Brewer Patriot Collection - 1790 Root Beer Brew
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Brewer Patriot Collection - 1790 Root Beer BrewBrewer Patriot Collection - 1790 Root Beer Brew
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Herb and Spice Beer
2.61 | pDev: 26.82%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Brewer Patriot Collection - 1790 Root Beer BrewBrewer Patriot Collection - 1790 Root Beer Brew
Notes: Named after the year when hard root beers soared in popularity with colonial drinkers, the brew features ingredients such as blackstrap molasses, sassafras root bark, dried wintergreen, and licorice.
Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 203 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Huffs
1.57/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Review from October 2006:

Appearance: Opaque hue with a caramel look. Spice particles visible.

Taste: Strong spicy flavor with a syrupy finish. Syrupy after taste.

Comments: Not one of my favorites. A bit too much of a syrupy texture, more like a cider than beer. Very sweet with strong spicy note. Slight aroma of burnt ceder. Spicy aroma.

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Photo of magictrokini
1.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Putrid beer. Poured clear brown with a ton of floaties. Smallish white head. Aroma was pleasant. It smelled like a bitter root beer with star anise and ginger. Too bad the flavor was terrible. Like a licorice beer. I think the other flavors were actually roots. Earthy and sticky, but in a starchy, dirty way. Why?

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Photo of mugglesandhops
1.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Me and a friend split these Brewer Patriot Collection brews and this was by far the worst one. Neither of us finished ours. As i stated in reviewing the porter, I enjoyed drinking these thinking this is what our founding fathers drank but I could not bring myself to drinking this horrible brew

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
2.83/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Taken from my old notes.

Pours a hazy amber, and by hazy do mean hazy, quite a bit of sediment, not much head and what is there goes quickly.

Has a very herbal smell, even has mint! Although I don't like mint, it is rather unique as I haven't run across many beers that use it.

Taste is a bit confusing, malty sweetness with herbal mintness and other psice, not exactly a pleasing combo. Each fights to remain on top and don't balance, can't really imagine how they could.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Off notes from 10-2006. Pours cloudy amber with large chunks of sediment floating around. Smell is just like a root. I completely do not like the taste. You get that root beer edge, but it is too sharp and too tangy on the end. Just too harsh overall I think. Flavors overpower the feel and it is definitely not that drinkable I believe. The second of the four out of the box I can’t finish.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.18/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The final contestant here in the Brewer Patriot Invitational is 1790 Root Beer Brew. After this matinée, the winner will be declared. Good luck to 1790 Root Beer, and on to it we go:

This brew is a copper-red color with lots of floating yeast colonies in the body. Head is tan and holds pretty well. Aroma is of licorice, vanilla, and ginger. Interesting taste, it's not overpowering sweet, but still reminds me of a good root beer. Notes of hickory, molasses, and powdery phenols. Despite it's root tasting aftertaste, I found this to be somewhat drinkable.

The final beer is finished, and now it's time to announce the winner of the Brewer patriot Invitational. And it is:

James Madison Dark Wheat Ale! Congratulations!

This was one of the most intriguing invitationals yet. Four beers which I though I'd never be able to review because of their release, but I found a box set for $20(!). Overpriced? I think so, but I suppose its better to pay the price and try them then not try them at all. Not great beers, but ones taking us back in time. You can trace back the invite and read what you missed. Good day everyone!

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Photo of ism
3.15/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy and dense bronze with a one-finger off-white head. Nose of sweet anise and mint, proven in the taste, with dominant earthy licorice, sweet vanilla, and herbal notes. The wintergreen mint lingers like toothpaste you haven't rinsed out. I love licorice and root beer but the mint is a little odd. Much respect for bringing it into (re-?)existence. Definitely worth a try but not much more.

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Photo of DrJay
2.55/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Received as part of Secret Bunny '07 from cburian. Thanks Chris!

This one poured a light brown/amber colour, fair clarity. The (very) thin head did manage to stick around for quite a while and formed a bit of lacing. Whoa! That's an intense aroma! Very medicinal and herbal, spicy, licorice, sugary, like old fashioned root beer, quite minty too. The same kind of flavours happen in the flavour, but it starts out syrupy and sweet. Licorice and earthy middle, lingering mint. Syrupy body with lowish carbonation, kind of cloying. This is a really interesting beer and I kinda like it, but definitely one that's near impossible to finish alone. It does start to even out after a while - maybe my tastebuds were just burned away and I don't know it yet - but overall it's just way too intense. I can still detect the minty aftertaste, kind of like the lingering toothpaste flavour about 20 minutes after you've brushed your teeth. Cool experiment though.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.67/5  rDev +40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Major hazy bronze color with a low beige ringed head and nice active carbonation. Very strong black licorice, wintergreen, and herb aromas. All herbal spicy licorice flavors with a hint of wintergreen in the finish. Medium bodied with a medicinal finish.

I think this was the best of the 4 but I'd never buy any of them again.

