Product details: 12 fl. oz. Sea Dog Brewing Co., Portland, Maine. ? calories, ?g sugar. Glass bottle with twist off top. http://www.seadogbrewing.com/ (must be 21 or older to visit site due to alcohol-related material)
http://www.captneli.com/ (root beer site)
Ingredients: Water, cane sugar, caramel coloring, natural & artificial flavors including wintergreen oil, anise, and vanilla, spices, herbs, citric acid, and sodium benzoate as a preservative.
My thoughts: After a particularly long week of work, I felt a bit like a dog put out to sea. Hoping to make life better, I reached for my next root beer who sounds like it could empathize with my plight. Unlike a sea dog, who would presumably be wet and smelly from hanging out in the salt water all day, this drink was pretty pleasant. There is a nice strong rooty taste, with a nice mix of spices. With so much going on, though harmoniously, it takes multiple swigs to figure out all the flavors in there. A bit of wintergreen, some vanilla, a hint of licorice. Good stuff. The aftertaste is also very good, with the flavors maintaining their ratios and slowly tapering off. The long term aftertaste is a little off, hard to describe, but not entirely pleasant.
Sweetness is pretty good, maybe just the slightest bit more sugary than perfect, but only a minor complaint. The carbonation is interesting. It's strong, but usually that means that I can feel big carbonation bubbles popping around in my mouth. This, however, feels like super small, but concentrated, bubbles with a sort of sharpness to them. The carbonation can feel a bit harsh, almost stinging, but in a way I like it. It may not be a sensation that all will enjoy. In spite of this, the drink actually feels pretty creamy, perhaps aided by the smallness of the carbonation bubbles. This makes a pleasant contrast to the bite of the carbonation.
Going in, I didn't have the highest expectations, seeing as how a lot of my root beers lately have been mediocre. But this did the trick, topping off a week of hard work with some delicious root beer nectar. I'll certainly add this to my list of root beers to drink again.