It’s a chilly day outside here in Texas with a high of 59. I’d be interested to see how many of our readers are scoffing at me right now. Scoff all you like as a chilly day brings out my taste for root beer. So if I didn’t think it was chilly you probably wouldn’t be getting a review right now… about root beer. Ah well. Today’s bottle on the chopping block is Capone Family Secret Root Beer. For those of you not in the know, Al Capone was a gangster during prohibition that did a host of illegal things one of which was running booze. The story I’m going to give to Capone Family Secret Root Beer is this. Of course Al Capone needed to smuggle his booze in a container of some sort and before he got smart about it he just put them in root beer bottles instead. Yes, I know that’s the equivalent of putting them in a bottle labeled “Not Beer I Swear”, but it’s the story I’m going with.
Wait… I just found that the bottle has a story as well. Let’s compare shall we?
“During the 1920’s Capone’s warehouses were raided by the police 137 time, eager to seize their inventory of illegal alcohol. There were only a few items found on every single raid and it was not alcohol. It was cases of the “Capone Family Secret” Soda. After 80+ years the “Secret” Soda was finally made public, so families can enjoy great sodas, while experiencing a piece of history.”
So there you have it, a more complete tale to go with the soda at hand. Apparently these are the ingredients of the “Secret” Soda: Carbonated Water, Sugar Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavor, and Citric Acid. That sounds like something that would be in a 20’s soda to me… I’m sold. I was wavering at Sugar, but once I saw that Sodium Benzoate was in there I knew this was a legit Capone family recipe. Kidding aside, I’ve written way to much without drinking anything. Onward!
This smells to be a rather rooty root beer. A stronger than usual licorice scent smacked me the nostrils only to be followed up by what seems to be a rather noticeable vanilla aroma as well. Well I’m leaning back towards impressed now that I’ve gotten a whiff. Drinking time!
That is some of the most carbonated root beer I’ve ever tasted. It attacked my mouth with a flurry of tiny bubbles all trying to break the legs of my taste buds. With that said the high amount of carbonation creates a very foamy head that gives Capone Family Secret Root Beer a light and airy feel the likes of which I have never experienced before. I’ll be interested to see if this particular mouth feel lasts the entire bottle. Now the flavor is quite unique as well. Even though some of Capone’s ingredients are a little suspect the taste is wonderful. There’s an immediate burst of vanilla that lingers though each sip to the last possible moment. As the vanilla taste begins its transformation into memory a familiar root beer flavor takes over. Immediately my mind goes to Al Capone sending two of his guys out to take care of some “business”. Sure he could have just sent Vinny Vanilla out to do the job, but he told Roddy Root to go with him and make sure it got done right. The result is my tongue experiencing a one, two punch of vanilla and root beer that makes me wish it had ticked off the Capone family even more. Now that I’m done with the bottle I can tell you that the foamy light mouth feel does decrease some, but lasts long enough that I can safely say it’s one of the most unique root beer sensations I’ve ever had. The differences in mouth feel and flavor make it almost seem like I’m drinking two completely different delicious root beers and for that the Capone Family should be rewarded.
Verdict – Buy a Pallet
Faux Fact: Al Capone's pet of choice was an iguana named Twist. Coincidence?