Derek Neuland

Derek Neuland - 489 Reviews

After 4 years, 6 cavities, and 2 pulled teeth, Derek has decided to hang up the bottle opener. You can keep up with his (mostly) sugar-free writing and photography at derekneuland.com.

Ramune Orange Flavor

Ramune Orange Flavor
The weird things I think about when reviewing a drink at 5:30am:

-There's probably somebody in the world who is afraid of Ramune. Whether it's the sound of the marble popping or the marble inside the bottle or the weird shaped bottle, I'm sure this is true for someone.

-I wonder if there are multiple people. I wonder if they have a support group on some rarely visited Yahoo group message board.

- I wonder if they would be more terrified of this "orange" flavor because it doesn't taste much like orange. It's probably the weakest orange flavored soda I've ever had.

- I wonder if there's someone writing a thesis on "nonsensical ramblings written on the internet with no logical reason behind them". If so, I think this website would be a goldmine for them.
Rating
🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
Categories
Soda Pop
Company
Ramune@ramune_soda
Country
Japan
Sweetener
Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 10/24/13, 5:37 AM
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Turkey Hill Diet Iced Tea

Turkey Hill Diet Iced Tea
There is a place called Turkey Hill. This is a magical place where iced tea flows like water. I'm not making that up, it literally does. On the hill are spouts hidden in the woods with different flavors of iced tea. They are natural springs of iced tea, the only place in the world where this exists.

The only known side affect from Turkey Hill's iced tea springs is cavities. In fact, 93% of the population has dentures due to this. This figure was from 1962, and luckily that number has dropped to 91%. Why the 2% drop over 52 years? In 1972 some kids were wandering behind the train tracks that border the hill. Not many people have gone back there over the years due to the train yard workers being jerks. Anyways, these kids were in the woods and stumbled upon an iced tea spout that wasn't on the official city map. They tasted and it wasn't as sweet as the iced tea they grew up with.

The reason was this had aspartame in it instead of sugar. It didn't taste as good to them, but they had heard about how aspartame doesn't cause as many cavities so they told the whole town about it. Of course, as you can see by the statistics, only 2% of the population decided to start drinking the "diet iced tea" as they called it. Studies have shown that people who can't consume sugar like it, but otherwise it leaves a lot to be desired.
Rating
🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
Categories
Diet and Iced Tea
Company
Turkey HillWebsite@turkeyhilldairy
Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Author
Derek Neuland on 10/21/13, 3:09 PM
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Central Coast Brewing Old Fashioned Root Beer

Central Coast Brewing Old Fashioned Root Beer
I'm on tour right now and the band I'm with just played at Slo Brew in San Luis Obispo, CA with Titus Andronicus. People got us excited about this venue because it's also a restaurant and they feed all bands that play here. All the band members were asked what they wanted but they didn't think to ask me, the merch guy.

Then my good friend Max Gregor came to the rescue and bought me a slice of pizza and this huge bottle of root beer. I was totally surprised and it made my night. The pizza was as good as I was going to get in California, but the root beer was pretty decent. It's a local brewing company and you can tell this isn't their first batch of root beer. It has a nice sweetness, but not too sweet. It's a very "safe" root beer and would be a good introductory to someone new to root beer outside of Barqs and Dad's.
Rating
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷
Categories
Root Beer and Soda Pop
Company
Central Coast BrewingWebsite
Country
United States
Sweetener
Not Listed
Author
Derek Neuland on 9/11/13, 2:18 AM
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Toronja Sol Grapefruit Soda

Toronja Sol Grapefruit Soda
I am currently on tour in California and found this at a cafe in Goleta. I love grapefruit soda so I jump at the opportunity to try new kinds anytime I can. The more sour the better. If a soda can make my mouth pucker, it's an almost guaranteed 4-bottle rating.

