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Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock

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    8 Reviews
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      10.02.2013 16:05
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      Lovely for a change!

      After a rough day at work and in need of a pick me up, I fancied buying a bottle of Bucks Fizz or something fizzy with some but not too much alcohol in it.

      I spotted this Alcoholic Dandelion and Burdock in a local Spar shop for 3 for £5. They also sell Alcoholic Cloudy Lemonade and Alcoholic Ginger Bitter. I bought the Dandelion and burdock one for myself and my other half said he would drink the other two - so this review is only of the Dandelion and Burdock drink of the range.

      **Product**
      This comes in a wide glass bottle with a metal cap that you need a bottle opener to lever off. Once open, you can if you try hard re-affix the cap and put the bottle back in the refrigerator, but (I tried this) it will lose some of the fizz- so it is best to open and drink in the same sitting. Each bottle is 500mls- about a pint and this is more than you get in most single bottle 'alcopop' type drinks. Each bottle is 2 units of alcohol and contains 4% alcohol.

      **Taste**
      This taste EXACTLY like dandelion and Burdock. EXACTLY. There is no weird 'gone off' taste that would confirm there is alcohol in this, it just tastes like a can of the very retro and quite old fashioned Dandelion and Burdock. This could be a good thing- if you like the taste, but a bad thing as it is easy to forget it contains alcohol. But, as it does taste so much like Dandelion and Burdock I could not drink more than 1-2 bottles in a night of this otherwise it would just be too fizzy and gaseous/ filling. I can imagine it is quite heavy to drink lots of- like with the WKD drinks, drink more than one bottle and you get heartburn- that sort of effect.

      **Overall**
      I would definitely buy this again as I think one bottle with it's relatively low alcohol content makes a lovely refreshing mid- week drink. It is a less alcohol alternative to some wines if you like to treat yourself to a glass or three of wine mid week, and I think it makes a lovely refreshing change to the alcopop-type drinks that are on sale at the moment and also to the usual wine/ beer/ spirits that get quite dull. The only downside is the bottle is in the style of an ale so it isn't the most feminine looking of drinks. It looks like a bottle of stout or something, so I would say if you are at home, pour this into a nice glass as swigging it from the bottle really doesn't look very girly!

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      01.09.2010 11:25
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      This drink is a hidden treasure ingredients from days gone by.

      Dandelion and Burdock is really refreshing and great anytime of the year!
      This Version made by ''Fentimans''
      Taste Really Traditional, i don't know about you but I geuss i must have an old Soul because i love things like rose,lavender,violet mints and flavored sweets.
      i buy mine at Tesco , near the alcohol section.

      I see Dandelion and Burdock in plastic bottles and cans but i would never buy those because the packaging is not traditional.

      The Only Way and the Best way to Drink dandelion and Burdock is if its in a cold glass bottle!(Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock is in a cool glass bottle) if it's not in a glass bottle then it's just not the same it just doesn't taste the same the flavor changes when its in plastic or canned.

      you can buy it online or you keep an eye out next time you go to the supermarket! it's a bit more expensive then your average drink but it's well worth it, make sure when you get home to put it in your fridge, it always taste amazing cold. Sorry there's no way to describe the taste as it taste like nothing else (it does have a small licorice taste to it though) you have to try it for yourself!

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        04.06.2009 09:23
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        If anyone wants 2/3 of a bottle.....let me know!

        I am all for tradition, and I am often trying to go back to basics, or to revisit tastes, products and ways of doing things from years gone by. So when a colleague told me that he had a bottle of Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock, that he had bought as part of a "meal deal" at our local deli, but that he didn't like it......I was happy to take it off his hands. After all, I have read several 4 and 5 star reviews on dooyoo about this, and now I could have a bottle for free! Not bad!

        Fentimans describe this as "harking back to a time when all soft drinks were refreshingly full of flavour".....that fits the bill nicely I think!

        So, I took the glass bottle.....going back to tradition, this is one of the things we always used to have - a glass bottle. There is no 10p return on this one, though, so I need to find somewhere to recycle it locally. It looks more like a bottle of beer than a bottle of pop, with an oval glass label on the front, and a neck label - just as it is on the picture above. It looks dark and syrupy, and when I unscrew the lid, I can smell a distinctive aniseed flavour. (Note - before drinking this, just tip it upside down with the lid still on, to allow any sediment to mix in.)

        Looking at the ingredients on the back, this is not unexpected, as aniseed is indeed listed, along with sugar, Pear Juice Concentrate, Dandelion strong infusion and Burdock strong infusion.

