Location: Plano, TX (national brand; produced by Dr Pepper Snapple Group)
Purchased at: HEB
Container: 12 oz brown glass bottle
Sold in packs of: Six
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2015
Color: Dark brown
Sweetener: High fructose corn syrup
Nose: Anise with some wintergreen
Fizz: Small bubbles
Flavor notes: Wintergreen, some anise, mild vanilla, hint of clove; rootiness on the back end
Commentary: IBC pours well, with a nice head, and has a good mouthfeel because of its small bubbles, which are not unduly harsh against the tongue. The one downside to this is that by the time I got through the glass, the bottom had gotten fairly flat. The nose leans anise with wintergreen underneath and a whiff of clove, but the taste profile switches around – wintergreen is unquestionably the predominant flavor in IBC. However, there are several other notes present. Anise is still there, though it has faded into the background; clove remains as just a hint, and there appears to be a mild vanilla note present as well. The front end taste is lightly creamy but also a bit watery, although not devastatingly so. Still, this is not the most rich-tasting root beer out there. Pretty much all of the suggestion of sassafras root – which these days really only arrives in potentially ersatz and often artificial extract form – is hiding on the back end, only revealing itself as the wintergreen lead passes away down the throat and a decent hint of rootiness hangs on the back of the tongue.
Summary: Technically, as this is my first official review, I shouldn’t have anything to compare IBC against, but after years of drinking root beer I feel fairly confident in saying that this is a solid national brand. There are more complex and certainly more robust root beers out there, but among those that can be found in virtually any supermarket in America, this is up there with the best, and can serve as a reasonable gateway between the major national brands and the more complex world of microbrews.