Is this a mouth puckering soda? Sadly no. It's moderately sour, but nothing too special. It's a decent grapefruit soda, definitely better than most.
Rating
🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾
Categories
Soda Pop
Company
Toronja Sol
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Author
Derek Neuland on 8/26/13, 8:27 PM
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Arizona AZ Energy Half and Half

Arizona  AZ Energy Half and Half
Grab any kid who went to basement shows in Buffalo from 1999-2003 and ask them what their favorite drink from Frank's Mobil was at that time. You will probably here one of two things: Fikes Iced Tea or Arizona Arnold Palmer tall boy. The latter is what we'll be focusing on today. Granted I don't drink them as often now, but I would easily drink 1-2 a day back then. The lemonade and iced tea just mixed perfectly together for those sweaty basement show nights.

Given my love for Arnold Palmer's and my willingness to try any energy drink, you can imagine my excitement when I found this at a grocery store near Cincinnati. Good news for energy drink haters, it doesn't taste like an energy drink. In fact, I can only taste the lemonade and iced tea. And just like the original, it is delicious! While it's not the greatest half and half I've had, this is one of the best energy drinks I've had so far.

Keep up the good work Arizona! I'd love to see more flavors of this.
Rating
πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›
Categories
Energy Drink, Iced Tea and Lemonade
Company
Arizona Website@DrinkAriZona
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Author
Derek Neuland on 8/7/13, 6:10 PM
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Ale-8-One Diet Ginger Ale

Ale-8-One Diet Ginger Ale
I recently spent a week in Kentucky. I know that sentence sounds weird, but it's true. A good friend lives there and I have never spent much time in Kentucky so I decided to go. Little did I know that Ale 8 One is a staple of Kentucky and it was everywhere. By everywhere I mean you could purchase it at more places than you can in Buffalo. We had already reviewed the original so I took my hand at the diet. I should have known by my friend's reaction when I picked up the bottle at the grocery store that this wasn't going to be good.

She was right. It was pretty gross. Even for a diet soda it was bad. So bad that I got 3 sips in and had to dump the rest. Sorry Kentucky, I don't like your diet soda.
Rating
πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ
Categories
Ginger, Soda Pop and Diet
Company
Ale-8-OneWebsite@Ale8One
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Author
Derek Neuland on 8/7/13, 12:29 PM
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Starbucks Refreshers Valencia Orange

Starbucks Refreshers Valencia Orange
I've come to really love the fresh made refreshers at Starbucks. It's still one step below a juice bar, but so far they have been consistently good. Take this Valencia Orange one I recently had. I was expecting it to be just a simple orange drink, but it blew my mind. It was more tart that lemonade usually is. It almost had a kumquat taste to it. The orange flavor really popped as well, and wasn't masked by the tartness.

Straight from the Starbucks website, this is what they have to say about its ingredients: "Three varietals of orange combined with floral and fruity notes from orange peel, cardamom, jasmine and apricot lightly caffeinated with Green Coffee Extract, served over ice." I love the green coffee extract, it gives it a little kick without be overbearing. I know they sell packets of these at Starbuck locations but I fear they won't be as good as the fresh made drinks.
Rating
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷
Categories
Coffee and Juice
Company
StarbucksWebsite@starbucks
Country
United States
Sweetener
Not Listed
Author
Derek Neuland on 7/23/13, 4:22 PM
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Silk Iced Latte Mocha

Silk Iced Latte Mocha
For the longest time, it was hard to find vegan coffee drinks. Besides smaller coffee shops and Starbucks, it's near impossible if you want anything besides a black coffee. For as large as Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons have become, you'd think they'd start offering drinks with soymilk by now. I have probably gone on this rant before but I don't care.

