Chama River Brewery Root Beer

March 27, 2017
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: On Tap
Available: NM

Obtained in: trade with Sagi
Head: Medium Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.chamariverbrewery.com

so the amazing Sagi, who is a very relentless and talented root beer tracker, went on a road trip before Christmas time in 2015. as most root beer hunters would, along the way he stopped at many places to get new root beers. he updated me often on his progress, sending photos and the like. his excitement was contagious. he sent me a photo of this growler and I marveled at the beauty of it, such a fantastic and unusual bottle! then he tried it and raved and raved about it. he insisted on getting a growler for me as well and shipping it off somehow as quickly as possible. I insisted he did not need to do so, he had places to go so no time to spare finding a post office and packaging this thing up! sending a growler is an expensive proposition! well, ok, if you insist. he did and it should have come in three days, which in itself seemed weird for two day mail. but then it did not come on the Saturday it was supposed to. early Monday morning though it was there! I packed it in my car to bring to work and sample it as soon as possible.
I will admit, at least some of the carbonation has indeed been lost. despite the ultra cool bottle and seemingly solid seal, gas escaped along the way. the super satisfying 'hiss' when opening the top was not as large as hoped. growlers are not made to keep the drink completely fresh for more than a couple days so it is not surprising anyway but one can hope.
nonetheless, there is a surprisingly high level of a thick head when i pour this. it does not last terribly long but still, it must have been magnificent when it was right off the tap.
when i sampled the soda right out of the growler, I found it somewhat unremarkable, which is not why Sagi sent it, so I found a mug and poured a glass. ah, now it comes through! the cinnamon! whoa, the cinnamon! it really controls the flavor. i like cinnamon so it is a nice thing to me. along with that is a less obvious sharp clove taste which is interesting for sure. they do take the usual root beer taste and turn it a bit to make it their own. this would appeal to the people expecting the normal but also those who seek something a bit unusual.

Anthony's Rating: 91
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Red Ribbon Birch Beer

March 20, 2017
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Brown Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: CA, PA, online

Obtained in: trade with Sagi
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 120 Sodium: 5mg
Carbs: 29g Sugar: 29g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://naronabottlingcompany.com

so Sagi is on a roll! well, he usually is it seems, a very devoted man in a quest for root based drinks that succeeds at a high level. yet he is also super kind and nice, knowing this hobby is more fun if it is shared and joy brought to others as well as oneself. somehow he was able to get some of the first bottles of this Red Ribbon Birch Beer off of the assembly line. i find it slightly amusing since he lives in California and here I am in NJ, much much closer to where this is made in Pennsylvania. but that is the great thing about living near a Rocket Fizz or other such establishment.
I am always happy when a new birch beer comes around so this was a very welcome thing. for a brown birch, it is surprisingly wintergreen. it rivals most white birches in the level of wintergreen. that right there is a very good thing. this is one of the better standard birch beers i have had. if someone asked what a birch beer tastes like, this is what I would want to provide to them. it is sweet enough and not too carbonated. a little bit of a smooth feel but the dominant flavor is that wintergreen. sure, they could do something crazy and/or inventive but in a not that crowded birch beer field, just being great at the standard flavor is enough to set you apart.
Ingredients:filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial birch beer, root beer and cream flavor, carmel color, citric acid


Anthony's Rating: 93
User's Rating: 0
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Doggone Good Soda Butterscotch Rootbeer

March 13, 2017
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle, 20oz glass bottle
Available: CA

Obtained in: trade with Sagi
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 120 Sodium: 27mg
Carbs: 30g Sugar: 29g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://doggonegoodsoda.com

the overly kind and overall fantastic Sagi yet again sent me a new brew! and a new release from this company who claim they will produce like twenty different root beers in time. there are a bunch of butterscotch root beers out there at this point although the first I was aware of was the one from Dang! That's Good. that was nearly a decade ago at this point.
now, again this offering from Doggone Good has barely any carbonation whatsoever. i think that intensifies the butterscotch flavor here as it leaves no mistaking that this is a butterscotch soda. it does not exactly have a lot of actual root beer in there though, which begs the question often debated between the mighty Eric and myself, if something says 'root beer' on the label, does that make it one? i say yes, he has a strict set of other criteria. no one is wrong (well, except Eric of course) and it is all in good fun. anythewho, this would be a borderline thing if i was a picky fellow. it could be called a butterscotch cream soda or just a butterscotch soda and i would buy into that just as much as this being a root beer. all of this is not to say it is bad, as i like butterscotch. it is just ultra sweet and buttery scotchy. if you like that and/or fancy bottles, go get this. i look forward to their further offerings which i hope include a cinnamon root beer and a chile root beer too.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sucrose syrup, sodium benzoate, citric acid, and natural and artificial flavor.


Anthony's Rating: 78
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Cool Mountain Chicago Rootbeer Draft Style

March 6, 2017
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: IL, online

Obtained in: from Rocket Fizz
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 180 Sodium: 15mg
Carbs: 40g Sugar: 40g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://chicagorootbeer.com

a few years ago i reviewed the old style Chicago Rootbeer which was "Fountain Classic" where this one is "Draft Style." as the ingredients and nutritional info has changed, i gather the difference between Draft and Fountain is twenty more calories and some potassium. i never knew that, so it is a good thing to learn after all these years. i have wondered what makes something "draft style" numerous times. i always figured it had to do with the amount of foam somehow. perhaps it still does.
anyway, i imagine this is better than the old one as it's tasty and i recall the other just being mediocre. i should read the review. yeah, this is better than the old one, perhaps they took my advice. i am actually reminded a good deal of Berghoff's which is also a solid yet not terribly distinct root beer from Chicago. this one is very smooth, not as much creamy as smooth, more of a caramel feel than a dairy product feel i suppose i'd say. the head is large to start but quickly dissipates. i don't really care about that. the sweetness is solid, pretty high but not over the line. again, it does not do anything special but what it does it does just fine.
Ingredients:filtered water, pure cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium as a preservative


Anthony's Rating: 79
User's Rating: 0
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