Saturday, December 26, 2015

Brigham's Brew root beer

Background information: (from the website) "Where’s the beer? Where are the breweries?” Those were among the first thoughts Greg Schirf had after moving to Utah from Milwaukee in the early 80’s. Incredibly, drinking and brewing were all but forbidden. Greg took matters into his own hands and did what any self-respecting midwesterner would do: He started a brewery. Wasatch was the very first brewery in Utah – and one of the first craft brewers in all of the U.S. – brewing award-winning brews since 1986.

In 1988, Greg Schirf proposed another bill to the Utah Legislature making brewpubs legal in Utah and opened the first brewpub at the top of historic Main Street in the resort town of Park City. Wasatch continues to misbehave, turning out naughty beer after naughty beer year after year."

(from the bottle) "Wasatch Brewery proudly presents this hand-crafted root beer named after Utah's legendary founding father Brigham Young. Brigham's Brew is bottled in small batches, keeping the traditional cane sweet taste freshly brewed. Brigham's Brew goes down smooth and easy and is perfect for any occasion."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Wasatch Brewery. 210 calories, 54g sugar.  Glass bottle with twist off top. (must be 21 years of age or older)

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Maltodextrin, Honey, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Vanilla Extract, Yucca Extract, Sodium Benzoate (a preservative), Citric Acid.

My thoughts: Brigham Young is often associated with his polygamous ways. Having one woman is tough enough. Having multiples, I can't even imagine. Root beer, on the other hand, I prefer to take the polygamous approach, enjoying many different kinds rather than just settling down with only one root beer 'til death do us part. So, will this be the one that finally convinces me to stop testing the market and settle down to a monogamous root beer relationship?

The initial root beer flavor is pretty strong, with a very noticeable vanilla taste to it. It's pretty pleasing. The rootiness fades quickly, leaving behind a strong wintergreen taste. It's a fairly aggressive mint, riding just on the border of being too powerful. At least it's not a toothpasty taste.

Seeing as how this root beer has about 25% more sugar than most I've tested, I was expecting it to be overly sweet. Oddly, this is not the case. While it does leave a bit of a sugary coating in my mouth, it's not offensive. All root beers leave at least a little bit of a sugary coat, but this one seems no worse than any other. The carbonation is decent, with the carbonation that is there very feisty, but it seems that it's lacing a little bit in quantity. This drink goes down fairly smooth, with a hint of creaminess to it. I'm guessing the Yucca extract helps with that, but it could stand to be a little creamier.

Well, I think I'm okay with one bottle for now. I'd drink it again if someone offered it to me, but I won't necessarily seek it out. It's a solid root beer that does many things right, but isn't exceptional in any of its aspects. No need to practice monogamy with just this one root beer. I think I'll continue to enjoy the companionship of many root beers instead.

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Capone Family Secret root beer

Background information: (from the website) "During the 1920's Capone's warehouses were raided by the police 137 times, eager to seize their inventory of illegal alcohol. There were only a few items found on every single raid and it was not alcohol. It was cases of the "Capone Family Secret" Soda. After 80+ years the "Secret" Soda was finally made public, so families can enjoy great sodas, while experiencing a piece of history."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Distributed by Capone Family Secret, Inc., Chicago, IL 60607. 160 calories, 41g sugar.  Glass bottle with twist off top.

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavor, and Citric Acid.

My thoughts: Al Capone, famous gangster who was a rotten guy. Well, this root beer lives up to his namesake, being a rotten root beer.

The first thing I notice about this root beer is that it has sort of sour taste to it and almost no sassafras flavor. Not in a sour gummy worm kind of way, but more in a sour milk kind of way. After that, it reminds me a bit of the time I made some root beer and used yeast to carbonate it and left it in the sun too long. It tasted terrible, in a yeasty manner. The aftertaste doesn't offer any reprieve from this, with the main flavor just slowly fading away and a mild minty taste lingering behind. Ughhh.

Sweetness is all right. The carbonation is pretty good; slightly aggressive without being over the top. This root beer isn't particularly smooth or creamy, so it doesn't do down as nice as it could, but perhaps it's partly the terrible flavor that makes me not want to drink it down.

I'd write more, but this root beer doesn't deserve it. Al Capone was an awful man and the root beer with his namesake is equally awful. Stay away.

Rating: F+
flavor: F
aftertaste: F+
sweetness: B
smoothness: C
carbonation: B+