Lately I've been enjoying the new non-dairy coffee drinks that have been hitting the shelves like this one. It makes sense from a marketing stand point, they already have the key ingredient, might as well throw a little coffee in there. This particular one is decent, but not amazing. It has that chocolate milkshake feel that I was hoping for, but sadly the chalky taste of the soymilk really spoils the drink. I can't complain too much because this half gallon cost the same as a 12 oz iced soy mocha at any coffee shop so it gets a pass for it's cost and convenience factor.
Rating
πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›
Categories
Coffee and Milk
Company
SilkWebsite@lovemysilk
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 7/21/13, 12:19 AM
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Pepsi Diet Lime

Pepsi Diet Lime
A part of me really wanted to like this. I love cola, and I occasionally like lime flavored drinks. Ok, more than occasionally. I think if this weren't diet I'd love it. And normally I can ignore the gross diet flavor of soda, but this one is impossible. I think the diet and the lime have teamed up and just cut through the cola and into the back of your throat like a ninja in battle with other ninjas. There's a marketing campaign, rename this Diet Pepsi Ninja Battle Lime and then people will know what to expect.
Rating
πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ
Categories
Diet and Soda Pop
Company
PepsiWebsite@pepsi
Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Author
Derek Neuland on 7/18/13, 8:16 PM
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Turkey Hill Sun Brew Iced Tea Half and Half

Turkey Hill Sun Brew Iced Tea Half and Half
Summer time drinks are as follows: water, iced coffee (or cold brew), lemonade, and iced tea. Any other drink is not recommended to drink during this time. Naturally, if you can combine any of these they will make a super drink. I've never tried iced lemonade coffee, but I'm sure it's amazing.

Today we will be talking about half and half, a beverage near and dear to our hearts. Half and half (also known as an Arnold Palmer) is half lemonade, half iced tea. This particular jug is Turkey Hill's new "sun brew" line. Can I taste the difference in the brewing? Not really but I appreciate there is real sugar in this instead of HFCS. Personal taste I would prefer a stronger lemonade, but this is good for your average half and half fan.
Rating
πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ
Categories
Iced Tea and Lemonade
Company
Turkey HillWebsite@turkeyhilldairy
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 7/13/13, 2:30 PM
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Mountain Dew Diet

Mountain Dew Diet
There's concentrated orange juice in this? Whatever, i'll still take the crab juice.
Rating
πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›
Categories
Diet and Soda Pop
Company
Mountain DewWebsite@mtn_dew
Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Author
Derek Neuland on 7/12/13, 11:13 PM
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NOS Active Energy Drink Acai Pomegranate Blueberry

NOS Active Energy Drink Acai Pomegranate Blueberry
NOS has decided to delve into the world of sports drinks. If you weren't careful, this could easily be mistaken for a bottle of Gatorade or Powerade or Genericade. They all have what plants crave, but this one also has caffeine. I like that companies started to include the amount of caffeine on the label because I can see this bottle has the equivalent of a couple 12oz cups of coffee.

But you didn't come here to learn how to prank your friends who love sports drinks but are sensitive to caffeine. You came here to find out what this tastes like. Well, the flavor description is pretty accurate in this case. It's like a fruit salad that no one would ever make, but is surprisingly not that bad. It's not as refreshing/thirst quenching as normal/non-caffeinated sports drinks though. It tastes like a lot of non-carbonated energy drinks we've had. So in that respect, this really would be a mean prank to pull on someone.
Rating
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷
Categories
Sports/Dietary Supplement and Energy Drink
Company
NOSWebsite@NosEnergyDrink
Country
United States
Sweetener
Dextrose
Author
Derek Neuland on 6/25/13, 8:00 PM
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Ocean Spray Blueberry Juice Cocktail

Ocean Spray Blueberry Juice Cocktail
It's over 80 degrees today. For someone like me who hates the heat, it might as well be 110 degrees. I decided to go on a long walk and drank nothing but water so I wouldn't pass out. But i'm back now and this blueberry juice cocktail called my name as I walked in the door. No, not literally. This isn't Wet Hot American Summer. Although maybe after this I will go fondle my sweaters... I mean make fondu with cheddar.......

