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07-02-2011, 12:01
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It is quite rare I’m tempted to pay full price for anything. Being one of life’s cheap skates, always on the lookout for a bargain, it can be quite painful to pay the full whack for anything. I did so on a recent trip to Tesco. Sure I got a bargain on the Beck’s Vier and even picked up some cheap Budvar Dark lager (3 for £4) & Tesco Belgian Kriek beer(£1 a pop) but bizarrely it was this little number that got me least by way of bang per book at £1.95 a bottle. Franks Alcoholic Root Beer (http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/articles.aspx?page=articles&ID=213957) 4%, by Kopparberg of Sweden.

I’ll let you decide whether this is an alcopop or an actual beer, I’m not fussed either way. Grog is grog. The label did seem to indicate some actual connection to beer by way of mentioning the ingredients as Barley malt, Hops, Yeast, Wintergreen Oil, Liquorice Root, Aniseed and Vanilla. The first few seem actual beer ingredients to me.

I am more familiar with root beer as a soft drink, and as soft drink I love it. It is uncommon in the UK but when I find it I enjoy it. The Spoons have it on as a soft drink in their pubs, Sainsbury’s occasionally stock 2 litre bottles of the pop, but root beer has never really taken off in the UK. The UK has its fair share of unusual soft drinks, so I’m guessing an overall lack of demand for a classic American pop.

The bottle seemed to indicate that this product is aimed firmly at the “over ice” category of large bottled drinks dominated by cider brands. Upon cracking it open the smell was entirely like a pop version with the fizz also more indicative of a can of pop. From smell and appearance alone you’d put this as an alcopop rather than a beer.

The taste had more layers and a natural texture than a typical soft root beer. The vanilla, liquorice & aniseed stand out at different points but the taste comes across as a posh pop with less of a cloying sweetness. Designed more for adult tastes and possibly that it is impossible to session a root beer or can of coke. It would be difficult to session this regardless of a reduced but not absent sweeteness. The taste of alcohol is wholly absent. You’d never guess from taste alone that you were drinking an alcoholic beverage. One the whole I liked it. But I like root beer. I suspect if you didn’t like root beer you’d find this to be a bizarre concoction. One to try again, but I’ll wait for a special offer before buying more.


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