08 July 2009

Gosling's Ginger Beer - Not Even Close

Goslings Ginger Beer versus Barritts Ginger Beer


Another kind of Storm


The Ex (Echo Xray?) told me years ago, "Just because you think it's right doesn't mean it is." Amen to that.

Taste is so subjective. So are Batik shirts and tri colored boat shoes. I found the new Goslings Ginger Beer in Newport last night and tried a 6 pack. And I thought Barritts was expensive. Goslings is $8 for 6. Barritts, when you can find it, is $6for 6. Goslings is made with high fructose corn syrup - - which is pretty cheap. Barritts is made with corn syrup. Which is cheap as well. Regatta is made with cane sugar which isn't cheap but I don't like Regatta in a Dark & Stormy.

Goslings GB has a distinct "dusty" taste on the front end as opposed to Barritts more round and sweet initial hit. And while the Gosling's GB has a wonderful spice about it - - that "dust" is always there. Is Goslings making this stuff in 40 year old foot lockers? I dunno. Maybe I got a bad batch. But the Gosling's GB (made by Polar Bev in Mass) did not make it in my book. That's not to say it will not make it in yours. OK, back to the pool.

26 comments:

The Khaki Crusader said...

Barritt's is pure heaven. I had a case shipped to me for a party and had a bunch left over. I have been drinking it for weeks now on its own. It's no ordinary 'soda.' It's quite complex.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Well, I can't find Barritts in Tokyo, and not for lack of trying. What I really like here is Wilkinson's Ginger Ale (the dark red label). Very hot and bitter, with a dash of sweetness. Not the typically sweet ginger ale.

MajTJKingKong said...

Barritts is good but the corn syrup and other artificial flavors, etc.. are a turn-off. Reeds uses sugar and has grown on me and is sold at Costco. Some find Reeds too sweet.

Fentimans is sublime and my favorite but I can only find it in England. Similarly, Bundaberg made a nice impression, is natural and is available in more US locations. Cock and Bull does not enough bite for me but lots of people love it, Barritts while similar has enough bite to overcome this issue.

My friends from areas farther south of the Mason Dixon line swear by Blenheims I was given a taste once and it was nice but I was not enough of a taste to determine a ranking relative to the others.

Find yourself some Fentimans or Bundaberg. They are memorable sodas.

Cheers,

Kong

Charles G. said...

On Memorial Day weekend an employee at a pretty big packy near my office told me that Goslings purchased Barritts and was putting the exact same product in a Goslings can.

I gave it a passing "Uh-huh" and bought the Barritts anyway.

Alice Olive said...

Totally unrelated to the post.... I absolutely love that shot of Another Kind of Storm. Wow. Did you take that? It's brilliant.

tintin said...

Thanks to all for the comments and Maj Kong for the Ginger Beer primer.

Charles G- Interesting rumor but I seriously doubt it.

Alice-Of course I took it. It's on Goat Island in Newport and just after I took the Lighthouse pix (lowered the ISO to 80) I saw this storm rolling in yesterday afternoon. Grabbed this while there was some sun cutting through the incoming clouds. Thank you.

TRAWETS NILTGEOV said...

It's Barritt's or nothing at all for this cowboy. Sure the corn syrup is a turnoff, but I deploy enough rum to "even things out."

Giving the nod to anything but Barritt's is akin to taking Heaven Hill over Old Overholt. No sir.

Anonymous said...

GREAT shots, Tintin! And the first one has a little Bert Stern in it...

Dang, I REALLY miss being around water.

-DB

tintin said...

Trawets- I mixed the Goslings GB to Barritts 50-50 and it ain't bad. Still, I'm with you on the Barritts.

DB - Bert Stern? You sure know how to flatter.

TRAWETS NILTGEOV said...

I'm a 60-40 Goslings to Barritt's and go up from there. By the time you queue up the Robert Mitchum calypso LP, it's lights out.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Barritt's there really is no other for a Dark n Stormy. I have to go through a liquor distributor to buy a case...odd. Can't be found in any retail outlet.

I first used Bundeberg and I have to say it's a damn good ginger beer for dark n stormys as well. It's also available in some retail spots.

Anonymous said...

As a sailor and occassional Bermuda visitor, I love my Dark n Stormy. Barritt's and Regatta are the only way to go. I have tried a half dozen others and they don't compare.

David said...

I picked up some Goslings GB Friday only because the store was out of Barritt's. I was very disappointed. I bought only three cans and still have two left over in my fridge. They will be for emergency use only.

andrea.at.the.blue.door said...