        There is a slight fizz to this - nothing like you would expect from a bottle of pepsi, for example, but enough for you to know you are not drinking a still drink. I would guess that if you guzzled this one down, you would not suffer the same gassiness as you would with other fizzy drinks

        So, onto the taste. Well, to me the aniseed is overpowering. I like licorice and aniseed things, but I found that this one was so aniseedy that it was too much. I know that dandelion and burdock is a distinctive flavour and is a bit of a "love it or hate it" drink, but I have always loved it and my Grandmother always had a bottle of it available when we went to visit.

        My impression was that of a slightly fizzy cough mixture - not something that I really wanted to be drinking out of pleasure!

        So, back the lid went, and that made two of us in our office who decided never to buy this one again.......

        So, I offered it to my daughter......who had a similar nose wrinkling reaction. And the lid went on for a third time.

        So, I was disappointed. I had read some really glowing reviews on this product, but mine won't be one of them.

        I do give it marks for tradition, for the glass bottle (still got to find somewhere to recycle it in town though), and for the plain and natural ingredients. I also give it marks for having the right amount of "fizz". But that is where my positivity ends, I'm afraid. I will give it three stars out of five, but that is quite generous still.....

        More information on Fentimans and their other brews can be found on www.fentimans.com

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          31.05.2009 21:12
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          Good quality Fentimans drink, if a little pricy

          I have always been a fan of dandelion & burdock, from when I was a kid and tried some of my mum's. My wife doesn't like it, nor does my son, so I don't often buy it. However, we went out today, and I saw a bottle of this. We were at Arlington Court, a National Trust property, and they often offer high quality products such as this.

          I liken the taste to a sort of spicy cola, in a way, and not just because the visual stimuli make you think you're drinking some form of cola. The dandelion gives a nice floral taste to it as well, but this is a more subtle flavour. Initially, the taste does hit the back of your throat with quite a kick, but whereas D&B usually has a strong and lingering effect, this one has a nice, crisp and clean flavour, with strong undertones that slowly fade after each sip. And also, the drink is less a fizzy drink and more one that is lightly sparkling. It makes a difference that it has this 'texture' once it hits your taste buds.

          Fentimans are considered a bit of a better quality product of drink than other brands, whether it be their cola, ginger beer or indeed dandelion and burdock. This one is made with as many nagtural ingredients as possible, and the recipe seems to have more care taken over it. They take their time over the 'brewing' process, performed botanically and with care and attention being paid. The drink is 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) but this is low enough to make it okay for kids to drink.

          As a result of the brewing process and the quality all round, the price is a lot higher than the average drink. Normally, a 275ml bottle will cost around the £1 mark, but today it cost me just over £2. In comparison, a bottle of coke or fanta costs around £1.50 or £1.60 from Arlingotn Court, for comparative purposes.

          I recommend this product. It tastes great, and doesn't have a lingering effect like other dandelion and burdock drinks do. It isn't as readily available as you might like or expect, though, but if you do see it, it's well worth any extra price you might find.

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            30.04.2009 23:12
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            A delicious soft drink.

            Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock:

            Whilst on a pre-night out splurge at Tesco the other day, (we don't get out much so really go to town when we do), I got a bottle of Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock because I thought it would be nice to try and a nice change as a mixer with vodka.

            The bottle is beautiful, really old fashioned looking which somehow makes it seem reassuring; anything in a bottle that nice must be good.

            The bottle is 275ml in capacity and made of glass, (very easy to recycle), and has a metal screw top lid. I will say that when you undo the lid you are left with a ring of metal around the top of the bottle which is a pain in the backside to remove for recycling. Some recycling schemes wouldn't mind but in my area they are really strict and often threaten to stop collecting your recycling altogether if you don't follow the rules! Not a massive issue but an annoying niggle all the same.

            The Fentimans logo features a dog poking out his tongue, I think he is meant to be panting but he just looks cheeky to me! The label reminds me of an old school pharmacist jars and makes sure you know that this is botanically brewed, (in fact that fact is moulded into the glass of the bottle) and that it is traditional.

            Having looked at the website, (www.fentimans.com), I can tell you that Fentimans drinks are botanically brewed and that it consists of three stages, the infusion of selected botanicals, slow natural fermentation and skilful blending. The process seems to remind me of the process they use to make gin. This drink does have alcohol in it but it less than 0.5% by volume which means children can buy and drink it.

            The website itself is very attractive and well worth a look if you are interested and it uses the phrase, "cold, cloudy and wet" as a positive marketing point! (Great thinking Fentimans).

            You can see the lush, deep, reddish brown liquid through the bottle and for me it is so appetising, (I love dandelion and burdock; even the cheap bottles), and I really couldn't wait to get home and try it. The drink is fizzy but only just, a mere hint of fizz in the background which makes it refreshing while still making it really easy to drink.

