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Old Red Eye

I’ve got a bad feeling that Old Red Eye Root Beer is going to kick my teeth in. I’m not a huge fan of the bitter stuff, and I’ve got this inkling that’s what I’m in for. I don’t know it for sure, but I get the sense that this root beer isn’t going to be up my alley. Well, you know what they say, “take life by the horns,” so I guess I’d better get started with this gnarly looking brew.

Old Red Eye
Purchase Old Red Eye on Amazon.

Estoy Torear Viejo Ojos Rojos Por Primera Vez

Old Red Eye – the kind of name that strikes fear in the heart of man. Sweat dripping from the brow. Hot, clammy hands, pulsing with one’s heartbeat. Sam Elliot’s hand on your shoulder, getting you ready to face the bull. Alright, I can take it. It’s time to become a legend. I’m ready.


This root beer dates itself to 1948, but is currently under the ownership and production of the Orca Beverage Soda Works. You can learn more about Orca from reading Brownie’s article. Old Red Eye has a bit of a story attached to it, and it goes like this,

Legend has it, there was a craggy old bull named Red Eye – with a glint and a gnarly attitude, he could only be coaxed from his pen to do his daily duties when a brave soul would pop open a bottle of his favorite root beer, pour it in his tin bowl, then rude like heck before being stomped. Red Eye preferred his root beer frosty cold.

I’ve been known to be a bit of a curmudgeon, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m craggy.


  • Carbonated Water
  • Cane Sugar
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Caramel Color
  • Sodium Benzoate (a preservative)

Orca Beverage Soda Works certainly likes their natural and artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, caramel color, and sodium benzoate. I guess what they’re after is the right appearance, and a long lasting taste. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

First Taste

Old Red Eye ain’t too half bad if I do say so. There is a strong, almost overwhelming carbonation associated with this brew. The flavor itself is unique. It needs to be said: this is not a bitter root beer, and I honestly expected different. It’s definitely sweet. Besides the carbonation, Old Red Eye is smooth, and definitely has a creaminess to it. I can see why the bull was tamed by it. It doesn’t necessarily have a strange flavor to it per se, but there’s certainly a strangeness to the root beer flavor. I feel like the best way to describe it would be a fermented flavor, but one I’m not particularly impressed by. It could be anything, honestly, and because Orca refuses to illustrate what flavors are in play, I just can’t pinpoint what’s going on.

After Time

With slightly lower carbonation after about forty minutes, Old Red Eye presents a much better overall flavor. The essence that makes it a root beer is much stronger, which means tasting it becomes far more enjoyable. It’s still just as sweet as before, and that may be contributory to the overall stickiness present. I mean, coating my teeth. I’m not a fan of sticky root beers. Despite my favoritism toward sweetness, if I can’t swish that abhorrent texture away easily with water, I become annoyed. Old Red Eye definitely has a problem with what appears to be a slightly syrupy texture. The after taste is somewhat problematic, not because it’s overly strong, but because it lingers and that’s when the bitterness starts to overtake the sweet. Overall though, I like this brew over time rather than gulping it down quick at the start.


Old Red Eye is okay. It’s decent. It’s not something that I would describe as traditional or classic. This root beer certainly has a unique, smooth experience, but I’m not looking at it as something I would rely on regularly. It’s definitely enjoyable, but the fermented-like flavor, the after taste, and the stickiness it presents really limits its potential. It could probably experience a reduction in sugar content without limiting flavor impact. That being said, I had no trouble drinking this brew. I just didn’t like what it left behind. If you like really sweet root beers, I would recommend Old Red Eye as something to try at least once.

Rating: ♛♛♛♕♕ – 3/5

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