Soda Reviews

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

Cawy Watermelon

This can of soda looks like something you’d see on a television show.  Like a bag of “Let’s Potato Chips” it just looks incredibly fake.  The word “Watermelon” is emblazoned at the top of the can with a country bumpkin kid below enjoying the worlds largest piece of watermelon.  Only after searching the can for a bit do I see that it’s made by Cawy.  Cawy was an international brand founded in Cuba, but is now headquartered in Miami, Florida.  

A scroll with French words on it label one side of the can while what can only be assumed to be the English translation occupy the other side.  “Soda, Naturally and Artificially Flavored” it says.  Let’s run the other side through Google Translate and see what we get.  “Soda flavored with watermelon.”  That’s not quite the same thing at all.  In fact according to the ingredients it’s a straight up lie.  Natural flavors aren’t even a listed ingredient.  This Cawy Watermelon is getting shadier by the second.  Better open it up before I learn too much.

Twist is crying.  You just can't tell.

Ok, so it smells like watermelon and a little bit of cantaloupe.  In case you’re not aware, I’m under the belief that cantaloupe was created by the devil.  Why else would it taste so foul?  Clearly Satan made it to trick people into eating it.  Every fruit it touches it ruins.  It’s truly an evil fruit.  With that said I really don’t want to drink this.

I have no idea what this even tastes like.  It’s not “projectile vomit” bad, but I’m almost certain I won’t be finishing this can.  A sickly sweet watermelon(?) taste oozes over the entirety of my mouth.  Even my lips are subjected to this interesting flavor.  When I’m not tasting watermelon(?) I’m tasting bubble gum and I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be.  The mingling of the two flavors results in the birth of a sugary medicinal baby.  Quite similar to Amoxicillin, but add a terrible watermelon(?) taste to the mix.

I think I’m going to stop now.  Don’t get me wrong there is a very brief upside to this soda.  Remember?  It’s not “projectile vomit” bad.  This baby doesn’t taste very good.  At the right angles he’s cute, but once you really get to know him you’ll be happy you never had kids...or if you did have kids they grew up and became root beer or cola.  You know, something respectable.

Verdict - Buyer Beware

~A

This soda was purchased at World Market

Nesbitt's Honey Lemonade

I like lemonade.  Who doesn’t?  Don’t answer that because I would judge you harshly.  I also like soda.  Who doesn’t?  None of you because you’re reading this site.  I seriously doubt my prose are impressive enough to pull people (if you can call them that) that hate soda.  So since I like both lemonade and soda you know I love it when a carbonated lemonade finds its way in front of me.  Today that beverage is called Nesbitt’s Honey Lemonade and their logo is fantastic!  It’s the kind of logo I would proudly wear.  A circular logo that half lemon and half honey comb.  Genius!  

Twist is disappointed, but you didn't hear it from me.

Looking at the ingredients I see this is sadly sweetened with HFCS, but also includes honey!  It’s listed right there next to Yellow #5 so you know it must be an important ingredient.  Yellow #5 and Honey working together as they always should.  OK, so I wish this was a little more natural of a drink.  Perhaps the flavor will make me forget my wish.

Impressively enough the aroma that comes off the bottle is indeed a mixture of lemon and honey.  The honey rides in on the tart scent of the lemon.  He’s waving wildly to make sure I notice him and see the neat trick he’s doing, but I knew he was there from aroma alone.

That is the finest (in the minimal sense) carbonation level I think I’ve ever encountered.  Such a miniscule amount of fizz, barely enough to even register as a mouth feel.  Like a feather tickling an elephant it is.  I understand they didn’t want to take away from the fact that it’s a lemonade, but c’mon.

As for the flavor I see why the honey was trying to get my attention earlier.  If I didn’t know about him it would be easy to just think this was a sweet lemonade.  Thankfully he waved at me so I can appreciate the mild honey flavor I get with every sip.  Average is how I would rate the lemonade portion of this soda.  It’s not all that flavorful and you could replicate it by purchasing numerous other products.  

Now that I’m at the bottom of the bottle I’m finding that the honey flavor stacks on itself a little bit.  It’s not enough for me to rethink the rating of this beverage, but it’s a neat thing to look forward too.  All in all this is a fun concept that ended up being a passable soda.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

Dr. Brown's Original Cream Soda

So I just looked over our database of sodas (588 at the writing of this review) and I’ve never reviewed anything from Dr. Brown.  I see it most everywhere I go, yet I’ve yet to pick up a bottle.  Had I known that I would have picked up their root beer, but I suppose Dr. Brown’s Original Cream Soda will be a fine first taste as well.  I’m sure in that assessment because the bottle clearly says that it’s a “Flavor Favorite for Generations”.  Who am I to turn down a generational flavor favorite?  Heck, the label has the statue of liberty on it.  I’m not really sure how that works into the brand, but I’ll go with it.  Ok, so I had to look it up.  Apparently Dr. Brown’s soda originated in New York.  Amazing how things make sense like that.

Looking at the ingredients I see that this is sweetened with sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup.  I really wish they would just pick one and keep us from guessing, but the bevy of chemical listed afterwards makes me care a little less.

Twist has 14 different doctorates.  12 are legit.

It smells like a rich and creamy cream soda.  Sugary, smooth, and full of sweet smells.  I have a feeling this is going to be an above average cream soda with a powerful taste full of sucrose.

Interesting, the flavor is lighter than I imagined.  Here I was fully ready to be drowning in cream soda syrup and I’m greeting with a well balanced cream soda that doesn’t weigh heavily within my mouth.  It’s not very often a cream soda has a mouth feel like this, so I must credit them for a soda that “feels good” to drink.

The flavor, while not as powerful as I suspected, still shines brightly enough for me to enjoy the typical cream soda taste.  This is helped out by a carbonation level that mostly stays out of the way allowing the flavor to present itself the best it can.  

Ultimately though Dr. Brown’s Original Cream Soda is good.  I personally like a smoother feel in my cream soda, but as I said before I appreciate the variety that this brings to the soda world.  I’d drink this again if offered, but I don’t see myself buying multiples since I could just as easily enjoy an A&W Cream Soda instead.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

This soda was purchased at World Market