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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Ikea Dryck Julmust

December 22, 2014
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Other Comes In: 500ml plastic bottle
Available: everywhere

Obtained in: Ikea in Elizabeth, NJ
Head: Small Sweetener: sugar
Calories: 190 Sodium: 0mg
Carbs: 34g Sugar: 34g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://ikea.com

so it is the holiday season and this is Ikea's holiday drink, only available around December of each year. as it is made from roots and the like, i figure it fits in with the "root beer" mold although i won't be making a habit of reviewing Julmusts in general. i probably should make this a special review, outside of my normal weekly schedule, but i feel like it is in the right realm so i will go with this method. plus i will run out of sodas a little bit later this way.
I have had Julmusts a couple times in the past also and was not the most fond of them. but this is Ikea and perhaps it is more geared to American tastes? i doubt it. they call it a "Swedish Festive Drink – Aromatized Carbonated Soft Drink" on the label which means nothing to me. does that mean they added extra scent power to it somehow?
ok, now that i taste it, maybe it is a little bit tailored to American taste. i was expecting something very 'grain-like' in taste, heavy and dense feeling because of the hops and malt flavor. i have never had a beer but i imagine that is what it tastes like. yet this is more herbal and floral than that. it is sweeter also, but with sugar as the 2nd ingredient that is not too shocking. yet there is not that much sugar in the nutrition info. it is not at all a root beer in the traditional sense, but it is not a terrible soda. i don't love it and i won't look forward to the holidays just so i can buy this again but it is drinkable.
Ingredients:water, sugar syrup, hops flavor, malt flavor (from barley), citric acid (acid), flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), carbon dioxide


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

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Ironbeer

November 26, 2008
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 8:07 am
Type: Other Comes In: 12 oz can
Available: FL, online

Obtained in: mail order
Head: Small Sweetener: fructose
Calories: 190 Sodium: 25mg
Carbs: 47g Sugar: 47g
Caffeine: No

i don't really know if this qualifies as a sub-genre of root beer, but as i am the determiner of such things on this site, i will declare that it does! i suspect then that i should get some more of Foxon Park's 'Iron Brew' to review also. although i forget if the taste of that one could even be stretched to be included. after tasting this one i am even less apt to put it up, but whatever, it is my site so include it i will, it is no more different than Birchola i think.
as a kid, i used to combine all sorts of stuff together to eat or drink. i loved grape jelly, lettuce and american cheese sandwiches. dunking cucumbers in orange juice was a delight. now this right here tastes to me like something i would have made. take 5 parts orange soda, add one part red cream soda, one part ginger ale and one part root beer and i think you'd get something very similar. it is quite fruity and sweet and tasty. other reviews i have checked out seem to say it tastes like fruity Dr Pepper but i don't taste that at all here.
i rather like this, a slightly creamy, semi-herbal orange soda. interesting. now i see why the Cubans love it. or at least the can claims as much. "since 1917" and all of that. but it is not a root beer really or all that related so in comparison it does suffer some.
for some reason i feel like this would be very tasty with some popcorn. i have no idea why really, although it may be since i used to throw popcorn kernels into my orange soda as a wee lad or something.
Ingredients:carbonated water, fructose, carmel color, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors


Anthony's Rating: 75
User's Rating: 75
# of ratings:15

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Jeff’s Amazing New York Root Beer Float Egg Cream

June 2, 2000
Filed under: other reviews,root beers — anthony @ 6:21 pm
Type: Other Comes In: 9.5oz glass bottle
Available: IL, NJ, NY, online

Obtained in: Warren, NJ
Head: None Sweetener: high fructose corn syrup
Calories: 160 Sodium: 40mg
Carbs: 35g Sugar: 32g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.getcreamed.com/

i guess i should qualify this before i really start by saying that i don't like egg creams much. although this is one of the better ones i have had. they just make me feel sort of nauseous, the tastes and textures and feel of it is all wrong and mixed up. if you like egg creams i think you may enjoy this. very creamy and i guess it tastes somewhat like a root beer float. who knows… it does have real milk and cream in it so you'd think it should have an expiration date, but no. must be like that cheese you can get in those twin packs with the summer sausage on the counter of 7-11s across the land. magic dairy products.
Ingredients:carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, milk, cream, vegetable gum stabilizers, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preserves freshness), Red No. 40


Anthony's Rating: 20
User's Rating: 43
# of ratings:19

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Rainbow Extracts Spruce Beer

March 10, 2014
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Spruce Beer Comes In: extract
Available: online

