Friday, May 30, 2014

Sprecher Root Beer

I've seen these at Menards for years, but I've passed them up every time. I recalled having one a while back and just thinking it was OK.

Soda at Menards

I took a 4-pack of Root Beer home, and I drank one while working in the front yard the other night:

Sprecher Root Beer
A Nascar driver on the label? Is that a good or bad sign? I didn't know.

It was so good, I had to save some for my frosty mug once I got back in the house (something about it just screamed to be poured in a frosty mug):

Sprecher Root Beer in a Mug

Brand: Sprecher Root Beer.

Origin: Glendale, WI.

Purchase Place: Menards, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Glucose Syrup and WI Honey.

Review: This was good! The hint of honey was nice - it wasn't too overpowering. It was very smooth and had a good frothy head. It had just a BIT more anise flavor than I liked, but the slight carmel flavor and a touch of vanilla were perfect. It was a great root beer overall!

Score: 9 out of 10.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Faygo Redpop

I was out doing some yard work with my son this past week, and I drank one of these in the backyard:

Faygo Redpop

Brand: Faygo Redpop.

Origin: Detroit, MI.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: I didn't see what the flavor was until I'd had a few sips. I was trying to figure out what it was. It turns out it's strawberry. And it's pretty tasty. It's very child-like in its sugariness, but it's not TOO sweet. If you like sweet, try this out.

Score: 8 out of 10.

SIDENOTE: here's a strange Faygo Redpop commercial from the 70s starring that cross-dressing fella from M*A*S*H:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer (Round 2)

I first reviewed Dad's Root Beer over a year ago, and I only gave it a 3 out of 10 - it did not go over well with me. But in that review, I said "I think I'll have to try Dad's again because I don't remember it being this bad when I've had it in the past."

Well, my sister-in-law showed up with a bottle of Dad's for me because I just became a Dad for the 2nd time.

My new son Charlie.

Charlie and Henry - my 2 boys.

Charlie's first bath at home when he was 6 days old.

So here was the Dad's I got:

Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer

Brand: Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer.

Origin: Jasper, IN.

Purchase Place: Some convenience store, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane sugar.

Review: This wasn't nearly as bad as the one I had over a year ago. It had a bite, and a slightly "classic" root beer flavor. It had a bit more bite than I cared for, but was still pretty good. I'll take back my "3 out of 10" from my first review, and now I'll give it a 6.5.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cicero Beverage Co. Cherry Cola

I pulled this out of the fridge last night:

Cicero Beverage Co. Cherry Cola

Brand: Cicero Beverage Co. Cherry Cola.

Origin: Chicago, IL.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: This was just OK. It had a pretty weird aftertaste that I didn't care for, but the cherry flavor was good. It didn't stand out as anything special or horrible. Average score for this.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Monday, May 12, 2014

AJ Stephans Black Cherry Soda

I was in the mood for some Black Cherry at the end of last week.

AJ Stephans Black Cherry Soda

I liked the 2 other AJ Stephans sodas that I'd had in the past: I gave their Cream Soda a 6.5, and I gave their Root Beer a 7. But their Black Cherry kinda sucked...

Brand: AJ Stephans Black Cherry Soda.

Origin: Fall River, Massachusetts.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: The first sip tasted like cardboard. And so did the 2nd. And the 3rd. It had this really funny taste on the front end (the opposite of an "aftertaste"). After 5 minutes, I'd have a faint and decent aftertaste of black cherry in my mouth, and I'd think "OK, time for another sip." But each sip was horrible. No thanks.

Score: 2.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cicero Beverage Co. Orange Cream Soda

I grabbed an Orange Creme soda to enjoy as I was grilling burgers the other day:

Cicero Beverage Co. Orange Cream Soda

Brand: Cicero Beverage Co. Orange Cream Soda.

Origin: Chicago, IL.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: This was REALLY smooth and creamy. It reminded me of having Orange Floats and Root Beer Floats at my Grandma's house at Christmas and Thanksgiving. (Random but fun holiday tradition.) It was tasty, but had just a slightly odd aftertaste that made it less desirable. But if you like a good Orange Cream, check it out.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Frostop Red Birch Beer

My son and I stopped at the Frattallone's Ace Hardware on Lake Street in Minneapolis a few days ago. After seeing that the Ace on Grand Ave in St. Paul had no root beer selection, we had to see what this one had to offer. They had a few things I wanted to try:

Some Frostops.

They were all Frostops, and I didn't have a great experience with Frostop Root Beer when I had it in 2012. So I wasn't sure if these would be OK or not. I started with the Red Birch Beer as I was doing some yard work.

Frostop Red Birch Beer

This had a very red color. I had to pour some in a glass to show it off:

Back-lit by my kitchen window.

Brand: Frostop Red Birch Beer.

Origin: Hopkins, MN.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, Minneapolis, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Cane Sugar.

Review: This was surprisingly good. I got a hint of cherry and cinnamon out of this, and it had a little sharpness. The best way I can describe this is like if you were to eat Bottle Caps candy and pop a Root Beer one and a Cherry one in your mouth at the same time. Boom. It'd taste just like this. A bit of root beer, a hint of cherry, and just a touch of cinnamon. Tasty. Goes down well. And it's nice that it comes in a larger resealable bottle - I enjoyed this over the course of 2 days.

Score: 9 out of 10.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jones Zero Calorie Black Cherry

After my disappointing Jones Soda this past weekend, it was time to try one more that I had.  My "fortune" under the cap was "avoid a hasty decision." So I took my time with this:

Jones Zero Calorie Black Cherry

Brand: Jones Zero Calorie Black Cherry.

Origin: Seattle, Washington.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Sucralose.

Review: I had low expectations, but this was pretty good. It had a slight creaminess to it, as well as a hint of a bite. Good flavor, nice amount of sweetness, and pretty tasty all around. So I guess I haven't totally written off Jones Soda - I'll have to grab some other flavors shortly.

Score: 7 out of 10.