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

Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)
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Herb and Spice Beer
4.33 | pDev: 14.78%
Small Town Brewery
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 758 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Franziskaner
Franziskaner from Missouri

3.24/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Mahogany brown in color with an fingernail of brown around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is flat root beer with a slightly sweet, boozy edge. The taste is smoky root beer and black licorice. There's plenty of booze and it isn't well hidden. There's a bit of dry stickiness and there's definitely a boozy burn on the way down. Not sure what I was expecting, but not sure what some of the others see in this. My opinion of this beer increased greatly as it warmed.

Nov 04, 2017
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AtrumAnimus from Texas

4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This very unique and fragrant root-beer pours a nice dark color with very little head.

The nose is super complex and spicy with strong hints of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, anise, cherries, alcohol, and earthy notes.

The taste is also very complex and compliments the nose perfectly. The complexity really comes out as the root beer gets a bit warmer. This also leaves a pleasant warm glow in your stomach. Again the presence of strong hints of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, anise, cherries, alcohol are all there.

The mouthfeel is slightly more watery than I expected, but this could easily be attributed to the volume of alcohol.

Overall this is an exceptional root beer. I highly recommend trying it as it is very pleasant to drink.

Sep 02, 2017
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ordybill from Georgia

4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, really surprised. Poured from a 25 OZ bottle into a snifter. The appearance is pitch black with a small tan head. The aroma is root beer and alcohol. The taste follows the nose. The best hard root beer i have had.

Aug 21, 2017
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.11/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not your fathers root beer pours black with no head. Sweet straw flavor. Sweet, very sweet, straw like flavor, hints of vanilla. A little flat. Overall the extra alcohol helps but not great.

Jul 04, 2017
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rajendra82 from Georgia

4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color was typical of a strong ale or barleywine, and the head was one to two fingers in thickness. The smell of vanilla was very strong upon poring, and bringing the beer to nose made the smell so intense. Other than vanilla, I could also smell some licorice. The taste was very dominated by vanilla and licorice as well. The flavor was very sweet and root beery, and alcohol was dangerously well hidden. If there was one thing I would have liked better, it was having some more carbonation. The flatness made the beer taste a little too sweet in the end. The body was silky smooth in texture. I usually don't like heavily flavored beers. I picked it up based on goo reviews, and it was better than most.

Jun 11, 2017
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bushbeer75 from Michigan

4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz brown bottle

Small Town Not Your Father's Root Beer 10.7 version body is a very dark brown, An aggressive pour produced a 3/4-finger bubbly tan head that dissipated to a ring of foam with no lacing to speak of. The nose was all about the smell of root beer. The flavor was of sweet syrup [of course root beer like], caramel and vanilla helped smooth out the taste. At the finish just a touch of hops and light warming alcohol. The alcohol is well hidden for having a 10.7 abv, The body is medium with moderate carbonation.

If you liked Not Your Father's Root Beer 5.9 version or just plain root beer you will love this 10.7 version. This version is dangerously drinkable for having such a high alcohol content.

Jun 02, 2017
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.49/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Did anyone else notice this is the #2 'best' spiced beer?

Poured into a small chalice: color is brown, amber edges, head is light tan and presents quickly with a 1/4 inch top that dissipates to a ring and some lacing.

Smell is sweet, boozy, spicy. Definite root beer like aroma with licorice/birch/sarsparilla/vanilla aromas that are prominent but also some strong ester booziness with background sweetneess.

Taste is similar with a big sweetness, nearly cloying, then the root beer spice profile with a solidly pleasant tastinng mix of licorice/birch/sarsparilla/vanilla that evokes sweeter takes on root beer. Back end flavor has a harsher booziness and stronger sweetness that I really would not expect in a 10.7% abv anything.

Mouthfeel is just at cloying sweetness. I see how you would want a root beer to be sweet to counter the spiciness but this seems counter when its a 10.7% ale.

Overall a cool idea and great root beer taste but that back sweetness is too much.

Mar 27, 2017
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Zaktcc from Maryland

4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a pitch black color with about one finger head that fades quickly leaving no lacing behind.

S - I've personally never enjoyed root beer as a drink before but have always loved the aromas it gives off and NYFRB portrays it perfectly. A wonderfully sweet scent of root beer is all I note from the beer.

T - As is often the case with most beers, the taste follows the nose. A milder variant of root beer with a mild aftertaste I can't quite put a name too. Much better blended and flavored than the lighter NYFRB.

M - A very well brewed and inconspicuous beer that masks any and all notes of alcohol into what could easily be mistaken for a normal root beer. Very smooth and drinkable and optimal carbonation to mimic root beer as well.

