Our journey around the world to find the greatest sodas on the planet brings us to China! Wait...nevermind. It's just called China Cola, it's not actually from China.
It is, however, from Reed's, which is always a good sign. So why is it called "China Cola" you ask? Well, it's made with Chinese herbs, or at least the label says. Let's take a look at the ingredients.
Raw cane sugar, szechuan peony root, cassia bark, Malaysian vanilla, oils of lemon, lime and orange, nutmeg, cloves, licorice, cardamon, caramel color. Yep, it's definitely from Reed's.
I have to say, where it packs a punch in ingredients, they don't necessarily translate into flavor. Maybe the ingredients were psyching me out, but overall the flavor was very light, with with just touches of each flavor coming through. The most powerful of them all would have to be the szechuan peony root which did add a bit of spice, but nothing on a level of a ginger beer. Trust me, this is coming from a guy who grew up with no salt or pepper on the dinner table, if it was the tiniest bit spicy I'd know. It's just enough for flavor. Don't get me wrong this is a very good cola, the flavor was just a little too light for me.
I'm going to name names here and say that Virgil's Real Cola (also a Reed's product) is still king for me, in colas and overall favorite soda, although I'd award this a very close silver medal with some others in company like Cricket Green Tea Cola and Natural Brew Ginseng Cola. I think it would have been up there if it was just slightly more bold. This was a close one.
Verdict: Buy a Pallet!
(Note: This beverage was provided to us by Reed's)