Monday, November 9, 2009

Napa Valley Root Beer

To start this review, i am obligated to give a "shout out" to my coworker Heather. Heather is a faithful reader and ardent follower of my work, and she was nice enough to lend a hand in finding a new root beer for me to review. She found this root beer at the local Big Lots for only $2 for a 4-pack. Quite a deal if you ask me. Anyway, she said she'd be happy to get me a pack to further my cause. So kudos to you Heather. Thanks for the helping hand, and let this be a lesson to the rest of you; when you help me you're really only helping yourself. Anyway, Napa Valley Soda Co. has been around since 1872, which puts it in the grandfather realm as far as root beers are concerned. Nappy Valley is of course in California and is famously known as wine country, but this soda is now distributed by Wet Planet, which has its headquarters in Rochester, NY. There are several fruity flavors, but it seems like they showcase the root beer (which any good soda company with good business sense should do).

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.


Josh and Heather said...

I am so glad you liked it! And thanks for the shout out - it made it totally worth the effort :)

Josh and Heather said...

PS I returned the favor and gave you a shout out on my blog too :)

Shannon said...

No artificial color or flavor!? Really?

anthony said...

yeah, there are natural brown colorings out there. and of course natural root beer flavors.
i am quite surprised you liked this one so much Cosmo, it is far inferior to many that you have panned. being as how my root beer knowledge has been called upon for television, radio and newspaper, i of course am right and you, sir, are wrong. =)
i am glad you are updating more. very good. you may have to start mail ordering soon though if you are already running out of sodas. i would be happy to trade with you, i think i have 20 or so at home that you have not had. so if you come upon anything i have not had, let me know!

Todd said...

Thanks for your site. I also use IBC as the standard. Wanted your opinon on Stars and Stripes Root beer. It is found at Dollar tree and made by Cott (current soon to be former Sams Choice soda supplier)