Welcome to the Root Beer Rundown. Over the last few years, I've had a lot of fun drinking a lot of root beer and posting my root beer reviews for your reading pleasure. Use the tools on the right to see the complete history of my reviews, find all the brews within a given scoring range, or simply search for your favorite brew to see if it's one I've reviewed. I always like to hear what other root beer lovers like and dislike about different brews, so feel free to sound off in the comments of the reviews. I've also provided some links to a few other great root beer resources. Let me know if I've missed any so I can add them to the list. Enjoy the site!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dominion Root Beer

Who Made This Stuff?           Old Dominion Brewing Co.

Where’d It Come From?       Huck's General Store, Blue Ridge, GA

Review Date:                                 3/1/15

Commentary:  We made a trip up to Blue Ridge, GA a few weekends ago for a long weekend getaway.  While we were strolling around town, we wandered into Huck's General Store and I hit the root beer jackpot.  I picked up 7 new brews that I'd never tried, many of which I'd never even heard of before.  They probably had another 5 or 6 root beers in the cooler that I had already reviewed.  If you're ever in the Blue Ridge area of north GA, be sure to stop in at Huck's to load up on new brews.

When I opened this bottle, I noticed a nice, close-to-traditional root beer scent.  It was not particularly rooty or spicy, but I picked up some vanilla and something else.  That something may have been honey, since the label prominently announces that this brew is made with pure honey.  The pour produced a small head.  The head didn't last long, but it was of the foamy/frothy variety while it lasted.  That's worth a few points right there.

The first sips indicate a decent carbonation level, sort of middle-of-the-road.  There is a small bite in this one.  The bite doesn't last long and it isn't due to the carbonation.  There really aren't many bubbles forming on the sides of the glass, but I do notice the smaller bubbles when I take a few swigs.

This one is creamy, but not too much.  Definitely taste vanilla in there, along with the honey they mentioned.  It's pretty smooth.  The carbonation is hanging around a good while as I work my way through this one.  I don't notice any licorice or wintergreen in there, so it just picked up a couple more bonus points.

I'll even give it another bonus point for the cool label.

Overall, I think this is an okay brew.  I don't think I'd go out of my way to get more, but if offered one I'd readily accept it.  I'd probably serve it to friends, and if I had easy access to more I might buy a few more bottles.

I've given this one a bunch of middle-of-the-road comments, so it should probably get that same kind of score.  I'll give this one a......77

Who else has tried Old Dominion?  What did you think?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mountain Top Soda Pop Root Beer

Who Made This Stuff?           Blue Ridge Pure Water, Inc.                                                                                     Anderson, SC                                                                                                             www.blueridgepure.com

Where’d It Come From?       The Pot Belly Deli, Clemson, SC

Review Date:                                 3/1/15

Commentary:  I pick up this root beer on a recent college visit to Clemson.  I highly recommend The Pot Belly Deli if you ever find yourself in Clemson, SC -- great sandwiches.  But, we're not here to talk about sandwiches.  

When I first twisted the top off this bottle, I picked up a light wintergreen aroma and just a little bit of spice.  Nothing overwhelming, and nothing particularly inviting.  When poured into my glass, it produced a short-lived, fizzy head.  It was a lot like any other soda.  Lots of big bubbles that disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived.  No foam or froth at all.  Not a great way to start.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised when the name of the product includes the words "soda pop." 

The first several sips are just sweet.  Very sweet.  That's really all there is to say about them.

The carbonation is on the light side.  The root beer isn't flat, though.  There are almost no bubbles forming on the sides of the pint glass.  On the plus side, after getting about half-way through the glass, the carbonation is still there.  The bubbles are tiny, which I prefer.

Sweet.  Still very sweet.  At the half-way point, that remains the defining characteristic of this root beer.  As far as flavor, I think I'll have to go with something like a light Wint-o-green taste.  There is no bite to this at all, no rooty-ness, no spices.  It isn't creamy either.

There really isn't anything notable or memorable about this root beer.  It isn't bad, it really just isn't a special one.  I think it's saving grace is that it's made with real sugar so I'm not getting any syrupy mouth-feel. 

After a little research, it appears that this company probably produces this same root beer under a number of different labels.  I guess that means I'll eventually run into it again someday under a different name.  Wow.  I can hardly wait.   

So in summary, this one is sweet, has no bite, and is not distinctive.  No hard feelings, Mountain Top, but I'm just not that into you.

I'll give this one a score of..............................................................................68

Has anyone else hiked to the Mountain Top?  What did you think?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Henry Weinhard's Root Beer

Who Made This Stuff?           Blitz-Weinhard Gourmet Soda                                                                       Company,  Ft. Worth, TX

Where’d It Come From?       Bristol Farms, San Francisco, CA

Review Date:                                 4/30/14

Commentary:  I'm out in San Francisco at the moment.  As soon as I booked my flight out here I started looking forward to getting my hands on a few bottles of the this awesomeness.  I've had this stuff a few times before, but never got around to writing a review of it.  I apologize for the quality of the photo.  I had to take it with my phone here in the hotel room.  

I picked up a nice spicy aroma when I opened the bottle.  I detected just a hint of licorice scent in there, but not too strong.  I didn't have a frosty mug or pint glass here, so I had to make do with one of the water glasses available in the hotel room -- at least it's glass instead of plastic.  When I poured it in the small glass, it immediately produced a nice foamy head that lingered for quite a while despite the fact that there really wasn't much in the glass to begin with. 

The first sip was great.  This brew starts smooth, is sweet and creamy in the middle, and has a just-right bite on the back end to finish it off.  The level of spice is just right, for me.  I didn't detect any overwhelming individual flavors, just a great, balanced blend.

This brew kept its carbonation for long time.  It has the nice tiny bubbles I like and after several minutes, there was still a nice ring of foam in the glass. When I poured a second glass full to finish off the bottle, it produced an enormous head, even bigger than the first, and seemed to hang around like it was trying to set some sort of record for longevity.

I liked this one...a lot.  You'll like it too, I promise.  If you see this one in the store, buy it.  You will not be disappointed.  If it turns out that you actually are disappointed, I'll accept full blame.  

I'll score this one as.......................................................................................95
Have you tried this one?  What did you think?