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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10%) - Small Town Brewery

Not Rated.
Not Your Father's Root Beer (10%)
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52 Reviews
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Reviews: 52
Hads: 537
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 44.11%
Wants: 465
Gots: 148 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Small Town Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 537
Photo of RussBeercier
3/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look - it looks like syrupy root beer
Smell - it smells like syrupy root beer
Taste - it tastes like syrupy root beer from a fountain that is malfunctioning and only pouring the syrupy shit into your glass.
Feel - it feels like I should turn around after getting a bad soda at Wendys and pour it over the head of the 16 year old punk with bad tattoos and a nose-ring that connects his nostril to his earlobe with a chain that looks like a long string of snot who served it to me.
Overall - shitty.

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Photo of OldRickSputin
3/5  rDev -30.7%

Next time I'll just buy regular root beer...there's no difference.

It tastes good but there's absolutely nothing remarkable about it. Yeah, its10% ABV...so in high school, this would have been "deadly". ;)

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Photo of emerge077
3.12/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Is hard root beer really such a novel concept? I hear they make hard lemonade too...

Served in a 10 oz. snifter at Blackfinn in Mount Prospect.
Dark brown syrupy liquid with a bare skim on top, practically nonexistent. No lace or foam, likely due to the high abv. Brownish mahoghany edges, not much light getting through.

Aroma is intensely of root beer, licorice and sarsaparilla root, vanilla, slightly medicinal. I will say you can't really smell any booze here.

Taste is a different story. Cloying sweet cane sugar, licorice, sarsaparilla, nutmeg, angosturra bitters in the aftertaste. Sticky on the lips with low carbonation. It tastes like a splash of rum in a glass of root beer, and the alcohol is definitely obvious, especially if you have ever put a shot in a soda before. There's a perceptible medicinal alcohol presence, with an odd note of bitters in the aftertaste. Just because a ton of sugar covers up the burn, doesn't mean the alcohol doesn't contribute to the taste. Side by side with n/a root beer, the difference is distinct. That said, this would potentially make a good ice cream float, if you need a sugar fix.

Purely a novelty and nothing more. Tasted side by side with GI Root Beer, which seemed almost dry by comparison... which is weird because i'd always thought it was way too sweet on a fresh palate in the past.

File this away next to Four Loko, Lime-a-rita, and Mike's Hard Lemonade. Pass...

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Photo of kscaldef
3.36/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have severely mixed feelings about this beverage. It's delicious. It certainly tastes just like root beer. But, perhaps too much so. To be honest, it tastes like they brewed the most flavorless beer possible, then just added root beer syrup to it. Or as they admit on the label "vanilla extract, natural and artificial flavors, and caramel coloring".

I'm not opposed to brewing with adjuncts, but this might as well just be a can of soda with a shot of vodka added. And, yes, I'm dinging it on appearance for using artificial coloring.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Medium khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Smells like root beer. Lots of sugar. Vanilla. Has a vanilla extract aroma.

Taste - Sweet. Lots of spices. It's root beer. A little malty in the back. Lots and lots of vanilla.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - It's loaded with vanilla. It's just root beer with alcohol. Way too sweet for me.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at World of Beer - Naperville, IL
A - dark brown-mahogany body with zero head
S - root beer
T - tastes like root beer initially; vanilla and spicy, very sweet, but the spices ride out the finish a bit more than I'd like. It's a bit odd; it might be the heavy alcohol with the spices combination that's not working for me
M - full body, lower carbonation, spicy finish
O - overly sweet, very boozy, not particularly what I want to drink when I want a beer. It is good for what it is, but I doubt I'd get it again.

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Photo of Hermanater
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Had this on tap in Chicago last spring. Incredible root beer flavor-couldn't tell it was anything other than root beer. Very sweet, and a heavy hitter if you're not careful.

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Photo of Gipsy_Danger
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter from a keg at Even Flow in Geneva.

Was uncertain what to expect from this. Had a shot glass sample beforehand and was intrigued so decided to try a full serving. It tastes exactly like a very sweet and very syrupy root beer. No alcohol presence in the nose. No alcohol presence at all, actually. Faint hints of licorice in the after taste.

