Monday, July 29, 2013

Vignette Wine Country Soda Pinot Noir

I'm going to start this off completely honest. I hate wine. It has always tasted like rotten grapes to me. I cannot tell the difference between white, red, or any of the shades in between. I was hoping this might be different. I was wrong. I took one sip, spat it out and poured out the rest of the bottle. To be completely fair, I gave my neighbor, a wine drink, a bottle (only come in 4 packs), and asked her to taste and tell me if it really tasted like a pinot noir. She gave me a full report: her son and friend (maybe 5 years old ish) hated it. Her daughter loved it (10 ish years old these are bad estimates I'm sure). My neighbor herself enjoyed it, and reported that yes, it does taste and a pinot noir should. I gave two other bottles to wine drinking friends, and will add their comments to this when I get them. Personally, I would not drink or buy again. My neighbor asked where I bought it, and intends to buy some. 

A buyer beware note here: I bought this from an Amazon seller. The pictures posted with the pinot noir 4 pack were that of a variety pack. I wanted that variety pack. I ended up with 4 of the same soda I did not like. After complaining to the seller and getting no response, I complained to Amazon. They refunded the purchase, but not the shipping. It was a very deceiving listing. I notice now, since then, this seller has changed their listings. Bottom line: buyer beware. Read every single fine print there is in an order form. Do not just look at the pictures.

This is also another history will be coming. Despite not caring for this there are about 3-4 other ones I'll try. So, I'll cover history in the future. 

Melba's Fixins' Lemon Meringue Pie

Always brace myself when it comes to these Lester and Melba's Fixins sodas. Some are good, and some are just plain horrible. Open the bottle, soft lemon smell, then you get the meringue smell. Nice smell really. First sip, it really is lemon meringue pie. There's just no other way to describe it. And its not a bad taste either. But this is also another not sure I want to drink my lemon meringue pie. And for what its worth, sure no crust taste (yeah, that's picky). I'd probably drink again, don't think I'd buy

Faygo's Red Pop

Faygo's Red Pop. I'll be honest, I didn't see the smaller print about flavor until after I had opened the bottle and had a few sips. Since red can be a cream or a fruit, was a totally blind test initially. Smell is that of fruit punch, Hawaiian Punch to be exact. Taste is well, the same Hawaiian Punch. Its not a bad taste, rather pleasant. Discovering it supposed to be strawberry, I'd say it missed the mark. But its not a bad soda at all. If Faygo had called it fruit punch, it would be more appropriate. I'd drink again, not sure I'd buy. 

Avery's Red Raspberry Soda

I don't see that I've ever done an Avery's history... and feel lucky I'll spare you now. There a bunch of Avery's sodas left to taste and review, so I'll post the history at some point in the future. 

Very nice berry smell opening the bottle. Love the color too, kind of a deep red purple-y color. Its a very poor picture of the soda, but its the only one I can find, and I personally did not take a picture before drinking. Oh this is a good soda. I'm not sure I'm have picked out raspberry, but berry for sure, and a very tasty berry at that. Pleasing to drink. Before I finished I want another. I won't say it would be in my top ten, but I will buy more.

Scotty's Butterscotch Soda

Scotty's Butterscotch Soda, a Rocket Fizz Soda. 

So I'm going to put down two reviews here, mine and my friend's. We both agree there is a pleasant butterscotch smell when opened. Taste: I am not impressed. I barely taste butterscotch, and what I do taste is more like some very cheap butterscotch ice cream syrup. Its not a pleasing taste to me. My friend loves it. Thinks it has a very smooth butter taste that's just right. I think she's nuts. There was also a very bitter metallic aftertaste for me. I would not drink nor buy for myself again. My friend wants me to take her to Rocket Fizz so she can buy more. Soda reviews are completely subjective. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cream my people soda

Along the lines of "Seal ya later", this is another RBC/Rocket Fizz product. This features Muammar Gaddafi on the label. 

Despite the gimmick, this is a very good cream soda. Nice full cream scent. Perfect creamy vanilla taste without being too sweet. Bit of a marshellowy flavor. Very smooth. This is a cream soda I enjoyed drinking. I would drink and buy again

Rocket Fizz S'mores

There are some things that just should not be made into soda. Peanut butter and jelly is one. S'mores is another. I love s'mores. Campfire, friends, outdoors, laughter, all of that. Its really too bad Rocket Fizz couldn't leave s'mores in that realm and not have tried to drag them into the soda realm. This is another easy review to write up: Smells like maple syrup, tastes like the extra sweet artificial maple syrup you'd buy at the grocery store. This is a soda I will hurt you over.

To be fair, my friend tasted it. She loved it. Its my fault I didn't ask what flavors she tasted. But she finished off the bottle and wants me to get more. Thinks it would be great over shaved ice or as a ice cream float. Too each his/her own.

Avery's Bug Barf

Another in the Avery totally gross soda line. This one claims to be kiwi pineapple. I'm beginning to like this whole line of sodas. 

Nice clean fruit smell. Bright crisp fruit taste. I wouldn't say I can pick out the kiwi and the pineapple, but it is a very refreshing pleasant drink. Nice mix of tart and sweet. I enjoyed this one a great deal. I'd buy and drink again. 

