Maine Root Root Beer

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Our Review: 7.5/10
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Visitor Rating: 7.0/10
(17 votes cast)

Maine Root has produced a competent, well-balanced root beer.  The bottle is nice with a beautiful label.  There is an excellent “pop” of released carbonation when the bottle is opened, and it pours into a fairly stable foam.  This delicious root beer is smooth and creamy, with vanilla, clove, anise, nutmeg and a hint of candycane.  It is quite sweet, but not cloying, and there is a pleasant, creamy aftertaste.  This perfectly balanced root beer is comforting and even tastes good when not ice cold, which makes it an excellent choice when curled up by the fire.

Maine Root is produced by two enthusiastic brothers who are passionate about the grassroots rootbeer movement.  Visit their website at http://www.maineroot.com.

Mug Root Beer

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Our Review: 4.5/10
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Visitor Rating: 6.9/10
(57 votes cast)

Mug Root Beer is a common canned grocery-store soda that shows up at company BBQs and in multi-soda variety packs everywhere.  It is a syrupy and very sweet candy-like root beer designed to satisfy the masses, not impress the aficionado.  It has a creamy texture and a slight citrus tang.  There is no hint of earthiness or spicyness. The flavour lingers on the tongue.

Virgil’s Micro Brewed Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer
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Our Review: 8.0/10
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Visitor Rating: 7.7/10
(96 votes cast)

Virgil’s certainly comes with a lofty reputation, and after the drum-roll died down, we came to the conclusion that it really is pretty darn good.  It seems to represent a little bit of every quality that is good in the root beers we have tried.  Virgil’s is dry with an earthy mineral-sand flavour, as if spiced with a hint of Essence of Bauxite.  It is a little tinny, well carbonated, sharp and fresh, although it also has a slightly rich, cloying aftertaste that will satisfy lovers of creamier root beers.  We think that the flavours of “nutmeg, imported anise and wintergreen” claimed on the bottle could be stronger, but we aren’t complaining.  Overall, this root beer lives up to its reputation – excellent work guys.

One other interesting observation – why does the man on the bottle looks disturbingly like Jesus when viewed at a distance?

The Pop Shoppe

Pop Shoppe Root Beer
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Our Review: 6.0/10
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Visitor Rating: 5.1/10
(7 votes cast)

This Canadian root beer, made in Burlington, Ontario, is angling to be a “classic” soda.  The opening overtures are fantastic.  True to its name, the bottle emits a satisfying popping noise when the cap is removed.  When poured, a remarkably stable foam forms on top – the best we’ve ever seen.  The aroma and flavours are interesting, tasting like Christmas spices.  This is not a refreshing root beer, however, and has a weird sticky taste and a syrupy sweetness.  We recommend Pop Shoppe as a Holiday Season root beer.

Stewart’s Original Root Beer

Stewart's Original Root Beer
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Our Review: 4.5/10
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Visitor Rating: 6.8/10
(26 votes cast)

This root beer tastes like a cheap restaurant fountain drink.  It has a slightly creamy tang and an acidic kick.  It does not have any spiciness or other interesting flavours, although it does have a pleasing chocolate aroma. The high level of carbonation and less-than-pleasing taste remind us of a cheap canned root beer, a far cry from the quality “fountain classic” it is marketed as.

Blue Sky Creamy Root Beer

Blue Sky Creamy Root Beer
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Our Review: 6.0/10
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Visitor Rating: 5.7/10
(14 votes cast)

Blue Sky is confusing to drink.  It is sickly sweet, but also quite refreshing.  It is highly carbonated, acidic, and has a strong tang, yet it looks dark and smooth like a lagoon.  Some people think it tastes creamy, while others think the opposite, but everyone agrees that no particular flavours stand out.  The excessive sweetness gives it a sticky aftertaste, as if the makers of the soda have to convince you that it’s claim of being sweetened with cane sugar is somehow different than regular sugar.  Blue Sky tastes mass-produced, but it does not have the tinny flavour characteristic of canned root beers.  Really you must try it for yourself – Blue Sky is a different drink for everyone.

Steaz Organic Sparkling Green Tea Root Beer

Steaz Organic Green Tea Root Beer
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Our Review: 6.5/10
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Visitor Rating: 7.0/10
(3 votes cast)

Okay, it’s not really root beer, but how could we resist reviewing a beverage with such an unlikely combination of ingredients? Antioxidant health benefits aside, green tea and root beer work surprisingly well together.  Steaz tastes exactly as it sounds – like cold green tea with root beer poured in.  It is very refreshing and crisp, slightly bitter (from the tea), and has citrus undertones.  An overstated creamsicle flavour dominates on the root beer side, which is surprising in such a refreshing beverage.  There is a lingering aftertaste, but it’s not entirely unpleasant.  It is not too sweet, and the bubbles from carbonation seem smaller and more refined than in a regular soda, like it was brewed with Perrier.  While Steaz is strange, and clearly not a root beer, we highly recommend you try it on a hot summer day.

Hank’s Gourmet Philidalphia Recipe Root Beer

Hank's Gourmet Root Beer
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Our Review: 7.0/10
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Visitor Rating: 7.8/10
(26 votes cast)

This thick and creamy root beer is tasty and satisfying, but drinks more like a milkshake than a refreshing soda.  It has stong aromas of cream soda and vanilla.  It tastes like a root beer float, almost as if dollop of vanilla ice cream is hiding on the bottom. It is very sweet, almost to the point of overpowering the other flavours, and it has a slightly cloying aftertaste that sticks in the throat.  It should also be noted that the bottle is curvacious and pleasant to hold.  If you are looking for a traditional creamy root beer with a thick fulfilling body and sweet desert-like characteristics, look no further.

Real Brew Draft Root Beer

Real Brew Draft Root Beer
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Our Review: 6.5/10
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Visitor Rating: 7.6/10
(16 votes cast)

This root beer has a sharp tang and a fresh and spirited flavour.  It is creamy with a strong vanilla flavour.  The flavour is rich and full, with a slight bubblegum aftertaste and a soothing kick.  It is less carbonated than other root beers, which we both prefer.  Real Brew has a hand-crafted taste and earthy undertones, a feature that is liked by one of us and distinctly disliked by the other.  Regardless, an excellent and unique root beer that stands out from the crowd.

It must be mentioned that the two reviewers, Aristophanes and Rasputin, disagreed on this root beer.  Aristophanes maintains that it is an excellent example of fine rootbeer craft, whatever Rasputin says.

Purchased From: The Sweet Potato, Dundas St. W, Toronto, Ontario, Canada