Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review - Cicero Beverage Company Chicago Style Cherry Cola

Bottler: Cicero Beverage Company

Calories per Ounce: 15

Caffeine: I don't think so, but I can't be sure

Aaron's Comments: Cicero Beverage Company's Chicago Style Cherry Cola is an interesting soda that tends to lean more heavily in the "cherry" direction rather than the "cola" direction, although both are fairly mild and almost elusive. There is a hint of cola flavor, but for the most part, this soda tastes like cherry. Ice makes the cola flavor stronger, but the taste is still dominated by the light and crisp cherry flavor. Some cherry sodas have a medicinal flavor, but this one manages to avoid this by making the flavor very mild. The primary drawback of the mildness of the flavor of this soda is that when it is used in an ice cream float, the vanilla flavor of the ice cream simply overwhelms the beverage, resulting in an inoffensive but ultimately bland experience.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review - Cicero Beverage Company Chicago Style Lime Soda

Bottler: Cicero Beverage Company

Calories per Ounce: 14.2

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: I'm not sure that Cicero Beverage Company's Chicago Style Lime Soda actually tastes like lime. On the other hand, I'm not sure what else it tastes like either. It tastes a little bit like lime, but it doesn't have the usual tartness associated with a lime soda. It also tastes a little bit like the mint found in Creme de Menthe liquor, but only a little bit. It kind of hints at the same sort of flavor as a lime snow cone, but even that doesn't really describe the flavor. Mostly, it tastes green. Adding ice doesn't change the flavor or make what that flavor is any clearer. Adding ice cream results in an even odder result, as the vanilla more or less overwhelms what little "lime" flavor the soda has. There's a hint of green flavor here and there among the vanilla ice cream, but for the most part the soda's flavor kind of vanishes when it is used as an ice cream float.

By the way, the bright green in the picture is from the soda. The bottle is clear.

Angela's Comments: There's not really any flavor there. Maybe it tastes like a green ice pop. It looks like it should be treated as if it were radioactive.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review - Coco Fizz Chocolate Soda

Bottler: Durango Soda Company

Calories per Ounce: 13.25

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Unlike many other chocolate sodas, Coco Fizz is lower in calories than the average soda, and this is reflected in the lighter taste. The soda advertises that it is sweetened with cane sugar rather than corn syrup, which may account for the lower calorie count and crisper, almost thin flavor (although not thin in an unpleasing way). The chocolate flavor is still strong when served with ice, and the bubbly carbonation of the drink is heightened somewhat. The drink really comes into its own as the base for an ice cream float, with the chocolate taste of the soda nicely blending with the vanilla ice cream. This is definitely the best chocolate soda I have tasted, and one of the best sodas overall that I have had.

Angela's Comments: I like this one. It tastes like hard chocolate candy made into a soda. I need to keep track of which ones I like.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review - Fanta Cherry Soda

Bottler: Coca-Cola

Calories per Ounce: 13.5

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: I love cherry sodas. The redhead does not, as she finds them to taste like cough medicine. Cherry Fanta, while a decent cherry flavored soda with a definite cherry taste, does have a kind of medicinal aftertaste to it. I'd blame it on the mix used to give the soda a cherry flavor, but the bottle boasts that it is made with "100% natural flavors", so I'm guessing that it is just the particular concentration of flavoring that makes it have the particularly cough syrupy aftertaste. Adding ice seems to mute this tendency, and the tart and sweet cherry flavor shines through without tasting like Robitussin. As one might expect, this soda makes a superior ice cream float, with the resulting combination tasting very much like good cherry vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review - Bundaberg Passionfruit Soda