Dublin's Retro Creme Soda

Same Dublin's as the Dublin's Dr Pepper controversy. Don't think I gave a real complete history of Dublin Bottling works before, and I'll spare you now. They have a bunch of products, Texas Root Beer, Rummy Soda, Dublin Ginger Ale and more. I'll include the history in a future post. 

This is a red creme soda. Much as I can understand the Dublin Dr Pepper issue, and support Dublin Bottling because of that, well, I just can't say anything very good about this soda. Creamy vanilla scent. That's the good part. There is no mistaking it as a cream soda, problem for me is it fall into the way too sweet cream soda category for me. Its drinkable, and I have no doubt if you are a big cream soda fan, you'd like this one. But for me, its just too sweet. I'd drink if it was the only beverage you offered me, but would rather not. 

Ramune Plum flavor

Another marble soda! One thing I did find in passing online: the whole bottle and marble design was done to help mothers limited the amount of soda a child can drink. What I thought was an annoyance, the marble covering the drinking hole, is actually a design feature. You can try and chug or guzzle a whole bottle all you want, it just doesn't work that way. 

I'm not sure I smell plum, nor am I sure I taste it. I do get a taste undertone of coconut. Especially the aftertaste. What surprises me is that this isn't a strong flavored soda. The grape was very potent, as was the strawberry (didn't do a formal review, but I have tasted), and the plum just does not compare. Kind of like a limp handshake. This is another not a bad soda, but not one I'd go out of my way to buy again.

Jelly Belly Green Apple

Obviously another Jelly Belly soda. Love the color, sort of a neon green. Apple smell, though not as strong as I'd hoped for. Same with the taste. Its an apple-y taste, but its not very strong. Maybe I expected a stronger taste and smell. Its not that this isn't a good apple soda, it is, but I just imagined it stronger. I'd drink again, but doubt I'd buy again.

Brownie Caramel Cream Root Beer

Brownie has been around since 1929. Originally started in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but I've also seen online that its brewed by Atlas Brewing from Detroit, Michigan. Not sure which to believe. Atlas was founded by a Polish immigrant named Tomaszewski. Atlas at one time also made Bulldog Ginger Beer, Cream, Strawberry and Club Soda. It was popular in the Midwest. Not a lot more to be found on the history. Made now by Orca Beverage Soda Works. 

Label is promising saying is : "With a sprite on the label , its easy to see how this mischievous and delicious blend of root beer and caramel came about. Produced with care in small batches. Brownie has been enjoyed since 1929"

Well, my review won't be near as long. All I got from this was coffee. Coffee smell, coffee taste, coffee yuck. Place a bottle near me and I will hurt you. 

Wizard of Oz Cherry Cola

OK, Americana blaspheme here. I'm not a big Wizard of Oz fan. I've seen it a bunch of times, but I don't clear my schedule when it comes on TV. I know, very un-American. This is another Rocket Fizz soda. 

The label of the soda was once used by Little Golden Records (vinyl!!), a child's music label. Simon and Schuster was the distributor. S&S was also the publisher of Little Golden Books. 

Deep cherry smell, and I mean deep. Not strong, just a hearty full smell. Wouldn't say its a natural smell, but is a very deep smell. What a wonderful taste. Not to sweet, not too tart, and just the right balance of cherry and cola. Doesn't feel like you're drinking either a cherry soda or a cola, you know they are are both present. Its tasty, but I've had better. Would drink again, but probably not buy myself. 

I'm behind

Been tasting and drinking sodas consistently, just haven't kept up with posting. So to catch up, here's a bunch. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bedford's Root Beer

Another Orca Beverage product. Label claims Bedford's is brewed in Port Angeles, Washington, since 1984. There really isn't a lot to be found about "Bedford's" in terms of history. Some of what Orca makes are vintage sodas that the original story and history can be found, Bedford's does not appear to be one. Best I found was a nebulous "Pacific Northwest tradition for over 30 years" from the Orca site. 

Not a very strong scent after opening. Not really a root beer-y smell either. Never bodes well for a root beer. Mostly an overly sweet scent. It just does not taste like a root beer. I'm not sure what I'd call the taste. Some anise, some fruit, maybe some birchy flavor, but whatever the mix is, its not pleasant. Aftertaste was much the same. I did not like this one at all. This is a never buy again, won't drink one in front of me soda. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Calpico, or Calpis as it is sometimes known, is a non-carbonated soft drink from Japan. The name actually changed to appeal to a world wide market, as Calpis is pronounced as Cow piss. Comes in many flavors:original,apple, strawberry, grape, matcha, guava, mango, lychee, pineapple (available in Okinawa only), orange, mikan (Japanese tangerine), melon, peach, aloe, white chocolate and with cream. It is produced by lactic acid fermentation, with lactobacilli and yeast, and made with milk. It does not need refrigeration. Its been around since 1919, and became very popular in war times as it did not need refrigeration. It now comes in both a premixed and concentrated add water version. The drink is classified as a cultured milk. 