Obtained in: mailorder
Head: Sweetener: none
Caffeine: No

hey, a spruce beer! i find this a curious thing. i mean, spruce beer is such a very tiny niche product, even more so than birch beer or any other soda i know of. to make an extract for it seems random and probably a losing proposition. is there that much demand for people to make their own spruce beer? i have no idea but i doubt it highly.
so once again i fired up the ole soda siphon, mixed this up according to their directions, cooled it down and carbonated it up. i have limited experience with spruce beers, although the couple i have tried were tasty. this one is kind of weak, as a lot of the extracts seem to be. it is not as badly so as many of them though. the taste is not so great either though. although i used real cane sugar, it tastes like it has artificial sweetener, it has this weird, chemical-ish tinge to it. i don't know what it is that causes that here, everything else in there seems pretty common. the flavor is dominated by this weird flavor so i don't taste much else beyond that. i do taste a little bit of the pine flavor that seems to be common in spruce beers, but it is faint and too behind the scenes. i have had much worse drinks, but this does not float my boat. usually with these extracts, i make a bit less than a liter and finish it, but this time around i find it hard to get through one glass besides my attempt to identify the weird chemical taste. i think i have one other spruce beer extract so i hope that one is better than this.

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

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Reading Draft Blueberry Birch Beer

November 5, 2010
Filed under: birch beers,other reviews — anthony @ 1:31 am
Type: Blue Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: PA

Obtained in: mail order from Shady Maple Gift Shop
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.readingdraft.com

oh wait, one more. the odd one of the bunch! honestly i am kind of scared of this. when i saw it on the website, i was excited, it is different, interesting. i love blueberries, i love birch beer, why not?! then i thought, i love ice cream and ketchup and THAT combo just did not work out so well. i also failed to notice the color of this drink until just now when i took it out of the fridge. as it is in a dark brown bottle, everything looks pretty dark brown in it. but no, it is bright bright blue, much like the tuxedo i wore to my senior prom, which sadly i have no link to show you. in way i like that but i also am scared for my tongue and my innards being stained after this. not that anyone will see my innards anytime soon i don't think. but who knows? it is like your mom telling you to always put on clean underwear in case you get in an accident. always keep your innards unstained in case you get gutted for some reason.
after tasting this a few times i actually am not sure how i feel about it. it definitely reminds me of something but i am quite hesitant to tell you what it is as i have found that people either love the stuff or hate it and may have bad associations with this product. i know my amazing wife hates it so it would bias her to tell her that this tastes like what i am thinking of. oh well, whatever, it is my function to tell you these things. personally i love the taste of Pepto Bismol which is what i have been alluding to for the past several sentences here. so yeah, a less creamy, less thick, carbonated version of pepto. now if that appeals to you, go get some of this. if not, you can give it a shot anyway. for those of you who do not know what the taste is, i will go into more detail. it is, i suppose, what i would imagine blueberry birch beer to be like, take the minty wintergreen of birch beer, add in a fruity taste that is more of a blue raspberry than a blueberry taste to me and you about have this down. it is alright. more of a very occasional drink than something i will crave often or much at all. i find it difficult to believe that there is no artificial color in this… i am guessing they put the same ingredient list on all of their sodas and just skipped that element on those that have it. perhaps the "natural and/or artificial flavors" are really bright blue? yeah, must be.
Ingredients:triple filtered carbonated water, pure cane sugar, natural and/or artificial flavors, caramel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness)


Anthony's Rating: 66
User's Rating: 89
# of ratings:7

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Rocket Fizz Root Beer Float

August 19, 2013
Filed under: other reviews,root beers — anthony @ 4:57 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: AK, AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, IN, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NC, OH, OR, TN, TX, UT, VA

Obtained in: mailorder from company
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: 25mg
Carbs: 43g Sugar: 42g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://rocketfizz.com

i will admit upfront that i have very much disliked all of the premade root beer floats i have had. it is not a taste that seems to bottle well. i do enjoy real, actual root beer floats although i very rarely have them, perhaps once every 5 years. this is all to say that i have low hopes for this one.
I very much like the label. there is a young tow headed tot riding a rocket on a course around the earth, with nary a seat belt let alone a space suit! of course said rocket is exhausting bubbles so i suspect it is not a real image. almost everything is shiny and metallic. metallic paper always impresses me. perhaps since when i had a short lived record label, i had wanted my first release to have some metallic ink on the cover but it was prohibitively expensive so we just went with silver. granted metallic paper is not quite as big a jump as metallic ink, but still the extra production costs impress me.
but i am pleasantly surprised that it is not bad. it is a creamy one i will say that. yet it still has a sharp initial mouth feel before it fades to that smooth creaminess. and that is what turns me off on this drink. that and i think it is a little too creamy in the finish. i think that is what they are going for and those people who like a very vanilla soda will enjoy this but i am not really that guy so i am less enthused. oh well. it is still the best root beer float soda i have had but it does not take like a root beer float anyway so i am not sure it really counts.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sugar, citric acid, caramel color, sodium benzoate, gum acacia, natural & artificial flavor


