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

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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

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: 85 | Ratings: 729
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.49/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of Zaktcc
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of drdiesel9483
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.11/5  rDev -24%
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.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of gregy55902
3.6/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of Lucular
2.94/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
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 dbrauneis
4.01/5  rDev -2%
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 tbryan5
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
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 -0.7%
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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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 -3.2%
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 -10.3%
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 +3.2%
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 -17.6%
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 +2.7%
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 +2.2%
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 +11.2%
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 -5.1%
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 -2%
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 -28.6%
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 +12.7%
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 -13.7%
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 -53.5%
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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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7%) from Small Town Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 729 ratings.
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