Per Label: "Authentic Recipe #4" & "Beer with Herbs, Spices, Vanilla, Honey, and Molasses" & "Herbal notes of Sassafras, Wintergreen, and Licorice" & "Carmelized Sugar, Molasses, and Vanilla"

Enjoy Before: Oct '06
Tasted: 04/16/07

($8.99 / 4-pack "Brewer Patriot Collection")

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.04/5  rDev +54.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Russet brown with a decent sized head that has some longevity, and comes back with a swirl. A moderate amount of sparkling lace is left on the glass.

S - Sassafras, mint, clove, hay, herbs (thyme, rosemary, ect.). Smells a lot like Riccola lozenges. Wow! This is rustic! It reminds me of New Salem (a reconstructed village near Springfield IL that Abraham Lincoln lived, and where people dress up like villagers and cook, shoe horses, churn butter, ect.) Extremely unique. Outstanding!

T - Sweet sugary honey and vanilla flavors up front, followed by strong herbal flavors, mint, anise, and a bit of tangy hop. Tastes nothing like root beer, but more like a sassafras drink I once had as a kid when I was in Cub Scouts. Tastes very much like the nose... complex bitter herbs, grass, hay, earth, and Riii-Co-laaa! Very unique....could be off-putting if you didn't know what to expect.

M - Medium bodied and slick, with a course, gritty, dry finish.

D - Although I love the unique rustic farmyard and herb garden aspects of this beer, this isn't something I would want to drink regularly. I'll probably buy this 4-pack of heritage beers again next year, but I'm glad that you only get one of these.

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Photo of July2Nov
3.74/5  rDev +43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This 6-months past the best served by date...but, what the hell!

Poured into a pint glass. Had about a 1/2 finger of head. The smell is what you would expect from a root beer brew: Licorice all the way. If you like root beer, then this is going to be right down your alley. Except it has a little bite to it. I could drink 1 or 2 of these in a setting. Nice work on these historical brews. Tops!

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Photo of jdhilt
3.62/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger off-white head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Strong root beer nose. Flavor is root beer and hops, some sweetness, unique, would make a good summer beer. $9.99 - 4-pak, 12oz bottle from Shaw's Supermarket Concord, NH.

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Photo of Seanish
3.26/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought a Brewer Patriot Pack for my brother...then I saw a best by October 2006 so I don't know how the extra five months have affected the beers. Anyways, I had to try one so I picked the 1790 Root Beer.

It pours a light copper, the beer has a dense look and light does not penetrate much. It looks very unfiltered with little bits of things floating throughout.

It has a very pleasant licorice smell, licorice along with something else I couldn't put my finger on. Either way, the uniqueness of the smell for a beer invites you to drink it

The taste is unlike any beer I've had. It is faintly reminiscint of the smell. Earthy-licorice comes to mind. It starts of weak and comes on strong throughout a sip. I don't think it's bad, just very different.

The mouthfeel is different, like everything about this beer. It's a lot less carbonated than the beers I'm used to but I didn't even notice till I started to focus on the feel. I think the carbonation suits it well, too much and it was just seem like a bad soda. It leaves a slight oily feeling in your mouth but it isn't unpleasant.

I wouldn't say this is an undrinkable beer but I don't think I'd have more than one in a row. It was good to try just to see what kinds of non-traditional (compared to what's brewed nowadays) tastes are out there. I might not seek it out but I'd try it again if it came to me.

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Photo of auxiliary
2.98/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Amber color, nice head.

Smell - Licorice, and a root beer smell too

Taste - Licorice and root beer flavors, and minty ting

Mouthfeel - Minty, and Licorice

Drinkability - Good to try, but was not crazy about this, I just couldn't take another one.

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Photo of scorched
3.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok... well, this beer is definitely interesting.

The appearance is... interesting, yet again. There are all sorts of things... floating in this brew... A dark copper color, as well.

The aroma is full of molasses and vanilla... just like root beer.

The flavor is reminiscent of jagermeister. Black licorice. Not bad, just overwhelming. Made me feel like it was my 21st birthday again.

Mouthfeel isn't bad, but not something that I would want to have over and over again.

Drinkability... not so much. I'm glad I tried, I can add it to my wall.

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Photo of alexgash
2.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Hazy, medium apricot-copper body with a tight, lacy, rocky, light sandy head. Nose is rife with anise, black licorice, shoe polish, and anise black licorice. I don't like anise much and I find the aroma awful! Taste starts off with toasted malt but quickly gives way to a sweetish, earthy, anise-y, shoe polish root beer. Citrusy-tart lemon notes are there as well. Weird. Finish is kind of bitter with yarrow root and Nibs. Definitely tastes better than it smells. Moderate body with an oily feel. Not crazy about this one, but glad that Boston Beer Co. is trying crazy shit!

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Photo of yelterdow
2.87/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a tasting tulip at cellar temperature. Best by October, 2006.

