Friday, June 18, 2010

A Root Beer Tasting - Which Brand Ruled?

Yesterday I blogged about our German Grill Party and alluded to a root beer tasting conducted collectively by those in attendance. Behold, the contenders:

Left to right, we have: A&W; Henry Weinhard's; Natural Brew; and Virgil's. Here were some of the comments heard and observations made regarding the nuances of the different brands.

A&W: By far the sweetest (thanks to loads of high fructose corn syrup), this classic came on very strong and tingly on the tongue. The flavor is pretty straight forward and uncomplicated - made for easy drinking.

Henry Weinhard: The flavor here was smoother and milder with deeper notes than A&W. The There wasn't a strong aftertaste here, and the flavor was very honey-like.

Virgil's: No artificial sweetener here - this one is sweetened with cane sugar. I respect that. This was a complex brew, including but not limited to notes of nutmeg, wintergreen, anise, and licorice. It was a strong drink but the preferred choice of my licorice-loving husband.

Natural Brew: This one is sweetened with natural cane juice and is probably the most likely to offend the average drinker's palate with strong notes of sweet birch, wintergreen, anise, licorice, sarsaparilla, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla. Probably the least favorite among our group, but not repugnant by any means and probably a good choice for those wanting to cut out HFCS from their diet.

My personal favorite was the smooth Henry W, while the majority of our tasters were drawn back to the familiar sugar-sweetness of A&W. I still want to try Thomas Kemper and IBC. Other suggestions or favorite brews?

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!