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Seal of Approval Root Beers (The Very Best) Rated in Decending Order
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Root Beer

Review

Hank's Root Beer

This is sooo goooood! It has a wonderfully full Body that is rich and creamy and a nice spicy Bite. The Head is almost perfect. Aftertaste is very pleasant. This has it all, everything you could possibly want in a root beer.


Surf City Root Beer

Wonderful Body! Raw honey and spices complimenting solid sassafras flavor. It is also creamy from the delicious vanilla. It isn't overly complex though it is perfectly proportioned. The spices give a solid Bite. The Head is very nice. It's tall and frothy as a root beer Head should be. The Aftertaste is a delightful blend of spiced vanilla and honey with the vanilla the last flavor to fade. This is beauty in the form of root beer.


So Duh! Rockin' Root Beer

When I poured it into the mug and the Head built I said to myself, "Ah, now that's a proper root beer head." It is tall and frothy. It lazily built to the top of my 20 ounce mug and just sat there enjoying its freedom from the bottle. On the first drink I was delighted with the Body, the fairy tale marriage of cane sugar and honey, and it didn't stop there. The sassafras and other root beer flavors were creamily mixed with natural vanilla. It could use a little more sassafras though. The Bite is fantastic too with spices aplenty in the right proportions and a little prickly from the carbonation while still keeping it smooth going down. The Aftertaste is sweet honey with vanilla and spices coming out as it drifts away leaving the tongue begging for more.


Brigham's Brew Root Beer

The Body is rich and creamy. A delicious honey flavor greats your tongue and then introduces it to luscious vanilla. A little wintergreen surfaces later to accent the rest of the standard root beer flavors making the perfect soiree in your mouth. There's a solid bite from spice and carbonation, but the maltodextrin ensures that it is a very smooth affair. The Head is excellent. It almost fizzed over the top of my mug with each pouring. It dissipates faster than some of the other greats though, and is probably the only drawback. The Aftertaste is creamy vanilla and wintergreen with honey accents showing up just as the other two flavors exit. Superb brew!


Steelhead Root Beer

The Body is wonderful. Lots of honey, vanilla, and the other essential flavors. Sweet and creamy, the kind of flavor you could just snuggle up to if that were possible. The Bite is not much but sufficient. The whole thing has a very rich and smooth mouth feel from the maltodextrin. The Head is medium height and very foamy. It forms increasingly larger bubbles as it begins to fade and lasts a good while. The Aftertaste is of vanilla and honey and very pleasing though a little sticky. If this seems similar to Bulldog, it's because the flavors are indistinguishable in a blind taste test. The bottlers even confirm the recipes are nearly identical. Only the Head is different, with Steelhead always superior.


Weber's Superior Root Beer

The Body has a rich, mature flavor. There’s sassafras and vanilla and birch going on but there’s more to it than that, you can taste that the ingredients have been aged in birch bark barrels. This has got some serious Bite. There’s spice all over the place, and several types. It’s good but almost a little too much for me. The Head is medium but very frothy. The Aftertaste is vanilla and birch with a lot of spice. This is a fine, fine brew that has uniqueness to it that I’ve never encountered. I wish it were more readily available around here as this is one of the best root beers I’ve ever had.


River City Root Beer

Yum! The Body is rich and creamy with traces of mint surfacing. It has a very strong and rooty flavor. The Bite is most excellent with the perfect amount of spices and carbonation. The Head is good. It builds to a very decent height and is pretty frothy. It lingers throughout the entire drinking experience, though I've had many that are taller and frothier. The Aftertaste is a lovely, creamy combination of vanilla and mint that sticks around about the perfect amount of time. This is an exceptional brew in all categories.


Henry Weinhard's Root Beer

One of my favorites. Nice full, sweet Body with the perfect Head. It is one of the nicest Heads of any root beer. So much so that it is my standard Head to compare against other root beers. It's rich and creamy with lovely vanilla and honey flavor complementing the sassafras. Wonderful Aftertaste, honey and vanilla lasting the perfect amount of time. There's not a lot of Bite, but enough spice for me. It is very smooth and that's how I prefer it most of the time. This is pretty much my gourmet root beer standard.


