Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%) | Small Town Brewery

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78 Reviews
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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Small Town Brewery
Illinois, United States
smalltownbrewery.com

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Not Your Father’s Root Beer 10.7% ABV iteration marks the third nationally distributed product from Small Town Brewery after last year’s rollouts of Not Your Father’s Root Beer 5.9% and Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale. Until now, this higher strength version of Not Your Father’s Root Beer has only been available in limited quantities in the Chicagoland area.

Added by MasterSki on 10-29-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
685
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
46.38%
 
 
Wants:
400
Gots:
184
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 685
Photo of dbrauneis
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear very dark cola brown in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly along the edges of the glass and hints of dark amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall very thin fizzy creamy light beige head that reduces to a medium to large sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of root beer (sarsaparilla, wintergreen, cola, and vanilla). Hints of alcohol are present as the beer warms up.

T: Tastes just like root beer, sweet and spicy herbal flavors (sarsaparilla, wintergreen, and cola) with a light note of vanilla in the finish. No bitterness is present. Just the slightest hint of alcohol in the finish as the beer warms up

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: The mouthfeel, aroma, and taste of this one really mimic a root beer and as someone that likes root beer, I'm impressed. Alcohol is well hidden and this one is I be it would make a great root beer float (dang it for being out of vanilla ice cream).

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Photo of ChezBob
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I like Root Beer
I like the idea
I like the taste

I don't like the price
I don't like the high alcohol content
I don't like the finish (it leaves a knot in the back of my throat like cough syrup, like I am nauseous and it lingers)

Mostly I don't like it because of the high alcohol content, although at the same price as a 12-pack of Miller Lite, perhaps they feel the high alcohol content justifies the price

Despite my low rating, this product has potential

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Photo of tbryan5
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark, dark. brown. Almost black with a fizzy cola like head.
S- Sassafras and root beer.
T- Very sweet and kind of wood like. Just a little booze on the end.
M- Low carbonation and very slick. Medium body.
D- As good or better that the original. Couldn't finish a bomber of it because of how sweet it is.

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Photo of hardy008
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a one finger beige head, which fades quickly and leaves a small collar of foam. Smells like root beer. There is caramel, sassafras, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Tastes much like it smells. Sweet flavor. The alcohol is very well disguised for a 10.7 % abv beer. In addition to what I picked up in teh aroma, I can also taste molasses and anise.

Full bodied with low to average carbonation. Very creamy. A good change of pace beer.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a brown and opaque beer that looks like a regular root beer. The smell has spice but mainly the sugar and sweetness that you expect.

The smell and taste is root beer and the feel is root beer because what else? I guess I would note that the honey in the taste and the vanila are a bit more prominent than one would expect and that sets it apart from regular root beer, which tends to be more sugary.

Anyway, the main thing is that this version is a lot less sweeter than the lower abv version and has a slight wood flavor to it that is actually pretty nice. Despite the abv, it still drinks like a regular root beer.

Yeah, go for it if it's your thing.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner in Rochester, NY.

This pours a pretty dark brown and syrupy looking color, with a nice foamy head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like alcoholic root beer- what did you expect? There's tons of vanilla, and typical root beer spicing, licorice, sugar. It smells like diabetes in a glass- in a good way (?).

It's hard to determine whether or not this is better than the 5.7% version. It's thicker and creamier than that version, and for the first 8 oz or so of this bomber, it's more enjoyable. So much vanilla, creamy and sweet, with the unmistakable root beer (syrup) taste to it. However, as it warms, and you get further it, it gets tiresome. 22 oz bottles of this are really quite silly- no one needs that much of this beer. As the beer warms, the booze shows a little bit, and makes the whole thing a bit medicinal. It gets too sweet, and almost cough-syrupy, with a slight menthol type taste coming out. I could not finish the bomber, which is too bad, because I really did enjoy the first 8 oz or so of it.

This has a very syrupy mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation.

Certainly interesting, and there's nothing like it. I could only drink very small amounts of this, though, 22 oz is absurd.

