Sip an Abita Root Beer, straight from Louisiana
Like more than a few of the better microbreweries, Abita also brews a root beer, which it boasts is made from pure Louisiana cane sugar. I have no idea what’s different about Louisiana cane sugar, but it’s mighty tasty in Abita Root Beer. Like all the (admittedly few) cane sugar sodas I’ve tried of late, that puts it well ahead of the cloying corn syrup-sweetened sodas you can pick up at your local gas station. To me at least, the cane sugar tastes smoother, less sticky, and both tastier and more refreshing.
Abita is a fine root beer, with the traditional, familiar root beer taste of, say, IBC or Sprecher. As soon as the cap is popped (pun intended), the scent is pure licorice-root beer, and the taste matches. The color is dark and the carbonation is solid, although (alas!) the head fades quickly. The familiar root beer bite is there, more pronounced, even, than in the Sprecher variety, and with the vanilla smoothness to balance. It disappoints only in the aftertaste—there really isn’t any. The finish is almost watery, surprising after the boldness of the flavor mix in the first sip.
If the aftertaste is lacking, Abita wins with its sweetness. It’s not overpowering; it’s simple, balancing, and delicious, with hints of something subtle that reminds me a little of honey. I can’t remember tasting anything quite like it, even in the rarified spectrum of cane sugar sodas. I should also mention that I’m writing this in August, and the balance of flavors, the subtle sweetness, and perhaps even the weak aftertaste, make it especially refreshing. Recommended.
Okay, I promised book and music reviews. They’re coming soon, along with a couple more cane sugar soda reviews—neither of which are root beers.