Bulldog Root Beer

When I took the first drink I exclaimed "Oh wow!" The Body is wonderful. Lots of honey, vanilla, and the other essential flavors. Sweet and creamy, the kind of flavor you could just snuggle up to if that were possible. The Bite is not much but sufficient. The whole thing has a very rich and smooth mouth feel from the maltodextrin. The Head is frothy but not much, not flat by any means just less than is desirable. The Aftertaste is of vanilla and honey and very pleasing though a little sticky. I am proud to give this one my Seal of Approval.


Wild Bill's Rocky Mountain Root Beer

This has a very rich and creamy Body. It has an excellent full sassafrass flavor, how a root beer should be. The Bite has a good spice tingle as well as some from the carbonation but stays on the smooth side as I like it. The Head is medium height and decently frothy. It fizzes down faster than I prefer but it is sufficient. The Aftertaste is wonderful. Creamy vanilla and a caramel flavor with hints of anise and wintergreen. This is one quality brew!


Ithaca Soda Company Root Beer

The Body is very rich and complex. It starts with sweet caramel from the pure cane sugar and then turns dark and rooty with almost bitter notes that give way to creamy vanilla. The Bite has the perfect level of spice burn from the juniper berries but isn't harsh on carbonation. The Head is tall and frothy and lingers as long as it takes to drink the whole bottle. The Aftertaste is vanilla and juniper berry spice which is pretty good. This brew has found the perfect balance between darker more herbal flavors and the sweet creamy goodness that I love.


Saranac Root Beer

This is a very good brew. The Body is excellent. It is rich, sweet, and creamy with all the right flavors. It has a nice spicy Bite that isn't too much. It is nice and smooth drinking. The Head is a good size and very frothy. The Aftertaste a sweet vanilla that doesn't linger too long. They really hit the nail on the head with this root beer.


Sprecher Root Beer Soda

Wow! This stuff is great. The Body is sweet and smooth with a nice honey flavor to it. One of the best root beer bodies that I have ever tasted. The Bite is there, but not too much, more on the smooth side, like I like it. The Head is good and frothy, but, unfortunately was a little too short to rank higher. The Aftertaste is also very nice with the honey. The only thing that could be improved would to have more vanilla flavor to it. All in all, this is a great brew.


Sparky's Fresh Draft Root Beer

Yum, yum! This is a good one. The Body is really sweet and spicy with all of the right stuff. You can really taste the honey. The Bite is spicy and solid as well, almost too much for me, but not quite. It was rather sharp. The Head is decent, frothy, but a little too much on the slim side. The Aftertaste a luscious combination of honey and spices that left me tipping back the empty glass trying to get some more. Luckily, the brewers foresaw this effect and put it in 22 Oz. Bottles as well. Drinking this is a pleasure from the first draught to the last drop.


Ozark Mountain Bottleworks Root Beer

The Body is minty and creamy complimenting a full sassafras flavor. The vanilla hints give it a nice rich texture and flavor. The Bite is subtle; just enough to let you know it's there but not too much. The Head is huge and very frothy! It rivals the other top root beer Heads out there. It lasts a long time as well. The Aftertaste is rich wintergreen and vanilla with the slightest accents of caramel. Yum, yum, yum!


Spring Lake Root Beer

Wow! What a full and complex Body! There's lots of wintergreen and creamy vanilla with some birch as well that surfaces after the initial contact with the core root beer flavors. There's also a subtle honey flavor. It isn't super sweet though so you can relish the flavors. The Bite is pretty mild but not absent. There's some spice kick to it but an unbelievably smooth finish from the malto-dextrin. The Head is short and medium froth. It fizzes down quickly but not too quickly to seriously hurt the rating. The Aftertaste is creamy wintergreen with hints of vanilla and honey, though, wintergreen is by far the dominant flavor. So again, wow! What an amazing and unique brew.


