Six Barrel Soda Co. Sarsaparilla

Wow, this soda was definitely one of the more challenging brews I have ever obtained. I was pointed towards them by a reader and immediately checked out their website. They sounded great, very natural, yummy flavors, great concept! And two flavors that would fit in my bailiwick, a sarsaparilla which they bottled and sold as a syrup as well as a pine soda that only came in syrup form. But they are on the other side of the world. I emailed them to see if they were up for shipping, specifying that I wanted at least a couple bottle of the sarsaparilla and one of the pine syrup, but if shipping would not increase I’d take more sarsaparilla. After a bunch of back and forth they agreed to send some over and I paid for it. what arrived was a repackaged box containing a plastic bag with the many shards of glass from a smashed bottle of pine syrup, an intact bottle of sarsaparilla syrup and an intact bottle of sarsaparilla which I am now drinking. so it was very disappointing to not get to try the pine soda, especially for what it costs to ship. oh well.
this is a very small bottle i must say. it is 275mL as opposed to the usual 355mL in a 12oz bottle. nothing wrong with that, it seems more of a snack size, at least to us lazy, fat americans. i don’t think this is the norm in other parts of the world, but perhaps it is?
i very much like the small batch aspect of this which just exude from it in every way. they list what batch this is (#10) as well as what bottle (668/1000). the label is all scallop cut which feels very hand made to me and it also seems to be printed on someone’s home printer as it is not glossy and much more paper-like.
the taste you ask? actually very solid. usually when i have a brew that is very oriented around the herbs and spices, it comes off as bitter and more like a tea than a soda. but they make it work here without being super sweet or bitter. it rides a fine median between the two, balancing out each side well. the molasses does add a smoky, darker flavor to it on top of the ginger and star anise bite. i am not sure what juniper berries taste like but i can guess they are adding that floral hint i am tasting. i do enjoy it. it is unusual but done well. this is what many of the micro micro brewers seem to want to strive for in my mind but few achieve.

Anthony’s Rating: 94
User’s Rating: 0
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Type: Sarsaparilla Comes In: 275ml glass bottle
Available: New Zealand

Obtained in: ordered from company
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Caffeine: No

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