If you haven’t heard of Frostie, I completely understand. Around here, it’s known for being a traditional root beer with a long history. Right on the cap, instead of some type of marketing tagline, you’ll find Since 1939. That should say enough, apparently. In any case, I haven’t had Frostie in a very long time—to the point that I can’t even remember how it tastes. I’m hoping it really surprises me, and brings me back down memory lane.
Since 1939: Frostie Isn’t Messing Around
Frostie looks pretty traditional, although I have to give them credit for the attractive and modernized label. Instead of paper, we’ve got a plastic sticker complete with a full color design. On top of that, the logo and branding looks positively fifties, for lack of a better term. Despite the label, the bottle itself is stamped with the Frostie name.
Frostie was, as the label suggests, originally created in 1939 by The Frostie Beverage Company in Maryland. In 1979 and 2000 it switched hands again, and eventually, in 2009, landed in Michigan under the Intrastate Distributors, Inc. brand; primarily known for their Towne Club line of drinks. Frostie offers a huge line of drinks in a variety of flavors.
- Carbonated Water
- Pure Cane Sugar
- Caramel Color
- Sodium Benzoate (A Preservative)
- Citric Acid
- Natural and Artificial Flavors
Well, it seems inescapable these days when it comes to what exactly is packed in these bottles for flavoring. At some point I’m going to become numb to the whole thing. Sigh. I’m glad to see sugar, at least. In terms of flavor, nothing I know beats it.
Frostie appears light on flavor, strong on carbonation, yet retains that traditional root beer essence that I expected to encounter. There’s very little bitterness and it’s quite sweet. I will say that it is hard to gauge the flow of this brew. The hard carbonation makes it difficult to enjoy, and as a result, I would say that the experience isn’t as smooth as it could be. When it comes to the mild flavor, I’m a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, Frostie doesn’t taste bad, but it’s also not memorable. On the whole, Frostie is reminiscent of Polar when it comes to traditional root beer flavor, but I’d have to say that Polar is a much better alternative.
After a little while, and after getting acquainted with Frostie, it becomes clear to me that the flavor isn’t as mild as originally thought. Over time, you definitely notice the hints of mint that become apparent. However, I’ve found that, over time, the problem with Frostie isn’t the flavor, but how much impact it makes. This brew is not nearly as powerful as it could be, especially in comparison to other root beers I’ve reviewed. Furthermore, there is a distinct stickiness present, and that’s just straight up disappointing. I prefer when a brew doesn’t stick around past its welcome, even after I swish it away with some water. The aftertaste isn’t necessarily poor, but that’s clearly where the bitterness of this brew takes form. Without paying a tremendous amount of attention to this brew, it’s just bland.
One of the unfortunate parts of a biased review, is that as this site grows, the test of success becomes harsher. For Frostie, this is definitely true. If this were my first brew, I’d say it’s a clear 3/5 on success, but right now, it just doesn’t make that cut. It’s sickly sweet, sticky, and overstays its welcome. It has decent flavor, after you become accustomed to it, but the ruthless carbonation can be painful at times. It’s not horrible by any means, but it’s not the most pleasant thing I’ve tried either. When I think of Virgil’s, Polar, or even Natural Brew, I know there’s better alternatives available.
Rating: ♛♛♕♕♕ – 2/5
The Frostie labels have changed because people got the stupid impression this is a seasonal Christmas item. It has been reduced to a less attractive label with an older style lettering and an older version of the Frostie Elf. I much preferred the peppy label but again, stupidity rules.
Thanks for the comment, but I’m not sure that stupidity is the cause here. My opinion is that it’s better to give people the benefit of the doubt. I do agree that I prefer the older label, but I never attributed it to Christmas. More of a holiday favorite though. I imagine that it’s a marketing choice to try and appeal to a wider audience who might want to drink Frostie during the summer months instead, but subconsciously think that it’s a winter treat.