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, August 31, 2009

Boylan's Creamy Red Birch

Who Made This Stuff? Boylan Bottling Company

Website: www.boylanbottling.com

Where’d It Come From? Cost Plus World Market, Kennesaw, GA

Review Date: 8/31/09

Commentary: I picked up a strong wintergreen aroma when I opened the bottle. It did produce a decent head when poured, although it did not hang around too long. It has an equally strong wintergreen taste there in the first few sips. As I would expect from a birch beer, it greets me with a sharp bite. I can’t pick up any creaminess in there, as I think I should expect based on the name. If there is some “creamy” in there anywhere, it is overpowered by the bite and the carbonation. I do not detect anything in here that could be tied to the red coloring though, considering the coloring might suggest a hint of cherry or strawberry or some other red fruit. Okay, as the fizz settles down a little bit, maybe I am picking up a little creaminess in there. The ingredient list does include vanilla and vanillin, after all. I have tried Boylan’s regular birch beer in the past and seem to recall that it had quite a bite as well, maybe even more than this one. I think birch beers must be an acquired taste. I am enjoying this one, but I do not think I would want to drink them regularly. I can envision drinking one every so often just to mix things up and cleanse the palate a little bit. On the other hand, if you have a passion for Wint-o-green Life Savers, well then this is the beverage for you. I remember reading somewhere exactly why birch beers have such a distinct wintergreen taste. Oh yes, here it is over on Spike’s root beer site (thanks Spike!).

As far as scoring goes, I really don’t know what to do with this one. It has quite a bite to start out, but it has mellowed out now. The creaminess didn’t really come through until that last few sips. On that basis, I think the name is misleading. However, I did enjoy the brew, and I do like Boylan’s overall. I think they have some very good sodas. The bottle gets good marks, too. With the raised lettering and the classic style of the painted label, I think it just looks cool. This is the first birch beer I have reviewed, so I do not have any others with which I can compare it. Therefore, I have to hold it up against root beers in general. On that basis, which may or may not be considered fair, I will give it a score of …………………………80.

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