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November 14, 2011
Filed under: random junk — anthony @ 12:56 pm

Hello and welcome to the oldest, largest and frankly the best root beer reviewing site in the world! over 625 brands reviewed so far! i also throw in birch beer and sarsaparilla reviews occasionally while i am at it since to me, they are the same genre. once in a while i even detour into other branches of the root beer tree, such as spruce beer, dandelion & burdock and the like. a new review publishes every week on Monday with the random post or review of root beer related stuff every once in a while. feel free to submit your own ratings, check out the rankings from me and other visitors, see what sodas are available near you and more. make a float, tap a keg or mix some extract up and enjoy!

anthony (me) started reviewing root beer related drinks in '96 but has always loved the delicious joy of root beer and birch beer and just kept it going ever since. if you have any suggestions of features you'd like to see or sodas you want reviewed, let me know!

 
 

Life Root Beer

July 21, 2014
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12 oz can
Available: Canada Obtained in: trade with Red
Head: Small Sweetener: sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: 30mg
Carbs: 47g Sugar: 46g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca

another soda coming from my trade with Red, the Canadian connection. this one seems to be the store brand of Shoppers Drug Mart, who, judging from their website, are quite widespread in our neighbor to the north. whatever. perhaps they know how to make a better store brand than the United States does. i doubt it, but we shall soon see. or at least i will unless you are playing along at home which would be very weird indeed. impressive, extremely impressive, but creepy.
it does taste different. i will give it that at least from the start. yet it is not different in a better way. i am trying to place the flavour difference. i am tempted to go with cinnamon, brown not red, but that is not quite right. it has a light sweetness on the initial drink which becomes more intense and actually is quite high in the end. it is actually too high for my liking. it is nice in a way that they don't stick to the expected root beer script but it does not succeed fully. it just ends up too syrupy sweet for me and the taste is off in a way i don't enjoy too much. but for a store brand, it is not that bad. if that is your sole realm of availability, go for it, you could do worse.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sugar/glucose-fructose, colour, potassium bonzoate, natural and artificial flavour, citric acid, calcium disodium edta

Anthony's Rating: 61
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Squamscot Sarsaparilla

July 14, 2014
Filed under: sarsaparillas — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Sarsaparilla Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: MA, NH, online Obtained in: trade with Red
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.nhsoda.com/

i would say that out of all the companies with multiple sodas fitting my review criteria, that it has taken me the longest to review all of the sodas from this company. perhaps Avery is a bit ahead as i have yet to review this birch beer, but i do have it, so it might end up being close. anyway, i recently got an email from a fellow in canada by the name of Red offering to trade me a mess of Canadian brews for some US ones. of course i accepted as i have been trying to find such a connection for years. i was unaware mainly though of what he was sending. that he included this one and the Avery Birch i have been looking for for a while was exciting albeit non-Canadian.
as i recall, i have not been terribly impressed with the other offerings from Squamscot, despite really wanting to like them. i mean, that is a very cool name, Squamscot. it rolls off the tongue. Their design work is pretty old timey, simple, a couple colors, just varying the soda name on each label. that is fine, it adds to the charm. plus any company around since 1863 has to do something right. i think this sarsaparilla might be part of the key there. it is tasty. it is different enough from a usual root beer taste and is firmly in the realm of the usual sarsaparilla taste. now, in general tasting like a standard is a bit of a minus. but there are so few sarsaparillas and the ones that do it right on are rare so they get bonus points. it is rooty and herbal while still being strong and sweet. they balance it all very well. i don't like that it has Red #40 in it, but that is just me being picky about what i put in me.
Ingredients:pure carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, fd&c red #40 and preserved with sodium benzoate

Anthony's Rating: 91
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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A & W Ten Root Beer

July 7, 2014
Filed under: diet root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Diet Root Beer Comes In: 12 oz can, 20 oz plastic bottle, 2L plastic bottle
Available: everywhere Obtained in: grocery store somewhere
Head: Small Sweetener: high fructose corn syrup, aspartame (NutraSweet)
Calories: 10 Sodium: 80mg
Carbs: 3g Sugar: 2g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://rootbeer.com

when i heard about this drink and this "ten" line of sodas in general, i expected it to disappear quicker than Pepsi Blue. so i wanted to be sure that i got some to review. so far, it is sticking around, but i am not sure how long it will last. we shall see. i think the general idea is this is diet soda for dudes. men don't want any frilly drink with NO calories, there has to be at least SOME! or perhaps guys don't like the diet taste. i don't know really.
i do know though that this is not a good soda. i don't think it is quite at the level of bad as a lot of diet drinks, but it is way below any sugared soda. it tastes like a diet soda, complete with the weird sticky sweetness that fades to a metallic ick. granted the 'ick' is not quite as big as usual, but it is there regardless.
the design here seems to try to stray from the usual diet pitfalls of light colors, lower case fonts and a general cheerful, happy look. instead it is more industrial with lots of capitalization. again, i think to appeal to the male audience. or maybe the new "sort of diet, sort of not" soda market, whatever demographic that is comprised of. they are blazing new territory here, making up the rules as they go! well, sort of, Sprecher has been doing it for years, not on this scale though. i have yet to encounter anyone this appeals to, although my scope is small i do admit. i wish them luck, it is A&W after all. yet their "float" line seemed an utter failure too.
Ingredients:water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sodium benzoate, natural and artificial flavors, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, malic acid, quillaia extract

Anthony's Rating: 32
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Custom Soda Sales Sarsaparilla

June 30, 2014
Filed under: sarsaparillas — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Sarsaparilla Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: UT Obtained in: trade with Eric
Head: Medium Sweetener: high fructose corn syrup
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.customsodasales.com/

so i let Eric, Dr. Percival C. McGillicuddy do the legwork on this one. we did a trade and i got a bottle each of the Parley Street Sarsaparilla and Root Beer. it is indeed quite a confusing trail of mystery and bizarreness. i don't get why it is all so secret though. the private/custom label business in general seems very protective. i know when i have tried to get info out of a couple of custom bottlers, they have entirely refused to tell me who they bottle for. it is not like i am going to steal the customer away or something. do they think i will bother their customer with requests for samples every 10 minutes? or perhaps they want to preserve the belief that perhaps the client makes their own soda right there on site? if so, the bottler wouldn't be listed on the bottle. i just don't know. oh well.
i do not know what "Parley Street" is really, which is the name of the client on the bottle i have here. it seems to be something to do with literature though as this was purchases at a book store it seems. no matter really. the design work is good, i approve of that aspect of it.
the flavor though i don't love. it is a bit sour and just does not excite. i have tasted a similar flavor in a couple other sarsaparillas so i imagine there is the impression somewhere in the beverage world that that is what sarsaparilla is supposed to taste like. i disagree. although my vote counts for nothing in the end. i suppose the taste could be classified as "rooty" or "herbal" yet it does not go far enough on the hearty side or the subtle side to be yummy.
Ingredients:carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural & artificial sarsaparilla flavors, citric acid & preserved with sodium benzoate

Anthony's Rating: 68
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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