Today’s entry into the eternal realm of soda review lore is Dublin Retro Grape. I’m not sure if it’s retro in flavor, ingredients, or just as a sales technique. The bottle art and the fact that it uses pure cane sugar as a sweetener could be construed as retro, but the flavor has yet to be tested. Fortunately for this bottle, or unfortunately depending on if you believe bottles of soda to be self-aware, I’m going to unravel this mystery now. With my trusty love of grape soda by my side it’s time we dive into Dublin Retro Grape.
The aroma is rich and gets right to the point. Currently my only fear for Dublin Retro Grape is that it might be too sweet for complete consumption based on how sugary it smells. Fortunately I’m not one to shy away from too many grape sodas so let’s just move on.
While delicious, Dublin Retro Grape feels incomplete… let me explain. The carbonation my mouth is initially hit with is a fantastic amount of fizz. There’s just enough to create a mild burn with each swig. This is something I feel all grape sodas should have as it adds to their character. The grape flavoring is indeed sugary, but not so over the top that I won’t be able to enjoy this bottle all the way through. In fact this particular grape flavoring might rank in a top 5, but definitely top 10 of grape flavors I’ve experienced in a soda. The finish is where I start to have problems with Dublin Retro Grape.
Let me start off by saying that at no point does this soda ever taste bad, it’s tasty throughout the duration of its consumption and will be graded accordingly. To fully explain this I need to rewrite a classic movie scene. Even if you haven’t seen The Shining I’m sure most of you are familiar with the scene where Jack Nicholson breaks down the bathroom door with an axe and says the ever famous line “Here’s Johnny!” Now the entire time he is chopping at the door Shelley Duvall is screaming on the other side in the bathroom knowing full and well who is breaking through that door and what he’s going to try and do to her. Jack Nicholson is going to try and break down the door, get inside, and murder her. There’s very little assumption going on here. Let’s now picture an alternate dimension where Jack chops down the door, looks inside with the same crazed eyes, and then just stands there without saying a word. Maybe he’ll cough politely to imply that he’d like to be let in, but he’s not even remotely aggressive about it. Oh, and then the movie ends.
That is what Dublin Retro Grape tastes like. Here it comes through the bathroom door with its wonderful carbonation. I’m screaming on the other side fully aware that a grape soda experience is getting closer to me. Dublin Retro Grape chops a hole in the door with its grape flavor and gives me a crazy eye. Still on the other side I now see the potential grape goodness that should be wrecking its way through the door any second. Then it just stops. It feels unnatural. You gave me all this build up to the end, but it never follows through. It just stands there so you can still enjoy its company through the door, never realizing its full potential. Dublin Retro Grape never evolves to the next step of chopping down the door and murdering my taste buds with delicious and that’s really too bad because it’s a potentially great grape soda. I’ll still rank this fairly high, but just know that it could have been even better had anything happened at the end.
Verdict – Buy a Pack!
This soda was supplied to us by Dublin Bottling Works
Twist was originally cast as Tony in The Shining