Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review - Blue Plate Special Blackberry Cobbler Soda

Bottler: Orca Beverage Company

Calories per Ounce: 13.8

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: The Blue Plate Special sodas all attempt to emulate a classic dessert in soda form, and the Blackberry Cobbler soda fits right into this effort. With a taste that starts with a strong blackberry flavor and ends with a hint of doughy crust. One wouldn't think that one could make a soda that tastes like biting into a forkful of blackberry pastry dessert, but somehow this soda manages to accomplish exactly that effect. Ice seems to dampen the doughy aftertaste, leaving just a strong, but quite tasty blackberry soda flavor. As one might expect, adding ice cream works about as well as adding ice cream to an actual blackberry cobbler - that is, really, really well. Actually, really, really, really well. If you like blackberry cobbler, try this soda. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review - Cranberry Sierra Mist

Bottler: PepsiCo

Calories per Ounce: 10.5

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Cranberry flavored sodas are a staple of the Christmas season, but I happened to find a bottle of Cranberry Sierra Mist still sitting on the shelf at my local supermarket and I figured that it would be a decent idea to see if it was worth drinking even without the accompanying holiday cheer. The soda tastes pretty much like it is advertised, with a lemon lime base and an overlay of cranberry flavor. This mixture works fairly well in Cranberry Sierra Mist, as the cranberry flavor is prominent enough to give the soda a fairly satisfying tartness. Ice mutes the cranberry flavor, leaving behind something that tastes a lot like ordinary Sierra Mist, which seems to me to be a step backwards. Unfortunately, ice cream almost completely washes away any of the cranberry flavor, leaving behind a fairly ordinary tasting lemon-line soda float. By itself, this is a mildly interesting variant, but when one adds almost anything to it, the variant nature is hidden, leaving just a fairly ordinary Sierra Mist behind.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review - Dominion Ginger Ale

Bottler: Old Dominion Brewing Company

Calories per Ounce: 11.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: The difference between an ordinary ginger ale and a really good ginger ale is one of the most noticeable in the soda world. Dominion Ginger Ale is a really good ginger ale balancing just the right combination of spicy ginger with the sweetness provided by the cane sugar, which is quite a feat when one considers the relatively low calorie count of this soda. With ice, the ginger flavor is still there, but the sweetness is highlighted a bit more, throwing the balance off just a bit. Combining Dominion Ginger Ale with ice cream gives a relatively subtle, but still quite enjoyable ginger flavored float. And I think that more or less sums up this ginger ale - subtle and at the same time quite tasty and enjoyable.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review - Mountain Dew Voltage

Bottler: PepsiCo

Calories per Ounce: 14.5

Caffeine: Yes

Aaron's Comments: Have you ever wondered what it would taste like if you mixed regular Mountain Dew and cherry cough syrup? Or maybe raspberry cough syrup. Well now you don't have to wonder. You can just go down to your local supermarket and buy Mountain Dew Voltage because that pretty much what this soda tastes like. It isn't exactly bad, but it does have a fairly strong medicinal quality to it. Ice mellows out the entire soda, leaving behind nothing but the sugary syrupy taste. Adding ice cream doesn't really help matters much. There are very few sodas that have absolutely no redeeming qualities when made into an ice cream float. Mountain Dew Voltage is one of the exceptions, as making it into an ice cream float results in a mixture that tastes almost exactly like I would imagine using cough syrup to make an ice cream sundae would taste. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea why anyone would buy this soda a second time. It has boatloads of caffeine, but so do lots of other sodas that don't taste like bad cough syrup.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review - Sioux City Prickly Pear Soda

Bottler: Sioux City Beverages

Calories per Ounce: 13.8

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: I have no idea what a prickly pear tastes like. This means that I have no idea if this soda actually tastes like a prickly pear. It is, however, quite sweet, which really shouldn't be a surprise given that the bottle states quite prominently that it is flavored with pure cane sugar. Underneath the sweetness is an almost bitter flavor that I suppose is what the soda makers intended to be the taste of prickly pear. Overall, the soda is an almost indescribable sweet and tart experience. Ice cuts the sweetness, but leaves the bitterness intact. Ice cream, on the other hand, almost entirely overwhelms the slight bitter taste, leaving behind something that oddly tastes akin to a blue raspberry Mister Misty.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review - O-So Butterscotch Root Beer

Bottler: Orca Beverage Company

Calories per Ounce: 14.2

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Normally I consider most root beers to have enough flavor on their own as root beer without adding something like butterscotch.  In fact, before I tried O-So Butterscotch Root Beer, I thought the idea of adding butterscotch to root beer sounded like it would be quite a bit of overkill. This soda, however, manages to add a just enough of a hint of butterscotch to the cinnamon spice of the root beer to make this unusual combination work. Adding ice subdues the root beer flavor and makes the butterscotch blossom, yielding a taste that is almost just a butterscotch soda. As one might expect, adding ice cream to butterscotch tinged root beer works quite well, resulting in a root beer float that tastes like root beer poured over a butterscotch sundae. The overall result is that if you like butterscotch, you will probably like this soda.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review - Sugar Plum Soda

Bottler: Orca Beverage Soda Works

Calories per Ounce: 13.8

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: Sugar Plum is, as the label suggests, a plum flavored sweet soda. As with most fruit flavored sodas, it doesn't taste much like the fruit that it is supposed to taste like. In the case of Sugar Plum, the soda tastes a little bit like very sweet grape soda. It does have something of a plum flavor, but that is overwhelmed by the sugary taste. Ice makes the soda taste just a little bit more like plum, mellowing the sugar taste to the background. Adding ice cream gives just about as good results as adding ice cream to grape flavored sodas does, yielding a pretty decent but mostly unmemorable float.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review - Cicero Beverage Company Candied Bacon Cream Soda

Bottler: Cicero Beverage Company

Calories per Ounce: 19.3

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: I have never had a bacon flavored soda, but I approached Cicero Beverage Company Candied Bacon Cream Soda with the theory that bacon makes everything better. The soda itself is interesting, with a definite bacon flavor, but one that is very faint and only becomes apparent as something of an aftertaste that follows on behind the strong vanilla cream flavor of the soda. Although the label says it is supposed to be candied bacon, the bacon flavor seems a little bit more like smoked bacon. Ice doesn't really change the flavor much other than to mute the cream flavor a bit, making the bacon aftertaste more pronounced, which I suppose is something of an improvement assuming you picked up the soda for bacon flavored carbonation. Adding ice cream almost entirely overwhelms the bacon flavor, resulting in what tastes mostly like a standard cream soda float. As usual with Cicero Beverage Company sodas, the light touch of the flavoring simply doesn't stand up well to the addition of any other flavors, and fades entirely into the background.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Review - Fanta Pineapple Soda

Bottler: Coca-Cola Company

Calories per Ounce: 15

Caffeine: No

Aaron's Comments: A lot of fruit flavored sodas don't really taste much like the fruit they hold themselves out to be. This is especially true of "big brand" fruit sodas like Fanta, which often taste like an extremely processed version of the fruit that is advertised on the label. And then there is Fanta Pineapple, which tastes exactly like a pineapple with carbonation added. The soda is not overly sweet, with a nice acidic flavor that gives it a strong pineapple flavored punch. Ice doesn't fundamentally change the flavor, merely slightly downplaying the sweetness and letting the acidic taste of pineapple come through just a little bit more. Some fruit sodas work very well with ice cream. Fanta Pineapple works about as well as one might expect when mixed with vanilla, with the tangy pineapple flavor offsetting the sweetness of the ice cream.