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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!

 
 

Hippo Size Jumbo Root Beer

March 23, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: WA, online Obtained in: mailorder
Head: Tiny Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 160 Sodium: 65mg
Carbs: 43g Sugar: 43g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://orcabeverages.com

the second of the Hippo Size beverages i have sampled. hopefully it stacks up well against the birch beer which was reasonably solid.
again, proclaiming it "Since 1927″ is quite misleading in my mind as it was not made for a good quarter century or so between when it started and when it was revived by Orca. oh well, just my personal grippe i suppose. otherwise i like the label. it talks of its huge flavor/taste a lot, called it 'BIG', 'GARGANTUAN' and 'Texas size.' that is all well and good, but is it so?
it is pretty flavorful actually. on the occasions when i have made root beer from extracts and accidentally used too little water and thus too much 'flavor' it did taste similar to this. i was thinking the wintergreen extract in here might be the big, main flavor as it is listed separately but it is not, it just hides in the background, giving the taste a little extra kick and oomph. otherwise it may have come off as more of a birch beer. which is a fine thing, but as they already have a birch beer, it is unnecessary. the flavor besides the wintergreen is very sweet and smooth. there is a real lack of head or carbonation in general. i am actually surprised there is not more sugar content in here. getting beyond the sweetness is a touch of vanilla and a few herbs with the wintergreen on top. i enjoy it but it is actually a little too sweet for me. my thirst is not quite gargantuan enough for this one i suppose. maybe i am more yak size than hippo size or something. buffalo maybe?
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, extract of wintergreen, sodium benzoate (a preservative)

Anthony's Rating: 82
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Hooker Mountain Farm Maple Birch Beer

March 16, 2015
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: White Birch 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 had heard about this company a bit, knew they made some sodas sweetened with maple. i recall a straight up maple soda but perhaps i am mis-remembering. i did not think they made anything within my bailiwick. yet i checked back again and lo and behold there were two sodas! wow! i immediately contacted the company and asked if i could order some. they were kind enough to send me a sample of each flavor. that includes their orange cream which i won't be reviewing but the other two i shall. the company seems very cool in general, practicing very sustainable farming, very natural, old style production of a wide range of products. i hope they are around a long time and also that I get up there sometime to try more stuff!
this is a flavor i can get behind. i love maple, i love birch beer, this could be amazing. i hope i am not getting too excited about this. so i will lower my expectations and give it a shot.
ok, i hate doing this but it really isn't good. i can taste the maple and the birch somewhat. but the birch is not the typical wintergreen taste you'd expect. it is very "bark" or "root" tasting, and thus rather bitter. and frequent readers know I love sweet things. a lot. so bitter drinks don't float my boat so well. the maple could be stronger to counterbalance it perhaps.
I do think this is unusual and perhaps some people would be into this. those people are not me so i just have to be honest in my review despite the free samples.
Ingredients:carbonated water, vermont wood-fired maple syrup, organic cane sugar, citric acid, and artificial flavors

Anthony's Rating: 42
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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St. John Brewers Root Beer

March 9, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: CT, St John Obtained in: trade with Brad
Head: Large Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 165 Sodium: 35mg
Carbs: 40g Sugar: 40g
Caffeine: No

I actually went to St John's about 6 years ago on a cruise. beforehand i had tried in vain to see if there were any local root beers on any of the islands we were stopping at. so it is very rad to find this one. or trade for it, as i obtained it that way this time.
the label definitely incorporates an "island" feel with a palm tree being tapped and wooden kegs laying haphazardly in the sane nearby. all on a wooden background. all good. different and distinctive and well done by the brewer. or who ever they hired to do the graphic design work.
i am curious about a root beer with wintergreen, could be more of a birch if it is a dominant flavor here. and i almost always like root beers with anise, so this could be interesting. let's see… hhhmmm, not as distinct as i expected it to be but still very good. the wintergreen is there but more in the back, allowing the root beer flavor herbs and spices be the main focus. the anise i can't say i really detect too much either, a touch when i really concentrate on it. it is pretty creamy and the vanilla helps that happen. i do really enjoy this soda. it is slightly distinctive with the wintergreen element but otherwise just sticks with a solid root beer flavor. it also has a very large and long lasting head of foam. that is impressive but does nothing for the taste or real appeal in my mind.
Ingredients:water, cane sugar, caramel color, natural & artificial flavors including wintergreen oil, anise, vanilla spices, herbs, citric acid, sodium benzoate as a preservative

Anthony's Rating: 95
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Lake George Soda Works Moose Wizz Root Beer

March 2, 2015
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NY, WA Obtained in: sent by the Root Beer Store
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar, honey
Calories: 183 Sodium: 29mg
Carbs: 45g Sugar: 45g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://lakegeorgesodaworks.com

the very kind folks at the Root Beer Store perhaps pity my east coast disadvantage in getting new sodas so they once again offered to send me a couple new sodas they got in. there was a bit of miscommuncation, so one they sent I had already had. which is fine, it was yummy anyway. but this one I did not even know about, so that is extra super rad.
the label illustration is of a smiling moose in a lush forest, presumably urinating to produce the fabled "moose wizz." it is very colorful and amusing, so that is good. but kind of totally gross to make it more realistic that you are able to consume a large beast's liquid waste product. but of course you are not really. i don't know anything at all about this company, it is semi-rare for me to not even know a soda exists these days, with the intertubes and root beer connections across the country, but this one snuck up on me entirely. hopefully that happens more often.
this is a solid soda. it is creamy, the vanilla comes through strongly. the wintergreen in there and detectable, which is a good thing. the anise and licorice i can taste once i know to look for them. clove always seems to be a background flavor for me anyway so i can't find it in here. on the whole, they have a little extra stuff in a mainly normal root beer, thereby enhancing it pretty significantly.
Ingredients:spring water, raw cane sugar, honey, flavor enhancers (root beer flavoring, oil of wintergreen, anise, clove, licorice, vanilla & others, citric acid, sodium benzoate (to help preserve)

Anthony's Rating: 94
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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