I keep wanting to call this Johnnie Walker instead of Johnnie Ryan. Not that I drink whiskey, but I do see it all the time in Duty Free Shops. There’s also several points of branding similarity. Johnny Walker has for a logo a distinguished looking fellow with a top hat and a cane, Johnnie Ryan has got a logo that is just a top hat and a cane, minus the gentleman. Then there’s Johnnie Walker Red Label, and Johnnie Ryan has a red label. So you can see why it would be easy to get confused. As far as I can tell from reading the various websites, there is no affiliation between the two (unlike Dr. McGillicudy’s which makes schnapps and root beer) and so I’m going to just chalk it up to an uncanny coincidence. The bottle is pretty unique and it was the first time I’d seen this type before when I reviewed it. The only downside is that it isn’t quite 12 oz, so you feel a bit ripped off by the whole thing.
This has a full Body that is sweet and slightly creamy. It basically has the standard root beer flavor. The Bite is strong from carbonation but light on spices; I prefer it a little more the other way. The Head is a decent height but low on froth and fizzes away in seconds. The root beer is not left flat by any means however. The Aftertaste is a mild sweet vanilla.
So, it’s a good brew, but not quite exceptional. Maybe if they used some more spices in there and a tad more vanilla. Or, perhaps if they used more “flavor” than preservatives … but what do I know? I’d drink it again, but not by itself, and they don’t need to worry about that extra fraction of an ounce. See how it rates against other root beers.