Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Root Jack Root Beer

Hi everyone, and happy October. I chose to review this root beer this month because at first glance, with the orange decal on the bottle i assumed it was Halloween themed. Well, it turns out it's pirate themed, which is close enough since a lot of people dress like pirates for Halloween these days. That Johnny Depp is so hot right now... Anyway, Root Jack Root Beer is a different breed. It follows the trend of the energy drink, combining a root beer base with an energy drink kick, not unlike Bawls Guarana Root Beer that i reviewed a while back. The story on the website is a story of the fair pirate wench Astrea who created this brew to combat the effects of scurvy. The tale is full of adventure and pirate treachery, but i'll let you read it for yourself if you're interested. As far as how long this root beer has actually been around, what i gather from the website is that it has been around since about 2007 and is bottled in Osceola, IN, a fierce pirate port by all accounts. This is all well and good, but the thing i found of much more interest was an advertisement on the bottle as well as the website for something called Pirates, Vikings, & Knights II. Turns out it's an online video game, and i just so happen to love two things in life; root beer and video games (oh, and my wife). So naturally i was intrigued. Now i haven't played it yet, but from what i gather it's free to download and it's a first-person shooter (FPS) in the genre of old school Doom, or probably more accurately, Unreal Tournament (this game came out in 1999, so UT was probably the standard back then). You probably guessed it, but you can choose between Pirates, Vikings, and Knights to run around and murder each other online. I watched a video, and it seems decent and silly (for example, when the knight talks, it sounds muffled like his helmet is on). There are plenty of cliche phrases thrown around, including some classic Monty Python lines, but it could be fun for those of you interested in looking into it. I most likely will.

The 12 oz brown glass bottle has a good label. I am impressed with Root Jack in that they did a good job with an original logo and what not. The prominent display in the center of the label is a bosomy pirate lass who i can only assume is the notorious Astrea from the Root Jack Tale on the website. She's straddling a cannon in full pirate garb. The label is nearly all in orange on the front, based on the fact that this drink has orange flavoring and vitamin c (which is how it is able to combat scurvy). One thing i thought was interesting about the label is that it contains a warning saying that this drink is "not recommended for children, pregnant women, or those sensitive to caffeine". I assume that's just for legal reasons since it is considered an energy drink, but i still thought it was a funny little addition. All in all, i think it's well done.

As far as the taste, we know that it has an orange flavor, that it contains guarana, and that it's an energy drink masquerading as a root beer. How does that all measure up? Unfortunately not too favorably. It has decent carbonation, which is a plus, but i really don't taste any of the root beer flavor. I do get a very slight hint of the orange flavor, especially when i burp afterward, but overall it mostly just tastes like an energy drink (which i am not all that fond of to begin with). If i were to pin-point it for you, i would say that it tastes like how a craft store's fake flower and potpourri section smells. That's the image that comes to my mind with each drink i take. Or is it those really bad decorative soaps? Either way, i'm unable to shake it. It's unsettling and ultimately i don't like it. Too bad, cuz this one had a lot of potential.

My official review is that Root Jack gets 4 (four) IBCs. I don't want to rip on them too much cuz i think they had a decent idea, but ultimately i am not one for the energy drinks. It's not undrinkable, but i almost feel like i am being punished with each drink i take, like i am washing my own mouth out with soap. I even looked to give extra points cuz i thought the liquid itself might be orange colored, but it's simply the regular root beer color. Oh well, better luck next time guys. My suggestion would be focus more on making it taste like a root beer and less of an energy drink. But at least i can check out this new online video game. In fact, i think i'll do that now (instead of homework).

Jenn, don't be mad at me. And i love you. And root beer and video games.