Saturday, November 28, 2015

Frostie Vanilla (#24 - Rated 3.0 out of 12)

Frostie was originally produced as a root beer in 1939.  Over time, they expanded the varieties to 10, of which three are root beer based.  In 1979, Frostie was purchased by Monarch Beverage Company (Dad’s and Ramblin Root Beer).  In 2000, after years of faltering sales, it was sold to Leading Edge Brands who in 2009 sold it to Intrastate Distributors.

Ingredients: Carbonated water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or sugar, caramel color, Sodium benzoate, Citric Acid, and natural and artificial flavors

I assume they list more than one sugar option so they can just add the least expensive option when making the beverage and would not need to upgrade the bottle.

Nutrition (from the bottle)

180 Calories 
50 mg Sodium.
46g Sugar (17%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.0 out of 3 mugs

Immediately upon opening, I realized frosty vanilla root beer is not a root beer. The first aroma is like opening a heavily fragranced aroma vanilla candle.  I compare it to what I would envision a cupcake stuffed up my nose would be like.  It did not take much knowledge to understand this was corn syrup based as it get the same aroma from opening a corn syrup bottle. 

Then came my first drink.  Crazy vanilla soaked in sugar cubes is my first thought.  It gave me an ill feeling after a few minutes.  This is not a beverage I will to purchase again.  I only awarded this a 1 as it is intense and if that is the desire, they deserve some credit.  I almost think they were trying to mimic a bad vanilla ice cream root beer float

Head – 0.0 out of 3 mugs  

The head was pretty much nonexistent even when I try to make the head it using every technique I could, it was really visible.

Zip – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  

This is flat.  At times, I almost thought I was drinking lightly carbonated corn syrup.

Post Consumption Impression – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  

I hate to give any beverage less than a 1.0, as I am sure there are some merits.  I can’t find anything I prefer in a beverage in the Frostie Vanilla Root Beer.  The sweetness and intensity are overwhelming!  In fact, I tossed the last portion as I just could not continue drinking this liquid vanilla almond bark.

Would I recommend this at 3 out of 12 mugs?

I had some people try it in the house and one of them said it's like a putting excessively vanilla frosted birthday cake in a blender and taking a drink.  I don't think it is good in a soda!  Looking at the ingredients, this is his artificial was one could get. It is obviously a heavy commercial drink. Made at the lowest cost to gain the highest consumer. With 50 mg of sodium, it is the highest I have ever encountered and 46 g of carbs/sugar is really excessive.  If you liked Golden Maple (which I hated) you will love this beverage.  Otherwise, move to another option. 

As you can see below, not many agree with me.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ramblin Root Beer (#23 - Rated 7.5 out of 12)

According to my research, this is a major commercial root beer created in 1979 by Coca-Cola.  I though, why introduce a root beer when there was Hire's, A&W, Mug, Dad's, Barq's, Shasta, Faygo, Nesbitt's and various store brand knock-offs available.  I assume it was market share grab Coca-Cola already had Dad’s.  It was a memorable advertisement from my younger days with a young Sarah Jessica Parker.  I am not sure I ever consumed it, but must have, as I always loved Root Beer.

It was limited production after Coca-Cola purchased Barq’s Root Beer in 1995 with some saying it was out of production for over a decade and was recently reintroduced into the market (this year – 2015).    

One thing I noted is it has Quillaia Extract in the ingredients.  What is Quillaia Extract?  After significant reading, it is a foaming agent!  An artificial ingredient to make foam in a drink.  I thought that was reserved for detergents?

Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, Potassium benzoate, natural and artificial flavors, gum Acacia, Quillaia Extract, and Phosphoric Acid

Nutrition (from the bottle)

160 Calories 
0 mg Sodium
39g Sugar (14%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.8 out of 3 mugs

Upon the twist of the cap, it was just a root beer aroma.  At the first taste, I knew I was drinking root beer, although it had a slight medicine taste.   There was no vanilla.  It seems to have a slight sarsaparilla taste, yet it was very artificial taste. 

Head – 2.5 out of 3 mugs  

This was so foamy, it was past ridiculous.  You need to be cautious when pouring!  It was the most significant I have ever seen, but it was foam, not bubble style foam, but thick foam, like the thickest Afro one could imagine.  I guess I should not be surprised as it has Quillaia Extract, which is intended to create foam!  It received a lower score as the foam impacted the enjoyment.  If I did like the advertisement and guzzled this, it may not matter!