This can is tiny. It's the cans of juice you get on airplanes or when you donate blood. It's good, but it's very watered down juice. When I think blueberry juice I want it to be full and sweet and a little tart aftertaste. This just feels like someone took a couple tablespoons of pure blueberry juice and mixed it with some water and sugar. I don't know what I was expecting, but this is forgettable.
Rating
πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›
Categories
Juice
Company
Ocean SprayWebsite@oceansprayinc
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane or Beet Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 6/22/13, 4:09 PM
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Mayer Bros. Pink Lemonade

Mayer Bros. Pink Lemonade
I didn't realize yesterday was the first day of summer until someone on Facebook posted about it. Shows you how much I pay attention to stuff like that. I think the only people who know about that kind of stuff are those who work in offices with someone who just loves to bring little factoids like that up because they have nothing else going on in their life and don't know how to have a real conversation that isn't about yesterday's episode of the Maury Povich show (which they record on their programmed VCR because they can't be bothered to upgrade to a DVR like the rest of the world).

So yeah, I didn't know yesterday was the first day of summer. Does it really matter? Not really. It wouldn't have changed my day at all. I would have still gotten crappy news, and I still would have seen one of my favorite bands play at a new venue in town. Most importantly, I would have still drunk this lemonade because it's 1:30am and it's stupidly hot. I've been lying in bed thinking about what to do with my summer while watching The League and unsuccessfully sleeping. I felt parched and remembered I had this jug in the fridge.

Most people probably think of apples/apple cider when they hear the name Mayer Bros, but let me tell you they make a hell of a lemonade. Granted this is the first lemonade I've had this summer so far, but it's going to be hard to beat. It's tart and crisp and the perfect sweetness. Most importantly, it has that indefinable "pink" flavor that is just so good. Do yourself a favor and pick up a jug of this lemonade during the summer heat. You'll thank me later.
Rating
πŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒ
Categories
Lemonade
Company
Mayer Bros.Website
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 6/22/13, 1:35 AM
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Killer Buzz Livid

Killer Buzz Livid
Purple stuff. We've all seen the Sunny D commercial so you all know what I'm talking about when I say that. Purple drink is a little more kind to say, as it is drinkable. This energy drink reminds me of purple drink. It has a purple/grape taste that is hard to mistake. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's just nothing to write home about. As far as energy drinks as a whole go, this is definitely in the top 50 percentile.

I still think I would like it more if there was a cartoon bee on the can. But sadly it probably wouldn't be the bee that is in my head with a Rambo headband/armbands, bulging muscles, wounds, etc... Now that I'm typing this out, it sounds like a horrible idea. Don't listen to my can design suggestions Killer Buzz.
Rating
🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾
Categories
Energy Drink
Company
Killer BuzzWebsite
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucrose
Author
Derek Neuland on 6/19/13, 1:53 PM
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San Pellegrino Pompelmo

San Pellegrino Pompelmo
It would be unfair to call this soda, because it really isn't. I could see how someone could mistake it for soda, but in reality it's a sparkling juice; the juice being grapefruit juice in this case. Now me and grapefruit juice have an on-again/off-again type of relationship, I like grapefruit flavored things, but in moderation. I can't really stomach a full glass of the juice, but a little bit here and there or mixed with something I can handle.

Which is why I love this drink. It's only 16% grapefruit juice but in my eyes it's the perfect mixture. It's just the right amount of sour without destroying my taste buds for weeks. San Pellegrino is good like that, knowing the perfect mix of things for their drinks.
Rating
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷
Categories
Juice and Sparkling
Company
San PellegrinoWebsite@SanPellegrinoDK
Country
Italy
Sweetener
Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 6/17/13, 11:15 AM
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Celebri Tea Natural Green Tea Asian Pear

Celebri Tea Natural Green Tea Asian Pear
Amidst all of the Apple, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 announcements today (I think I just outed how much of a nerd I am), I almost forgot today was Iced Tea Day. I also forgot to eat anything in the last 10 hours so this comes at a good time.

I think I was given this flavor because I am the only one of us who doesn't hate pears. While I don't hate pears, I don't necessarily love them either. I've always thought of them as the last picked fruit in school. Bananas would be picked first because they're tall so they could easily dunk. Then the Grapes would be picked next because they can roll around the defenders easily. Oranges would be picked third because they roll really well and have a tough skin so they are good defense.

