Sarsaparilla (16 reviews)

Bickford's Traditional Soda Sarsaparilla

Bickford's Traditional Soda Sarsaparilla

I knew I was in for a wild ride when I didn’t even have this cap completely off and I was blasted in the face by the familiar sent of anise/licorice. How is it that I hate black licorice/black jelly beans more than I have hated almost anything in this world, yet I kind of dig that flavor when it’s in beverage form? Sure this tastes a bit like carbonated Nyquil, but it’s still somehow pretty great.

There really isn’t anything about this that would make me think sarsaparilla if I blind taste tested it. I would just assume it was supposed to be an anise soda, because that’s all I’m getting. Perhaps sarsaparilla is something different in Australia, where this drink comes from.

This bottle is only 9.3oz, but I think it would be perfect at half that size. I really enjoy it, but it gets to be a bit too much for me at about the half way point. I really hope I stumble across this companies other flavors though, because I anticipate great things from them.

Website
http://bickfordssoda.com.au/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 21st, 2016
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Harmony Springs Beverages Sarsaparilla

Harmony Springs Beverages Sarsaparilla

I purchased this on a trip that I was sure was ultimately going to result in my death. On our last tour we played a last minute show at a coffee shop in Western Mass. We didn’t know anyone at town, and didn’t have a place to stay. Suddenly this 20 something year old gentleman approached us and told us he had been couch surfing and living out of his van, be he had a place we could crash, as long as we were okay with having a bonfire. We agree, follow him to a 7-11, where I purchased this soda, and then drove for what seemed like forever into the heart of nothingness. It seemed like we were nowhere near any sort of town, and even streetlights were nonexistent. The words of a bonfire got me to thinking that we were certainly going to be sacrificed. Most of my body was telling me to turn around and head the other direction, but we are poor and cheap and didn’t want to spring for a hotel. Finally we turned into a driveway of a creepy old farmhouse. A single motion detector light came on and it didn’t help our feelings of dread. The area was dead silent. There was no trace of any other human life for miles. We ascended the stairs to enter the house and I took a breath waiting for murder and mutilation. As he flipped the light switch I was sure a family of crazy hillbillies would be waiting for me, but instead I was greeted with construction equipment. You see at the show our host was vague about everything, but he quickly explained that this was his grandmother’s house and she had passed away the year before. His parents were remodeling the whole thing, and it was to be their retirement home in the country. He showed us to some nice new mattresses for us to sleep on and then we went out to enjoy a nice fire on a chilly night. It ended up being one of my favorite nights of tour, and great conversations were had. In the morning light we saw that the place was probably one of the most relaxing places I had ever been. There were hundreds of cows in a field next door, pear trees and even a little waterfall in the stream behind the house. We were dumb dumb heads and we watch too many horror movies.

You didn’t come here to hear about my potential demise though. You’re here for sarsaparilla, and it’s a fine place to be. Due to the caps I was expecting this too be the same mix that College Club and Avery uses, but this has a much darker licorice taste to it. I was very surprised at how bold the flavor was. When companies use the same labels for all their sodas and the only denotation of the flavor is on the cap, I expect something on the higher level of good, but not great. What was that something about books and covers? This is an exceptional sarsaparilla that Massachusetts is lucky to have readily available.

Website
http://www.drinkharmonysprings.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
100% Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 13th, 2013
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Flying Bison Sarsaparilla

Flying Bison Sarsaparilla

The wonderful establishment Village Beer Merchant in Buffalo has put on tap another delicious soda from Flying Bison. My awesome partner surprised me with this growler and I couldn't have been happier. This is easily one of my favorite sarsaparilla's I've had so far. I wish it had a little more carbonation, but the sweetness is perfect. It has a great licorice taste, which prompted me to buy some black licorice the next day.

Good work Village Beer Merchant/Flying Bison, you've done it again. Thank you!

