A & W Float

November 5, 2008
Filed under: other reviews,root beers — anthony @ 5:59 pm
Type: Other Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: online, everywhere

Obtained in: Walgreens, Bound Brook, NJ
Head: None Sweetener: sugar
Calories: 260 Sodium: 20mg
Carbs: 64g Sugar: 63g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.floats.com/

i have been hearing about this drink since it came out a year or so ago. people wrote in about it at first, something new! i have seen it in stores but did not bother buying it until now. the biggest reason i finally got it was because i found out Barq's Floatz had been discontinued without me ever having tried it. i figured this too may not be long for this earth so i may as well get on it as soon as i can. i have low expectations here though. mainly because as much as i believe a root beer float drink is an interesting idea, it has never worked well in reality as far as i have found. and this does not either.
first off, they are wise to use the full bottle label, it disguises the vile color of the drink. although it is what one would expect, a cloudy dark beige color, it is still not appealing in any way.
second, i find it kind of suspect that on the website they say the shelf life is 6 months yet there is no way to know the age of your bottle unless you call the local bottler to interpret the bottling codes printed on the bottom. there is also no mention of this pretty sort shelf life on the product itself. granted, it IS a sort of dairy product so even 6 months seems a long time to have anything with milk in it to remain good, which then makes me suspicious of the chemicals in here that allow that to happen.
on the whole this taste alright, at least at first, after about 10 seconds it becomes sort of vile. but at first it is decent, kind of like if you poured some cream in your flat root beer, very creamy, very rich, but also strange. it taste vaguely like root beer, a very sweet version but the flavor is there. i feel like i would enjoy root beer flavored milk but maybe not since it might taste like this. but at least i would get more protein and calcium (1g and 4% respectively) that way. and there is an insane amount of sugar in here! about 50% more than normal root beers.
i will say that this is the best of the 3 or 4 other root beer float sodas i have had, which is saying very little i guess since they were awful.
Ingredients:filtered carbonated water, sugar, skim milk and 2% or less of each of the following: cream, pectin, natural & artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, carmel color, propylene glycol alginate, acacia gum, nitrous oxide (creates foam)

Anthony's Rating: 31
User's Rating: 24
# of ratings:39

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A & W Root Beer Freezer Pops

April 9, 2010
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 2:50 pm
Type: Non-Soda Comes In:
Available: everywhere

Obtained in: Walgreen's
Head: Sweetener: high fructose corn syrup
Calories: 35 Sodium: 0mg
Carbs: 8g Sugar: 8g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.jelsert.com/Products/Freezer-Bars/Soda-Pops.aspx

alright, so this has been in the freezer for quite a while now, awaiting review. actually the freezer has a few frozen root beer treats in it. i don't really feel like these things deserve the usual wait of actual soda reviews so i will just post them up at random times i think.
the basic concept here is that they are ice pops flavored like soda, there are 4 flavors i believe. granted, i used to make these a ton when i was a kid with our ice pop molds. so they were not quite the same. that was fun though, i should bust those things out again, i think i got some new ones at Ikea a couple years ago! this is decent, it tastes like A&W, frozen. i guess a little more sweet if anything. if you don't know what A&W tastes like, well shame on you. go get some and come back, i will wait. ok, so while those people are gone, i will go on anyway. yeah, i did not actually feel like waiting. it does not stack up to drinking a real soda of course, but it will do in a pinch. if that pinch involves planning ahead enough to have these in the freezer for a day or so and not have any soda in the fridge. which is a weird pinch to be in.
the fact that the flavor is less than 2% of the actual content is somewhat weird to me, but i suppose it does not take much to flavor something. i guess i would hope it would take less than 2% corn syrup to sweeten it too, but no such luck. perhaps it is only 3% corn syrup so they could not put that into the final section.

