Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Soft Core Root Beer

This past weekend the family and I decided to go out for Sunday dinner and the destination of choice this weekend was a bit farther away than usual. We took a road trip to West Lafayette, Indiana to visit the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. Not only is it an old fashioned neighbourhood establishment, it is the only Triple XXX Root Beer stand I have ever seen. Sitting beside the campus of Purdue University it is a unique diner, to say the least and harkens back to a different era in Root Beer and Road Food.

My wife and I both had the Bert Burger, (1/4 pound of ground sirloin, topped with bacon, lettuce and tomato) with onion rings on the side. Even tho they were out of mayo and had only Miracle Whip (something we refuse to eat on our sandwiches) these burgers stood the test well! They were worth the 120 mile round trip! The bacon was tasty, the bun was soft, lettuce crisp and onion rings were just right. Maaan....I'm getting hungry just thinking about this burger. The diner fare at Triple XXX is something you rarely see or experience any more. It was an old fashioned burger experience worth the money!

Now...for the Root Beer, since that's what I really went there for, as if you didn't know! It was served up to me and the kids, (momma doesn't do Root Beer) in frosty mugs and made a nice head as it was poured by our waitress. The bubbly elixir has a nice, easily identifiable old fashioned draft scent that is a pleasure to smell. The taste? That too is a pleasure. It has the soft carbonation that you expect from a draft Root Beer and there are hints of anise or licorice in the background. The aftertaste is just sweetness with some lingering draft elements. It is fairly obvious from the taste, (and the label of the 4 bottles of Triple XXX I purchased, too) that this brew is sweetened with HFCS. While Triple XXX would be vastly improved by using sugar it is not a loser because of its lack. I was immediately reminded of Henry Weinhard's when I first tasted this Root Beer and even more so when I opened a cold bottle on the trip home. I'd love to see Triple XXX embrace an all sugar sweetening path for their brew, but I am not going to turn one of these down because they use HFCS with, or instead of sugar. Triple XXX is a tasty Root Beer!

Carbonated Water
Sugar and/or High Fructose Corn Sweetner (yep, that's how it's spelled on the label)
Caramel Color
Sodium Benzoate
Citric Acid
Natural and Artificial Flavorings

Aroma: Old style Draft.
Head: Nice, likely to be gone by the time it reaches you if you have multiple orders like I did.
Carbonation: Soft as you'd expect with a Draft, but there's enough to add a hint of bite.
Root Beer Flavour: Old fashioned Draft flavour with hints of anise or licorice and a sugary caramel tone.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, just the way a Root Beer should be!
Sweetness: Triple XXX is just right in the sweetness department with their Draft brew. It has a sugared taste, so I will go out on a limb and say that there is likely a mix of HFCS and sugar in the Draft version. It is not as noticeable in the bottled version.
Aftertaste: Just a nice aftertaste of sweetness and Root Beer flavouring. Nothing cloying about it.
Overall: Triple XXX from the tap is great and a super compliment to the diner food they serve. It was worth the trip and worth the price of a few extra bottles. I am glad I went there and look forward to going back at some point!

Triple XXX Root Beer gets an 6.5/10 or a B!

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1 comment:

Mike Kole said...

Michael- The Triple XXX is also my favorite breakfast spot when on the road campaigning in the Lafayette area, or at Purdue for an event.

And yes- I've had a root beer with breakfast!