Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bundaberg root beer

Background information: (from the website) "Established in Bundaberg in 1960, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks have been delivering premium crafted beverages from our family-owned brewery for over 40 years."

(from the bottle) "Traditionally brewed to a genuine old recipe from real sarsaparilla root, licorie root, vanilla beans and molasses.  Bundaberg Root Beer is an authentic taste of yesteryear."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Pty Ltd., 147 Bargara Rd Bundaberg, Old Australia 4670.  190 calories, 44g sugar.  Glass bottle with peel and pop off top.  Best before 02 Jul 13 09:02

Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, root beer brew (water, sugar, molasses, ginger root, sarsaparilla root, licorice root, vanilla bean, yeast), caramel color, citric acid, preservatives (potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate), antioxidant (ascorbic acid), root beer flavor.

My thoughts: G'day mate.  When I think of Australia, I think of such great things as: Hugh Jackman, Crocodile Dundee, Steve Irwin, and koala bears and kargaroos.  One great thing I won't be thinking of is this root beer.  Initial taste is not rooty at all, but sort of a sour milk and herb mixture that is also sweet.  It's an interesting flavor that has nothing to do with root beer (evidenced by "root beer flavor" being the very last ingredient on a rather lengthy list).  The aftertaste has a strong sour cream flavor with some vanilla mixed in there.  If the sourness wasn't quite so powerful, this would be a much better drink (but still wouldn't really be a "root beer").  Carbonation is a bit flat and I feel that they tried to overcompensate for the sourness by sweetening it up just a little too much.  It does feel pretty creamy and is nice and smooth.  As a "non-root beer" drink, this is okay, however not exceptional.  But in the immortal words of Croc Dundee, "THAT'S not a [root beer]," (pulls out a Henry Weinhard's) "THAT'S, a [root beer]!"

Rating: D (as a root beer)    C+ (as a beverage in general)
flavor: D-
aftertaste: D+
sweetness: C-
smoothness: B
carbonation: D

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