Anthony's Rating: 35
User's Rating: 39
# of ratings:4

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AG Barr Diet Dandelion & Burdock

February 24, 2014
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Diet Dandelion & Burdock Comes In: 12 oz can
Available: UK

Obtained in: trade
Head: Small Sweetener: aspartame (NutraSweet), Acesulfame-k
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.agbarr.co.uk

i honestly have no clue how long this has been in my fridge. years would be the answer, at least 5, probably more like 7? the best by date on the bottom says 'NOV 01' but there is little chance it has been in there for over 11 years. i put it off as i have not enjoyed the previous dandelion and burdocks i have had which when coupled with my dislike of diet sodas in general, this just kept being pushed back. but the time has come, i am running dangerously low on sodas to review. thus for the sake of the internet i will try it out and risk my belly's happiness for the next few hours.
the design is alright. as this is not a brand i am familiar with, perhaps it is more known as "D&B" and not AG Barr Diet Dandelion and Burdock, especially since the company name is very not prominent at all on the can. even on the website, the product is listed at "D&B". oh well. it looks like a diet drink, white can and gold lettering really lend themselves to the "diet" feel for whatever reason.
so time to try it out. yes, i was right to be apprehensive. this is another vile concoction from the UK. i almost pity the taste buds of my mates over the pond since there are so many awful drinks from there. ug. this tastes pretty much what i would imagine liquid dandelions to taste mixed with aluminum. it could of course be worse because of the age, but i suspect not. it is just not good and probably never was.
Ingredients:carbonated water, colour (caramel e150d), flavourings (including dandelion & burdock extract), citric acid, sweeteners (aspartame, acesuleame k), preservative (sodium benzoate)

Anthony's Rating: 16
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Arizona Root Beer Float

December 2, 1996
Filed under: other reviews,root beers — anthony @ 8:28 pm
Type: Other Comes In: 20oz glass bottle
Available: discontinued

Obtained in: convience store, South Bound Brook, NJ
Head: Tiny Sweetener: high fructose corn syrup
Caffeine: No

i dunno what they are trying to pull here really but this kinda totally sucks. i had it once a while ago and recalled it as being ok, but now that i have found it again (not an easy feat, mind you!!), i remember that it stunk and that i threw it out. yeh, so this is not very good at all. it has this terrible second taste to it that is awful. kinda bitter, kinda just harsh. try it maybe or get some of their good flavors.

Anthony's Rating: 18
User's Rating: 44
# of ratings:66

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Crystal Club Birchola

June 24, 2000
Filed under: birch beers,other reviews — anthony @ 2:59 pm
Type: Brown Birch Beer Comes In: 12 oz can
Available: PA

Obtained in: Wilkes Barre, PA
Head: Medium Sweetener: corn sweetener
Caffeine: No

i am not sure what kind of soda this really is. Birchola i guess. some hybrid of birch beer and cola? perhaps it is their attempt at a new soda flavor entirely, something no one else has. who knows… it sorta does taste like that and is pretty decent. no caffeine which is good. got a little kick to it also. sweet, commercial root beer-ish with a taste of cola. decent.

Anthony's Rating: 55
User's Rating: 87
# of ratings:46

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Empire Bottling Works Spruce Beer

October 8, 2008
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:49 pm
Type: Spruce Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NY, RI, online

Obtained in: from pops66
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 150 Sodium: 52mg
Carbs: 41g Sugar: 41g
Caffeine: No

alright, so i finally have a bottle of the long sought after Spruce Beer!! it is a different branch off the root beer tree, using spruce roots and bark for its flavoring, which is seemingly popular in eastern Canada mostly. pretty much every review or opinion on this genre seems negative, that it tastes like drinking Pine-Sol cleanser or licking a pine cone. thus i am expecting the worst here. which may actually help its cause.
so the initial scent is indeed quite pine-like, which is to be expected i think from a SPRUCE beer, being in the evergreen family and all. the first taste… hhhmmmm, interesting. i can definitely see the Pine-Sol reference but it is not as bad as that sounds. it is almost similar to a spicy ginger beer to me. well, between that and a birch beer i suppose. but definitely that sharp, very upfront mouth feel that spicy ginger beers have. it is a unique taste to be certain. i would not want this every day just as i would not want a lot of things every day but i would enjoy this occasionally. it is quite well carbonated so that sharp edge keeps on coming back and slicing opening your mouth pieces. this is almost harsh, it goes down rough and makes you recognize that you are drinking it. at least if you are not used to it, you can't just casually sip this in a distracted way while you meditate or something, it takes your attention and holds it while you sip and swallow and burp up the gasses. i don't see this ever catching up big at all, it is weird. but then again, a lot of soda flavors are weird (Dr Pepper anyone?) yet make it big. get some major marketing behind this stuff and it could be huge!
so yeah, it is kinda sweet, pine-esque, a little spicy and very hard to ignore or put down. and sort of tasty.
Ingredients:carbonated natural artesian spring water, 100% cane sugar, extract flavor, citric acid and sodium benzoate to enhance freshness

