Small Town Brewery - Not Your Father's Root Beer

My last foray into an adult version of root beer ended terribly. Nevertheless, I got an enthusiastic recommendation from the new guy at my local distributor. I certainly hope he wasn't just trying to make a sale. It would seem out of character for that fine establishment that I've given too many free plugs for.

The color is... the color of root beer. It's very dark brown with hints of red. The head is very not like root beer - it pretty much isn't there, and most root beers that I've had have a full, thick head that refuses to die down for quite a while. The aroma is all kinds of root beer. There's vanilla and, well, root beer. On top of the root beer, there is a distinct liquor aroma about it. I'm actually reminded of root beer schnapps. In my younger days, I used to drink and mix Root Beer Shooters (half root beer schnapps and half Coke) that this reminds me of from the smell. It smells too sweet.

First sip is very much like the Root Beer Shooter - it has the twang of alcohol and the sweetness of a liquor mixed with a sweet cola. I was told that this tastes, "just like root beer," but I can totally taste the difference. Mind you, that doesn't make it bad. While I would often sip a root beer, and this seems like it would be perfectly serviceable in that capacity. If I was drinking a root beer with a burger, I really don't know that I would be able to tell the difference. But in this blog, we gulp to separate the good (root) beer from the great (root) beer.

Tip-in is root beer with vanilla and sweetness. The middle starts to differentiate this beer from the non-alcoholic versions of the same thing with a smooth character that is very unlike root beer. The lack of significant carbonation really mellows out the whole experience. Sweetness has taken over like honey and molasses trying to eat away the teeth. The finish brings a tingle across the tongue by the minimal carbonation. An odd smoky cloud runs across the mouth, and the finish is a hint of alcohol on top of the root beer base.

Bottom Line: A good alternative to beer or cider when you want something sweet, but you want something adult.



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