Feb 112015

Haley and Annabelle's Vanilla Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalThere’s a lot for me to like about this root beer without even trying it. For one the inspiration for these girls to start their own root beer came out of a party at their French Immersion School. I love French. Then they use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, and I lived in Madagascar. Then there’s the fact that it’s a vanilla root beer, one of my favorite kinds. They launched this brew as a way to pay for the girls’ college. While noticing the picture on the label of the girls in front of the Eiffel Tower, I’m going to have to say that if you’re short on college funds, trips to France generally don’t help. But some people want their college and their trips to Paris, and if a new brand of root beer is the ticket to both then who am I to complain. Now these aren’t the first siblings I’ve encountered using their own root beer to get to college, as D-n-A use the same gimmick. I wonder if they’ve ever met? What if they do meet in the same college and Alphonse (my name for the A in D-n-A) and Annabelle fall in love? Then they could combine their recipes to make Double AA Root Beer to rival/defeat Triple AAA Root Beer! One can only hope.

The Body is rich and creamy with a ton of luscious bourbon vanilla flavor. This perfectly complements a solid root beer core. There isn’t a lot of Bite on this one; they’re going for silky smooth. I do prefer a bit of spice, but the smooth is always good. The Head is tall and frothy like it should be. It foams up right to the top of my 20 ounce mug and hangs around for awhile. The Aftertaste is lots more bourbon vanilla that lasts awhile. I do love that.

Yummy! This is an amazing root beer. Such sweet, smooth, Bourbon Vanilla flavor. I’ve never had that flavor in a root beer save my own home brew. If you are a vanilla lover, this root beer is definitely for you. I’m proud to give this my Seal of Approval. D-n-A got one too … I think those boys should definitely meet these girls. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Nov 212012

The other root beer I snagged on my San Diego trip. It’s made by Old Town Root Beer Co. but the label seems to say that it’s D-n-A Root Beer. I don’t know. Once again I lament the lack of standards. It seems like ‘D’ and ‘A’ are the initials of the two kids on the label, and evidently this private root beer brand goes to pay for their college. Not sure what their real names are though, so I’ll assume they’re the most awesome names possible, like Demetrius and Alfonse. The most interesting thing about the black and white photo is that the root beer bottle labels in it are colored. Very strange. Sadly, they aren’t the recursive labels which would have upped the coolness factor of this by about e^pi.

The Body has a nice honey with creamy vanilla and spices. The sassafras flavor is pretty light, and it almost borders being watered down. There is a very good Bite, with the main spice cinnamon I think. There’s a good kick but not too much. The Head is solid. It is several inches tall and very frothy. The Aftertaste is very nice cinnamon and honey, with the slightest hint of vanilla. Yet, it is light and vanishes quickly.

Yum! I love that spicy, creamy, honey flavor. I wish the core were a bit stronger, but it is still a pleasure to drink and that Bite is amazing as is the Head. It was really close, but this one barely squeaked in to the upper echelon of root beer goodness. Congrats Old Town Root Beer Company, you’ve got 1 out of 3 that made it for me. The bottle is correct, “It is not your average Root beer.” See how it rates against other root beers.

Oct 032012

On my recent trip to San Diego for the IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting I had two main root beer goals, acquire Old Town D-n-A Root Beer and visit the San Diego Brewing Company, which is the only brewery in the area that makes their own root beer. They’re located over 5 miles from the hotel where I was at, but I rented a car for a day to visit my Aunt in Escondido and this was along the way. What a perfect place for lunch. This time I didn’t say who I was or what I was doing, because frankly, I would prefer to keep anonymity until after I know that I like the stuff. Trashing someone’s creation may be fun over the internet, but I’d rather not do it in person in their establishment if I can avoid it. This time I was extremely glad I did.

This has a medium, dark body that is rather spicy with licorice and wintergreen hints. The licorice flavor isn’t too strong but it is noticeable. The overall flavor reminds me of generic root beer flavor candy. The Bite is sharp and strong from cloves and carbonation. I wish it were toned down a bit. The Head is non-existent, even when the waitress tried to pour it from the tap in such a way to build the largest Head possible, there was nothing. The Aftertaste is wintergreen and licorice with accents of clove.

This really reminds me of the Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Root Beer, but with lighter flavors and no Head at all. It is just a little better than the generic stout root beer from the added cloves but not really anything special at all. When informed that there were no free refills, I opted for water for the rest of my meal, this wasn’t a root beer I’d ever pay for again. The food on the other hand was fabulous. The Cajun blackened guacamole pepper-jack burger with a side of sweet potato fries was extremely flavorful and well portioned. That might be worth another visit some day, but I’ll pass on the root beer.

My guacamole burger with sweet potato fries.

The Root Beer tap on the wall