root beers

Virgil’s Root Beer

if i had to imagine the most pathetic attempt at a root beer, this is about what i’d come up with. billed as this fantastic beverage, it is just plain bad to me. i suspect people see the awards and the high price and think it has to be good, then pretend it is when they realize it sucks for fear of looking silly. i don’t fear that! the licourice is too strong, the cane sugar makes it taste crappy and the freaky spices are just not a good addition. plus it is the most expensive root beer i have ever encountered. the 4th worst root beer i’ve ever had. avoid it and get something actually good. or maybe i just got a bad bottle… more proof that english food blows.

actually, now, several years later when i have tried this soda again, i quite like it. yes, it pains me to admit that. i really must have gotten a bum bottle that time as it did taste totally differently i think.

Anthony’s Rating: 21
User’s Rating: 66
# of ratings:753

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Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, online, everywhere

Obtained in: Stirling, NJ
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar, carmelized cane sugar
Calories: 160 Sodium: 0mg
Carbs: 42g Sugar: 42g
Caffeine: No

Ingredients: purified carbonated water, unbleached cane sugar, carmelized unrefined cane sugar, herbs and spices

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  1. marcphoto1 says:

    I tried it again and had to lower my rating for it.

  2. Karen says:

    Anthony, I absolutely respect your RB expertise but I think your amended opinion was based on a rogue bottle. I thought this was crap when I tasted it years ago (although they produce a number of other sodas I like a lot), and the bottle I bought today is still overrated swill. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s doesn’t charge much for it. I’ll take an Ithaca over this any day of the week.

  3. Kriztoffer Swank says:

    I give it a middle “neither like nor dislike” rating of 50. I would absolutely LOVE the stuff if it weren’t for the strong licorice. I cannot stand the taste of licorice, and it completely ruins this otherwise tasty RB for me.

  4. piratessoul says:

    I hate licorice, but I love Virgil’s Root Beer! I can’t explain it. I can taste the licorice. I guess, mixed with the other flavors, it just works for me!

  5. ikuul says:

    I’ve tried Virgil’s once and was quite pleased. It was pretty darn good. I’ll have to give it a 2nd try just to make sure.

  6. dmblanch says:

    I had heard so much hype about Virgil’s, I looked forward to it more than any other bottle in my big 54 root beer simultaneous tasting. I also bought one of their party kegs — much to my eventual sorrow after I tasted it. Anthony’s original rating is too generous. This isn’t even root beer, it should be re-labelled as “anise flavored soda”. If you are jonesing for black licorice, this is the soda for you, if not you’ll hate it. Anyone want to buy an unopened and unwanted party keg real cheap?

  7. anar says:

    It is because of the licorice that Virgil’s root beer is so good! This is one of my favorites. Also it is less sweet than most so you can actually taste the flavors. I would suggest any who dismisses it because the licorice is too strong are just hung up on a matter of taste or may have an unsophisticated palate. Because there are other flavors there as well. I can taste the nutmeg and clove.

  8. Johnny says:

    Could not agree more with your first rating. And no I did not have a bad bottle. I have had this in the standard Glass bottle, The Bavarian Nutmeg Version (same stuff) and a Party Keg. All of them were the same, Licorice and lousy, If you like licorice you may actually like this. I actually sent the Party keg back to Reeds because I thought there was something wrong with it. The kids and parents at our party would not even drink it. If the licorice wasn’t so strong this would probably be a much better drink.

  9. Drew Fisher says:

    I, too, have had extremely divergent experiences with this root beer. My first encounter was wonderful–I thought I might have found my favorite. But then my second purchase was horrible. I have never encountered a product with such broad range of inconsistency. I now avoid it because I have had some allergic reactions to it. Too bad, cuz I’ve had some great experiences with it, too.

  10. Jimmy Sorrells says:

    I love root beer and this is the best that I have found in my area, South Carolina.
    I just read your review and thought I must be missing out. What would you recommend I try that I can get in the south?

  11. Cringle says:

    Wow… you are a total retard!! This review is just your pathetic attempt to discredit the best of the best. I can tell your whole website is a joke by this one review. I mean, you gave Walmart rootbeer a better review than this! That just says everything. You don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Shame on you and your little minions in this comment section.

  12. dear rootking,
    i have come to enjoy this beverage more in the 18 years since I reviewed it, perhaps that is due to an aged taste preference or perhaps that is because that they changed the recipe several times and it is better now. I am sure that you don’t enjoy the exact same things to the same extent that you liked 18 years ago, if in fact you were even alive at that point. one day i will dig out my old bottle and compare the ingredients to the current offering. if they vary, i will review it again.
    thank you for your time and energies.
    -lord of the minions

  13. Milos says:

    Well it looks like Cringle sure has a stiffy for Virgil’s. You shouldn’t take these things so seriously bro! Regardless, I like Virgil’s. It does have a bold flavor with a rather large taste of anise, but I enjoy that. Everyone has different tastes you know. Something you should keep in mind Cringle.

    Oh and good response Anthony, keep up the good work. All hail Anthony, lord of the minions!

  14. David says:

    I Just tried Virgil’s for the first time. For a moment there, I thought I accidentally drank from a bottle of Nyqil. I guess it would make great chaser for Jagermeister since it tastes nearly the same.

  15. O says:

    Let me start off by saying I’ve hated black licorice ever since I was a kid. I still hate it to this day.

    That being said, I brought a four pack of this stuff home with me one day and put it in the fridge. Then I went on “anthony’s root beer barrel” (naturally) to see what the reviews were like. I immediately saw Anthony’s low rating and was discouraged and dispirited. I started to wonder if I had wasted my money. His second paragraph gave me some hope again, but then the reviews in the comment section were almost overwhelmingly negative. Was I gonna love or hate this soda? The suspense was killing me!

    I’m glad I ignored the critics on this one. Wow. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. Blown away, actually. The licorice aftertaste isn’t overpowering at all, and it quickly goes away after the first sip, and what you’re left with is a unique, delicious treat for the rest of the bottle. All of the sweeteners are together in perfect harmony and you taste more caramel and cane sugar than you do anise. They all blend together seamlessly and I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s like a candy/desert sensation. It’s really refreshing. It’s not the best I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely top 10, maybe even top 5 (but that’s pushing it).

    It’s an 80-85. Easily. Don’t let the naysayers discourage you from at least TRYING it. This soda has won quite a number of awards, and for good reason.

  16. Mike T says:

    Could have put it any better. What a sham and ignorant review from this so called root beer “expert”

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