Vine Park Root Beer

This has a nice full Body that is sweet and creamy and even a little spicy from clove I think. There is some delicious honey and wintergreen in there as well. The spices give a solid Bite that still goes down smooth. The Head builds to a decent height and is moderately frothy. It lingers long enough but there are much better. The Aftertaste is sweet vanilla with hints of wintergreen, honey and spices. It lingers just the right amount of time. What a brew!


Cicero Beverage Company Salted Caramel Root Beer

The Body has a rich caramel flavor accompanying the traditional root beer flavors. It's a little salty but not too much. Bite is mostly from carbonation and has a smooth finish. The Head is medium-short but is very frothy and lingers long enough to be adequate. The Aftertaste is a luscious salted caramel flavor that lasts just the right amount of time. I love a caramel flavor in my root beer and this takes it to a new level without overpowering what a root beer should taste like.


III Dachshunds Root Beer

What an amazingly sweet and creamy Body. It has all the right flavors, sassafras, caramel, vanilla, and hints of wintergreen. There's a pretty good Bite from carbonation and spices but it is very smooth going down. The Head is the worst part of this one. It is barely an inch tall. It is however very frothy so it lasts several minutes. The Aftertaste is creamy vanilla with accents of wintergreen. Delicious!


Haley and Annabelle's Vanilla Root Beer

The Body is rich and creamy with a ton of luscious bourbon vanilla flavor. This perfectly complements a solid root beer core. There isn't a lot of Bite on this one; they're going for silky smooth. I do prefer a bit of spice, but the smooth is always good. The Head is tall and frothy like it should be. It foams up right to the top of my 20 ounce mug and hangs around for awhile. The Aftertaste is lots more bourbon vanilla that lasts awhile. I do love that. This is an amazing vanilla root beer, which is one of my favorite kinds of root beers.


Frostie Vanilla Root Beer

Delicious! This has a sweet, creamy Body with lots of luscious vanilla. The Bite is on the weak side but not too bad. The Head is adequate, though it could be frothier. The Aftertaste is a wonderful vanilla flavor that lasts a long time. In short, it is basically a normal Frostie root beer with the strange unnatural flavor replaced with vanilla. A wise and excellent improvement.


Old No. 3 Root Beer

The Body is very sweet and rich and creamy. There's lots of vanilla and a sort of caramel flavor. The Bite is very nice. There is just enough spice burn to feel after a few seconds but not too much. The carbonation level is also perfect. The Head is good; medium height and lingers throughout the entire drinking experience. The Aftertaste is rich vanilla with some spiced caramel. Delicious, delicious. This has pretty much everything I like in a root beer.


Myer's Avenue Red Root Beer

Oh my gosh! This stuff is different and yet great. The Body is great and creamy yet a little weak as far as the normal "root beer" flavor goes, but not bad really in any way. Then comes the amazing Bite with cinnamon but not too much so it is still smooth. The Head is excellent rivaling the other top root beer heads. The Aftertaste is of cinnamon and vanilla, a great way to end a great drinking experience. This is completely different than any other root beer that I have ever drank.


Hosmer Mountain Sarsaparilla Root Beer

This has a nice creamy Body with a distinct sarsaparilla flavor in addition to the more standard root beer flavors. The brown sugar is noticeable. The Bite is adequate without being overbearing from both spices and carbonation with the overall mouth feel very smooth. The Head is nice and tall. It fizzes down a tad faster than I prefer, but it still lasts plenty long. The Aftertaste is sticky wintergreen and vanilla with hints of sarsaparilla. Though it has sarsaparilla, it's still definitely a root beer, and it's definitely good.


