Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%) - Small Town Brewery

Not Rated.
Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

352 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 352
Hads: 1,848
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 21.76%
Wants: 177
Gots: 822 | FT: 52
Brewed by:
Small Town Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 10-29-2012

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 352 | Hads: 1,848
Photo of disney2
4.81/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Watch out root beer connoisseurs! This one is not only one of my favorite tasting root beers but it has a hidden alcoholic punch. Can't wait to try it in a root beer float. (172 characters)

Photo of popery
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, snuffy. This is an odd beer, if it's even a beer at all. It’s quite fizzy. Medium dark brown in color. Looks fairly clear in the light. The head dies away quickly, and you’re left with a flat glass of what looks like root beer. It smells like root beer. Pitch perfect for that aim. Honey, cola, a little ginger maybe, caramel sweetness, vanilla, a smidge of citrus. Pretty much root beer. Taste is also very root beer-ish. It’s sweet with a woody twist. The alcohol is present but light and could almost be mistaken for some sort of woody spice addition. I’ve had harsher root beers with no alcohol. Quite a bit of sweetness, like, well, root beer. Mouthfeel is spot on root beer. Fizzy with some cola slickness from the sugar. Easy to drink. I could see getting drunk on this stuff without realizing it. It's fun but quite sweet, which might get tiresome. They nailed the root beer beer thing. Kinda unsure how to score it. (941 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a wine/snifter/tulip glass from a 12oz bottle

A - Pours a very bubbly deep licorice black with a half finger super bubbly dark brown head that dissipates very fast.

S - anise, vanilla, very herbal, wintergreen and a hint of bread yeast

T - sugar, wintergreen, vanilla, anise, desert spices, slight booze note and has a very light chocolate undertone as it warms.

M - medium bodied, well balanced, simple complexity, medium minus acidity, highly carbonated and a sugary root-beer from start to finish taste.

D/O - Very drinkable minus the sugar levels. Very refreshing, goes down quite well. As I said however the sugar is very prevalent -- it makes the ale extremely thick. If the sugar level was toned down this would be an awesome root-beer ale. Something you can enjoy in any weather or time of day. However, you may only want to have one or two to avoid going into a sugar coma.

Final Thoughts - The sixer pack is quite high at $13 -- seems extremely high especially considering the very general 5.9% ABV. However if you like root-beer and alcohol, this is a pretty neat experience. (1,109 characters)

Photo of Salsashark3d
4.98/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is an amazing beer anyone who complains about any aspect of it is a fool. Advertised as root beer tastes like root beer. Only difference is it feels more like drinking root beer than beer, and that's awesome. And who doesn't want an alcoholic root beer float... (266 characters)

Photo of nyyfanatic213
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'll be frank here. For all intents and purposes, this is and shall forever remain, root beer to me. Dark cola color, smells like root beer, and tastes like root beer with barely a hint of alcohol until the very end. Due to the sweetness, I couldn't imagine myself having more than one. (286 characters)

Photo of Myotus
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
LOOK: Pours with a disappointing line of brown foam that dies after 10 seconds. Black in color with a red-orange tint. Rising bubbles are nigh nonexistent while lacing is actually nonexistent.
SMELL: Has strong aromas of root beer and only root beer.
TASTE: Undoubtedly, this tastes exactly like a root beer that has a hint of alcohol sneak in towards the end.
FEEL: Extremely light-bodied (like root beer) with an over-the-top amount of carbonation (like root beer). Has a crisp finish (like root beer) and even though it is light-bodied, it has a subtle creaminess to it (like root beer).
NOTE: Looks like root beer, smells like root beer, tastes like root beer (with a tad bit of alcohol), and feels like root beer... Logic states that this must be root beer. No malt balance whatsoever. This has me questioning if it is actually a beer. (887 characters)

Photo of leantom
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Gotta thank my roommate's girlfriend for hooking me up with this one. Good find. Here goes:

A: Not very good. Light black, soda-ish head that quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing.

