C Plus

Earp’s Original Sarsaparilla



I really enjoyed this brew . . . but mostly because of the name and label.  I simply love the nostalgia and of course the connection to Wyatt Earp (although I really didn’t know much about him until reading the Wikipedia article – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyatt_Earp).

I must say that Wyatt Earp seemed like a simply fascinating individual.  This one line in the Wikipedia article sums up his life in a rather fortrite but interesting manner.  It says,

Earp lived a restless life. He was at different times in his life a constable, city policeman, county sheriff, teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, gambler, brothel owner, pimp, miner, and boxing referee.

But as interesting as Wyatt Earp really was, this sarsaparilla was not quite as interesting.  This would be the perfect brew for a party . . . it is an interesting conversation starter . . . but it isn’t in the top group of brews.  The taste is not offensive by any means, it is just more of an average sarsaparilla – bland actually.

The Professor’s Grade:  C +

Dominion Root Beer

Dominion Root BeerDominion Root Beer is apparently a Washington football fan.  Notice my “non-use” of the offensive team nickname.  And because of my ever-so-sensitive conscious, I’ve decided to refrain from using several teams nicknames including the team in Miami (due to the offensive nature towards aquatic animals), Denver (out of respect to horses worldwide) and the Dallas team (not all Americans are Cowboys and it’s particularly offensive to equate as such).  Regardless, Dominion was born and bred in the Washington D. C. area, and they still retain their affinity for Joe Gibbs and the Hogs long after they’ve moved to Delaware.

Back 20 years ago or so, Dominion Root Beer was one of the first specialty root beers I was exposed too – it helped create my life-long desire to be a Professor of Root Beer!  For that I am eternally grateful to Dominion.  Unfortunately, I’m not as keen on the taste today as I was back then.  I really do like root beers flavored with honey, but I don’t think this brew has much special going for it beyond the honey.  It had been a long time since I last tried this, and to be honest I was expecting a heck of a lot more!

There is a spicy bite at the end of each sip, but without that bite it would be like drinking colored water . . . minus the honey flavor that is.

This is still better than the A&Ws and the Mugs of the world . . . which is probably why I was so impressed 20 years ago, but after having a myriad of other root beers, this one falls a bit flat in the competition.

The Professor’s Grade:  C +

Lost Trail Diet Root Beer

Lost Trail Diet Root BeeerWhen does the head on a root beer last too long?  How about when after 5 minutes there is still 6 inches of foam that hasn’t dissappated at all!  It may sound like a good thing, but it sort of impairs the whole process of actually getting to the root beer itself.  Back in 2009 I reviewed the non-diet version of Lost Trail and I noted that there was virtually no head at all, so to have this sort of head in the diet version is quite peculiar.  I wonder if it’s something chemical . . . being diet and all.

The guy at my local soda store recommended this root beer as one of the best diet brews available.  He’s right in the sense that there is really no nasty diet aftertaste that has virtually been present in every other diet root beer.  The problem is there is virtually no taste at all.  It’s an extremely mild brew with nothing offensive at all and almost nothing to comment on.  Creamy yes, nasty diet aftertaste no, and anything distinctive whatsoever no.

Not a bad choice for a diet brew though, in fact it’s probably the best diet root beer I’ve reviewed thus far.

The Professor’s Grade:  C +

Old Town Root Beer

oldtown2Sampling a new root beer that you’ve had your eye on and just couldn’t get a hold of is priceless! This was a Christmas present from all my assistant reviewers . . . and it just also happens to be the very last root beer in my fridge . . . for the moment anyway.  Thankfully I’ve got some local stores with plenty of new brews to try.

This brew is very smooth, clean, fresh, crisp and well boring. With the combination of cane sugar and honey I was sure that I would like it, but the exact nature of the combination is just got wrong. And maybe it’s not even that they got it wrong as much as they needed something else. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve had too many root beers that have a similar flavor combination that it doesn’t seem like anything special.

It’s not a gross root beer, it’s certainly one that I would give to someone, but it’s probably not one that I would spend any money on in the future.

The Professor’s Grade:  C +

IBC Root Beer

IBCBack at it again after a long absence . . . I already have an aversion to IBC Root Beer, because it tries to pass itself off as a hand-crafted micro-brewed root beer but it is nothing more than a Barq’s, A&W, or Mug in a bottle. But be that as it may, it is really not all that bad (cough, cough).

Let’s start with the downside – It has high-fructose corn syrup and a lot of it – 43g. And it has a pretty standard taste – nothing is really gonna blow your socks off. Good, but not spectacular. My little professors thought differently though. Professors #2 & #3 said this was the best root beer they ever had (although I think they say this every time they taste a brew). Professor # 2 also said that this root beer was quite frizzy – kinda like when your foot falls asleep.  I’m assuming she means that this root beer had a good amount of carbonation in it :) The picture shows Professor # 2 holding a bottle of IBC.

IBC had a real nice head and it had a nice licorice/anise smell to it. I thought it was quite creamy, but it also finished with a good bite. And the packaging is great – a very very cool bottle! All in all – I must admit - IBC is really not all that bad. It is fun to be reviewing some brews again


The Professor’s Grade:  C +

Blue Sky All Natural Root Beer

Have I ever said how much I like these root beer reviews?  Even when I’m reviewing the bad brews, it’s still a lot of fun!  Thankfully, this isn’t one of the bad brews.  Granted, it’s not going to break into the ranks of the really good brews, but it’s not a bad all-natural root beer option.

Blue Sky Root Beer is a pretty light soda with an almost fruity, minty taste . . . but not in a bad way at all.  The fizz was just right even for a canned soda.  And it was pretty darned creamy to boot!  Real cane sugar . . . all-natural . . . sunny blue skies . . . life is good.

I’m acutally not sure if this brew is good or if I’m just in a good mood.  But either way . . .

The Professor’s Grade:  C+