Then it would come to the Apples and Pears. Both have a shape that isn't usual, but the Apple would win out because it is semi-popular and would probably always wear sunglasses inside and listen to Phil Collins b-sides. So the Pears would be picked last and probably play third string. Their biggest moment in the game would be late in the 3rd when someone finally passes the ball to them because no one is bothering to guard them and they sink their only 2 point shot of the game. It's sad because they will replay that moment in their head for the remainder of Junior and Senior year.

Luckily this drink isn't that bad and doesn't have low self-esteem. It is exactly how it's labeled: A really nice smooth green tea with the compliments of a crisp pear juice. The weird thing is that pears don't appear specifically in the ingredients list. There is lemon juice concentrate and "natural flavors" two spots underneath it. After seeing this I do taste the lemon in the after taste. Whatever, it still tastes like pear.
Rating
πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›
Categories
Iced Tea
Company
Celebri TeaWebsite@drinkcelebritea
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 6/10/13, 11:34 PM
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5-Hour Energy Pink Lemonade

5-Hour Energy Pink Lemonade
I had been seeking this energy shot out for a while but it kept eluding me. Or I would find it when I didn't want an energy shot or didn't have money on me. This went on for months until I had to go to a family function on barely any sleep. My grandparents were being awarded by the city of Tonawanda for doing awesome stuff for the youth (they helped build a skate park among other things). Knowing that I was going to have to talk to family and friends of the family, I wanted to be semi-coherent so I stopped by a drug store to wake myself up. Not wanting to carry around an open can of Monster (seriously, more energy drinks need to come in resealable bottles), I went to the front counter where they keep the energy shots so 14 year old kids don't steal them all. Low and behold, the pink lemonade shot was there!

Now in the past, energy shots are usually borderline undrinkable. This was not the case at all this time. It tasted like pink lemonade should. Sweet, a little sour, and overall delicious. My only complaint was I only got a couple sips of the taste. They should water it down and make a larger drink out of this because it would be awesome and I would drink it much more than I should.
Rating
πŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒπŸ§ƒ
Categories
Energy Drink, Lemonade, Shot and Diet
Company
5-Hour EnergyWebsite
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Author
Derek Neuland on 5/31/13, 9:28 AM
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Almond Breeze Iced Coffee Vanilla

Almond Breeze Iced Coffee Vanilla
There aren't a whole lot of non-dairy coffee drinks on the market. Asian markets usually have some, but they are just black coffee with nothing else in them. I drink my coffee with soy/almond/coconut milk and a little sugar. For this reason, I was excited to find this carton of iced coffee in the dairy cooler today.

It was hard to decide which to get first of the three flavors they are offering: vanilla, mocha, and caramel macchiato. The latter seemed like it would be the most exciting, but I decided to go with the classic vanilla to start. As I expected, it's heavy on the almond milk. This reminds me more of coffee milk than actual iced coffee. It's really sweet, but also has sea salt in it to give it a nice kick. I wasn't expecting that but I really like it.

Now if you'll excuse me, Arrested Development season 4 isn't going to watch itself.
Rating
πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›
Categories
Coffee
Company
Almond BreezeWebsite@Almond_Breeze
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Author
Derek Neuland on 5/26/13, 1:51 PM
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Jones Soda Poutine

Jones Soda Poutine
There comes a time when mankind makes something that is not needed/wanted. Jones fulfilled this prophecy by creating this monster of a soda.

*Editors note: in the beginning of the video, Mike thinks I say it's in a can but I was trying to say that it was an exclusive to Canada but I don't know how to talk on video because I get nervous.

Without further adieu, here is a video of us drinking this collection of fries, gravy, and cheese curds in a bottle.



Jones Poutine soda was easily the worst soda I've ever had. It's been hours since I drank it and my stomach still hurts and I still feel like I'm going to throw up. I appreciate that Jones sent this to us, but on the other hand I feel like they played a huge elaborate prank on us.
Rating
🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
Categories
Other/Weird and Soda Pop
Company
JonesWebsite@jonessodaco
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Author
Derek Neuland on 5/24/13, 10:55 AM
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