I don’t really want to write this review because I’m afraid I won’t like the soda. There have been several sodas over the last 10 years that I didn’t think I’d like, but that never really bothered me until now. The soda in front of me is Virgil’s Zero Sugar Root Beer.
Make no bones about it, or make bones I really don’t care, I love Virgil’s Root Beer. Virgil’s Root Beer is THE soda that started the site. Now in front of me I have something I normally dislike… a diet Root Beer. We’ve gotten away from the word “diet” as of late, perhaps due to its negative connotation when it comes to flavor. Perhaps because Garfield the cat was so very against them from the start… we may never know.
Now we live in a world where “Zero Sugar” exists and stevia and sugar alcohols are used instead of chemicals. Well… not everyone is going the all natural route, but Virgil’s is. All that said I’m still going to categorize this as a “diet” root beer and diet root beer is my least favorite diet drink. It usually ends up tasting the furthest from its source material. It’s the Gallagher II of sodas. It’s trying to do the same thing, but no one really wants it to.
Virgil’s makes one of, if not my favorite, root beer and the fact that they make a similar item I may dislike greatly kinda bothers me. I guess the only way I”ll know for sure is if I try it.
I can attest that the aroma is that of root beer.
I am genuinely surprised at how good this is. As the soda was first passing through my mouth I honestly could not have told you that it was “diet”. It’s right after swallowing that I can taste anything that would make me believe this wasn’t a sugar filled fun fest. Let me break down the two parts just a bit more.
The first half of the drinking experience is very smooth, which is true to the Virgil’s brand. There is a rich root beer taste that is highlighted by licorice and molasses flavors. Virgil’s Zero Sugar Root Beer uses many more ingredients than those but they came to the forefront. When I swallow the sweet birch splashes against the back of my throat. It’s really quite impressive to me.
The second half of the soda is where I can tell it has been sweetened with something other than sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The taste becomes a bit more dry and very slightly bitter. It’s not an unfamiliar taste of sugar free sodas, but they do well to keep the flavor muted. It’s the relative in your family everyone talks around instead of saying how they messed up their lives becoming a groupie for the Gravitron ride that you see in road side carnivals. “They don’t even operate the dang ride” your aunt says in a hushed voice. “They just follow it across the country”. Eyes roll and tongues click, but that’s all that’ll be heard about the Gravitron Groupie for another year or so. Where was I?
Oh yes, the diet aftertaste. It exists, but it’s not really that bothersome. I would rate several “regular” root beers higher than this one which should be of no surprise. What is surprising to my brain is that I would also choose this over several sugar filled root beer brands. To me that is dang impressive for a zero sugar root beer.
So it seems my worries were unfounded and I actually liked the soda at hand. I even have a root beer to recommend to those that live the sugar free lifestyle. So if you see it you should certainly check it out.
Verdict - Buy a Pack
This soda was given to me by the Masked Man