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!

 
 

Captain Jack’s Root Beer Soda

May 4, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: PA Obtained in: trade with Brad
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar, honey
Caffeine: No
Website: http://CaptainJacksSoda.com

i am always a little leary of things called "root beer soda" and not just "root beer" unless it is a foreign brand where something may be lost in the translation or else the locals may not know that root beer is a kind of soda and not a kind of beer. also, when you misspell 'gourmet' as 'gormet' that troubles me a bit too. i suppose it may not qualify for Eric's Gourmet Root Beer Site. instead he will need to start Erik's Gormet Rute Bier Sight or something. with just one review. of this soda.
the taste here is unusual, the honey, although not right in your face, gives it a unique taste. well, pretty unique, it does taste a decent amount like Thomas Kemper, with a bit more of a honey taste than that one. it has a little more of a bitter kick to it also which hurts it in the end. i do love honey but that bitter edge takes away from the goodness in this drink. i appreciate that they do something different here and it comes off decently yet not as great as it could be.
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, honey, flavoring (water, caramel color, natural and artificial flavorings, propylene glycol, contains sulfites) sodium benzoate to preserve freshness

Anthony's Rating: 72
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Moosejaw Root Beer

April 27, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: WI Obtained in: trade with Brad
Head: Large Sweetener: sugar, honey
Calories: 180 Sodium: 30mg
Carbs: 48g Sugar: 47g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.dellsmoosejaw.com

wow, that is the most complicated ingredient list i have ever seen in a root beer! to have water and sodium benzoate (preservative) listed three times each is a little wacky. i am surprised, no shocked, that there is no separate water added to this though. that seems wrong and i am going to assume they just skipped it by accident. but really, 'sparkling foam' is an ingredient. is that a real thing? can i go buy some separately? inquiring minds want to know.
i am not sure how this was around since 2002 and i never knew about it but that gives me hope that there are many such brews out there in the world, waiting for me to find them. or someone who will tell me about it if not send me some. =) the label is pretty simple, kind of retro looking and well done. lots of different fonts, but it works fine here.
the flavor is pretty root beer extract-like, by which i mean mostly standard. the sugar level is a little higher than expected but that is just fine. if anything it seems a little watery in flavor yet a little syrupy in sweetness. there is nothing to set this apart from many other sodas. it has a little bit of an herbal touch and a pretty large head, probably due to the sparkling foam content. yet it is enjoyable and i am sure i would drink this if i lived closer just as a standard root beer. when i say that i don't mean A&W or the like, i mean standard for a micro-brew, which is many steps up from such things. drink it if you are near Wisconsin Dells.
Ingredients:sugar, rootbeer extract (water, caramel color, honey, gum acacia, yucca concentrate, sodium benzoate (preservative) & citric acid), sodium benzoate solution (water, sodium benzoate (preservative)), sparkling foam (water, aqueous extractions of yucca & sodium benzoate (preservative)), citric acid solution (water, citric acid)

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

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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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