Zip – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

The beverage is uneventful.  Then I found nothing that gave me a solid sensation of enjoyment yet nothing to stop me from wanting another sip.

Post Consumption Impression – 1.7 out of 3 mugs  

This was an odd review to complete as I could see loving this like no other or hating it like no other.  It really depends on how I drink the beverage.

Would I recommend this at 7.5 out of 12 mugs?

I am not sure what the huge push to bring the beverage back was, unless it was to guzzle and move on to the next task at hand.   I would love this is I was really thirsty and wanted a quick sugar drink.  I think in the middle of an ultra-marathon it would do the trick.  Otherwise, I would look for another option, yet would not turn this beverage down.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Red Ribbon (#22 - Rated 6.25 out of 12)

Red Ribbon Home Brewed Root Beer is from Pennsylvania.  It is from the Natrona Bottling Company in Natrona, Pennsylvania.

The company was founded as the Natrona Bottling Works in 1904 by Ed Welsh, and was purchased by the Bowser family in 1939, who changed the name to the Natrona Bottling Company. John Bowser hired his 15-year-old brother Paul, who worked at the company after school and on weekends. Paul operated and later owned the company – for a combined seventy years – until his death in 2008.  They have a YouTube video of the company.  Looks pretty vintage.

Ingredients: carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid and caramel color.

Nutrition (from the bottle)

15 mg Sodium.
30g Sugar (10%) of Daily Carbohydrates
 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.5 out of 3 mugs

First impression is that this average root beer.  It has a unique taste and carbonation, which is not common.  Almost has a tonic water base taste.  It is watered down with slight root beer flavor.

Head – 2.0 out of 3 mugs  

Decent head.  Dissipated fast but not to frothy and with a medium size bubble.

Zip – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

For carbonation, they use CO2 from dry ice to create carbonation and supposedly help the flavor.  I can only describe is as lightly flavor tonic water.

Post Consumption Impression – 1.25 out of 3 mugs  

 This is not terrible, yet it is plain.  Did not leave me wanting more.  I compare it to mineral water with stevia root beer drops.  That would be zero calories and be close to what I felt from this beverage.

Would I recommend this at 6.25 out of 12 mugs?

I would not seek it out but would not turn it gown if it were offered as a beverage, yet I would ask for other option prior to accepting.


Eric's 2.5 out of 5 barrels

Cosmo's 5 out of 10 IBCs

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Barons Sarsaparilla (#21 - Rated 7.9 out of 12)

There is no information on the web about this soda.  I searched every possible search names to find some background and came up empty.  The bottle stated e-mail is and distributed by Barons Beverages.  

So with no information, I will get right into the review.  (Click here for information on the rating criteria and a table of all the root beer tested or to be tested.)

Ingredients: carbonated water, pure cane sugar, natural flavor, caramel color, citric acid and gum arabic.

Nutrition (from the bottle)

Calories 140
15 mg Sodium
 36g sugars (12%) of Daily Carbohydrates
 0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 2.4 out of 3 mugs
This has a great root beer aroma.  I immediately had high hopes!  I was not let down.  While it is missing the heavy vanilla I generally like, this just had that homemade and simple root beer.  The level of sweetness is lower with sugars being 3.17 g per ounce and sodium was 1.25 mg per ounce.  While not the lowest, it is notable.   If there would be a vanilla hint, it would be close to perfect. What was odd is it had a minor cherry taste as well. 

Head – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

The head was small and dissipated quickly.  Average at best.

Zip – 1.75 out of 3 mugs  

 The low carbonation and the minimal ingredients make this category a little more than average.  It does have a solid taste overall, but not a root beer taste but a gourmet soda with a slash of cherry.

Post Consumption Impression – 2.25 out of 3 mugs  

It was enjoyable but it was more like a low carbonated cheery coke than a solid root beer.    I would not hesitate to drink it again.  The first drink was enjoyable yet the more I consumed the enjoyment decreased.

Would I recommend this at 7.9 out of 12 mugs?

