Bottle and Label: The most distinctive bottle I have seen to date for a root beer. It has a porcelain stopper to seal the brew and keep it fresh. The label is unique and well designed and attests to the premium nature of the beverage.
Ingredients: Carbonated water, unbleached cane sugar, natural caramel color, all natural flavors (anise, honey, licorice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, wintergreen, cassia oil, sweet birch and molasses. No preservatives, no artificial flavors.)
Smell: Very mild smell from the bottle that is much stronger when poured. Strong wintergreen smell with hints of licorice.
Carbonation: Medium level of carbonation that offers some bite on the tip of the tongue and the back of the mouth. Overall, the carbonation is just right as it is not heavy enough to mask any flavor but still offers a bit of kick.
Color: Very dark, almost black. This could be because of the molasses in the ingredient list.
Head: Medium head that dissipates very quickly after the pouring stops. Definitely not a strong point for this brew.
Flavor: Virgil’s Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer offers up a full and complex flavor that still manages to taste like root beer. The flavor is smooth with no bitter aftertaste thanks to the taste of honey that lingers the longest. Unlike another brew that I reviewed, Virgil’s does a fine job of not letting the honey flavor become overpowering. There is also a nice hint of wintergreen in the flavor to help keep things interesting. Overall, a very balanced brew with an excellent and very smooth flavor.
Conclusion: I have to confess, there was a part of me that did not want to like Virgil’s Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer. It was the most expensive brew I have ever purchased and the awards touted all over the bottle seemed a bit pretentious. Well, lets just say that Virgil’s proved it had the chops to back up its fancy bottle and high price. Virgil’s could easily have turned into a convoluted mess with all of the spices tossed in, but instead it turns out to be balanced brew with just the right amount of distinguishing flavors to set it apart from the pack. This might not be a brew you buy every day, but if you are looking for something in a fancy package with a great flavor to impress a date or a fellow root beer fan, look no further than this brew. Virgil’s earns an “Editor’s Choice” award for their outstanding root beer.
RBR’s Grade- A (Editor’s Choice)