Soda Pop (1452 reviews)

Summit Craft Wild Cola

Summit Craft Wild Cola

There is only one thing wild about this cola and that is the sweet pup that adorns its label. That little dude looks like he takes no guff. Unfortunately we, as drinkers, have to take some guff when we are consuming this soda. As my ladyfriend pointed out, “It tastes like someone was making a cola, got distracted and then forgot to finish it.” Yet somehow this unfinished soda made it to market. This tastes lower than store brand. That’s right I would choose a corn syrup laden generic can of soda over this glass bottled “craft” soda any day. This is weak and it only hints at cola without ever actually fully tasting like one.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 2nd, 2018
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Summit Craft Root Beer

Summit Craft Root Beer

Summit is an Aldi instore brand, and my has Aldi come a long way since their discount beginnings. When Mike and I moved into our first apartment together we shopped way too much at Aldi, because it was all we could afford. The food was mostly trash, but we survived and hey they had cheap produce. In recent times I believe Aldi has made it a policy that all food stuffs sold in the store must be organic. As a result the quality has skyrocketed. There are a variety of different veggie burgers, fancy juices, almond milk, and who can forget that delicious white bean basil hummus that I cannot get enough of. They have also stepped up their beverage game with some cane sugar sweetened sodas.

Now there is nothing wrong with this root beer. It is perfectly serviceable. It is also pretty mediocre. I don’t drink much soda these days, so when I do I want to make sure it’s worth the stress on my aging body. This doesn’t really pass that test. When I was younger I would have ate this up, because the quality to price ratio is just right. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t mind paying a little bit more for something that is of the highest quality. The thing that is great about this though is that hilarious dog on the label. I can’t tell if he’s a bi-plane pilot or a biker dog. Either way I would totally give him some treats and belly rubs.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 23rd, 2018
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Coca-Cola California Raspberry

Coca-Cola California Raspberry

Look what finally showed up in Western New York. I know these have been out for a while now, and I have been keeping my eyes open, but it took months to make it to my market. Was it worth the wait? Hmmmm…I guess so. It’s pretty damn tasty. If you know me and my beverage drinking habits, then you probably know that I have a real soft spot for Cherry Coke. When I’m completely exhausted and thirsty as all hell, there is just something about an ice cold can of Cherry Coke that satisfies me like no other beverage can. Welp, that sound mega ultra creepy. I assure you all of the pleasure culminates in my taste buds. This is very similar to that, with just a little more in the flavor. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse. I think I may prefer the old standby because I associate so many life events with it. This is new and it’s going to take some building. It certainly has a raspberry flavor to it, but it is a bit syrupy. A few friends said it tasted like cough syrup. I don’t agree with them at all. This is coke with raspberry in it. It’s exactly what you would expect and that is nothing to slouch at.

Website
http://www.coca-cola.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 4th, 2018
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McCol Spark Up!

McCol Spark Up!

This is simply not my speed. I originally wanted to say that it is simply not good, but there has to be someone out there who likes this weirdness and he tastes are subjective. I really want to like this, it’s an odd twist on orange soda, in that it tastes malted and like someone dissolved a handful of all natural vitamins in it. It has a harshness to it that I really like and while it’s in your mouth it tastes great, but as soon as you swallow and breathe it gets a bit gross. I feel like this is what orange beer would taste like if you removed all the alcohol. I do have a feeling that if there was a case of this just sitting around, I would keep drinking it because it was there and eventually grow to truly enjoy it. All hail the learning curve.
Ps. I just looked on line, since I can’t read the can and it’s a barley soda, so that’s the flavor and not malt, apologies.

Country
Korea
Sweetener
???
Categories
Other/Weird, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 25th, 2018
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UCC Melon Creamy Soda

UCC Melon Creamy Soda

I came across this while looking for drinks to gift to Engineer Jay Zubricky at GCR audio while my band was working on our new record. I saw it and though, “Awesome, a green melon cream soda. Jay loves honeydew and while I’m sure it will be super sweet, it will probably also be tasty.” Little did I know at the time instead of it being a typical vanilla cream soda, it was actually a “creamy soda” meaning that it is soda with milk in it. Now that is strange. It certainly tastes like a regular, cheap, cream soda that has some melon flavoring added to it, but the milk adds another dimension to it, that I can’t 100% get behind. It leaves a weird taste in my mouth and it also changes the viscosity of the beverage and makes it a little thicker than I was expecting. I was able to drink a few sips. Jay drank more than I did and seemed to enjoy it more as well. I guess all drinks are not for everyone.

Website
http://www.ucc.co.jp/eng/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Milk, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 20th, 2018
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Belvoir Fruit Farms Cucumber & Mint Lemonade

Belvoir Fruit Farms Cucumber & Mint Lemonade

Let’s get things sorted, shall we. First off, this is a company with a French name, which means “beautiful.” Secondly, it is not a French company, and they actually reside in the United Kingdom. Finally, this is a flavor that leads my mind to not drift to neither France, nor the UK, but instead to the American South. This is something I could imagine being sipped on the porch of a fancy plantation in a time when racism ran rampant. Wait, am I talking about the 1800s, or 2018? Garbage humans aside, this is one hell of a beverage. It’s as refreshing as anything on an oppressively hot summer day.
Something about the cucumber and mint gives it an almost pickle smell, but trust me that is nowhere to be found in the taste (as pointed out by recording engineer Jay Zubricky). This is pure luxury in a sipable format. It is mostly cucumber and mint, in a good way that does not resemble chewing gum one bit. I had thought that just being at that point would be wonderful, and the added lemon seemed like overkill, but I was wrong, it adds something wonderful to the mix. It hides around the edges and gives it the little bump it needed to become an ultimate summer beverage.

