Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No Go For Faygo

Under certain circumstances I might say something like, "How the mighty have fallen" where Faygo Root Beer Soda is concerned, but that's not going to happen. I can remember Faygo products from my youth and, back then they were the equivalent generic Soda. Despite new packaging and marketing, not too much has changed over the decades.

I pulled out my 16 ounce bottle of Faygo, (obtained from the holy shopping mecca of Jungle Jims) and had high hopes that this longtime brand would offer me some nostalgic good taste. Fate, apparently had other plans for my taste buds this night.

In the halcyon days of my youth I lived in a number of places and Quonset Point, Rhode Island was one of them. As a military family we bought what the local stores offered but more often than not we shopped at the base commissary and were stuck with whatever the DoD decided was fine for us. While there was never a shortage of Coke, Pepsi or 7-Up products we did get two other brands. Shasta and Faygo. Now Shasta, (which I have not seen in years!) had a Root Beer that we liked, so we often bought their products. Faygo was another story and now I can see why.

After pouring this Root Beer Soda into my trusty, iced mug I was presented with my first concern, the head...or lack thereof. The head on this drink disappeared almost as fast as it formed. This was my first clue that this was a Soda and not a Root Beer. The aroma had some vanilla qualities and a Draft Root Beer scent that wasn't unpleasant, so I plunged into the tasting. The carbonation was biting but there was nothing for it to enhance. The flavour could best be described as Root Beer-ish, it's nothing to get excited about. This is a Root Beer Flavoured Soda , not a Root Beer. There was no mouth feel at all here, none of the qualities one normally associates with a true Root Beer. There's also an unpleasant aftertaste from their extract and the High Fructose Corn Syrup. It's a dry, almost metallic sort of taste, not a good thing.

At least Faygo labels this product correctly. It is a Root Beer Soda and not a Root Beer.

Carbonated Water
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Caramel Color
Potassium Benzoate
Citric Acid
Natural and Artificial Flavour
Gum Acacia

Carbonation: Soda style carbonation. Fast and biting.
Mouth Feel: None to speak of. It has the consistency of bubbly water.
Root Beer Flavour: Root Beer-ish, but not great. There's nothing here to write home about.
Head: Nonexistent. What there is dissipates almost as fast as it forms.
Aftertaste: Unpleasant. A dry, almost metallic taste that I have noticed in some drinks with HFCS and lower quality Root Beer extracts.
Aroma: A Draft Style aroma with vanilla.
Overall Taste: Not that great. As my wife is wont to say, "Mass produced swill". This is a Soda masquerading as a Root Beer and doing a poor job of it.

Faygo Root Beer Soda gets a 2/10 or big fat F.

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