When I walked into the grocery store this week I saw cases upon cases of Kutztown beverages. Since their root beer was only mediocre I decided to just walk on by. Thankfully on my way out I took one more look and saw their sarsaparilla. Now I've never had sarsaparilla, although I've always just assumed root beer was the same thing. Considering they sell root beer I figured there must be a difference.
It turns out the difference is sassafras. While original "root beers" used sassafras root, now it's more artificial flavouring or spice combinations. This beverage happens to use sarsaparilla oil.
So what's it taste like? If you took one sip and set it down you'd say "root beer." Taking more sips though reveals a very intersting flavour, one that is best described as someone pouring root beer, cola, and maybe a little bit of birch beer in it. Thankfully just a bit of birch beer as I'm not a big fan.
As a cola fan though, the combination with root beer is interesting to me. It's a unique flavour if you give it a chance and worth trying. Way to redeem yourself, Pennsylvania.
Verdict: Buy a pack!