Brand: Dublin Texas
Location: Dublin, TX
Purchased at: HEB
Container: 12 oz brown glass bottle
Sold in packs of: Single
Date Reviewed: February 17, 2015
Color: Dark brown
Sweetener: Pure cane sugar
Nose: Wintergreen with a hint of anise
Fizz: Small bubbles
Flavor notes: Sweet mint, mild notes of anise and clove, hint of vanilla, slight suggestion of cinnamon and nutmeg
Commentary: Initially pours with a dark head, but it quickly dissipates. Though the bubbles appear small, they are intense – on the bright side, there’s little to no risk of the root beer flattening before you finish it, but the initial sips are somewhat harsh. The tingling fizz also masks the fact that the body is relatively thin, which revealed itself as I got to the bottom part of the glass. The nose is fairly straightforward, primarily wintergreen with a mild hint of anise. It’s in the taste where things get a little more complicated, although in a minor way. The mint in the flavor profile is sweeter and milder than full-on wintergreen, possibly mellowed out by the hint of vanilla. There are mild notes of anise and clove as well. What was interesting was that I detected the barest hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, but I mean the barest. It was just enough to shift the flavor slightly, but not enough to notice unless you were really searching for it. (Really, it was most noticeable as the scent remaining in the glass after I had finished the root beer, which seems odd.) Thus Dublin Texas comes away with a flavor profile that has a decent mix of ingredients but doesn’t really produce a particularly complex flavor in the actual drinking process.
Summary: I’m somewhat of two minds when it comes to Dublin Texas Root Beer. On the one hand, I appreciate that it appears some effort was made to broaden out what initially seems like a fairly pedestrian flavor profile. On the other hand, I don’t think that effort was particularly successful, given how hard I had to strain to detect it at all. In addition, drinking the soda itself simply wasn’t the most pleasant experience – the bubbles made me feel like Grampa Simpson drinking a Buzz Cola, which is never fun. When that feeling did stop, all it did was reveal that the soda lacked much body, which was initially camouflaged by the heavy fizz. The flavor is adequate, which keeps this root beer from being the first to drop into the D range – I reserve D and F for sodas with real taste issues – but it’s also undistinguished. Overall, it’s a passable effort but little more.