Producer: Art in the Age
Obtained At: Liquor Depot of Simsbury, Connecticut
Container: 750ML bottle
When I first moved to Connecticut, I stopped at a liquor store and saw this drink. I was immediately intrigued, since it doesn’t call itself a whiskey, schnapps, or vodka. Unfortunately, I was too poor to buy it (I think it cost around $40 for a bottle). Three years later, I was finally able to buy it. It came with a pamphlet explaining that this is supposed to be what root beer was like before they took the alcohol out during prohibition or something like that. For some reason I threw the pamphlet away. I’m not sure why I did that, since I collect bottles and was planning on keeping the bottle anyway. This is what the label says:
“This rustic spirit was inspired by a complex 18th century Pennsylvania folk recipe. It is an alcohol version of what eventually evolved into Birth or Root Beer.”
So there you have it. Now for the tasting!
Not as good as I remember. Maybe I shouldn’t have had Uncle Bob’s Root Beer Flavored Whiskey right before this one (I’m reviewing them at the same time). I remember this being better. In fact, I’ve shared it with people and they thought it was good too. But it isn’t terrible; it’s just not the typical drink, being that it isn’t vodka or whiskey. If you’re looking for something different, go for this. If you’re looking for something delicious, go for Uncle Bob’s.
Producer: Founders 49 Distilling and Whiskey House in California
Obtained At: The Bottle Shop, Longmeadow, MA
Container: 750ML bottle
I got this bottle on my short trip to Massachusetts in search of Not Your Father’s Root Beer. I was browsing the whiskey section when I noticed this and got way too excited, like I always do. My brother and his wife were visiting Connecticut that weekend so we all tried this one and liked it so much we immediately each had a second shot. Trying it again for this review I am surprised again by how good this is. I have had a lot of root beer flavored vodka, schnapps, and whiskey before and this is one of the best. By all means buy this if you’re looking for a good root beer flavored shot or mixed drink. It’s much, much better than Chicken Cock Root Beer Flavored Whiskey.
Producer: Chicken Cock Distillers, N. Charleston, SC
Obtained At: M&R Liquors, Manchester, CT
Container: 750ML bottle
So I have had this bottle of root beer whiskey for over a year and a half now. My fiancée found it at a liquor store once and bought it for me. I was very excited to get it, as I love root beer and whiskey. The bottle is very cool. I like the metal bottle and the design is well-done. The taste, however, is not very good, which explains why I’ve had it for so long. Everyone I’ve shared it with agrees that they don’t like it that much, so it’s not just me. Trying it again for this review, however, it wasn’t as bad as I remember it being. It has a strong alcohol taste to it, which is to be expected at 86 proof. The root beer flavor isn’t very strong though, and the balance between root beer and whiskey is what seems to be the main problem here. If you want to try root beer whiskey and this is your only choice, by all means go for it. But if you can get your hands on Uncle Bob’s Root Beer Flavored Whiskey instead, you’ll have a much better night.
Obtained At: Schneider’s German Root Beer Stand at the Minnesota State Fair
Container: on tap
I have had this root beer on previous trips to the Minnesota State Fair, but not for several years so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I don’t know what makes this root beer German, but it is called German root beer nonetheless. I can’t really find anything about it online either, which is weird. Maybe it’s just a Minnesota State Fair thing and not sold anywhere else. The taste is weak overall. It tastes like a generic fountain root beer. It is really fizzy, which is okay I guess. It just doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it. My advice is to go to the 1919 stand or the Spring Grove stand instead of this.
Producer: Spring Grove Soda Pop Inc.
Obtained At: Minnesota State Fair
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle poured into plastic cup
This is a local Twin Cities root beer and I was glad to see that they had their own stand at the Minnesota State Fair. It is right next to the Red Barn Root Beer Stand so I’m not sure why anybody even goes to that one. Unlike the other root beer stands at the fair, which all serve their root beer on tap, the Spring Grove stand just opens the glass bottle and pours it in a cup for you, which is fine. The taste is unique. It has a very strong licorice taste that is almost overpowering. But somehow it makes it work and tastes very good. If you’re looking for a more traditional root beer taste, try something else. But if you’re looking for something unique and still very good, go with Spring Grove.
Producer: Sunderland Supply Co., Saint Paul, MN
Obtained At: Red Barn Root Beer Stand at the Minnesota State Fair
Container: On tap
I have never heard of this before so I had to try it out. I waited in line for twenty minutes to get a cup of it. The line was actually really short but the service was extremely slow. But alas I got my hands on it. The branding was confusing to say the least. The actual stand did not have a name anywhere, but the employees’ shirts said “Red Barn Root Beer” and when I look that up I get a map showing exactly where I found this. So I’m going with that for the name of the place where I got this. As for the type of root beer, I was very careful to make sure that it was not just an A&W fountain or something like that because I actually waited in line at one before this that turned out to just have a fountain like you’d find at McDonalds. Here they poured from a keg with the name Challenge Root Beer. It also says “Sunderland Supply Co. St. Paul, Minn.” That’s all I know because my research has not provided me with any other information.
On to the taste test: The taste is weird and not really that good, especially when compared to the other root beers available at the state fair, like 1919. Also, they put ice in it, which dilutes the flavor and makes it seem like something you would get at a fast food restaurant. There is no head to speak of either. Overall, this one is not worth your time at the fair. Get root beer somewhere else.