Soda Reviews

Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer

I’m pretty sure I love butterscotch root beer.  I haven’t had many of them, but the ones I have had were delightful.  A smooth creamy texture that would put most any cream soda to shame, the mouthfeel of these tasty beverages is one of the biggest selling points in my book.  So of course I picked up a bottle of Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer when I saw it.  I mean Dang! who wouldn’t?  

Twist has a Dang! Shirt, but he won't let me wear it.

A buttery scotchy aroma moves easily from the mouth of the bottle.  In terms of odor it seems that the root beer takes the back seat while your grandpa’s butterscotch has taken the wheel.  I kind of hope that’s how the flavor plays out as well.

Don’t you love it when you drink from the bottle and the bubbles create that unique bass beat as they move toward the back?  I’m not sure I described that well enough to convey what I’m trying to get across, but I think it’s a pretty great event.

The initial sip tastes of butterscotch and root beer equally.  There is no fighting for first, they just both showed up at the same time and smiled.  As the seconds pass by my gaze shifts to root beer as he tries to get noticed, but it’s not too long that butterscotch eventually pushes root beer to the side and stands there like nothing happened.  While I can hear root beer crying, he’s now out of view so I’m not as affected.  Then as butterscotch stands there smiling he eventually throws up on my shoes.

Ok, so that comparison went a little haywire at the end.  I’ll just say it the boring way.  The beverage creates an initial root beer butterscotch taste which isn’t amazing but works.  The root beer taste becomes a bit more noticeable as time passes, but eventually the richness of the butterscotch overpowers it.  The longer the butterscotch lingers the more it tastes of chemicals until I have to follow up with another swig to reset the process.  See, that wasn’t so confusing.

All in all Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer is indeed that...good.  It’s not stellar or amazing, it’s good and it has some weak points as mentioned above.  If you see one, grab one and try it for yourself.  I doubt you’ll be sorry.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

This soda was purchased at World Market

Cicero Beverage Company Salted Caramel Root Beer

Whenever I review a beverage with a particularly lengthy name I always make mention of it.  Today will be no different as I review Cicero Beverage Company’s Salted Caramel Root Beer which will from hereon be called CBCSCRB which will from here on be called SCRB or Scrub.  Now I don’t mean to be a Creep, but I just don’t feel like typing all that out over and over again.  Scrub’s label has that “burnt western paper” look to it, but also includes a picture of a fully realized city on it.  Kind of a mixed message if you ask me, but you didn’t.  This fully realized city has a river of caramel running through it which eventually flows out onto the singed western paper.  

Now it seems to me that salted caramel is seeing a rise in popularity.  Hands Up if you’ve noticed this too.  I’ve personally seen it in a few different food locations with my favorite being salted caramel peanuts.  If you haven’t tried said peanuts you need to.  This peanut experience has taught me that I enjoy salted caramel.  Coupled with the fact that I enjoy root beer tells me I should also enjoy Scrub.

Looking at the ingredients I see that Scrub is sweetened with sugar and also has a bit of salt in it as well.  Seeing salt makes me think three things.  That’s Crazy.  That’s Sexy.  That’s Cool.  Crazy because who puts salt in a soda.  Sexy because they put salt in a soda and that shows they’re willing to take risks.  Cool because...well mostly the same reasons for Sexy.  Enough Girl Talk, let me just open this already while it’s still Chilli.

The aroma received isn’t all that strong a smell.  I had to sharply inhale to even get the root beer scent to register.  Waaaaay in the back of the club you can kind of see Salted Caramel through all the smoke.  At least I think that’s him.  Perhaps I’d better take a close look.  

Wow, Scrub has an incredibly light mouth feel.  That’s insane how foamy each sip is.  It’s not to the point of being Unpretty, but it’s a little off putting.  What’s odd is that the beverage doesn’t create much of a head within the bottle.  

Twist has chased a lot of Waterfalls, but thinks a caramel one would be pretty easy to run down.