S: Very, very sweet. Lots of candied sugar, licorice, molasses, cola, and some dark, roasted barley. Very unique and sweet-smelling.

T: Follows the nose. Tastes like a root beer with some darkly-kilned barley added. The alcohol is noticeable, but not overbearing.

F: Love it. Like a soda.

O: Good beer. Would have again. (522 characters)

Photo of MadCat
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a highly filtered dark brown to black color with a soda-like head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing

Smell: Sassafras, molasses, sugar, was hoping it would be more aromatic

Taste: Sassafras, molasses, birch, anise, a strong sweetness, but there is a medicinal bitterness that compliments the flavors well

Feel: Light body, good soda-like carbonation

Overall: A very good take on root beer. Was hoping for some vanilla flavor in there, but it definitely has that old fashioned taste. Good, but like anything, not worth the hype. (555 characters)

Photo of atr2605
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a coca cola color with an off white head that fades very quickly
S-molasses, anise, wintergreen
T-sugary sweet mixed with the molasses, anise, and wintergreen flavors
M-medium bodied, soda style body
O-tastes like root beer. Not sure how many I would drink but is pretty neat (283 characters)

Photo of SitkaSteve
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a mug (root beer, right?). Yeah, I got it right. Why pour it into anything else?
The appearance was a brown to black color with no head nor lacing. Carbonation could be seen rising.
The smell was sweet molasses-like, sugary sweet, like caramel tones.
The taste was exactly the same sweetness just like root beer. Here's the kicker: there's a strange aftertaste - I'm guessing its because this is made to be a beer.
The mouthfeel felt like root beer. Carbonation feels harsh just like a root beer.
Overall, except for the aftertaste, fans of root beer go for it. Me, I'm glad I tried it but can't really see myself drinking it all of the time. (663 characters)

Photo of Mattygross44
2.48/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

This is not a beer if you call this a beer you should be ashamed of yourself... Yes it taste like rootbeer but drinking more than one of these ... No thank you (159 characters)

Photo of Taptester
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Its good its fun but its not memorable or something i would recommend to a regular beer drinker. This beer is a gimmick that could be replaced with a clear liquor and some root beer. (182 characters)

Photo of horsehockey
2.58/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I'm not sure what the hype is with this beer. The smell is dead on for root beer, but the taste is just horrid. I've heard people describe it as having a bad aftertaste. For me it doesn't even make it to the aftertaste. As soon as it hits my mouth I get some off flavor, and that flavor only intensifies in the aftertaste. It's also way to sweet. I just don't understand the hype with this one. (394 characters)

Photo of Sabre311
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I dunno maybe I expected to much. It tasted like a root beer with a bad after bite. I think I would just prefer a real root beer or a real beer. Novelty I guess (163 characters)

Photo of frozyn
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks, smells, tastes, and feels like a root beer. Pops when you take the cap off, fizzes as you pour it out. The only times I really noticed a difference were right as I was about to take a sip, I felt in the back of my mouth like I do when drinking an ale. That's not very applicable to anyone else, but it's true. Also, towards the end after it had warmed up quite a bit, there was a stronger alcohol content to the aroma and taste. Not strong by any means, but stronger.

Rating it for what it is -- an alcoholic root beer. (528 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this certainly isn't your most traditional ale or root beer. So instead of rating it as an ale, I decided to rate it as a root beer. I would have rated it higher but I don't like root beer generally, so the scores I give are as good as they're going to get.

The appearance is an opaque dark brown and looks like root beer.

The smell is spicey and sugary as in real sugar was used and not corn syrup.

It tastes like root beer. There seems to be a bit of ginger bite and sugar notes with a nice molasses taste to it. There might also be a slight alcohol note that is barely noticeable.

It feels like root beer.

