beer is made in San Francisco, CA, and the reason i know that is because it says so on the bottle. Other than that, i found it hard to find much info about Pearson Bros. However, I did a bit of digging and investigative journalists everywhere should be proud of me for finding this website that quotes the creaters of Pearson Bros. Root Beer, Matt and Eric Pearson (and yes, they are actually brothers). This article in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper tells that the root beer has been around since 1996 and can be found mostly in the Bay Area. Aside from this, i can't find much else on Pearson Bros. But I guess there are a lot of famous Peasons out there, including the distrubutors of some well known but unappealing candy, and even a statistical genius of sorts. I actually knew some Pearsons growing up in Northern Arizona, and they seemed pretty successful as well. Must be something in the name. I guess it only makes statistical sense that the probability of a Pearson getting into the root beer business is much higher than a person with any other surname. Don't believe me? Take a look at this. I'm pretty sure it proves my point.
The bottle is a 12 oz. clear glass bottle and the label is very simple, but it stands out. Red really catches the eye, or at least my eye, which is what is important. It has a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on it and big text of the name of the root beer, but not much else. It's very plain, but i like it. And unfortunately, that may be the only thing i like about it. Let's just start off by saying i am not sure what it is, but i have a prejudice against root beers in clear glass bottles. There are a few i have liked, but it's rare.
So what's wrong with Pearson Bros.? Let's start with the color. The clear glass bottles give away the fact that the color of the root beer isn't very rich or deep. It's very light brown in color and transparent enough for me to see right through it. Again, this is usually an indication to me that i am not going to like the root beer. I have reviewed enough of them to make this correlation. So if the color is off, the taste isn't going to be there either. This stuff is very bland. It has enough carbonation, but just barely. And the flavor is very watery and sugary. It doesn't linger and doesn't make an impression, much like many of the other light colored, clear glass bottle root beers (I'm looking at you Olde Brooklyn). But while it's nothing to write home about, it's not completely awful either. There just isn't anything about it that would make me want to travel to the Bay Area for more.
My official review is that Pearson Bros. gets 4 (four) IBCs. I've had worse, but i've also had much, much better. It doesn't stand out from many of the other root beers and seems like just another label with not much going on inside. So for those of you in the Bay Area who are looking for some good root beer, you will probably need to look else where. But to be completely honest, you're probably Chinese and don't drink root beer anyway. Hey, according to Pearson, it's a statistical fact.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Goose Island Root Beer is native to Chicago. The Goose Island Brewpub first opened it's doors in 1988 and focuses on brewing beers and hand crafted sodas. In addition to root beer, Goose Island makes 4 other flavors of soda. There are two locations where Goose Island now maintains brewpubs, both of which act as a restaurant where visitors can go and grab a bite to eat with their custom made brew of choice. From the website, they seem like pretty decent places to go for an evening meal. Maybe i'll have to check it out if my wife and i decide to get back to Chicago any time soon.
The bottle is a dark brown glass, 12 oz. bottle with a stick on label. I like the design on the bottle, and it's apparently pretty new. I was looking at other reviewers and seeing what one in particular said about Goose Island (which was a sham of a review if you ask a professional like me), and the old label is kinda corny and less desirable. This new label is simple, bold, clean, and neo-classic. I dig it. It's very straight forward and doesn't waste time. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you unreviewed root beers out there. Don't waste my time!
This root beer is made with 100% cane sugar. I am not one that usually gets hung up on this aspect of root beer anatomy, but i know there are a lot of people out there who do. So with that i will say that this is probably the best of the cane sugar root beers i have had. This stuff is really good. It reminds me a little of Stewart's, with just a tiny touch of carmel, good carbonation, and a great, smooth root beer flavor throughout. This stuff definitely delivers. Another notable cane sugar root beers is AJ Steven's, but there is something about it that really kinda turns me off to cane sugar. It's not bad, it's just... different. Like drinking the milk at the end of a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Kinda sludgy; i don't recommend it. But Goose Island does a great job of tasting like a great root beer should taste. In the end, it has a winning recipe. Maybe not on level with Iron Horse, but definitely up there with the Saranac crowd.
