Archive for the ‘Herbed/Spiced Beer’ Category

This was the beer that Val got in NYC before we saw “Waitress.” Let’s see how it was.

forbiddenrootbeer

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In times long past, Root Beer was something far Nobler. It was more compelling than todays’ faint shadow, brewed like real beer, using roots and herbs wrested from the earth. Forbidden Root returns to that lost era. Malt and a pinch of hops are topped by a generous dollop of botanic ingredients which includes: wintergreen, vanilla, cassia cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, clove, star anise, tarragon, basil, capsicum, patchouli, sandalwood, balsam of Peru, licorice root, yerba santa, cocoa, molasses and finally aged with oak to round off the flavor. As a result, the rich complexity and a long clean taste tells you this is not a soda, but traditional brew that is a delicious window into another age. Forbidden Root is splendid with full-flavored or spicy foods from Yankee pot roast to Kansas City-style ribs to California tri-tip on the grill.”

Random: I didn’t realize how blurry the picture was. Oops.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left light lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was incredibly herbal. It had wintergreen, vanilla and sassafras with fennel seeds and licorice. The taste was also very herbal. It had vanilla, sassafras, pepper, ginger and wintergreen. Cinnamon was strong as well. Licorice was present and off-putting to me. It had a light body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and filled with the same herbs in the taste. I wanted to like this beer because it was very unique, especially given the prevalence of alco-pops, but the herbal notes were too much for me and I couldn’t even finish the beer.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

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If you follow this blog at all, you know Val likes fruit beers and ginger beers. She picked this one out and let me give it a review. It’s also the first beer I’ve ever had from the brewery.

penngingerbeer

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Real grated ginger root gives this beer a subtle aroma and just a gentle kick of ginger flavor that makes it lightly refreshing yet pleasantly spicy. A great warm-weather session brew.”

Random: I used to always have ginger ale on planes when I traveled, but I started to switch to tomato juice. One time, instead of regular tomato juice, I got Bloody Mary mix. It wasn’t my favorite.

This beer poured with a finger and a half of pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had some ginger in it. What was striking about it was that it was definitely real ginger. There was lightly toasted malt as well. The taste was just as filled with real ginger. It didn’t have anything else. I searched for any other flavors, like hop or malt, but it was all ginger. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a quick ginger finish. We picked this up for $1.54 a bottle ($.13 per ounce). I wasn’t a big fan of this, but Val had no problem finishing this one off. I wouldn’t rush back to this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Abita is one of the breweries I always look at fondly, since I went to their beers when I got into craft beer. Their labels have gone through a whole redesign and their labels have a certain masculine feel to them now. I like them slightly better than their old labels. They also offer an alcoholic root beer, since they are all the rage now.

bayoubootlegger

ABV: 5.9%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Gluten-free and sweetened with pure Louisiana cane sugar, this handcrafted hard root beer delivers aromas of wintergreen, vanilla and sassafras with hints of clove and anise. Enjoy its smooth and satisfyingly sweet flavor as your go-to thirst quencher.”

Random: I wonder how long this hard root beer trend is going to last.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and brown with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with wintergreen, which was way too aggressive for my taste and bordered on medicinal. It had some vanilla as well, but the wintergreen note dominated. The taste had the normal root beer notes of sassafras and vanilla, but again, the wintergreen was syrupy and medicinal. It took away from the other flavors. The body was on the thicker side, but nothing that took away from the beer. It had high carbonation. The finish was quick and minty with vanilla. A bottle of this was $1.91, which broke down to $.16 per ounce. I’m not a huge fan of alcoholic sodas and this one was one of the worst that I’ve had. I wouldn’t bother trying this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

As I get older, I enjoy spicy foods more. When I was a kid, I hated anything spicy. Now, I order things extra spicy most of the time and it’s a crisis in the house if we run out of hot sauce. When I saw Val picked this beer up for me, I thought it was right in my wheelhouse.

scovillejalapenoipa

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An artisanal style IPA combining mildly bitter hops, garden fresh jalapeño peppers and cilantro. With a moderate malt profile, this culinary concoction offers both an easy drinking IPA and a bowl full of jalapeños without the burn of bittering one might expect. Never would Scoville have imagined such a fitting match for the world’s perfect pepper.”

