Saturday, April 23, 2016

Old Red Eye root beer

Background information: (from the bottle) "Legend has it, there was a craggy old bull named Red Eye - with a glint and a gnarly attitude, he could only be coaxed from his pen to do his daily duties when a brave soul would pop open a bottle of his favorite root beer, pour it in his tin bowl, then run like heck before being stomped. Red Eye preferred his root beer frosty cold."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Bottled by & under the authority of Orca Beverage Soda Works, Mukilteo, WA 98275 (425) 349-5655. 170 calories, 42g sugar.  Glass bottle with twist off top.

Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, caramel color, sodium benzoate (a preservative).

My thoughts: Yet another root beer coming out of Orca Beverage. These guys seem to make a lot of different root beers. But the question about this one is: will this be one of the good ones, or is it just a piece of bull****?

The initial flavor is very heavy on the rooty sassafras. There's no mistaking that this is a root beer and it comes on strong. Mixed in with this is a very apparent wintergreen, but mintier than I care for. Beneath all this is a hint of the anise/black licorice taste. As the aftertaste kicks in, while still dominated with wintergreen, the anise becomes slightly more apparent. I typically am not a fan of black licorice, but the flavor is subdued enough (or perhaps overwhelmed by the wintergreen) that I don't mind it at all.

Sugar content is right about where I'd expect it to land, but it does feel a tad on the sugary side, leaving a noticeable coating in my mouth. Carbonation is nice, as it's slightly aggressive, which I like. I can certainly feel some bite on my tongue, but I don't particularly feel the effects in my throat. I think they did a good job on the carbonation. That said, the aggressive carbonation takes away a little from the smoothness in my mouth (though it does have some creaminess to it), but it's a nice tradeoff.

In the end, it's a pretty decent root beer, but goes a little overboard on the wintergreen. If they'd tone that down a little, I think they'd have a winner on their hands. As it is, I'm fairly pleased with this root beer and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to those that enjoy the minty side. It's not a bull**** drink, but neither is it one I'd sing its praises until the cows come home.

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

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