Thursday, October 31, 2013

Caruso's Legacy Robusto Root Beer

Happy Halloween everyone. I hope everyone had a nice time this year. And as your special treat, i'm bringing you a root beer that has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween whatsoever. Caruso's Legacy is a small line of sodas distributed out of Redding, CA by WIT Beverages Co. This one came to me by way of the Soda Emporium, a website i use frequently to obtain root beers. The soda recipes are said to have been handed down in the Caruso family in a long tradition of family traditional longness tradition. Family. Tradition. You get the point. Started by a husband and wife (or maybe i am extrapolating that from the term "couple" used on the label), there are four flavors of Italian style sodas as well as a root beer. The root beer in particular was created by "Grandpa Pete". I'm not sure if he is one of the two members of said couple or if it is indeed his portrait featured on the label (more about that later), but i am willing to bet that both of those assumptions can probably be considered absolute fact.

I got this root beer in a traditional 12 oz. brown glass bottle. It has a nice label on it that seems professionally done with typical color schemes. It features a portrait of a man and a woman, the couple alluded to before who started this long family tradition of creating soda recipes and saying to their kids, "pass it down, dummy." 
It's a good looking label to be sure, but an interesting story about this root beer is that i actually purchased it long ago through Soda Emporium and was planning to review it but i dropped and broke the bottle i had then before i could sample it. That bottle had a very different label, still similar in some ways (i.e. the portrait), but take a look at what the "old" label looked like. I think i might like the old one better. A different color scheme on a stout bottle that makes the label pop more. I know this has nothing to do with the taste, but anyone who knows my rating system by now knows the label plays a factor in the scoring. It's gotta grab people, and in my opinion i think the old label does a better job of that. Do you have any thoughts on the topic? Well if you do, keep them to yourself cuz i don't care.

The website for the distributor gives a little more info about the ingredients than the label does, saying it contains pure cane sugar, vanilla, spearmint, and other Italian spices. I can taste the vanilla pretty well, but the spearmint is lost on me. I wouldn't have ever guessed that had i not read it. It does have a certain "spiciness" to it, but it's fairly watered down tasting and ultimately quite tame. Not a bad soda, but i think it lacks the bite of other full bodied root beers. Looks like Grandpa Pete's recipe was watered down during that long traditional handoff throughout the generations.

My official review is that Caruso's Legacy Robusto Root Beer gets 6 (six) IBCs. Definitely not a bad root beer. I dare to even say i like it. Better than a lot of them i've tried for sure. But in the end, it's simply a watered down root beer without much to say. It gets the job done, but it certainly doesn't scratch the surface of greatness. Give it a shot if you'd like. You won't be disappointed. But you probably won't be impressed either.