minnesota’s largest candy store

Wild Spur Sarsaparilla

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Producer: CBC Sales Inc.
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Triple filtered carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural and artificial flavors
Calories: 180
Sugars: 42g
Caffeine: No

I have never heard of Wild Spur Sarsaparilla before, but that what makes the Big Yellow Barn so exciting. The label, like so many other root beers and sarsaparillas, is old west themed. However, this one makes sense, considering it’s called “wild spur”. There aren’t as many sarsaparillas as root beers so it’s nice to change it up once in a while. One weird thing about this one is that I can’t seem to find any official website for the root beer or the company. The taste on this one is good, but a little weird. It has a weird start and then turns into a good creamy flavor, which is a weird transition. It’s not a terrible drink in my opinion, but my wife hated it, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

6/10

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The Pop Shoppe Root Beer

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Producer: The Pop Shoppe
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate, propylene glycol, natural and artificial flavors, phosphoric acid
Calories: 180
Sugars: 46g
Caffeine: No

This is the last one from my summer trip to the Big Yellow Barn, which is too bad. I have had this one before but I don’t remember it at all so it’s almost like having it for the first time. As you can see from the older picture below, the bottle has changed, which is always exciting for me. I like the design of the label. It has a retro feel to it. The taste is quite good. It has a little bit of a bite to it, not a lot, but enough to notice it. All in all, this is a good root beer that won’t disappoint you.

7/10

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Sprecher Root Beer

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Producer: Sprecher Brewing Co., Inc., Glendale, WI
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 16 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, raw WI honey, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), phosphoric acid, quillaia/yucca extract, sodium chloride, caramel color, vanilla
Calories: 120 (per 8 oz.)
Sugars: 26g (per 8 oz.)
Caffeine: No

I am from Wisconsin and used to drink this root beer all the time. But after moving to Connecticut, I don’t get to drink it as often, so I was glad to see it at the Big Yellow Barn. I have never seen this label before–the bottle I first kept for my collection was different–but this label has a Menards race car on it, which is funny because I used to work at Menards and drink this on my lunch. Anyway, on to the taste. The taste is really good and creamy. I have always liked this root beer and highly recommend it. It’s definitely in the upper echelon of root beers, but doesn’t crack into the best of the best.

8/10

Cicero Beverage Co. Chicago Style Root Beer

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Producer: Cicero Beverage Co.
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated Water, sugar caramel color, sodium benzoate, natural flavor, and citric acid
Calories: 180
Sugars: 30 g
Caffeine: No

So when I went to Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store (aka the Big Yellow Barn), I bought too many bottles of root beer to bring back with me in my suitcase. Not willing to give up on the unopened bottles, I left a box behind and had my mom mail it out to Connecticut for me (thanks Mom!). This is the first one out of the box. I previously reviewed Cicero’s Salted Caramel Root Beer and was not impressed, which was too bad because I was really looking forward to that one. This one, however, is much better. I like the flavor a lot. It’s not your run-of-the-mill root beer. It’s very unique and complex. Definitely try this one out instead of the salted caramel one.

7/10

Tyler the Kid Sarsaparilla

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Producer: Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shops, LLC, Camarillo, CA
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Spring water, cane sugar, caramel color, natural flavor, real vanilla, citric acid
Calories: 180
Sugars: 45g
Caffeine: No

I have never heard of this one before. The label says it’s made by Rocket Fizz, which is cool. I didn’t realize they made so many kinds of soda. I have already reviewed their Rocket Fizz Root Beer Float, which was disappointing. The label here is actually quite entertaining. The picture of Tyler is funny and next to his face it says “Last seen in Nevada headed toward Virginia City.” I’m not sure why I find that amusing. The taste is good. It has a solid sarsaparilla taste and is overall a very good drink. If you like sarsaparilla, try this one out.

7/10

Anchor Ginger Root Beer

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Producer: Orca Beverage Soda Works, Mukilteo, WA
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, natural & artificial flavors, caramel color, phosphoric acid, citric acid, sodium benzoate
Calories: 170
Sugars: 43g
Caffeine: No

I have never seen a “ginger root beer” before, so this will be interesting. To compound that, I have never had a ginger beer before, since I always opt for a root beer instead. So I am excited to try this one out. The label has a sailing theme that goes along with the Anchor name. The catch phrase says “Soothing Beverage for the Traveler,” whatever that means. The taste is really good. It is incredibly smooth with the perfect blend of flavors. It manages to keep the root beer taste, which doesn’t always happen with the root beer variations, but still has a good ginger aftertaste. If you see this one, give it a try.

9/10

Oogavé Organic Root Beer

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Producer: Rocky Mountain Soda Co., Denver, CO
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Triple filtered carbonated water, organic agave nectar, citric acid, natural flavors, and organic caramel for color
Calories: 100
Sugars: 24
Caffeine: No

Oogavé is a root beer I have known about for a long time but have never been able to find. I finally found it though at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. I like the label a lot. It has some agave plants and gets the organic message across, but still has a definite root beer look with the brown background. I have never like organic root beers as much so we’ll see how this one goes. The taste is okay. It is definitely better than most organic root beers out there. And the nutrition info shows that it is healthier than most non-organic root beers. But it still just isn’t as good as the average non-organic root beer. If you like organic sodas, or if you like to try new things, then drink this one when you see it.

4/10

Johnnie Ryan Diet Root Beer

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Producer: The Johnnie Ryan Co., Inc., Niagara Falls, NY
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 11.5 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, caramel color, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, citric acid
Calories: 0
Sugars: 0
Caffeine: No

I have had Johnnie Ryan’s non-diet root beer before, but I cannot remember how it tasted at all. I plan on having that one again to review it here. The bottle for the diet one is really cool. First off, it’s only 11.5 ounces, which makes it slightly irregular—always a plus for my collection. Second, there isn’t the usual label, rather, it is embossed onto the bottle, which I like a lot. It has dual languages, another quality I don’t usually find. Upon opening the bottle, there is no head at all. The taste is pretty good for a diet root beer. I actually like it quite a lot. If I had to go with diet root beer again, this one would be near the top of the list.

6/10

Capone Family Secret Root Beer

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Producer: Capone Family Secret, Inc., Chicago, IL
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, sodium benzoate, natural flavor, and citric acid
Calories: 180
Sugars: 30
Caffeine: No

This root beer is apparently an old Capone family secret recipe that was made in the 1920s. I have seen it online but this is my first time trying it. The label has an old car full of wooden kegs with the Chicago skyline in the background. It definitely stays true to the Capone theme. The taste is weird. It’s not very strong, but what there is doesn’t taste that much like root beer to me. It just kind of has a weird taste that is almost like cola. There is a lot of fizz. It might be the fizziest one I’ve had recently. Despite what other reviewers have said (here, here, and here), I just don’t think this a very good root beer. I wouldn’t recommend drinking this one.

3/10

Rocky Mountain Root Beer

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Producer: Rocky Mountain Soda Co., Denver, CO
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated Colorado Water, Rocky Mountain Beet Sugar, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate
Calories: 140
Sugars: 39
Caffeine: No

Another one from Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. That place is amazing. I think I have seen this one online a few times, but have never gotten around to ordering it, nor have I ever seen it anywhere before. The label is really cool and very detailed. The ingredient list is interesting, as it uses beet sugar instead of pure cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The taste is unique in a good way. I wonder if it is the beet sugar or something else. I don’t know if I’ve tasted anything quite like it. But it is still very good. If you’re looking for a new taste, check this one out.

7/10