Friday, June 12, 2009

Maine Root Sarsaparilla

I get those stupid plastic pillows
from Amazon and keep them to reuse, but they suck to
store as they are just little balloons which take up
a lot of space en masse. Keep forever, though.

Maine Root Sarsaparilla
Maine Root Sarsaparilla smells like a mixture of lake water and SweetTarts, being from Missouri I like this. Really. It smells like a good summer's day spent menacing fish from the safety of a flat bottomed boat. Taste-wise it ain't so hot, though.

It has a great aftertaste, a bit like minty discount toothpaste. The initial flavor though, ugh. Somewhere between freezer burned vanilla ice cream and cardboard. You only get a flash of sarsaparilla about two seconds into a taste, then it yanks off it's Halloween mask revealing itself as root beer.

Yeah, this is a pretty bad flavor right out of the gate. Too foamy, too, right when it's opened but much better after it sits for about fifteen minutes. The foaminess early on covers some of the nastiness, but it really is better flatter.

Maine Root is puzzling in the big picture. It's part of a wave of designer soft drinks waving the flag of environmentalism and responsible social activism, which rocks. These are great things. What baffles me is that I bought this at Duane Reade in a fancy 4-pack. Why are these hoity toity drinks being carried by a big pharmacy chain? Is this part of the movement that put fancy coffee and fresh made sandwiches in 7-11s? It's puzzling.

The thing is that I don't trust it. Maine Root sells itself like it's a small label, but it must have a pretty significant factory output to fill all the Duane Reade's and everything else in the world. It says right on the label that it's a handcrafted beverage, but how? It's that sort of fake down-homeiness that puts my guard up.

I mean, yeah, it's awesome that it has certified organic fairtrade sweeteners and spices. That's hard to beat, but it feels... disingenuous. And it doesn't taste good, which is a bummer.

By the way, I used to work in Maine during the summers and have no idea how this relates to Maine at all. It doesn't taste a bit like the state.

I dub thee, Sir Buck the Cat, defender of the true faith
and upholder of my right to look at internet
pornography when my wife isn't around.


  1. It seems like you have some questions about my company, call me up, I'll be glad to set you straight about anything baffling or that you might think is disingenuous about Maine Root. Mark Seiler President Maine Root 512-517-3158 Cell

  2. Ach. I feel like a bulbous white grub caught in the light when the rock is yanked out of the mud. I doubt, sir, that I would be able to nerve myself up to speak to you on the phone after writing such a lousy review about your drink. And a negative review, at that.

    Rather, could I ask you questions here in this "post a comment" section? I think I might initially ask:

    1. What is this puzzling tie between your company and Duane Reede? For anyone who doesn't know, Duane Reede is a big pharmacy chain on the East Coast. Or maybe just in NYC.

    I suppose I'm not so much looking for a connection, as I'm more wondering about Duane Reede selling a selection of designer/healthy sodas.

    2. What exactly does "handcrafted" mean when it comes to soft drinks? I can't help but imagine a guy standing over a giant vat, stirring it with a ten foot wooden spoon. Maybe the better question is: Am I imagining a regular sized man and a huge vat, or is it a tiny man standing over a regular sized vat?

    But seriously, what does "handcrafted" mean?

    3. And I don't mean to be dickish, but the sarsaparilla I had tasted a bit bad, as per the review. Your blueberry soda is really good, my wife loves it. Using natural and fairtrade ingredients, do you have much variance in the quality of different batches?

    4. Is the four pack format something you folks chose on your own, or were you pressured into it by distributors or fancy-soda-convention?

    It would be awesome to hear back on this stuff, I'm awfully curious.

    Tim H

  3. Hell no!, I'm too busy being a... Wait a minute. Why did you capitalize "Pansy"?

  4. It relates to maine because the company was started in maine.