Beer Name: Hard Root Beer
Brewery: Coney Island Brewing (Brooklyn, NY)
How sold: 12 oz. bottles (usually 6-packs)
Where bought: Belmont Station (Portland, OR)
Price: $2.29 for a 12 oz.single (seen it as low as $11 for a 6-pack)
Date Purchased: August 13, 2015
Date Opened/Drank: August 14, 2015
"Best By" Date: December 2015
When brewed? Year-round beer
What's on the Bottle/Website: "Coney Island Hard Root Beer is a new twist on an old favorite. With hints of vanilla, licorice and birch, this root beer will bring you back to the boardwalk.
Thrilling roller coaster rides and games on the pier. Sand under your feet and waves crashing on the shore. Cotton candy, french fries and popcorn galore. And don't forget, the joy of an ice cold, frothy root beer on a warm summer day.
The gypsy should have predicted this. The most dignified beverage of days past, reimagined for your future self. The wooden planks under your feet and a hot dog in your hand; the only difference is that now you're tall enough to ride the ride."
REVIEW:Appearance (5%): Pours a deep-dark brown to black into a pint glass. Extremely carbonated with lots of tiny bubbles. Sudsy surface. Like basically all hard root beers I've encountered, no head. 4/5
Smell (25%): A combination of vanilla and licorice. Not as much nostalgia in this as other hard root beers, but still reminiscent of what some root beers can smell like. 3.75/5
Taste (40%): Very smooth experience of vanilla and licorice -- almost too faint in flavor for my liking. The birch will give it that root beer-like taste, but the nostalgia is sorely lacking for me. It feels like a carbonated, watered-down root beer. Does not lead to blissful nostalgia. Sad panda. 2.75/5
Mouthfeel (10%): A medium-body, syrupy consistency on the tongue. Some carbonation. 3.5/5
Overall (20%): An average hard root beer. While my vote may have been swayed by the previous hard root beers I've reviewed, something just felt off on this hard root beer. The flavor, which already felt "off" to me on the initial sips, got more artificial as it went on. I appreciate the vanilla in all of this, but had I not liked licorice, I probably would have drainpoured the rest after the second sip. Some people may like that this hard root beer is not as sweet as the others I really enjoyed, but I believe the nostalgia and flavors of a non-alcoholic root beer must have a significant say in the rating. For me, this was OK at best. 3/5
Final Weighted Rating: 3.188/5