Hard Root Beer
Coney Island Brewing Company

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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #71
Ranked #40,447
3.67 | pDev: 17.44%
Coney Island Brewing Company
New York, United States
Notes: Coney Island Hard Root Beer is a new twist on an old favorite. With hints of vanilla, licorice and birch, this root beer will bring you back to the boardwalk.
Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 484 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus from Texas

4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber in color, verging on obsidian, with a large, quite coarse, tan head, which collapses, but manages to leave a nice circlet about the glass wall, and a scattering of foam on the surface. Patchy, sticky lacing clings to the glass wall.

Aroma: A spot on rendition of the aroma classic root beer, sarsaparilla, pink bubble gum, vanilla, licorice, brown sugar and molasses.

Taste: opens with a wonderful and outrageously over-the-top flavor of classic root beer: brown sugar, molasses, sarsaparilla, pink bubblegum, licorice, vanilla, cola and just a hint of alcohol. The sweet and spicy wave carries throughout the taste. Finishes with a lingering sweet wave of brown sugar, vanilla, and pink bubblegum.

Mouth feel: Soft and very full, quite pleasant, with just a whisper of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Simply excellent, among the best root beers that I have ever had, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Coney Island Root Beer is a wonderful reminder of the glorious complexity of root beer.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce aluminum can, served in a Duvel chalice.

Today at 02:11 AM
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Taste: sweet, vanilla, honey, root beer notes. Spicy root beer nose. Dark brown hue, clear, foamy head some lace. Medium/light body. Root beer with a bite.

Aug 15, 2018
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Ordinarily, I would just rate this: the bottle was 3 months past its Best By date and the the most recent review is 7 months ago; indicating this may not be released again without a contemporary adjustment. But on the other hand, I am gunning for Poo-bah and I need the Karma.

A summertime quaff that appeals to childhood memories and, at the same time, joys of growing up (as hard as that may have been sometimes.) From that complicated appeal comes a beer that tastes like root with pronounced vanilla, some licorice and lots of sugar. And the sweet malt seems to help recall those bygone days.

Just like those days, I will not have Coney Island's Hard Root again. Time to move on and deal with today.

Aug 15, 2017
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metter98 from New York

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color, but when held up to a light traces of brownish hues are visible near the edge of the glass. It poured with a thin light tan-colored head that quickly faded away, leaving only a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of root beer are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and tastes just like a root beer soda and has the associated sweetness that you would expect. You can definitely get some notes of birch flavors and hints of licorice.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: If I had this in a blindfolded taste test, I would have immediately guessed it was root beer soda. It tastes nothing like a beer and everything like a soda, and even isn't that cloying.

Serving type: bottle

Jan 15, 2017
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muchos from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L. Black, but not opaque. Bubbly head hangs on at least a minute.
S. Vanilla, licorice, sugar, light molasses. Mmm, smells like root beer.
T. Sugary, but not overly so for a root beer, balanced by a big taste of bitter anise/black licorice, with sweet vanilla and smoky molasses in there as well.
F. Medium body with slight carbonation.
O. A very good root beer with plenty of flavor which is balanced nicely. Cheers!

Oct 30, 2016
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_drummer_ from China

4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first hard root beer! Forgive my ignorance in my review. Great root beer flavor, caramel, carbonation - all well balanced, and the alcohol is a neat twist. All in all, pretty enjoyable.

Sep 18, 2016
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BeerTv from California

3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Coney Island Hard Root Beer
(ABV: 5.8%)

Hand-crafted adult sodas are not only gaining massive popularity within the last few years, but they are truly shaking up the beer realm. The first beginnings started in 2012, with the first example of a hard root beer debuting in 2013. Hard sodas success appears to point towards a sense of nostalgia as they send us back to a time when we were young and life was carefree. Childhood memories of hot afternoons sipping A&W, Dad's, IBC or Barq's Root beer with our favorite salty snack. And of course, not to forget about the iconic culinary root beer float.