Appearance- Pours a clear, orange/russet with a 2½" head that also displays an orange tint. Sporadic lacing, nothing much left in the wake. Definitely a nice glow to the beer, though.

Smell- Wow... memories of sarsaparilla soda from a glass bottle many years ago... wintergreen pipe tobacco, root beer flavored "Bottle Cap" candy. Incredibly unique and daring from Sam Adams.

Taste- Molasses galore, wintergreen, licorice... a bit harsh on the tongue and the aftertaste lasts forever.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Great mouthfeel right up until the final pour with the sediment, then it goes almost completely flat. The rough edges regarding the spices and their lack of integration make this one almost impossible to completely get through... it had some good moments, though.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.05/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle into pint glass.

Cloudy V8 juice color with a thin light tan head that doesn't last very long.

A good mix of licorice and root beer that almost makes a burning wood smell.

Drinking this beer makes me feel like I'm standing at the output end of a wood chipper that's being loaded with black licorice and fresh firewood. Some root beer can be tasted, but the licorice seems to overpower it. Light bodied with a somewhat acidic mouthfeel. The bitterness from the sassafras lingers for a while. In the aftertaste, it tastes more like rootbeer than it does when it first hits your tongue.

A creative brew but too hard to drink. I would say try it at least once just to experience it. I probably won't be buying another bottle of this.

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Photo of RogueNCSU
1.52/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

If you like rootbeer you might like this beer. I hate rootbeer and I hated this beer. Sam Adams is a fine brewery who's beers are usually top notch. I understand that they were trying to replicate old beer styles from long lost recipes. My goodness though, why reproduce something this bad. It's appearance is fine with a nice amber color and decent head. The smell is somewhat medicinal (Robitussin, Anise) but not totally unapealling. The mouthfeel (if you can hold it in your mouth that long without spitting it out) is medium bodied but very cloying. Taste and drinkability are possibly the worst for any beer I have ever tasted. I actually had to pour 3/4 of this one down the drain.

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Photo of rowew
2.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz longneck that came in the Brewer Patriot 4 pk. ABV, beer information, and best by date all clearly marked. I am a bit late, as this one has a best by of Oct 06.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a decent head, good retention, and a bit of sediment.

Smell: Wow - all kinds of different stuff going on - certainly not your normal beer. Almost medicinal, with wintergreen, a bit of licorice, and a flavor I normally associate with root beer that I assume is sassafras.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, but luckily a bit more toned down. Lots of licorice and root beer flavors, with a hint of that wintergreen.

Overall impression: This one is definitely strange - but I did enjoy it. No where near a normal beer, but it does remind me of what a colonial style beer may have been. The modern palate doesn't seem to be ready for these flavors though, and drinkability was a bit tough.

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Photo of plaid75
2.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a murky deep amber hue with a one finger creamy tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong black licorice aroma.

The taste was sugary sweet with a spicy minty flavor.

The mouthfeel was heavy and very sweet.

Overall a very interesting brew. However not at all drinkable - but I suspect is was not meant to be an everyday beer.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
1.96/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Into a pint glass, pours a cruddy, cloudy copper to burnt orange, with whitish head receding quickly, lots of bubbles. Aroma is lots of that typical root beer that starts off nice until you get up close, where the wintergreen (?) takes over with other spices and it just gets a little repulsive, a bit too off kilter. Reading the rundown of ingredients, I'd be amazed if they could actually combine for something appealing, but this will be catagorized as a noble failure. Taste is the same, a brilliant clash of flavors, a spectacular but noble failure again. I'm afraid this is simply undrinkable.

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2.27/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

As it oours you get big fat tan bubbles that disipate quickly. This sets on top of a murky swampy brown body that resembles root beer. Nose most reconizeably has that root beer feel with sour wheat and soapy notes. On first sip you are hit with a mix of unbalanced chaos on the tongue and buds. Sour mineral notes and weak sweetness. A bit ashey and odd mineral tones on the finish. I hoped I would like this beer and I really tried but I just didnt. Tough to drink it all.

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Photo of maundythirsty
3.15/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel-colored and hazy. Just a tiny bit of tan head, but that's to be expected given the pour. I've never been as careful decanting a beer. There's just so much crud in the bottle. Smells of anise, honey, mint and sawdust. Very interesting, but very weird. Kinda like cough syrup.

Tastes of cedar and malt. Vegetal and bitter. Sure enough, there's some root beer to it. Again: interesting, but weird. It has a silky, substantial feel. Hardly any carbonation.

Points for originality. A ballsy batch of beer, but not one I want to try again soon.

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Photo of scottum
2.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out a redish amber with a thin fizz of a head that quits quickly. Sure is root beer. The flavor hits you smack in the face. Like drinking a not so good rood beer soda that you know is beer and has some beerish overtones. I understand the idea of following old recipies, and I like the idea of a root beer beer, but perhaps this could have been reworked a bit before release. Tone down the spice and everything would be more nice.

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Brewer Patriot Collection - 1790 Root Beer Brew from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 64 out of 100 with 203 ratings