It is worth a try.  It is one that has a mix of scored from other users.  I understand that as it has really is a beverage that has average tasting yet can be enjoyed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Judge Wapner (#20 - Rated 8.0 out of 12)

Rocket Fizz is the maker of this and a variety of other sodas.  I have Rocket Fizz Root Beer Float and already reviewed Gene Aurty’s Root Beer.  Rocket Fizz is predominately known for a diverse candy line (some say over 4,000 varieties), but unique sodas are also a niche.  Web search found they have made over 500 varieties of soda over their history.  Not all directly under the Rocket Fizz parent company.  They even make a Sugar Ray Leonard Root Beer!

Ingredients: carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, and sodium benzoate to preserve freshness

Nutrition (from the bottle)

65 mg Sodium.
40 g sugar (14%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 2.25 out of 3 mugs

Immediately upon opening it had a minty root beer aroma.  The first sip found a light and mild flavor. Then the hint of vanilla and strong wintergreen surface after a few seconds.  It is very smooth and sweet.  There are hints of cinnamon, which fade quickly.  It is a decent flavor mix yet the minty is to dominating for my preference.  It lacks the sarsaparilla, caramel and vanilla I prefer.  I did score this high as it is a solid and smooth beverage, if you like the mint.

Head – 2.0 out of 3 mugs  

The Head is medium height and frothy.  The foam is smaller than I typically see for a root beer yet they last surprisingly long.

Zip – 1.75 out of 3 mugs    (Docked 0.5 for excessive sodium)

 Carbonation is medium and provides a slight zip yet I can’t overcome the excessive mint taste, which is hard to miss.  I wonder of the 65 mg of sodium is what I have falsely called zip.   This is almost twice as much as any other root beer I reviews at this time. 

Post Consumption Impression – 2.0 out of 3 mugs  

 This is smooth yet has an odd, sticky aftertaste that is minty.  I have the feeling I recently brushed my teeth. 

Would I recommend this at 8 out of 12 mugs?

I would not say I would not recommend the root beer.  It had some qualities that are superb for those who want a mint beverage with a splash of traditional root beer.  They do not use HFCS.  This is not my preference, and for that reason the score is lower than some other reviewing might rate the beverage.  Although, of the minty root beers I tasted, this is one of the best!


Eric's 2 of 5 barrels
Anthony's 84 out of 100
Rob's 7 out of 10
Steve's 6.5 out of 10
Cosmo's 8 out of 10 IBCs

Monday, November 9, 2015

Doc Brown (#19 - Rated 4.5 out of 12)

Dr. Brown’s soda originated in 1869 by J&R Bottling.  Former marketing director, Harry Gold, said a New York doctor used celery seeds and sugar to invent the cream soda and celery tonic now known as Cel-Ray.  Rumor has it this was a Jewish preferred soda and the root beer followed.  It is an East Coast brand sold primarily in New York and South Florida. 

In 2013, J & R Bottling transferred the bottling rights to LA Bottleworks.  Pepsi currently bottles it so I bet the premium 1869 aspects are no longer part of the mix.

Ingredients: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, gum Acadia and Citric Acid.

Nutrition (from the 12 oz bottle)

Calories 170
0 mg Sodium.
42 g Sugar (14%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  (Docked 0.5 for HFCS)

Immediately upon opening, a heavy spearmint/wintergreen aroma came from the bottle.  This carried right over to the first drink.  There was little vanilla, sarsaparilla or caramel taste.  It was like drinking a liquefied tic-tac.  It also was surprisingly low on sweetness, even though it was packed with 42 g of sugar.

Head – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  

The head was very low and almost non-existent.  I was really disappointed and for me, a one is pretty poor.

Zip – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

This is a very low carbonated beverage with liquid breath mints as the taste.  Once could equate that to zip, if I was drinking a beverage other than root beer.  The typical sarsaparilla taste is not apparent I gave it 1.5 as it had some impacting flavors, although not to my liking.

Post Consumption Impression – 1.0 out of 3 mugs (0.5 docked for HFCS)

This is a beverage that I would not run away from although it would be enjoyed with food.  Imagine how food would taste if before every bite you brushed your teeth with wintergreen toothpaste. 

Would I recommend this at 4.5 out of 12 mugs?

I'm not really sure if I would recommend this root beer.  It wasn't memorable and would pass for any old root beer?  I would not refuse it if offered to me as a last choice, but might ask for other options to verify it is the last choice.

Root Beer Review 4 out of 10
Eric's 3 out of 5 barrels
Root Beer Respect 6 out of 10
Cosmo's 5 out of 10 IBCs