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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Olde Rhode Island Molasses Root Beer

Root beer is a touchy subject. If you look around at soda reviews, root beer sparks substantial disagreements. People feel strongly about their root beers.
While I like root beer well enough, it has never been a passion for me. Thus, I haven't reviewed much of it, for fear of angering the multitudes who would picket the Lab or possibly burn effigies of me. You might think that I could avoid that by reviewing some sort of widely accepted root beer, with which I could establish some sort of root beer credibility.
As far as I can tell, there is no such root beer.
So all I will say about my history with root beer is that the best root beer I've ever had was called "Boot Rear". I haven't seen it for years, so I feel safe extolling its virtues, on the assumption that none of the six people reading this will have had it.

Another good option is to review something not because it is root beer, but because it is Weird. This one claims to involve molasses; it is thus Weird. And it has an "e" on the end of "Olde", so it's pretentious.
It's Olde Rhode Island Molasses Root Beer. Have at thee!

Where and when: purchased April 2009 at Galco's, Los Angeles
Color: Very very dark brown, opaque.
Rapier: "Even the bubbles are brown!"
Scent: Root beer, but with a sharp, birch-beerish note.
Taste: Sweet, with an almost syrupy flavor (as in maple). Very strong. Citrusy undertone.
Rapier: "Black licorice!"
Yes, absolutely. That's probably what gave it the birch beer scent; a licorice-y, anise-y, minty-yet-volatile-yet-vaguely-oily taste. Maybe it's sarsaparilla.
Rapier: "You know that liquor which was just legalized in the States? Absinthe? It's a bit like that."
Thicker than most root beers, kind of bright and biting. Very sweet. I don't taste molasses specifically, but I suppose it could be in there somewhere. It's good, but I'll bet it would be controversial among the root beer militias. Time to upgrade the Lab security systems.
It earns accolades from the staff.
Junior Assistant Tester: "I like it. More. I want more."
Aftertaste: hard to assess, as I have lingering garden burger flavors from lunch. Let me have another swig.
Oddly almost marshmallowish for a moment there. Interesting.

Quaff rating: 4. Quite nice.
Cough rating: 1.5. So sweet/syrupy that it could be upsetting to some.


  1. Why don't I drink soda? Because it no longer tastes very good. On the other hand, this miracle is what rootbeer tasted like at my neighborhood drugstore/counter in 1956 or so. Wonderful, so good. I bow to the makers. My kids brought it up from Galco's. I may need to make a pilgrimage.


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