AROMA - predominantly vanilla extract, lightly spiced cinnamon, brown sugar and molasses sweetness, caramel, black licorice

APPEARANCE – pours a dark scarlet ebony with a fizzy tan head which immediately dissipated...no surprise there. No apparent lacing or head retention either which is acceptable since this is a hard soda

FLAVOR – heavy vanilla with light black licorice, toffee sweetness, spiced sassafras, slightly woodsy, spiced earthiness on the finish

MOUTHFEEL – medium bodied with a moderate-high carbonation level, smooth creaminess allowing for easy drinkability, slight syrup-like finish

OVERALL – one of the better examples of a hard root beer out there; many hard sodas struggle with concealing the ABV presence whereas Coney Island succeeds. The vanilla forward character with subtle black licorice following allowed for a unique focal point since most traditional root beers are centered on the predominant presence of black licorice, sassafras, or sarsaparilla.

Sep 06, 2016
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Gandalfthefab from Virginia

5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Terrible beer amazing root beer don't drink this if you want a beer has no beer taste at all the head is a root beer head its very fizzy its just root beer a very very very good root beer

Jul 25, 2016
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misfitkid from Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far my favorite beer. It excels far beyond best damn root beer by far. It tramples not your fathers root beer in taste. This beer tastes like root beer! You can't even taste the alcohol. But trust me its there. The other main competitors have an aftertaste of a normal beer, this one however tastes like your cracked open a can of a&w. This beer is incredibly smooth. Even if you are not a fan of beer, if you liked normal root beer as a kid you will love this.

Jun 18, 2016
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biboergosum from Canada

3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - more summer (almost) 2016, more boozed-up root beer, eh?

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and rather fizzy tan head, which leaves a bit of coral reef atoll lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of zingy and woodsy cinnamon, brown sugar syrup, grainy caramel malt, and a touch of metallic alcohol. The taste is rather sweet root beer, i.e. heavy on the vanilla, with a nice edgy spiciness, some earthy woodiness, a besieged caramel malt, soft black licorice notes, and more flinty, if restrained booziness.

The carbonation is quite laid-back, with just a wee frothiness prevailing, the body a decent medium weight, and rather smooth, with an attendant creaminess trying to get off of the ground in the face of some oppressive spice. It finishes sweet, the robust root beer character persisting, alongside some 'this ain't for the kids' wowee sauce warming.

Overall, this is one tasty and enjoyable hard root beer, the base brew really emulating the soda in question. I know I mentioned the various points where the alcohol was noticeable, but that was only if you were looking very closely for it. Otherwise, like when I'm polishing off the rest of this bottle, you don't sense it at all - just a yummy summertime quaff.

Jun 02, 2016
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bbtkd from South Dakota

3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Smells like root beer and alcohol - which it is, and the taste follows. Mouthfeel is decent. Overall very good. It is cloyingly sweet, but best to drink it cold as the alcohol really becomes prevalent as it warms.

May 11, 2016
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Eli2814 from California

2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Big root beer fan. Big beer fan. Hoped the two would marry well.
They only sort of did. It's nose is dominated with booze at every sniff. The easiest way to describe the taste would be that it's basically a Bourbon-barrel aged rootbeer. Plus, there's no bitter balance to cut out the alcohol taste, even on a beverage with such a low abv. The only way you won't taste the alcohol in this is if you've been drinking a few beers (maybe a shot or two) prior to drinking this guy. It's alright for what it is, but I wouldnt buy it again.

Apr 30, 2016
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yuip from Kentucky

2.69/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Root beer with an identity crisis. Its not your sweet goes down like soda root beer. It had the aroma of root beer, even a bit of a fizz, the initial taste is also acceptable (being a bit too sweet), but it leaves your mouth with a biting aftertaste akin to that of cheap alcohol. This is a one try and never try again type of experiment.

I purchased this from Kroger 6 pack mix-n-match.

Apr 05, 2016
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2/29...pours dark cola brown, soda like fizz (shocker), no foam. Root beer/birch nose. Sharp. Vanilla, licorice too. Root beer sweet flavor with a ball of alcohol in the back end mouthfeel. Like someone dropped whiskey in my A&W. Interesting, but sticky sweet. Not something I'd go back towards. One = done.

Mar 20, 2016
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matjack85 from Illinois

2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Picked this up at Binny's in Bloomingdale, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making this single 12oz brown bottle $1.67. Freshness date of Feb. '16 is notched into the side label.

The beer pours a root beer color but makes no head or lacing. Truly looks more like a root beer than a beer.

Big root beer smell - very sweet.

Lots of root beer and sweet vanilla but also an unpleasant cheap alcoholic taste. The alcohol is listed at 5.8% but feels like double that.

