root beers

Steelhead Handcrafted Root Beer

so one day a reader pointed out to me that i had not reviewed this one, only the version they offer on tap, which is a totally different recipe. that is the spicy one, this is the vanilla & honey one. i had no idea. but i was glad to find it out. i believe i actually have had a bottle or two of this in my basement for a few years now, not even knowing it was new and different, well, not so new anymore really if it is a couple years old of course. =) when i originally reviewed that original Steelhead stuff long ago, it was made by the same people who made Bulldog. Bulldog was the bottled creamy vanilla one, Steelhead was the on tap only spicy one. but i suppose things have changed. i do wonder if this is the same formulation was Bulldog, but i doubt it.
oh wow this has a lot of honey! nice! i don’t think i have ever seen a soda that was added salt, curious. the sodium level is not all that high and it is the last ingredient so i suppose it is not too much really. the vanilla also figures very prominently in the flavor profile. these are all good things. a very sweet, smooth, creamy root beer with an excellent, albeit short lived head. the honey makes it unique, otherwise the taste is as expected. but with the yum yum honey it goes to a next level of yum. it starts off smooth and creamy but then the honey hits you and slowly fades off back to a creamy vanilla taste, all the while being excellent.
i am glad i tried this one and it is definitely different than their spicy version. although both are very good.

Anthony’s Rating: 93
User’s Rating: 88
# of ratings:2

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Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: CA, OR, online

Obtained in: trade with Izreal
Head: Large Sweetener: cane sugar, honey, maltodextrin
Calories: 160 Sodium: 45mg
Carbs: 41g Sugar: 41g
Caffeine: No

Ingredients: carbonated water, cane sugar, honey, maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate, real vanilla, phosphoric acid, salt

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  1. It is a nearly identical recipe to Bulldog. The ingredients and the nutritional information are the same and I couldn’t tell the two apart in a blind taste test. The head was noticeably different between the two though and they are bottled at different locations so I say they are unique recipes.

  2. This root beer has to be a different recipe from Bulldog being that it would not make sense for them being the same recipe, and Bulldog is bottled by Orca Beverages and this one is bottled by Steelhead. Also, this one tastes a bit better than Bulldog. It looks like Anthony likes this one a lot – even more than me! I’d give it an 87; because while it does have a good honey/vanilla flavor, it may be too smooth for me. Overall, it is a very good, smooth root beer, that does not have any real spice kick to it. I’d definitely be buying it again.

  3. I have emails from the Bulldog people from a couple years back where they confirmed that at that time the recipes were identical, but they were bottled at different places. Local variations in water and quality control processes can cause differences between the two. It’s like how Cool Mountain and Chicago Root Beers are exactly the same recipe, from the same company, but bottled at different locations and taste different (this was confirmed to me by the owner)

  4. I have a bottle of both in the fridge right now; planning to do a blind side-by-side tasting to see if they are in fact different now. Their site still says that they’re the same, but I thought I read somewhere that they acknowledged they’re slightly different now. Can’t remember where I read it (I might have even maybe read it here…).

  5. rick b says:

    I liked this one, but gave it an 80. I felt it had such a strong honey flavor, that it should be a honey drink, not a root beer.

    I told my wife, this reminds me of Killabrew root beer, only better.

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