Although impressive, must say that I am not a big fan. The syrupy sweetness is overwhelming about 6 oz in. The syrupy mouth feel also becomes very undesirable after a short duration.

Impressive and I'm glad I had it, but I have no desire to try it again.

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Photo of vikinggary28
3.89/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is hard too review this as a beer, since it smells, tastes, and feels just like root beer. I enjoyed it. Pours like a dark root beer, and has the carmel smell. Taste like root beer. I might try to make a float out of it. Skol!

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Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It looks, smells, and tastes like root beer. Tough to drink more than one. Too sweet for me but I do enjoy it. Definitely worth a try if you like root beer.

This stuff tastes identical to the 5.9% just a bit stronger and more beer like.

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Photo of Suds_Suds
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes and smells so much like root beer and cannot even taste the alcohol. It's great in small portions but it is cloying. I couldn't finish my 10oz pour because it started to get too sweet. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to use 250 characters to describe it, so here goes nothing.

Root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer root bee root beer root beer root beer root beer root beer delicious sweet root beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap at the The Clark St. Bar. Served in a frosted mug.

A - White foam settles to a thin collar and wisps. Loads of soda-like fizz and a bit of lingering lace. Dark brown body that is transparent at the edges.

S - Smells like root beer. Not sure what else to say here; quite convincing, with not much in the way of 'beer' flavor.

T - The taste again pretty much all root beer. There's perhaps a hint of alcohol present in the finish, but nothing excessive for the listed 10%. Drinks more like a soda than a beer.

M - Pleasant moderate carbonation. Smooth medium body, with a lingering sticky lingering soda texture. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

D - As far as hard root beer goes, this is a pretty good one. Curious what the base beer is, as I'm not sure I'd even guess there was 'beer' in here at all. In any case, enjoyed my mug and would order again; seems to be on-tap a lot in Boystown for some reason.

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Photo of zaraspook
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Man its taste just like rootbeer. I couldn't between the taste of this. Very smooth with no after taste. Its even smells like rootbeer. Can't wait to taste the stronger one. If you have the change to try it and you like rootbeer you won't be disapponited at all.

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Photo of CityofWind_brew
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%

People either love or hate this. Small town accomplished exactly what they set out to do, brew the very best root beer flavored strong ale. It is easily the best root beer brew I've ever had. It is very very sweet, but packed with real root beer flavor, very easy to forget what you're drinking. I prefer the 10% abv(tap only) version over the 5.9% version.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An alcoholic root beer-beer at 10% ABV you say? I had heard about this from a colleague at work who raved about it to me. Saw it on tap and had to try for myself. Draft pour into snifter. Pours dark brown/black, with a cola hue and very light carbonation present. Great presence of vanilla and toasted oak. The booziness only becomes more apparent when this one warms up, otherwise it is soda pop all the way. A unique tasting experience and one to definitely snap up if you see it in your area.

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Photo of Redrover
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Pints in Elmhurst. Served in a 9 oz snifter.

The beer is a mahogany-brown with a skim of off-white foam.

This smells like root beer. A bit of anise, liquorish and brown sugar. If I smelled it blind, I would never guess this is a beer.

The taste is like a very high-end artisanal soda. The root beer elements are extremely prominent and tasty. For a 10% beer there is virtually no alcohol heat. There is sassafras, vanilla and hint of toffee. This one could definitely sneak up on you. One of our group hardly ever drinks beer but liked this one so much she had two.

Mouth is pleasantly thickish with nice carbonation.

I could see this one as great dessert beer. In talking to the manager, he said this is one of their top five sellers which surprised me given their great tap choices but upon drinking it, I can now see why. Well Done!

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Photo of MickeyBeer
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at the Beer Market in Vernon Hills. It was poured into an 11oz snifter.

A- Very dark in color like a root beer should be. Almost no head whatsoever.

S- Sweet smell much like you would expect from any root beer.

