Sunday, December 7, 2014

Olde Philadelphia Root Beer

So i took a little break from reviewing. The only thing i can really say is i'm lazy. Sorry. But i intend to make it up by reviewing a few of these this week before i fly back to AZ for the holidays. This root beer has nothing to do with Christmas, but it does join the ranks of the elite few with "olde" in the title. Olde Philadelphia Root Beer touts itself as being "the REAL taste of America". Sounds like a tag line Steven Colbert would give it, as i picture him saying it in my mind when i read that sentence. From the website i gather that this soda company has been around in Philadelphia for a while, but in 2010 came under new management who decided to shift the many flavors in their line away from high fructose corn syrup and begin using cane sugar to sweeten their sodas. They speak a lot about being revolutionary by relaunching their new cane sugar soda line in 2011, but it seems to me like they are just following suit with most of the small, vintage craft sodas out there. Lots of people are doing cane sugar guys. I wouldn't jump to calling yourself revolutionary just yet. Maybe you should use ponies to brew the root beer. Or children. Now THAT would be revolutionary. Or at the very least, controversial. On second thought, looks like that's already been done too. Sorry Olde Philly. Just keep your eyes open for a good opportunity i guess.

This root beer is one of the dreaded 12 oz. clear glass bottle root beers that typically disappoint. I don't know what it is about these clear glass bottles, but i am usually not impressed by them. The label is colorful and nice. The website also said that while redesigning the logo, they wanted to be sure to keep the Liberty Bell central in the design to make this a uniquely Philadelphia brand root beer. Fair enough. I really don't have any problems with that. Olde Philadelphia is written in Olde English font and it has a sense of majesty about it. Like they are trying to be fresh and new while holding onto the past. It's not lost on me Olde Philly, i can appreciate the workmanship.

I just wish there was more to the taste. As is typical of clear glass bottle root beers (again, i don't know what it is), the flavor is lacking. It's quite watered down and doesn't really taste like root beer at all. I taste the sugar. I feel the sensation of the carbonation on my tongue. I know my mind is telling me this is root beer. But i fail to make the connection with my taste buds. It's just not cutting it for me. If this were in a line up of unmarked root beers, i wouldn't be able to pick it out. It just has no substance. The website makes a big production of how much work went into revitalizing this whole brand starting with redoing the recipes, but this just tastes unfinished to me. Back to the drawing board Olde Philly.

My official review is that Olde Philadelphia Root Beer gets 3 (three) IBCs. This is a touch harsh i realize, considering the fact that i didn't say it's gross. It's not. It's just nothing. It probably falls more into the 4 rating range, but i see way too many of these root beers in the same category claiming to be something they are not; legitimate. You've still got some work to do Olde Philly. Tighten it up and come back to me.

No comments: