Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pop Shoppe (#31 - Rated 5.75 out of 12)

The Pop Shoppe originated in 1969 in Canada, London, Ontario to be more precise.  The goal was not to be overly commercializes and enter the retail market in non-traditional ways.  Eventually, the demand was such, Pop Shoppe was selling 30 different flavors throughout North America. 

By 1980, sales were weakened from off brand competition and closed in 1983.   Since that time some small soft drink bottlers in the U.S. have sold pop using some of the millions of bottles and cases left abandoned by the closure

By 2004, many of the original flavors returned.  In 2012, The Pop Shoppe announced that they were replacing corn syrup with cane sugar in all of their beverages.  This is a plus for me!   The bottle I consumed stated it was bottles in Las Angeles, California.

See more information at

Ingredients: water, cane sugar, caramel color, Citric Acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), propylene glycol, natural and artificial flavor, and phosphoric acid.

Nutrition 12 oz serving (from the bottle)

180 Calories
20 mg Sodium.
46g (15%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.5 out of 3 mugs

The aroma was a mix of unidentifiable scents.  At first drink, there is a creamy sensation with a slight fruity taste.  Not as strong as Juicy Fruit gum, but that kid of flavor.  It was not really what I would call a root beer.  It was a cross between a stale barq’s and Dr. Pepper.  While there is a faint overall root beer taste, the aftertaste is more of a bad Coke. 

Head – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

The head is frothy with very fine bubbles.  It reduced quickly to a small amount around the rim which stayed for a long time.  Based on my follow-up (Web search), I think the propylene glycol may be the difference?

Zip – 1.25 out of 3 mugs  

Zip is very minimal as I can’t determine what the flavor mix is for this beverage?  The odd after taste was a real deterrent.   It almost has a chemical taste with lower carbonation.    

Post Consumption Impression – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

This is a soda.  Not sure how to really say what kind as it is as a variety of flavors I found no common root, vanilla or even caramel flavor. 

Would I recommend this at 5.75 out of 12 mugs?

It is worth a try, but I will pass on it unless there are few options available.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dorothy's Isle of Pines (#30 - Rated 5.0 out of 12)

Dorothy Molter who lives just outside of Ely, Minnesota originated this brew.  Being from North Dakota, I fondly heard of the “Root Beer Lady” years ago but never visited her location.  However, several years ago someone brought me a bottle of her root beer (before she passed on) and I liked it.  It was not the best, but it had a unique flavor that was not overly street. 

Looking at the bottle, I immediately realized this would not be the same.  Since Dorothy passed, it appears they commercialized the beverage and filled it with High Fructose Corn Syrup and other artificial ingredients.  WHAT A SHAME! 

Ingredients: water, sugar and High Fructose Corn Sweetener, natural and artificial flavor, caramel color, sodium benzoate (preservative), Citric Acid, Acacia and Quillaia Extract

Nutrition 12 oz serving (from the bottle)

160 Calories
18 mg Sodium.
46g (15%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.5 out of 3 mugs

Upon opening the bottle, it had a commercial root beer aroma, much like that of a Barq’s.  The first sip was mixed between enjoyable yet disappointment.  There was such a strange aftertaste.  I recalled having this tasted in the past.  After searching, I realized it was the Acacia, also in Big Bens, which scored 4 of 12.  Just as I was mixed on my positive impression of Big Bens, I am also mixed on this brew.  Just left me confused more than disappointed or excited.

Head – 1 out of 3 mugs  

 The head was not noteworthy!  It disappeared in less than 15 second and you had no clue there was ever a head, even at the rim.  It is possible this may be a great root beer for a float?

Zip – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  

There is nothing special or unique as far as a spice blend or carbonation.  It is actually lower end of carbonation, which I prefer.  At best, the Acacia is the only notable spice.  Even the stated caramel flavor is faint.

Post Consumption Impression – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

This was a root beer that had nothing special.  It is a shame that whoever bought the rights to the brew used HFCS and that alone altered the taste. 

Would I recommend this at 5.0 out of 12 mugs?

While I would recommend you try it, I suggest doing so with the purchase of a single bottle.  You may find you are not going to enjoy the rest of a six-pack.