T- Tastes like a really good root beer. Very sweet. At 10% abv the alcohol is hardly noticeable. Root beer taste and sugars cover it very well.

M- Very smooth and drinkable. Hardly feels like a beer or even an alcoholic beverage. Feels like a really delicious root beer in your mouth. Mouth feel is light and not like that of most dark beers.

O- This is a great beer that I look forward to having again. Very unique style that hardly tastes like a beer at all. I have found myself craving it since I tried it. This is a must try if you find it on tap.

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Photo of schris
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

This is a short review because there's not really much you can say! This beer tastes incredibly close to root beer. It's sweet and syrupy and spicy and filled with herbs. I have no idea how they made it - did they mix grain alcohol into a keg of Barq's? Maybe! I don't care. It's great. Do you like root beer? You will like this beverage. If you think that regular (non-diet, that is) root beer is too sweet, then you should not even bother trying this.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First tasted from draft at Beer Market. Tasted from draft at the Craft Beer Store for this review. Look is dark brown, thin quickly fading head, little to no lacing. Smell is a sweet, complex blend of anise, sassafras, wintergreen, nutmeg, cinnamon, licorice, vanilla and honey. Taste is very sweet with sassafras, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla and honey notes. Feel is syrupy and a bit flat befitting the style.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. I acquired this new oddity at the local beer store about a month or so ago and have been holding it down. My first encounter with this beer and this brewery. "Brewed by: Timothy A. Kovac and John J. Dopak, Wauconda IL 60084 for Small Town Brewery, LLC". Expectations are pretty high based on the hype surrounding this beer and it's current high ratings. My bottle lists a 10.00% abv.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Naturally, it pours a dark cola brown; nearly opaque in the glass. About one to two fingers of foamy khaki head that leaves nice spotty lacing. It looks very good.

S - Wow, the hype is real- this thing smells like a straight up can of root beer poured into a glass. Caramel, vanilla, sugar, & some noticeable carbonation / mustiness.

T - Wow, again. Like the others have said, there isn't a trace of the high 10.00% abv noticeable. This thing doesn't even really taste like a 'beer' at all, more like just a straight up alcoholic root beer. Caramel, vanilla, sugar, & carbonation. A dash of cinnamon / ginger / other spices are noticeable also.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy. Sugary & sticky. Mildly syrupy. Light-bodied with good carb.

Overall, it's delicious. The beer itself isn't very complex, but there is no denying that it tastes like a regular fresh delicious root beer soda. I have never made a float before, but this one would be a more than ideal contender. An extremely unique and delicious beer drinking experience. I'm very curious as to how this is brewed and spiced, and I look forward to trying more from Small Town Brewery.

Small Town Brewery Not Your Father's Root Beer ---4/5.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer so much! This one is so much better then the 6% also. The taste is not as sweet as the 6% which makes it more drinkable and balanced.

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Photo of NRo
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this in an off-site trade from Chicago.

I really didn't expect to actually be like rootbeer - but this is more of an alcoholic root beer than it is a root beer-flavored beer.

Smell - Exactly like a can of any leading brand of root beer

Appearance -I would absolutely mistake this for soda

Taste: It tasted like a slightly "off" root beer - still more root beer than alcohol taste though, even at ten percent

Mouthfeel: Seriously exactly like soda. Light and carbonated

Overall: I love it. They need to make more of this and distribute it widely.

Aside from my tasting glass, I made myself a root beer float with some vanilla ice cream and it is a real throwback. It works perfectly. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought I would hate this, but l loved it. It tastes like the best root beer ever, well crafted, artisanal, with all the right spices... but it is a beer. A 10% beer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I tell you what...put this against any of the root beer brands in a blind taste taste...and watch out...you'll have a bunch of drunk adolescents!!! The beer was root beer in appearance....no head and no lace. The scent was root beer. The taste was...root beer. The mouthfeel felt like a slightly more body than a...root beer. Overall I thought I was drinking root beer...wait....maybe I was...who knows...I would hate to think the establishment was selling a glass of root beer for $8!

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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10%) from Small Town Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.