Monthly Archives: May 2013

Rocky Mountain Root Beer

rocky mountain root beerThe longer I review root beers, the more I find that I look forward to it less – I think that makes sense??  I mean, often you get root beers like Big K, or Hannaford Brand just because the brews are cheap, available and haven’t been reviewed yet.

But I was really looking forward to trying Rocky Mountain Root Beer.  I mean everything about this root beer shouts quality.  The bottle is quality with an awesome picture of a sheep on steroids . . . or is that a ram?  Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, because a bottle with a manly looking animal on the front is awesome.

Some of the little quips on this bottle say, “batch brewed,” “all-natural,” “made with beet sugar”, and “handcrafted.”  And all of these quips are completely true!  Wait . . . made with beet sugar?  That’s right, not high-fructose corn syrup, not honey, not molasses and not even pure cane sugar.  This baby is made with BEET SUGAR!!  How cool is that!  In fact, if your interested my next post will be for the purpose of explaining a little more about beet sugar.

Everything about this root beer screams quality.  And in fact, it is a high-quality root beer, but sadly it’s not the kind of quality root beer that delights my taste buds.  The beet sugar is distinctive, and although there is not an over abundance of sugar in this brew it tastes way too sweet for my liking.  There is also a strong licorice or anise taste and I’m not sure if its that actual spice or if it’s a flavor of the beet sugar.  Much too strong for my liking.

The Professor’s Grade: C -

Big K Root Beer

big k root beerLet me begin with a quote from the side of the bottle.  It says,

We Promise your whole family will enjoy the refreshing flavor of Big K.  If you are not delighted, let us know.  We will make it right with a replacement or refund.  (I took a picture of little professor #1 laughing after I read this)

No, I am not making this up.  On the side of an uninspiring, store-brand, .89 cent root beer, it says “if you are not delighted, let us know.”  The problem for me is two-fold.  First of all, I am not delighted, but my kids are.  In fact, I think that if you add sugar and carbonate toilet water they would still be delighted.  Secondly, I have to ask myself if it’s really worth it to create a stink over an .89 cent root beer.

The bottom-line for this root beer review is that the name, label and root beer are all at the bottom of the barrel.  In fact, I normally don’t get all upset at a bad label (because it’s the taste that really counts), but this label is so bad that it’s embarrassing for the whole Kroger Supermarket Chain.

Unfortunately, this brew will have to be added to the curriculum for “The Greatest Root Beer Failures of All-Time.”

The Professor’s Grade:  F -

Stewart’s Diet Root Beer

Stewarts DietAhhh, Remember the days when diet sodas were believed to be healthy?  I love these comforting nostalgic feelings . . . let me just bask in this for a few minutes while I drink this diet brew . . .

Oh well, on to the review.  I got this bottle from a friend who has provided me with a few root beers already.  The first thing I notice about Stewart’s is the fantastic bottle and label.  When you drink from a bottle like this you simply feel good all over . . . that is until you actually taste it.  Unfortunately, the taste is pretty flat.  Not flat in a carbonation sense, but flat in an overall taste sense.  It’s weird because there are actually a combination of flavors at work in this brew, but when they are combined together it results in a big old pile of flatness.

On a side note, the foam in the root beer was amazing, but the artificial flavoring was pretty amazing as well (in a bad way of course).

The was not obnoxious by any means, but I guess it’s pretty darn close.

The Professor’s Grade:  F

A & W 10

A&W 10There are so many different kinds of A & W that I sincerely believe I could review only A & W Root Beers for the next three months.  Anyway, here I go to A & W TEN.  If my calculations are correct, there are in fact six sodas, all made by the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group that have a new 10 calorie version.  Here is a little quip from a press release I found online:

The new versions get their fewer calories by starting with the diet versions, which are sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and adding a little high-fructose corn syrup.

Wow . . . “aspartame, acesulfame, high-fructose” . . . they sure know how to make a soda sound delicious.

So, let me get this straight, same great old diet soda with a little high-fructose corn-syrup mixed in – hmmmm.  Sounds like one of A & W’s rocket scientists came up with this one.

The bottom-line is that this is pretty much the A & W Diet Root Beer with a little sugar mixed in to take the edge off of the obnoxious taste. It is refreshing and creamy like all A & W Root Beers, and it’s got that nice frothy character to it.

The Professor’s Grade:  D +

Hansen’s Creamy Root Beer

hansensI bought a six-pack of this so that my son could have a root beer for his science project.  A little professor in the making, he tested the acidity in a few different sodas, one of them being Hansen’s Root Beer.  We eventually got an acid test meter that is after Hansen’s utterly refused to tell us the acidic level in their root beer.  Apparently, that’s proprietary information . . . but I think it was just crushing a little fifth graders dreams.

Well, as much as I would love to crush the hopes and dreams of this natural root beer it’s actually pretty good.  It’s one of the better natural root beers that i’ve had.  The sassafras and tahitian vanilla really made this brew quite special, especially in the after-taste department.

This is a good root beer that’s easily accessible in many grocery stores . . . at least in the western part of the U.S.


The Professor’s Grade: B -