Today’s review puts me in a weird place. Not “sitting-in-your-boxers-writing-a-review-on-soda-while-a-plastic-iguana-stares-at-you” kind of place, but you get the idea. The soda up for review today combines the known excellence of an HEB Store brand soda (HEB is a grocery store chain in Texas) with my less than favorite flavor of Big Red. HEB Wild Red – Red Soda is indeed what’s in front of me to be reviewed. I’ve only done one other HEB soda review and it was their cola, and my love of it should be apparent since it’s currently in my fridge for consumption. HEB brand sodas are sweetened with pure cane sugar thus immediately boosting their flavor and mouth feel. Wild Red is no exception to this rule so at least I know it was made with some sort of thought behind the manufacturing process. Since the flavor is called “Wild Red” I can only assume that this is their version of a Big Red type beverage. I wouldn’t call what I feel for Big Red “hate” as that’s way too strong a word. I would however say that it ranks just above Twizzlers in my “favorite things” department… and they are pretty far down. Enough babbling though... let’s do this.
Oh, HEB soda… I always forget that you up your legitimacy by using non-screw caps for your bottles. Yup, it smells like Big Red. If you’ve never had a “red soda” then let me try my best to explain the scent. There’s not really a fruity scent at all, just the scent of sugar, cream soda, and bubble gum. If you disagree with my scent assessment feel free to leave a comment below. On with the drink!
HEB Wild Red soda doesn’t pack the same punch of flavor that Big Red does. It’s not flavorless by any means, but it’s a lot less “in your face” than Big Red. Well technically it’s very “in your face” but that’s on a literal level only. HEB Wild Red holds the same cotton candy/bubble gum flavor that other red sodas do, but doesn’t improve on it at all. The fact that it’s made with pure cane sugar is a plus as the soda doesn’t appear to cling to your mouth making each sip a bit cleaner than its HFCS counterparts. The carbonation level is just a step below tingly, but it’s not something that you’re going to notice and complain about. Overall HEB Wild Red is an average red soda with an above average sweetener. To be honest with you I think my apathy toward red sodas might be affecting my rating this time. If you’re a fan of red sodas at all you should probably go out and try this. If you are indifferent like I then just go try their cola.
Verdict – Buy a Bottle
For some reason I wanted Twist to don a cowboy hat for this picture