So as a friend of the Jerks and an avid soda drinker I was extremely excited about having the opportunity to submit a fan review. When the jerks came to me and said "We know you like fruit sodas would you like to try Hot Lips Raspberry?" I got even more excited. I love all soda, but fruit flavored soda's always stand head and shoulders above the rest for me. Now take into account that raspberry soda is not all that common and I could hardly wait to get my lips on Hot Lips!
The bottle art is fun. The pictures of the raspberries and the lipstick kiss seem to imply that it will be a smooth soft raspberry flavor. For some reason, it actually reminds me of Hot Lips Hoolihan and MASH.
The ingredients list is very small but one that stands out from them is lemon juice. As someone who does alot of cooking, I dont typically associate lemon juice with subtle flavor so that concerns me.
The smell is absolutely divine. As close as you can get to fresh raspberries in a bottle, but with a gentle touch of lemon. The smell leads me to believe that this experience will end in epic glory or epic fail. I am really hoping for epic glory, and as I take my first sip the taste of raspberries fills my mouth and a feeling of epic fruit soda glory touches my senses. I swallow only to notice that the taste of raspberries evaporates rather quickly and is replaced with that pesky lemon flavor that the ingredients list and my nose warned me about. It is almost a faux lemon flavor.* In fact the after taste is almost an exact match to the packets of lemon in our break room at work that claims to be real lemon but if I ever bit into a lemon and it tasted like that, I would throw it back at whoever picked it. Overall the taste is almost like a raspberry pie filling. The carbonation is very soft, more like a sparkling water than a soda, and while that would normally not be a fun fact for me, it serves this drink very well. This drink covers refreshment with tact and subtlety instead of the brutish force of high fructose corn syrup and loads of carbonation.
* After talking with Jerk A I learned that Hot Lips had a problem with the lemon in this particular batch, and I feel that without the overwhelming lemon problem, this soda would be absolutely incredible.
Final Rating -Buy a bottle of the batch, if it doesnt have a lemon problem, go back and buy a pallet!!
Dan W, DW, DDub or whatever else you wanna call me
(Editor's Note - The folks at Hotlips sent us a more recent batch with less lemon involved in it... Dan Re-reviewed Raspberry below)
Alright so last night I got to pick up a bottle of the new batch of Hot Lips Raspberry from Aaron, and after letting it chill for about 12 hours, I decided I could wait no longer. Upon opening the cap I notice a difference in the smell from the first one. The assault of lemon is gone, as promised. Instead a nice smooth scent of ripe raspberries promise a taste that you will probably have never experienced before.
The first sip delivers on the smells promise! A perfectly smooth raspberry flavor fills my mouth and instead of the lemon-esque after taste, all you taste is more raspberries saying a soft goodbye as they travel further away from your taste buds. The flavor is a marked improvement from the first batch, however I feel like something is missing... The carbonation. It is there but it is incredibly light, so much so that I had to actually look for it. The first batch was a refreshing change of pace from the heavy over carbonation that most beverages offer, but this is almost too lightly carbonated. I say almost bcause it still manages to be incredibly refreshing and the light carbonation still distinguishes it against plain old raspberry juice.
I also noticed that it is bottled by Hot Lips Pizza Company. Now I have to wonder, if they take this much care and pride in their sodas, brewing each batch manually and adapting on the fly, I can only wonder how amazing the pizza would be!
Overall, I have to say that the folks at Hot Lips have left me incredibly impressed. Their customer service has been outstanding, I mean here I am some random guy in Texas drinking a hot lips, that I didnt even pay for because the jerks gave it to me, and they were so concerned about our satisfaction that they sent out a sample from the new batch for me to try. On top of that they offer some incredibly diverse and unique flavors like raspberry and pear (which I cannot WAIT to try!) that atleast to me are far more rewarding than most mainstream sodas.
Rating - Buy a pack because your friends deserve to try this too, and two very big thumbs up (Aaron=Aggie so this is a bit of deference) for the people over at Hot Lips!!