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

70 Reviews
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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%)

Brewed by:
Small Town Brewery
Illinois, United States | website

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

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 636
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.37/5  rDev -19%
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%
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 +0.5%
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

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
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 -6.7%
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 -3.6%
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 -29.8%
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.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
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 -15.1%
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 -54.3%
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 +1.9%
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 +2.2%
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 -52.2%
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 +20.2%
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 -35.6%
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 +5.5%
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 -6.3%
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 DoubleSimcoe
4.41/5  rDev +6%
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 vikinggary28
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
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 Kevinpitts
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to compare this to beers on this site. That said, if you like root beer, this is great. Better than the 5.9% version. This version tastes more like root beer and isn't cloyingly sweet like the other version. Very good IF you like root beer.

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Photo of cultclassic89
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here's the deal:

Looks like Root Beer.

Smells like Root Beer.

Tastes like Root Beer:

Too sweet to drink multiple, get a bit of a stomach ache. Slightly bumped from 5.9% because of how well it hides the abv.

Overall: I don't really like the process used to make the beer, so down from a 5 it goes.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
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 1000lbgrizzly
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Same thing as the 5.9% version- alcoholic root beer. Sassafras and other warm spices, highly carbonated, sweet. This does start to pick up an unpleasant mineral/chalk taste, probably from the rampant alcohol. Again, don't expect a balanced, mature brew here, expect a highly stylized, highly adulterated, highly delicious root 'beer'.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at some dinner by Wrigley Field. Came in a 12 ounce root beer mug. Sweet sticky, not much alcohol presence. This is much better than the 5.7% version. Might be the best tasting root beer I've had.

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Photo of mmahanna41
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Much better than the 5.9%... If it wasn't so strong, I'd have no problem drinking 5 or 6 of these. Still just a slight bit more sugary than the 19% abv.

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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%) from Small Town Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.
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