Thursday, August 28, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 13.3
Aaron's Comments: I am generally not a huge fan of cream sodas. Because modern root beer is primarily flavored with vanilla, most cream sodas seem to me to be nothing more than weak root beer. Virgil's Cream Soda bucks this trend by making the vanilla flavor so strong that it is anything but weak and yet is different enough from root beer to be worth drinking. Served over ice, Virgil's Cream Soda suffers from the usual problem of having its flavor diluted, and as a result it suffers from the same problem that most cream sodas suffer from - it tastes like watered down root beer. When used in an ice cream float, the powerful vanilla flavor of Virgil's Cream Soda jumps forward and enhances the ice cream, making for an excellent experience. Of all the cream sodas I have ever had, this one makes the best ice cream float.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 15
Aaron's Comments: Fanta Strawberry soda is very definitely a strawberry soda, with a strong and tasty strawberry flavor front and center. As with the Fanta Grape and Fanta Orange sodas that were reviewed earlier, the Fanta Strawberry was bottled in Mexico, and as a result it is sweetened with sugar rather than corn syrup. This makes it very sweet, so having it over ice makes it even better, cutting the heavy sweetness and letting the strawberry flavor shine through even more. Using the soda in an ice cream float results in a definite strawberries and cream effect, and although I used vanilla ice cream, I suspect that it would be even better with strawberry ice cream. As with the other two sugar-sweetened Fanta sodas, the Fanta Strawberry doesn't foam up like many other sodas when ice cream is added, which is a nice bonus when making an ice cream float.
Angela's Comments: It is very good. We should get this more often.
Friday, August 22, 2014
The only two sodas that I specifically set out to get were Ale-8-1, a soda from the redhead's childhood going to summer camp in central Kentucky, and Big Red, which the redhead described as the official drink of Indiana. But we also picked up several flavors of Cool Mountain soda, a drink apparently related to Big Red called Big Blue, Red Rock Golden Ginger Ale, and Barq's Red Creme Soda, which seems to be an attempt to compete with Big Red. Along with the giant care package from Dustin, this collection of sodas should keep me occupied for the next couple of months.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 5
Caffeine: YES (92 mg per 16 oz)
Aaron's Comments: I love cherry flavored sodas, although to be honest, there doesn't seem to me to be much different in flavor between "cherry" and "black cherry" flavor. In the case of Kickstart Black Cherry, the cherry flavor is adequate but unspectacular, with the typical sweet and slightly tart flavor common to cherry flavored drinks. Of all four of the current Kickstart flavors, this is actually my least favorite, which was something of a surprise to me, as when I first saw them on the shelf, I assumed that the Black Cherry would be the best of the bunch. On the other hand, when served over ice, the soda's flavor becomes more strongly "cherry", but the flavor of artificial sweetener becomes more prominent as well. Despite the fact that using this soda in an ice cream float is something that was clearly not anticipated when it was made, I tried it anyway, for science. It serves adequately in an ice cream float, although the flavor of the soda is a bit thin for this purpose.
