I just finished filing my taxes for the year and decided to treat myself to a root beer from the fridge. I've had this one for a while, probably at least a year or more. It came from the Root Beer Store, an online soda vendor i sometimes use to procure new root beers. Capone's Family Secret Root Beer is based on the premise that legendary 1920's mobster Al Capone used to keep his warehouses stocked with root beer instead of liquor when the feds would do raids during Prohibition. The company now produces and distributes several flavors of soda in Chicago, IL. The website says that this family recipe is now available after 80+ years, so that makes me think this stuff is fairly new to the market and has not been in production for more than 10 years or so. The validity of this story seems questionable to me. I get the feeling this is just an angle to sell sodas. From what i know, Capone was a hard one to pin down even with his involvement with several illegal activities, including bootlegging. The government tried several times to arrest him but had no charges with which to indict him. He was finally arrested and sentenced to prison in Alcatraz for tax evasion, and no it's not a coincidence that i chose to review this root beer after finishing preparing my taxes. Let's just say, i plan to stay on this side of Alcatraz's walls.
This root beer comes in a 12 oz. brown glass bottle to obscure your view from the shady dealing going on within. The label lacks any real vibrant color, but is creative in it's own right. There is a picture of a truck hauling root beer barrels over the backdrop of a root beer cap. There is a city skyline in the background with the Sear's Tower, distinctly Chicago since this is where Capone's mob operated. I've been to Chicago before a couple times and was impressed with it. Very clean city surprisingly. Not sure if i've said that before on this blog. And if i have, well… guess what. You just heard me say it again. Don't like it? Go read someone else's root beer blog, honey.
The good news is it's low in sodium. The bad new is, it's not very good. If they were trying to convince the feds that this stuff isn't alcohol, they didn't do a very good job because it tastes like a sweet beer. I don't know if it's carbonated with yeast, but it reminds me of those kinds of root beer that are fermented enough to produce carbonation but not alcohol. I will say it's easily one of the loudest root beers i've had. All the chemical reactions happening inside it are only exacerbated by opening the bottle. The root beers i would most closely relate it to would probably be Bundaburg or Gale's, both of which i really didn't care for. Gale's wasn't terrible, but i didn't really like it either. And Bundaburg WAS terrible. Those Australians really missed the boat on that one. I really don't know how else to describe this root beer. It has a sweet taste to it, but the whole flavor lasts so short a time it's hard to nail it down. The overwhelming taste though is the beer-like yeast flavor. All i can really say is that it's not very satisfying.