Soda Reviews

Nella Bella Chocolate Almond Fizz

Serene, beautiful, awe inspiring, natural beauty, and the label is nice too.

The artwork on this bottle of Nella Bella Chocolate Almond Fizz is beautiful.  A grove of white trees standing starkly against a blue sky.  The words “Nella Bella” glowing as the sun peers over the first “E”.  Even the flavor intrigues me.  Chocolate Almond Fizz sounds like a delicious candy, yet this soda only has 10 grams of sugar because it’s also sweetened with Stevia.

Something that is a little confusing to me is the fact that this doesn’t say “soda” or “cola” or “pop” anywhere on the bottle.  Instead it says “Sparkling Spring Water Beverage” which makes me tilt my head in a dog like fashion.

The aroma that escapes the bottle is heavenly.  A rich chocolate scent billows out almond trailing behind.  Chocolate is definitely in charge here, which is how I want to see it.  My expectations for this “Sparkling Spring Water Beverage” just went through the roof.

What is this black magic?  This taste is not similar at all to the full chocolatey aroma that exited the mouth of the bottle.  Instead of sweet I taste bitter.  Instead of rich and flavorful it’s watery and metallic.  

I guess the soda my nose remembers was never made.  Instead they made the “Sparkling Spring Water Beverage” they listed on the bottle.  They didn’t lie, I just chose to believe otherwise until the truth was literally in my face.  Well I don’t really like the truth, it’s not sweet enough for me (as is often the case).

The sparkling water I’m left with does have a nice level of carbonation though.  Enough to make the drink feel alive, but not so much it’s overpowering.  Wait… the back of the bottle explains even more. I really should read more.

“The natural flavors are reminiscent of the wholesome nuts grown ‘in the beautiful’ Northern California Orchards”

I guess it does have a little bit of a nutty taste to it, dry like an almond, but as we found out with Tommyknocker Almond Creme that’s not really my thing.  Once again though I find myself running into a soda that I respect, but do not like the taste of.  I don’t like this trend, I want soda and to drink it too...and to enjoy it as well.

Verdict - Buyer Beware

~A

This was purchased at Rocket Fizz Houston

 

O-Zell Cherry Jubilee

I think I'm gonna nix the picture idea...

I am not feeling this review today… which means I probably shouldn’t do it.  The creative juices aren’t flowing, I don’t really want a soda right now, and even these sentences are just to fill up space.  Yet, there’s some part of me that is hoping that once I open this bottle of O-Zell Cherry Jubilee my mood will improve and I’ll be singing its praises as my creativity is renewed.

O-Zell Cherry Jubilee is all natural and like other O-Zell beverages has a 1930’s looking cartoon on the front of it.  In the case of Cherry Jubilee it’s a cat with cherries attached to his collar, quite swanky.  This cat is urging me to open the bottle and give his wares a chance, so I suppose I must.

Scent wise I’m greeted with a thick cherry aroma that lingers in my nostrils longer than anticipated.  It’s a syrupy smell that both excites me and terrifies me.  Once again though the cat smiles and holds up his very own bottle of Cherry Jubilee, telling me that this soda is “the Cat’s Meow!”

Well, O-Zell Cherry Jubilee did not wash away my apathy for review writing today.  The flavor is inherently cherry and assaults my tongue with a barrage of carbonation.  This cherry flavor, while all natural, once again reminds me of medicine as their last offering did.

I’m honestly confused by this seeing as this is the second O-Zell soda I’ve had that tastes medicinal.  There must be some ingredient that my taste buds aren’t used to in here. Frustratingly my palate may not be worldly enough to compare this to anything else other than cough syrup, which I’m sure is selling it short.

That said, this is still better than their Pineapple Whip as I should be able to finish the bottle.  O-Zell Cherry Jubilee has good carbonation, a strong flavor, and pretty dang good artwork.  It’s a shame that a lot of that gets swept away with its taste.

Even though I still don’t agree with the taste I’d still classify this as a dessert soda.  It’s not overly sweet, but it’s rich enough to be considered a treat.  I gotta stop though, the flavor is building upon itself too much for me to want anymore.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have written that review today.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

This was purchased at Rocket Fizz Housto

 

Sipp Summer Pear

Cousin?!

I like pears; I like green tea; I like honey.  If all those statements are true, which they are, then I should like Sipp Summer Pear.  Those three ingredients are all accounted for in this bottle to my right.  The other ingredients listed are carbonated water, organic agave nectar, citric acid, and natural flavor.  While I’ve never been good about this vague “Natural Flavor” ingredient, when surrounded by stars like that I care a lot less.

