I don't review a lot of soft drinks on this blog, though if you are interested in a critical evaluation of an American classic from the wine lover's perspective, I highly recommend Fredric's series on root beer. I'm going to admit to drinking diet sodas when I need a hit of caffeine or something--no health issues, but The Roommate is a Diet Coke fiend and I've gotten used to it over the years. When I do go for the full sugar verions, I tend to prefer those made with cane sugar or agave syrup and all natural ingredients. And thankfully the products from Reeds, Inc. fall into that category. (I highly recommend their Extra Ginger Brew.)
Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer is a butterscotch-flavored cream soda, made with heavy winks and nods to the Harry Potter franchise without violating trademarks. In the books, the young wizards drank butterbeer at The Leaky Cauldron. I'd always assumed it to be some sort of cross between a small beer and hot buttered rum, something mildly alcoholic and consumed by British teenagers. But the official word is that it's a non-alcoholic soda, and the licensed version is sold at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando, Florida.
The text on the side of the bottle reads:
Since 1374, the Flying Cauldron has been making this magical brew for under aged wizards or wizards who are young at heart at their brew pub in Hogsbreath, England. The recipe has changed little over the cenuries. It has the perfect combination of spells and quality natural ingredients. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to create our Giggle Potion.
It's cute, and I'm looking forward to giving the extra bottles to my niece at Thanksgiving. I haven't tried "Giggle Potion", but the soda definitely delivers on the butterscotch, both in aroma and flavor. Imagine drinking a cream soda and sucking on a Werther's Original at the same time. It's too sweet for my personal tastes, but I think 10 year old me would have gone crazy over the stuff. And the fact that it's all natural is a nice touch.
For testing purposes I did add just a bit of rum to a second glass. I wouldn't really recommend it--throws the balance off and just tastes odd. So unlike the ginger beer I can't really suggest this as a cocktail ingredient, but that's not what it was made for in the first place. You can order the butterscotch beer online, and it might be a fun addition to a Christmas gathering or party for small children.
Note: This soda was received as a sample. Hogwarts coat of arms courtesy of Wikipedia image and Creative Commons License.