Thursday, November 1, 2012

Olde Rhode Island molasses root beer

Background information: (from the website) "“Take a look at this! This whole empire started in a backpack!”…that’s what an old high school friend of Real Soda’s founder Danny Ginsburg said when he visited the central warehouse with his wife and baby recently. And in fact... what is today perhaps unquestionably the most substantial purveyor of glass-bottled soft drinks in the USA had its origins with a bottle cap collection, a dream, and a desire and drive of immense proportions which all synergized to create the magic which is REAL SODA IN REAL BOTTLES.

"Real Soda" is essentially a name that was coined by original partakers. The concept of Real Soda was conceived in the 1980's by Ginsburg who had been collecting bottle caps since he was four years old and who could not accept the invasion of cans and plastic to the detriment of all of the great sodas that had once been available."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Bottled by Empire Bottling Works, - Bristol, RI for Real Soda In Real Bottles, Ltd.  170 calories, 46g sugar.  Glass bottle with twist off top.

Ingredients: Natural artisan spring water, made with 100% cane sugar, natural and/or artificial flavor extracts, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative).

My thoughts: Upon catching a brief whiff of this root beer, I was excited.  A whirlwind of root beer scent indicates a thick, full bodied root beer beneath.  Alas, I was quickly stricken with disappointment, for beneath this brew's powerful facade lies something else all together.  The initial root beer is great and powerful, but as soon as the drink rolls off the tongue, in a flash, the curtain is pulled back to reveal that Oz the great and powerful is neither one nor the other.  The instant this root beer is swallowed, the flavor vanishes and is replaced by the dull taste of soda water, with just the weakest hint of vanilla.  It's sad, really, as the flavor is excellent (it would be better if it stuck around longer), the amount of carbonation is perfect--the bubbles dancing a little "Lollypop Guild" jig down my tongue--and it exudes a sweetness worthy of Glinda herself; yet the briefness of the taste makes it hard to recommend.  If you ever find yourself with a bottle of this, try tossing Toto's "Africa" on the record player, pull on your ruby slippers (c'mon guys, I know you secretly have a pair) and clicking your heels together three times and maybe a better root beer will appear.  At the very least, you'll provide some entertainment for your peeping Tom neighbor as he watches you through his binoculars while wondering why you are dressing in girls clothing and doing such a silly dance.

Rating: C
flavor: C
aftertaste: D
sweetness: B+
smoothness: C
carbonation: A

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