Let’s just get this said right up front: Frostie Root Beer is terrible. Certainly it’s a well-known brand, with its jolly, frosty little elf on every bottle. The brand was created in Catonsville, Maryland, in 1939. It was sold to Monarch Beverage Co. of Atlanta in 1979, purchased by Leading Edge Brands of Temple, Texas, in 2000, and bounced to Intrastate Distributors of Detroit in 2009. Frostie is like the foster-child of root beers.

The ingredients: “Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sodium benzoate (a preservative), citric acid, natural and artificial flavors.”

As far as the impression goes, the emphasis is on the adjective “artificial,” because Frostie is the most artificial tasting of the root beers I have tried since I began this root beer journal. However one wants to say it, artificial, synthetic, plastic, chemical, take your pick, but such terms as natural, delicious and appealing don’t apply. And it’s pretty damned sweet. A high note of vanilla packs no root beer punch and leads to no real character. There are too many better root beers on the market to bother with this one.