Hailing from the humid hills of Missouri, this is a root beer brought to us from Ozark Mountain Bottleworks. I had never heard of this bottler before, but the green label caught my eye while I was browsing the local Rocket Fizz shop on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Ozark Mountain Bottleworks is a small family run operation with several varieties of soda mostly available in the Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Illinois areas.
I love small shops like this. There’s usually a bit of character to the recipes and the packaging…something memorable. This root beer ended up shared with some coworkers who all came back with slightly different reviews.
As for me, I thought it was a solid caramel forward root beer. They use pure cane sugar, and it’s obvious from how it sits in your mouth. They must really melt down that sugar with the sarsaparilla flavoring because it tastes a lot like those root beer barrel candies you find at diner counters. It was on the sweet side, wasn’t overly sharp, but had a definite root presence. This is most likely sarsaparilla root, or extract, but there could be other ingredients contributing like licorice root or wintergreen. However, I didn’t taste much mint.
I had one coworker who thought the flavor left your palate a little too quickly. Someone else thought it needed more vanilla. Overall, people were satisfied with it but not blown away. I’ll give it a 7.5 out of 10 which in my book means it’s not going to cure cancer but is a step above most canned brews. I would happily drink this again. On another day it might be an 8.
I noticed on their website that they carry several fruit flavors that look very promising. We’ll have to see if they can make their way into the rotation for review.
Purchased at Rocket Fizz in Seattle, WA. Sampled on 8/23/2016