Henry Weinhard, Portland, Oregon, started as a beer maker in 1862. Seems like most early brewers made a root beer as well, and he was no exception. A common period for starting the root beer brew was a way to stay in business when prohibition was established. He partnered with Arnold Blitz and they had the Blitz-Weinhard brewery. It was sold to Pabst Brewing Company in 1979, who then sold it to Stroh’s in 1996. By 1999 the brewing operation were sold to and the last brew from the original Weinhard brewery was on August 27, 1999. The Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve brand survives today and is currently owned by SAB Miller in London England.
Now for the review! (Click here for rating criteria information)
Ingredients: Carbonated Water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, vanilla extract, natural and artificial flavor, phosphoric acid and sodium benzoate, honey essence and acacia sassafras extract. (14 calories per ounce)
Aroma and Flavor
When you open the bottle, the aroma is not overpowering. You get a sense it will be a sweet brew and the vanilla is notable (a highpoint for me). The flavor is very prominent with a nice full, sweet body. The smoothness is nice; it made me think, “Life is good!” Since this is made with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as the second ingredient, I expected a syrup taste and feel. I think the honey with the balance of vanilla and sassafras gives it a high degree of sweetness yet dampens the HFCS.
It scores a 2.2 out of 3 for aroma and flavor. (Decreased 0.5 by high amount of HFCS)
This is the best head of any root beer I have reviewed. It is theperfect Head. Long lasting and does not detract from the beverage quality. Not much more can be said about the top quality head. However, if you drink it from the bottle, the head is excessive.
The score is 2.5 out of 3 for the head
There is not a lot of bite that does not come from the HFCS. Although, you know you are drinking more than HFCS, which rates this higher than similar beverages.
The Score is 2 out of 3 for zip.
Post Consumption Impression
Your Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer experience is capped off with a fairly clean ending, leaving a pleasant aftertaste. Even though this is a solid root beer, I really do not like HFCS. Everything about this product is superior to many others.
It scores a 2.3 out of 3 for post consumption impression. (Decreased 0.5 by high amount of HFCS)
Would I recommend this?
Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer could be a solid gourmet root beer, if it was not laces with HFCS. To date I have found root beers seem to have a solid result with in one aspect yet lacks in others. The spice mix and the head make it a tough brew to beat. The level of HFCS also affects the sugars and calories at almost 4 grams of sugar and 14 calories per ounce.
Overall score is a 9 out of 12 mugs, and would have beed 10.5 but decrease due to HFCS).