As for the salted caramel taste, well it’s very light and I’m somewhat disappointed in that.  I’d rather the disgusting in your face (literally) taste of an overly done salted caramel than something so subtle it hardly even registers.  Now as you know, I Ain’t too Proud to Beg so PLEASE someone make a salted caramel root beer where the salt just walks in with a swagger and sits on your tongue daring you to not like it.  I would send so much Fanmail if someone could pull that off.

Even with that complaint, Scrub still tastes pretty dang good.  The root beer that’s used is a solid foundation on what could have been a knock it out of the park kind of drink.  Here is where the incredibly foamy mouth feel helps set it apart from other root beers.  Even though it does a great job at being a root beer I will lower the ranking some because I don’t believe the listed taste is represented well enough in the product.

So, what is a Scrub.  A Scrub is a soda that gets some love from me...due to the reasons listed above.  Should you pick up a pack?  Only if you find it during some Red Light Special.  Personally I think you’d be fine… (elipses for suspense)

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

This soda was purchased at World Market

Cawy Lemon Lime

Welcome to “Plain-cans-ville”.  This can of Cawy Lemon Lime, much like it’s Watermelon soda, looks like something you’d see in a sitcom vending machine.  It’s made by Cawy and the flavor is lemon lime.  That’s all the label wants you to know.  Oh, and there’s some snowflakes of some sort as well… perhaps they’re stars.  Who knows?  

If I judged books by their covers I’d say this is going to be insanely generic although I’m happy to see the ingredients include extract of lemon and lime oils.  Perhaps this one ingredient will push this from generic to recomendable.  That’s quite the important leap in rating.  Let’s find out together shall we, as we always do… because we’re a team you and I.

A stronger than expected lemon lime scent (heavier on the lemon) pops out of the mouth of the can.  Aside from being strong the aroma itself is nothing special.  I’m ok with “regular aromas” though because they’re more likely to lead to average or good drinks than they are bad.  Either my expectations will be met or they’ll be exceeded.  C’mon, buddy.  Let’s you and me find out together.  Team us!

You're a syrupy aftertaste!  No, you are!

Two things.  Thing one is the fact that this is more lime based in terms of flavor than it is lemon.  Does that make it a Lime Lemon drink?  Thing two is the fact that there’s something off about the taste of this, but i can’t put my finger on it.  Perhaps “Thing two” will go away the more I consume as my palette gets used to the flavor.  

Cawy Lemon Lime does have a decent amount of flavor to it.  Thankfully this flavor is pretty good and in my opinion better than Sprite, but not quite as good as 7Up if we’re going to compare.  The lime taste I’m getting is fairly sweet and candy like while the lemon seems to be on par with other limon sodas.

As I hoped “Thing two” is pretty much fading away although I think I figured it out.  Some drinks have syrupy aftertastes that linger after each sip.  Cawy Lemon Lime gives you this experience right off the bat.  The first thing I taste is that syrupy aftertaste and it lingers throughout the entire duration of my sip.  On the plus side the more I drink the less I notice it as it builds upon itself to the point where everything tastes kind of syrupy candy limey.  That’s the kind of review you get here folks.  What does Cawy Lemon Lime taste like?  Well it’s kind of syrupy candy limey.  Good night, everybody!

Verdict - Buy a bottle

~A

This soda was purchased at World Market

Jones Peanut Butter and Jelly Soda

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Jones soda.  Probably because I don’t run across them in the wild as often as I once did.  So a smile hit my face when I stumbled upon a bottle of Jones Peanut Butter and Jelly Soda which will from here on out be called JPBJS.  

I’ve had a PB&J soda before by Lester’s Fixins, so this isn’t my first foray into the world of sandwich sodas.  My bottle of JPBSJ has a picture of a man who has taken several bites out of his PB&J sandwich.  The look on his face is so full of contentment and joy that he now makes me want to stop this review and eat a PB&J sandwich.  If PB&J were a brand this man would be the best advertising icon of the 21st century.  Man, that looks good!

