Wednesday, 17 June 2009

A & W Root Beer

A & W Root Beer
Made by: F & N Coca-Cola Pte Ltd

Origin: Singapore

Imported into the UK: Cadbury Schweppes plc

Root beer originates in Philadelphia, USA, where it was first developed as a herbal tea formula and then as a soft drink marketed to miners and the mining community, from where it's popularity grew. Root beer is still strongly associated with North America, however related drinks made using roots, tree barks, herbs and spices exist in many countries (examples being Ginger beer and Dandelion & Burdock in the UK). The original flavouring components of this drink were Sassafras tree root bark, together with Acacia bark. As health concerns gradually surfaced with the use of Sassafras, Sarsaparilla and other complementary herbs, spices and fruits were introduced to flavour the brew.

This root beer is an intense chestnut brown colour, bright and clear, lightly carbonated and fading to a slightly lighter shade of brown at the rim of the glass.

The nose is fragrant and very particular: Menthol (reminds me of Deep Heat cream), while aromas of sticky toffee, vanilla and milk chocolate Digestive play supporting roles.

The palate is sweet at first, with very light (read well-diluted) flavours of molasses, soft brown sugar and earthy caramel leading to menthol and lavender. These then disperse in a short finish, leaving behind a lightly mouth-numbing sensation of menthol and clove in the aftertaste.

Packaging claims: Since 1919, Product of Singapore

Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, caramel colour, flavourings, preservative (sodium benzoate), citric acid

Price: Should be about £0.70 for a 330ml can, from specialist retailers

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