My official review is that Goose Island gets 8 (eight) IBCs. It's a good root beer, and one that i think Chicago should run with. Berghoff kinda steals the claim that it's Chicago's favorite, but time and time again i am not that impressed with it. But i think Goose Island has the right taste. It's decent, and unfortunately the only way i found of getting it was to go online. But if you're willing to go to those lengths for a good hand crafted root beer, this one is worth the shipping.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Just so you know, i am NOT trying to trick you into giving me your personal information. Rest assured, i am here to share my reliable root beer knowledge with you kind and gentle folks. More reviews are on the way, i promise. However, from now on i will require your social security numbers and bank accounts in order to access my blog. It's protocol. I'm sure you understand.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The only way to truly represent this 12 oz. glass bottle justly is to prominently display a gloriously terrifying portrait of the man who has struck so much fear into small claims evil-doers hearts. Judge Wapner's portrait carries so much credibility that you don't even need to write anything on the label. But what the heck, let's do it anyway. Aside from the name of the root beer, the judge declares with a booming voice, "I sentence you to drink my root beer!" That has to be the best punishment anyone could ever get. This label is so incredible that Wapner can use it as an official form of identification, even for airport security purposes. And if you ever get pulled over, be sure you have one of these babies riding shotgun so the cops know you can't be intimidated when the law is on your side.
But probably the best part of this whole charade is that this is actually a pretty good root beer. It tastes similar to Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer, but it's much more subtle on the flavor and has more carbonation for more of a bite. He probably wanted it to be that way so you can understand how it feels when he throws the book at you. Whether you're drinking his root beer or being sued by your neighbor, he wants you to understand what a privilege it is to have him presiding over your experience.
My official review is that Judge Wapner gets 8 (eight) IBCs. You can't run away from the law just like you can't run away from great taste. That's why i wouldn't dare give this thing any less of a rating. But in all seriousness, it's a good root beer, similar to many others, but the persona and the bite it packs pushes it above the rest. So go drink this root beer and then report back to your parole officer!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
The dark brown 12 oz. bottle has a fairly intricate, yet plain label on it. The name of the root beer is written in an almost calligraphy style font that it reminiscent of the days of Mark Twain's stories of river boat adventures. In fact, there is a picture of a river boat depicted on the label. River City beacons you to hearken back to a simpler time and enjoy a root beer the way it was meant to be enjoyed. A nice sentiment and all of that, but i think i, like most people, can't really relate since Mark Twain passed away in 1910. I'm not sure my grandma was even born at that time. So maybe the aim of River City should be to have me hearken back to a simpler time when Back to the Future was still in the movie theaters and Legos were merely simple geometric shapes. That might be a little more my time frame.
River City isn't a bad root beer, but i think my biggest complaint is that it's completely flat. No carbonation. That seems to be a growing epidemic in root beers, and i don't like it. I'm not looking to have you kill me with carbonation, but i like a good amount of it. River City has none. Other than that, it has a good root beer flavor, a hint of carmel, and maybe just a touch of wintergreen. It's a good flavor, but the lack of carbonation kills it for me. If this is their idea of having me remember the yesteryears of the mid to late 1800's, then they can keep it.
My official review is that River City gets 6 (six) IBCs. That rating could feasibly go higher had the soda contained at least a fair degree of carbonation. Alas, the marketing team for River City has yet to contact me and ask my extremely valuable opinion. It's up to you, my loyal readers, to clamor for improvement from this root beer on the edge of excellence. If anyone of you knows anyone in touch with this or any of these root beer companies, have them check out this blog for the opinion of the masses. I'd be happy to offer them some tips on how to make their root beers spectacular (for a fee). In fact, i'll do one now just to demonstrate my willingness to help...
Henry Weinhard's... stop making root beer. You're welcome.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I picked this stuff up in a 2 liter bottle, although it is also available in cans. The label has a modern advertising style to it, silver and brown colors with a kind of space age/computerized font. Personally, i think the name needs some work. Just sounds sloppy and dumb, but these guys are just out to make money by low balling the root beer market, not wow and impress anyone. Well guess what... mission accomplished.
