Tuesday, November 25, 2014

dougieDOG Butterscotch Root Beer

The Pooj puts his arms out front, leans side to side.
(The Milkman at Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver - June 2012)

There’s been a lot of conflicting information floating around the internet in the past few months in regards to the World’s Most Expensive Hot Dog. As early as April of 2012, dougieDOG of Vancouver, home of the $100 Dragon Dog, had claimed ownership of the Guinness World Record (source). Relatively recently, dougieDOG made claims of the same of official Guinness recognition again (source). However, according to even more recent news on the Guinness World Records website itself, someone else in Seattle now has claim to the title. Officially, I’m confused – this, of course, happens rather frequently regarding a wider array of subjects than cased meat, and probably means nothing in the long run except that it tangentially relates to root beer.

On the 2nd-and-a-half-ish anniversary of dougieDOG's supposed first (?) induction into the Guinness Book of World Records then (which is to say, not related in any way whatsoever...), we raise a commemorative bottle of root beer – dougieDOG Butterscotch Root Beer, to be exact. dougieDOG founder dougieluv (yes, that's really his name, and yes, that's really how he spells/capitalizes it) has a clear passion (ahem, ::luv::) for frankfurters, with the credentials to prove it.  After touring the US to make a documentary about regional hot dog styles, dougie used his research to open a restaurant in Vancouver to serve these US-regional dogs alongside styles of his own creation (of which the Dragon Dog is but one). In addition to allegedly holding the World Record above, dougieDOG also claims to hold the record for serving the largest variety of root beers in Vancouver (source). My own past experience with a supposedly-record-setting hot dog may have turned me off to participating in anything hot-dog-record-related again (I won't go into detail ... ever ...), but I can certainly get on board with anyone even attempting to make such a root beer claim.  And while I didn't actually procure this bottle at dougieluv's establishment (which is closed now according to Yelp, though several satellite locations and food trucks remain), I did get it in Vancouver, so at least it's from dougie's home district (Galco's has since started stocking it in the great brown south, FYI).

Perhaps dougieDOG Butterscotch Root Beer would have been better experienced in its natural habitat, whilst in a sausage-and-poutine-induced haze, because it’s not particularly noteworthy on its own. The scent from the bottle starts generically root beer-ish (similar to most middle-of-the-road root beers), but quickly veers towards butterscotch. From then on, it’s essentially the butterscotch’s show. It tastes more like butterscotch pudding and less like a butterscotch disk – with an actual scotch-like flavor – but doesn't really taste like root beer at all. Aside from that, there's not much to add except that the texture is on the thinner side, with a clean aftertaste.

Which isn't to say that there aren't a couple of positive notes: it has a nice amount of medium-sized bubbles (no foam though), and does in fact have a good butterscotch flavor. If you’re in the mood for a Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer but are not in the mood for the sugar shock that comes with the typical Flying Cauldron experience, dougieDog is the way to go. Just don’t go expecting root beer, that's all. That being the case then, dougieDOG Butterscotch Root Beer gets a 2.