4. Blue Sky Organic
6. Dr. Tima
7. Henry Weinhard
9. Santa Cruz Organic
10. Sioux City
11. Thomas Kemper
And the winner is . . . IBC! (Are you surprised? We were surprised.)
Notable mentions: Henry Weinhard’s, Virgil’s, and Dr. Tima.
Tasting Notes – The Favorites:
IBC – We couldn’t believe that we liked this root beer the best. Initially, I was biased against IBC because it is made with high-fructose corn syrup. We both had expected that we would like one brewed with cane sugar the most. However, it has a balanced, classic root beer flavor, which really says “root beer.” It’s also widely available in almost any local grocery store for a very reasonable price. And another plus: no label. It’s green! [Except for the corn syrup part, which is definitely not green. -SP]
Henry Wienhard’s – Henry’s had the most beautiful head of all the root beers we sampled. The foam consisted of very fine bubbles and even left a residue in the glass. Pretty. Also super tasty and would drink this anytime.
Virgil’s – This was our house root beer before we did the taste test. It’s a great root beer, but more complex (and kind of hefty) in comparison with the others. The licorice flavor is more pronounced, but not in a bad way. Sort of like the stout of root beers.
Dr. Tima – Dr. Tima’s is sweetened exclusively with honey. The honey flavor is unique, and although not traditional, a very nice pairing with the vanilla and licorice notes.
And the ones that didn’t make the cut:
Barq’s – Tastes more like Coke than Root Beer.
A&W – Lacks depth.
Santa Cruz Organic – First of all, it looked like a pale ginger ale. Second of all, it wasn’t root beer. I’m not exactly sure how to classify the flavor. Gross? Should only drink their Spritzers, which are delicious.
Blue Sky Organic – I generally really like Blue Sky soda, but their Root Beer tastes a little strange. Not necessarily bad, but somehow strange.
Americana – Tastes too strongly of vanilla.
Dad’s – What happened to the carbonation?
Sioux City & Thomas Kemper – Both are sort of just an average root beer. Not bad, not great.