Something tame today as I look at Virgil’s Root Beer. This is non-alcoholic (I think) but made in a micro-brew fashion. What does that mean? I really don’t know. My knowledge of beer and brewing is very limited, so I get to learn today!
First, this is apparently award winning being that it was called an “outstanding beverage” by NASFT. Who is NASFT? Specialty Food Association. NASFT is their old name apparently. Well, I am kind of a specialist. All I do is taste beverages and say if they taste good or not. I also kinda mock them, but that’s me.
Anyway, I love a good root beer. Root Beer is not an abnormal thing at all. I could go to any Wawa right now and get a bottle of Mug or Barq’s. This, however, is something different. I don’t know anything about Virgil’s Root Beer other than I found it in my Rite Aid.
From the logo, I am guessing it is German or something. I don’t really know. It looks like some barkeep is serving some mugs to kids. Maybe it is the root beer bar in heaven that Jesus goes to for a nice root beer. I don’t know. I’m taking the words printed right on the picture that says “you’ll swear it’s made in heaven.”
Well, as you can see it is all natural (in flavour) and has no preservatives. So, what do you say we look up what micro-brewing means?
Oh, it’s really a phrase that says “We aren’t mass produced.” It is jargon that makes it sound like it is some sort of process that makes the drink taste better, when in theory means “we really just take more time because we’re probably a small company and therefore we use the term ‘micro-brew’ to make it sound like we care more about the flavour.” I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all. Hey, these micro-brewing guys probably do care about the flavour. I’ve seen the beer start up guys on television talking about how they weren’t happy with whatever and wanted to make their own beer.
This is a root beer however so I suppose the term “micro-brew” is kind of out of place? I don’t know. Is root beer made the same way as beer except no hops for fermentation? These days, it is more carbonated water, sugar (or high fructose corn syrup), and flavouring. Now, that is what the “big boys” are doing. Virgil’s here is probably taking more time into their flavouring and probably skipping on the quick and easy stuff in hopes for a better flavour. I mean, comparing this to Mug or something, it is about the same price. I think this was maybe 30 some odd cents more? I mean, they are pretty popular, albeit smaller.
What do I know, anyway? I’m just Chas and I drink things. I can question business practices and ingredients all day long, but if it tastes good, then it means nothing. It means that Virgil’s is tasty.
I looked at their website and they make a few other sodas like cherry and cream. I believe I saw their cream at Rite Aid too, but I don’t like cream soda as much as root beer.
Anyway, on the back is a little testimony saying they’ve been in business since 1916 and their drinks are all insert tasty-sounding adjective here. For real, they describe this as “rich” and “full-bodied.” We’ll see about that. The cool thing about this drink is that they say they are using ingredients like “nutmeg, anise, and wintergreen.” Wintergreen, like the mint? Huh.
They also say I should drink this chilled and without ice. I can get behind that. I hate ice in my soda. When the fast food people put ice in my soda, I feel ripped off because it is 75% ice and 25% soda.
So, let’s break it down. What’s the facts?
Serving size is one bottle. 160 calories. 0g total fat. 0g sodium. 42g total carbs. 42g sugars. 0g protein.
Pretty standard really.
Purified carbonated water, unbleached cane sugar, caramelized unrefined cane sugar, harbs, spices, citric acid.
So, they herbs and spices in this are anise, licorice, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, wintergreen, sweet birch, molasses, nutmeg, pimento berry oil, balsam oil, oil of cassia.
What is oil of cassia? Some sort of cinnamon derivatives.
So, I’m guessing this is going to be really herbal in the taste. It probably will be pretty darn spicy too since it has cinnamon, nutmeg, and other sort of cinnamon derivatives. I’m curious. At least it is sweetened with two types of cane sugar! I don’t know why both. Are they really that different? I don’t know! Let’s try it.
Hmm! It absolutely smells of licorice (liquorice) and I love that flavour. I really hope it comes through in this drink because the spice and subtle sweetness of liquorice is fantastic.
Hmm! Hm. Hm.
Yeah! There’s a pretty strong liquorice taste to it! At first sip, I get a wave of sweetness really and I was thinking it was going to taste more commercial, but then the nice anise taste came in and kind of took over the flavour. Then it gets a bit bitter from I suppose the nutmeg, but has a kind of thickness in consistency probably from the molasses. Then the liquorice flavour comes back, going with the subtle sweetness and syrupy-like taste of the molasses. I can also taste the birch beer hint from it too, but that’s probably the molasses. The molasses really shines in this as well as the liquorice. If the Queen likes this, I’d be shocked as she hates liquorice.
I’ll describe it as sweet, yet herbal. If more drinks went in this route, I think I’d be happy. When going for that non-GMO and organic stuff process, go for this taste. This is really quite good.
Hey! She liked it! She did add an idea I was having too that this does go down really smoothly.
I have to give this a suplex out of Rad. For sure, try Virgil’s Root Beer. It is quite good and for about 2 dollars, you can’t beat it. Go for this over the commercial stuff.