Not as syrupy as regular root beer. This is on the thin, watery side with only moderate carbonation. It could have used more.

This is the least favorite of the 4 root beer beers that I've tried so far. If you want a good one try "Not Your Father's Root Beer" from Small Town Brewery.

Mar 12, 2016
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MichaelProcton from North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Looks significantly more like a cola than a beer, with very active carbonation, but no head retention at all. Dark cola brown. The smell is very root beer-ish, with the sharpness of the carbonation evident even on the nose, plus a bit of the ethyl alcohol blast. Flavor is again, of root beer, and sweetness is dominant, though not off-putting. The taste of cheap alcohol is present, but very much in the background throughout your drink. The feel is very underwhelming. Slick and thin. Still, if you don't much like beer, this is probably a fine choice at its 5.8% ABV.

Feb 04, 2016
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vikinggary28 from California

3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks and smells just like root beer although there is a slight alcohol taste that creeps through making this a little "harder" than your usual root beer, it still does what it is suppose to do, be a root beer with some kick to it. Not bad at all.

Jan 24, 2016
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JimNeedsBrew from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If your gonna drink root beer this is it. It tastes like, well, root beer with just a hint of alcohol. No bitterness just sweet delicious root beer.

Jan 17, 2016
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nicholas2121 from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coney Island Hard Root Beer brewed by Coney Island Brewing Company, with an ABV of 5.8% This brew pours out a deep brown color with a nice off white head. The smell of Coney Island Hard Root Beer, is sweet like root beer, with wintergreen mint. There are some grains and malts in this brew. You can smell a wintergreen alcohol smell in this brew. This brew has the look and smell of root beer, not saying that is a bad thing. Now for the taste it is sweet, with some hits of grins and malts. There is also a witergreen mite taste at the end of this brew. Coney Island Hard Root Beer, has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. If you are a fan of root beer this is the brew for you. The mouthfeel of Coney Island Hard Root Beer is rich, bold and sweet. Overall I'm giving Coney Island Hard Root Beer, a 4 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. Coney Island Brewing Company, did a nice job with this one. This brew would be nice on a cool day.

Jan 17, 2016
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gordonthulu from Georgia

3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honestly questioned whether this was just some flavored malt liquor or an actual beer. Drinking this is much like drinking a soda, make sure you eat something because the sweetness will fool you into thinking you're good. Felt like root beer in the mouth, smelled like it, tasted like it with minimal booziness. Would be a great beer for people who don't like beer.

Jan 10, 2016
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tillmac62 from South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BBD 2/16. Pours black. Very little head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

Outstanding nose of root beer, just like a soda. As it warms, notes of wintergreen are present.

Nice light medium body that is smooth with a bit of creaminess. Superb carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the middle and a fair burst in the finish. This one outgasses quickly and will go flat in 20 minutes or so.

The flavor profile is world class. Alcohol is completely covered - it tastes like a regular root beer soda. Caramel, vanilla and anise comprise the profile with the classic sassafras and sarsaparilla flavors being dominate. A solid sweetness is always present with the aforementioned flavors. The finish delivers a bit of bark and a touch of wintergreen as the other flavors fade.

Jan 07, 2016
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NastyNorseman from New York

3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I appreciated the less syrupy taste from this Coney Island offering, however, I was surprised at its faint licorice flavoring. I like my root beers to have a licoricey bite, and this beer is more vanilla. The color and smell are good though. Overall a decent brew just lacking the edge I desire for a treat ale.

Jan 01, 2016
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ordybill from Georgia

4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark brown color with a medium sized tan head. The aroma smells like root beer (go figure). The flavor is root beer with a slight beer/alcohol flavor in the background.

Dec 30, 2015
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Brewfocker80 from Kentucky

4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark brown color with very little head
S: Smells of root beer spices and nothing like a beer (which was fully expected)
T: Taste very much resemble a good root beer but not quite as sweet as a normal root beer.
M: Smooth and clean
O: This is different than other hard root beers, this has more vanilla and less licorice than some of the more popular root beers I have found. It is very good and I would certainly seek it out again.

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Dec 25, 2015
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wanderluster11 from New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tastes just like soda but seems like a mix of root beer & birch beer. Very sweet. As someone who's not a fan of soda, glad I split the bottle. Would probably drink again though.

Dec 23, 2015
Hard Root Beer from Coney Island Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 484 ratings