Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review - Big Red

Bottler: Big Red, Inc.

Calories per Ounce: 12.5

Caffeine: Yes

Aaron's Comments: Like all red cream sodas, Big Red tastes a little bit like bubble gum with a hint of vanilla. I have been reliably informed that it is the state drink of Indiana, but for the life of me I can't figure out why. As red cream sodas go, it has a thin, almost tinny taste that highlights the bubble gum aspect and downplays the vanilla. Over ice, the sodas high carbonation content is apparent, and the bubble gum flavor still takes the front seat. Adding ice cream improves the soda considerably, muting the bubble gum flavor and pushing the vanilla to the forefront. It doesn't make for a really good ice cream float, but it is certainly better than the soda is on its own. As one might guess, I didn't particularly like Big Red. In fact, I was so unimpressed with this soda that didn't even finish the bottle.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review - Lorina Sparkling Coconut-Lime

Bottler: Ets Geyer Freres

Calories per Ounce: 11.25

Caffeine: I don't think so

Aaron's Comments: When it is drunk out of the bottle Lorina Sparkling Coconut-Lime has an extremely prominent coconut flavor - so prominent that opening the bottle immediately produces a strong and pleasant coconutty scent. The soda itself tastes mostly of coconut, but has an undercurrent of lime that is quite nice. Like many other European sodas, Lorina Sparkling Coconut-Lime is heavy on the carbonation, tasting more or less like club soda with flavoring added, with a light, crisp taste. Adding ice brings the lime flavor more to the forefront, resulting in a nice blend of the two flavors. Ice cream seems to mellow both of the flavors of the soda to such an extent that they are barely noticeable in an ice cream float, which was something of a disappointment.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review - Blue Plate Special Peach Cobbler Soda

Bottler: Orca Beverage

Calories per Ounce: 13.75

Caffeine: I don't think so

Aaron's Comments: The idea of sodas that taste like baked goods is kind of an unusual one, but in the case of Blue Plate Special Peach Cobbler Soda, it works reasonably well. The soda has a very nice peach taste, but I am at a loss as to what makes it "cobbler" as well. With ice it retains its pleasant peachy taste, although what makes it a "cobbler" is still undetermined. Adding ice cream, as one would expect, results in a delicious combination that tastes almost perfect. As with the Blue Plate Special Red Velvet Cake Soda, the Peach Cobbler Soda really shines when it is used as an ice cream float.

Angela's Comments: We need to find out where we can get these Blue Plate Special sodas. They are really good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review - Cool Mountain Strawberry Soda

Bottler: Cool Mountain Beverages

Calories per Ounce: 11.7

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: I am a fan of strawberry flavored sodas, so I approached Cool Mountain Strawberry soda with some anticipation. And it does taste like strawberry. A little bit. Like the other Cool Mountain flavors I have tried, this soda has a fairly muted taste, this time tasting like strawberries, but somehow diluted. As with many mild flavored sodas, adding ice mutes the flavor considerably, leaving just a trace of strawberry flavor among the sweetness. Adding ice cream yields a very mildly strawberry flavored result, with the vanilla flavor taking the most prominent position in the combination. Overall, this soda was mildly disappointing, but if it were the only strawberry option on the table, it would be at least an adequate choice.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review - Red Rock Golden Ginger Ale

Bottler: Sensient Technologies

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Red Rock Golden Ginger Ale is a very strong ginger ale, with a substantial ginger-based "bite". For anyone used to the milder mainstream brands of ginger ale, the powerful ginger flavoring in this soda will probably come as something of a surprise. The ginger flavor is so strong that when it is put into a glass with ice, one can feel the sting when one inhales the carbonation. For those who are not in favor of heavy ginger, this could be quite off-putting, and even for me it was a little bit too much.Adding ice cream actually seems to emphasize the up-front spiciness of the soda, resulting in a float that combines the smooth creaminess of the ice cream with the sharp spicy bite of the ginger ale. Overall, I would give this soda a cautious nod. This soda is very spicy, so someone who liked spicy foods would probably find this appealing. On the other hand, someone who was not ready for a punch of ginger in the mouth with every sip would probably find this soda distasteful.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review - Bubble Up

Bottler: Dad's Root Beer Company

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Bubble Up is a lemon-lime flavored soda, in the same general vein as Sprite or Seven-Up. It bears some resemblance to those more popular sodas, but it has a more pronounced lemon-lime taste, and a slightly heavier feel. Over ice, it lightens considerably and achieves a crisp freshness that is quite pleasant.When ice cream is added, it lives up to its name, foaming quite a bit more than most other sodas. Once the bubble receded, what is left is a very lemony-vanilla float that is pretty good. Bubble Up isn't substantially better than competitors like Sprite or Sierra Mist, and certainly not enough of a flavor improvement that I would recommend going out and hunting for it in lieu of such options, but if it is an available option, I would probably choose it over the others.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review - Cranberry Sprite

Bottler: Coca-Cola Company.

Calories per Ounce: 12

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Some time around September, it seems that every soft drink manufacturer who makes some sort of lemon-lime or ginger ale type soda puts out a cranberry flavored version of their drink. The Coca-Cola Company's entry into this field is Cranberry Sprite, which doesn't really work as well as one might think. Sprite itself has a pretty dominant lemon-lime flavor, and to make the added cranberry noticeable the manufacturer had to really make it overpowering. The result is a drink that is very lemon, very lime, and very cranberry all at the same time, which is a melange of flavor that is just barely tolerable. Ice seems to mute the cranberry flavor, leaving behind something that mostly just tastes like regular Sprite, which is something of a disappointment. Adding ice cream simply overpowers the cranberry flavor, leaving behind nothing but a regular Sprite and vanilla flavored ice cream float. This isn't bad, as a Sprite and vanilla flavored ice cream float is still pretty tasty, but given that this is supposed to be Cranberry Sprite, it is pretty disappointing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review - Reed's All Natural Sparkling Spiced Apple Cider

Bottler: Reed's, Inc.

Calories per Ounce: 13.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Reed's Spiced Apple Cider states that it is 50% juice on the label, and that claim is backed up by the flavor: A combination of apple, cinnamon, and ginger that makes one immediately think of autumn, sort of like an apple pie in a bottle. Even over ice this tasty fall-flavored concoction comes on deliciously strong. I may, in fact, insist on this being the only beverage I drink at future Thanksgiving dinners. So, the question is, how does this combine with ice cream? Well, if you've ever had apple pie with ice cream, then you can imagine the taste. That is to say, this makes for a really quite excellent ice cream soda. If you are in the mood for a soda that tastes like a crisp autumn day, then this is the soda for you.