Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thomas Kemper Purely Natural Root Beer

I reviewed Thomas Kemper Root Beer a long time ago near the beginning of this whole root beer journey i've been guiding us all through, and at the time i reviewed it i thought i was done with Thomas Kemper. But it appears there is a new chapter in the book because in addition to the original brew, Thomas Kemper also makes a variation called Purely Natural which uses all natural ingredients (or in layman's terms, cane sugar). This was brought to my attention by a new acquaintance i have made courtesy of my root beer nemesis. My new acquaintance is also in the root beer reviewing racket and has offered to do some open trading with me as well. His first offer was for this TKPN, which he claims is off the market now and very rare. I took him at his word, but later saw that the Thomas Kemper site has a page dedicated to this supposedly now obsolete brew. Makes me wonder if this stuff really is discontinued. Either way though, i had no access to it so i was happy to trade.

The Purely Natural bottles are the standard tall 12 oz. bottles, which are different from the original TK stout bottle. The label is very different as well. It's a clear sticker and very stripped down of the pageantry and elegance of the original TK label. It doesn't look bad, but it definitely lacks the luster of the other label. Not sure why they didn't stick with the same bottle and label design. Maybe "natural" root beers are too good for all of that...

My review of original TK wasn't very favorable. It was the first root beer i reviewed that had a heavy (and i mean heavy) honey flavor. So i will always associate other honey root beers with TK even though they may not get as harsh a rating. And i gotta be honest, i don't really see any difference in the taste of TKPN. Maybe it's a little sweeter from the cane sugar and it's definitely a lot less gritty than i remember, but it's been so long since i've had a TK that i can't give it an accurate comparison. All i can do is describe what i taste in TKPN, and to sum it up nicely i would say it tastes like honey. Wasn't expecting much different though. Maybe a little bit of a gingersnap taste to it, which i am not sure where that flavor is coming from, but ultimately i am not a big fan. Maybe even less of a fan of this than original TK. That's hard to say though without having another original TK, and i really can't be bothered with that stuff anymore. I have lots of other better tasting root beers to drink.

My official review is that TKPN gets 4 (four) IBCs. Not a fan, not of this stuff nor the original brew. Just not my style of root beer. I have a friend who just moved to Portland whom i plan to visit sometime soon hopefully, so i am curious to research the availability (or lack there of) of this stuff in the Portland region, but other than that i couldn't care less to ever drink it again. Oh, and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The end.

Addendum 7/30/12: i should just tell you now that this new root beer acquaintance i made is named Eric and so far he's turned out to be a helpful guy in a lot of respects. I also now know that he reads my reviews (or at least this one) because he emailed me the following correspondence with email address attached from the President of Thomas Kemper Soda:


Thanks for your note. Unfortunately we've recently discontinued our Purely Natural Soda line. We loved the product but had difficulty in production.

Bill Germano
President, Thomas Kemper Soda

I am gonna go ahead and say this is probably legit. Good enough for me. If you choose to not believe it, well then that's on you dummy.

Side note: either Eric has a lot of swing or Bill isn't that busy a guy.


Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

While I do love your reviews I'm always extra curious about ones that I send, as I need to make sure to protect my reputation (a.k.a. doubting the validity of my last in the world root beer.) It seems that we rated this one the same, I gave it 2/5 and you gave it 4/10.