Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer (Father's Day Special!)

In honor of father's day, I thought I'd review an old childhood favorite of mine-Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer.
Growing up I knew there was something that separated Dad's from all of the rest, and I could never quite put my finger on it-there was a very distinct, earthy kind of flavor that reminded me vaguely of something else from my little pocket of the universe.
After having tried dozens of different sodas with various flavoring agents over the years, I've narrowed it down-Dad's is an Old Fashioned style(meaning it uses an artificial Sassafras flavor) root beer-which puts it in the same category as A&W, IBC, and Hires. The distinguishing feature, however, is birch. The first drink immediately calls to mind that other childhood treat-the stick of gum in a pack of baseball cards. I only realized that birch was  the source of that "bleacher" taste behind the baseball card gum after purchasing and imbibing my first birch beer.
So, in short, if you equate baseball card gum with dirt or the underside of the bench/bleachers at a baseball game, I'd stay steer clear of Dad's Root Beer or any other Birch Beer. However, if you're like me, there's few better carbonated beverages to crack open and poor into a cool, frosted mug on a hot summer's day.
To all the fathers out there on our special day-I tip my metaphorically frosty mug to you!

Packaging- 3/5
Bright blue label, a yellow square and red-lined block writing. Looks old fashioned, grabs attention, but still incredibly hideous. Much more appealing to the child in me.

Aroma- 3.5/5
Unfortunately, I had a HFCS version of this wonderful soda, so it really just smells like sweetness, only a slight hint of the tasty, delicious root-beery goodness that lie beneath. Maybe I'll have to track down some real sugar Dad's.

Taste- 5.5/7
It's not perfect, but it damn near is. The biggest mark against it is the almost immediate flatness that accompanies the second sip and beyond. The first crack gives a moderate amount of fizz-it's as though they only carbonated enough that it pours with a slight head(as any good root beer needs), but nothing else.

Overall- 12/17
So, how did one of childhood favorites get one of the lowest ratings in my site's history? Well, it loses carbonation too quickly, and a flat root beer is not a great root beer. The flavor is amazing, but not everyone is going to enjoy the birch-sassafras combo when the birch is the overwhelming factor. I still love Dad's, but until I find a sugar version it will remain lowly related. Could also be that the 1 liter Big Daddy Size is horrible on carbonation. We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. Dad's is my favorite too; I like it better in cans (though hard to find in my area) because it does tend to go flat in the large bottle.
    Most root beer reviewers I've read don't like it though; I've seen the flavor compared to everything from Certs to Pepto-Bismol!
    (I gotta admit your comparison to baseball-card bubble gum is unique!)
    Don't know if I'd call their label hideous, but it's definitely "old-fashioned" dating to the 30's.
    Back in the 70's they tried redesigning the label, a brown-on-white DADSDADSDADS logo that was just bland. FYI: Dad's apparently was the first beverage of any kind to be sold in six-packs of cans!