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Pop/Soda tasting notes [tons o' pics]

Pop/Soda tasting notes [tons o' pics]
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  • Pop/Soda tasting notes [tons o' pics]

    Post #1 - February 8th, 2009, 4:28 pm
    Post #1 - February 8th, 2009, 4:28 pm Post #1 - February 8th, 2009, 4:28 pm
    To be updated continuously.. feel free to add your own. Any carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverage is fine, from Orangina to Mexican Coke.
    --


    Peach Nehi: Tastes nothing like peaches, and what flavor it does have is very harsh. It sort of burns the back of my throat. D+.

    Doctor Dublin: A knockoff of Dr. Pepper, as you can probably guess from the name. Made with cane sugar. It doesn't seem nearly as complex as the real thing, and it's refreshing, but I'd rather have the real thing made with corn syrup than this version with cane sugar... C.

    Little Chute Grapefruit: Delicious... cloudy and tart and genuinely citrusy, and not too sweet. I really recommend this. B+.

    Dr. Pepper, 12oz glass bottle, West Jefferson NC bottler: Cane sugar. I believe this is the bottler who also puts out the Peach Nehi I mentioned above. It is, as far as I can tell, the same as Dublin/Temple Dr. Pepper, except cheaper. A.
    Last edited by gleam on February 20th, 2009, 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #2 - February 8th, 2009, 9:21 pm
    Post #2 - February 8th, 2009, 9:21 pm Post #2 - February 8th, 2009, 9:21 pm
    Ed, do you know of a source for the NC Dr. Pepper outside of its bottling vicinity or were you in the area? Thanks!
  • Post #3 - February 8th, 2009, 10:47 pm
    Post #3 - February 8th, 2009, 10:47 pm Post #3 - February 8th, 2009, 10:47 pm
    Holly of Uptown wrote:Ed, do you know of a source for the NC Dr. Pepper outside of its bottling vicinity or were you in the area? Thanks!


    Hey, Holly. I bought all of the above at America's Market in Wheeling. They've added a third bookcase full of soda, and their collection is truly impressive right now. Everything is sold by the bottle, and I think the NC Dr. Pepper was $1.50. They also have Dublin Dr. Pepper in 8oz bottles, and corn syrup Dr. Pepper in glass with a plastic screw-top. I try to only get sodas I've never had before, but my wife doesn't share that restriction, so we've gotten the various sugar Dr. Peppers a few times.

    Here's the haul from the latest trip (click for the very big full size pic). Reports to come as I drink 'em.

    Image
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #4 - February 9th, 2009, 3:12 pm
    Post #4 - February 9th, 2009, 3:12 pm Post #4 - February 9th, 2009, 3:12 pm
    Wow--Time for a trip to Wheeling! Thanks!
  • Post #5 - February 9th, 2009, 3:28 pm
    Post #5 - February 9th, 2009, 3:28 pm Post #5 - February 9th, 2009, 3:28 pm
    yeah, no doubt! i'm not even that far from wheeling.

    great topic! i'll be reading.
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  • Post #6 - February 9th, 2009, 5:26 pm
    Post #6 - February 9th, 2009, 5:26 pm Post #6 - February 9th, 2009, 5:26 pm
    Take a peek at these too, mostly found at America's Market. Now I wish I would've gotten a Dr. Pepper too when I was there last!

    gleam wrote:They've added a third bookcase full of soda


    They're up to 210 different kinds. I will try them all come hell or high water. (Preferably neither).
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #7 - February 9th, 2009, 6:13 pm
    Post #7 - February 9th, 2009, 6:13 pm Post #7 - February 9th, 2009, 6:13 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:Take a peek at these too, mostly found at America's Market. Now I wish I would've gotten a Dr. Pepper too when I was there last!

    gleam wrote:They've added a third bookcase full of soda


    They're up to 210 different kinds. I will try them all come hell or high water. (Preferably neither).


    Pie Lady, I forgot all about that thread.

    Mods, I'm more than happy to have this thread merged with that one, since the concept and execution are basically identical.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #8 - February 9th, 2009, 8:07 pm
    Post #8 - February 9th, 2009, 8:07 pm Post #8 - February 9th, 2009, 8:07 pm
    ImageImage

    "Sparkling" Life soda: It bills itself as America's Thirst Choice, and I can see how on a summer day it might be refreshing, but it mostly tastes like a less sweet, less acidic, less carbonated 7up. I'm not sure if it's the glucose that gives it a strange taste, but something sure does. I can't see myself bothering with this one again. C+.
    Last edited by gleam on February 10th, 2009, 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #9 - February 9th, 2009, 11:19 pm
    Post #9 - February 9th, 2009, 11:19 pm Post #9 - February 9th, 2009, 11:19 pm
    Cool cap though. Didn't happen to save it, did ya? :wink:
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #10 - February 9th, 2009, 11:40 pm
    Post #10 - February 9th, 2009, 11:40 pm Post #10 - February 9th, 2009, 11:40 pm
    gleam wrote:Little Chute Grapefruit: Delicious... cloudy and tart and genuinely citrusy, and not too sweet. I really recommend this. B+.