Random: I love fresh jalapenos from the garden.

I poured this beer and got a one finger, slightly off white head. It dissipated quickly and left limited lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with light carbonation. The nose had slight pepper spice and grassy hops. I couldn’t pick up much else. The taste had way more malt than I expected and a weird rusty taste up front. Once I got through that, I picked up jalapeno spice at the end that hit me right in the back of the throat. It was more like a fresh jalapeno note as opposed to a pickled one. The booze was hidden but the metallic and rusty taste was so off putting that I had trouble drinking this at times. The body was on the medium side with light carbonation. It had a quick finish with jalapeno flesh and ribs and metal. A can of this was $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. I was so excited to give this beer a try, but I think it needs some refining.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Tonight’s selection is another one that Val picked out. I do find the verbiage of their internet ad campaign very similar to another hard root beer that seems to be very popular.

sprecherhardrootbeer

ABV: 5%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “NOT YOUR GRANDADDY’S ROOT BEER. OR IS IT? An adult version of our famous Root Beer with a kick, sure to please the bootlegger in you!”

Random: This is available year-round, which isn’t surprising given the popularity of hard sodas these days.

This beer poured with a quarter of a finger of khaki colored head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose had vanilla, woodiness and sassafras. The booze was apparent on the nose, despite the low ABV. There was a green, medicinal note that was bordering on spearmint. The taste was like drinking root beer mixed with booze and chalky antacid. The vanilla note was there too, but it was artificial. The mint note didn’t come through as much in the taste, but it was most likely because the chalky note was prevalent. The body was on the lighter side with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with white chalk and sassafras. A bottle of this was $1.21 ($.10 per ounce). I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. I’m not a huge fan of hard root beers, but if you’re into that, give this a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

I saw this in the single cooler at Hopewell Buy Rite and picked it up for Val. She wanted to crack it open, so I obliged and gave it a shot. I didn’t have high hopes for this beverage and…well, you can see what I thought of it.

bestdamncherrycola

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Cherry Cola mission is ‘Put a Cherry on Top Tap.’ Refreshing BEST DAMN Cherry Cola combines caramel and cola notes with a delicious cherry taste. Aged on whole cherries after brewing, the result is a flavorful take on the timeless taste of Cherry Cola. Cheers!”

Random: One of my favorite sodas is cherry cola. I highly doubt that I will find a mass-produced alcoholic version that I enjoy.

This “soda” poured with no head on top of a dark brown body. Although it was dark, I could still pick up a lot of carbonation in it. The nose had artificial cherry syrup and cola notes. But, it reminded me of cheap cola and not a typical name brand. There wasn’t anything else to it. The taste was what you would have expected from this product. It had a lot of artificial cherry that overwhelmed the cola notes. There was a cola note, but again, it had an artificial sweetener to it that was completely off-putting. The body was on the thick and syrupy side with significant carbonation. The finish was quick, which I appreciated. The bottle was $1.83 ($.15 per ounce). Despite the affordable price, I won’t be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Tonight’s beer is the latest selection from the hard root beer family. This one is made by AB, so I don’t have high hopes for it.

bestdamnrootbeer

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We called our Root Beer mission ‘Throw back a throwback.’ Our delicious, easy-drinking BEST DAMN Root Beer is aged on real vanilla beans during the brewing process for a full-flavored, well-balanced take on one of our favorite classic tastes.”

Random: I loved Stewart’s Root Beer as a kid. It was my favorite soda.

The beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown with lots of carbonation visible. The nose smelled just like root beer. It had the molasses sweetness along with vanilla. Unlike some of the other hard root beers that I’ve tried, it didn’t have a booze note to it. The taste reminded me of root beer barrel candies that I used to get at Halloween. It had candy sweetness as well. My biggest issue with the beer was that it tasted artificial. There was also vanilla present. The body was on the thicker side with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with root beer candy. A can of this was $2.25, which came to $.14 per ounce. I wasn’t a big fan of this one. The artificial taste was overwhelming for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0