Bottler: Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

Calories per Ounce: 14.8

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: As with their other fruit flavored drinks, Bundaberg Passionfruit advertises that their passionfruit soda is flavored with juice, in this case 3.5% passionfruit juice, and this fact shows when one tastes it, because the distinctive passionfruit flavor of the soda shines through. If you have not had passionfruit, it tastes kind of like a combination of a pineapple and an orange, but even that description doesn't really capture the flavor of passionfruit. Adding ice mutes the up-front passionfruit flavor, but doesn't diminish the fruity aftertaste at all. The soda makes for a somewhat indifferent ice cream float, as the somewhat sharp flavor of passionfruit mixes with vanilla flavor only moderately well. This is not to say that the soda makes for a bad ice cream float, but it does make for an oddly tart ice cream float.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review - Abita Root Beer

Bottler: Abita Brewing Company

Calories per Ounce: 14.75

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Abita Root Beer, unlike many other sodas made in the United States, is sweetened with sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. This means that this root beer tastes somewhat lighter than many other sodas, although it is still fairly high in calories per ounce. The root beer has a nice vanilla flavor backed by a spicy undercurrent of nutmeg and anise. Over ice, this spicy flavor is undiminished. Because the soda uses cane sugar as a sweetener, it makes an excellent base for a root beer float, as the soda doesn't foam up like corn syrup sweetened sodas do when ice cream is added. Further, the slightly spicy flavor of the root beer provides a good complement for the sweet creaminess of the ice cream, resulting in a very good float.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review - MacFuddy Pepper Elixir

Bottler: Orca Beverage Soda Company

Calories per Ounce: 12.5

Caffeine: I have no idea one way or the other, but I think not

Aaron's Comments: MacFuddy Pepper Elixir has one of the most humorous bottles of any soda I have seen. The label claims that the drink is "infused with luck" and promises "12 oz. for 24 hours of favorable outcomes". The label also asserts that the soda "cures timidness and satisfies the daring". These are some fairly bold (and moderately silly) claims. The real question is, how does this soda taste?

Well, imagine a Dr. Pepper with a very strong black cherry flavor and an aftertaste of hot peppers. That is more or less what MacFuddy Pepper Elixir tastes like. Except the black cherry is extremely prominent (and of a higher caliber than most cherry sodas), while the hot pepper after taste is extremely subtle. With ice, most of the flavor other than the cherry is muted, although the mild heat from the hot pepper remains - with the caveat that almost none of the hot pepper flavor is still noticeable. The combination of flavors makes for a highly unusual ice cream float, as the vanilla of the ice cream seems to enhance the spiciness of the pepper element, smoothing out the bite but making it more flavorful. Does it actually provide luck, cure timidness, and satisfy the daring? I have no idea, but it does deliver a tasty cherry soda with a pepper kick.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review - Bundaberg Lemon Lime & Bitters

Bottler: Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

Calories per Ounce: 13.9

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Bundaberg Lemon Lime & Bitters advertises itself as containing 6% lemon and lime juice, which would cause one to think that it would have a more intense lemon and lime flavor. This supposition is correct, although this may be disconcerting for people who are used to the artificial lemon-lime flavor of sodas like Sprite or Sierra Mist. The punchy and tart lemon and lime flavor is accompanied by a nicely bitter aftertaste. Adding ice brings all of these flavors to the fore, and makes me think that this would be an excellent drink to use as a substitute for lemon or lime juice in a mixed drink, such an alternative form of whiskey sour. When ice cream is added, the lemon and lime flavors stay strong, but the bitterness is overcome by the sweetness of the ice cream. This combination results in a quirky, but fairly tasty ice cream float.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review - Anchor Ginger Root Beer

Bottler: Orca Beverage Soda Works

Calories per Ounce: 14.2

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Anchor Ginger Root Beer is, as its name might suggest, a curious combination of root beer and ginger beer. The up front taste is that of a fairly spicy root beer: Vanilla, cinnamon, possibly anise or nutmeg. But underlying this root beer flavor is the taste of ginger which makes this soda unusual to say the least. The flavor is not appreciably changed with ice, although the ginger undercurrent is slightly muted. With ice cream, the soda foams up slightly, but not nearly as much as most other root beers. The vanilla of the ice cream highlights the unusual spice mixture of the root beer, bringing the anise and ginger to the front. This is definitely a quirky soda, but it is also a pretty good one.