    I don't know if you ever saw this: the original Fresca not only had the grapefruity taste, it also had bits of pulp in it. Since it got clear and no more pulp, my interest has fallen. I am very curious to Little Chute, because grapefruit sodas are really a fringe taste.

    Thanks for the report!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #11 - February 9th, 2009, 11:42 pm
    Post #11 - February 9th, 2009, 11:42 pm Post #11 - February 9th, 2009, 11:42 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:Cool cap though. Didn't happen to save it, did ya? :wink:


    I think it's already buried in the massive pile of crap on the dining room table.. so I'll know whether I saved it or not in a few years :)
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #12 - February 10th, 2009, 7:32 am
    Post #12 - February 10th, 2009, 7:32 am Post #12 - February 10th, 2009, 7:32 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    gleam wrote:Little Chute Grapefruit: Delicious... cloudy and tart and genuinely citrusy, and not too sweet. I really recommend this. B+.


    I don't know if you ever saw this: the original Fresca not only had the grapefruity taste, it also had bits of pulp in it. Since it got clear and no more pulp, my interest has fallen. I am very curious to Little Chute, because grapefruit sodas are really a fringe taste.

    Thanks for the report!

    Regards,


    You may want to try Ski, which is a lemony soda with pulp in it. Very tasty and refreshing.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #13 - February 11th, 2009, 12:54 am
    Post #13 - February 11th, 2009, 12:54 am Post #13 - February 11th, 2009, 12:54 am
    Image

    Celo, Blue Raspberry, 7oz. This tastes like blue raspberry cotton candy, liquefied. I wouldn't be surprised if the ingredients were the same as blue raspberry cotton candy, either, with the sugar and the odd sweet-sour flavor and the neon blue food coloring. The aroma is better than the actual drink, and I'm glad it's not any bigger than 7oz, but I'd be willing to drink it again. I can't guarantee that this was produced by Celo (vs. someone just reusing their bottles after Celo shut down). C+.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #14 - February 11th, 2009, 7:16 pm
    Post #14 - February 11th, 2009, 7:16 pm Post #14 - February 11th, 2009, 7:16 pm
    ImageImage

    Pennsylvania Punch - This is, supposedly, the same recipe as Delaware Punch. For all of its downsides -- the lack of carbonation and the hybrid cough syrup-freezepop flavor chief among them -- it's actually kind of tasty. I drank it a whole lot faster than I realized, and I wouldn't turn down another bottle if it was in front of me. B.

    Faygo Original Rock & Rye - I actually grew up with this much more than I did Red Pop (although neither were as much a fixture as Vernor's). Maybe it was more popular in the upper peninsula, or maybe it was more popular with my detroit-raised father. It's a cherry cream soda, and it's not very good, but it reminds me quite a lot of my childhood. I gets a B for sentimentality but a C- for flavor.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #15 - February 11th, 2009, 8:01 pm
    Post #15 - February 11th, 2009, 8:01 pm Post #15 - February 11th, 2009, 8:01 pm
    Who names these things? I, for one, will never drink anything with the name "Little Chute" in it and Faygo sounds shockingly close to the Yiddish name for one that follows and alternative lifestyle...
  • Post #16 - February 11th, 2009, 8:09 pm
    Post #16 - February 11th, 2009, 8:09 pm Post #16 - February 11th, 2009, 8:09 pm
    Well, Little Chute was originally (and maybe still is?) produced in Little Chute, Wisconsin, and Faygo was founded by the Feigenson brothers :)

    The real question is, who comes up with the names like "Rat Bastard Root Beer", "Bawls", or "Fukola Cola". And you can't forget the absolute worst: Love Potion #69, Nine Inches of Stimulation.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #17 - February 12th, 2009, 9:59 am
    Post #17 - February 12th, 2009, 9:59 am Post #17 - February 12th, 2009, 9:59 am
    I think my taste buds are more capricious in their reaction to soda pop than to most other foods or drinks, for some reason. I.e., Pepsi might taste overly sweet to me on one day, and perfectly tangy on another. A Diet Coke may have bothersome "aftertaste" on one day, and be crisply refreshing on another. A microbrew root beer could taste richly rooty and earthy one time, and like nothing much of anything on another. It could be in all cases of my subjective taste difference that one soda is differently intrinsically than its identically-named brother, and I'm not ruling that out, but my gut tells me the difference is outside factors--what else I've eaten that day, how thirsty I am, what the barometric pressure is, whether the sun is shining, what my level of serotonin is, etc.

