Friday, May 01, 2015

Follow Your Arrow

Yet another Jungle Jim's acquisition is a Red Arrow Root Beer from Orca Beverage Bottling Company in Mulkiteo, WA. I rather like the simple labeling for the bottle, it's understated and somewhat old fashioned. Orca specialises in Retro Soda's and Red Arrow certainly has a Retro look to it. The ingredients list looks promising, too. I like the stated addition of licorice and wintergreen. It gives you something to anticipate.


Carbonated Water
Cane Sugar
Natural And Artificial Flavours
Caramel Colour
Phosphoric Acid
Extract Of Wintergreen And Licorice
Sodium Benzoate

Aroma: An upfront whiff of wintergreen and sugar with a hint of licorice.

Head: Nice initial head while pouring, but it dissipates quickly.

Carbonation: Soft carbonation with a bit of an initial bite.

Root Beer Flavour: Red Arrow has a light licorice flavour with understated wintergreen and sugar flavours. Not the usual mass production flavouring you'd get from many Root Beers. The Cane Sugar is a nice addition to the mix and lends itself well to the overall flavour.

Sweetness: Not overly sweet and it's well balanced between flavour and sweetness. Orca got this balance just right.

Aftertaste: A nice aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. Cane sugar and the licorice/wintergreen flavours dominate.

Red Arrow is a good Root Beer. Well worth buying. It gets a 7.5 out of 10.

Friday, April 17, 2015

North To New Hampshire

A recent acquisition was a bottle of Squamscot Root Beer, a product of the Conner Bottling Works in Newfields, New Hampshire. They make quite a few flavours of Soda and I wouldn't mind giving many of them a try. But, all I currently have is their Root Beer. I liked the old fashioned labeling on the bottle, simple and to the point.It also sports a rather interesting ingredients list. Oils, aromatics, gum acacia and not much else. This stands out for me. Can't wait to get to the tasting.


Lightly carbonated water
Cane Sugar
Caramel Color
Gum Acatia
Methyl Salicylate
Oil of cloves
Other Aromatics and Essential Oils
Sodium Benzoate

Aroma: Has a spicy scent and you can catch the scent of the clove oil. You can also smell a sugar scent.

Head: Doesn't develop a head to speak of.

Carbonation: Soda-like carbonation with a nice fizz. Has a bit of a bite to it, but not a lot.

Root Beer Flavour: Not your average Root Beer extract style flavour. Spicy tones to it that give it a retro, not modern draft, flavour. It's nice and a good change from the usual flavourings that dominate the market.

Sweetness: Well balanced sweetness that is not cloying. The flavour of  the Cane Sugar supports and doesn't overwhelm the other flavours.

Aftertaste: The flavour of Squamscot lingers on all parts of the tongue and is rather pleasant. Makes you want to take another drink. The spiciness and essential oils make for a not unpleasant aftertaste.

Overall: Squamscot is a winner in the Root Beer category. It has everything I am looking for in a premium Root Beer or Soda. Great taste, good aroma and just enough carbonation to give things a little kick. Well worth searching out and drinking!

Squamscot gets a solid 8 out of 10.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dang It!

On a recent trip to Cincinnati, my spouse was kind enough to drop into Jungle Jim's and score me a few Root Beers and Sodas. One of the Root Beers was Dang!, a Root Beer that is bottled for Imperial Flavors Beverage Company Inc, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 
   Their Root Beers are carried in a variety of places nationwide, so finding one shouldn't be a great problem. This is one of those Root Beers that is worth tracking down. Now, I'll have to track down their Butterscotch Root Beer!


Carbonated Water
Natural and Artificial Flavours
Caramel Colour
Citric Acid
Sodium Benzoate (as a preservative)

Aroma: Vanilla scent is upfront and pleasant. A bit of sugar in the scent, but not too much.

Head: Soda-like head that dissipates quickly.

Carbonation: Good carbonation. Keeps its fizz. Not a lot of carbonation bite.

Root Beer Flavour: Hints of wintergreen and nutmeg. Just a bit of spice to this one.  A very nice taste.

Sweetness: Not overly sweet. It well balanced and not cloying at all.

Aftertaste: A spicy aftertaste on the tongue with vanilla overtones. Very nice!

Overall: This was a delightful Root Beer. Has a good flavour and aroma. I could drink this often. It is a "Dang" good Root Beer. Imperial Flavours can be justifiably proud of this one!

I give Dang! Root Beer an 8.5 out of 10 an A. It's a solid Root Beer. Well worth drinking!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sugar Gaining Ground

Add Snapple to the list of drinks abandoning HFCS for Sugar. Yeah, I know it's not a beautiful, fizzy beverage, but it's a sign of the times and it is owned by Dr Pepper.
Snapple, once the “official beverage of New York City,” is being redesigned — inside and out — this year.

The popular iced teas are losing the high-fructose corn syrup and the dated font. The bottles are becoming more svelte (to better fit into cup holders, which became a force after Snapple iced teas were originally introduced). The labels will also emphasize the green and black tea leaves used to make the drink. The changes are rolling out over the first few months of the year, and they are expected to hit New York in early March, according to Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which is now the owner of the brand.

Snapple, which once defined the genre of specialty tea, now finds itself fading in an increasingly crowded field of competitors. The brand, which passed through many hands before landing as part of Dr Pepper Snapple, went through a round of focus group testing over the last two years.

“Through that work we really found that Snapple had lost of its luster and had been replaced in the minds of consumers by other beverages out there,” said Jim Trebilcock, an executive vice president with Dr Pepper Snapple.

(For example, President Obama prefers (the more lightly sweetened) Honest Tea, and the White House is now stocked with his favorite flavors, Black Forest Berry and Green Dragon.)

Real sugar is replacing the corn syrup. (Sugar vs. corn syrup, by the way, is the difference between Mexican and American Coca-Cola.) In some cases, that has actually resulted in a decrease in calories.

The old ingredient list for Lemon Snapple Iced Tea: “water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, tea, natural flavors.” Calories: 200. The new ingredient list: “filtered water, sugar, citric acid, tea, natural flavors.” Calories: 160.
Now if only Coke and the other people out there would hop on the train. And I'm pretty sure that Obama has nothing to do with their decision, despite his inclusion in the article.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Repent Soda Sinners!

Apparently, the governor of Massachusetts thinks that those of us who like to consume a few "empty calories" via a Root Beer or Soda are sinners and in need of additional taxation. It's yet another, in a long line of attempts at behaviour modification by the powers that be to encourage us to act and consume the way they wish us to. At the same time these nanny staters want to fill their coffers by taxing the population segment that they wish to modify.
When Governor Deval Patrick proposed a 5 percent premium on sugary treats this week, his administration presented it as a sin tax with a bonus: Imposing such a levy, a briefing paper pledged, "is a critical first step in discouraging the consumption of these empty calories."
Thankfully, I am not a resident of Taxachusettes, nor am I likely to ever be, but the innocent people who like a good Soda, or one of the excellent regional Root Beers have to bear the burden of these nonsensical do-gooders. Enough is enough, isn't it? Once upon a time there were some Bostonians who had the courage to protest a tax increase on their beverage of choice. Where are those people now? If you won't protest a 5% tax on your Soda or Root Beer then what will you speak out against? Very little, it seems.

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