            As I had never tried it before I decided to give it a go on it's own first then with the vodka. (Just to let you know that to "activate" the full flavours by turning the bottle upside down before pouring or drinking).

            The flavour for me is outstanding; it is so hard to describe the taste except for that it tastes like dandelion and burdock but with a delicious spiciness added to the mix. It is rich and full bodied and I would definitely think that this was a "love it or hate it" kind of flavour. I personally can't drink drinks too cold as I have really sensitive teeth but I think this would definitely benefit from chilling. It is sugary tasting and is very sweet but I still find it refreshing.

            With vodka it was delicious. The flavour of good vodka mixed with the botanical flavour wonderfully and made for a great drink. To be honest good vodka goes with most soft drinks but this was especially nice. I'd also like to try this with gin at some point in the future as I think the combination of the two sets of botanicals would work quite well.

            There are other drinks in the Fentimans range including shandy and the famous "curiosity cola" which the other half loves. Like I said earlier if you are interested check out the website.

            I would definitely recommend this to people who want to try something new but it won't be to everyone's tastes. At £1.06 per bottle in Tescos it isn't exactly cheap but it is worth the extra cash as a treat.

            (For those of you interested there are 130 calories per bottles and 32g of sugar).

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              11.10.2008 02:09
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              Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock is delicious!

              I went to my granddaughters school fete yesterday and spent some time browsing around a stall which had been set up to resemble an old fashioned market stall. One thing that caught my eye (well, two so I also bought a packet of peppermint creams) was Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock.

              I love Dandelion and Burdock because there is something different about it. I cannot describe the taste but in my head I always liken it to how Coca Cola would taste with the addition of a slight floral flavouring and perhas a touch of spices. It's certainly a very unusual tasting soft drink and has a unique flavour that other drinks to not have.

              For me though, the best thing about Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock is how refreshing it is. It's nicely bubbly rather than overly fizzy like many other brands of Dandelion and Burdock. I think it tastes more special because it is sold in a glass bottle rather than being packaged in plastic or tin. Be reminded that the Fentimans bottles have a metal cap which needs a bottle opener to get off, so you can't really treat yourself to a bottle on the fly. Unless you routinely carry a bottle opener that is!

              As this was a school fete I'm aware I paid over the odds for my 275ml bottle of Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock at £1.50, but I think they usually retail at around £1 a bottle. The Fentimans range is worth paying for though because they are so nostalgic and excellent in taste and quality.

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                04.06.2007 18:38
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                If you like the sound of it, go and give it a try

                Dandelion and Burdock (For Ben Shaws)


                The first time I tasted this was after a very long week at school. On a Friday we always have a weekly take away like many other families. Which I always look forward to immensely. Anyway I was eating my fish and chips then I found that we got free drink with the take away, as you do when you spend over a certain amount. So I looked at the drink and fought what's that. Can't be that good never heard of it. If it was that good it will be as famous as sprite and coke. So while I was eating I took a sip of this and to my surprise this drink was mind blowing, I loved it with a passion. I was the first to go for a second drink. I asked my farther about it and he explained how long it has been around for. Etc. I found out that Ben Shaws was the original brand for this drink and they have been making pop since 1871 so from here on my choice of pop was always Dandelion and Burdock.

                When I go to the shop to buy it especially on a warm day I get it and rush home to put in the fridge. This drink really does have a advantage when it is cold. The taste comes out when it has been in the fridge. I usually drink this while sun bathing. Perfect combination as this is one of the most refreshing drinks I have ever had. I normally buy this for around 35-60p for a can. This is the norm for all pop really. You get better prices at different shops though I have bought a 500ml bottle for around 65p which is a excellent. This is my favourite pop, shame it's not healthy for you, but there is a downside to everything.

                I know many people who don't like Dandelion and Burdock, I suppose it is a love it or hate it situation. I've heard people say it tastes like medicine and it is terrible sickly. I really couldn't believe my ears. In a way its good though, just means there's more stock left in shops when I give them I visit. I personally think the taste is lushes. I find if a have a 500ml bottle it seems to go in the evening I buy it. I make sure I get my fair share of in the household. The taste is incredible better than coca cola and that is the most popular pop. So it makes you wonder.

                I always struggle to describe a taste of food or drink but I always try my best. If you had to say what drink tasted like this most, I would choose coca cola although it doesn't actually taste the same it is probably the closest. It has a unique taste. It seems there is more fizz in this than any other pop, don't know if that's a good or bad thing. This drink especially by Ben Shaws is incredibly sweet. It has loads of sugar, you can tell by the amount of fizz in it and you can taste it. Don't know what they put in it to give it that distinctive taste but it's a pleasure to drink especially accompanied with the sun.