Chuck Wagon Root Beer

This has a sweet medium Body with a pronounced caramel flavor that is nice and creamy. It has a nice mouth feel to it as well. I really love that flavor. There isn't much Bite; it is nice and smooth with some subtle spice accents and fizz. The Head is medium height and froth, adequate. The Aftertaste is caramel with slight vanilla hints coming through. Delicious!


Fizzy Izzy Root Beer

The Body has a rich vanilla and wintergreen flavors accompanying a medium strength sassafras core. There's a solid Bite with this one as well from ample spices. The Head is medium-tall and very frothy and foamy. It lasts the whole time you drink it. The Aftertaste is a spiced vanilla and wintergreen. It has a nice clean mouth feel from the lack of preservatives as an added bonus. This is a quality brew in all respects.


Dominion Root Beer

Very nice Body. Head is good but it could use more. The Bite is nice but not too much and the Aftertaste is pleasant. This is a solid and delicious root beer.


Zuberfizz Creamy Root Beer

The Body is very crisp and clean with all of the right flavors in the right proportions. Love that cane sugar. The Bite is very mild. It is a nice and smooth brew. The Head is a little weak but frothy and you can feel the bubbles to the end. The Aftertaste is sweet and creamy that lingers just the right amount.


Dog n Suds Root Beer

The Body is creamy and good. The right type of flavor with nothing overly special but nothing wrong at all. It is all there. The Bite is a little on the weak side but I have said it before and I will iterate it, I like it SMOOTH! The Head is also nice and "sudsy?" though not as frothy as some of the others but definitely adequate. The Aftertaste also has got the right stuff. I say that this root beer is just plain good. There is a dog on the bottle and the root beer is sudsy so I am assuming that this is where their name comes from. Or maybe one is supposed to order a hotdog and the root beer supplies the suds (it really is actually sudsy but in a good way). As of yet this remains an enigma to me.
Update: Some kind folks have emailed me and explained that yes indeed it was a hotdog chain where the suds were the root beers to go with the dogs. No more enigma.


Point Premium Root Beer

The point of this root beer is a delicious, sweet Body with all the right stuff, a medium frothy Head that sticks around for awhile, a nice but not very spicy Bite, and a pleasant Aftertaste of vanilla and honey. It was clear that when the standards for good root beer were laid down, they didn't miss the point.


Capone Family Secret Root Beer

This is one of those brews with a nice, creamy, full Body. It has a nice spicy caramel type flavor that surfaces after the initial contact. The Bite is good. It grabs you with those spices and a carbonation tingle but then lets you go slowly and smoothly for an excellent finish. The Aftertaste is lovely vanilla and a hint of spicy caramel that you could just swim in (you've never swum in vanilla?). The Head is a bit perplexing. The first bottle I had didn't have much of a Head, but it was very frothy and lingered long enough to not be fatal to the rating. The second bottle had a huge Head that was medium frothy and fizzed down until the last centimeter. That last centimeter stuck around awhile. So either way the Head was good enough though I prefer a Head I can count on. This is really a quality brew in all aspects.


Grand Teton Brewing Company Root Beer

This has a very rich and creamy Body. It has a strong sassafras flavor with hints of vanilla and wintergreen. It has a solid Bite from carbonation and a little spice, but nothing that really jumps out and demands attention. It goes down very smooth on account of the maltodextrin. The Aftertaste is creamy and minty and lasts the right amount of time. When I'm in the mood for a bolder, darker root beer flavor, I'm comin' for this.


Maine Root Root Beer

This is a very delicious and well crafted brew. The Body is crisp and well balanced. It is creamy with wintergreen surfacing after the initial contact. The Head is full and frothy. It lingers. It is less than the epic Head of a Henry's, but sufficient for the most adamant connoisseur. There isn't really much Bite. Though I like it smooth, some spices could improve it a bit. The Aftertaste is a creamy vanilla with hints of wintergreen. Overall this root beer has all of the right flavors in the right proportions. It is very clean and crisp on account of the cane sugar and no preservatives. The lack of preservatives is wonderful as the slight soapiness or fruitiness that accompanies sodium benzoate or citric acid is gone, so all of the focus is on the wonderful mix of root beer goodness. This is definitely a root beer you can settle in with to watch a great movie on your home theater system.