    Now that I think about it, though, the taste difference may be more noticeable because of the apparent experimental "control" of two identical sources. If a hamburger one place tastes different than another, that is easy to explain--it is a different hamburger. You don't expect the two to taste identical even though they are both named "hamburger." And you don't compare the two--you take each one for what it is. And you don't think about "how much of the difference is this hamburger, and how much is me?" There is no control in that experiment, so there is no experiment. But with two different bottles both named "Pepsi" on two different days, both consumed in Chicago and presumably from the same bottling plant, you do (rightly or wrongly) expect them to taste the same, and when they don't, your attention is drawn to the difference.
  • Post #18 - February 12th, 2009, 10:16 am
    Post #18 - February 12th, 2009, 10:16 am Post #18 - February 12th, 2009, 10:16 am
    Well, colas and root beers tend to have a pretty large number of flavorings added to them. If the chemistry of your mouth changes throughout the day, throughout the week (more acidic, less acidic, higher concentrations of zinc, whatever) it might make different flavors come through each time. You might be able to look past the HFCS on that bottle of Pepsi one day and taste the nutmeg or lime or cinnamon, and the next day get bombarded with sweetness all over again.

    Same goes for any food or drink, of course, but most recipes involve fewer flavors, and the flavors are stronger and less blended. You can always pick up a caper in a dish and taste caper, but you can't get just the coriander extract from a bottle of cola.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #19 - February 12th, 2009, 10:46 am
    Post #19 - February 12th, 2009, 10:46 am Post #19 - February 12th, 2009, 10:46 am
    Reed's Spiced Apple Brew-Had a bottle last weekend and it was akin to drinking a well seasoned bottle of liquid apple pie; nicely balanced flavors with the traditional pie spices of cinnamon, clove and allspice. Overall delicious and not too cloyingly sweet.
  • Post #20 - February 12th, 2009, 10:53 am
    Post #20 - February 12th, 2009, 10:53 am Post #20 - February 12th, 2009, 10:53 am
    This has come up elsewhere but if you want to try a bunch of oddball small soda brands, it's worth swinging by Woodman's. The kids are awfully fond of Blumer's Blueberry Cream, which I first wrote about here.
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  • Post #21 - February 12th, 2009, 10:54 am
    Post #21 - February 12th, 2009, 10:54 am Post #21 - February 12th, 2009, 10:54 am
    electric mullet wrote:Reed's Spiced Apple Brew-Had a bottle last weekend and it was akin to drinking a well seasoned bottle of liquid apple pie; nicely balanced flavors with the traditional pie spices of cinnamon, clove and allspice. Overall delicious and not too cloyingly sweet.


    I'm a very big fan of the Reed's apple, too. You might also enjoy the ginger raspberry, if you can find it (I rarely see it anywhere but whole foods).
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #22 - February 12th, 2009, 10:54 am
    Post #22 - February 12th, 2009, 10:54 am Post #22 - February 12th, 2009, 10:54 am
    gleam wrote:Well, colas and root beers tend to have a pretty large number of flavorings added to them. If the chemistry of your mouth changes throughout the day, throughout the week (more acidic, less acidic, higher concentrations of zinc, whatever) it might make different flavors come through each time. You might be able to look past the HFCS on that bottle of Pepsi one day and taste the nutmeg or lime or cinnamon, and the next day get bombarded with sweetness all over again.

    Same goes for any food or drink, of course, but most recipes involve fewer flavors, and the flavors are stronger and less blended. You can always pick up a caper in a dish and taste caper, but you can't get just the coriander extract from a bottle of cola.

    Good explanation, Ed. That makes sense.
  • Post #23 - February 12th, 2009, 1:12 pm
    Post #23 - February 12th, 2009, 1:12 pm Post #23 - February 12th, 2009, 1:12 pm
    #1 on the list of sodas I will not be reviewing: India to launch cow urine as soft drink
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #24 - February 12th, 2009, 1:24 pm
    Post #24 - February 12th, 2009, 1:24 pm Post #24 - February 12th, 2009, 1:24 pm
    Oh, I'm sure it's fine. Gotta be better than Baron's.

    What I want to know is, how do you disinfect anything with cow dung?
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #25 - February 12th, 2009, 11:18 pm
    Post #25 - February 12th, 2009, 11:18 pm Post #25 - February 12th, 2009, 11:18 pm
    Image

    AJ Stephans Wild Strawberry: Certainly the best strawberry soda I've had. I'm not usually a fan of strawberry, but this one is really quite good. Not to sweet, no burn in my throat, a reasonably realistic flavor. I haven't yet been disappointed by an AJ Stephans soda. B+.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #26 - February 13th, 2009, 7:59 am
    Post #26 - February 13th, 2009, 7:59 am Post #26 - February 13th, 2009, 7:59 am
    Where are you finding your sodies?
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #27 - February 13th, 2009, 8:07 am
    Post #27 - February 13th, 2009, 8:07 am Post #27 - February 13th, 2009, 8:07 am
    Pie Lady wrote:Where are you finding your sodies?

