Sunday, November 7, 2010

Soda Review: Boylan Root Beer

     Boylan Bottling Company is a soda bottling company that has been around since 1891, being one of the older bottling companies still in existence today. I bought this bottle locally at Busch's for $1.29, very widely available in general you can get it online from Amazon. They also have many flavors other than Root Beer that I will hopefully be reviewing sometime. They take a lot of pride in their soda, sporting slogans like this:

They seem to be very serious about all this indeed. More importantly, they trash on the more Faygo brand of sodas that have plastic bottling and lots of High Fructose Corn Syrup. I think I'm in for an interesting one this time around.

    The bottling is just so darned good. Look at the shape, it's so simple and elegant. A nice curve to the stem that just pleases the eye. The overall design is just so crisp and simple. A big circle with their name around it to just say "This is our root beer. We don't mess around with all that fluff, just drink it and love it." The cap is weirdly huge and wraps around quite a bit more than a normal cap but that's because it's resealable! How nice is that! There is a belief that to cut down on the calories and sugar intake of soda you should just have half of one, then the rest later on. I try to do this with Faygo since the sugar levels are so high and it's nice to see that it's a possibility even in a glass bottle. Speaking of the bottle, that thing is freaking thick.
2 quarters thick, that is.
They say that the thickness and dark color helps to preserve freshness because then no sunlight gets in. I know that for Beers that is a big deal, so why not for Root Beers?

     As far as the ingredients go you can see from the top image that they sport real cane sugar. The full ingredients list is nice and short, which it should be for a soda and it does indeed deliver on the Cane Sugar.
Only 7 ingredients and one of them is Cane Sugar

    When I first opened it up it made a lovely little "ssss" sound, not a pop at all due to the design of the cap. You can only really slowly release it, not blast it off all at once. The smell is just exactly like a Root Beer you have had many times before and it really reminded me strongly of being a kid and opening up a Barq's Root Beer which to me was clearly superior to A&W. I would even go a few days without Barq's so that I would forget what it tasted like then when I had it again it would be so damn good. I think that smell should give some memories to just about anyone who had a childhood with soda in it or Root Beer Floats.

    First sip and it's smooooooth like you wouldn't believe. The carbonation is such an after thought, I love it. It's like the bubbles stick to the soda so well that you don't even barely feel them be in there but then you get all the nice side effects like good burps. On the topic, I seriously had one of the best burps from drinking this than I have had in months. It was a good, long burp that reminded me of the flavor and smell of the root beer and it wasn't one of those gross ones that gets forced out, it was just a release. So nice.

    After getting to know the flavor a bit more I can say that it's just a pure root beer. Like if you put basically no sugar in a root beer this is more what you would get. The flavor is just very there, it's not masked by lots of sweetness, you just get to bask in the Root Beer flavor and enjoy it fully. The bottle continues to come into play here. It is so thick that the hole for drinking is small so you have to go slow, which is a very good thing. One thing that really confused me however was the distinct lack of froth.

You can see that it's basically just a small ring on the top, almost nothing. For a solid root beer like this I would have expected a solid inch of froth floating joyfully on the top of the liquid, but nope. I like froth in my Root Beer, quite a lot actually but for this I don't know. It was such a solid soda that having too much bubbles on the top may have taken away. I really wish it did at least have some though. Not a huge deal, just disappointing.

      This soda really just makes me happy. It's such a no non-sense soda. It just has a nice, delightful Root Beer flavor and it just hands it to you. The Vanilla Cream Soda from the other day was a total party soda. Like you would have it in Solo cups but Boylan Root Beer is a really authentic soda. I want to point out the logo again. You can see that it's just 3 colors: yellow, white and black. That is totally what this soda is, it doesn't mess around with zany in-your-face logos and flavors. It just presents itself and lets you judge.

     Overall, this is definitely the best Root Beer I have personally ever had. It's not overly sweet and it's extremely root beery. I just loved basically everything about it, I would drink this forever if I could. Spike from gave Boylan a B. You can check out his review on this page. I noticed that he said that it was the foamiest Root Beer he has ever had. I find that interesting since I found almost the complete opposite. I'll definitely check out some of his "A" sodas like the Henry Weinhard Root Beer sometime and see how much I agree with him.

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