Have you ever had a really good ginger ale? I'm not talking about a big, mass-market label like Canada Dry or Schweppes, I mean a really good, really flavorful ginger ale like Blenheim's from South Carolina - the kind that has a hot and gingery fire to it because it's made with more than just corn syrup, water, and ginger "flavor."
Well, Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost is one of those really good ones.
For starters, it's made with fresh ginger, not ginger extract or flavoring. That gives it a number of subtle flavor characteristics; for one thing, that citrusy note that fresh ginger has is in there. It shouldn't surprise you that a company that uses only fresh ginger in the blend stays all-natural with the rest of the stuff in the bottle, which means no high-fructose corn syrup. And finally, the soda is unfiltered. Every bottle has a cloudy layer of sediment at the bottom which is supposed to be brought back to the drink in general by gently agitating the bottle before drinking (I found that just pouring the bottle out completely into a glass does just as good a job of mixing up the sediment, without having to give the bottle a shake.)
The taste is assertively gingery, with a good firey bite to it (about equivalent to Blenheim's Medium.) Hints of citrus give way to a warm, clean finish. There are three flavors: Original, Pomegranate, and Jasmine Green Tea. We tried Original and Pomegranate, purchasing two bottles of each at H Mart in Ellicott City, Maryland.
So it was delicious, and wicked pricey - a four-pack was on sale for $5.49. That's soda pop at beer prices, putting it quite squarely out of my price range beyond my initial purchase for a taste test. (Really, I don't care how good a soda pop is, $1.60 for a 12-ounce bottle is way over the top.)