O - All in all this is not a beer but an adult version of root beer. The beer is what it claims to be - NYFRB.
Also makes a phenomenal root beer float!

Feb 26, 2017
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

3.51/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look - looks like root beer but has some good stickiness and no real head
Smell - booze and a lot of spices that I cant name
taste - as it says on the bottle, dark spiced ale with vanilla and honey... lots of spices and booze
feel - syrup not much carbonation
Overall - this is strong booze with lots of spice and very syrupy. I wouldnt get it again.

Feb 24, 2017
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Tripel_Threat from Michigan

3.11/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thought this version woild be less cloying than the 5%. Nope. Sweet root beer and big vanilla aroma precedes a sweet medical root and spice flavor with a healthy dose of vanilla. Keep it cold, and less than halfway through the bottle you don't notice the medicinal flavors so much. Eh, I can see why some people like it.

Feb 12, 2017
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours fairly dark, with a off white frothy head - 1 finger. The nose is root beer, but also a boozy aroma to it. Moderate thick pouring. The taste is ,well ,root beer, but amped up. Amped up even more than the regular strength NYFRB. This is very good.

Dec 25, 2016
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gregy55902 from Minnesota

3.6/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this because it was severely discounted ($5 for a 22oz bomber). Yes it tastes just like root beer - but the 10.7% abv is extremely noticeable, and it is very sweet just like "real" root beer. The vanilla does help tame the abv a little bit, but yeah, the overbearing sweetness is also giving me diabetes (I had to brush my teeth after drinking it!). Good alternative to wine coolers I guess, but this just tastes like some canned root beer with a few shots of grain alcohol thrown in. Can't see myself revisiting this anytime soon, or ever - my homebrewed 14% abv cherry mead is way more smooth and sophisticated.

Nov 19, 2016
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Lucular from Maryland

2.94/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Looks much better than regular NYFRB. Retains a small head and has okay lacing. Smells boozy but pretty good. Taste is booze, booze, root beer, incredible sweetness, and more harsh booziness. Not a fan. I split a 22 oz bomber with my wife but even half the bottle was way too much to handle, so I make a quick trip to the grocery store for some vanilla ice cream. It was much better that way but I still poured out the last couple of ounces. Simply not worth drinking.

The reason my overall score is lower than any of the individual components is first, that even half a bomber was far more than I wanted, and second, that I still feel horrible several hours after drinking this. Never again.

One more thing - when pouring I didn't pour the entire bottle because near the end there were a couple of big globs that came out (into my glass, not my wife's). Pretty unappetizing and I'm not sure what they were.

Nov 05, 2016
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Here we are on another New Beer Sunday & since everything that I have planned for today comes in a 22-fl oz bottle format, mine will be New Bomber Sunday. I procured this at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop when it was widely released & set it aside for a moment when the spirit would move me to open it. I guess that today is the day!

From the bottle: "Limited Edition Brew"; "We like to think of it as a dark spiced ale with vanilla and honey."; "Best served chilled or poured in a glass over ice."; "We know you'll enjoy it ... we do."

Once I Pop!ped off the cap, I began a moderately gentle pour as 22-oz is a LOT of liquid to have get out of control. Believe me, that kind of stupidity once caused me to have to purchase a new computer. 8=( It foamed up pretty good, initially, which was cause of alarm until it fell back to for a finger of dense, light-tan head with good retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose smelled very much like root beer pop, but it came off as really sweet for my taste. Mouthfeel was big, full and creamy, VERY evocative of root beer pop. How does one describe root beer? It has an herbal, root taste, along the lines of sarsaparilla or birch and in this case, the vanilla was also easily discernible. The only thing marring (?) the illusion for me was the burn of the alcohol on the tongue. I realize that it is a relatively high ABV beer, but it was not doing anything to hide it, either. Finish was initially quite sweet, with the sugariness of the honey & the taste of the vanilla really leading the charge, but on the extreme finish, it had a dry warmth as the alcohol seemed to burn in my sinuses. It was a curiosity more than anything else for me, but having satisfied my curiosity, I probably will not be returning to it.

Oct 09, 2016
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.01/5  rDev -7.4%
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).

Sep 27, 2016
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Aug 20, 2016
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hardy008 from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
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 the aroma, I can also taste molasses and anise.

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

Aug 06, 2016
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Aug 05, 2016
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.96/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Aug 03, 2016
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strohme2 from Michigan

3.67/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Aug 03, 2016
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
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

Jul 30, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.37/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

Jul 25, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -3%
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.

Jul 24, 2016
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
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

Jul 23, 2016
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BucannonXC5 from California

4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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+

Jul 18, 2016
Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%) from Small Town Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 758 ratings