My taste test was with the original flavor. I loved it!!!! Nice lemon lime scent, wonderful smooth taste, great flavor, everything about it made me very happy. Not too sweet not to tangy and so smooth. Safe to say I'm already exploring where I can buy more. 

Rocket Fizz Gingerbread

This is another short review. Its not a bad soda, just not what it says it will be. There's no real ginger or spice smell to the soda, but does have a gingerbread color. Its not a horrible to drink soda, but if you'd have handed me one blindfolded, I wouldn't be able to tell you its gingerbread.  I'd drink it, and drink the whole bottle, but would not be able to name the flavor. Not sure if that makes it a really bad soda or not. I mean it is drinkable and not too bad of a taste. I'll drink if you give me one, but won't buy again. 

Avery's Toxic Slime

Another edition of Avery's totally gross sodas. This flavor is blue raspberry and orange. Interesting light royal blue color. Very very strong fruity scent when opening. The taste is very refreshing. Raspberry dominates, but its like raspberry with an extra kick. Very pleasing soda to drink. After taste is fruity, with no one flavor dominating. I am beginning to like the totally gross line, and am looking forward to my next. Will buy again

Fluids Radiant Red

Another in the Fluids (as in car) line of soda from Rocket Fizz. I suppose the red is meant to be power steering fluid or transmission fluid. The soda itself: Strong fruity scent when opening. Smells like fruit punch. Very pretty red color. First taste is a fruit punchy like flavor. Nice and tangy. Aftertaste is tart cherry. Reading afterwards, the soda is supposed to be a cherry syrup flavor. I'm not sure I'd have guessed cherry, even with the aftertaste, but is a very tasty soda. I'd drink again, might buy again sometime in the future

Cock Cola

Cock Cola: Legend of the name is that an old couple on a farm used to drink lots of Coke. Coke changed the recipe, grandma hated it, so grandpa made his own cola. Called it Cock Cola since the chickens and cock like to peck at it. Nice story. Ultimately, this is a Rocket Fizz soda, under the RBC LLC. Leaving out all my cock puns... think I used them up with Cockta. 

The bottle claims "strong cola taste". Distinct cola smell, though not strong. Yes, its tastes like cola, but its another unremarkable cola. Could have poured Coke or Pepsi in the bottle, slapped the Cock Cola label on, and sold it. Has no particular strong or different taste. Maybe I've just had Pepsi so often my tastes are dulled. Only cola that comes to mind as being different and better is Sprecher's Puma Cola. I'll drink it if you give it to me, but not going to buy again. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This is it!! COCKTA !!!!


This is it!!! I searched high and low and, er Amazon, and found Cockta. I mentioned Cockta in one of my previous posts, so I had to have it. Rumune I anticipated for the bottle and marble. Cockta for the drink itself.

Background: Cockta originates in Slovenia. It started in the 1950's, when Emerik Zelinka, working for the Slovenijavino beverage company, made a soda from all natural ingredients. Dog rose hips, or dog rose berries being the primary source of flavor. The soda began a slow rise in popularity in Yugoslavia(as it was known then), and some growth into other parts of Europe. In the 70's Cockta became a family drink with its slogan “The drink of our and your days of youth” boosting sales over 35 million liters. The 80's and 90's brought hard times for Cockta as the economy in Yugoslavia took a bad downturn. In 2000, the beverage company and rights to Cockta were sold to Kolinska food and drink company, and a new slogan appeared "You never forget your first" (as in you never forget your first cock-ta). Kolinska marketed hard (oh what a pun) and Cockta made a come back (it only gets worse). The climax is an orgasmic web site (told you it got worse) that is a lot of fun to poke (!!!) around. There are now many more flavors and sizes of Cock ta's(it just never ends). If you like Cockta on face book, your experience keeps growing, getting bigger with every stroke(yep, you have to slide your touch pad or mouse to go thru a gallery, kind of like stroking a...). But don't tell me they don't use similar sort of off color humor in their ad campaigns Look at Chuck Norris in this ad

Anze Kopitar, this one's for you.

Small bottle only 8.45 fl oz. After finding a bottle opener (not a twist off), the scent. Well, smells like a cola, but there's much more to the drink, you can tell by the complex aroma. Even some cream type of undertones (a cock-ta that produces cream...). First sip, very tasty. Now if I could explain the taste to you. Little bit like cola, but so much more. There's a tart undertone, but not objectionable. Aftertaste is just as hard (!!!) to explain. There is one, its not unpleasant, but just not sure how to describe the taste. I've said many a time here that I do not like using one soda flavor to describe another, but really, slowly drinking the bottle and enjoying the taste, Moxie came to mind. The cost relative to one bottle, the soda and shipping, make it economically unpractical, but I would buy and drink more of this beverage. 

Wonder if they'll ever use the slogan: Nothing like sucking on a Cockta!

We will now return you to regular G rated blog

Friday, July 12, 2013

Orca Black Cherry

This is a first that I've had. An Orca soda that is the actual Orca label. Great cherry smell that almost seems to leak out of the bottle. Its like releasing the scent when you pop open the cap. What a truly wonderful smell. The first sip, tart, but cherry through and through. Really loved this one. Fresh clean no nonsense cherry. Pleasant to drink. Smell, taste aftertaste all cherry. I'll buy again.

