Virgil’s has been around for a long time. It was ballyhooed to me greatly in the 90’s by many only to leave me quite disappointed when I finally tried it. Last year, however, there was a shake up in the company for some reason. I don’t know all of the details, but for some reason the bottling was moved to a new location, the fan favorite, Bavarian Nutmeg (the only one I liked) was discontinued, and the recipe and name was changed on the flagship root beer. Now it sports an all natural recipe and the name Handcrafted Root Beer as opposed to the original Micro Brewed designation. I guess the new bottler brews bigger batches and they do so by hand? I don’t know, but it means that I can write a new review on the new recipe with the new name cause it’s a new root beer and that makes me happy. The label picture is also slightly different yet similar and somehow not as cool, like the Digitally Remastered Edition… Anyways, root beer.
The Body is kind of dark and rather complex. There’s sarsaparilla, licorice, a hint of fruity, and some other stuff going on but it doesn’t really work. The Bite is mild with no discernable spices yet harsh at the same time in mouthfeel. The Head is tall initially but fizzes down really quickly. The Aftertaste is sarsaparilla with licorice hints and fruity notes.
I like this less than their original and I wasn’t a fan of that. I don’t know how they made it worse, but they did. It just doesn’t mix well. Their last version at least had a balanced flavor, even though I didn’t like it. This is all over the place while also failing to be good. So yeah, I don’t know what they hoped to accomplish by getting rid of their best root beer flavor and making their flagship worse, but I don’t have a lot of hope for this company. See how it rates against other root beers.