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)

Fireman’s Brew Root Beer

Bottle and Label: Very cool design on the label. I love the tagline:
Extinguish your thirst!” How could you not want to try this root beer after reading that?

Ingredients: Natural artesian spring water, cane sugar, caramel color, natural flavors, and citirc acid added

Smell: Strong wintergreen smell from the bottle with some nice licorice hints. When poured, the licorice smell gets much stronger. Very nice smelling root beer overall

Carbonation: Medium-high level of carbonation gives this brew a nice bite. Not as strong as a Barq’s but definitely stronger than average

Color: Dark brown

Head: Very short head that disappears soon after being poured

Flavor: Strong flavor that can occasionally get lost in the carbonation. Lots of wintergreen and licorice with a slightly medicinal aftertaste. Overall a very pleasant flavor with nothing overly special or overly offensive

Conclusion: Fireman’s Brew Root Beer is all around solid. It has a nice strong flavor and will appeal to those who like a little more of a carbonated kick. The weather is nice and sunny today and has me thinking about warmer spring and summer temperature. This would be a great brew for a summer get together as most would likely find it very tasty. If you see this one on a store shelf, be sure to give it a try

RBR’s Grade- B-

Capone Family Secret Root Beer

120108840_capos-capone-family-secret-8-pk-root-grocery-gourmet-[1]Bottle and Label: Brown bottle with a nice looking and unique brown label that hearkens to the brew’s namesake

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, sugar, Caramel Color, sodium benzoate, natural flavor, and citric acid

Smell: Mild licorice and wintergreen smell from the bottle. Overall, a nicely balanced and very pleasant smell if a little on the weak side. After being poured there is a slightly medicinal smell as well

Carbonation: Medium-low carbonation that offers a nice balance of smoothness and bite. Not too strong and not too flat

Color: Nearly black

Head: Very short head the disappears soon after being poured

Flavor: As with the smell of this brew, the flavor is nicely balanced. The strongest flavor is wintergreen but the honey and vanilla hints keep things smooth. There is a slightly medicinal aftertaste but it actually adds to the nice balance of the flavor

Conclusion: Capone Family Secret Root Beer took me by surprise. For whatever reason I was expecting a slightly above average brew. Well, this brew snuck up on me and is one of the best I’ve had in awhile. With my first taste I was ready to call it average but as I savored more of it I realized how nicely balanced all the flavors were. This is a root beer to drink slowly and enjoy. This brew earns a coveted Editor’s Choice Award

RBR’s Grade- A- (Editor’s Choice)

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