Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fentimans Ginger Beer

I've enjoyed a number of Fentimans Sodas over the past few months, and the other day I tried their Ginger Beer:

Fentimans Ginger Beer
In the snow that we just got here in MN.

Brand: Fentimans Ginger Beer.

Origin: Burnaby, BC, Canada.

Purchase Place: Lunds Grocery Store, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar and Glucose Syrup.

Review: This had a good smell and a nice cola / ginger flavor with the first sip. I was pleasantly surprised. But then came the really harsh and sharp ginger bite to the back of my throat. That sharp sharp sharp bite was too much for me, and I could only sip this. The initial flavor is REALLY good, so I'm giving this higher marks than I normally would. But that bite at the end is too much for me. If you like cola and a BIG ginger bite, then try this soda.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Empire Diet Root Beer

I cracked into this the other afternoon:

Empire Diet Root Beer

Brand: Empire Diet Root Beer.

Origin: Bristol, Rhode Island.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Aspartame.

Review: Empire seems to do everything right. Except root beer or diet root beer. I really didn't care for their root beer (it was one of the first sodas that I reviewed on this blog), and I really don't care for this either. I don't mind diet sodas, but this tasted horribly fake. There is a strong anise flavor (which I know many root beers have, and that's fine), and there's a "sharpness" to this with no smoothness or drinkability at all. No thanks.

Score: 3 out of 10.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Root Beer Float in Mankato

When we were visiting family in Mankato yesterday, we stopped at "Mom and Pop's" Ice Cream Shop for a snack. My son and I enjoyed a Root Beer Float:

Mom and Pops root beer float

Henry and I made short work of this 1919 root beer and homemade vanilla ice cream!

We stopped at Mom and Pop's a year ago for the first time - nice place to have a snack!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sioux City Cream Soda

So far, I haven't found Sioux City's root beer to be the best, but I've been impressed by their other sodas. Time to try their cream soda:

Sioux City Cream Soda

Brand: Sioux City Cream Soda.

Origin: Whitestone, NY.

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

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This had a "dark" flavor that was really good. It was a *little* carmel-like, but not too much (I really don't care for much carmel flavor, and this was subtle). Nice and smooth, and it went down easy. This was a good, classic cream soda.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Joia Pineapple Coconut & Nutmeg Soda

I had my first Joia soda nearly 2 years ago - I don't remember what flavor it was, but I remembered it being a little "weird," and I didn't care for it a lot. But I recently picked up 2 more Joias to try out.

Joia Pineapple Coconut & Nutmeg Soda
Blurry photo from a big taco party we were at this past weekend.

A better photo from the Joia website.

Admission: I do not care for pineapple or coconut that much.  So I didn't know what I was hoping with this soda.

Brand: Joia Pineapple Coconut & Nutmeg Soda.

Origin: Minneapolis, MN.

Purchase Place: Lunds Grocery Store, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. In fact, it was downright tasty. I didn't taste much of the nutmeg: it was mainly coconut flavor with a bit of pineapple in there. It was very sweet and went down well. It's flavor sounded like it could have been "sharp," "harsh," and just not very drinkable, but it was quite tasty. It was good with my tacos at our taco party.

Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Reading Draft White Birch Beer

I had to grab a soda as I was working on organizing my studio the other night:

Reading Draft White Birch

Brand: Reading Draft White Birch Beer.

Origin: Reading, PA.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This tasted like a smooth root beer with a slightly different taste. It was smooth and tasty. There's a strong/sweet vanilla flavor along with ALMOST a bit of a fruity kick. You could have told me it was root beer, and I would have thought "oh, well that's a 'different' take on root beer, but I like it." This was my 3rd birch beer, and it ranks between the 9 that I gave Sioux City Birch Beer and the 7 that I gave Rocky Mountain Soda Company Boulder Birch Beer. Pretty good. I really need to hunt down more birch beers.

Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Empire Bottling Works Banana

After having the best root beer of my life, I was leery of trying such a strange-sounding pee-colored soda.

Empire Bottling Works Banana

This was my 3rd Empire soda, and they've just been getting better - their root beer was pretty bad, their orange was average, and this was pretty good.

Brand: Empire Banana.

Origin: Bristol, Rhode Island.

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

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: The first sniff was strong of banana. And it tasted sweet and good. It was like drinking liquified banana Runt candies (remember those?). The flavor was sharp, but right on. It had a strong banana flavor with a slight pear aftertaste - which was just fine. For being slightly a "novelty" flavor, it was quite refreshing.

Score: 7.5 out of 10.