Tuesday, October 9, 2007

RAT BASTARD root beer: Good Brew Gone to Waste

I first wish to acknowledge my negative expectations of this particular brew. If the name wasn't enough to turn my nose skyward the other antics located on the label certainly did the job. In fact the other reviews I have seen on this brew indicated that it was by far the worst of the worst, which in and of its self is something to note. In fact it was that reputation that prompted me to choose this brew from among the other many options when I was at Jungle Jim's. In many ways it seems that the brewers of Rat Bastard actually sought after that reputation, not a bad way to sell some brew.
The ingredients were just as appalling as the label. It was as if they went through a natural-food grocery store and grabbed the nastiest stuff they could find. I am not even sure if some of these ingredients are even considered food. Needless to say my hesitation was great, but then Jeff posted his review and my apprehension quickly turned to intrigue. I popped the top and began to experience an overwhelming feeling of incongruence.
This brew was expected to be completely nauseating, even the very initial aroma spritz was supposed to cause delirium, but in fact this was the exact opposite of my experience. This brew smelled good, I mean really good, like brew is supposed to. The pour resulted in a fair dark foam head, it didn't hang around as long as the standard but it wasn't far behind it either. My first taste of Rat Bastard was most delightful, rather than feeling sick to my stomach I actually felt warm and fuzzy. This stuff was dark, very dark, and carried a creamy, smooth, and well balanced flavor that clearly toted a root beer extract. I was amazed, how did these guys cram all those crazy ingredients into this brew and still pan out with a high quality product. In fact the taste of this brew is that of Virgil's quality but the bottle is certainly a liability in my book.
Had it been in a nice happy bottle with a sweet logo this brew would land right next to Virgil's in my book. However, their attempt to sell brew with outrageous means will cost them, at least here at the Rootbeer Brothers. I grant Rat Bastard 3.5 Frosty Mugs and although it is good I don't foresee me recommending it to my friends.
- Adam

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rat Bastard: If you are in for something different - drink it, but don't be a D#@$.

Rat Bastard is a unique brew - to say the least. It is created and marketed by the Skeleteens/Eat me Foods out of Los Angeles, CA. Currently their website is down, so I have no real information on the company. The only thing I can speculate on is who they market it to.

On the label it says:

"It's us against them"
"Quit being a D#@$ drink it"
"Antidote: 818.844._121"
"Ok, we admit it, we conned you into buying this" (inside cap)
I don't think you would find that type of lingo on too many of the main stream brews out there. However, this type of marketing appeals perfectly to the younger soda-deprived generation. The name and the label design targets the teen to mid-twenty's age groups. In a sense, their marketing campaign is brilliant. Another aspect of this company that targets this age group (and may be beneficial to the older age groups as well) is what the brew is made of. It is loaded with practically every ingredient imaginable (see the tags). With the explosion of the energy drink market, this brew could sit on the shelf next to the infamous Red Bull. It has 3 different types of Ginseng and whole bunch of other stuff I had to Wiki!! Let me break that down to you Viagra folks, if Viagra isn't working, Rat Bastard probably will and ease your mind in the process!

Because of this very, very unique "herbal blend" you get a brew that is unlike any other. When you open the bottle the aroma is very pleasing to the nose and actually surprised me because many of the other online reviews destroyed this brew. Once poured into a frosty mug, the brew displays a tall head which lasts a good while. The color when held up to the light is somewhat crimson - perhaps a dark, rich cranberry hue. Again, most surprisingly, I really enjoyed the taste - although I can't describe what I drank - Its not creamy and has a bite - a lot of bite.

My BIG Con: It doesn't tell you the amount of these substances in the "herbal blend" you are consuming. I am not a big fan of the "natural product" market and tend to trust the government over producers. I keep feeling that another radon (which is another "natural product"; along with ricin and cocaine) marketing scheme will be exposed and everyone will kick themselves for getting duped.

Until that occurs...drink up. I will not be investing in this brew again for that reason, but I will be very fair in my review. I DID ENJOY IT = 3.5 Frosty Mugs.

-Jeff
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Now playing: Coldplay - Swallowed In The Sea
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hank's Gourmet Philadelphia Recipe Root Beer: Find it. Drink it. LOVE it.

Ladies and Gentleman; Boys and Girls, I must apologize for not fulfilling my end of this adventure. I am sorry. As Adam mentioned, I have been off working on career endeavors for the last month. I was actually up in Rhode Island for a month and I had very limited internet access. Fortunately, I was able to fine tune my root beer palate because I had access to Hank's Root Beer on the weekends.

Look at that bottle! I have to completely agree with Adam at the magnificence of the packaging. Double embossed gold foil labels - if thats not "Gourmet", I don't know what is. If for some reason, the labels fall off, the bottle itself says "Hank's" on the neck. This brew I actually enjoy drinking straight from the bottle.

Not only does it look good, it tastes good. It is a fantastic brew. It is similar in taste to a Stewart's, but rolls on the tongue a bit creamier. I will also suggest that this is one of the darker brews you will come across as well. Almost looks like a Guinness in a mug instead of a root beer, except the head on the Hank's is not as frothy and disappears quite readily.

This ranks high in my book: 4.5 Frosty Mugs

Where do you find Hank's? Well, I found it on a military base. But, for those who do not have access to a base, they have an online store. I have also tried their orange cream and black cherry sodas, both of which I recommend. I would be glad to send out one to anyone as long as you are willing to send me a new brew in return (good or bad). Just drop me a line.

-Jeff