I’ve taken a small break between reviews, but you probably won’t notice depending on when these go live. I wanted my first foray back into the world of root beer to be something that I’ve been looking forward to. Introducing: Americana. I haven’t heard much about this brew, but the bottle certainly caught my attention.
Delicious. Vintage. Handcrafted. Keyword.
The clear labeling, brilliant bottle cap, and vibrant blue coloring immediately catches your attention. It’s hard to look away. The picture of the frosted mug, dripping a foaming head? All I can think about is the refreshing classic taste of a traditional root beer. I am really hoping that Americana delivers.
Early soft drinks or “tonics” were brewed in a variety of flavors. Our extracts and flavor ingredients are brewed to duplicate the authentic production methods of yesteryear. We think this method creates the most flavorful soda. Enjoy well chilled. Cheers!
I absolutely will enjoy well chilled.
Americana is a trademark of the Orca Beverage Inc. I think we’ve heard of Orca before, if it’s the same one—they produced Brownie. On their website, they wrote up their introduction to this root beer:
If the name didn’t already give it away, Americana, this line of retro soda flavors hearkens to the simpler times of soda fountains, sock hops and 5 cent sodas. While we can’t bring back the 5 cent soda, we’ve tried our best to recreate the taste of classic American flavors. A traditional root beer with hints of vanilla, licorice and honey. The creamy licorice undertones balance all the flavors together for a smooth creamy addition to your root beer favorites. Made with pure cane sugar and bottled in a long neck glass bottles.
Unlike Brownie, there’s no date on the bottle. I’m wondering if this is a new creation from Orca instead of an acquisition. It looks like there are lots of different Americana versions and flavors. I hope that isn’t a sign that they’ve diluted the brand, and instead, have become so good at perfecting their craft, that they’ve branched out into other varieties!
- Carbonated Water
- Pure Cane Sugar
- Natural & Artificial Flavors
- Caramel Color
- Pure Organic Honey
- Extracts Of Licorice & Sassafras Root Bark
- Citric Acid
I appreciate that they’ve listed the honey, and the extracts of licorice and sassafras root bark, as separate ingredients. I do not appreciate natural and artificial flavors.
Americana had a tight hiss when I unscrewed the cap. The smell was fairly traditional, but I feel like I’ve smelled it before. Maybe it’s the combination of the vanilla and honey? The vanilla is unmistakable. It’s definitely reminiscent of something; could it be five cent bottles of root beer?
The first taste is clean, and mirrors the smell fairly well. There is fairly little, if any, bitterness. Rejoice! What I’ve come to assume as the vanilla and honey flavors are strong. They are the bulk of the flavor. The carbonation is somewhat mellow; although definitely sharper than others I’ve tried. It’s hard to describe, but there’s very few bubbles yet they bite harder than I’m used to. Sometimes I can feel them tear at the back of my throat. Nevertheless, it’s definitely creamy, in part, I believe, thanks to the vanilla and honey. I’m having difficulty picking up flavors of licorice or really any type of mint.
I’m almost certainly convinced that the syrupy-mouthfeel is the honey, which helps put things into perspective. Nevertheless, I dislike it. On the other hand, it’s noticeably sweet, and I do like that.
Over time, I would say Americana doesn’t really favor breathing. The flavor certainly mellows as the carbonation diminishes, but as this brew warms to room temperature the honey-syrupy mouthfeel becomes stronger. The aftertaste is pleasant, although I did have to swish my mouth with water to release it. Sometimes the carbonation still bites me.
On the whole, Americana is not particularly impressive but it’s also not a bad drink. I think the combination of vanilla and honey is exhausting to drink for a whole bottle though. On the whole, Americana is not complicated. I think most people would be able to drink this without any issue. The creaminess is apparent, and I could do with a reduction of the sweetness if it meant eliminating or diminishing the syrupy effect. With the vanilla and honey running the show, the licorice is muted. It tastes non-traditional, like a modern interpretation of a creamy root beer. It feels almost calculated, but it doesn’t taste like chemicals. I can’t see myself stocking this root beer. Actually, I probably wouldn’t buy this again. I wouldn’t decline it if someone offered it. Like Brownie, this would probably excel with ice cream as a root beer float. Definitely drink it chilled, as it’s not very good over time.
Rating: ♛♛♕♕♕ – 2/5