B Minus

Caruso’s Legacy Robusto Root Beer

carusos root beerI absolutely love the label on Caruso’s Legacy Robusto Root Beer.  It screams legacy, tradition, patriotism . . . root beer that has been passed down generation from generation. And I think that this whole tradition thing is one of the best things going for Root Beer . . . it’s certainly not that fact that root beer and drugs seem to be an easy pair.

I also love to see a root beer that has a comparitevly low level of sugar.  Most root beers I’ve seen have around 40 grams of sugar per 12 oz. of tasty brews.  Caruso’s only has 30 grams of sugar for 12 oz.!  I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty remarkable.  If anything, Caruso’s tastes pretty sweet and yet they were able to accomplish this by using only 30 grams of sugar.  If I could I would probably keep Caruso’s stocked in my fridge because of this fact alone.

Sadly there is really not much else going for this brew.  Granted, it’s a creamy brew with nice hints of vanilla, but that’s about it.  It’s really pretty standard overall – simply put it’s another run of the mill root beer. My co-professor also noted that there is a slightly bad after-taste that has started to appear after a few sips.

This brew started off with so much promise . . . awesome label and a low sugar content . . . but the taste falls a little flat.

The Professor’s Grade:  B -

Mug Root Beer

mug root beerI really like the root beers with dogs on the label.  I’m actually not a big dog fan . . . scooping up their poop, laying down on the couch and finding a big clump of dog hair, cleaning up dog puke on the carpet . . . you get the idea.  But when a dog is pictured on the label of a root beer it seems instantly better, i.e. Bulldog Root Beer.

Mug Root Beer is basically a generic root beer that is a little more well known and found in almost any supermarket I’ve ever visited.   The ingredient list is pretty comparable to other root beers with high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient.

The main flavor in this brew is licorice, and although some may find it a little overbearing, I actually like it for a change.  This root beer’s “one-trick pony” or should I say “one-trick dog” is the licorice and for the moment I am digging it.

My most important co-professor agreed with me wholeheartedly and even posed with the ole boot mug.

All of my education and my experience tell me that this root beer shouldn’t be rated above a “D,” but my taste buds so want to give this a “B.”

The Professor’s Grade:  B -

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 -

A & W Root Beer Restaurant Review


We were having a little bit of a rough day, so we decided to drown our sorrows away in a nice cold mug of root beer.  These A & W restaurants are becoming few and far between, so we were thrilled to find one so close to our house (even if it is a hybrid KFC & A&W).

Full Disclosure – Most of these pictures are from when my family enjoyed root beer floats, but the actual reviewed occurred on another date.  Also, come to find out you need to ask for the frosty mugs . . . they give you paper cups otherwise.  So, the actual review occurred with a paper cup, and at the time I was under the impression that they no longer served root beers with frosty mugs – I was wrong . . . thankfully.

On to the review . . . root beer served in a glass bottle is always better than root beer served in a can.  But draft root beer served in a restaurant is better than root beer served in a glass bottle.  Thus, “IHO” A&W from a restaurant will always be better than what you can buy in a grocery store.  Bottom line is that i enjoyed the whole experience and the root beer was creamy, smooth and light.  The flavor was reminiscent of the kind of root beer I enjoyed as a kid.

My son kept saying, “this tastes different . . . this tastes different” and he meant that in a good way.  And, I agree, this is better than any A&W I’ve had in recent history.

The Professor’s Grade:  B -

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 -

Doumar’s Root Beer

doumars1Doumar’s is located in Norfolk, VA and it’s claim to fame is not the root beer, but rather it’s ice cream cones. Abe Doumar was the first to create the cone itself – he first sold it at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. Doumar’s still makes their own cones today and they are still made on the same machine that Abe Doumar created!

My whole family had ice cream cones and they tasted pretty fantastic.

I also tried their root beer which is a unique root beer although I don’t think they truly make it at their store. They probably just mix the syrup and the soda water . . . which is still pretty cool.

They put too much ice in the cup, but the ice was chopped into small bits and my daughter (little professor # 2)

loved the slushy root beer effect.

The root beer was a little syrupy with heavy licorice and wintergreen flavors shining through.

This root beer doumars2should probably not be rated too high, but because of the cool atmosphere and neat ice-cream cone experience, I have a lot of happy endorphins flowing through my brains so . . .

The Professor’s Grade:  B -