Friday, October 16, 2015

Hard Root Beer Review - Blackmaker

There I was, in my local Belmonts Beverage, looking to pick up a bottle of something my wife needed for a recipe: Grand Marnier.

On cell phone: "Hey, this stuff is like thirty bucks for a bottle. How much do you need for the recipe? Two tablespoons? How 'bout we use some triplesec instead?"

On the way out I saw a display of these nice rounded bottles filled with a black liquid. Blackmaker Rootbeer Liqueur, or so it claimed to be. Seventy proof, ten bucks for a 750 ML bottle and its made with real spices. I'm a sucker for trying out new liquids (hence my tendency to pick up cans of unknown origin at Big Lots), plus I didn't want to leave without buying something and have the employees think I was shoplifting, so I took a bottle home. After paying for it, of course.

WHAMMO! While most of the stuff sold as "root beer" is meant for mixing so as to cover up a flavor born in a laboratory, this stuff is the real deal! Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, sweet birch, anise and wintergreen all combine to make a drink of depth and complexity such that all you need is a little ice and water ('cause it's bloomin' seventy proof!) to enjoy. It has no carbonation 'cause it doesn't need any. It's so good I would drink the stuff sans alcohol.

Blackmaker is the real deal. It's the root beer beverage by which all others will be judged, although unfortunately it is no longer available at Belmonts. From what folklore I can gather, Belmonts picked up a bunch of cases of this stuff as it was being discontinued at the distillery and sold it for ten bucks instead of it's usual $25 or $30. 'Tis a shame but I was able to snag another bottle before it disappeared from this world forever.

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