    Third post in the thread
    gleam wrote:Hey, Holly. I bought all of the above at America's Market in Wheeling. They've added a third bookcase full of soda, and their collection is truly impressive right now.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

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  • Post #28 - February 13th, 2009, 11:45 am
    Post #28 - February 13th, 2009, 11:45 am Post #28 - February 13th, 2009, 11:45 am
    gleam wrote:Faygo Original Rock & Rye


    Eleven City Diner has a case of Faygo soda when you walk in. I haven't tried any but someone I was with liked the grape a lot. They had many different flavors.
  • Post #29 - February 20th, 2009, 12:42 am
    Post #29 - February 20th, 2009, 12:42 am Post #29 - February 20th, 2009, 12:42 am
    I had a chance to sample a ton of stuff over the past week, much of it (everything below, except the first three) purchased at Central Market in Austin. Unfortunately, my memory is a little foggy so I won't be able to give very detailed reviews.

    Image

    AJ Stephans Birch Beer: Fantastic stuff. I generally prefer birch beer to root beer (and I'm a huge root beer lover), and this is one of the best. A.

    Image

    Walt's Cherry: This tasted like cherry cough syrup. I have no desire to try it again, but it was a beautiful bottle. Too bad the flavor didn't live up -- too sweet, too lightly carbonated, too fake. D.

    Image

    Coca Cola (Holland): Honestly, I need to do a 4 or 5 way taste test between this, mexican, canadian, passover american, and regular american. It's clearly made with real sugar, but I couldn't tell you if the formula is genuinely different from what North America gets. A- (even the best Coca Cola isn't perfect..)

    Image

    Reed's Cherry Ginger Brew: The one loser of the Reed's sodas. Too much cherry for too little ginger, and I'm just not convinced cherry and ginger go that well together. I don't know, I just didn't love it. C.

    Image

    Guarana Antarctica: I can remember virtually nothing of this soda, which must mean it didn't offend me and didn't excite me, especially since it's only been two days since I had it. Let's give it a C also.

    Image

    Frostie Kranberry Kringle: One of the most vile sodas I've ever had. Harsh cranberry and fake fake citrus, and unbelievably sweet. I took about 3 sips and dumped the rest. Ugh. F.

    Image

    Cock 'n Bull Ginger Beer: My memory of this one is that it had a very very very strong ginger burn. I like my ginger beers hot, but this one was nearly unbearable. The flavor was great, though, and it would clearly make a great mixer, or on ice. Straight from the bottle, it's a little much for me. B.

    Image

    D&G Ginger Beer: The flavor of Cock 'n Bull without the harsh burn. I could drink this every day, although I think it's still not quite as good as Bundaberg. A-.

    Image

    Maine Root Ginger Brew: The burn of Cock 'n Bull without the flavor. Well, not quite, but pretty non-descript. C.

    Image

    Maine Root Blueberry: Most of these Maine Root sodas were a letdown. They were beautifully cloudy, sugar-sweetened, nicely designed, but the flavors just weren't there. This paled in comparison to Izze Blueberry, its only real competition. It's just an average soda. C.

    Image

    Maine Root Mandarin: The best of the Maine Roots, it wasn't too sweet and had a great genuine orange flavor. Again, it wasn't quite as good as Izze Clementine. I think if they boost the amount of orange extract/juice it could be the best orange soda with a water base (Izze is all fruit juice based) on the market. B+.

    Image

    Maine Root Lemon Lime: Meh. C.

    Image

    Ting: Fantastic genuine grapefruit flavor, cloudy, not too sweet, bright and fresh. Truly refreshing. A-

    Image
    Image

    "Dublin" Dr. Pepper: Dublin is in quotes because 99.9% of Dublin Dr. Pepper you see is bottled/canned at the Temple plant, not the Dublin plant, as you can see above. Apparently the only Dr. Pepper that's actually produced in Dublin is sold in 10 oz. returnable bottles. Temple takes Dublin syrup, adds carbonated water, and ships the cans and bottles back to Dublin. I don't know if I'll ever have the real thing, but this is damned good, just like the West Jefferson NC stuff was. A.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #30 - February 20th, 2009, 1:20 pm
    Post #30 - February 20th, 2009, 1:20 pm Post #30 - February 20th, 2009, 1:20 pm
    Good posts! Thanks! Now I know what else to look out for. My two AJ's caps were different, though, one plain gold and the other black and silver with a rocket ship.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database

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