Friday, October 26, 2012

Abita root beer

Background information: (from the website) "Founded in 1986, the Abita Brewing Company is nestled in the piney woods 30 miles north of New Orleans.

In its first year, the brewery produced 1,500 barrels of beer. We had no idea what we started. Customers loved our beer! By 1994, we outgrew the original site (now our 100-seat brew pub) and moved up the road to a larger facility to keep up with demand.

We brew over 125,000 barrels of beer and 8,000 barrels of root beer in our state-of-the-art brewing facility. Our lagers and ales are brewed in small batches, hand-crafted by a team of dedicated workers with only the highest ideals of quality. This pride, along with our brewing process, is what creates our great brews.

We are privately owned and operated by local shareholders, many who have been with us since day one."

(also from the website) "Abita Root Beer is made with a hot mix process using spring water, herbs, vanilla and yucca (which creates foam). Unlike most soft drink manufacturers, Abita sweetens its root beer with pure Louisiana cane sugar. The resulting taste is reminiscent of soft drinks made in the 1940s and 1950s, before bottlers turned to corn sugar and fructose. Some soft drink makers add caffeine to their product, but Abita is naturally caffeine-free."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Manufactured by Abita Brewing Company, LLC, Abita Springs, Louisiana 70420.  177 calories, 38g sugar.  Glass bottle with pry off top.

Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, root beer flavor, phosphoric acid.

My thoughts: It's raining today.  For some reason the weather psychologically set me up to be disappointed in the root beer.  Upon tasting, however, this root beer became a ray of sunshine on an otherwise dreary day.  It has a strong, very defined root beer flavor that is good, but with slight leanings towards the artificial side; likely due to the fact that I've had some very spice-laden varieties lately.  This one skips the spices and goes straight for the sassafras, with little distraction from that (aside from a hint of vanilla).  As such, the aftertaste is just more of the same; root beer flavoring and nothing else to get excited about.  This drink, however, seems to be incredibly smooth and creamy, this in spite of it having one of the bubblier carbonation textures.  The fizz dances on my tongue, giving it an extra zest (it reminds me of the feeling of Pop Rocks, though slightly milder) but somehow managing to avoid the dreaded soda water taste.  This is perhaps the best carbonated root beer I've had to date!  The "pure Alabama cane sugar" is perfectly balanced, providing a sweet, but not saccharine experience.  If you're looking for just a straight up plain root beer taste, then look no further.  Abita is your root beer.  If you like the complexity of various spices, then you may not be quite as satisfied.

Rating: A-
flavor: A-
aftertaste: B-
sweetness: B+
smoothness: A
carbonation: A

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