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!

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?  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dang! That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer

Who Made This Stuff?           Imperial Flavors Beverage Co., 
                                                               Milwaukee, WI
Website:                                          www.imperialflavors.com

Where’d It Come From?       Mars Cheese Castle, Kenosha, WI

Review Date:                                   9/17/13

Commentary:  I really liked this one's brother, the standard Dang! That's Good root beer, so I'm hoping this one will be good too.  However, I don't really know what to expect here.  What exactly is a butterscotch root beer, anyway?  I'd never heard of this flavor combination until I found this one on the shelf at the Mars Cheese Castle.  Let's open this one and see what it's all about, shall we?

When I opened the bottle and caught the aroma, I immediately detected licorice but then I noticed a very subtle butterscotch smell.  It's interesting that the butterscotch came second.  When I poured it in the mug, it did produce a respectable head (as you can see in the photo) but it just didn't stick around very long.

The first sip, like the aroma, started with the taste of licorice but then quickly changed to the butterscotch flavor which carried through to the aftertaste.  The taste really reminds me of those yellow butterscotch hard candies.  You know the ones...wrapped in the little yellow cellophane wrappers...yeah, those. I wasn't expecting that, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  I was hoping for a more traditional butterscotch flavor.  The carbonation level is good and the bubbles are tiny.

Before I even opened it, I was wondering if this brew might end up tasting more like a cream soda, but it really does try to stick to its root beer roots.  The butterscotch isn't overpowering, but it is certainly present.  There is a small bite to this one right at the start, but it doesn't last long at all and everything quickly transitions the butterscotch candy aftertaste.  The creaminess is sort of middle-of-the road -- not overdoing things one way or the other.  As I work my way through this mug the carbonation is holding out okay, but not great.

I think I really wanted to like this one -- partly because I actually really like butterscotch and partly just because this one is a bit off the beaten path.  In the end, I was a disappointed by the candy-like taste of this one rather than the traditional butterscotch flavor I was hoping for.

Bottom line -- the next time I have a choice between a regular Dang! That's Good root beer and one of these butterscotch root beers, I'll stick with the regular brew.  It was a nice change of pace, but I don't think I could drink very many of these.  It's not bad, it's just not for me.  Maybe it will be a winner for you, so give it a try if you ever come across one.

It's time to give this one a score, so I think I'll give it a...............................................................................................71.

Have you ever tried this one?  Ever had any other butterscotch brews?  What did you think?  Does the thought of a butterscotch drink make you gag just a little?