Website
http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Beet Sugar
Categories
Lemonade, Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 18th, 2018
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Coca-Cola Fiesty Cherry Diet

Coca-Cola Fiesty Cherry Diet

I'm a sucker for spice. Blame it on my Western New York upbringing. I've lost that part of me where I masochistically eat things that will burn my face off in exchange for flavor enhancement. Sue me. This tastes like a diet cherry Coke with (somehow) less "diet" taste and rewards you with a little bit of burn. I could be wrong but I burped while drinking this and it had a pretty distinct ginger beer burp flavor. I liked it. I drank the whole can. I rarely drink cola let alone diet cola but this is actually something I would revisit. I was told again and again to drink it cold. One would think that something was going to come out of the can, like a heat activated cola demon, if I let it get lukewarm. Little does he know that we Thirsty Dudes drinking warm pop all the time. There's not enough room in fridges nationwide to house the amount of drinks that we've had at one time in our heyday. Now, unfortunately, sadly, apathetically, Jay and I could probably contain our back stock in a college dorm room fridge and still have room for a cool, crisp can of Milwaukee's Best that we would never drink but you know goddamn well that Chad would drink it in a heartbeat. Chad. You're the worst. Don't even get me started on Chad. Chad sucks. We'll leave it at that.

Website
http://www.coca-cola.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 11th, 2018
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Lifeway Elixir Hibiscus

Lifeway Elixir Hibiscus

I learned today that hibiscus is often used in rituals to protect against evil, invoke divination, and clairvoyance. You would think with the amount of hibiscus I consume and the fact that several people have told me that my house looks like it should be somewhere a fortune teller runs their business, that I would be in the know of that information. Well, I suppose I am now and that makes me love it even more.

This is the most “pink” tasting beverage that I’ve ever tried. You know there are flavors that you associate with blue, orange, and purple that aren’t necessarily the flavor of the fruit they pretend to be and instead have just become the flavor of the color? Well this should be the taste associated with pink, and for an added bonus it isn’t even overly sweet. It’s sweetened, but not in a mouth rot kind of way. This is not a spiced hibiscus, so if you were hoping for that you will be disappointed, but then excited once you realize that it may not be what you had wanted, but it’s pretty great in its own way. It is simultaneously both vaguely floral and vaguely fruity.

My only complaint is that it is the lightest carbonation I have ever had in a beverage. My ladyfriend says she loves it that way because more bubbles would detract from the flavor. To me it feels like it’s about to go flat. That didn’t stop me from getting a great deal of enjoyment from it though.

Website
http://lifewaykefir.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 4th, 2018
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Monster Mutant White Lightning

Monster Mutant White Lightning

Monster apparently decided to dip its toe into the world of caffeinated sodas and I’m pretty sure we all missed it. The only time I have ever come across this in the wild has been in discount or discontinued sections. My reasoning for this is that Monster themselves helped to make such products obsolete. Energy drinks are so common place now that I can’t even tell you the last time I heard someone say that they were getting sleepy so they needed some caffeine and then have them grab a Mountain Dew. To be fair it seems like that particular company is doing just fine, but I believe that is because they are an institution and there is an extreme culture based around it. Even they have branched out into actual energy drinks though with Amp. I’m sure there are kids out there who I really hope aren’t drinking energy drinks, which would down bottle after bottle of this on sleepovers or video game binges. The sad thing is that it’s no longer out of the ordinary to see young teens downing cans of Monster, and yes, it always seems to be Monster with children.

As for the flavor is this, White Lightning is apparently code for really diet tasting. It reminds me of a diet version of Frosh by Faygo. I haven’t had that in probably 30 years so I could be way off, but that’s what my brain is putting together. It’s kind of citrus, but really just diet.

I just looked up the Mutant website and did a product search and apparently every 711 everywhere carries these, so perhaps I was wrong and it was financially sound for them to put out this product. Fans of mini marts everywhere just may be celebrating this as they sit on the curb with their nachos and chili dogs. I may in fact be that out of touch and perhaps we should just hang out Thirsty Dudes.

Website
http://www.monsterenergy.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink, Soda Pop
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 17th, 2018
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Amp Organic Energy Drink Grape

Amp Organic Energy Drink Grape

Let’s begin by looking past the fact that this is an energy drink and all that entails and the flavors that brings to your mind. Instead, let us concentrate on the fact that this is an organic beverage, an organic grape beverage at that, yet nowhere on the shockingly short ingredients list (five items) is grape juice, or anything grape listed. The flavor falls under the category “natural flavor.” I’m guessing that natural flavor is in fact grape juice as it tastes more like sparkling juice than grape soda, but that leaves me concerned about what other things can fall under that header and make it to market. “Natural” can entail a wide variety of things. I’m not saying there is anything nefarious going on here, but it makes me uneasy what companies can feed us without us knowing.

Anyway, as I said it tastes more like sparkling grape juice than soda and tastes nothing like a typical energy drink. It’s just sparking juice, with unnecessary sugar added and caffeine thrown into the mix. It’s not going to make you crazy, but it will give you a little boost and a whole lot of sugar (44g).

Website
http://www.ampenergy.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 30th, 2018
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