Anthony's Rating: 75
User's Rating: 89
# of ratings:14

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Eric’s Not-So-Gourmet Root Beer

February 29, 2012
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 3:24 pm
Type: Other Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: discontinued

Obtained in: trade with Eric
Head: Tiny Sweetener: sugar
Caffeine: No
Website: http://gourmetrootbeer.com/

ok, so it is leap day so i figured it was a good time to throw in a bonus review post. and also a Wednesday which is the day that reviews a new soda. Eric's site is probably the 2nd oldest root beer reviewing site out there. he did take a long hiatus but he is back stronger than ever before (nope, he did not, i just thought he did!). coincidentally today's post there is the first from him (i think) of a soda from a trade he and i did recently. this soda was a surprise throw in on that trade we did. he was very vague about just what he had sent me but said it was a new one to me. i was a bit skeptical since he may not know what i have queued up and all. when it arrived though i knew he was right.
this came in a Stewarts bottle, rebranded with Eric's high quality labeling which uses recycled receipts apparently, very green! my label is from a purchase of postage! it has 'Eric's Seal of Disapproval' along with the claims of 'Limited Edition,' 'Caffeine Free!,' 'The Original,' and 'No Anthrax.' the soda is pretty much the color of the Stewart's Key Lime soda so i am a bit curious if he just sent me a bottle of that. i quite enjoy that flavor actually but i have not had it in years. yeah, it does taste like that. not so much root beer at all. thus as a root beer this is crappy but as a drink it is yummy. there is only so far you can push the flavor and still claim it is root beer and Eric has pushed it too far in my estimation! i think he just wants to expand the popular conception of "root beer" to include fruity drinks so that he has more stuff to review. limiting oneself to just gourmet root beers has become too stifling for him! he refuses to change site names or focus but if that focus is expanded by societal changes then oh well, guess he just HAS to review key lime sodas too… so the moral here is that key lime is the new root beer, at least according to Eric.
it is a conundrum though how to rate this. as i said above, i enjoy it, but it is not root beer, so i will put it right in the middle. it is tasty, sweet, without a trace of roots but plenty of limey tasting goodness.
update– after talking to Eric himself, it was revealed that this is indeed a bottle of Stewart's Key Lime soda! wow, my taste buds amaze me sometimes! i had made a comment on his site about if someone took a bottle of lime soda and labelled it as root beer, how i would rate it highly if it was still a good soda. i suppose i should stick with that assertion but i am still on the fence so i will stick with my thoughts from when i wrote this up to start with.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sugar, totally legit root beer extract

Anthony's Rating: 50
User's Rating: 1
# of ratings:1

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Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock

May 30, 2011
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 1:46 am
Type: Dandelion & Burdock Comes In: 275ml glass bottle
Available: online, UK

Obtained in: mailorder
Head: Small Sweetener: sugar, other
Calories: 130 Sodium: 15mg
Carbs: 31g Sugar: 30g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://drinkfentimans.com/

i have pondered whether i should open up my reviews to include dandelion & burdocks also. i feel like they fit into the "sodas made from roots" niche that i am filling here. yet, they are more plant roots and not tree roots as root beers, birch beers and sarsaparillas are. i don't want to expand to ginger beers (although i do love them, that is a whole other world). from my understanding, dandelion & burdocks are kind of like english root beers. i am not sure how many there really are out there so this may be the only one i ever drink.
Fentimans seems to make a line of fancy sodas and they have recently begun trying to expand into the US. i think i have seen some of the other flavors around, but never this one so i had to mailorder it. that is sort of annoying as it cost like $6 in the end. alas, the cost of doing business i suppose. so Fentimans makes this beverage by brewing and they mention that a lot on the label. a fine idea i suppose, but does it work out?
I am not sure what i expected when i drank this, but it is not what i got. recently i saw that another soda review site had reviewed this and raved about it so maybe my expectations were high. i can taste the pear juice a little bit, the ginger & anise not at all and i am assuming the dandelion and/or burdock stuff tastes like bubblegum as that is overwhelmingly what this tastes like. i like bubblegum i must admit but i am not loving this so much. it is interesting and a novelty but i would never buy it again. i can't say i have had many other sodas like this. Girlan Pink Birch actually was similar but Fentimans is not as syrupy and pulls it off better. it is tastier than must diet drinks, which is not saying a lot really. oh well.
Ingredients:water, carbonated water, sugar, pear juice concentrate, glucose syrup, ginger, dandelion & burdock flavor, dandelion strong infusion, burdock strong infusion, aniseed flavor

