Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cool Mountain Fountain Classic Root Beer (#61 rated 2.75)

This company was incorporated in 1997 in Des Plaines, Illinois.   There is limited information available about the history, if 19 years has much of a history.  Even the blog has not been updated in over a year.

Ingredients: filtered water, pure cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate as preservatives)

Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)

160 Calories
15 mg Sodium.
40g (13%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine
1g Protein

Aroma and Flavor – 0.75 out of 3 mugs

The aroma is very much a mix of flavors, but not rooty.  It actually had a sour aroma.  At the first drink, it is unknown what I just consumed.  The flavor primarily was a less than desirable aftertaste.  It reminded me of Sassy Lil' Lass, which is my lowest rated root beer. 

I found it hard to find and root beer flavor.  Instead, a strong and very dominate medicinal flavor.

Head –0.5 out of 3 mugs  

The head is missing.  Seriously, it came and went so fast I had no idea there was one in the first place.

Zip – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  

The beverage earned a 1 mug because it has a medicinal zip.  It is an odd flavor that resembles nothing like the true root beer flavors I have rated highly.

Post Consumption Impression – 0.5 out of 3 mugs  

There are very few brews where I really did not look forward to finishing the brew.  Unfortunately, this was one of them.  Odd thing is, it has 1g of protein.
Would I recommend this at 2.75 out of 12 mugs?

This root beer I will not purchase again.  It is really an odd beverage and one that I assume is either a love hate brew.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tree Fort Soda (#60 – rated 5.75 out of 12)

Tree Fort soda is a hometown brew.  Meaning in the metropolitan area where I live.  Eva and Sam Ducker stated they would spend time tasting soda’s while the adults in the family tasted wine.  They wanted to “make something better” and now they make four flavors:  Root Beer, Juicy Orange, Ginger Ale and Classic Cola.  They say the root beer is “wintergreen, anise, cinnamon, sarsaparilla, marigold, peppercorn, and of course, real honey, for a subtle, rich brew great out of the bottle”. 

Eva Ducker, 17, brought Tree Fort Root Beer to market in 2015 after developing the brand for her senior project at Blake—a private school in Minneapolis, MN.  Eva’s brother and sister-in-law, David and Lily Duckler, own a tea house and café in the Seward neighborhood, and helped develop the brand by providing the know-how, ingredients, and the facility to help the young entrepreneur with her ambition.

Duckler wanted to develop something creamy, sweet, all natural, and something different than traditional sodas like Coke and Pepsi that she deemed “kind of rough stuff.” According to Duckler, the root beer is hand brewed with herbs and flowers including marigold and chicory, with vanilla and honey also in the mix. She creates most of the flavors herself by “steeping out a bunch of herbs using water extraction.” Indeed, the soda is not in line with a traditional root beer flavor, but Duckler acknowledges this, adding that the soda is much more “layered and balanced.” She says, “It’s what I’d like to think root beer tasted like back at its origins in the 1800s when people were just drinking it made from roots!”

After 70 failed attempts, and much trial and error, Duckler finalized the beverage she was looking for now I am about to review the beverage. (Click here for information on the rating criteria and a table of all the root beer tested or to be tested.)

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Cane sugar, White Honey, Natural Favors, Caramel Color, Quillaja Extract, Malic Acid, Sunflower Oil, Phosphoric Acid, and Xanthan Gum.

Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)

180 Calories
170 mg Sodium.
45 g (15%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.5 out of 3 mugs

The aroma is very medicinal and not much like a deep dark root beer I prefer.  The color is almost Crème Soda/Ginger Ale tomes.

At first daring, this is not really a root beer.  It is closer to a root beer/ginger ale mix.  The honey is noted along with a light wintergreen or cinnamon taste.  I almost felt like I was drinking  dandilion?

Head –1.75 out of 3 mugs  

The head is average.  Quick dissipation with a slight remnant at the outer edge when fully dissipated. 

Zip – 1.25 out of 3 mugs  

The zip is from clove, ginger and cinnamon.  It is light and dry.

Post Consumption Impression – 1.25 out of 3 mugs  

I do not know what to say?  It is not a bad soda, but not really a root beer.  It is unique and very dry.  My mouth felt dry after drinking the brew.  What is odd is for a soft drink, I have the sensation I am drinking a carbonated tea with honey.

Would I recommend this at 5.75 out of 12 mugs?

I really like the story of the young entrepreneur breaking out with something different, yet as a root beer lover, this is a beverage I would look twice before making a purchase.  However, if you want to try a dry beverage that would give you the sensation of drinking a solid tea with honey, give it a try!


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Briar’s (#59 - rated 9 out of 12)

Briars USA is a non-alcoholic distributor in the central New Jersey region. The company is a subsidiary of High Grade Beverage (HGB), a franchised wholesale beverage distributor of malt beverages, wine, spirits and soft drinks. Briars USA has been in business since 1937. Briars USA currently distributes Monster, Vita Cocoa, Function Drinks, Cintron Beverages, Jones Soda and 24 C, Muscle Milk, Sunny Delight, Sweet Leaf Tea Redline Energy and Welch's Juices.

Historically, Briar’s may be better known for its Birch Beer, but has produced many popular flavors over time including Black Cherry, Diet Black Cherry, Cream, Diet Cream Soda, Diet Root Beer, Lemon, Sarsaparilla, and Grape Soda.

High Grade Beverage Company was originally founded by Nicholas DeMarco and Harry "Butch" Levine in 1940. This business was located on Redmond Street in New Brunswick and consisted of only six others - three delivery men, two sales people and one secretary.  Over the years the company grew, bringing on the Briar's USA soft drink beverage bottler in 1986.

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Invert Sugar, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Aspartame, and Yucca Extractives.

Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)

168 Calories
15 mg Sodium.
42 g (15%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 2.5 out of 3 mugs

The aroma is commercialized.  Nothing unique and actually removed me of barq’s.  The first drink was enjoyable.  Overall a good blend with a little too much carbonation for me.  The sweetness level was a little higher than I prefer.  Could be the “Invert Sugar” that was listed as the sugar?

Head –1.5 out of 3 mugs  

The head was slightly below average yet would make a great root beer float.  Within 30 seconds, there was no sign of any head remaining.

Zip – 2.5 out of 3 mugs  

This has a remarkable balance of flavors accented with caramel, vanilla and carbonations.  I really enjoyed the sensation from the first drink.  It was pleasing, although the carbonation was a little higher than I would desire.

Post Consumption Impression – 2.5 out of 3 mugs  

I was pleased and would look for the beverage again.  It is not my top rated but close to the top 10.  This would most certainly be my nomination for a root beer float!  The more I consumed, it reminded me of my love for Taco Bell.  The first bite is SO good, by the third bite I realize I am eating something and by the fifth bite, same old crap I could get anywhere.

Would I recommend this at 9 out of 12 mugs?

It is worth a try.  A little sweet and carbonation higher than I prefer, which may make this a hit with those who love the commercial mixtures such as A&W or Barq’s.  I would buy this again.