Saturday, February 04, 2006

Finding A Wild Goose

Every so often I'll be somewhere by random chance and run into something nifty. That was just the case recently when I walked into a local Aldi's store. I have been in one of these places exactly twice now. After this experience, I may not go back again. I had dropped in to take a look and see what they had. Nothing really, other than 6-packs of Goose Island Root Beer for $2.99. Not a bad deal but I can see where they got the pricing on this. I might have got the worst of the deal.

Goose Island is a Chicago "Handcrafted" brew that says it is "Creamy Head Root Beer". The head isn't too bad, many others posses less longevity than this one. The Chicago part should have been my warning, tho. Not being a huge fan of Chicago I often seem to get things labelled "Chicago" that aren't very good. Perhaps it is the curse of Capone, who knows? This Root Beer certainly falls into that category. Other than the sugar taste Goose Island doesn't have a lot to recommend it. There just isn't a lot of flavour going on here beyond sugar. The scent is pleasant enough with subtle hints of licorice, wintergreen and light vanilla, the mouth feel is only slightly heavier than a Soda and the aftertaste is sugary, tho not unpleasant. Oddly enough the flavour in this Root Beer develops after it has warmed up to room temperature. Unfortunately, I dislike warm Root Beer.

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate and Citric Acid.

Carbonation: OK

Mouth Feel: Not too much thicker than a soda

Root Beer Flavour: Old Time flavour when you can find it. Not a lot, tho.

Head: Longer lasting than many.

Aftertaste: Sugar with a mild hint of vanilla

Aroma: Hints of wintergreen and anise or licorice. Mild vanilla.

Overall Taste:Not a lot.

Goose Island gets a 4/10 an abysmal D


Mike Kole said...

I've been to the Goose Island brewpub & restaurant in Chicago. Good food, decent beer. Sadly, it didn't even occur to me to try the root beer. I feel much shame.

Michael said...

And was their beer good? I have a theory I am working on that states: Places and companies which make both Beer and Root Beer can only make one well.

Mike Kole said...

Yep- the beer was pretty good. It was second-tier microbrew stuff. The top-tier, imho, is Great Lakes Brewery, in Cleveland, and the Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado.

What's your take on Barley Island?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to disagree with you. I have not tried every root beer available, but of the ones available at my local gorcery stores, this is by far the best one. This would include:

Saint Arnold's
Route 66
and a bunch I can't remember just now.

Cody said...

I had just recently purchased a six pack of Goose Island and was left thoroughly disappointed. I'm not sure if it was from the brew itself or the grey gunk I found underneath the bottlecap, but there was a definite metallic tinge that would leave anyone's tongue licking the air for a good five minutes.

Curiously, my bottle has a very different label.

Michael said...

anon: Opinion is what makes the world go 'round. I'm glad someone liked the Goose Island, it gives them a reason to keep trying, I guess. Of the other brews you listed Route 66 is good. Barq's and A&W were outstanding in their day, fortunately I'm old enought to remember the good old days. If you try a Barq's from the Biloxi, Mississippi plant you'll be abvle to get a hint at what it used to taste like.

Michael said...

Barley Island's Root Beer is not too bad but it needs a LOT of improvement. It's better than the Rams's, tho (I'll be reviewing that one in the next day or two..along with their food).

make root beer said...

As you're growing up as a teenager, there are a number of things that you look forward to; getting your drivers license,

graduating from high school, going to your senior prom, having your first date and having your first beer. The problem

with this last one is that the drinking age and the thing you want make it something that you just can't have yet. And

still, you want it and will go to any lengths to get it.

Underage beer drinking is certainly no secret and to try to sweep it under the carpet isn't going to make it go away. But

the most odd thing about underage drinking when it comes to beer is that even after kids sneak their first beer, they

still want to have another one. If you're wondering why that sounds so strange then you need to think back to when YOU

had your first beer. It was pretty nasty tasting. Let's be honest, beer is bitter and is an acquired taste. Very few

people, if any at all, enjoyed their first beer. Many even get sick after it because of the taste or the fact that

they're not used to the alcohol yet.

Anonymous said...

I tried a goose island rootbeer on tap at Cheli's Chili in Dearborn ,Mi and it was very good. I had one at a different place and it was not. I have had the same experience with beer as well, draft and bottle. It has to be a matter of freshness.
That being off my chest - does anyone know where i can buy rootbeer in kegs in metro-Detroit ?