Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tommyknocker root beer

Background information: (from the bottle): "Tommyknockers slipped into Colorado gold camps with the immigrating Cornish miners during the 1859 rush.  These mischievous elves guided many a fortunate miner to the "Motherlode".  Renew the legend - share a Tommyknocker Root Beer with a friend."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Tommyknocker Brewery, Idaho Springs, CO 80452.  160 calories, 42g sugar. Glass bottle with pry off top. http://www.tommyknocker.com/

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Organic Root Beer Flavor, Aged Organic Vanilla Extract, Pure Maple Syrup, Caramel Color, Citric Acid.

My thoughts: So, here's a drink that isn't afraid to go au naturel.  Fortunately, the elf mascot isn't having any of that and is fully clothed.  My first whiff of this aromatic root beer is interesting, as there seems to be a lot of spices wafting around in the bottle, with a very earthy spice scent dominating my nostrils.

The first taste is very strong.  I'm not used to root beer tasting anything like this and I'm not sure whether it's bad or good.  There's certainly some root beer in there, but a lot of other spices are vying for attention, and I'm not sure what they all are.  One of them reminds me of dark molasses and another of grain (like wheat or barley or something).  The aftertaste isn't particularly pleasant, as it has a slight sour tinge to it.  I'm doing a terrible job of describing the flavor, as it's so unlike any other root beer that I'm not quite certain where a lot of the flavors are coming from.  It certainly feels complex and, stealing an adjective from the ingredients list, seems "aged".

Now on to things that I can better assess: the carbonation is great, nice and bubbly, with just the right amount of kick.  It feels nice and creamy and goes down very smoothly.  Sugar feels spot on, as it is sweet without leaving an overly sugary residue behind.

I'm at odds with this.  First and foremost, I'm not a huge fan of the overall flavor.  In fact, I can't quite decide whether it's gross or whether I like it.  While it doesn't make me want to go pick up a six pack, I find myself oddly intrigued with its flavor.  There have been a few root beers that I didn't like and wouldn't have felt bad if I had never sampled that particular flavor before, but this one leaves me feeling glad that I had the opportunity to try something so different, even if it wasn't the most pleasant experience.  I'd recommend giving this a try just for the experience, even though my score may not reflect that sentiment that well.

Rating: C-
flavor: D+
aftertaste: D
sweetness: A
smoothness: A
carbonation: A-

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