Monthly Archives: March 2013

Dublin Dr. Pepper vs. Regular Dr. Pepper

drpepperLet’s get this out of the way . . . Dr. Pepper is a root beer, albeit an inferior brand (as is Moxie, but we’ll get to that in another review).  So, I’m going to classify this as an “other”, but it’s a root beer knock-off . . . plain and simple.  Dublin Dr.Pepper is no longer made, and because of that simple fact I recently bought two cases of this dying soda.  I wanted to own a little piece of history, and maybe pass along some of my good luck to people desparate to have the last of this special bottle.

Let’s get to the review – I didn’t want to simply sip the Dublin out of the bottle and get all caught up in the hype and nostalgia (as my 10 year old son did).  I wanted to be fair and square and drink the modern version and the Dublin side by side out of plastic cups.

My co-professor and I both did this, and to be completely frank, the taste was very similar.  I’d be equally happy drinking an occassional Dr. Pepper whether it be of the Dublin or the Snapple variety.  But although they were similar, there was a difference.  The Dublin was smoother, creamier and had much less of a bite.  I actually felt like the Snapple version had a bit more “in your face” Dr. Pepper flavor.  The modern version kind of out “Dr. Peppered” the original.

But to be honest, my co-professor and I got uttlerly confused during our blind taste test.  She ultimately guessed wrong, and then based on her wrong conclusion, my conclusion went even futher down the toilet hole.  Sort of like what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden.  All the women’s fault . . . of course.  But the truth be told, we couldn’t really determine which was the Dublin.

If I wasn’t tasting this blind, I would undoubtedly choose the Dublin – pure cane sugar always beats out high fructose corn syrup.  And it’s just cool to drink out of an 8oz. glass bottle from Dublin, Texas.  But honestly as far as taste goes, I don’t think the Dublin blows the regular out of the water.  Both were pretty good.

The Professor’s Decision:  A Draw

 

Teddy’s Root Beer

teddysrootbeerMy little professor # 3 weighed in on this root beer.   She said, and I quote, “I weally like this woot beer.”  In all truthfulness she first said “blah, blah blah”, but I made her say something a little more constructive.

Not that you really want to hear what the elder professor has to say, but I’m going to say it anyway.  This brew was pretty good for a plastic bottle root beer.  Nothing great, nothing bad . . . a little bit better than the diet Teddy’s alternative though.  It was a bit sweet, a bit syrupy, a bit wintergreeny and possibly a bit sarsaparilly.  My other co-professor (the wifey) felt like it left a left a weird fuzzy feeling on her tongue (I’ve heard her claim this before so I wouldn’t take it too seriously . . . although if you’re worried about fuzziness than you may want to stay away from this root beer).

If you can’t afford all the bottled root beers, this is a cheaper alternative as it’s about $1 for a 1 liter bottle.

And yes . . . I do drink root beer in a boot.

 

The Professor’s Grade:  C

Teddy’s Diet Root Beer

teddysdietThe same slogans and phrases that appear on Teddy’s regular root beer, unfortunately also appear on the diet bottle.  For example, I don’t think “America’s Favorite” or “Premium” really apply to the Teddy’s diet brand . . . or any other diet brand for that matter.

Like most other diet sodas, Teddy’s fall woefully flat . . . not on fizz but on flavor.  Actually, in this case I don’t think it’s the “diet’s” fault.  Even though it’s a diet, it could still have some fanciful combination of spices and herbs, but this just has a weak flavor that possibly passes for a root beer . . . maybe?

The more I ponder this brew, there is a slight flavor towards the end of each sip.  I’m guessing it could be a sarsaparilla, or at least an imitation sarsaparilla taste, but alas there is absolutely no information about the ingredients on their web-site.  A side note – when there is not information on the company’s web-site, it’s usually an indication that you are not intended to know what is in the brew!

Ummmm . . . the more I drink the more bearable it becomes.  Teddy’s Diet Root Beer just got bumped up!

 

 

The Professor’s Grade:  D -

Virgil’s Zero Root Beer

Zero-Root-BeerThat tag line for this root beer is “you’ll swear it’s made in heaven.”  Unfortunately, heaven doesn’t make root beer like they used to.  To be frank, it barely had a root beer taste at all.  It was clouded (probably a result of being made in heaven) with a huge diet taste of stevia rebaudiana leaf extract and that dang GMO-free caramel color.  Truth be told, I’m not on the up and up on the GMO, and this root beer is not really worth the couple of extra minutes to research it.

I do love the fact that it has zero calories and it’s using a sweetener that doesn’t cause years of soft-drink induced cancer.  I actually like diet soda a bit too much and it would be nice to find a tasty alternative.  Virgil’s Zero Root Beer is not that alternative . . .  although it is a really nice alternative for muddy water.

One other thing that I absolutely love about this root beer can be found right on their web-site.  It says, and I quote, “no sugar alcohols that upset your intestines.”  Awesome . . . simply awesome.

Although I’ve never been a huge Virgil’s fan to begin with, I think they have a much “higher standard” to live up to – this brew is a big disappointment.

 

The Professor’s Grade:  F

Duffy’s Rowdy Root Beer

duffys rowdy root beerIt’s been a long time since the last review . . . about 18 months in fact.  My love for root beer hasn’t changed, but I just can’t drink it like I used too.  I didn’t even drink the full bottle of this brew – I split it with my lovely assistant.

On to the beer.  I picked this because it said it’s a Colorado legend.  Plain and simple, legends are cool.  It was originally created when a man was canned by a large soft-drink company.  Out of spite, jealousy or maybe it was just because he loved soda, he created a line of his own soft-drinks.  Fast-forward a couple of decades and somehow this soda was lost and forgotten, which isn’t that hard to believe (more on that later).  And what was once old and forgotten was found in a locked safe and brought back to life in 1995 (there are some who feel it should have remained dead and buried).

The low sugar content was another reason I decided to pick this up.  Many root beers can get close to 45g of sugar in a 12oz. bottle, but Duffy’s tops out at a meager 25g – and pure cane sugar no less!  For this reason alone I’d probably drink this again . . . and it’s pretty darn philanthropic to support local businesses.

Other than the low sugar and the local part there’s not much going for this root beer.  It’s alright . . . it’s not offensive . . . it’s pretty smooth . . . but that’s about it.  The most exciting part of the soda was that my assistant and I had a spirited argument over whether there was any mint flavor present.  Sadly, the web-site doesn’t provide any further info. on the mint or any of the natural flavors.

In a sea of root beer choices, this one sits squarely in the middle of the pack and sadly this brew probably won’t be added to the new curriculum for “Root Beer 101.”

 

The Professor’s Grade:  B -