Hot Rod Magazine Root Beer

This is one of those root beers with a nice sweet smooth Body. The Head is lacking but it doesn't go flat. The Aftertaste is adequate. The Bite is wonderful with Brazilian Guarana. The worst part is that it is caffeinated but it does add to the Bite. It has a very interesting bottle. My friend got this some where but I forgot.


Harpoon Root Beer

This brew is delicious. The Body is rich and creamy, full of all the essential flavors. It has got so much of them that it is a little syrupy, but I like that. You can taste the lack of preservatives. The body is accompanied by a mild Bite that just tingles the tongue a bit. The Head is weak, sadly, but frothy and doesn't just fizz away. The Aftertaste is creamy and rich as well but doesn't linger too long. This is one of the best root beers I have ever tasted, but the lack of an amazing head kept this one out of the highest echelon. I ordered it from New England.


Faygo Root Beer

A rich, full Body is the highlight of this brew. It is crisp and creamy without a single unpleasant flavor. Then surfaces a little Bite with hints of wintergreen which stays largely on the smooth side. The Head is average, but fizzes away quickly so as to be rather disappointing. It doesn't go flat however. The Aftertaste is a wonderful creamy minty flavor that lingers but not too long. This is a good one.


Fitz's Premium Root Beer

The Body is dark and rooty, with a clean crisp flavor on account of the luscious cane sugar. The spices and fizz level make for an excellent little Bite. The Head is average at best but frothy and lingers. The creamy vanilla Aftertaste is very desirable. Drinking this root beer is a pleasant experience that should be repeated often. I ordered this online.


Iron Horse Root Beer

This has a very sweet medium Body and a very nice Bite. There's some cinnamon and other spices that really grab the tounge. There is also a lovely caramelized corn syrup flavor that is very unique. The Head is ok and medium frothy. The Aftertaste is of vanilla and spices. In the year 2000 though, it was much better.

Frostop Root Beer

The Body is very sweet and creamy. There is a lot of wintergreen and some spices, maybe nutmeg? It is a little light on the sassafras, more of a medium bodied brew. The Bite is pretty good. There are some spices that grab you and a slight carbonation tingle but a smooth finish, as it should be. Sweet mother of root beer Head! It is amazing, very tall and frothy. It overflowed my mug. The Aftertaste is a deliciously creamy vanilla and wintergreen. They say "NOTHING tops it... but the foam!" Clearly some others top it but, I must say, that it's pretty good.


Brownie Caramel Cream Root Beer

The Body has a very rich sassafras flavor that gives way to luscious caramel and cream that thankfully tastes nothing like brownies. It's absolutely delicious. There is a prickly carbonation Bite but not much in the spice department, rather, it is nice and smooth. The Head is medium height but fizzes away in less than a minute unfortunately. The Aftertaste is more rich caramel and cream that lasts just long enough to make you want more but not so long as to be annoying when you can't get it. I really like this flavor. You can really get lost in that caramel and never want to come back. The Head is disappointing but just barely good enough.


Tommyknocker New Root Beer

The Body is nice and sweet that starts with a medium strength generic root beer flavor giving way to maple and vanilla. The Bite is prickly. It seems like that comes both from some spice and the carbonation, but once again, the maple quickly drowns it out. The Head is excellent! It builds right to the top of my mug but doesn't quite spill over. It lingers throughout the whole drinking experience as a root beer Head should. The Aftertaste is some sticky maple and vanilla. This one is great, though not as good as their original recipe, it's better than their second iteration. Without any preservatives detracting from the mouth feel, added to the maple bonus and excellent Head, they barely squeak through to earn the Seal of Approval. Now don't go messing it up again.


