Location: Plano, TX (national brand; produced by Dr Pepper Snapple Group)
Purchased at: HEB
Container: 12 oz brown glass bottle
Sold in packs of: Purchased as single bottle
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2015
Color: Dark brown
Sweetener: High fructose corn syrup
Nose: Wintergreen followed by hints of maple and caramel
Fizz: Medium bubbles
Flavor notes: Mellow wintergreen with a sweet vanilla kicker; lingering caramel with a touch of maple
Commentary: Stewart’s pours with a solid head and effervesces into a moderate-strength nose, possibly thanks to its medium-size bubbles. The bubbles do cause a slightly rougher feeling across the tongue, but this is mild. The nose pretty much promises what the taste delivers – wintergreen at first, but a milder wintergreen than in some root beers, with a note of maple and burnt sugar emerging from underneath. The taste itself delivers these notes along with a bit of sweet vanilla riding the tail of the wintergreen as it fades into the caramel, which is the lingering flavor profile once the root beer has been swallowed. Spicing is pretty much nonexistent. The mouthfeel is lightly creamy, a little harsh from the size of the bubbles; the body isn’t bad but lacks complete fullness, with a slightly watery texture observed during consumption.
Summary: To some extent I would say there are two main kinds of root beer – the kind that uses spices (like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.) and the kind that doesn’t. This is distinctively the latter. It’s the kind of classic sweet root beer that does a good job of washing down drive-in hot dogs and the like. This isn’t to say it’s not complex – the hint of maple is nice – but to my mind the best root beers are more robust, and more full-bodied at that. Still, perfectly pleasant to drink, so I won’t judge it too harshly. And I would bet this is a really good option for floats.