Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spring Grove Grape Soda

Take a moment and check out the first post ever on this blog. I wrote about Spring Grove Soda first turning me on to wanting to keep a "root beer journal." I drank most of my Spring Grove Soda stash before starting this blog, so I haven't written about many of their sodas.

Recently, my Mom surprised me with a case of assorted sodas for my birthday.  In it were a few more Spring Grove Sodas. One was grape:

Spring Grove Grape Soda

Brand: Spring Grove Grape Soda

Origin: Spring Grove, MN.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: I like grape soda, and I don't hide the fact that my wife and I love Diet Grape Faygo. But Spring Grove Grape is better. It's really soft and smooth compared to Grape Faygo. My wife said that it tasted like a Grape Jolly Rancher (but I wouldn't know about that). I'm giving it a full point higher than my Faygo review.

Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Faygo Rock & Rye

"Rock & Rye."  Is that a FLAVOR?

Faygo Rock & Rye

It said it was a "cream cola," but I didn't know what flavor this would be. I expected it to taste a lot like cola, but I was wrong. I was surprised when I cracked into it (not "pleasantly surprised" but not horribly offended either... just "surprised").

Brand: Faygo Rock & Rye.

Origin: Detroit, MI.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, Burnsville, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: Rock & Rye apparently means CHERRY. It was a cherry cream soda which was pretty good. Like most Faygo sodas I've had, it tasted a little "fake," but it wasn't bad. It had a nice balance of cherry flavor and cream smoothness.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Barrel Brothers Creamy Vanilla Root Beer

This bottle said "Creamy Vanilla Root Beer," and I liked the sound of that:

Barrel Brothers Root Beer

From the first sip, this was one of the smoothest root beers I've had in a long time. It was so smooth that even though I was just planning on having a little and saving most of it for after I got my son in bed, I found myself with half the bottle chugged in no time. If you like "bite," this is NOT the root beer for you. The recipe for this root beer seemed to be this:

- 1 part root beer
- 1 part cream soda
- 1 part left over root beer after having a root beer float

If that sounds good to you, try this ASAP.

Brand: Barrel Brothers Creamy Vanilla Root Beer.

Origin: Salt Lake City, UT.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, Burnsville, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: This was REALLY good. It was super smooth with no bite. The vanilla was pronounced and tasty. As I said above, it tasted like equal parts root beer, cream soda, and vanilla ice cream infused root beer. If you want bite, this is NOT for you... but if you like your sodas smooth, go find Barrel Brothers Root Beer.

Oh, and as I was enjoying this, I saw on the bottle that it was made by the same people that make Apple Beer (which I just discovered a few weeks ago)! THIS IS A GOOD COMPANY!

Score: 9.5 out of 10!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sioux City Root Beer

When I saw Sioux City Root Beer on the shelf, I had to grab it.  I had some Sioux City Sarsaparilla when I was in Las Vegas recently, and it was pretty good.  So it was time to try their Root Beer.

Sioux City Root Beer

Brand: Sioux City Root Beer.

Origin: Whitestone, NY.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, Burnsville, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: It just didn't stand out. The flavor was OK, but nothing was great or horrible about this. I'll give it a slightly-above-average 6.5. Not fantastic, but I'll try it again.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Diet Cheerwine

I loved the shape and detail in this bottle (with the fluted bottom half), and I was in the mood for something cherry. So I grabbed this the other night:

Diet Cheerwine

Brand: Diet Cheerwine.

Origin: Salisbury, NC.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, Burnsville, MN.

Sweetener: Sucralose.

Review: This had a lot of carbonation, and was very tasty, especially for being diet. I couldn't peg the flavor: it was something between black cherry or wild cherry. The sharp carbonation and the cherry flavor makes this feel like a great summer drink. I'll have to get more of this for the upcoming months.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cock N Bull Ginger Beer

To be very honest, I'm not usually a big fan of ginger ales. I don't mind them, but I don't care for the ones that have so much ginger bite that it burns the back of my throat. This one was a little different, though.

Cock N Bull Ginger Beer

It had a great "softer" initial flavor, and then just a bit of a sharp ginger bite at the very end, but it wasn't over the top. It's one of my favorite ginger sodas, and it has a great label and cap to boot.

Brand: Cock N Bull Ginger Beer.

Origin: Hopkins, MN.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, Burnsville, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: For me, this is the right balance of "sugary soda sweetness" and "ginger bite." It's gentle yet sharp when it should be. (Like a good lover.) If you are wary about ginger sodas, try this one and see what you think. This was pretty good!

Score: 8 out of 10.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sent from a friend: Dr. McGillicuddy's Root Beer

I received a strange / awesome e-mail at the end of last month:
Hey Steve, I was at Buffalo Trace bourbon distillery today and they had some root beer for sale (made by their patent company). Naturally, your root beer blog was the first thing that came to mind.

I hope this isn't weird or stalkerish, but I'd like to send it to you.

After a couple shots of bourbon, it seemed like a fine idea, but now that I think about it I'm not sure I'd go giving out my address to just anybody.

So if you're okay with it, where should I send it?

Matt [aka LagerJogger]

I gave this kind stranger my home address, and soon I had a delicious box labeled "FRAGILE / LIQUID" sitting on my porch.

Dr. McGillicuddy's Root Beer
In front of our toaster oven with a pizza inside.  Perfection.

I've had Dr. McGillicuddy's Vanilla Liqueur before...

(Image source)

... but I didn't know they also made root beer.

Brand: Dr. McGillicuddy's Root Beer.

Origin: New Orleans, Louisiana.

Purchase Place: Mailed from a friend from Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Sweetener and/or Cane Sugar.

Review: This was nice and smooth. It had a strong vanilla taste which I like, but it wasn't overpowering. The "bite" was different, but good - it wasn't from anise or wintergreen, but it was from birch. (I still haven't tried any birch beers, but this makes me want to.) My wife maybe loved it more than me, and I thought it was pretty fantastic. It's a relatively classic taste with a bit of a unique bite, but not too "out there." Go try it!

Score: 9 out of 10.