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!

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?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer

Who Made This Stuff?           Reeds, Inc. 
                                                               Los Angeles, CA
Website:                                          reedsinc.com

Where’d It Come From?       don't know

Review Date:                                   11/28/13

Commentary:  Let me start by stating, right up front, that this is one beverage I would not have purchased on my own.  This one was a gift, so I sorta feel obligated to review it.  This may be the one and only butterscotch beer, anywhere.  I've recently reviewed a butterscotch root beer, but at least that one was trying to be a root beer.  This one looks like it makes no such attempts.  It's brought to us by Reeds, the same nice folks who brought us Virgil's Root Beer (some fine stuff) as well as some awful, awful ginger beer.  Upon further review, the label states that this is a "butterscotch cream soda."

What, exactly, do you do with a butterscotch beer?  What is the protocol here?  I'm not sure if a frosty mug is in order, but that's what I've got, so that's what I'm going with.

When I poured it in the mug, it produced almost no head.  I can't hold that against it though, now can I?  Since it's not a root beer, I'm not sure I can hold it to the same standards.  This stuff looks and smells exactly like your grandma's butterscotch candies.  That's fine for the first few sips.  I'm not sure I want to drink a whole bottle of those candies, though.

The carbonation didn't last very long in this one.  The sweetness is just overpowering.  There isn't any sort of bite in here, but again, I'm not sure there should be.  I'm sorry.  I just can't finish this one.   

Nothing left to do here but rate it.  I'll give it a..............................................................................40. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dr. Brown's Draft Style Root Beer

Who Made This Stuff?           Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of NY, Inc. 
                                                               College Point, NY

Where’d It Come From?       Angeli's Central Market - Iron River, MI

Review Date:                              11/28/13

Commentary:  I was quite pleased to find this root beer at Angeli's in Iron River, MI.  I have seen other Dr. Brown's flavors in my local grocery stores for years, but hadn't been able to track down their root beer.  Angeli's came through for me, though.  I've never found the Dr. Brown sodas in bottles, but apparently bottled version do exist.  If you ever find yourself in Iron River, be sure to stop in at this grocery store.  They have a great selection of root beers, and they make a point of highlighting the root beer section on the soda aisle.

My excitement about this root beer dropped a few notches when I read the can just a few minutes ago.  This one was actually produced by a Pepsi bottler.  So much for a premium brew or a secret family recipe.  

When I opened the can I detected a slight wintergreen aroma.  After pouring it in my frosty mug, it produced a huge, very fizzy head -- lots of big fizzy bubbles but no real foam.  It quickly dissipated, in typical fizzy soda style.  No marks here in the foam/head department.

The first sip delivered a strong wintergreen taste.  Even though the head only lasted a few seconds, the carbonation did stick around while I drank this.  The tagline on the can reads, "Blended for full-bodied flavor."  I'm not sure what they mean by that.  This one is not creamy.  It's not smooth.  It's not overly sweet.  It does have a very slight bite, but that doesn't last long either.  After that quick flash in the pan, it left a little bit of a weird aftertaste.  

I'm not really sure what else to say about this one.  It wasn't notable or memorable in any way.  Would it pass for a root beer?  Sure.  Would I recommend it?  Probably not.  Would I refuse one if offered to me?  Depends on what else might be available.

I have nothing left to say here, other that I think I'll score this one as a........................................................................................67.

What do you think of Dr. Brown's?  Have you tried it?  Have you found it in bottles?  If so, does that make a difference in the taste?