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

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91
outstanding
79 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:
79
Ratings:
700
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
47.69%
 
 
Wants:
390
Gots:
186
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 700
Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
1.9/5  rDev -53.8%
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 rjp217
1.99/5  rDev -51.6%
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 mynie
2.68/5  rDev -34.8%
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 scottfrie
2.92/5  rDev -29%
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 Lucular
2.94/5  rDev -28.5%
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.

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Photo of RussBeercier
3/5  rDev -27%
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 -27%

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 -24.1%
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 -18.2%
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 Huhzubendah
3.37/5  rDev -18%
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.

 219 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
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 gcamparone
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
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 barnzy78
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
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 gregy55902
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.61/5  rDev -12.2%
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 strohme2
3.67/5  rDev -10.7%
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 Hermanater
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

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 -8.8%
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 bbtkd
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
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 vikinggary28
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
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 woodychandler
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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 GreesyFizeek
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
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 Vonerichs
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
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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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%) from Small Town Brewery
4.11 out of 5 based on 700 ratings.
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