What’s a pirate’s favorite beverage? Arrr, root beer.
(Galco’s, April 2012)
From what I can tell, Jack Black’s Dead Red Root Beer has nothing to do with Jack Black the actor. Unfortunately, that means we will not be invited to join him in his quarters later this night for some root beer, or toast, or what have you. It does appear, however, that Jack Black’s Dead Red Root Beer has everything to do Real Soda in Real Bottles – as in not just bottled by them, but actually made by them. And since that’s really all the information/history I can offer today, we’ll just get right to the root beer…
The freshly opened bottle smells slightly of an oriental herbalist’s shop, which could mean any number of ingredients goes into this brew. However, tasting the beverage doesn’t shed much light on the matter, since it doesn’t really taste much like any of our typical root beer ingredients. It does have a slightly medicinal aftertaste that settles into bitterness on the back of the tongue, which really isn’t all that pleasant. Were I to stretch for an equivalent flavor, I would say it tastes like grass jelly – this could indicate something in the wintergreen family is the primary flavoring agent, since grass jelly is derived from a mint-like plant. One way or the other, there’s something plant-based in the flavor, even though I can’t quite put a finger on it.
One interesting note – there is both caffeine and guarana (which is basically just another natural form of caffeine) listed in the ingredients, so the producers seem to be aiming to create quite the buzz for anyone drinking this. I can’t say whether it affects the flavor at all, but I do appear to be typing faster than normal, so maybe that says something… Aside from that, the only other thing I can say is that it has a medium-hard carbonation that can foam up considerable in the mouth, though there’s little head in the glass.
As much as I like Real Soda in Real Bottles, it seems that my favorite soda stores are consistently batting pretty low when it comes to creating their own root beers. Granted, root beer is probably one of the most subjectively defined sodas out there, so it’s hard to say who’s wrong, them or me. So I’ll always appreciate Galco’s and Rocket Fizz even though I’m not a fan of White Rose Root Beer or Rocket Fizz Root Beer Float, and likewise I will forever remain a big fan of Real Sodas, their dedication to the carbonated arts, and especially their people. However, I’ll probably pass on getting more Jack Black’s Dead Red Root Beer next time I’m in their outlet store – it gets a 2.