Friday, December 11, 2009

Dorothy's Isle of Pines Root Beer

Do you know the Root Beer Lady? Well if not, this is your chance to get acquainted. Dorothy's Isle of Pines Root Beer comes from Ely, MN. I stumbled upon this website while researching new root beers to review and ordered a 6 pack of the root beer to be mailed to my house. You can look over the website if you'd like to learn more about Dorothy Molter and her life living in a remote part of Northern Minnesota for the better part of a century. I'll just fill you in on the basics: a nurse by training, she was fond of making root beer for traveling tourists and campers/adventurers. She became such an attraction that she was dubbed "the Root Beer Lady", and now years after her passing her story, estate, and legacy have been turned into a museum and peddled to the masses via this website. You can get an illustrated story book about Dorothy, a video while she was still alive in her later years, her famous root beer, t-shirts, hats, magnets, root beer soap, and even root beer earrings. Honestly, the only thing that interested me was the root beer (one-track mind), but i am sure she was a lovely lady. Feel free to read more about her if you'd like though.

The bottles are typical, and the label is loaded with iconic imagery celebrating the life of Dorothy. Her face is plastered on the front and the rest of it is made to look back-woodsy and rugged-frontiery. The background of the label appears to be aspen bark, there is a picture of her cabin around the neck, and the label contains lots of info leading you back to the site that i linked. I had to order a 6 pack because that's the smallest units they sell, and with shipping it ended up being around $25. That's not cheap, but i am finding that most orders i put in for mail order root beer run about that much. I don't like spending that much, but i do it for you, my loyal readers. You're continued support is thanks enough, unless you feel like you want to send me some money to compensate. If so, let me know.

Though i give her props for being a root beer expert for several years, the current recipe that is sold via the website is simply nothing special. It reminds of some natural, organic root beers i have reviewed, although i don't think it is. I am sure it's mass produced now with few of the original processes still in place. It's not bad, but i don't really like it that much. I can't put my finger on it, but it tastes like a root beer i have tried before. But basically, it tastes kind of watered down, a touch too sweet, and lacking in carbonation. Plus, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth afterward. This one doesn't really jump out and grab me at all. Like Dorothy herself, this seems weak and frail to me.

My official review is that Dorothy's Isle of Pine's Root Beer gets 4 (four) IBCs. My wife isn't a fan at all, which means i have 5 more bottles to drink by myself, and to be honest, i don't think i like it that much either. I might give them away as Christmas gifts or just bring them in to work and leave them in the lunch room like i did with the other hippie natural root beers i didn't want to finish drinking. So in short, if you find yourself in the area where she lived and want to check out her old stomping grounds, then grab a root beer. Otherwise, save your money.


Erin said...

"Like Dorothy herself, this seems weak and frail to me."

Woah, woah, woah. Weak and frail? Dorothy Molter lived alone in the Boundary Waters for years and provided for herself the entire time, while still managing to provide delicious root beer and candy bars to wilderness groups that passed by. Just about the opposite of weak and frail if you ask me, especially considering those cold and long Minnesota winters she made it through. Think about rephrasing that one, buddy.

Pete said...

Dorothy was a fantastic lady who was loved by many modern day voyageurs, well wanne be french fur traders. After a week of paddling, portaging, fighting off bears and mosquitos her root beer was the best I have ever had. Dorothy's secret ingredient was love of the wilderness and love of wilderness adventure seekers. That is pretty hard to put in a memorial root beer so I do not expect the modern concoction to live up to her recipe. Calling her weak and frail is like calling the Marines a bunch of cry babies. She was one tough lady who toughed it out in the wilderness and made enough money in the short summer hand crafting root beer to survive. Frail your families elders maybe but not Dorothy. She was so remarkable she has a museum and rootbeer to rememver her extraordinary life.