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Photo of strohme2
3.67/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

After the madness of the regular version, the Pabst relations, the "malternitives" reference, dammit, I didn't want to like it but, I do. This one tastes more like a beer than the 5.9% version. Tastes more like a beer trying for that root beer flavor than alcoholic root beer. Lots of vanilla, spices, caramel, licorice, some heat and ethanol. Mouthfeel is syrupy and thick. Unique for sure.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: black in the glass, small off white head
S: man, just like root beer. No alcohol in the nose
T: wow, all root beer. I get some vanilla too.
F: highly carbonated, and thick. So much thicker than the 5.7% version
O: it' s root beer for sure, no alcohol taste either

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.37/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark cola / stout body with a thin beige cap. Aromas of vanilla, cola, booze, honey. Like the 5.9% version, but the alcohol is all jacked up in this variant. Sweeter and boozier. Sticky palate. Best shared several ways.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, wood, cola, mint, nutmeg, licorice, light cocoa, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark malt and spice notes; with great strength. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, wood, cola, mint, nutmeg, licorice, light cocoa, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness. Light-moderate herbal bitterness and spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, wood, cola, mint, nutmeg, licorice, light cocoa/toast, and herbal/spice earthiness on the finish fora while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark malt and spice flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, lightly slick/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding spiced beer. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark malt and spice flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

Appearance looks lie root beer with a foamy off white head that eventually disappears. Smells very similar to the 5% version, perhaps a bit more sassafras in the aroma and more alcohol. Flavor follows the nose and adds a bit more sassafras root flavor, alcohol is more noticeable. Medium bodied with foamy mouthfeel and finish. A tasty root beer that still manages to hide the alcohol pretty well, but not as drinkable as the 5.9% version

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Barons Market in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $7.99
Purchased: July 17, 2016
Consumed: July 17, 2016
Reviewed as: Herbed/Spice Beer
Misc.: No BOD on bottle

First time I saw it in stores out here and had to pick it up. Really liked the basic version and was happy to recently hear that this one was going national as well. These are always tough to review as it hardly seems like beer, but I guess a herbed/spice beer makes sense. Have high hopes as I gave the original version a 4.45 last July. Expecting to at least be in the 4.25-to-4.35 range.

Poured a dark brown-to-light black opaque color with two fingers of frothy khaki-tan head. Surprised with the head as most alcoholic root beers I try tend to fizz out quickly. Excellent spiderweb foamy lacing. Outstanding retention. I can’t believe how good this beer looks compared to other alcoholic root beers. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled like root beer as expected, maybe more vanilla than I anticipated. Got vanilla, licorice, molasses, sugary caramel, hints of toasted brown sugar and herbal notes. Maybe got a touch of booze. (Smell - 4.75)

Tasted just like the nose, just fantastic. More creamy than the original. Got root beer, creamy vanilla, sugary molasses, black licorice, Circus Peanuts candy, sugary caramel, brown sugar and still those herbal medicine notes. Could definitely taste the booze here and got that warming feeling down the gut right away. Getting hints of banana and/or cloves as well. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish. (Feel - 4.50)

This was incredible for the style. Say what you want about root beer “beers” but this is the best I’ve had for sure. (Overall - 4.50)

4.55 | 100 | A+

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Photo of bbtkd
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small Town Not Your Father's Root Beer, 10.7% ABV, 10 IBU. Pours, looks, and smells like a root beer. Taste is typical sugared root beer, with vanilla and is alcohol heavy. This is sweet, though less than the 5.9% ABV variant. Mouthfeel is good for what it is - a root beer. Overall decent for the style, better than the other lower ABV root beers I've tried. This is the best alcoholic root beer I've had, though probably would be better off drinking a sugar-free A&W and a shot of root beer schnapps. The 19.5% ABV variant of this must be a booze bomb, but I'd be willing to take one for the team and try it!

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer pours a soda brown color with no lasting head. The aroma is simply rootbeer, with lots of vanilla, wintergreen, and sarsaparilla. The flavor leads with lots of vanilla, followed by wintergreen, raisin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is fizzy and soda like. Overall this is another successful and silly beer from this brewery. It tastes like root beer, with a huge kick.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.92/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

22oz bottle split into two 10oz tulips.