I haven't thought about Polar Beverages since I left the East Coast back in the last century. I always waved to the big Polar Bear when I drove by - the only thing that makes driving through Worcester bearable. (Really, the pun was not intended.)

If you really think the GB you bought was um, the GB equivalent of skunked, tell the Polar folks; they need to get that kind of feedback.

Peter said...

Regatta or nothing for Dark and Stormy. I like Barritts ok but the only version I've found here in NYC is the pineapple one. Reeds is fine on it's own but is just foul in D&S.

Erin said...

Barritt's wins for Dark n Stormy hands down. It's expensive to get, but you can order the pure cane sugar version that they sell in Bermuda through North American Beverages. The only beverage store in LA that I know of that sold Barritt's is now only selling Goslings because their rep told them Goslings bought it out too, but I can't find any proof of that. Barritt's web site doesn't say anything about it. Anyone know?

tintin said...

Erin- The rumor that Goslings bought Barritts seems to be everywhere. Bruce Barritt emailed me and said it's total bull pooh. It amazes me that Goslings GB seems to be everywhere and Barritts is MIA.

Erin said...

I'm so glad to hear that it's not true. I was going to call Barritt's this week to make sure. That's pretty frustrating. I told our beverage store that I thought their rep was lying to them and they responded by saying that if they could still get Barritt's somewhere then they would. Fingers crossed. It's so expensive to order Barritt's as an individual.

Anonymous said...

I had emailed with Bruce Barritt as well, and he told me that they had lost their contract with BevMo! (when they were still selling bottles) and that they were working on a can contract at said beverage outlet... at least a year later, I still do not see Barritt's at BevMo!.

I have actually taken to making my own ginger beer. The first batch didn't turn out too bad, but there's definately room for improvement. (I started with Alton Brown's recipe.

I miss the granite taste of the Barritt's but I refuse to pay 40 clams for a 12-pack.

Jim said...

Wow! Thanks for posting and great comments. I've been drinking D&S for the past week using Barritts and wishing for the Goslings! Both I and my friend found we liked the heat and herbal bite of the Goslings. We've also been using the Kraken which brings a lot more vanilla/graham to the drink. At any rate, we've definitely found a drink to usurp the old summer stand-by, G&T!

Anonymous said...

My vote is for Blenheim's any day. Although it's labeled as ginger ale, it has as much bite as any ginger beer. Get the bottles with the pink caps--it's the "hot" variety. Although it is made with high fructose corn syrup, it's also made in the U.S.A., so perhaps that cancels each other out. Personally, I find Reed's Extra Ginger Brew, made with cane sugar, too vegetal and grassy, just "off."

eo said...

Dude you weren't kidding...dust! It was drinkable as the Gosslings GB was all that was available in Oshkosh Wisconsin, however the "dust" taste was unmistakable! Back in ol' New England its back to Barritt's for me!

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip for replicating the spicy "bite" of real Ginger Beer for a Dark and Stormy. I used spiced rum with ordinary (Polar brand) ginger beer (not Gosling's Ginger Beer...can't find it in NY)... and added a few slivers of real fresh Ginger....there's your Dark and Stormy in a pinch! Real ginger flavor!

Anonymous said...

I just tried the Gosling's GB for the first time, at a restaurant-bar. It's taste was intriguing, although it had less than half the rum that I would have used. Barritts and Fentimans are my two favorites. Fentimans can be difficult to find, although the chain grocery store WEIS, has been selling it lately for about $1.25 a bottle. It is best served with Dog Fish Head Honey Brown Rum or Sailor Jerry's.

Mr. Sidetable said...

If you live someplace with a decent-sized Hispanic community, I strongly recommend Goya brand ginger beer. It's the spiciest GB I've found that's readily available. I like Barritt's for old times sake (former girlfriend in Bermuda...), but Goya just brings more ginger flavor. Good-O (a Jamaican GB, made in the Bronx) is also decent, but it usually only comes in big bottles.

Tony V. said...

West Coast Cock 'n Bull Ginger Beer is made with REAL SUGAR and tastes way better than Gosling's or Barrit's. It also comes in 12 oz sleek cans. The only legitimate choice when making a Moscow Mule. BevMo sells both packages, 4 pack glass and 4 pack cans, and they sell a lot. News Flash! There is a NEW Cock 'n Bull CHERRY Ginger Beer! Tastes AMAZING!