Joe's Root Beer

This has an extremely sweet and full Body with accents of vanilla and honey. It is crisp and creamy in your mouth. The Bite is sufficient but nothing special. The Head is wonderfully tall but only medium frothy so it fizzes down quicker than I would like. The Aftertaste is delicious vanilla and honey. This is quality.


Olde Philadelphia Old Fashioned Root Beer

So I wonder why they spell old two different ways. I guess the fashion of this root beer isn't as old as Philly or something. Anyhow, it does have a nice full Body that is rich and creamy. It is also pretty sweet from all of the invert sugar. The Bite is a sharp on the tongue, mostly from carbonation but there are some spices in there too. It still goes down smooth. The Head is medium height and froth. It lasts long enough. The Aftertaste is sweet hints of vanilla that lasts just about the perfect amount of time. This is a solid brew that is very enjoyable.


Chowning's Tavern Root Beer

The Body is nice with a prominent sassafras flavor accented by honey and spice. It's quite a standard root beer flavor, but executed superbly. The Bite is spicy and solid but it ends smooth. The Head is tall and lasts throughout the entire drinking experience. The Aftertaste is also very nice; vanilla with a hint of wintergreen. This hits the spot. I know it's technically just a relabled Dominion Root Beer, but the recipe is different from the Dominion I originally tried so many years before.


D-n-A Old Fashioned Root Beer

Yum! The Body has a nice honey with creamy vanilla and spices. The sassafras flavor is pretty light, and it almost borders being watered down. There is a very good Bite, with the main spice cinnamon I think. There's a good kick but not too much. The Head is solid. It is several inches tall and very frothy. The Aftertaste is very nice cinnamon and honey, with the slightest hint of vanilla. Yet, it is light and vanishes quickly. This is really good, it could be better, but it's good enough.


H-E-B Old Fashioned Root Beer

The Body has a rich medium sassafras flavor that is creamy with vanilla hints surfacing. There are nice caramel overtones as well. The Bite is well balanced between spice and carbonation while not being overly strong. The Head is tall and moderately frothy though it fizzes down faster than I prefer. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla and caramel flavor that turns slightly bitter at the end before vanishing. The bitterness doesn't build though, so it doesn't affect the rest of the brew the more you drink. I like it.


Private Label Beverages Root Beer

This particular version of the Private Label Beverages Root Beer is bottled for Lehman's. The body is sweet with a little bit of spicy vanilla and caramel notes; a very standard root beer flavor but well proportioned. The Bite is pretty mild, some carbonation tingle and just enough spice. The Head is super tall and pretty much foams over the top of the mug. Thankfully it doesn't last forever so you can actually drink your root beer without having to slurp ridiculous amounts of foam off the top. The Aftertaste is some light, sweet vanilla and caramel. This is a pretty solid, middle of the road brew with my favorite flavor profile.


Ginseng Up Private Label Root Beer

The Ginseng Up default recipe, this is provided to all private labelers who lack a recipe of their own. This particular incarnation was from Custom Soda Sales labeled for Parley Street Root Beer. The Body is full of sweet creamy goodness. It's got all of the right flavors in the right proportions, especially the rich creamy vanilla. The Bite is on the smooth side but present. There's some spice and carbonation tingle, just enough. The Head is nice and tall but only moderately frothy. Though, as it fizzes down, it forms some really large bubbles, about an inch in diameter, which hang around for awhile. The Aftertaste is sort of a syrupy vanilla flavor with the slightest accents of spice. Yum, yum.


Jones Soda Co. Root Beer

A sweet, pleasant Body though a little on the light side but not too weak. The flavor is what root beer should taste like. It has a strong carbonation Bite leaning a little on the harsh side but not too harsh. The Head is tall though a it dissipates faster than I would like but the liquid stays fizzy and therefore still desirable. The Aftertaste is good and of the original flavor and fades away gradually. All in all, there is nothing really wrong with this and a lot right. I really enjoy it.


 

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