Sunday, October 16, 2011

IBC Black Cherry

     I realize it has been an extremely long time since my last Soda Review, about a month and a half to be precise, and there really is no excuse for that. I have plenty of reviewable soda at my house, even though they are drinks you have already had the pleasure of trying. But before we get into the latest review, let's discuss some site news. Blogger recently announced a new design to Blogs, all of which look absolutely dreadful on Soda Reviews. Also, I realize that having a section of the review devoted to the history of the product can be a bit boring, but bare with me, because chances are that section isn't going to be removed. And speaking of that section, and the rest of this review, let's just head right into it.

     This review will be on IBC Black Cherry. IBC, or Independent Breweries Company, is best known for their root beer, but they also have a cream soda and a black cherry soda. IBC was founded in 1919 by the Griesedieck family as a legal beverage during prohibition. IBC has gone through numerous ownerships, but is currently owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

     You may not have known this, but all of my reviews are done live, meaning I am drinking it as I review it. So, I just unscrewed the cap of IBC Black Cherry, let's see how it tastes. First of all, it does have a noticeable black cherry scent, and so far it looks pretty promising. Taking a sip I get a nice hit of carbonation with a smooth and sweet black cherry flavor. The flavor is certainly delicious and very refreshing, although when it's 57 degrees Fahrenheit outside, refreshing probably isn't what you're looking for. Nevertheless, IBC has pulled off a great soda. Complaints? Hardly any, perhaps the carbonation can be a bit rough at times. But overall, IBC knows how to make a great tasting soda. I can't wait to review their famous root beer as well as their cream soda.

Verdict: 9.2 out of 10.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Henry Weinhard's Vanilla Cream

     I have had enough of these multi-billion dollar sodas that I have been reviewing. It's time for something a little bit more serious. This is the first soda I have reviewed that doesn't come in a can. From brewmaster Henry Weinhard, comes an incredible flavor experience. So put your high-fructose-laden hands together for Henry Weinhard's Vanilla Cream.

     Henry Weinhard was a German-American brewer from Oregon. He founded Henry Weinhard's in 1856, but the company was better known as a beer manufacturer. The Weinhard family also made a line of soft drinks, which survives to this day. In fact, this Vanilla Cream was seen as an alternative to alcoholic beverages during prohibition. So does Mr. Weinhard really know how to make a great vanilla cream soda? Let's find out.

     When I popped open the glass bottle and inhaled its aromas, I noticed a strong, yet incredible vanilla scent. This is a fabulously smelling soda, and I couldn't wait to see what it tastes like. When I did take a sip, I noticed that the carbonation level was rather low, despite having a persistent creamy head. I know I'm supposed to pour this in a frosty mug to examine the head and get all the flavors out, but here on Soda Reviews I drink things straight from the bottle. Anyway, the flavor is very scrumptious and creamy indeed. There aren't many flavor nuances going on (good, makes it less complicated), just a smooth, rich, creamy vanilla flavor. Some of the drawbacks are that it uses High Fructose Corn Syrup and it has a rather low carbonation, at least when you drink it out of the bottle. In all though, I have discovered that Mr. Henry Weinhard definitely knew what he was doing.

     Verdict: 8.8 out of 10.

Dr Pepper

     Dr Pepper is certainly one of the most unique beverages on the market. It manages to be so unique, that there isn't even a period in Dr Pepper. So, who invented this strangely flavored beverage? What is the flavor? And what on Earth does it taste like? I'll try to answer all those questions. Let's start the review.

     Dr Pepper was invented in the 1880s by a man named Doctor Pepper. Just kidding, it was actually created by Charles Alderton of Waco, Texas. It was first served around 1885 and nationally marketed in 1904. W.W. Clements, a former CEO and President of Dr Pepper/7 Up, described the flavor as not an apple, not an orange, not a cola, not a root beer, not anything. Dr Pepper has a unique flavor all its own. It is the only soda I know of that has a completely unique flavor. There is even a Facebook group called What The Heck Does Dr Pepper Taste Like.

     When I cracked open the aluminum can and took a whiff, I noticed a cherry scent, almost a medicinal cherry scent. It might even be comparable to cough syrup. I have heard a few different ideas of what Dr Pepper tastes like. Most of them say it is like "liquid Marzipan" or "cherry-like." I have also heard claims of it tasting like carbonated prune juice, although prune juice is not used in Dr Pepper. I will say that I agree with the cherry claim, as it seems to have some sort of cherry flavor. The actual flavor comes from the 23 fruit flavors they put into it. Regardless of what it tastes like, I do enjoy Dr Pepper. Even the carbonation level was just how I like it. Drawbacks? Well, the cherry-ish flavor can come across as medicinal at times.

     Verdict: 8.3 out of 10.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


     Think about this for a second. When is the last time you have ever woke up and said "I need some grapefruit juice. Better yet, I want a grapefruit soda." The drink is called Squirt and the man who had that idea was Mr. Herb Bishop. Onward then, to the review of Squirt soda.

     Squirt is a citrus-flavored soda that was invented in 1938 after experimenting with a similar citrus drink, Citrus Club. Bishop declared that Squirt was the "freshest, most exciting taste in the marketplace." Rightly so, because no one had seen a grapefruit flavored soda before. Ownership of Squirt has changed several times, but its current owner is Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Squirt also has an energy drink called Squirt Citrus Power which has twice the caffeine as a Mountain Dew. The Squirt I am reviewing has no caffeine.

     Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Squirt is that it contains juice, albeit less than 1%. It even contains concentrated grapefruit juice. When I crack the can and take a sniff, I am pleasantly greeted by a refreshing grapefruit smell. The smell is fresh and potent and lively. The first sip tastes like a freshly cut grapefruit. The carbonation level is just about perfect. It's fizzy enough to tickle your esophagus, but not strong enough to make your eyes water. The only drawback is that it does tend to give you cottonmouth. But really, that's a minor drawback. This is a drink that truly stands out above the rest.

     Verdict: 8 out of 10.

     As always comments are welcome.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

7 Up Retro

      It has been an astonishingly long amount of time since I have written a post on Soda Reviews, 3 months to be exact. During that time period I updated my other blog, Addicted 2 Energy. But enough nonsense, it's time to bring Soda Reviews back. I have decided to review every single soda I can get my hands on, including the industry leaders such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. So, without further ado, let's check out the new 7up Retro.

     7up was introduced in 1929 under the name Lithiated Lemon. That's right, 7 Up originally contained Lithium. This doesn't surprise me, because it seems that a lot of sodas started out in life as medicine. 7 Up was marketed as "The Uncola" to differentiate itself from, you know, colas. The can design, although not taken into consideration because it's the liquid inside that matters, is certainly old school all the way. The only difference between Retro and Original is the sweetener. 7 Up Retro uses natural sugar, rather than High Fructose Corn Syrup. It contains no juice and is caffeine free as well. The sugar and calorie content are about average, with values of 39 and 140 respectively. Now, let's see how it tastes.

     After hearing a satisfying crack, I inhaled the drink's aromas. A delicious lemon and lime sent greeted my nostrils. When taking a sip, I immediately noticed the drink's strong carbonation and smooth flavor. Drinks without High Fructose Corn Syrup tend to be smoother and less syrupy. 7 Up Retro presents a refreshing lemon-lime flavor, and my only complaint so far is the burn of the carbonation, which masks the flavor at times.

     Verdict: 7.5 out of 10. While it is a good flavor, let's be honest here. It really is nothing too special.

     As always, comments are quite welcome and encouraged.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Canada Dry Ginger Ale With Green Tea

     If I had to rank my favorite ginger ale's, Vernors would be number 1, and Canada Dry number 2. I enjoy Vernors more because the barrel aged liquid gives it a richer, fuller taste. However, Canada Dry does out perform Vernors when it comes to flavors. Yes, flavors. Those pesky Canadians have added green tea to there delicious ale to give it a better flavor, and some health benefits (gasp!). The green tea adds an antioxidant called Epigallocatechin gallate, or better known as EGCG. EGCG is a potent antioxidant with numerous health benefits. So if there ever was a "healthy" soda, this would be it. But, how does it perform? Read on and find out.

     If your not familiar with regular ginger ale, I'm afraid there's not much I can do for you. Ginger ale is one of those sodas where the flavor is nearly impossible to describe. By adding green tea to the equation, I can tell you that the flavor is delicious ginger ale with a hint of green tea. It's actually a nice combination, but I do wish the green tea was more pronounced. It has an ample carbonation level, in case you were wondering. The addition of green tea to ginger ale won't win any awards, but I enjoyed it enough to give it a solid score.

     Verdict: 7.2 out of 10. Why? The green tea needs to be more pronounced, and the flavor didn't "wow" me. Other than that, it's a solid drink and I recommend getting some. 

     Have you tried Canada Dry Ginger Ale With Green Tea? What do you think of it? Tell me your opinion on this drink by writing a comment in the comment section below.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mountain Dew White Out Review

    I have quite the cornucopia of pet peeves. Unnecessary acronyms, though not in the top 5, are something I dislike very much. I don’t mind government acronyms such as UNSC or IGO or OPEC. I dislike the lackadaisical acronyms found in certain products like Mountain Dew. Just a few years ago, MTN Dew was called Mountain Dew. I appreciate the simplicity but come on, it’s only like 4 or 5 more letters. Enough with that rant, Mountain Dew Dewmocracy was launched roughly a year ago with the following contenders: White Out, Typhoon, and Distortion. White Out took the cake with a margin of 4 percent of the vote. So the question is, does White Out make a good addition to the line-up?

    White Out is officially classified as a citrus flavored soda. Without going into much detail, I can say that I found the flavor a little bit too sweet. I didn’t catch how much sugar this thing was packing, but I would assume a lot. The flavor is debatable, but I see it as a mixture of Sprite and Mountain Dew. Others see it as a mixture of Squirt and Mountain Dew. Which ever way you see it, the low carbonation and super sweet flavor of White Out is what keeps this drink from getting anywhere above 3 stars.

    Verdict: 7 out of 10. Why? Did you forget the last paragraph about the sweetness and the low carbonation? You might want to read that again.

    Do you enjoy the citrus flavor of Mountain Dew. Do you drink Mountain Dew for taste or for it's high caffeine content. Write a comment below expressing your opinion on this drink.
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