Website
http://www.flyingbisonbrewing.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on December 1st, 2012
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Hosmer Mountain Sarsaparilla

Hosmer Mountain Sarsaparilla

It's been a long time since I last took a trip to Hosmer Mountain. It's a great place to visit this time of year. The trees are full, the air is crisp, and there are not too many bugs around to bother you. Let's not forget the best part of Hosmer Mountain, the abundance of delicious soda everywhere. I managed to find this bottle of Sarsaparilla lying on a pad of moss under an oak tree. I had to wrestle it away from a raccoon, but it found another bottle a few minutes later so luckily it didn't claw my face off.

The soda you find at Hosmer Mountain is always delicious. This is definitely one of the best sarsaparilla's I’ve ever had. It's really smooth with a nice thick molasses taste to it. It's one of the sweetest bottles I’ve had, not to mention the strong vanilla aftertaste.

So if you ever find yourself in New England, do yourself a favor and climb Hosmer Mountain. Even if you hate nature, it's worth it to find the delicious bottles of soda scattered everywhere. Hurry before those pesky geo-cachers get them all.

Website
http://www.hosmersoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on July 25th, 2012
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Manhattan Special Sarsaparilla

Manhattan Special Sarsaparilla

It’s well known that in the 40’s the Manhattan Project was underway to produce the first atomic bomb. The US, UK and Canada all worked together, spending an obscene amount of money to basically devise a weapon that will someday cause the end of the world. Scientists worked long and hard to achieve their goal, even coming up with some cool fission guns using uranium. Nuclear weapons in gun form sound terrifying, yet strangely alluring (note to self: you may indeed grow up to be a super villain).

The men who worked on this project knew that they would get nowhere if they worked constantly. No one ever got anywhere with out a little playtime mixed in. Since they were scientists their playtime of course involved mixing ingredients to create something new. Back in ’43 they had a little challenge going on the various project locations to see which team could create the best tasting soda. The team based in Brooklyn, NY ended up winning the competition. Led by Dr. Jonathan Osterman the team had a brief brainstorming session while separating uranium-235, and decided that the only way they could win this little game was to brew their own version of the greatest soda on the planet: sarsaparilla. To say they succeeded is a bit of an understatement. If there were any justice in this world these men would be more famous for their soda than their weapons of mass destruction. What they created is a dark sarsaparilla with a heavy licorice and wintergreen levels in it. Every aspect of it is strong, and I will forgive those men for the future destruction of everything I know. The 10oz bottles that it comes in simply aren’t enough. I could drink this all the livelong day and not have had enough. Perhaps the team cheated and used a little bit of that uranium in their recipe. I would risk radiation for this, would you?

Website
http://www.manhattanspecial.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 24th, 2012
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Manhattan Special SARSAPARILLA SODA "From the Wild West Side Of Brooklyn", 10-Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 12)

Cascade Traditionals Sarsaparilla

Cascade Traditionals Sarsaparilla

Terry worked as a heating and cooling repairman for 13 years of his life. He drove his van around Western New York fixing people’s stoves, fridges and air conditioners. Most days he didn’t hate his job, but there wasn’t much room for advancement. He did love driving around a lot though. Then one day he was fixing a guy’s air conditioner and he got to talking to him. You see Terry loved fixing things, and he liked to explain it as well. The man was so impressed with his passion that he offered him a job at his company. He would make more money and promotions were a possibility. Terry knew he would miss his driving around and didn’t like the idea of being stuck in one play all day, but the money was nice and he needed a change. He took to the job like a fish to water. He took a couple of trips to other states to fix some industrial units, and getting away was nice. Then one day he got asked if he would be willing to go to Australia for a week for the job. Not being a dummy he jumped at the chance. So within six months this fine man went from working a quasi dead end job to working for a growing company and being sent around the world doing work that he found interesting. It’s times like these that I am incredibly proud of my friends. It’s also times like these when I am thankful that I have friends who travel around the globe and bring me back gifts of drinks.

This is a bottle of Australian sarsaparilla that was purchased at a roadside fruit stand in said country. (As a side note, if you don’t take advantage of roadside fruit stands when you are traveling then you are a fool.) I expected this to be a very strong sarsaparilla for some reason, but it’s not and I’m okay with that. It has a very classic soda flavor to it. I could see this being served in a 50’s soda shop with a couple sharing a bottle with two straws. It starts off as just a generic old time soda flavor but when you swallow it has a strong sarsaparilla aftertaste. It’s not what I was looking for but it’s a soda that has its place and I can respect and enjoy that. I do with the licorice flavor was a bit stronger in this. Then it would be superb.