Anthony's Rating: 74
User's Rating: 81
# of ratings:2

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Root Beer Jelly

January 20, 2011
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 2:45 pm
Type: Non-Soda Comes In: 8oz glass bottle
Available: online

Obtained in: ordered from etsy.com
Head: None Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No

I have a very fun wife. she fully supports my root beer love. often that involves getting one of the sodas on the left side of the fridge (the right side is the 'for review' only side), opening it up, taking a swig and shaking her head with her eyes closed, saying "bleh!" although she does indeed quite like some root beers and loves a good white birch, she doesn't drink much soda but sometimes wants just a hit. it is very cute and fun. i am then given a cold, open bottle with a gulp missing. as i don't really drink a lot of soda myself outside of for reviewing, it kind of gets me to drink more of it.
she also gets me super fun presents like this, root beer jelly! and one other recent present which i will write up soon too but will leave as surprise for now.

so root beer jelly… at first i was a little taken aback i will admit. what do you do with root beer jelly? on toast seems a little weird. just on bread might be good. peanut butter? a pb & rbj? hhhmmm, yeah i can see that. fluff actually came to mind as a very yummy option, but i'd have to get some vegan fluff somewhere and that is not always so easy. but hopefully i can do that and try that option. by itself this is actually good. better than i expected. it is very sweet and has a traditional, expected root beer flavor, in a good way. i expected the subtle flavor of a gummy root beer bottle but this is very much root beer flavored. i am not sure what they used to achieve that, root beer extract or perhaps some root beer reduction or something but it worked out pretty well.
with peanut butter it works too. i tried creamy since chunky seemed wrong somehow. root beer should not have a crunchy aspect. well, maybe if it is a candy or something… but yeah, it works, the flavors play off each other well. would i want to drink a peanut root beer soda? hhhmm, i doubt it. peanut drinks seem a little scary. it might be good though.
there seem to be several root beer jellies out there so i will have to see if i can get a brand name or something attached to this one. i don't see it available on etsy right now so perhaps it is an occasional thing for this vendor.
i will try to get some fluf and report back. for now, i will think about other uses.
thanks wifey!

Anthony's Rating: 81
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Sapp Organic Birch Tree Water

February 12, 2018
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Other Comes In: 10oz glass bottle
Available: everywhere

Obtained in: Shoprite, Bound Brook, NJ
Head: None Sweetener: none
Calories: 10 Sodium: 0mg
Carbs: 3g Sugar: 3g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.sapplife.co/

I saw this and the other flavors this company offers at my local supermarket and it caused quite the questioning of my site review guidelines for me. just what makes something a 'birch beer' or 'root beer'? saying it on the package? what it is made from? if the latter, what exactly makes it so? a beverage made with (real or simulated) parts of a tree as flavoring seems the most simple and what i have mostly stuck to over the years. granted i have reviewed a couple that probably don't fall in that area. i say 'tree' instead of 'plant' since then i'd be opening it up to ginger drinks and they are definitely a whole other genre to me. is carbonation needed? i've had a few things that were definitely root beer that were not carbonated. so i say 'no' to that requirement. i should probably make this a bonus review on an off day but i'll probably shove it in the normal schedule.
i think this drink is supposed to be ultra-hydrating, like coconut water or the like. it has lots of Manganese but i have no idea how useful that actually is. i suppose that is what people say is so wonderful about kale. it is not carbonated at all and has just 2 ingredients. so is it any good? well, not really no. it does not taste anything like birch beer or really any drink i have ever had. i do not mean that in a good way either. this is not like kombucha bad but it is not tasty at all. it basically tastes like chewing on a stick in liquid form.
Ingredients:organic birch sap (99.9%), citric acid


Anthony's Rating: 20
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Sapp Organic Birch Tree Water Nettle

April 9, 2018
Filed under: birch beers,other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Other Comes In: 10oz glass bottle
Available: everywhere

Obtained in: Shoprite in Bound Brook, NJ
Head: None Sweetener: none
Calories: 10 Sodium: 0mg
Carbs: 3g Sugar: 3g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.sapplife.co

after reviewing the straight up birch tree water a few weeks ago, I am quite apprehensive about trying the other flavors. i have put it off, pushing them further back in the queue but i really must just try them. who knows, maybe nettle will make this magically taste amazing. in any case, the same sort of amazing elixir of wonderfulness should apply to this, amazing hydration, tons of manganese for all your manganese needs. and here we get nettle too! whoa!
you know what? this is indeed less disgusting. i could probably drink the whole bottle and not feel sick. of course it is not good. but coconut water isn't good either and that seems to be a lot of the market they are after. the flavor is like a very weak green tea with no sugar. if that is up your alley then by all means, go stock up on this stuff. as for me, i don't think it really belongs in the root beer / birch beer family tree as well as i thought it might. oh well, live and learn, right?
Ingredients:organic birch sap (99.4%), organic nettle, citric acid


Anthony's Rating: 19
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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