                So overall I love this and is my choice when it comes to pop now. Maybe the original Ben Shaws is rather overpriced but is well worth purchasing to try it and then if you like it you should buy it from then on. It is addictive quite literally don't know how, but you will find yourself reaching for the cupboards and grabbing a glass again and again and again. This drink is perfect for a hot day sitting outside. The price could be a little cheaper as I said. But get out there and try it
                There's nothing to lose

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                  13.08.2005 19:02
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                  A delicious, unusual treat to savour.

                  I may only be young, but I am a bit of an obsessive about any and every old-fashioned food. For some reason sweets taste better if they're in a paper cone than in a plastic bag...ditto drinks in traditional glass bottles!

                  And they don't come any more traditional than Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock, I can tell you. In fact, I was lucky enough to stumble across Fentimans drinks by chance whilst in Past Times. Although I am not really a fizzy drink fan (the odd one on occasion is enough for me), I was attracted by the really rather wonderful glass bottles, and decided to try Dandelion and Burdock.

                  ==History of Fentimans==
                  Fentimans is a drinks company with a lot of history behind them - the company began in 1900 when Thomas Fentiman, a tradesman, was given a recipe for "botanically brewed" ginger beer as security for a loan. When the loan was not repaid, in 1905 Thomas Fentiman was able to begin producing ginger beer using the rather unusual recipe. Today the company makes soft drinks using nearly the same recipes and methods used by Thomas Fentiman more than 100 years ago.

                  ==Botanical brewing==
                  Basically, botanical brewing is grinding, steaming and fermenting various roots - in this case the roots used are ginger, dandelion and burdock. The other ingredients used in botanical brewing are herbs, natural flavouring, sugar, brewer's yeast and water. The process is effective as it allows the natural flavours of the plants to infuse into the liquid, thus eliminating the need for artificial flavourings. The process is fairly long, 10 days in fact, and the by-products of the fermentation - ie the sediment - is left in, adding to the flavour and creating a cloudy drink when shaken.

                  ==What the stuff actually is==
                  Dandelion and Burdock, for those who aren't familiar with the drink, is a British drink made traditionally from fermented dandelion and burdock roots, making it naturally carbonated as carbon dioxide is produced during the fermenting process. However, most versions of the drink that you find in supermarkets don't contain either dandelion or burdock extracts, instead the flavour is re-created with a host of artificial nasties.

                  ==Packaging==
                  This is just divine. For a lover of old-fashioned things, the chunky glass bottle is the absolute model of what a drinks bottle should be. The bottle is round, solid and shaped somewhat like a beer bottle, with a round purple label bearing the name and details. The cap is cleverly designed to look as if it requires a bottle-opener, however it can just be twisted off.

                  ==Appearance==
                  The liquid is dark purple, not at all artificial-looking as some other fizzy drinks are. As there's sediment left at the bottom, it's best to gently shake the bottle before you open it, to ensure everything's mixed up. Unlike Coke and other soft drinks, Dandelion and Burdock is only lightly carbonated, so even when shaken up the lid can still be removed without it fizzing everywhere.

                  ==Taste and smell==
                  There's really nothing quite like Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock! I think you just have to try it to know, but I'll have a go at describing it. Straight off, it smells sweet, like boiled sweets, and the first taste has definite undertones of spiciness, from the ginger. To me, the taste is very subtle, a blending of lots of flavours, and although it is sweet, it's definitely not syrupy. I'd describe the aftertaste as "herby" and a little bit like aniseed, which is par for the course as the drink is brewed using herbs. If you think this sounds dubious, you'd be wrong...I found it certainly different, but absolutely delicious. I seem to find that if a drink is strongly fizzy, you end up only tasting the carbon dioxide bubbles and don't really taste the flavours. Not so here. The fact it's less carbonated means you really taste the drink itself and don't have that horrible harsh carbon dioxide assault on your mouth. All in all, a well-balanced, certainly unusual but delicious drink. Take your time over it; sip it really slowly from the bottle to savour it properly!

                  ==Price==
                  Dandelion & Burdock comes in 275ml glass bottles, priced between £1 and £1.50.

                  ==Where to buy==
                  This is the problem. Fentimans is a fairly small independent manufacturer and not many places stock the drinks. On top of that, places which stock the other Fentimans drinks often don't stock Dandelion and Burdock! As I mentioned before, I discovered Dandelion and Burdock in Past Times, so you can definitely get it there. The only other place I know of which definitely stocks it is Waitrose, but it might be worth looking around.
                  If you're desperate, you can also order it online - www.realfooddirect.co.uk

                  ==Details==
                  Fentimans, 6 Rear Battle Hill, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 1BB. Telephone: 01434 609847.
                  Check out their website for more information about the drinks and the manufacturing process:
                  www.botanically-brewed-soft-drinks.co.uk

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