Mar 202019

Jelly Belly A&W Root Beer Jelly Beans

Ah Jelly Belly, the Original Gourmet Jelly Bean. At least that’s what they claim and it seems they’ve been around for over 100 years, so … maybe? Despite my absolute love of jelly beans, I’ve never done much research on them. And on that topic, I must say that jelly beans are my favorite candy type (if I had to pick), especially in Easter baskets. Jelly Belly has a host of various flavors and I’ve always been struck by how realistic their flavors taste, especially that juicy pear. But I’m not here to talk about pears, I’m here to talk root beer. They’ve licensed A&W, the most iconic brand, for their root beer flavor which has my hopes high.

They have a very nice root beer flavor, though a little mintier than A&W, and also less vanilla. It’s more like a root beer barrel flavor made into a jelly bean. Somehow, it also seems like they are carbonated, which is ridiculous, because you can make a fizzy jelly bean, but it still feels like that in my mouth.

What dark magic have they employed to make a fizzy jelly bean? They never cease to amaze me. Now, I still hold that this doesn’t really taste much like A&W, yet, more than any candy I’ve ever had, it most closely resembles the root beer drinking experience, because of that arcane wizardry. So I heartily recommend these.

Jul 152015

A&W Root Beer BottleA and W. Two letters that redefined the root beer and fast food landscape. While Charles Hires brought us the fine drink we call root beer, it was Allen and Wright that took it to the modern era. Forty-three years after Hires swept the nation with dry powdered concentrate and bottled goodness, a new player entered the fray with a new way to do things. While Hires was a genius in advertising, and Allen the father of the modern franchise. Within two decades his root beer stands dotted the land and his brew the most commonly drank root beer in the country and became the defacto root beer standard definition of a root beer for many. Other business titans, like the Marriotts, sprang from humble franchise owners. While growing up, for me, A&W was the good stuff. The special root beer instead of the store brands. And after I became The Root Beer Gourmet, A&W also ushered in another era. For while I’d had several types of glass bottled root beer, and had sworn never to go back to cans or plastic, it wasn’t until I found bottles of this being sold in a mini-mart on White Pass that I started my root beer bottle collection. I was traveling there with my future brother-in-law to get his sister on the other side of the pass. I’d never seen my old favorite in glass bottles and I wanted to keep the bottle to show my dad.

It’s got a good Body and nice Head, but is too harsh in the carbonation on the Bite. Aftertaste is very pleasant.

This is a nice creamy root beer that’s good but not quite top notch. It’s middle of the road though, so everyone pretty much likes it if they like root beer. After that trip I decided that I would collect a root beer bottle from every new brew that I drank, and rate them as to which was the best. The website idea came several weeks later. A&W, once again it’d changed the root beer world. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Jan 152014

Capt'n Eli's Root Beer Bottle One day, out of the blue, I get an email from the people at Capt’n Eli asking me if I’d like to try their root beer. Yes, I responded, that is my primary reason for existence. If only more companies would follow suit. They sent me a 4-pack and a comic book about Capt’n Eli, an orphan boy genius who loves the sea, has a pet dog, builds his own submarine, and may be descended from Captain Nemo (I only had the first issue so I’m not sure how the plot developed). It’s called the Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli. One of his first inventions was making a root beer machine. I’m guessing that the root beer they’re selling is supposed to be from his root beer machine. This is the first and only time I’ve encountered a root beer with its own comic book, unless you count Snoopy with A&W though Snoopy wasn’t invented to push root beer so it’s a bit different. They’ve since expanded their soda line because why not.

The Body was sweet and creamy but with too much anise and no honey. The Bite was spicy and the Head was perfect. The Aftertaste was of vanilla and anise that wasn’t bad but at the same time not overly good.

This is a well crafted brew with attention to detail. I could taste the fact that they used natural flavors. It was really good, but I just don’t like the anise flavor too much, if they just had a little less of that and some honey or something. It pained me to not give them a Seal of Approval because they were so nice, but the root beer wasn’t quite up to my tastes. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs