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 19, 2013

Bundaberg Root Beer

Who Made This Stuff?           Bundaberg Brewed Drink Pty Ltd., Queensland, Australia

Website:                                          www.bundaberg.com

Where’d It Come From?       gift

Review Date:                                   8/11/13

Commentary:  I received a four-pack of these funky little bottles as a gift recently.  I had seen this brew on the shelves in a few stores before but I'd always been hesitant to plunk down my own cash for it simply because of the (usually) less-than-flattering reviews it has received.  Well, now I don't have to worry about wasting my own money.

This root beer comes to us from Australia.  It has an unusual pull top on it, but I'm not really sure why.  It doesn't seem to be any easier to open than a standard twist-off cap.  Maybe once I drink it everything will makes sense.  A quick review of the ingredients list is actually encouraging.  It's got cane sugar (yea!), molasses, ginger root, sarsaparilla root, licorice root, and vanilla bean.  Based on that list, I'm expecting a bold, medicinal flavor.  Let's open it up and see what happens.

When I popped the top, I did pick up a medicinal aroma but it wasn't anything unusual.  It quickly formed a medium-sized head when poured, but it disappeared almost as fast as it appeared and left no residual froth.  That's unfortunate.  The first sip yields a very unusual flavor.  There isn't anything too strong or overpowering, just weird.  Okay, after a few more sips, I am picking up some slight hints of licorice and vanilla.  There seems to be some sort of fruitiness in there.  I can't put my finger on exactly what kind of fruit, though.  This isn't creamy or smooth and there's just a wee little bit of bite.

The carbonation is holding up decently as I take my time with this one.  The bubbles in here are tiny, just the way I like 'em.  This just doesn't taste like a root beer to me.  In fact, if I were doing a blind taste test and didn't know this was supposed to be a root beer, I don't think I would even guess that it is trying to be a root beer.  I'm trying to figure out how to describe this one -- maybe a cross between a Vanilla Coke and a Dr. Pepper?  I don't know.  

Honestly, it's not nearly as bad as I had expected.  I'm not going to bother finishing it, though.  As I've been sipping my way through the glass, it just isn't growing on me.  I just don't think it's worth the calories.  This isn't terrible, but I can't even justify an average score for it simply because it is so far off from what I expect a root beer to taste like or at least try to taste like.

Sorry, Bundaberg.  I'm going to have to give this a score of.........................................................................55.

Have you tried this stuff?  What did you think?  What kind of flavors did you pick up in there?