This stuff is less than average in every way possible. Like i said, i don't know what i was expecting, because it's not meant to be a big seller. But to better paint the picture for you, i was drinking this stuff from a Styrofoam cup in line at the airport while i was waiting to go through the security checkpoint since i couldn't take it on the plane thanks to the new regulations for liquids and gels in quantities greater than 3 oz. It was warm, and i got down about a half a liter before i had to throw the whole thing away and make my way through the security checkpoint. These are not my ideal reviewing conditions, but sometimes i just gotta make do and suffer for my craft. It's hard to be gifted. Anyway, i will say that Super Chill has a very nice aroma, almost like that of A&W, so i was hoping for the best. But other than that, it was pretty disappointing. The standard root beer flavoring was fairly sweet and sugary and it came on quite strong and faded quickly. In the end, i was just chugging carbonated sugar in an airport security line.
My official review is that Super Chill gets 3 (three) IBCs. To be completely fair, i didn't really do due diligence in my research efforts for this root beer. I picked it up, barely drank it, and discarded it so i didn't miss my flight. But to be completely honest, i don't feel that i need to. Had it been good, i would have put more effort into it. But when you get to bed at 12:30 AM and have to wake up at 3:00 in order to catch a flight at 5:00, you do what you can to make it all work. In this case, a bad root beer made my job easy. So thanks Super Chill, i guess. Anyway, Chicago is a lovely city. If you end up visiting, go see the big silver bean and eat at Lou Malanati's, but don't bother hitting up the local Jewel Osco for some Super Chill.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This festive 2 liter bottle carries the restaurant logo and some basic information about the history of the place. It's eye catching and tasteful i suppose, but i felt like i didn't get the real experience of the root beer. I think anyone in their right mind would prefer the frosty mug to the 2 liter bottle shown here. But even with that in mind i tried not to hold it against the restaurant. Maybe it's so popular that they just simply ran out of root beer? Or maybe the factory workers had the day off and weren't brewing any root beer today? Who knows, but the real disappointment of the bottle was when i opened it. No carbonation escaping the now broken seal, no fizzy bubbles rising to the top. This root beer was flat. Strike two.
My fellow restaurant patrons and I poured the root beer over some ice (the fact that it was warm was not weighed against the root beer, it was merely circumstance) and began to taste this highly praised, highly anticipated root beer. The general consensus? Mediocre at best. I've already mentioned that it was flat (which the second bottle turned out to be as well), but other than that there was no wow, no kick, no spark of creativity in the flavor that would make me rave and rant and perpetuate the sterling reputation this thing already carries. To sum up the experience, i drank a less than average root beer. Strike three. I realize i'm being a bit harsh, and maybe i shouldn't be, but this stuff didn't live up to what everyone said about it. It simply tastes like root beer extract and sugar. It's not terrible, and aside from being completely flat, i didn't want to spit it out. But i also wasn't bowled over by it, and there are lots of other better choices, even in Utah Valley.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
My official review is that Frostie Vanilla Root Beer gets 5 (five) IBCs. It's not bad for not being a real root beer. I don't begrudge it at all, i just wish it wasn't afraid to say what it really is. There's nothing wrong with being a cream soda. I just don't want one of my daughters to date one. Know your place cream soda. That's all i'm saying.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
This is kind of a funky bottle. It has a curvy and sensual bottle shape ("stop saying sensual"). The difference in shape only makes it an 11.5 oz. bottle instead of the typical 12 oz. The label is very fancy and colorful. I think they are trying for the old 50's style writing and advertising to give it an old fountain shop look. Lots of browns and tans, cream colors, etc. The A&W label is prominently displayed on what appears to be a sign you would see outside an old diner on the side of the road. This label definitely catches the eye, and i am sure most of you have seen this in grocery stores before because it almost jumps out at you.
I'll be honest... i don't really like this stuff. It's not bad, but it doesn't really taste like root beer at all. All i can taste is a pina colada. Weird, i know. And it's sweet. In fact, it's too sweet. Plus it is completely uncarbonated. It's almost like drinking a pina colada Sobe. There is a lot of text on the bottle, mostly the nutritional facts. There is a lot that goes into this thing, and it's not surprising that it only has a shelf life of 6 months. In other words, this is basically a step away from the "all natural" selection of root beers i just reviewed. Not sure what is in it that makes me think it's a pina colada, which is fine cuz i like pina coladas, just not in my root beer. Maybe it's the cream they use. Hmmm...
