Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Massive Root Beer Taste Test

Last year I had signed up to do a root beer taste test at Pop n Sweets, which included sampling 80 different root beers over about a 3 hour time period. They unfortunately don't do this anymore but it was super fun at the time.

The end result of taking "shots" of 80 different root beers is listed below. Also I found out what a "sugar high" was. 

During the taste test we wrote down our thoughts on each of the root beers gave them a score from 1 to 10 (listed below). After the taste test was all done, I decided to take all of the top two scores (which happened to be 7 and 8) and redo them for my own blind taste test. I was able to better compare them to each other and find a personal definitive root beer order.

Here is my blind taste test. Out of the 15 root beers with the top 2 scores, I could find 13 in stores. Apparently two of them weren't made or sold anymore in any stores I could find so they were left off the list. Below are the results.

 Here is my order of the top 13 root beers. I ended up breaking them into four distinct groups. The left group was Level A: Great!, middle was Level B: pretty good, and right was Level C: ok and the one to the far right was Level D: How the hell did you end up here?

Level A: Great!

1. Bulldog Root Beer
Thoughts: Slightly sugary taste but otherwise smooth.

2. Empire Root Beer
Thoughts: Very similar to Bulldog. Hard to differentiate. Also a slightly sugary but smooth taste.

3. Dang! Root Beer
Thoughts: Rich root beer taste that goes down smooth.

4. Eli's Root Beer
Thoughts: Very similar to Dang!, couldn't really tell the difference. Same rich root beer taste that goes down smooth.

Level B: Very good

5. IBC Root Beer
Thoughts: Smooth, nice, soft flavor.

6. Virgil's Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer
Thoughts: Almost a licorishy flavor but not quite. Good on ice cream.

7. Hippo Size Root Beer
Thoughts: Strong sugary taste but not too bad.

8. Joe's Root Beer
Thoughts: Slight tinge of the vinegary taste that Triple XXX has, but pretty smooth.

Level C: OK and 
Level D: How the hell did you end up here?

 Level C: OK

9. Cicero Salted Caramel Root Beer
Thoughts: Very butterscotchy flavor but not too strong a taste. Pretty smooth.

10. O-So Root Beer
Thoughts: Almost identical to Cicero, a not too strong butterscotchy flavor. Pretty candy smooth.

11. Chicago Root Beer
Thoughts: A sbit sharp with the carbonation but when it's flat the taste is pretty smooth.

12. Kutztown Birch Beer
Thoughts: Nearly identical to Chicago. Sharp with carbonation but smooth when flat.

Level D: How the hell did you end up here?

13. Triple XXX Root Beer
Thoughts: Watery and vinegary taste. Pretty gross.

Those are the thoughts on my personal taste test. Below is the results of all the root beers that I tried with my individual thoughts on them. When trying 80 different root beers it's hard to come up with very good taste descriptions but I tried.


Taste Test Drink Order Name Thoughts During Taste Test Initial Score Final Rank
74 Bulldog Nice candy flavor 7 1
80 Empire Nothing noted 7 2
33 Dang! Smooth 7 3
72 Captain Eli's Foamy and light 8 4
45 IBC Pretty Good 7 5
25 Virgils Bavarian Nutmeg Pretty Good 7 6
54 Hippo Size Smooth 8 7
12 Joe's Slight caramel taste 7 8
53 Cicero Not bad 7 9
32 O-So Butterscotch Toasted Marshmallow 7 10
11 Chicago Smooth, nice 8 11
20 Kutz Town Nice 7 12
27 Triple XXX I like 8 13
4 Iron Horse Smooth 7 NA
40 Big John Brewers Nice 7 NA
10 Filbert's Ok 6
21 Faygo Kind of like a RB Float 6
22 Frostop Smooth brown sugar 6
31 Foxon Park Smooth sugary 6
67 Saranac Nothing special, Ok 6
77 Bringham's Brew Not too bad 6
79 Frostie Not too bad, bit watery 6
1 Bedford's RB Sugary, Okish 5
2 Speckher RB Watery, not meh taste but smooth 5
7 Brownie Carmel Cream Candy RB taste 5
14 Maine Root Sugary light flavor 5
18 Red Arrow Slight candy flavor 5
24 Frostie Vanilla caramel 5
35 Ginseng Up Slight sugar 5
38 Big Ben's Light Flavor 5
48 Avery's Smooth 5
52 The Pop Shoppe Sugary 5
64 Anchor Ginger Candyish 5
71 Route 66 Marshmallowy 5
76 Dang! Butterscotch Candy - not too bad 5
78 Rocky Mt. Flavored water 5
5 Dr. Brown Watery, but better than 2 4
9 Barrel Brothers Very fizzy. Don't taste much 4
13 Dog n Suds Slight sugary taste 4
17 Crater Lake Ok. A little sugary 4
19 Sparky's Lingering candy flavor 4
34 Old Red Eye Candy. Cheap 4
43 Polar Eh 4
47 Caruso's RB Candy 4
51 American Brown Sugar water 4
58 Zuber Fizz Nothing special 4
62 Dad's Light candy 4
66 Thomas Kemper Marshmallow aftertaste 4
69 Reading Draft Weird flavor 4
8 Tower Meh 3
26 Bawls Meh sourish tatse 3
37 Hosmer RB Candy 3
42 Boylan Too Sugary 3
44 Ramlin Fake 3
49 Death Valley Too Sugary 3
55 Sioux City Brown sugar 3
57 Fireman's Brew Light flavor 3
60 AJ Stephans Butterscotch Caramel flavoring 3
61 WBC Meh 3
63 Capone Not much flavor 3
68 Abita Sugary candy 3
3 So-da RB Butterscotchy 2
15 Waialua Weird taste 2
28 Salted Caramel Licorishy burnt brown sugar 2
30 Johnny Ryan Watery sugar 2
41 River City Fake Flavoring 2
56 Squamscot Watery sugar, no flavor 2
65 Virgils Caramel 2
70 Crooked Oak Vinegary water 2
73 Bundaberg Meh 2
6 Gale's Weird Taste 1
16 Stewarts Strong brown sugar aftertaste 1
23 Old Brooklyn Too much candy taste 1
36 New York Seltzer Clear. Not good. 1
50 Swamp Pop File Vinegary 1
59 Jackson Hole Buckin Licorice 1
29 Oogave Oh god no 0
39 Fest Pecan Burnt 0
75 Tommy Knockers Strong cloves or something 0
46 Fenteman's Dandelion & Burdock Awful -1

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