Sunday, November 27, 2016

Frostop Root Beer

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Phosphoric Acid, and Sodium Benzoate to preserve freshness.

Smell: Something was kind of off about the scent, almost kind of a musty scent. Like old water or something. Otherwise, behind that it was a fairly normal Root Beer smell.

Head: Not shabby, very photogenic. I'm joking of course, but it did last for the duration of the review. Not super tall though.

Flavor: I'll say right away, this would have been a standard C grade brew. Nothing out of the ordinary, but not bad. But that... musty scent came back as an aftertaste, and was just not enjoyable. The drink itself wasn't bad though.

Overall: I've read other reviews for Frostop, and they aren't quite as negative as this one. Perhaps this bottle wasn't stored well originally or something else. But I have to assume it was as it should be, and that aftertaste really ruined it for me.

Purchased from: Rocket Fizz

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Point Premium Root Beer (2016)

Description: "Made with 100% real sugar, Point Premium Root Beer is hand-crafted in small batches with the purest water, genuine Wisconsin honey and all-natural vanilla. This Gold Medal winning recipe is refreshingly delicious, rich, creamy and caffeine free - giving it a time honored traditional draft root beer taste."

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Honey, Caramel Color, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Citric Acid, and Vanilla Extract.

Smell: Nice and sweet, with hints of vanilla.

Head: Cannot be contained! Mostly joking here, but seeing as this is only one of a couple time that a head has overflown, it's actually quite impressive. Lasted the entire drink.

Flavor: Sweet Root Beer flavor, with a nice vanilla aftertaste.

Overall: This is another Root Beer has gone down the route of switching from high fructose corn syrup to just using sugar. Which is a benefit no matter what. Where as it made a significant difference in the IBC brew, it hasn't changed this one very dramatically at all. Which is a good thing, as Point Premium already had a wonderful flavor. I almost wanted to give it an A just for the simple fact it stopped using HFCS, but seeing as the change in flavor isn't very dramatic, it doesn't really warrant it.

Here's the original review for comparison: Point Premium Root Beer

Purchased from Mariano's

Rocky Mountain Root Beer

Ingredients: Triple Filtered Carbonated Water, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid.

Smell: Anise and Sassafras.

Head: Sad, dissipated quickly. Made me think that the Root Beer had gone flat.

Flavor: Not especially sweet. Good bite, but a bit overly carbonated as far as that goes, which also went to prove that it wasn't flat. The spices weren't really the kind I enjoyed, too much anise as the smell presented.

Overall: I've actually read a few different reviews for this, as I like to see what my peers have to say as well. The interesting thing about this brew is that it appears that each batch can be strikingly different from the next. Perhaps my batch wasn't one of the better ones.

Purchased from: Rocket Fizz

Virgil's Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg

Description: "Using natural ingredients, we brew a Root Beer so pure, so rich and creamy, you'll swear it's made in heaven."

Ingredients: Purified Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Herbs and Spices. No Preservatives or Artificial Anything! Gluten Free. GMO Free.

Smell: Strong anise just like normal Virgil's. Definitely some hints of mint, perhaps Wintergreen, and nutmeg on the back end.

Head: Again, similar to the classic Virgil's, no head.

Flavor: Complex is the word that automatically came to mind. It's not sweet, but there's a lot to taste in each sip. Anise and licorice are on full display, as is common with Virgil's, but you can taste wintergreen, and clove, and the nutmeg really kind of surrounds your tongue. There's even some sort of cinnamon in the aftertaste, which isn't very long lasting, but not bad.

Overall: Again, a lot of the complexity in Virgil's tends to outdo the flavors I enjoy the most. Vanilla, molasses, and even the cane sugar are outdone by mint and licorice. The nutmeg and cinnamon were a welcome addition, and made this an even better brew than classic Virgil's, but I was really hoping for something more special from this.

Purchased from: House of Jerky

Saturday, October 15, 2016

IBC Root Beer (2016)

Ingreditents: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Modified Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Quillaia Extract.

Smell: Back again, and still met with a surprising strong scent of anise. Made me wonder how much, if any, the formula had changed at all.

Head: Interestingly enough, not as tall as the old mix. But still as long lasting. I had a nice foam the entire drink.

Flavor: It's hard to review this without constantly remembering how the previous mix tasted. The anise is way more downplayed now, and it's a much sweeter Root Beer. You can taste little hints of other flavors in the background, but really it falls more in line with standard sweet sassafras flavored Root Beer.

Overall: The bottle only touts that there was a switch from corn syrup to real sugar. Maybe I'm just being fooled by slick marketing, but this doesn't taste as much like licorice as it used to. And that's definitely a step up. This puts IBC back up from being and under performer to a standard bearer again.

Here's the original review for comparison: IBC Root Beer

Purchased from: Meijer

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dr. Brown's Root Beer

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Gum Acacia, Citric Acid.

Smell: Anise is the first thing that hit me. But there was a sweet undertone that gave me some hope.

Head: The size of it was actually pretty impressive, but it didn't linger for very long and shrunk away before I even began to drink.

Flavor: Okay bite, but a bit too much anise than what I prefer. Wasn't as overpowering as the scent made me believe it would be. The aftertaste was very much that anise flavor though.

Overall: There's a right mix for anise, sassafras, and the other additives that make a good Root Beer, and this one falls just a smidgen over the wrong side, but still not bad. There was enough sweetness to keep it from falling below average, but admittedly it was close.

Purchased from Alsip Home & Nurse

Waialua Soda Works Root Beer

Description: "finest Hawaiian quality."

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Sugar Blend (Cane Sugar and Maui Natural White Cane Sugar), Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, and Hawaiian Vanilla Extract.

Smell: I honestly got pretty excited for this one the scent had all the things I liked. Just a sweet smell with that hint of vanilla in the background.

Head: As I always say, I try to get the picture the moment after I stop pouring. So as you can see, the head decreased rapidly until it was gone. I actually had a second less blurry shot, but at that point there was no head, so there was no point it posting.

Flavor: Again at first it hit all the same places that I love, sweet and vanilla.Then I noticed this almost watery quality to it. Then there was almost zero aftertaste. Like the watery quality washes away any lingering flavors that you could enjoy. Made the whole thing a lot less enjoyable.

Overall: An interesting case where the scent, and even the first impression was all positive, but in the end the strange texture, and just the lack of anything worth noting after brought the score down dramatically. Maybe it was just the disappointment I felt after something that seemed like a sure hit.

Purchased from Alsip Home & Nurse