Oddly enough this is made by the Fosters Beer company. I don’t know why I find that weird, but I definitely do. Also the tagline on the bottle is “Refreshingly Tasmanian.” Now that I find charming.

Website
http://www.cascadedrinks.com.au
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 16th, 2012
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Avery's Sarsaparilla

Avery's Sarsaparilla

Last year we had Avery’s bottle some private label birch beer and sarsaparilla for us. We made up some rad Thirsty Dudes labels and Mohawk Place, a rad local bar, sold them. Within a couple of days we were out of all of them. We wanted to order more, but the shipping cost was too high to make it cost effective. We’ve been searching for a closer bottler since. That’s not really important. What is important is that the sarsaparilla we got from them was decent, but nothing to write home about. It was actually fairly light in color, which was a bit odd. I realized we never ended up reviewing one of them for the site, so we ended up picking up a bottle of it at Soda Pop Central. Since we already knew what it tasted like we have been sitting on it for a while. Now the time has come and I have to say that this tastes way better than what they bottled for us. Maybe we got a bum batch or something, but this is very strong. It actually tastes more like a root beer than a sarsaparilla. Actually it tastes like a root beer while a whole mess of licorice in it. It’s dark and great. It’s a bummer that our batch wasn’t their best, but it’s good to know that this company can make a really nice soda. I wouldn’t pass it up if I saw it in the store, and neither should you. Now someone find us a place to inexpensively bottle some soda with a Thirsty Dude’s label.

Website
http://www.averysoda.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar and or Corn Sweetener
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 9th, 2012
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Buy at SpecialtySodas.com

Columbia Soda Works Sarsaparilla

Columbia Soda Works Sarsaparilla

Hey Fred, can you pour me a root beer? You might want to put down that licorice first or else you might... drop it in the glass like you just did. No, it's ok. Luckily I like licorice, so this should be interesting. Wow, that gave it a really strong licorice/anise taste! I love it. It has a good bite too. You might be on to something with this Fred, what a happy accident.

Website
http://www.columbiagazette.com/csw.html
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Sweetener
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on January 16th, 2012
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Buy at SpecialtySodas.com

Cooper's Cave Ale Company Centennial Sarsaparilla

Cooper's Cave Ale Company Centennial Sarsaparilla

I don't like things I can't explain. I like new things because it's a new experience. This drink I simply can't put my finger on. When you burp, yes, it tastes like sarsaparilla, but when you drink it...question mark. I cannot place it. No matter how much I take a big sip, little sip, swish, and smell. On and on it goes and no answers. I might want to say that there is orange in it, but I can't be sure since one of the ingredients is listed as "natural and artificial flavors". Vague, nice.

This could also be the fastest dissipating drink I've ever drank. As soon as it's off your tongue, it's gone. No remnants, no remainder, no carry the one. Here then gone. Like a sports car that might be awesome but it drove past you on a residential street going around ninety and you couldn't tell if it was a Ferrari or what. All you know is it was fast. At least with a Ferrari, it would get your mind going about things like driving it, seeing it slower, touching it, sitting in it, wondering if Burt Reynolds was driving it. This drink just left you wondering why you wasted your time drinking something that didn't want to spend any time with you. This drink is a crappy girlfriend.

Website
http://www.cooperscaveale.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on December 6th, 2011
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Maine Root Sarsaparilla

Maine Root Sarsaparilla

Amazing. That is the first word that comes to mind when drinking this. Sweetness is perfect, the bite is good but not overwhelming, and it goes down smooth. But yet, it's not a smooth drink, it is kinda heavy but in that good root beer/sarsaparilla way. This is by far my go-to Sarsaparilla. I must have drank a half dozen bottles of these over the past couple months before I realized that I forgot to review it each time. It's just so good. It's hard to stop drinking it.

Website
http://www.maineroot.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Juice
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on March 21st, 2011
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Maine Root, Sarsaparilla, 4 x 12.00 OZ (Pack of 6)
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