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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!

 
 

Big E Root Beer

November 24, 2014
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: On Tap
Available: WA Obtained in: trade with Eric
Head: Medium Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No

it is always tricky to get draft root beers through the mail. one issue is freshness, many don't have preservatives of any sort so they may not transport well. another issue is carbonation level. when you put it in a different container, it is very difficult to capture the head and original carbonation level. the third issue is cleanness, which ties into issue #1, but is more to do with sanitation of the bottle or container. Eric offered to send me a draft soda or two that he had access to as he has so many good ones so close to him. of course i accepted the offer and this is what he was able to get me, on tap at the Root Beer Store (who really need an East Coast branch, hint, hint). i will trust that he fully sanitized the bottle and sent it quickly so that is issues 1 & 3. issue 2 is definitely there. there is no head at all and carbonation in general is quite low. later, after i write this i will check out his review and assume my bottle should have had the same levels in those areas as he always so carefully outlines.
the flavor is pretty wintergreen, more than i would have expected. as i enjoy that taste, i approve! the sweetness level is solid too, it does not take over, yet it is sweet enough. i will guess it is cane sugar sweetened, it does not have the syrupiness of corn sweetener or the unique taste of honey or brown sugar. this soda makes me ponder the difference between birch beer and root beer. it does not have the lightness of a birch beer, even a brown birch though so i would not put it into that camp. yet it almost seems a fine line when wintergreen is involved. there are other, more root beer specific flavors, a sharper, herbal taste, perhaps clove or a bit of licorice or anise. there is definitely a root beer barrel candy out there that tastes just like this one. i am sure there are sodas much like this out there also but none spring to mind right away. i like it. it does not exactly innovate but i am sure it would compliment many a dinner very well. and i know i'd like to have a big mug of this to sip on and enjoy while i enjoy some baseball or something. well done Big E.
Anthony's Rating: 90
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Fest Pecan Root Beer

November 17, 2014
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: LA, online Obtained in: sent by company
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: 15mg
Carbs: 45g Sugar: 44g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.festcola.com

as soon as I found out about this soda, I contact the company to see how to get some. they very generously offered to send a couple my way, and sure enough, they soon arrived!
as a kid, i never liked pecans. or walnuts. i was more a filbert and almond kind of guy. but then i tried pecan pie. and butter pecan ice cream. there might be something to these pecan things, at least when accompanied by lots of sweetness. i came to enjoy them on their own as well and many days i will have a handful for a snack. but it never occurred to be to make them into a root beer flavoring addition. but the people at Fest did! so, good for them. or is it? I love the idea they have with the company in general, nicknaming each flavor with the nickname of someone of something distinctly New Orleans. this one is "Papa Joe" after Joe Oliver, the little recognized jazz musician. the design work is very cool and different. and their website is one of the best i've seen for a soda company.
how is the taste? i will say first of all that i don't really taste pecan in here at all. i try to focus on that flavor. perhaps the bit of a bitter edge that is there might be classified as pecan but i don't think so. that is the distinct taste here though so i will go with that idea. and i don't like bitter things too much. it hits you right off, then the sweetness comes in and takes over mainly yet not fully so you are left with a somewhat bitter sweet taste that lingers. which is ok. i don't love it and i appreciate that they are trying something different and new and they get a little bonus for that. but overall it isn't great.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sugar, natural flavors, caramel color, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), potassium sorbate (preservative)

Anthony's Rating: 71
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Co-op Gold Root Beer

November 10, 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, fructose
Calories: 160 Sodium: 40mg
Carbs: 44g Sugar: 44g
Caffeine: No

this is the final soda from my trade with Red, at least right now it is, as i write this. as it is written about a year in advance, i may shuffle reviews around at some point and one of the other ones will appear later although i try to avoid doing that as my comments like this will make no sense. so anyway, this is a store brand from Canada, so i am expecting generic taste here. i do like the image on it of a huge wave seemingly made of root beer as it is brown. i am hoping that is not a post-apocalyptic prediction of our oceans or something.
so the taste here is rather similar to that of the 7-11 root beer i reviewed a few weeks back, also obtained from Red in Canada. it has a more fruity, almost herbal feel to it than what you get from generic root beers from the United States of America. although this one has a sharper feel to it than the 7-11 one did. actually the ingredients are the same too, curious indeed. i doubt they are made by the same people, but it is possible for sure. i think this is different enough though that i don't suspect that. i do suspect that this is what Canadians think root beer should taste like since this is the second generic root beer with this pretty unusual take on the flavor profile. and i wonder why there is phosphoric acid in there? that sounds horrible. it is definitely not the usual, American, root beer flavor, but it is not awful. it is rather overcarbonated, as are most store brand sodas, which causes the sharp feel and lots of burping. so it could be worse, but it does not amaze.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sugar and/or glucose-fructose, colour, natural and artificial flavour, citric acid, sodium benzoate, phosphoric acid

Anthony's Rating: 62
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Mom’s Rootbeer

November 3, 2014
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: MN, WA Obtained in: sent by the Root Beer Store
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 160 Sodium: 45mg
Carbs: 43g Sugar: 43g
Caffeine: No
Website: www.momsrootbeer.com

now, i will admit upfront i am jealous of people in the Seattle area. the Root Beer Store is there with all of its branches (roots?). they make is so very easy to get dozens of brands of root beer. and they keep very much on top of new brews coming out. back here on the east coast i have to work hard to get the new stuff! but then Corey emailed me and told me they had gotten Mom's Rootbeer in and offered to send me a bottle! what?! whoa! that was a great day, it has a gold star on it. a few days later this bottle came along with a fine bottle opener, which i actually needed i must say.
i was a bit worried this would have gone bad as there was a little wetness in the box when it arrived, but the cap was tight and it released a lot of air when opened so i think it is safe.
I don't know much about this company, just having people ask a lot why there is a Dad's Root Beer but no Mom's. their website expired yesterday or else i might have learned more as well. the label doesn't tell a lot either, it has "cane sugar" it a small font that seems lonely and out of place above the logo and '"The Better Half"' below which is amusing and a fine slogan. the logo is fine but quite similar to Dad's.
the flavor here is ok. it could be more flavorful really, it doesn't come off as really striking your taste buds or light and refreshing. being in between is fine but no way to stand out or make a name for yourself. it has a little bit of a creamy side and the typical root beer flavor in there so comes across somewhat generic. that is better than coming off as bad though. overall it is just alright. i do thank the Root Beer store folks for sending it though!
Ingredients:purified carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), natural and artificial flavor, citric acid.

Anthony's Rating: 65
User's Rating: 100
# of ratings:1

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