The Virgil’s Root Beer Special Edition comes with the addition of fancy shmancy nutmeg. I know nothing about nutmeg, so I’ll just trust that Bavarian Nutmeg is the next best thing to ambrosia. Sounds plausible. However, these guys have been known to stretch the truth. They want us to believe that it’s brewed in heaven but it’s actually brewed in California. Caught you!
I’ve had Virgil’s in the past (and I will eventually get around to posting my review), but this root beer stands apart from its relative. I still smell and taste that licorice base (be it anise or licorice root, I don’t know) but what strikes me the most is the finishing note of nutmeg. In my opinion it’s more than just a finishing note, it’s about half of the experience.
Not to be dramatic, but the nutmeg is a comforting and warm flavor. There might be some cinnamon in there too. It reminds me of eggnog, and Christmas, and fleece blankets. I really dig it. There’s not much wintergreen flavor present, but the root purists will be satisfied with this brew…so long as they like nutmeg. There’s also a dark molasses depth to it, not to mention a handful of other spices that aren’t quite identifiable on their own but combine well (cloves, vanilla, star anise, etc.).
It’s not overly spicy; it’s a smooth drinker. The color is like a dark amber, and there’s very little head when poured. I give it style points for the beautiful bottle, but this bad boy comes at a premium. $5.99 for 16.9 ounces.
This is definitely on par with the best root beers I’ve tried. I award the Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg a 9 out of 10.
Sampled on 7/12/2016, purchased at Rocket Fizz on Capitol Hill, Seattle.