Anthony's Rating: 42
User's Rating: 81
# of ratings:16

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Fizzies Root Beer Drink Tablets

August 20, 2010
Filed under: other reviews,root beers — anthony @ 2:27 pm
Type: Root Beer Comes In: tablet
Available: online, everywhere

Obtained in: mailorder from popsoda
Head: None Sweetener: sucralose/splenda
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.fizzies.com

my friend Rob Base got some of these for me several years ago for my birthday or some such holiday. i tried em at the time and was amused by them but did not think to review them. then i just never saw them in stores myself when i did decide i should do so, they are a form of a root beer beverage after all. finally i was ordering some soda from popsoda.com for my dad and dad-in-law and noticed they sold them so i threw in a box for myself. in the intervening decade or so, they had redesigned the packaging, as is to be expected in that time. i think before it was not even in a box.
the concept is kinda of interesting. it is a tablet, you get eight in a box, which, must like Alka Seltzer, when plop plopped in water causes it to fizz fizz. strangely though it does not fizz nearly as much as Alka Seltzer or Airborne even. once it is all dissolved, there is no carbonation remaining. by the time i had entered all of the ingredients (did you check that crazy list out?! scary!!) it had fully dissolved and just sat there in my carefully measured 6 oz of water.
it tastes like a watery, ok diet root beer. i wish they had made this fully sugared but i suppose sugar takes up more room than weird sweet non caloric chemicals so that may not have worked in a dissolving tablet. sugar also is harder to dissolve in cold water. so it tastes funny, gives you that aftertaste. i shall use less water next time, maybe that will resolve the watery issue. it should. it does vaguely taste like root beer and is not awful besides the artificial sweetener thing happening.
i suppose if you are backpacking or going to jail or doing something else where you absolutely have to have something that tastes sort of like root beer but you have very limited space or need to smuggle it in or whatever, this may be for you. or it may entertain small children who don't care too much how stuff taste as long as it is presented in an entertaining fashion or environment (ie Chucky Cheese).
Ingredients:citric acid, sorbitol, sodium bicarbonate, natural and artificial flavors, potassium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium benzoate, polythylene glycol, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, FD&C yellow #5 lake, FD&C yello #6 lake, FD&C red #40 lake, FD&C Blue #1 lake, docusate sodium

Anthony's Rating: 35
User's Rating: 25
# of ratings:2

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High Country Wild Root Kombucha

March 5, 2012
Filed under: other reviews,root beers — anthony @ 1:54 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 16oz glass bottle
Available: online, everywhere

Obtained in: Wegman's
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 80 Sodium: 0mg
Carbs: 20g Sugar: 8g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.hckombu.com/

ug, this is the most disgusting thing i have ever smelled or tasted. i was hoping it would be at least reasonably tasty as i hear a lot of how great kombucha is for you. but if this is what it tastes like, i am astounded that anyone would consume this, for any reason at all. if you are unfamiliar with kombucha, it is basically a fermented tea with yeast and bacteria and enzymes and junk. i would say it tastes kind of like that sounds. a rotten, basically disgusting mess. wow, people really drink this? i just can't believe how horrible this tastes. it is like someone threw up vinegar and seltzer and you decided to bottle that. i took two sips and that was one too many. perhaps even two too many. holy slugs and snails! we have a new low ladies and gentlemen!
Ingredients:organic kombucha tea* and sarsaparilla root along with an extract of the following organic herbs: licorice root, star anise, yellowdock root, burdock root, wild cherry bark, dandelion root, vanilla bean and wintergreen.
*kombucha is a culture fermented in a base of purified water, organic tea and organic cane sugar

Anthony's Rating: 1
User's Rating: 69
# of ratings:8

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