Month: July 2016

Tommyknocker Brewery All Natural Root Beer

031 - Tommyknocker Brewery All Natural Root Beer

Producer: Tommyknocker Brewery, Idaho Springs, Colorado
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, pure cane sugar, organic root beer flavor, aged organic vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, caramel color, citric acid
Calories: 160
Sugars: 42g
Caffeine: No

I have seen this root beer online at a few soda shops but I had never seen it in person until my last trip to Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. I like the label. It has a unique font and supposedly a “tommyknocker” holding a mug of root beer. The label states that “Tommyknockers slipped into Colorado gold camps with the immigrating Cornish miners during the 1859 rush. These mischievous elves guided many a fortunate minor to the ‘motherlode’”. According to Merriam-Webster, a “tommyknocker” is “the ghost of a man killed in a mine”. The flavor is okay at first but has a strange aftertaste. Not necessarily a terrible aftertaste, just not something you usually get. Maybe it’s one of the many ingredients you don’t usually see on the label. Overall, this really isn’t that great, which is disappointing since I have been waiting to try this for a long time.

3/10

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Cicero Beverage Co. Salted Caramel Root Beer

030 - Cicero Beverage Co Salted Caramel Root Beer

Producer: Cicero Beverage Co.
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, natural and artificial flavor, salt, sodium benzoate, and citric acid
Calories: 180
Sugars: 45g
Caffeine: No

This is another one I have seen online recently and really wanted to try. I really enjoy different twists in root beer, especially butterscotch root beer. So when I saw this at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store I was very excited. The label has a city skyline with caramel running through it, which is pretty cool. The taste, however, is not as good as I was hoping. It has no head or fizz and doesn’t blend as well as the butterscotch ones. It definitely tastes like caramel, but the root beer doesn’t quite come out enough. I still think that all root beer enthusiasts should give this one a try, but temper your expectations.

4/10

Triple XXX Root Beer

029 - Triple XXX Root Beer

Producer: Triple XXX Root Beer Co., Lafayette, IN
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate, citric acid
Calories: 160
Sugars: 42g
Caffeine: No

Triple XXX, we meet again at last. When I first started collecting root beer bottles, I found this one at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store and it quickly became one of my favorite kinds. I buy this one every time I go there because it is the only place I have ever seen it other than online. Well, it had been three years since I visited so I was excited to finally try this again after drinking many more root beers. The label is cool. I actually have two different styles of bottles of this root beer, which is weird. I almost think one of them was an anomaly since I have never seen it like that anywhere else. Anyway, the root beer itself is delicious. It tastes just like I remember. However, I will say that I am sure I have had several root beers that are better than this in the last year and I just can’t give it a 10 based on this tasting alone. Therefore, it gets a 9. But if I gave out half stars I would give this 9.5. Please do yourself a favor and buy this delicious drink if you ever see it.

9/10

Maine Root Root Beer

028 - Maine Root Root Beer

Producer: Maine Root
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 22 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Pure water, fair trade certified organic evaporated cane juice spices
Calories: 110 per serving
Sugars: 32g per serving
Caffeine: No

I have had this one before, but never in such a huge, amazing bottle. I found this at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. It was way up on top of the shelving and I had to have an employee get a ladder to get it down for me. I couldn’t pass up such a rare bottle for my collection. The root beer is good. It has a unique taste but it is still very good. I shared it with a few people and they all said it was very good too. It is one of the best root beers that claims to use organic ingredients, so if you’re into that this is the one to try.

8/10

Purple Cane Road Root Beer

027 - Purple Cane Road Root Beer

Producer: Purple Cane Road Root Beer
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 750mL glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, gum arabic, artificial/natural flavors, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate, vanilla.
Calories: 120 per serving
Sugars: 30g per serving
Caffeine: No

This is an interesting one. I am pretty sure I found this brewery online about four years ago when I lived in Saint Paul, MN. I thought I would never get it at that time because it was available only in Nebraska, and maybe Iowa. Since then I forgot about it and carried on. But then I went to Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store and saw this hiding in a corner (I almost left without finding it but decided to make one last sweep through a section I had skimmed). I bought it on the way to a wedding and left it in the car for a whole day. It was hot out and even though all the other bottles were fine, this one burst through the foil cap (it was the only one without a standard bottle cap). When I got out to the car in the morning I realized it was open so I decided to just drink it on the drive back to Saint Paul. It was warm, which I am sure made it taste not as good as it could have. It comes in a 750 ml bottle of root beer. The flavor is really good. It has vanilla and is a full root beer taste. It’s hard to judge the true quality of this with the warmth and the fact that it has been open for probably 16 hours. But taking that with a grain of salt I think it deserves a 7. I am more than willing to revisit this rating when/if I ever get my hands on a bottle again and I manage to not pull some amateur move like this. If you see this, buy a bottle and share it with your friends. They’ll love you forever.

7/10

Iron Horse Diet Root Beer

026 - Iron Horse Diet Root Beer

Producer: Iron Horse Products, Inc., Edina, MN
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Water, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, sucralose, sodium benzoate, citric acid, and acesulfame potassium
Calories: 0
Sugars: 0g
Caffeine: No

I have had Iron Horse root beer many times. It is quite common around the Twin Cities since it is made in Edina. However, I have never even seen their diet root beer before this, making this a great find for me. This is my first review of a diet root beer and I expect the ratings will be lower in general for diet root beers because they just aren’t as good as regular root beers. This one is pretty good though. It has a creamy taste to it and isn’t disgusting. It has a good aftertaste. All in all, this is a good diet root beer if that’s what you’re looking for.

5/10

Rocket Fizz Root Beer Float

025 - Rocket Fizz Root Beer Float

Producer: Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shops, LLC
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, citric acid, caramel color, sodium benzoate, gum acacia, natural and artificial flavor
Calories: 170
Sugars: 42g
Caffeine: No

I am well aware of Rocket Fizz stores. I have found them online numerous times and have tried to stop at one more than once. However, I’ve never been able to pull it off, either because it was too far out of the way or I ran out of time. To be honest though, I don’t think I knew they made this “Root Beer Float” drink. I am always a huge fan of variations on traditional root beer (butterscotch root beer being a good example) so I was very excited to find this at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. The label is interesting with the blonde guy riding a rocket. It works for Rocket Fizz, I suppose, but it’s nothing too flashy. The drink itself is disappointing. It’s not bad by any means. It just isn’t nearly as good as I had hoped. The taste is very weak at first and then finally the aftertaste at least gives you a hint of root beer float. I would almost describe it as bland. But, as I said, it isn’t terrible and is drinkable. If you’re near a Rocket Fizz store and feel like giving it a try, by all means go for it. But it’s not something to go out of your way for.

5/10

Hires Root Beer

024 - Hires Root Beer

Producer: Canned by an affiliate of the American Bottling Company under the authority of Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce aluminum can
Ingredients: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sodium benzoate, natural and artificial flavors, phosphoric acid
Calories: 170
Sugars: 45g
Caffeine: No

So I have always wanted to try this root beer but it isn’t sold in glass bottles (that I know of) so I have never gotten around to it before. But it was at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store so I couldn’t resist. Everyone says this used to be the best root beer back in the day. According to their website, Hires Root Beer was introduced at the 1876 U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The can calls itself “The Original Root Beer”. The taste is actually quite good. It’s rich and full, although you can tell it uses high fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar. The more I drink of this, the better it gets. I really wish I could get this in a glass bottle, but the hype I’ve heard about this was warranted. Definitely try it if you see it. This might be the best HFCS one I’ve ever had.

9/10