Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bulldog Root Beer


Brand: Bulldog
Brewed in: WA
Purchase Location: Gifted
Website: http://www.bulldogrootbeer.com/

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Packaging/Label: Despite being bummed about the plain, boring gold bottle cap, this brew's got a nice label. "Unleash the taste!" Great slogan. The color palette, along with the vertical brown lines in the background that are reminiscent of wood panels, reminds me of an old bar's atmosphere. As both an illustrator by trade & an owner of multiple dogs, pairing this color palette up with the illustration of a couple'a dogs on the front and center? Well, they've won me over early!

Aroma: Allow me to quote a conversation I just had with my wife. As I pass my mug over to her, I say, "This..... doesn't smell very good. Urine?" She replies defiantly with, "Like used cleaner. It smells like a bucket of used cleaning water." I'll add to that with... this mug of root beer smells like an old bucket of cleaning water that was used to clean up an animal shelter.

Flavor: It's sweet with tastes of cane sugar and a bit of honey, but really.... that's about it. Its light, but weak & syrupy - it coats the mouth.

Should you buy it? You won't be missing anything if you decide to skip over this one.

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Additional Notes: The only thing I really like about this root beer are the illustrated dogs on the label -- and I was pretty stoked to see that the dogs... are real! From their website, "The Bulldogs on the label are named Barley and Hops. They are real bulldogs and live in Fresno, California. Barley is the male, and Hops is the female. They like to chew on bones and rawhide treats, and can fetch and play dead on command."

Overall Rating:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Abita Root Beer


Brand: Abita Root Beer
Brewed in: Louisiana
Purchase Location: Gifted
Website: www.abita.com/

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Packaging/Label: You know what this label reminds me of? Early '90s NBA uniforms with a hint of mom's kitchen from the same decade. The green abstract artwork underneath "Abita" is what really baffles me. Now don't get me wrong --- I get it. Their root beer label graphic is modeled after their (alcoholic) beer label graphics which typically use variations of wheat strands underneath "Abita". Their root beer label though? Well, i suppose those are... green roots. But alls I see is a green witchy hand stalking the words "Root Beer". Come here, my pret-ty!

Aroma: Strange. This had a sweet scent that resembles both honey and vanilla straight out of the bottle which quickly turned to a licorice-resembling scent as I poured it into my mug; I didn't know how to predict the flavor from the aroma on this one.

Flavor: Awesome. This brew has a really robust traditional flavor with a vanilla and honey punch. It's heavily sweetened with "Louisiana cane sugar" and, while I can see that the sweetness factor would be a turn off for some, do keep in mind that this has an overall light (not thick & sugary) feel. To top it off, Abita root beer has a delightful & flavorful aftertaste.

Should you buy it? For real.

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Additional Notes: By the way, the label boasts on this that Abita is made with "Louisiana cane sugar". I don't know if all other root beers sweetened with regular ol' "cane sugar" are made with this state's sweetness, but, if not - look into that, guys.


Overall Rating:


***

UPDATED REVIEW HERE!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nyarda Julmust


Brand: Spendrups Klassiker Nyarda Julmust
Brewed in: Sweden
Purchase Location: Gifted (from IKEA)
Website: http://spendrups.se/

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Packaging/Label: This is a seasonal (Christmas) drink and nothing says Christmas like an elvish Santa about to go on a little (get it? get it?) adventure. But just in case the wee Santa elf alone with his lamp didn't tip you off, the prominent red and green color scheme would. There's nothing too fancy about the packaging (it's a plastic bottle, standard twist cap with only a paper label) with exception to the label's illustration, but partnered with nice clean typography, it works. It's not my favorite bottle shape for the overall theme they're going for here; the bottle shape is pretty conservative 1960's space age (yes, that's what i said) ---- butttttttt these are the Swedes we're talkin' about here!

Aroma: Whoa. What am about to get myself into here? Smells strongly (REALLY strongly) of cough syrup. Really, really... really alcoholic cough syrup.

Bite: Very mild

Flavor: I can assure you that this is safe to drink; it doesn't taste nearly as bad as it smells - but that doesn't mean it's great either, my friends. Be warned: this is a Swedish drink comparable to root beer (both because of it's flavor complexity and it's history), but it's taste really isn't that akin to the real deal "root beer" that we've grown accustomed to. SO! What's the taste actually like? Wellllll, that's tough. It sort of tastes like someone brewed a big pot of flat Coca-Cola, flat Dr. Pepper, liquor, sugar, sugar, sugar... and, you know what? Throw some grape soda in there, too, for good measure! Don't quote me, but I'm 98.5% sure that this drink would be your outcome.

Should you buy it? You know what, I'm okay with it if you decide to skip over this one. It's different and if that's your thing, totally go for it, but I wouldn't expect you to want to finish off the bottle under normal circumstances.

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Additional Notes: Want to know more about this traditional Christmas drink, Julmust? Check out the Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julmust


Overall Rating: