Monday, April 20, 2015

Oogavé root beer

Background information: (from the website): "The subtle yet well-defined flavors of our agave sweetened organic soda pair well with the variety of botanicals found in every bottle. With notes of sarsaparilla, vanilla, and horehound, this is an honest-to-goodness soda fountain favorite. Did we mention it's all natural?"

(from the bottle): "Gluten-free, caffeine-free, low-glycemic and vegan"

*note: Are they trying to convince me not to drink it, because this description on the bottle is doing a great job at exactly that! ;)

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Oogavé Sodas, 4420 Glencoe Street, Denver, Colorado 80216.  100 calories, 24g sugar. Glass bottle with twist off top.

Ingredients: Purified Carbonated Water, Organic Agave Nectar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors and Caramel for Color.

My thoughts: Okay, it's an "all-natural" root beer sweetened with agave nectar instead of cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  I tend to be leery of these alternative sweeteners, as my experiences with them aren't positive.  In fact, I'll just come right out and say I hate diet sodas.  Except diet Dr. Pepper.  I'm not sure what magical elixir they mix in there, but it's good.

I worked on a Stevia commercial a couple years back and they provided cases and cases of free soda.  I tried a couple and they were absolutely disgusting.  So we left several cases with the sound stage when we were finished.  A couple months later I was once again shooting at the same place, and they still hadn't managed to dispose of all the drinks we gave them, so apparently it wasn't much of a hit.

Moving on to this drink, it smells pretty good.  I'm expecting it to be pretty gross and...hey, it's not half bad!  It doesn't have any of that terrible aspartame or diet flavor that most sugar-free drinks suffer from.  The flavor is nice and crisp, feeling a bit lighter than I'm used to with notes of vanilla.  It's actually a refreshing change from the usual soda I drink.  The aftertaste seems to come compliments of horehound (which the website says it has), as it's a little bitter.  The aftertaste seems a bit medicinal as well, and about 10 minutes into drinking it and with a quarter of the bottle remaining,  I feel a little gross, as if there's a distasteful flavor wafting around in my belly.  For some reason, it sort of reminds me of the sensation I had when I was a kid and I'd go swimming in a pool and accidentally swallow some of chlorine water and then I'd have this odd chlorine feel in my stomach.  Not that this tastes like chlorine, but the sensation is bringing back those memories.

Sweetness is just about right on, leaving my mouth free of any lingering syrupy feeling.  The taste, however, seems to be missing just a little bit of something that I get with sugared drinks, but it's nothing major.  Carbonation is excellent, with a nice bite to it.  It still goes down smoothly, with a bit of froth.

I was all ready to hate on this root beer, but it ended up being fairly decent.  It won't make it into my favorite root beer list, but it's certainly a worthy alternative for those looking to cut back on sugars.  Unfortunately, it seems that Oogavé has another lineup of beverages that contains both agave and Stevia (boo! hiss!), which likely won't taste as good.  If my previous Stevia experience is any indicator, you should avoid those like the plague.  But as long as this one remains Stevia free, I can certainly recommend it to those avoiding sugar, however, if you're fine with your root beer being all sugary, I'd suggest sticking with those instead.

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

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