Hopefully the flavor of the soda will bring the same expression to my face.  The fact that it’s sweetened with cane sugar is a good start.  Let’s see if the taste is a good finish.

Twist is so happy he's a vibrant green.

The scent of JPBJS is one of the most bizarre things I’ve come across.  It smells like two separate scents from two separate items.  The grape is very “grape soda” smelling and not so much jelly.  Standing right beside this grape scent is that of a very dense peanut butter.  It’s quite odd how these two aromas are so distinct coming out of this bottle.  This gives me hope for the taste.

That’s pretty dang accurate.  I may not be making the face of the greatest advertising icon of the 21st century, but the expression I am making is one of quiet respect.  An initial burst of mild grape soda, which would honestly be quite good on its own, starts the show.  A moment later the peanut butter catches up and completes the C-C-C-Combo.  This combination of flavors works seamlessly together as they would in the food dimension.  Even though I’m sure at least a portion of this taste was created chemically (the soda contains no peanuts) my brain doesn’t have the constant thought of “fake flavor” running through it with each sip.

As you read prior, I’ve only had two PB&J sodas so far on my infinite soda journey.  So I can without a doubt say that Jones Peanut Butter and Jelly Soda is the best PB&J soda I’ve ever had to date.  There you go PR people.  There’s the quote you can use, slightly edited, for the cover of your magazines.

“Jones Peanut Butter and Jelly Soda is the Best PB&J soda I’ve ever had…” - Aaron of The Soda Jerks

Seriously though, it’s a great soda and it’s to its credit that even though it’s an odd flavor I could still see myself drinking this on the regular.  Perhaps you should too.

Verdict - Buy a Pack

~A

This soda was purchased at World Market

Boylan Orange

Good ol’ reliable Boylan Bottling Co.  Some of the first sodas we reviewed on this site were Boylan, but then I stopped.  I stopped because I knew Boylan would always be there for me if I needed to review something good, but couldn’t find anything odd.  It’s the same reason I don’t do a lot of Jones Soda either.  I think over the past 5 years I’ve reviewed most every Boylan though.  I’m sure there’s a few I’ve yet to conquer, but my love of Boylan has been a slow burn.  That fuse has finally led me to Boylan Orange.  

Wanna know what’s in Boylan Orange?  Me too.  Carbonated Water, cane sugar, mandarin and tangerine oils, natural orange flavors, citric acid, ester gum, yellow 6, and sodium benzoate.  Aside from those last two ingredients, that’s a respectable cast of characters for the Boylan Orange Show.  Every play has a couple of kids dressed like trees and talking to each other, so we may be able to let the last two slide if we don’t find ourselves sneaking out by intermission.

Perfection

A strong orange odor, or odorange, lifts out of the mouth of the bottle.  A natural orange scent paired with that of orange candy is what my nose notices, or nosetices.  Now that I’ve created the two newest words in the English language I feel I’ve accomplished enough to go on.

Boylan Orange tastes a bit more tangerine than orange to me, but that’s completely acceptable as tangerine is the sweeter of the two citrus and has a very similar flavor.  These two flavors are backed by tightly packed miniature bubbles that sprint quickly across the stage without hardly anyone noticing until they're almost out of view.  The carbonation lift at the end of each sip gives my throat just enough harshness to make me smile.  After all an orange soda should cause a little burn, at least in my book.  

Fun fact:  Most orange sodas have a cardboard aftertaste to me.  Honestly though, I don’t know why I taste cardboard in so many of them.  I really wish I knew what made my taste buds react that way.  Thankfully Boylan Orange doesn’t succumb to this nearly as much as others do.  I’m looking at you Frostie!

All in all Boylan Orange is a very good orange soda though I’ve found two detractors during my drinking of it.  As I’ve consumed this entire bottle the sweet flavor has built upon itself to be cloyingly sweet by my last few sips.  This same build up created a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel by the end as well.  So it’s very good, but it’s not perfection.  Who is though besides Twist?

Verdict - Buy a Pack

~A

This soda was purchased at World Market