Cock 'n Bull Ginger Beer

Start with: label is cool.
 This soda was first started in the 1940's when vodka was a little known drink. John G Martin bought a vodka recipe from a Russian family named Smirnov. Initially vodka was a flop. He went on a nationwide marketing trip to try and dig up support for his vodka. He stopped at the Cock 'n Bull restaurant, and ended up talking to the owner, who made this odd ginger beverage, ginger beer and he couldn't seem to sell it either. They invented a drink, Moscow Mule, that incorporated both beverages. The marketing campaign was brilliant. This leaked out as a drink hard to find, and sales of both products took off from there. From here history gets murky. C-B beverage is the company that owns the trademark, and I'd say the recipe. Orca beverages lists it as being a soda that "bottled in long neck glass bottles at our facility in Mukilteo, WA". Somehow in here is Pipeline brands, who lists Cock 'n Bull on their website. So, exactly who produces it in the current day and age, I honest cannot tell you.

Now, I've said this before: Ginger beer is an acquired taste. It burns, and bad ginger beers will crank up the burn and lose the flavor. Cock 'n Bull does not. It has a strong, pungent odor of ginger. First taste, wonderful. Nice ginger heat. Love it. And that wonderful burn. You can feel every inch of your digestive system reacting to the soda. Its a very good ginger beer. But I know ginger beer is not something every person enjoys. If you like ginger beer, this is a good one. I'd buy again.

Lester's Fixings Peanut Butter and Jelly

This is gonna one very short  review. It doesn't look like PB&J, it doesn't smell like PB&J, and it certainly does not taste like PB&J. I have no idea what to call the flavor, except bad. This would make bottom of my entire list right now. Give me one of these and I'll smash the bottle over your head.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sprecher's Ravin' Red

Now that I've found a local and cheap source of Sprecher's, I have most flavors. Only missing ginger ale. I really overall like the Sprecher's brand.  Ravin' Red is a combination of cherry and cranberry flavors, with ginseng added to make this a "high energy soft drink" I'm just not feeling the energy part of it. So, the rest: fruity smell, smells like cherry, but you know something else is there. Taste: well, even thought cherry is supposed to the main flavor, this tastes more like cranberry than anything. Cranberry that's not overly sweetened is a bit of an acquired taste. I grew up in New England, and lived in south eastern Massachusetts where the cranberry bogs are many. You may only think of cranberry juice and cranberry sauce (Thanksgiving) but there are far more cranberry products. Its difficult not to like cranberry growing up in that area, its in just about everything. Personally, I loved this soda. Tart like cranberries, with that great cranberry taste. But I also can see how some people would not care for this soda at all. The "energy" part doesn't kick in for me, but the flavor and all other things considered, I'll buy again.

Jelly Belly Blueberry soda

Yes, Jelly Belly jelly bean company. The one that brought you pop corn, booger, earthworm, vomit, and margarita among it seemingly zillion jelly been flavors. Sodas were introduced in 2009. Flavors include: Lemon Drop, Sour Cherry, Blueberry, Green Apple, Crushed Pineapple, Tangerine, Juicy Pear, Strawberry, and Very Cherry. The Jelly Belly company does not actually make the sodas, they just signed off soda naming rights to WIT Beverages. WIT makes a number of different "brand" sodas in addition to Jelly Belly: WBC/Goose Island, Green River, Caruso Legacy, Black Bear, III Dachshunds, and Claire Baie water. There are ten Jelly Belly Flavors: Blueberry, Crushed Pineapple, Green Apple,Very Cherry, Lemon Drop, Juicy Pear, Strawberry Jam, Tangerine, Sour Cherry and French Vanilla. The flavors are "expertly blended to match the flavor of their corresponding Jelly Belly jelly bean"

The blueberry: Nice strong blueberry scent when opening, and this soda is dead on. This is blueberry. Beats any other blueberry soda I've had to date (sorry Sprecher's). Blueberry aftertaste. I expected a sickly sweet soda that was going to drown out any taste. I tasted a genuine blueberry flavor. From the first sip to the lingering aftertaste, its all blueberry. Loved it. Will drink again

Jac Jic Lemon Lime

Could be Jic Jac too. Label isn't overly clear, nor is anything on line. There is not much I can tell you about the history of Jac Jic. Started in St Louis in the 1950's and developed a following that kept spreading until it was nation wide. There are a number of Jac Jic flavors: Lemon Lime, Strawberry, Black cherry, grape and Blue Raspberry. This is another Orca Beverage Soda works product. Wish I could tell you more about it, but I'm just not finding a lot of history on the web.