My official review is that A&W Float gets 4 (four) IBCs. It's not at all what i expected, and i am kind of disappointed that i let it slide through to be classified as a "root beer". Technically, i think it would probably be more of a cream soda, which is what held me back from reviewing it in the first place. The girl at the register of the Pop Shop said she really likes the Sunkist Float a lot better than this one. So maybe i would suggest you get your hands on one of those instead, or even better, on an ice-cold, delicious, never disappointing IBC.
Addendum: *sigh*... i hate that i even have to try and defend myself on this seeing as i assumed it was amply explained in the body of the post, but i have recently come under fire regarding my decisions about what to classify as a root beer. Here is a quick list of guidelines i follow when choosing root beers to review:
1) It's my blog and i'm a freaking expert. That's why you come to my blog.
i told you it was a quick list.
Here's what you need to know... i review root beers. If it's on my blog, i have classified it as a root beer. The historical similarities between root beer and sarsaparilla? What, did you go to root beer college or something? You think my readers care about that kind of trivial nonsense when they're just looking for a decent root beer? Really? These people are sheep, and i am merely the shepherd directing them toward great taste and away from anything made by a hippie.
Look, i can see how this can get very lengthy. All i will say is that after months of deliberation i decided to let this one slide through because it carries the A&W name and those who drink it are made to believe it is made with A&W root beer (see floats.com). We all know there are many ways to flavor a root beer (including using sarsaparilla), but if you call it a sarsaparilla, then to me it's not a root beer anymore (i have a pie chart that proves it). If there were no difference between the two drinks, i wouldn't like AJ Stephen's Root Beer and hate AJ Stephen's Sarsaparilla. And anyone who names their soda Hosmer Mountain Sarsaparilla Root Beer is clearly retarded. Stop trying to confuse people. Just pick one. (But just so you know, i would probably still review it).
And for the record, my name is Jonathan.
Friday, May 29, 2009
As mentioned before, all the drinks made by Steaz contain green tea. That being the case, i don't think they should really call this stuff soda, or even root beer. It's tea. It looks like tea, it tastes like tea, and it even calls itself tea. Does it taste like root beer? Vaguely. And maybe the joke is on me and i just misunderstood, but this stuff isn't root beer. It's tea. Like Santa Cruz Organic, this stuff is also sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice. It also claims to be far better for you than soda. That's because it's parading as something it is not. Tea combined with soda? It's not soda. Not at all. Or maybe i was just confused when i bought it. I was expecting a tea infused soda. But what i got was a "root beer" flavored tea. And on that matter, let me just say that people have combined tea with other flavors to create raspberry tea, cinnimon tea, and even peppermint tea, which are all acceptable. But i have a suggestion for the tea industry in general; don't combine your tea with root beer. Just don't do it.
My official review is that Steaz Green Tea Root Beer gets 2 (two) IBCs. It's not that this stuff is terrible tasting. It's that it's not a root beer. And i don't particualy like tea, so that already counts me out. There is also a note on the bottle about natual settling that may occur for this drink. I found as i drank down to the bottom of the bottle, it becomes more and more tea flavored. Also, the colder it is, the better tasting it is (if any of you are still interested). They claim it's good for you, but i won't be buying it again, and i suggest you get yourself a real root beer also.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Anyway, sorry about that. Let's talk about root beer some more. The can it came in has a very basic design. The color scheme is composed of green and white for all the soda flavors, and there is a picture of the plant of flavor of the soda somewhere on the can. The root beer has a picture of a couple old barrels of root beer made from real organic wood sources, or at least they should be or Santa Cruz is a dirty liar. The rest of the can is covered in text, mostly about being organic and natural and all of that. It's basic and simple, and i am impartial to it. It doesn't jump out at me and i am not repulsed by it. Not much else to say about it really.