Pear is a rather unique scent when talking about soda, so it’s pleasant I got to experience it.  It smells like I just bit into a pear.  Delicious… for those of us who enjoy the apple’s more pliable cousin.

Goodness that’s delicious.  I can easily differentiate the three listed flavors in my mouth, none overpowering the others.  First a splash of refreshing pear, jazzed up with tiny bubbles of carbonation that make me smile.  A seamless transition to the green tea occurs quickly, but not before they give each other a quick kiss.  

The pear and the green tea love each other, but can’t let their relationship be known.  So the kiss they share is a short one, but filled with such passion that they only way you’d recognize it is if you were a part of it.  Thanks to Sipp Summer Pear, you’re in on that kiss.  What happens after the kiss you ask?  Pear and Green Tea have to go their separate ways, but a result of their love still hangs in the air… honey.

The honey flavor sits on my lips after each taste.  It’s subtle, much more so than the green tea my tongue is still tasting.  Just enough so that every time I unconsciously lick my lips I’m reminded to take another Sipp.  See what I did there?  That’s called wordplay.

Verdict - Buy Stock in the Company

~A

This soda was purchased at a HEB grocery store.

 

Lucky Cherry Cola

Cat still looks worried about what's occurring.  Twist remains unfazed.

Thanks to the Excel Bottling Company I’m able to try another soda that’s new to my palate.  While I’ve tried Lucky Club Cola I haven’t had the opportunity to try Lucky Cherry Cola.  Lucky Cherry Cola is a pure cane sugar soda that has “True Fruit & Spice” listed as an ingredient.  I don’t know what that means, but it sure seems impressive.

The liquid inside this clear 20oz bottle appears to be a nice mahogany.  Showing off the red coloration of the cherry is always a smart move in my book.  It allows your taste buds to ready themselves for the adventure ahead.

Aromatically (10 dollar word) this is a cherry cola through and through.  The scent is easily split between the two flavors.  Here’s hoping that the taste will be equally halved and easily enjoyed.

Aside from the surprising lack of carbonation, Lucky Cherry Cola has a pleasant taste.  If I had to pick a winner I’d say that cherry just beats cola in terms of the dominant flavor.  The finish reminds me of a homemade cherry cola, with a hint of cherry syrup moving to the forefront at the last moment.

Cola wise it’s a little weak, but still enjoyable.  If I could personally change two things it’d be for the cola taste to be just a little stronger and for the fizz to follow suit.  That said, I review sodas for a hobby and Excel Bottling successfully sells them for a living.  Not saying I’m not right, just that there could be a lot more going on than we’re aware of.

This is a decent cherry cola and one I would pick up again.  If you find yourself with the opportunity to buy, go for it.

Verdict - Buy a Pack

~A

This was supplied to me by the Excel Bottling Company.

 

Tommyknocker Almond Creme

Twist, you've been spotted.

You know I’m a sucker for fun label art, right?  Well Tommyknocker Almond Creme has tickled my fancy with their dwarfish looking miner holding a foaming mug.  He looks so happy, almost Santa like in his serenity.  While his face doesn’t show the markings of working underground you can tell he’s pleased with his drink choice.

Ingredient wise Tommyknocker Almond Creme is all natural with Carbonated Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Almond Concentrate, Aged Organic Vanilla Extract & Citric Acid.  That’s a pretty good list of ingredients if you ask me… and you did since you’re here.

HA! The bottle cap even has a happy looking dwarf on it.  Time to remove him from the equation and start this review.

Wow… that smells like almond… and cream.  That’s pretty dang impressive.  I cannot wait to try this.

They did a really good job making this, I can tell they put in a lot of care.  I just… I just don’t really like the flavor.  It tastes like liquid almonds with a sweet cream behind it.  Even the “dryness” of

the almond is present.  I don’t mean that the soda tastes dry, it’s just the sensation that can only be duplicated by placing some almonds in your mouth.  It’s incredibly authentic in taste and mouthfeel.

Dryness aside, it’s a fairly refreshing beverage in terms of feel.  Tommyknocker Almond Creme is incredibly smooth, almost buttery in nature.  Even though it’s a creme it doesn’t really stick to your teeth or have any kind of syrupy nonsense..  

As you may have figured out by the former sentence carbonation wise it’s a very tame soda.  No real fizz to be found here, though I’m not sure that would change my opinion.  The finish is very similar to the start in terms of flavor and lingers for a while after each sip.  

I want to like this so very badly, I really do.  Sigh.  The flavor just isn’t me.  I am however looking forward to more Tommyknockers sodas though.

Verdict - Buyer Beware

~A

This was purchased at Rocket Fizz Houston