Showing posts with label vanilla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vanilla. Show all posts

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Hansen's creamy root beer review

After a few months of root beer abstinence due to giving up on finding any decent imports, the Soda Folk root beer success gave me some confidence in the UK market. I've since rediscovered that American Fizz is stocking a few root beers I've yet to review. Last time I ordered from this Bournemouth-based shop was the Virgil's root beer which passes the EU sodium benzoate ingredient test. I rated it 8/10.

This Hansen's root beer is Germolene on the extreme. Not too sweet but not as creamy as proudly displayed and stated on the 355ml can. Ingredients say there's Tahitian vanilla extract, wintergreen, birch, anise, sassafras as well as a lot of sugar. Luckily the sugar doesn't give you that tooth melting sensation and would say the birch taste takes over. If your freinds thought root beer tasted weird then be prepared to feel even more outcasted with this flavour. Don't be fooled by the the vanilla flavour - it comes in like a ninja, thinking you get a glimpse of it at the start but it's fleeting and disguised.

If like me, if you hadn't heard of Tahitian vanilla but more used to seeing Madagascan vanilla in your ingredients listings then let me enlighten you with this new knowledge!

Taken from Huffington Post:
"Tahitian vanilla comes from the island of Tahiti, part of the French Polynesia. It's sweet and fruity and has less natural vanillin (that distinctive vanilla taste) than Bourbon and Mexican vanilla. This bean has a more cherry-like, floral, licorice taste. The Tahitian vanilla pod is fatter and moister than Bourbon vanilla, and contains fewer seeds inside its pod. It tends to be deeper in color than vanilla from Mexico and Madagascar, but the flavor is more subtle. It's nuanced and unique taste make it a great choice for dishes that use vanilla as its main flavor profile."

This explains the limited vanilla flavouring with this Hansen's root beer. However, if you want a caffiene-free, vanilla-flavour free root beer for £1.09 a can then this is for you! The price is the same as paying for the likes of A & W, Barq's and MUG. I rate ths:


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Soda Folk Root Beer review

I never thought I'd see another British brewed root beer after the whole EU ban on sodium benzoate affair. I thought the home market would give up their love affair for US germolene tasting weirdness and resort to colas and other fizzy drink brands. Yet only in the space of a few weeks another British-made root beer brand comes along to stick two fingers up at the regulators and provide us fans a true taste of America.

I'm really happy to say we have another A & W root beer beater with only Dominion being the best available in the UK so far. Is it better than Dominion? Well, that might just be down to personal taste but to me there rate about the same to me.

I love the quirky branding design with the lumberjack character. Soda Folk also offer a Cream Soda drink using a boxer (which I'll review later). Would love to have been at their marketing and design meeting to discuss chosing these characters.

Soda Folk themselves have a great background story. USA born Ken Graham moved to London in 2012 and soon missed his favourite soft drinks. Having grown up with many local brands (and even foraging ingredients to brew his own root beer as a kid), Ken knew his onions when it came to root beer and its distinct taste (note: the root beer doesn't taste of onions).

The Soda Folk root beer ingredients really stand out in the taste test. The wintergreen taste is natural and strong, there's a hint of vanilla but its the maple syrup taste that kicks in the tastebuds to complete the experience.

There's a good price to match as well. This 330ml can costs £1.25 from American Sweets (The Stateside Candy Co.) and there's also a 335ml bottle for £1.25 direct from Soda Folk but you'll need to order 12 and pay £5 postage). You may also be lucky to find this root beer in Selfridges and Byron Burger restaurants as well as some independent sweet shops including Tony's Sweet Shop located in Exeter (credit due for telling me about Soda Folk).


Related articles

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Dr Pepper Vanilla Float review

Bought this Dr Pepper 'Vanilla Float' can from American Fizz with a couple of root beers (already reviewed). I went through a phase of liking Dr Pepper a few years ago but now I just find it weird.

I was hoping the Vanilla Float would conjure up tastes reminding me of vanilla ice cream floats but it seems the packaging is a complete lie as it still tastes exactly like original Dr Pepper. No wonder its so misunderstood!

Anyone who regularly drinks Doc P and is still curious or has actually had it and disagrees please comment below. Otherwise American Fizz sell it at 99p a 355ml can.



Thursday, 9 January 2014

Frostie Vanilla Root Beer review

A perfect Christmas present with a Santa Claus lookalike making an appearance on the bottle (though I hope they have a summer version so you don't look quite so odd in the baking heat). The history of the brand is that the company was founded in 1939 by George Rackensperger and the root beer was brewed in an abandoned jailhouse in Catonsville, Maryland.

Anyway, what's it taste like? This is a good root beer with a strong vanilla flavour. Despite being one of the cheaper bottles available from the Cyber Candy website at £1.69 a 355ml bottle it was a good creamy taste with hints of cream soda.

I rate this Frostie Vanilla root beer:


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Barrel Brothers Creamy Vanilla Root Beer review

As well as the 'creamy vanilla' flavour and slightly cartoon-ish label that appealed to me I was slightly concerned that the brewer was predominately an apple beer maker. The ingredients make interesting reading, most notably the High Fructose Corn Syrup.

The creamy vanilla taste certainly came through but there was a slight harshness from the fizz like you get from mass-produced soft drinks. Despite this there was something slightly addictive about it making me want to keep sipping it. It also created a good head.

After doing some web research it seems that the 'new' lettering on the bottle's label is a little out of date. A USA blog reviewed the same root beer back in 2006! Check out the Root Beer blog for the full report.

Bought this from the Brighton store of Cyber Candy in the North Laine but can be bought via their website for the same price at £1.89 a bottle.

My score for Barrel Brothers Creamy Vanilla Root Beer is:

7 / 10

Friday, 3 January 2014

Olde Brooklyn Williamsburg Root Beer review

This is another fine root beer with a classic creamy taste. According to the White Rock Beverages website, Olde Brooklyn root beer has been around since 1871 so the recipe has been perfected over the years. I'd happily drink this on tap.

According to Cyber Candy where it was bought it has "a smooth brew with hints of peppermint, aniseed and vanilla, and sweetened with natural cane sugar" though only the vanilla flavour could be tasted. Original price was £1.89 a 355ml bottle.

I rate this thoroughbred root beer:

8 / 10