Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Product details: 12 fl. oz. Cool Mountain Beverages Inc., Des Plaines, IL 60016. 180 calories, 40g sugar. Glass bottle with twist off top. http://www.chicagorootbeer.com/
Ingredients: Filtered water, pure cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium as a preservative.
My thoughts: Well, sorry to disappoint, but this is another candy-like root beer with a strong, artificial rootiness to it and little in way of other flavors. Once the initial flavor subsides, it turns into...well...less of the original taste. No additional notes become apparent, with the main flavor just fading away.
Despite the candy-like taste, overall sweetness levels aren't too bad. I would have expected from the initial flavor to have more of a syrupy coating in my mouth, but it really wasn't too bad. Carbonation is decent, providing a nice little *pop* to my tongue, but isn't too aggressive. The drink doesn't provide a particularly creamy experience, so smoothness is just average.
To sum it up, this is just another mediocre root beer, certainly not worth the additional premium paid for it over a plain old regular can of grocery store soda. Absent any other root beer selection, this will get the job done; it just won't excel at it.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Product details: 12 fl. oz. Crater Lake Soda Co., Portland, Oregon 97220 USA. 160 calories, 41g sugar. Glass bottle with twist off top. http://www.craterlakesoda.com
Ingredients: Sparkling water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), citric acid.
My thoughts: Keep Portland weird. That's one of the taglines for the city of Portland, OR, so I expect them to also keep their root beer weird. In a good way. Well, they don't exactly do that. Instead, this root beer settles for a very generic root beer flavor; strong, but not complex. It mostly delivers a general sassafras flavor, with little else. The aftertaste doesn't really offer anything additional, as the original flavor just sort of fades away. The overall taste, therefore, is just "meh".
Carbonation is some moderately weak sauce. Sure, there are some bubbles, but it feels like it's on the verge of going flat. There really isn't any foam or creaminess, so I wouldn't say it's particularly smooth, with the majority of the "smoothness" coming from the lack of carbonation. It seems a little on the sweet side, feeling a bit more sugary than it really needs to be.
What a letdown. This drink does a couple things okay, but also a few things less well than average. I was hoping they had managed to bottle up some of Portland's weirdness, but instead they delivered a bottle of indifferent "whatever". If you're looking for an average or better root beer, look elsewhere. While it isn't a gross drink, it doesn't really do anything particularly well and there are better root beers for less money.