Citrusy smell when opened. Taste in lemon lime, but there is an undertone too it. I would have sworn there was ginger in this, as it really tastes like someone mixed a lemon lime soda with ginger ale. Aftertaste is really ginger ale. Looked on the ingredients list and there is no ginger in the soda. I can't explain the taste that I had. If you had served this to me blind I would have said ginger ale with citrus, not really even lemon lime specifically, mixed in. Its not a bad soda. Maybe I'm so used to 7 up that this is a "more accurate" lemon lime, not as much artificial flavor, and that's why it tastes different to me. I'd drink again, but not going to break a nail finding it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Polar Classics Black Cherry

Polar Classics!! From New England!! Nice bear growl when you open the web page. Gimmicky but kinda fun. Started in 1882, and claims to be the "country's largest independent soft drink bottler" Began as the J.G. Bieberbach Company with seltzers, mineral water and ginger ale as its primary products. They also manufactured alcoholic beverages, primarily beer. Bieberbach was originally from Germany, and he assisted Shafer Brewing company to make the first pilsner brewery in the US. Meantime Dennis Crowley, a grandson, was a retail and distributor of alcoholic drinks. Crowley’s Ball Brook Straight Whiskey was the biggest seller. 1916, Crowley bought out the Bieberbach. 1918 Crowley bought Leicester Polar Spring Company.Cutting a few unimportant details out, in 1920's the 18th Amendment was adopted, and the sale of alcohol was prohibited. The company, as it Leicester Polar Spring began to concentrate on seltzer and ginger ale. Leicenter Polar Spring included land in Spencer, MA that had a pure spring on it. All mineral water now cane from this spring, and the spring water became the basis for all sodas. Even with the appeal of the 18th Amendment, Polar Beverages concentrated on seltzer water, mineral water and ginger ale.  After WWII the third generation of Crowley's took over the company and the company was officially renamed Polar Corp. The company remained committed to ginger ale and all that. Again, time passed, and a fourth generation of Crowley's took over. In 1996, Polar bought Adirondack Beverages in Scotia, New York. Polar Corp kept buying out smaller companies. In 1999, Venture Distributing, the leading new-age distributor in the Boston marketplace. Venture’s portfolio included brands such as Nantucket Nectars and AriZona. This acquisition was followed shortly in 2001 with the purchase of Snapple of Boston and then Snapple of Cape Cod in 2005. Polar absorbed 30 companies,  expanding into five divisions and now consisting of proprietary brands Polar, Adirondack, Waist Watcher and Clear ‘n’ Natural and National brands 7Up, A&W, Sunkist, Seagrams, Royal Crown and Diet Rite along with new-age brands Snapple, AriZona, Fiji Water, O Water, HyDrive and Nantucket Nectars. In 2001, Polar partnered with Cott Corp to form Northeast Retailer Brands, LLC, creating the largest distributor of soft drinks in the Northeast. 2005 was the 125th anniversary of the founding of Polar. They remain committed to ginger ale and other mixers, but make 15 different flavored sodas. 

Opening the bottle, what a strong scent. Cherry through and through. The first taste, this is pure delight. Perfect balance of sweet and tart, and a strong cherry flavor. No real strong after taste. I loved this soda. I will buy and drink again!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Avery's Totally Gross Dog Drool

Obviously part of Avery's totally gross line. Says its orange lemon. This soda has a weird sort of pinkish milky looking fluid. Very nice citrus scent. Not sure I would be able to pick out out orange and lemon, but still smells wonderful. Taste is very similar. Its a very nice taste, but not really discernable as being orange and lemon. Was nice to drink. I'd buy and drink again.  

Australian Style Hot Ginger Ale

Another Rocket Fizz soda. I was at first disappointed, had 2 sips, and it burned in my mouth, but nothing more. I swallowed and no burn. So I looked again a the bottle, I had misread. This is Hot Ginger Ale. No wonder there's no ginger beer burn. I had been expecting a ginger beer, and I'm not sure that didn't color my review. Nice ginger taste, but very "burny" in my mouth. It did not linger all, just a burn, a few minutes and it was gone. It seemed like the burn was there just to prove it was hot. Again, I was disappointed it wasn't a beer, so I'm not sure I'm being fair. The one thing I will say, this is the first soda that a few minutes after drinking, made me extreme nauseated. I thought ginger was supposed to calm down stomachs? Certainly made mine feel very queasy.

Baumeister Orange

I've had a Baumeister cream before, but doesn't look like I did a history on Baumeister. Hails from Wisconsin, started in 1907. Heine Baumeister stumbled upon a artesian well, and decided to make soda from the water. Its become a Wisconsin icon. Though its marketed under Baumeister, its made by Lake Shore Bottling, and bottled by Gray's Brewing Company. Not sure why 3 companies involved, but there you are. The orange soda used to be called Kewaunee Orange Crush. 

Nice orange color. Orange scent is perfect. Taste, well, its just all right. Little too sweet, but quick look and HFCS is used. The sweetness is a little distracting. Its a good orange flavor, just sweeter than I'd prefer. Sit one in front of me and I'll drink it, but won't be buying myself.

Rocket Fizz Banana Nut

Hey- my nickname is minion. What minion doesn't like bananas? Ba-Ba-Ba Ba Ba Nana....

