Reading Draft Root Beer

Bottle and Label: Traditional looking label that touts the beverage being handcrafted since 1921

Ingredients: Triple filtered carbonated water, pure cane sugar, natural and/or artificial flavors, caramel color, sodium benzoate

Smell: There is a nice wintergreen smell when the bottle is first opened that fades away pretty quickly. The smell when poured is not very strong but tends towards medicinal

Carbonation: A medium level of carbonation is just about perfect for this brew. No flatness. Nice bite. Still lets all the flavor come through

Color: Dark brown

Head: Nice, foamy head that starts out tall and then dissipates quickly

Flavor: Very very smooth. Well balanced with vanilla providing smoothness and wintergreen providing a nice traditional element. Neither are overpowering and blend well. A few hints of honey make for a great finish with no unpleasant aftertaste

Conclusion: Reading Draft Root Beer is pretty stinking close to a perfect brew to my taste buds. The only real downside I can think of is the weak smell when poured. The flavors are perfectly balanced and make for a truly enjoyable beverage. With summer approaching and BBQ season upon us I can think of no reason not to add this brew to your rotation. In fact, it’s so good it deserves an “Editor’s Choice” award. Grab this one.

RBR’s Grade- A+ (Editor’s Choice)

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Redmon’s “Old Fashioned Soda” Root Beer

Redmon's Root BeerBottle and Label: Brown bottle with a simple white label

Ingredients: CarbonatedWater, sugar and/or corn sweetner, Caramel Color, Natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative)

Smell: Strong licorice smell from bottle with nice vanilla hints. The wintergreen kicks up a notch when it is poured

Carbonation: High level of carbonation provides a nice bite without obscuring the robust flavor

Color: Nearly black

Head: Tall and long lasting with a lot of foam. I wasn’t able to pour the whole bottle into my tall, frosty mug without stopping

Flavor: Strong, robust, and traditional. Wintergreen and licorice are dominant with some hints of vanilla providing a nice bit of smoothness

Conclusion: Redmon’s Root Beer doesn’t do anything fancy. It is just a solid tasting root beer. A little better than average and probably comparable to an IBC. It won’t win any beauty contests but on a hot summer day the strong flavor is just right.

RBR’s grade- B-

Hippo Size Beverages Jumbo Root Beer

Bottle and Label: Brown bottle with a brown label featuring a large hippo

Ingredients: carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, extract of wintergreen, sodium benzoate (a preservative)

Smell: Strong licorice and wintergreen smells from the bottle. After being poured the smell becomes milder with wintergreen being dominant and a bit of a medicinal smell too

Carbonation: Medium-low carbonation has a nice mouthfeel and doesn’t distract from the flavor

Color: Dark brown

Head: Medium head, not very foamy (it’s the bubbly type of head rather than the foamy type), and dissipates quickly

Flavor: Sweet and traditional. The licorice and wintergreen that were evident in the smell come through strongly in the flavor. There are also some vanilla hints that add a nice smoothness. Just a slight medicinal aftertaste but not offensive in the least

Conclusion: Hippo Size Beverages Jumbo Root Beer claims to be big on taste. I’d  say that is pretty true. This root beer doesn’t aim to do anything crazy. It just takes a tried and true formula and executes it very well. The flavors are all nicely balanced, the smell is pleasing, and the carbonation is just right. This looks like a brew just about anyone could enjoy. If you are having any get togethers early in the new year you should definitely consider this root beer.

RBR’s grade- B