Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review - Stewart's Orange 'n Cream Soda

Bottler: Dr. Pepper

Calories per Ounce: 15.8

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: If you somehow took a Dreamsicle and managed to transform it into a soda, it would taste like Stewart's Orange 'n Cream soda. For those of us that like Dreamsicles, this makes this orange and vanilla flavored soda an almost perfect drink. Served over ice, the vanilla flavor is muted and the orange flavor jumps forward. Oddly, when made into an ice cream float, the vanilla flavor fades away almost entirely, which surprised and somewhat disappointed me. Even so, this soda is fantastic straight, and that makes up for any other shortcomings.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review - Stewart's Root Beer

Bottler: Dr. Pepper

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Stewart's Root Beer is, thus far, my favorite root beer brand. Stewart's manages to combine the smooth up-front taste of vanilla with a decidedly spicy undercurrent of flavor that I can't quite place, but may be cinnamon. The only real drawback for the blend is that when it is consumed over ice, it loses much of its punch. As a root beer float, on the other hand, the spiciness is enhanced by the ice cream, creating a superior experience.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review - IBC Root Beer

Bottler: Dr. Pepper

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: IBC Root Beer markets itself as having a "creamy" flavor, reflecting its obviously heavy vanilla content and sweetness. Taken straight, it is heavy on carbonation, with a distinct carbonated bite. Over ice, the bite is mellowed and the promised creamy flavor dominates. IBC is one of my favorite brands of root beer for ice cream floats as the ice cream mellows the root beer, pushing forward the creamy vanilla flavor of the soda, which retains just enough of a hint of its normal bite to remain interesting. Overall, IBC is one of the best mass marketed root beers available.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review - Barq's Root Beer

Bottler: Barq's, Inc., a Coca-Cola Company.

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeinated? Yes.

Aaron's Comments: Barq's Root Beer has always tasted a little different from other root beers to me, and a little research revealed why - it was not originally formulated as root beer, but is instead a sarsparilla based drink. Barq's is also different from most other root beers in that it contains caffeine. It has a sharper taste than most other root beers, and almost no taste of vanilla. Over ice, Barq's loses much of its bite, and becomes almost bland. It makes an adequate, although unspectacular root beer float, as the sharp flavor doesn't blend particularly well with ice cream.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review - A&W Root Beer

Bottler: Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.

Calories per Ounce: 14.5

Caffeinated? No.

Aaron's Comments: Every journey has to begin somewhere, and this soda trek is starting with the most basic of root beer brands - A&W. Due to its almost ubiquitous nature, for most people, this is probably the "baseline" root beer with which they are familiar. The dominant flavor in A&W Root Beer is vanilla, which gives the soda a very smooth flavor. It also has a very sweet taste, probably because there is little in the vanilla-based mix of root flavors that offsets the sugar content. I think that this soda tastes better with ice, mostly because the ice breaks up the relentlessly sweet flavor. This sweet, smooth flavor does make for a superior root beer float as the vanilla flavor in the root beer enhances the vanilla flavor in the ice cream. The combination makes for a very intense level of vanilla flavor, so if one wasn't enthused by vanilla, then maybe it wouldn't be so good. I happen to like the vanilla-upon-vanilla flavor, so I find it to be an excellent combination.