So, the soda. Does have a banana scent, pretty strong banana scent. But there is an undertone, the nuts maybe? Hard to tell. First sip, oh this soda is gonna be good. The the end of the sip, not even an aftertaste, I suppose that's supposed to be the nuts. To me it tastes like maple, as in maple syrup. Banana and Maple is not a pleasant combination. The more I drank, the worse it become. I thought I'd be able to guzzle and get this soda down fast. No, this became the second one I've poured out. This is just a not pleasant soda. Sit one on front of me and I'll hurt you.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Avery's Totally Gross Soda Kitty Piddle

The story behind Kitty Piddle: Avery hosts tours of the factory, geared towards kids, though it does mention family outings. People are allowed to mix the syrups, and make their own sodas. You get to take home 3 bottles, after being bottle and capped. The whole totally gross line comes from this program. There are 6 flavors, I'm going to leave the names as a surprise for future days.

Kitty Piddle is a golden color that does resemble well, piddle. The scent is a very citrusly flavor. Not really an one particular fruit that stands out, but is a very nice scent.The taste is light, citrus but you can pick out the pineapple. This is a very nice favor.  Drinks easy, very smooth, very tasty. Liked drinking this soda. I'll drink and buy again.

Virgil's Dr Better

Virgil's brand in made by Reed's Inc. They make Reed's ginger products (a whole mess of stuff), Kombucha tea, in a bunch of flavors, Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer, China Cola (a cola infused with Chinese herbs), Sonoma Sparkler(wine flavored sodas) and Virgil's Root beer, and other flavored sodas. Dr Betters is in the Virgil's line, a Dr type of soda. They started with their root beer flavor and adapted it, that's one tale. Other tales are that mentioned include the theft of a recipe. Lot's of legends. The main legend that is likely the most true is the company itself making its own recipe.

There's a very fruity flavor scent when opening. I'd say fruiter than other Dr. sodas. And it drinks the same, very fuity, black cherry flavor. There's a cola like after taste. No real kick to it. Its not a bad drink, but I just doesn't taste the a unified Dr soda. I'd drink again, but wouldn't buy myself again.

Rocket Fizz Wintergreen

Wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Seems to be one of their newer flavors. Wintergreen is usually the domain of Birch Beer. This is a light green in color. Opening the bottle, there's that scent again, its not wintergreen, its Clark's Teaberry Gun. I like the gum, the scent and flavor of the gum. This is that same scent. It drinks with the same  taste. I looked up the gum, there is actual tea berry. Its a shrub, and often used as a tea, or a medicinal purposes. That is this flavor. Its a minty pleasing flavor. Easy aftertaste. I'd buy again. Like to buy the teaberry gum first though.

Columbia Soda Works Sarsaparilla

Tried to look up the history on Columbia Soda Works, but there web site, I get a blank page. They claim it to be here Maybe someone else gets something else. *Update, web site here* "A taste of the mother load" Opening the bottle has a nice Sarsaparilla smell, deep, strong scent. I don't get the licorice scent that I've read many do. I just get a very deep scent. Nice taste, another very deep taste. Its not strong, there's just a lot going on in it. Licorice? I don't get the taste. It is a HFCS soda, does taste very sweet, which is too bad, the sweetness hides the flavor some. Its OK, I'd drink another, but probably not buy myself.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Boylan Cane Cola

I went back through my posts, and don't see that I've had a Boylan's before. So....started in 1891 by pharmacist William Boylan, making "small batches" of soda. Boylan's prides itself on not having huge advertising campaigns, starting small and handcrafting sodas, and remaining that was through today. At one time they were in Moonachie, NJ, which has no relevance, except my thinking its a cool town name. Think they might be back there now. First product they were known for was birch beer (that's it. Had a Birch Beer long time ago, long enough that I want to drink one again and give it a fair review). They make a whole bunch of flavors, including Shirley Temple, Black Cherry, Clear and Red Birch Beer, Root beer, Cream, Grape and Orange. Make quite a few diet sodas too. Well, with a long storied history, and what they advertise on the bottle, since 1891, my expectations were high. Cola smell when opened, nothing special. The the taste. Oh my, that first taste is horrible!! Not that I ever tasted feces before, but this taste is what I imagine it would taste like. I've never spat out a first sip of a drink but this was close. I'm committed to finishing every bottle, and I was ready to guzzle this one. But something distracted my attention, I was just sipping the soda. By the end, it did have a cola taste. But I never want to experience that first sip again. Please, don't make me drink another!

Breckenridge Blackberry

Made by Rocky Mountain soda. Not a lot of history I can find on Rocky Mountain soda. I'm going to keep looking and maybe I'll be able to post in a future episode, as they have a number of flavors. Its the first soda I've had the proudly says its made with beet sugar.Cane and Beet both have sucrose as the chemical base. Really the only difference is that beets are easier to raise, heartier plants. There is supposed to be no sensory difference between the sugars. Most sugar you buy in a grocery store today has beet sugar as its base. Easier to raise beets as I said, and cheaper. If you look up the debate online, you'll find defenses and promotions that one is better than the other. I'm not convinced I'd be able to tell the difference between the two if you gave me just the sugar to try.

Nice berry smell after opening. Not really distinguishable as blackberry, but the scent does tell you you're in for something special. Then the taste. Oh my. Blackberry through and through. This was a very very tasty soda. Could have easily fallen into the trap of tasting like just another berry soda, and did not come close. Really awesome in its just right blackberry taste. I will be buying and drinking again. Really loved it.

