Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review - NuGrape Soda

Bottler: Orca Beverage Soda Works

Calories per Ounce: 16.7

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Of all the grape sodas I have tried, NuGrape Soda is the one that tastes the most like actual grape juice. It has a very rich, full-bodied grape flavor with just enough carbonation to make it a soda rather than imitation grape juice. The flavor of the soda is strong enough and good enough that adding ice does nothing to diminish it. As it is a grape soda, it makes about as good of an ice cream float as one would expect a grape soda to make - although it is the very best grape soda ice cream float that I have had. On a final note, I will point out that NuGrape's rich grape flavor does seem to come at a price, as it packs 200 calories in every twelve ounce bottle, which is a fair amount more than the average soda.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review - Cherry Breese

Bottler: Excel Bottling Company

Calories per Ounce: 12.5

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Cherry Breese describes itself as a "pure cane sugar soda". A better description might be "a mildly cherry flavored soda", since the cherry flavor in this soda is among the most elusive that I have tasted. Adding ice cuts through the cherry flavor entirely, reducing it to a mere footnote among the strong sweet flavors of the soda. Using most cherry sodas in an ice cream float results in a combination that tastes like cherry vanilla ice cream in liquid form. A Cherry Breese ice cream float, on the other hand, tastes very much  like vanilla ice cream that was exposed to a little bit of cherry flavor at some point in the past. This isn't necessarily a negative - a soda with a mild cherry flavor is somewhat interesting, as opposed to many other sodas that try to overpower you with an almost oppressive dose of concentrated flavor. If what you are looking for is a light, modestly flavored cherry soda, this is the one for you.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review - Goody Blue Pop

Bottler: Homer Soda Company

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: The name of Goody Blue Pop is definitely true, as the soda is certainly a bright electric blue. The real question is what does it taste like, since "blue" isn't technically a flavor. I suppose that the best description would be to compare the taste of this soda to really sweet blue bubble gum. Even adding ice doesn't reduce the very strong bubble gum flavor of the soda, which still shines through quite strongly. As one might expect, Goody Blue Soda makes for a very unusual ice cream float. Combining the vanilla of the ice cream and the bubblegum flavor of the soda results in a very sweet, oddly tasty mixture. If you think the idea of drinking a bottle of bubblegum sounds good, then Goody Blue Soda is the drink for you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review - Cheerwine

Bottler: Carolina Beverage Company

Calories per Ounce: 12.5

Caffeine: Yes

Aaron's Comments: Cheerwine is a staple of sodas found in Virginia and the Carolinas. Although I have lived in Virginia for most of my adult life, I had not previously tried this soda. Cheerwine tastes a little bit like cherry, and a little bit like cola, but not really like either. The best way to describe it would be to say it is something like a fizzy watered down cherry cola. Adding ice doesn't really change this flavor other than to water it down just a little bit more. Adding ice cream mostly eliminates the cola flavor and leaves behind only the cherry overtones to mix with the vanilla. The overall result is something of a weak cherry vanilla float that is okay, but not particularly impressive.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review - Cool Mountain Razzberry Soda

Bottler: Cool Mountain Beverages

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Cool Mountain Razzberry allegedly tastes like raspberries. And to a certain extent, it does, a little. In the same way that a blue Misty Slush at Dairy Queen tastes like raspberry. Which is to say it kind of reminds you of a raspberry that was filtered through an entire food processing plant. Mostly what it tastes like is blue soda. This doesn't mean that Cool Mountain Razzberry isn't good: I am a big fan of the processed raspberry flavor that it contains. Ice doesn't change the flavor in any appreciable manner. As with many fruit flavored sodas, the fruit flavor is somewhat overwhelmed when ice cream is added, resulting in an ice cream float that tastes like vanilla with a very faith hint of raspberry flavor in the background. The end result is pretty good, but not particularly memorable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review - High Mountain Huckleberry Soda

Bottler: Jackson Hole Soda

Calories per Ounce: 16.5

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: In a continuing effort to try sodas allegedly flavored like fruit that I have never actually tried, I set out to try the Jackson Hole Soda Company's High Mountain Huckleberry flavor. I don't know if this is what an actual huckleberry tastes like, but the soda seemed to me like a cross between a grape soda and a cherry soda, which overall made for a fairly good combination. Over ice, the soda's distinctive taste gives way to a fairly run of the mill grape-like taste. Adding ice cream to this soda works just about as well as adding ice cream to a grape soda, and results in a float that is about as good. In short, this soda by itself provides a fairly unique and interesting flavor experience, but ice or ice cream mutes the flavor and reduces it to a relatively common one.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review - Burley Birch Beer

Bottler: Orca Beverages

Calories per Ounce: 14.2

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Birch beer is somewhat similar to root beer, although usually with a stronger flavor and not as much vanilla. The "Hippo Size" Burley Birch Beer displays these characteristics quite well, with a rich, almost earthy flavor full of equal parts sweetness and spice. This soda is better without ice, as adding ice diminishes its distinctive spicy flavor and makes the birch beer just a little bit bland. The soda makes for an unexpectedly interesting ice cream float, with the ice cream mellowing out the birch beer but leaving just enough of the spicy flavor to make it satisfying.

Angela's Comments: With ice cream it's like a root beer float without the same edge that a root beer float has.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review - Dang! That's Good Root Beer

Bottler: Imperial Flavors Beverage Company

Calories per Ounce: 15

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Dang! That's Good Root Beer is, as it's name suggests, an excellent spicy and flavorful root beer. Like most root beers, this one seems to be made with a vanilla flavored base, with a collection of spices added including nutmeg and possibly anise. This gives this root beer a rich and full flavor without making it heavy. Adding ice punches up the spiciness and makes this soda's flavor even more interesting. Using this root beer in an ice cream float creates a truly excellent result as the spicy flavor of the root beer combines with the vanilla flavor of the ice cream, enhancing them both. Ultimately, this root beer is one of the best root beers I have tried.