A: The alcohol is noticeable from the pour as this pours much more viscous and heavier than the original. The head is not as soda-like and fizzy either. Wispy lace was left down the glass.
S: Vanilla and cola-like notes dominate the nose along with hints of licorice, sarsaparilla, and volatile booze.
T: Rough booze up front followed by root beer flavors, mostly vanilla, sarsaparilla, and caramel. I get a touch of wood, mint, and licorice, and the finish is full of spices. Tastes a bit like if you add vodka to root beer. It’s not as sweet as the original, but it’s also not as smooth or enjoyable. The aftertaste is blend of sickly caramel and medicinal flavors. Actually I’m getting the medicinal note throughout the entire flavor. Definitely more beer-like overall.
M: Viscous and syrupy body is similar to that of root beer except with a heavy alcoholic slickness. Carbonation is toned down too from the booze; definitely not as soda-like as the original. The alcohol is “hot” at first, but it is rough around the edges and distracting. As the beer warms, the booze has a warming finish and becomes a chore to drink.
O: If you like the six-pack version, don’t buy this. As a beer, it’s pretty rough. As an alcoholic root beer, just go get some vodka and make your own.

 1,332 characters

Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L - Dark, muddy brown up front. When held to the light ot glows a gorgeous mahogany red with two fingers of eggshell head that disappeared immediately

S - Sugary vanilla beckons from across the room as does black licorice.

T - Massive vanilla up front which transitions to that black licorice and an interesting minty and herbal flavor which lingers on the back end and finish

F - Slightly undercarbonated with moments of a syrupy body. Overall it has enough carbonation to make it feel like soda. The 10.7% is invisible and that is a feat in and of itself

O - A small step up from 5.8% NYFRB with bolder flavors. Small strikes against it for lack of carbonation, but this is delicious and the ability to mask the abv alone gives it extra points.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Muddy brown color. Smells like root beer, tastes like the 5.9% version (which tastes exactly like great root beer), but with more booze and off flavors presumably from the alcohol. Like root beer mixed with root beer liquor.

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Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
1.9/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

The 10% iteration tastes like you took the 5% and added a splash of liquor and a big spoon of sugar. The 5% at least has the benefit of tasting just like root beer. This just tastes like a half-soda, half-liquor syrupy sweet mess.

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Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark cola brown pour. Small light brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Smells like root beer. Strong and sweet.

T: Root beer, of course. Very sweet, very heavy on the vanilla.

M: Heavy and sticky.

O: Not a lot to say, it tastes like the original but just twice as sweet, heavy and alcoholic.

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Photo of dagubna
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I understand this isn't for everyone but if you enjoy root beer over ice then you'll probably like this. I feel like a lot of people who rate this negatively are either viewing it through the wrong lens or they're not pouring it over ice like it says to do on the side of the bottle, thus keeping it syrupy and boozy.

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Photo of rjp217
1.99/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Cheap boozy syrup in my opinion. I could barely stomach it not because of the sweetness (it's less sweet than the 5.9) but because the schnapps like booze. I don't really get the root beer, it's just high ABV syrup. This is a pretty controversial "beer" and I can see why. You're either gonna love it or hate it.

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Photo of JasonBloom
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is definitely craft beer. Small Town does a great job masking the alcohol at such high ABV. I've had plenty of other hard root beers, and they all taste pretty horrible. These guys know how to do it right.

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Photo of mynie
2.68/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

On tap at some joint outside Schaumberg.

It's a more alcoholic, and sweet, version of their lower ABV rootbeer. Same cloying sweetness, same pretty good spice profile, only with a little bit of a booze burn on the finish.

I really don't know what to make of these guys. They're doing a better job of making alcoholic rootbeers than Sam Adams or Sprecher, so that's worth something. But I brewed enough to realize 1)that I suck at brewing, and 2) it's relatively easy for a not that great a brewer to make a decent brew if they're willing to go eXtreme. And this is the eXtreme-iest beer-like product I ever did quaff. So much so that I do not think it should be categorically considered beer. There's still some amount of craft here, and it's okay to appreciate that, but there was a craft to Zima that set it apart from Smirfnoff Ice and Skyy Blue (seriously, not kidding, it was way better than those). I don't mean that as an insult--I actually liked Zima, for what it was--but I think we're getting into weird territory in reviewing this as beer.

Does that mean it's bad? No. But viewed as a beer, by beer standards, it falls short. It's far too sweet. It's not complex beyond it's rather simple SWEET + BURN formula. By all means, drink it and enjoy it, but it's not good by beer standards.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.39/5  rDev +6%
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 mothman
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
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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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%) from Small Town Brewery
4.14 out of 5 based on 685 ratings.
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