Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sparky's root beer

Background information: (from the bottle label) "Leading the root beer revival.  Sparky's Fresh Draft Root Beer is lovingly kettle-brewed in small batches using the finest ingredients.  After home brewing our delicious family recipe for many years, it is now available to you!"

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Manufactured by Knox Brewing, Pacific Grove, CA 93950. 831-649-0529.  ? calories, ?g sugar.  Glass bottle with pry off top.

Ingredients: Carbonated filtered water, pure cane sugar, honey, natural and imitation flavorings, spices, sodium benzoate to preserve freshness, phosphoric acid and caramel color.

My thoughts: "Get to da choppa!"  Upon opening, a strong minty sensation wafts up to my olfactory nerves, along with a sharp root beer scent.  Wow, this has a lot of flavor going on.  The initial wave is primarily the mint (wintergreen?) and root beer, and is extremely strong.  This is followed by a similarly strong aftertaste, with mint continuing to dominate and some licorice undertones, while the root beer flavor is unfortunately minimized (or maybe just overpowered).  All this mint is a bit overwhelming, but at least it doesn't feel like toothpaste, like some other mint root beer's are prone to do.  Carbonation is slightly low, lending a moderately flat feel.  On the flip side, this is a smooth root beer, feeling rich and creamy.  This is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of root beers: extremely strong, in your face, none too subtle, and certainly a specific stylistic choice.  Just as Arnold is a great choice for action and comedy, but poor for drama, sentiment, and nuance, so this root beer is similarly handicapped by its choices.  I feel it is interesting and certainly different, which I enjoy, but at the same time I feel that it is a root beer that I want only on very specific occasion rather than an excellent all-around beverage.

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

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