Root Beer Review: Jones Root Beer

Enjoy a tasty Jones Root Beer

You know, I had to add a new category for this one.

Anyway, the simple truth is, I drink a lot of root beer. I have for years. When I was 16, a co-worker at the Northlake Mall B. Dalton Bookseller said I was like a cartoon character, like Linus with his blanket … I’m the one who’s always drinking the root beer. I’ve tried a number of varieties, and there is just about always a case of Diet A&W in my fridge (the real aged vanilla makes it a treat). It makes a great nighttime soda. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d usually stick with one of the classics, venerable IBC (the king) or ubiquitous A&W. My tastes tend to the simple.

But since I’ve found Jones Root Beer, I may have to reevaluate. It’s got all the classic sassafras root beer taste with a very pleasant vanilla aftertaste. It’s a little sharper than you might expect; it’s a grownup’s soda. But it’s surprisingly delicious. The Jones Root Beer has one secret that lifts it above so many others: it’s made with real cane sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup.

Now, I’m not debating the relative health benefits of either product, especially since I am pretty sure that neither one has any. But to me at least, cane sugar just tastes better, and that difference is especially obvious in soda. It has a subtler sweetness, and a slightly different taste that’s hard to describe. It’s also less, well, sticky, and more refreshing. In summer especially, that’s a good thing.

I actually forgot to photograph my first delicious root beer float, so I was forced to make another. Truly, a dedicated blogger's work is never done. You're welcome.

I found Jones Root Beer at my local Kroger, and bought it more or less on impulse, since they were out of my usual Diet A&W. The bigger Krogers also carry the cane sugar version of Coca-Cola (in little glass bottles on the bottom shelf of the Mexican food aisle), so they may single-handly start a cane sugar soda Renaissance. I hope so. Try some. The difference will, I think, surprise you. Jones also makes a heck of a root beer float. Use the Breyer’s All-Natural Vanilla with the real vanilla bean specs. If the store is out, go elsewhere. Do not repeat my mistake and let yourself be conned into getting the extra-creamy variety. It’s not the same thing. It’s just not.

Anyway, Jones Root Beer, on its own or as a key ingredient in a a root beer float, is a perfect summer treat. Even if, like me, you have to wait until your wife is out of town.

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7 responses to “Root Beer Review: Jones Root Beer

  1. So what do you think of Barq’s? I like it better than other root beers, although something in it gives me indigestion!?

  2. It’s the only root beer with caffeine, which is a plus unless you happen to want some late at night. I liked it better before Coca-Cola bought them, and it suffers from being a little too available. Through no fault of it’s own, its ready availability makes it sort of the Bass Ale of root beer. It’s sort of the generic measuring stick. Also, it tends to be mixed poorly on fast food fountains.

    Man, that’s damning with faint praise, for both Barq’s and Bass, both of which are only “bland” because of familiarity. Nothing gets to be ubiquitous unless there is something to offer. I’ll try some again this week though. Barq’s deserves better.

    But seriously, the real sugar makes a difference.

    • “Also, it tends to be mixed poorly on fast food fountains.” Amen, brother! It’s as if the people who work there don’t know what it should taste like. And too many fountain drinks are too syrupy, to my tongue.

      • Or too weak. They should send instructions or something. Seriously, there seems to be a range that is considered acceptable. I don’t think there is. It’s perfect, or it’s not.

  3. Pingback: Root Beer Review: Tommyknocker | John Adcox Reviews Pretty Much Anything

  4. Pingback: One More Root Beer Review: Sprecher Root Beer | John Adcox Reviews Pretty Much Anything

  5. Check for cane sugar sodas where you get kosher foods, too, btw.

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