John Lemonade

A Rocket Fizz product. Its pretty cool packing
 "Imagine all the thirsty people". Not often I comment on the packaging as being a good thing, but this one is pretty cool.

As for the drink itself: opening the bottle, nice potent lemon smell. A very pleasing smell. Its a wonderful lemonade, with carbonation. Nice lemon taste, little bit tart, but not pucker your mouth sour. Its the perfect balance. This is really a nice drinking lemonade. Its perfect for a nice sunny day. I'd sure drink it again. If I knew there were a group of hot days coming up, I'd buy again.

Jersey Creme soda

Another old soda saved by Orca. Jersey Creme itself start in the early 1900's. Started out as a syrup, and eventually developed into a soda. Calls itself "The Perfect Beverage"

Well, this is going to be a short review. Its a nothing special creme soda. I wish I could say the it is "The Perfect Beverage". Smells like a cream soda, vanilla scent. Drinks like a cream soda, if a little bit sweet for my tastes. I wish I could say that something makes it stand above the other creams, or just be different then other cream sodas. If you gave me one, I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get this one again. "The Perfect Beverage" was disappointing.

Fouuth of July

Happy 4th of July everyone. Let's not forget what its about.

Also, personal note about me: I will be away from late on July 5th until about the 8th or 9th. I'll have my laptop with me, but that's not the point of my taking a few days off. So while I may drink new odd stuff while I'm gone, and will take notes, doubt I'll do a blog post in that time. Besides I have things to catch up on anyway, so I think I'll have enough new posts to keep anyone who reads this busy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

End of June rankings

Think every month I'm going to do this. Might do like a top 10 overall to date each month, maybe bottom 5 too. Top 20 have small comments. Disregard the (#) thing in earlier posts. Abandoned that system when I broke down some posts, and didn't renumber it correctly.

1. Empire Spruce Beer- Just squeeked by second
2. Moxie- Will be ordering a case, very soon
3. Sprecher Puma- excellent taste and available (for me) locally
4. Bundaberg Guava- can't wait to taste other Bundabergs
5. Cheerwine- great stuff
6. Goya Coconut-What can I say, I love coconuts
7. Ramune Grape-beyond the gimmicky bottle its good
8. Natural Brew Creme- the extra twist sold me
9. Maine Root Sarsaprilla- Best sarsaprilla to date
10.Tommyknocker Almond Cream- had a shot at #1. Drops this far because second bottle had a burnt taste
11. MacFuddy's Pepper Elixer- want to have again
12. Old 52- birch with kick. Nice
13. Dang! That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer- Nice and warm (not spicy warm- more like welcoming warm), very smooth
14. Sioux City Birch Beer- Best pure birch to date
15. Fluids Green Cooler- the antifreeze stuff aside, nice apple flavor
16. Lester's Fixins Ranch Dressing- Want to see what second taste is like
17. Saranac Shirley Temple- Not too sweet, like I remember the "cocktail"
18. Rocket Fizz Cinnamom- Fireball in liquid form
19. Moxie's Blue cream- Not too sweet
20. Sprecher Blueberry- very true to fruit
21. Rocket Fizz Red Licorice
22. Hosmer Mountain Sarasaprilla
23. Iron Brew
24. Faygo Rock and Rye
25. Rhode Island Molasses Root Beer
26. Reading Birch
27. Fetiman's Dandelion and Burdock
28. Sioux City Ginger Beer
29. Pete's Pumpkin Patch
30. Kazouza Tamarind
31. Baumeister Cream
32. Lost Trail Sarsaprilla
33. Sioux City Prickly Pear
34. Sprecher Strawberry
35. Americana Honey Cream
36. Flying Cauldron Butterscotch
37. Apple Beer
38. Fireman's Root Beer
39. Nesbitt's Orange
40. Vermont Sweetwater Root Beer
41. Ale 81
42. Martian Soda Plum
43. Johnnie Ryan's Ginger Ale
44. Stewart Cream
45. The Soprano's Ammaretto
46. Death Valley Cola
47. Bawls Root Beer
48. Izze Sparkling Blueberry
49. Killebrew Honey Cream
50. Fudge Brownie Cookie Dough
51. Lester's Fixins Corn
52. Jones Blue Bubblegum
53. Reed's Spiced Apple Brew
54. Cucumber Soda

Left off: Dublin Dr Pepper- will get to be too hard to find. Sparkling Ice really does claim to be water.

Faygo Rock and Rye

Wasn't quite sure what to expect. Faygo is big in Michigan. The label does say cream cola. I've seen people add half and half to coke. Laverne of Laverne ans Shirley drank coke and milk or coke and half and half, maybe that's the taste. Vanilla ice cream +cola=brown cow. Suppose brown cow would not be an appealing soda name. I've heard this called a black cherry cream. I've heard so many, time to judge for myself. Does have a creamy scent when opening. Cream taste first hits you. But the undertone, hmm, what is that? At one point I wasn't really paying attention to the drink, just reached for the bottle and took a sip, and I would have sworn I was drinking DR Pepper. That's it!!! Much as I don't like using one soda to describe another, for this, it fits. Its Dr Pepper cream. Does drink well, very smooth, aftertaste is a pleasant cherry, creamy, cola mix. This is also another one I'm not sure where to place, I'd drink it again, might buy it if it were cheaper, but can't see myself as craving lots more.

