Monday, August 1, 2016

Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7% ABV) Review

Name: Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7% ABV)
Style: Malt Liquor/Hard Soda
ABV: 10.7%

Last year, I reviewed Not Your Father's Root Beer (NYFRB) because at the time, it was a huge seller at all the stores. Also back then, I also assumed that the whole "Hard Soda" trend was going to run its course and that it would be nothing more than a distant memory in a short while. Well, I clearly underestimated the power of its appeal because in the year since I reviewed the original NYFRB, Small Town Brewing has released Not Your Father's Cream Soda and Ginger Ale, so somebody must be buying it.

On top of that, all the companies that make Four Loko, Joose and other various malt beverage producing have jumped on-board the hard soda train. Even Miller and Budweiser have decided to throw their hat into the ring but it seems NYFRB has got a solid hold on this market. So naturally they decided to release an Imperial Hard Root Beer. That's right, thanks to a couple requests I've gotten, I discovered that there is a NYFRB that is 10.7% ABV. The label even has a shirtless gentleman on the front, who looks like he's ready to engage in a friendly match of pugilism.

Aside from the ABV, what else is different about this? Well they've included vanilla & honey in the brewing process, so it has that going for it. I've even heard whisperings that there's a NYFRB that is around 20% ABV but if that's so, I won't be reviewing it; I do have my limits after all.

Appearance - It's still got a dark brown/black color to it with a thin foamy head that has a surprising amount of retention to it. However, as expected, there's no lacing.

Aroma - Sarsaparilla & honey, mixed in with some vanilla sweetness and some honey. Fairly identical to the original but with honey. No booziness here though, which surprises me.

Taste - You've got Sarsaparilla and Honey in the front of the palate with some vanilla sweetness and more honey in the back with a slight malt grit, which doesn't get in the way interestingly enough. There's a very mild booziness in the aftertaste with a mild spiciness, all of which warms you up.

I'm going to share something with you all: I wanted to hate this. With all the hard soda that has been going on as of late, I was expecting this to be bad; Like Four Loko Blue Hurricane bad. However, Small Town has managed to pull of the impossible and made a 10.7% Malt Beverage not only drinkable but also decent. Yes, all the flavors promised on the label are actually here and distinguishable, plus there's none of that malty grit that gets too much in the way, unlike the other hard sodas I've had as of late.

So in short, it's decent, though I would rather see this in 4-pack bottles as opposed to a bomber bottle. Being that it's a malt beverage, the asking price is a bit steep for what it is but I guess even from that point of view, you're getting your money's worth.....all things considered, of course.

Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7% ABV) - 7.5/10

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