Coney Island Hard Root Beer

Reviewed by on June 3, 2016 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Coney Island Brewing Company

  • Origin: Brooklyn, NY, US

  • Rated On: June 3, 2016

  • Best Before: February 2017

  • ABV: 5.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Hard Root Beer

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

The summer (almost) of 2016 seems to be all about root beer, as far as new trends in beer go.  Many examples aren’t real beer, of course, but there are some that use lager or ale as the base, and then are flavoured as such, like this one from Coney Island Brewing (owned by Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams).

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and rather fizzy tan head, which leaves a bit of coral reef atoll lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of zingy and woodsy cinnamon, brown sugar syrup, grainy caramel malt, and a touch of metallic alcohol. The taste is rather sweet root beer, i.e. heavy on the vanilla, with a nice edgy spiciness, some earthy woodiness, a besieged caramel malt, soft black licorice notes, and more flinty, if restrained booziness. The carbonation is quite laid-back, with just a wee frothiness prevailing, the body a decent medium weight, and rather smooth, with an attendant creaminess trying to get off of the ground in the face of some oppressive spice. It finishes still sweet, the robust root beer character persisting, alongside some ‘this ain’t for the kids’ wowee sauce warming.

Overall, this is one tasty and enjoyable hard root beer, the base brew really emulating the soda in question. I know I mentioned the various points where the alcohol was noticeable, but that was only if you were looking very closely for it. Otherwise, like when I’m polishing off the rest of this bottle, you don’t sense it at all – just a yummy summertime quaff.  I want another one!

Brady White

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