Welcome!

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!

 
 

Tommyknocker Root Beer

April 20, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, NE, NC, ND, OH, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY, online Obtained in: trade
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 160 Sodium: 30mg
Carbs: 43g Sugar: 42g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.tommyknocker.com/ourSoda.html

once again the slightly obsessive doctor Eric figures out that an old soda has a new recipe and alerts me to the fact! i am unsure at times what to do with this situation where the company keeps the same name but modifies the recipe significantly. or even minorly modifies it. this label proclaims "NEW!" but i reviewed it 12 years ago, how new could it be? although that may be referring to he smaller statement underneath it which says "All Natural Ingredients" which is indeed new. so do i delete the old one and replace it with this one? heck no! that would take down my root beer count. i reviewed it fair and square. even if it is not made anymore, it still counts. of course a lot of the ratings for the old soda may have really been for this one in the time between when they changed the recipe and when my review goes live, so that facet is corrupted in a way. oh well, there are worse things in the world.
i always quite liked this label with it's very hairy white haired miner guy with a candle on his helmet, a mug of root beer in his fist and a big smile on his face. it is very colorful and fun. i am not sure if that is supposed to be a "tommyknocker," which was an elf who guides miners to a huge lode of what ever they were mining. perhaps. he seems elven.
i like that they are all natural now, no preservatives and even with a freshness date on it. i always have high hopes for sodas with maple syrup so hopefully they have improved on their taste at least a bit. let's see… nope, not so much. it is fine and not bad by any means, but it is not great. the vanilla is there in the way that i don't like, it kind of tastes rancid. i am sure it hasn't but vanilla seems to taste that way to me sometimes. the maple is in there underneath and that is fine, it comes out a bit more in the aftertaste and to me that saves it a bit. i honestly can't quite recall what this soda used to taste like but i seem to recall it was pretty similar. so that is good that they retained the taste with better ingredients.
Ingredients:carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, organic flavors, aged vanilla extract, pure maple syrup

Anthony's Rating: 77
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Ginseng Up American Classic Root Beer

April 13, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: MA, online Obtained in: sent by company
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 160 Sodium: 10mg
Carbs: 42g Sugar: 43g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.ginsengup.com

So i traded with a fellow root beer seeker named Sagi for a bottle of the regular Ginseng Up root beer a bit ago, although the review has not published yet. it seemed to be a product under development at the time so I am unsure if this is an entirely different product or just a further development step from the other soda. i could ask the company people i suppose, of course. the ingredients are identical so it probably is, but I will assume it is not for now at least. mainly since the nutritional info is different. this one has 1 extra gram of sugar, making there be more sugar than carbs, which is technically impossible, but perhaps the ginseng is magic and takes away sugar carbs somehow.
anyhow, this is pretty tasty. the clove comes through a good amount, adding a little extra spicy taste to the flavor profile. the sweetness level is very good, the cane sugar is the safest and usually the best way to go, not making it syrupy or too sticky but having a pretty sweet taste anyhow. the wintergreen is in there and detectable but not too much in the front. they stray from your typical root beer, and the "american classic" taste somewhat but still have something that is identifiable as root beer, which is not a bad thing to achieve at all.
Ingredients:triple filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, wintergreen, oil of cloves & other natural flavors, gum acacia, caramel color (from caramelized cane sugar), korean ginseng extract

Anthony's Rating: 83
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Hooker Mountain Farm Spruce and Lime Maple Soda

April 6, 2015
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Spruce Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: VT Obtained in: sent by company
Head: Small Sweetener: maple syrup
Calories: 90 Sodium: 1mg
Carbs: 23g Sugar: 23g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.hookermountainfarm.com

I like Spruce Beer, at least the ones i have had, which admittedly is not very many. I like lime soda a lot, it is in my top 3 flavors beyond the root realm. I love maple stuff. so this should be amazing. it smells amazing. there is a heavy lime smell, a natural seeming one, not all syrupy and artificial like most lime sodas. but when i taste it, i am not enamored. it is decent but i really want the maple to take a larger role. or any role would be nice as I can't detect it anywhere in here. as the second ingredient i would think it must be prominent, yet nope, nothing. also with cane sugar immediately following it, it should be sweet, but nope, not at all. it is rather bitter, very herbal seeming. it is not harsh like their birch beer, in this flavor it works better, it seems more natural. it is definitely a unique taste, i will grant them that. i applaud the novelty of it, without it being a vile, try it once novelty like bacon soda or something. nonetheless it is not something i would crave or reach for often. at only 90 calories, it is pretty low in that regard and it tastes very natural and and good for me. i had just hoped for something even better.
Ingredients:carbonated water, vermont wood-fired maple syrup, organic cane sugar, citric acid, and natural flavors

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

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Norka Sparkling Beverages Root Beer

March 30, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: OH Obtained in: sent by company
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: 15mg
Carbs: 45g Sugar: 44g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.norkabeverage.com/

This is another resurrected brand. they say "since 1924″ on the bottle but that seems a bit of an untruth as they were not in business for a large swath of that time. but no matter. I do really like their design, it is very 50s to me but it could very well predate that decade as well. it almost has a olde time communist feel to it, with the star in the background, red & white color scheme, and very angular fonts. but that could just be me once again.
this is a very sharp soda. which is what i somewhat expected. these type of old sodas often are less sweet and more sharp and herbal-ish than the newer sort of formulations. in general I don't like the sharpness as much. here it is less upfront, but it still overwhelms the whole flavor profile. there is some creaminess on the end note that i can taste once the bubbles stop their assault on my tongue and that is yummy. it is a fine beverage but doesn't kick it into the higher levels. other people may enjoy this sort of flavor more that i do.
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, natural flavor, caramel color, lactic acid, potassium sorbate (preserves freshness), sodium benzoate (preserves freshness)

Anthony's Rating: 74
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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