Oct 242011

“G’day Mate, I ‘ear you been lookin’ for some root beer Down Under. Well Bundaberg’s all we got, it’s Australian for root beer.” I suppose that would be how the conversation would go if I went to Australia and was looking for a root beer. It has a pretty cool short bottle that is actually 0.7 fl oz larger than the standard root beer bottle. It is also brewed so that got my hopes up. On the label is says “Invert bottle before opening” I found this rather curious. I wasn’t sure if they were saying that because ingredients would settle, or if they were implying that right-side up for them down there, would be upside down for us up here which would then require us to invert the bottle before we opened it to avoid spilling it everywhere. Not to ruin my root beer though, I dutifully inverted the bottle and made sure it was then right-side up before opening. When I poured it into the glass I noticed particles in suspension. So it seems that the reason to invert it is the former and not the latter.

The Body on this is not really like anything I’ve ever tasted before. The very first drink of the bottle makes me almost gag of surprise but then it isn’t so bad. Then is a strange and complex flavor that is fruity, so much fruity. I didn’t expect that fruit flavor at all. Not really much root beer flavor, but not terrible. It is actually very sweet. The Bite is very mellow and sour. The Head is actually not bad. It builds to a medium height and has a decent amount of frothiness to it. It still fizzes away faster than it should, though. The Aftertaste is a very tart fruity flavor with the faintest trace of some creamy vanilla.

It actually isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem to be a root beer. If you relabeled the bottle and called it something else (I’m not sure what) I am sure that it would be a quite good whatever it should be called. I suppose this is what the Aussies think root beer should taste like. It is also pretty disappointing because based on the ingredients, it should be much better than this. Intriguingly, like Mercury Root Beer, they put two kegs on the bottle. I think that this time they are spot on. See how it rates against other root beers.

  7 Responses to “Bundaberg Australian Root Beer”

  1. if you liked it, why rate it so low? i know i have that issue too though. i mean i like lime soda but if you put a root beer label on it, should it rate as highly as a good root beer even if my enjoyment level was the same? i lean towards “yes” myself. but i can see going the other way.

    • Well, their ginger, sarsaparilla, licorice brew turned into a very tart fruity type flavor. That’s not what root beer should taste like in my opinion. Some flavor variation is acceptable, but the core root beer-ness needs to be distinguishable and it really wasn’t with this one. It was the same with the Oogave Root Beer that was a nice sweet soda but a terrible root beer. Also, why I couldn’t give So Duh! a 5 because even though I loved it to death, I had to admit to myself that it’s core root beer flavor wasn’t as present as it should be.

  2. Its called sarsaparilla in Australia, not root beer, I think calling it root beer is just part of marketing,IMHO it takes root beer and kicks it in the ass……I wish I could get it at the local supermarkets instead of ordering it online

    • So it seems. Well they’ve labeled it a root beer so I’ll rate it as such. It is a better sarsaparilla than it is a root beer. They sell it at Cost Plus World Market, so you can get it there if you have one locally. I prefer root beer.

  3. I’m sure you found in the four years since you wrote this, but there is also a Bundaberg ginger beer that tastes remarkably similar. However, it is much more fitting as a ginger beer than a root beer, certainly.

  4. For me what makes a good root beer is the wintergreen, which this did not have.
    I was disappointed when I bought Bundaberg because I didn’t get what I was expecting, but that does not make it a bad tasting drink, it is just not root beer or least for the USA and UK. I thought it was quite malty, they should rename it licorice flavoured ginger beer.

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