It’s time to be brutally honest. I wanted to give this root beer a 7 out of 10. Possibly even a 7.5. However, due to my complete lack of journalistic integrity, and even greater lack of a spine, I’m going to cave to my friend’s appreciation of this root beer and elevate it to a 8 out of 10.

That probably gave the impression that I don’t like it. I do like it, but it’s not my preferred flavor profile of a root beer. Red Arrow is 100% a wintergreen dominant root beer. There’s nothing wrong with that, and depending on how the wintergreen is prepared, or its quality, it can be a very enjoyable brew. Good grief, I actually have no idea what quality levels exist in wintergreen, but what I do know is that I find some wintergreen heavy root beers good and I find others mediocre. This is more good than mediocre. It’s made with cane sugar and has a good feel in your mouth, but the amount of wintergreen actually gives me a chewing gum aftertaste. Or, dare I say it, toothpaste. It smells a lot like licorice and I expected more of a licorice taste, but either my taste buds missed it or it wasn’t there.

I plan on building out more reviews around the Orca Beverage brand sodas (a soda producer based in Mukilteo Washington) because I love what they do. They’re the biggest, or at least one of the biggest, producers of retro gourmet sodas in the US. Some of the flavors aren’t very nuanced, but they’re fun and I appreciate the craft. Red Arrow is one of the best that I’ve had from their large line of sodas, but I have a long way to go.

So, yeah…an 8 out of 10 (but we secretly know that it’s a seven). I don’t mind drinking it, but I wouldn’t grab it if something sharper was available.

Purchased at Rocket Fizz in Seattle, Washington, sampled on 7/26/2016