My only other experience with a self proclaimed "organic" root beer ended very badly, so i was expecting the worst when i popped the top on this sucker. I was relieved to find that it's not as terrible as i was led to believe all organic root beers are, but it's still very typical tasting of a natural root beer. It has light carbonation and is sweetened with something called "organic evaporated cane juice", which actually has it's own website. The root beer taste is really quite subtle, and the after taste is basically non-existent. It almost reminds me of Olde Rhode Island Root Beer, in that the taste disappears after drinking it so quickly. Plus, it has a taste that reminds me of herbal tea. Basically all i end up really tasting in the end is the sugar and herbal tea taste. And the big kicker is that the root beer itself is actually clear. Yup, it's like the Crystal Pepsi of root beer.
My official review is that Santa Cruz Organic Root Beer gets 3 (three) IBCs. Like i said, i am leaning more toward putting it in the same category as Olde Rhode Island, but being a natural/organic soda, i'm coming down on it a little harder than i did with ORI. It doesn't taste bad, but it's completely unimpressive. Plus, it's affiliation with the green movement isn't helping it's reputation any...
Monday, May 25, 2009
1) Dr. Tima speaks to those who drink his soda in first person, suggesting that he is indeed a real person. And i think he might be Jewish since this stuff is Kosher.
2) Dr. Tima explicitly states that he has been "prescribing" all natural honey soda since 1973. The use of the word prescribing leads me to believe that he is a practicing medical doctor, but i can't for the life of me think of a doctor that would prescribe an all natural honey soda for any affliction, let alone a blanket sweep of every affliction as the statement suggests.
3) Really the only field of medicine i can settle a reasonable guess on would be nutrition. However, if Dr. Tima is a Nutritionist, he's not a very good one because he states clear as day on his label that you should drink all natural honey soda everyday. Now... i'm all for having a cold bottle of great root beer everyday, but i never claim that it's good for you (unless it's IBC). This all natural soda sweetened with honey instead of processed sugar may be better for you than normal soda, but i wouldn't go as far as to say it's fortified with essential vitamins and minerals or anything.
So my profile so far depicts Dr. Tima as a Jewish Nutritional Doctor living in Beverly Hills, CA and absolutely crazy about honey. I mean, this guy is in love with it. Anyway, i know this is getting long, but i feel it's important to know what we're dealing with here.
The soda comes in a typical 12 oz. clear glass bottle. The background of the label is a honeycomb pattern and there are several references to bees; a small picture of a bee, the tagline "A Bee in Every Bottle" below the brand name, and my personal favorite, the extremely cheesy promo statement with the line, "it's healthy and bee-licious!" It's kind of a busy label. There is a lot going on, but i'll give the good doctor some credit in that it's pretty fresh and professional looking. Looks like Dr. Tima's Jewish clientele can help him afford some decent advertising digs.
Since it's an all natural soda, it has no artificial flavors or colors. It uses all natural ingredients. Most of the time, that tells me that the soda is gonna be gross. But this stuff isn't too bad. Instead of cane sugar or processed sugar, the soda is sweetened with honey. I knew a lady who used to make cookies and ice cream and everything sweet using honey instead of sugar. It gave it a different taste, but it wasn't necessarily bad. But, as expected, everything had the hint of honey in it, which is the case with this root beer. However, the root beer itself has a somewhat complex taste to it. There is a nice creamy, smooth vanilla taste to start with, followed by some basic root beer flavoring, and followed up with honey. And even though i don't love honey, it's not terrible.
My official review is that Dr. Tima Honey Root Beer gets 6 (six) IBCs. I don't love it, but i think it deserves a little more than a middle of the road score. I will say this though, this is a sipping root beer. It's not a chugging root beer, because with volume, the honey taste comes out exponentially until it just tastes like drinking straight honey. So just slow it down and enjoy it, that is, if you choose to shell out the $5+ for a four-pack. It ain't cheap, which i supposed is understandable. I mean, come on. ... the guy's a doctor.
**side note** i actually went and visited the Pop Shop today to look for new root beers and i saw they had a shipment of Dr. Tima in. So if you'd like to try it, i think this is your best option since you can buy individual bottles. You're welcome.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
My official review is that Blue Sky Root Beer Encore get 1 (one) IBC. This root beer (if you dare call it that) lies somewhere on the scale between "i hate it" and "i'd rather kill and eat my entire family". To boot, this stuff is expensive. The only good thing i can say to Blue Sky for this is thanks for reminding me why i hate hippies so much (as if i would have forgotten any time soon).
