One more root beer review: Abita Root Beer

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.

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One response to “One more root beer review: Abita Root Beer

  1. Sounds like your impressions are the same as mine. My buddy from New Orleans brings me a selection of Abita products when he visits every year, and it’s as you describe: an authentic root beer flavor on the front end that fades to a clean, sugary flavor on the back end. It could use a little more vanilla to round it out, and the sweet aftertaste is a bit too much for my palate.

    Under sedation, I always request Dr. Pepper, and it’s the most thirst quenching soda I know when I am really parched. Why is it the other various “Mr.” and “Dr.” drinks are so horrible? Is there some expensive ingredient that only Dr. Pepper uses?

    Sorry for the D.P. hijack, but… maybe you can start a series on Mr./Dr. drinks? Dr. Vess. Mr. Schnee. Dr. Wiess. Dr. Phizz. They sound like the rise of the fourth reich!

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