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ginger beer taste test

A fun idea we thought – a taste test of a non-alcoholic drink style. Duly armed with 5 lightly chilled Ginger Beers and six willing and thirsty volunteers the follow we did deduce!

Each ginger beer was tasted blind and ranked out of 5, with 0 being undrinkable and 5 being damn tasty. The average scores are detailed below with the products listed in taste order. The tasters, who incidentally were of a wide span of ages (from early teens to ‘getting on a bit’), were encouraged to write a few words some of which are quoted.

Ginger Beer 1 – Whole Earth Sparkling Organic Ginger (can) Score 3.6
“lacks body/light”, “fizzy, long after-taste”, “subtle taste, pale in colour” “my favourite”


Ginger Beer 2 – Fentimans Botanically Brewed Ginger Beer (bottle) Score 2.6
“odd smell” “really strong taste of ginger”, “ginger kick”, “strong after-taste”


Ginger Beer 3 – Bunderberg Diet Ginger Beer (bottle) Score 1.6
“lemon like smell”, “cloudy, very lemony”, “too much lemon”, “a ginger kick on the finish but why so lemony?”


Ginger Beer 4 – Belvoir Fruit Farms Organic Ginger Beer (bottle) Score 0.8
“smells horrid”, “dirty water smell”, “unpleasant”, “chemicals, burning aftertaste”, “yuck!”


Ginger Beer 5 – Old Jamacia Ginger Beer (can) Score 3.4
“Best, if slightly sweet”, “quite nice”, “very sweet, very pleasant, syrupy”

Prior to organising this tasting I had tried the Belvoir Fruit Farms version; and was astounded at just how terrible the drink was – a smell of dirty washing up water, and an unbelievably bad, dirty, taste made worse by the ginger kick that is suddenly sprung on you. So bad, so undrinkable yet sold at a premium at various delis. I actually thought I had an off bottle but it would seem not.

Personally either of the two canned products I would be happy to drink as they are over ice. The strong ginger kick in the Fentimans would be my choice for a cocktail mix, as in some of the Pimms cocktails.
With thanks to the various members of the extended Barrow-clan for conducting the tasting.

15 Comments »

  1. Smahlatz says:

    Bundaberg DIET Ginger Beer? Why the diet – diet drinks are always rubbish – should have gone for the proper drink – it’s awesome. The Old Jamaica one is way too sweet – that’s not how Ginger beer is meant to be :)

  2. Andrew says:

    Sadly the diet version was all I could find but that still doesn’t explain why it screamed lemons rather than ginger.
    The Old Jamacia is much more like a soft drink, like a cola, the others perhaps more ‘adult’.

  3. Deborah says:

    I tried the high scorer a few weeks ago and I have to agree with your ratings. It’s quite exceptional stuff, a bit strong for kids though! Would love to have a go making my own.

  4. Douglas says:

    Is the Belvoir the most expensive?

  5. Andrew says:

    I believe so Douglas – one thing I didn’t record were the prices…

  6. Bobby says:

    The best ginger ale in the universe is by Marks and Spencer… and it’s only 75c for a litre! I’ve been addicted for a year or 2, and no other ginger compares.

  7. neilly says:

    Hi. I’d just like to comment on YOUR comments about the Belvoir Farms Ginger Beer. For my money, it’s the best one – the fiery aftertaste is what you are drinking the stuff for! It’s called GINGER beer, a spice i.e something spicy i.e fiery taste… can you see where I’m going with this? Also, you used the diet Bunderberg – why? It will taste odd – diet coke v coke, surely you, as a so called coinniseur would know this? Are are you really? Sort it out – Idris is no bad anaw.

  8. Andrew says:

    Overall the Belvoir was not liked – the fiery kick was harsh and aggressive but for me it was the smell – terrible. The Bunderberg was included for contrast, sadly the non-diet version wasnt available at the time.

  9. Ruth says:

    Hello,
    i have discovered what has got to be the best ginger beer in the world. James Edwards Ginger beer. You can buy it in Julian graves for a slightly pricy £1.69 but it is well worth the pennies. It does look like a bottle of smirnoff ice, but don’t be but off by the exterior – it’s whats on the inside that counts! and it is AMAZING.

  10. Ben Cann says:

    Haha loving the great ginger beer debate! I am a huge fan myself! I reckon the best out of this lot is the whole earth one, fentimans is ok if not a little boring, bundaberg is disgusting, belvoir is a bit flat but nice taste and old jamaica is way too syrupy and cheap. The best of them all, I came across recently called CLOUD ginger beer. I randomly found it in a gastro pub in London and it’s delicious! It’s really fiery and much more interesting than other ginger beers as its mixed with cinammon also. Honestly, if you like ginger beer, try it and you will see what I mean! Post any other good ginger beers here!

  11. Jim Rang says:

    ALSO TRIED CLOUD GINGER BEER IN A BAR THE OTHER DAY…THIS IS DEFINITELY THE BEST TASTING GINGER BEER OUT THERE – WAS A FAN OF THE TESCO DIET FIERY GINGER BEER BUT THIS ONE FROM CLOUD IS MUCH BETTER !! i HAD IT WITH SOME JAMESON..DEFINITELY MY NEW DRINK FOR 2010 !!

  12. Stuart Pinfold says:

    Agree strongly with last review ..Cloud Ginger beer is really good and fiery and has a nice aftertaste. Some Ginger Beers leave a bitter taste but this leaves a refreshing sweet taste. Not tried it with alcohol, but will do …..

  13. Simian says:

    I’d say that Marks & Spencers Traditional Extra Fiery Ginger Beer is the best I’ve tasted so far. And makes for an magnificent Moscow Mule!!
    It must be the large glass bottle though, for some reason the plastic bottle and can versions taste different – sweeter with less ginger kick.
    I will be trying the CLOUD ginger beer as soon as I can find somewhere that sells it in London. Anyone answer that?

  14. Ali Facer says:

    You MUST try Akuna Alcoholic Ginger Beer – definitely the best around and all natural! Made with real ginger too.

  15. steve says:

    hi,
    Actually i like the bundaberg, the normal non diet one. i am drinking one right now actually. i really like the taste.
    The lable looks different to the bundaberg here it has a man near wooden barrels. in the one above i see a kangaroo. maybe its their way of saying its made in australia.
    steve

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