I picked up a six-pack of cans. The cans have a particularly southwestern theme to them, further asserting its connection to New Mexico and infuriating NM natives in the process. Each of the flavors has the same basic color scheme with a different color tribal Indian border on top and bottom for different flavors. Other than that, they all have blue background with a scene of rolling mountains and Santa Fe style Adobe Housing which can be found in several parts of Phoenix. I never cared much for southwestern architecture, but it's quite popular among the affluent folks. You'd think that since they spend so much money on southwestern houses that they'd want to drive southwestern cars too.
Truth be told, this isn't a bad soda. It's not like most natural sodas in that it's not terrible. It is decently carbonated and doesn't taste like yard work. The cane sugar give it a nice sweet taste (imagine that, right?) and true to it's name, it is quite creamy with a hint of vanilla. Of course, it still tastes a bit like a natural soda should, but at least it's tolerable, if not flat out enjoyable.
My official review is that Blue Sky Creamy Root Beer gets 6 (six) IBCs. It's a decent natural soda, and definitely better than Hansen's. I am not sure where else you can pick it up besides Whole Foods, but it's probably going to be just as expensive anywhere else (maybe not, since the Whole Foods hippies figure they can charge whatever they want in the name of going green). But anyway, if natural sodas are your thing, i would recommend you add this one to the list.
Addendum: I ran across the third installment in Blue Sky's root beer trilogy and grabbed a six pack, but after drinking it i decided it's so similar to the regular Creamy Root Beer that it didn't deserve it's own review. Just a brief mention. They tried to sneak one past me, but this stuff is basically just the same as the regular stuff, just with ginseng. There really is no discernible difference in taste. So if you see either of these root beers in your local grocery store, there is no need to sit and deliberate over which you should get. They have the same rating. Either will do.
Unless there is an IBC close by. Then the choice is clear.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I picked up a six-pack of cans of this soda for close to $4.00. All 365 soda labels have the same basic design, but different color schemes and pictures depicted for different flavors. The root beer label is a carmel, tan color with the brand logo and a depiction of a mug of root beer. It's just a regular can in all other regards. My opinion? Not that impressed. Your opinion? The same as mine. Trust me, we've seen better.
One of the conditions for being sold at Whole Foods is that the soda is all natural. It's made with cane sugar and no preservatives, along with a bunch of other hippie regulations. I swear that store is like the breeding ground for dreadlocks and snaggletooths, and i'm not convinced the smell in there is from the open containers of natural spices. Anyway, the root beer follows the taste guideline of the natural root beers. It's not terrible and it reminds me a lot of Hansen's, but it's not my favorite. It has a faint black licorice flavor and a fairly mellow/heavy root beer extract taste. I don't usually make mention of this, but it has fairly good head too, which i know some people make a big deal out of. I don't care one way or another, as long as the carbonation is good (it's decent for 365). But all in all, i'm not sure it's the right root beer for me. Or you, for that matter.
My official review is that 365 gets 4 (four) IBCs. It's not great, which pains me because i have a six-pack of it and am cursed with not being able to throw anything out for fear of wasting. So i suppose i'll have to take it into work and see if anyone there wants to sample this crappy hippie elixir. It's expensive, unappealing, and worst of all, natural. Don't bother with this ones kids.
All i can really say about this root beer is that it lives up to it's name, or at least the Mexican part of it. It's rather "spicy". The only thing that would make the experience really hit home is if you got to drink it out of a pinata (my choice? a donkey). A colleague of mine says that the wintergreen really sticks out to him. I can't seem to taste wintergreen at all though. It kinda has the nutmeggy taste of Dad's, but it's not nearly as sweet and it's a lot more sharp. I can still taste the decent root beer undertone, but that's not the prevalent flavor. It's not unpleasant, but definitely hard to pinpoint exactly what it tastes like. I can't really say it's something i'd make a trip back to Basha's for though.