Overall, the brewery did what it intended to do. Added alcohol to soda. (691 characters)

Photo of Capsfan90
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a hard one to rate. I would have rated it lower because it tasted more like soda then ale, but I get what they were trying to achieve and it was spot on. Just like Root Beer. As others have commented, I can't wait to try the 10% ABV. (242 characters)

Photo of jkordsmeier
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted Not Your Father's on more than one occasion. Looks and smells exactly like root beer, dark brown color, wonderful smell. The taste and feel is better than non alcohol root beer. No alcohol taste, really good. (218 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The famed root! Pours exactly like a soda, big head that quickly dissipates. Was hoping for some of the beer aspects to give some lacing but no dice. Aroma is dead on and is all root beer, perfectly done. First half of the sip is pure root beer but the finish is a bit harsher, like a spoonful of sugar mixed with vanilla.

Now i have a sweet tooth and it was a little bit much for me (just a bit) so i get why it's a love/hate thing. Ultimately, they nailed it but it won't be for everyone. I personally enjoyed it. (529 characters)

Photo of BayouMafia
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a frosted pilsner glass. Surprised by the lack of head; 1/2 finger dissipated almost immediately. Smelled great: strongest aromas were vanilla and brown sugar. Low to medium carbonation. Tasted just like a normal root beer with no alcohol taste. I understand the hype now, but I'd like to try the 10% ABV (335 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1 finger foamy light khaki head with very poor retention, that reduces to nothing very quickly. Zero glass lacing, and a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, licorice, wood, vanilla, cola, mint, and herbal earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and herbal spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, molasses, licorice, wood, vanilla, cola, mint, and herbal earthiness. Minimal herbal spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, licorice, wood, vanilla, cola, mint, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice robustness and complexity of dark malt and herbal spice flavors; with a good malt/spice balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and slightly slick/syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good spiced beer style. All around good robustness and complexity of dark malt and herbal spice flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,302 characters)

Photo of 4thFloyd
2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark brown color with a soda type head that disappears almost instantly. Smells and tastes just like root beer. Very sweet. After it warms it picks up just a little alcohol flavor. Interesting and novel but not sure I would drink again. If I want a root beer I will buy a soda. (288 characters)

Photo of woemad
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $2.19, a whopping 10 cents below its normal price there. Apparently this is contract brewed in Lacrosse, WI, perhaps by City Brewing, responsible for the canned hate crime known as Silver Stallion . No freshness date, just a random stream of numbers and letters stamped on the neck.

This poured just like how you’d expect a bottle of root beer to pour into a nonic pint glass. The appearance was of dark cola-ish colored liquid, with a half-inch of bubbly tan foam that dropped to nothing in seconds, and did so noisily, with no lace.

Smells like a really flavorful root beer with a faint whisp of booze.

Tastes pretty much like the smell. I’d never session this, but I never sessioned root beer back when I drank sodas with any regularity (other than the occaisional splurge I cut sodas out of my diet years ago).

Thin yet sticky mouthfeel, like a root beer.

This is about 90% root beer, 10% beer. It’s a novelty, and that’s how I approached it. It probably has the best root beer flavor of any root beer I’ve had in ages, but one is enough, and since I rarely drink sodas, I can’t see myself drinking this with any regularity (I might actually pick one up for my folks just to see their reactions – it might be the one beer my Mom would drink). (1,330 characters)

Photo of bcsbeer
1.44/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is not a beer or ale just a marketing ploy for gullible America It should be labeled a Hard root beer. Should not be on BEER Advocate for review. (156 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.98/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Sampled also last night on 7/23/15. Bought a single bottle last weekend in Estes Park/Loveland, Colorado BUT seen this one at the local Hy-Vee here. Comes in a 4 or 6-pack. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a vintage "7-UP- the Uncola" glass that looks upside down. :D

Pours pretty close to a full pitch-black in color with really no head or any lacing to speak off. The aroma is of course like a good fresh-brewed Root Beer. Taste pretty much follows the nose with a very light hint of vanilla and maybe molasses. Wow! Fantastic! Very smooth and goes down ever so easy! Gotta love a great Root Beer with a slight 'kick' as well.Medium-bodied with low carbonation. (702 characters)

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Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%) from Small Town Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.