Note about Faygo in general: their complete list of sodas is pretty wild. I'm not going to count them all. I'll be researching to see if I can buy variety packs.

Martian Soda Flavor Kumquat

Yet another set myself up soda. I haven't a clue what a kumquat tastes like. The fruit itself is a small orange colored fruit. Its native to South Asia. There are three varieties, two of which are heartier than oranges, so its a good citrus fruit to grow in harsher conditions than what oranges may require. There is a kumquat liqueur and kumquats have been known to replace olives in a martini. There are a bunch of different kumquat hybrids, like sunquat, lemon and kumquats cross bred.

The soda, well, I don't know what to say really. Citrusy, fruit scent when opened. A sort of bitter citrus taste. Very tart after taste. Does it taste and smell like a kumquat? Maybe. If I ever eat a kumquat, I'll revisit this. Although to be honest, if this is what a kumquat tastes like, no thank you. Not quite I'll hurt you if you set one down in front of me, more in the prefer not to ever drink again area.

Rocket Fizz Cinnamon

Ever had an atomic fireball when you were a kid? That's this soda through and through. The scent, the taste, all of it. Bright red.  Very very nice "hot" bite to it, and holding it in your mouth for any length of time does taste like you're sucking on an atomic fireball. Really a very unique taste. The burn is somewhat like ginger beer, though not as lingering. I enjoyed drinking this, but I liked atomic fireballs too. I'll buy again.

Seal Ya Later

OK, this is a gimmicky soda put out by RBC. I wish I could tell you more about RBC. Web searches hit RBC as Royal Bank of Canada. Judging by the similarity of labels between this and "Fidel Castro's Havana Banana", I would feel safe in saying this is a Rocket Fizz product. The label and ad campaign, I just don't think I can do it justice.

My main objection: while it is a cute label and all, there is nothing on the label to indicate what kind of soda this will be. Its not a distinctive color. Off into the unknown!! Cola scent when opening, but somehow doesn't quite smell like other colas. Its an easy cola drinking soda, though there is an undertone to it. Fruity? Spicy? I'm not sure. That fruity or spicy is part of the after taste too. Wish I could nail that down better. It just has an extra layer of flavor that a lot of colas do not. I liked the taste. This is another drink again but not break a nail trying to find it soda.

Nesbitt's of California Orange soda

Nesbitt's of California Orange soda: Nesbitt's was founded in 1924 by Hugh S. Nesbitt. Initially, the company produced syrup for soda fountains. Syrup could also be mixed to make ice toppings (think sundae's). In 1927, the company began to focus on just orange. By 1938/39, the company began to bottle its own orange soda. What set Nesbitt's apart was that it was made with 10% real California orange juice (so it claimed, more coming on that). The brand was franchised, and began to be made all over the world. It was the largest selling orange soda, until Fanta surpassed it. Nesbitts Fruit Company, as it was known, was sold to Clorox in 1972 (yes as in bleach). 1975 it is then sold to Moxie Industries. Its passes through more than a few hands, and eventually, lands with Big Red limited, who makes Big Red soda. Big Red pushes Nesbitt's Honey Lemonade more heavily and now Nesbitt's Orange is licensed to several small independent companies, including Orca Beverage Soda works, where mine was from. 
     Some odd Nesbitt's facts: In 1943, Hugh Nesbitt was died as a result of injuries sustained from a fight at a soda drink bottlers convention. 
     There was a very large lawsuit in 1937. "Federal authorities" seized a shipment of Nesbitt's orange soda syrup. The claim was that Nesbitt labeled his product: "Nesbitt’s California Orange Juice Sweetened". The government claimed that because it was adulterated it could not be called juice. Problem was too much sugar to be called juice according to the government. Ruling ended up that if one followed the directions on the bottle of syrup, the beverage would be so diluted as not to constitute orange juice, and therefore amount of sugar did not matter. 
     Then there is the little problem of its coloring. One of the products used to achieve the orange color of the soda was coal tar. And still uses coal tar to this day. Coal tar is now called "Yellow 6" by the FDA, who says it is OK for human consumption. The coloring has been banned in Norway and Austria. 
     Elvis Presley loved Nesbitts orange. "Burnt bacon, olives, vegetable soup and peanut-butter and banana sandwiches." washed down with Nesbitt's Orange soda.
     There are many many other little factoids I could add, Nesbitts sponsored a drag racing car, was official orange drink at Disneyland in the 60's, Negativland has a song including mention of Nesbitts. The secret to the orange flavor is orange vest, not juice.  There are a lot of little trivia facts. 

The soda! 

Before drinking I would have said it has a pleasant orange color. After reading about the coal tar, may not be so pleasant. Strong orange scent when the bottle is opened. Very pleasing tart orange flavor. Right on that line of too tart vs too sweet. Drinks very smoothly. I said once before I'm not a fan of fruit sodas all that much, but if someone made me drink orange, I'd ask for a Nesbitt's.