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Dang! That’s Good… Or Is It?

Dang! That's Good "The Original" Root Beer
Purchase Dang! That’s Good Root Beer at Amazon

In this most inaugural of postings, I’ll be taking on Dang! That’s Good Root Beer. I figured the best way to start this thing off would be to explore a brew that had that classic look. Now, I’m not a professional, but I am an amateur enthusiast who can appreciate a good root beer. I’d say my tastes are right down the line, I’m not too picky, but I’m not going to roll over for the first hint of sassafras or licorice. That means Dang! That’s Good has a pretty decent chance of satiating my thirst. Hell, with a name like this, how could I not be in for a real treat?

This is the Start of Something Great

Despite being relatively plain, with large swaths of brown, orange, and white coloring, Dang! That’s Good invokes the aesthetic of the 1960s, which is when their operation began. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this packaging is designed to summon in your mind that rustic feeling you get when you take that first sip of an ice cold root beer.

Background

Dang! That’s Good is actually a brand of drinks constructed by the Imperial Flavors Beverage Company, who began operation sometime in 1964. This product line of drinks contains at least four different flavors, with two diet varieties. We’re looking at “The Original” brand of root beer; no diet, please.

Ingredients

  • Carbonated Water
  • Sugar
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Caramel Color
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness)

I have to say that I appreciate a root beer that:

  • Doesn’t overload me with numerous chemical combinations to achieve flavor in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
  • Tells me what I expect to see, namely, the truth of what I plan to consume.
  • Is willing to stave off the temptation of  the high fructose syrup industry.

Unfortunately, I don’t like to read “Natural and Artificial Flavors.” I’m not looking for your secret recipe or to supplant your business, but I feel entitled to know what I’m consuming. “Natural and Artificial Flavors” is disrespectful. If you really need to hide what these flavors are, I’m already feeling unsteady about your product.

First Taste

On first taste, I’d have to say it’s nicely carbonated, and provides a light and airy texture. The taste is subtle, but certainly reminiscent of that essential, yet traditional root beer flavor. It’s sweet, but not sickly so. It’s certainly not too bitter, which makes it an enjoyable root beer. In a nod to its use of sugar, Dang! That’s Good has no syrupy texture, flavor, or aftertaste; and I like that, a lot. Speaking of, the aftertaste is not unwanted. It goes down smooth, and overall, Dang! That’s Good is a pleasant root beer. It does seem to be missing something though, a key ingredient or flavor that it desperately needs to take it to the next level. I’d certainly enjoy exploring that notion, but those pesky natural and artificial flavors are stonewalling my advances.

After Time

After about forty minutes, Dang! That’s Good loses almost all of its carbonation; and that’s not good. Despite this, it does not retain a heaviness to it, and retains that light and airy texture. After having time to appreciate the brew, it’s apparent that Dang! That’s Good doesn’t stick to your teeth, and is easily dispersed with a swish of water. Sugary drinks that know when to let go are definitely the right kind of company to have. Unfortunately, this root beer is really only good at first, and doesn’t retain quality over time.

Conclusion

I’m a little disappointed. I expected Dang! That’s Good to not only live up to its name, but become a standard that I could rely on. I don’t feel that I can. It’s traditional, and that’s something that should certainly be appreciated, but it’s a type of traditional that’s just far too boring. It’s nice a one-off. It’s sweet, but it’s lacking something essential to what I expect a root beer to be. That isn’t to say you won’t like it, but it’s not what I’m looking for long-term. I can’t get over the fact that it’s missing something to bring it to the next level. Remember to chill it and drink it within the first half-hour if you give it a go.

Rating: ♛♛♛♕♕ – 3/5

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