As a soda, Kickstart Black Cherry is okay, but not fantastic. However, it is loaded with caffeine, has considerably fewer calories per ounce than normal sodas, and its label touts that it has 5% juice. This means that it is an excellent stimulant delivery device for people who want to pretend that they are being healthy.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Undergophers was involved in the discussions that led to the creation of this blog. Prior to Gen Con, he told me that he intended to bring me a care package of sodas from various outlets near where he lives. So I knew he was bringing me some sodas to review. What I didn't know was that he was bringing me two whole boxes of sodas. I simply didn't know the scale of his generosity, and I am so very grateful to him. This gift is without a doubt the most substantial gift anyone has ever given me as a result of my blogging. On my book blog Dreaming About Other Worlds I frequently get offered (and often accept) review copies of books. But those aren't gifts. The books are being offered to me with the expectation that I will read and review them - a benefit to the publisher and author. So there is something of a quid pro quo there. But this gift from Dustin is in a completely different category, and I am using this post to publicly express my gratitude at his magnanimity.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 15.8
Aaron's Comments: Like all grape sodas, Fanta Grape doesn't really seem to taste all that much like grapes. Or at least it doesn't really taste like most grapes I have eaten. Fanta Grape has the fairly familiar artificial grape flavor that is common so grape sodas, a taste I would describe as somewhat grape-like, but heavier and stronger. With ice, the core of the flavor is essentially unchanged, albeit somewhat weakened. As with Orange Fanta, the soda did not immediately foam up when ice cream was added, but had a delayed reaction and foamed up considerably a minute or so later. I'm not sure why, but I can only guess that it is because of the use of sugar as a sweetener instead of corn syrup. Although I wouldn't normally match grape soda and ice cream, it works about as well as one would expect and makes a reasonably good ice cream float.
Angela's Comments: It tastes like wild grapes.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 13.3
Aaron's Comments: Fanta Orange is one of the classic orange flavored sodas with a distinctively strong orange flavor. The bottle I sampled was made in Mexico, which means that it was flavored with sugar instead of corn syrup. The closest I can place the flavor is to say it tastes something like a Clementine. With ice the distinctive flavor is still noticeable, and is even slightly enhanced. Unlike many other sodas, when ice cream is added, the carbonation is not agitated into overflowing, possibly due to the different sweetener. As one would expect, the resulting ice cream float tastes very much like a Dreamsicle, which might make it a good choice depending on your opinion of Dreamsicles. Personally, I like Dreamsicles, so I found this to be an excellent combination with ice cream.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 5
Caffeine: YES (92 mg per 16 oz)
Aaron's Comments: Mountain Dew Kickstart is a drink designed to let people pretend that they are being healthier while still getting a full dose of caffeine. To a certain extent, the drink is healthier than regular Mountain Dew - it has fewer calories per ounce, and contains a smidgen of fruit juice in its mixture, but really, it is a delivery device for concentrated amounts of caffeine. The fruit punch flavor is exactly what one would think it should be, basically delivering a flavor similar for fruit punch flavored Kool-Aid with the addition of carbonation. Ice doesn't appreciably change the flavor of the Kickstart, likely because the flavor was pretty innocuous to begin with. Although making an ice cream float was clearly not the intended purpose of this drink, I did it anyway, and it worked out reasonably well. The flavor of the Kickstart seems to gain by mixture with the vanilla of the ice cream, probably as a result of the resulting slight thickening of the soda. I'm not sure I would recommend using Kickstart as a first choice for making an ice cream soda, but it does the job adequately.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 16.7
Aaron's Comments: Being entirely unfamiliar with the flavor, I had no idea what to expect from Goya Cola Champagne. It didn't look like any soda labeled "cola" that I had ever seen, and the idea of a champagne flavored soda didn't sound particularly appetizing, so I approached it with some trepidation. Happily, cola champagne has a sweet coconut-like flavor that is hard to pin down more specifically. With ice, the coconut flavor is undiminished, although the almost cloying sweetness of the soda is dampened. Used in an ice cream float, the coconut-like flavor morphs into a slight citrus-like flavor, and mixes well with the vanilla of the ice cream.
Angela's Comments: It's weird but I like it.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Calories per Ounce: 13
Aaron's Comments: Mug Root Beer is a somewhat spicier root beer than most other big name brands of root beer, garnishing the usual vanilla base flavor with what seems to be some combination of cinnamon and nutmeg. This gives Mug Root Beer a sharper taste than other root beers that rely heavily on vanilla for their flavoring, such as A&W. When served with ice, much of the spiciness is muted, which robs Mug of much of what makes it unique. Used in an ice cream float, the spicy flavor is still muted, but remains noticeable enough to add an interesting and tasty counterpoint to the vanilla of the ice cream.