So this soda was given to me by you. Your donations purchased this soda and I’m eternally grateful. Perhaps “eternally” is a bit of a reach as I’ll probably forget you gave me this soda three years down the road, but I’m still very grateful to have such wonderful readers. What you purchased for me was Blenheim Ginger Ale and since the label is red it’s the “hot” version. It doesn’t say that it’s spicy anywhere on the bottle, but where I purchased this from has a “hot” version with a red top and a “not so hot” version with a gold top. A quick look at the official Blenheim webpage tells me what I’m about to consume the “Old #3 Hot” version of their ginger ale. Here’s the listed description:
Our boldest flavor that tantalizes and tingles the taste buds, and goes down as smoothly as a firecracker exploding in your throat. Some say its sinus clearing heat snatches their breath away for a bit, while others thrive on the explosion of spicy ginger essence.
Well that’s something I always wanted to experience, a firecracker exploding in my throat. Here’s another fun fact: Blenheim has been around since 1903 and are one of the earliest independent makers of soda. I’m simultaneously intrigued and terrified of this recent development. Smell test!
Yay a pop top! I always feel a bit manlier when the cap doesn’t screw off for some reason. Speaking of manly, the scent of this ginger ale is strong and fiery. I think my years of experience has prepared me for whatever this soda is about to dish out in terms of heat, so let’s do this.
Well I was mistaken. This is the hottest ginger burn I’ve ever experienced. I let out three audible “woo’s” after my first sip. For this next drink I’m going to time out how long the burn lasts. Here we go…
A full minute later the sizzle in the back of my throat has calmed down to a simmer. The 15 seconds that begin and end that minute of pain are what I would expect out of a strong ginger beer. In between those 15 second book ends is 30 seconds of uncomfortable fire.
If you can look past the mouth flame, the flavor of Blenheim Ginger Ale is quite nice and smooth. It’s not too sugary, but sweet enough to feel like a treat. The carbonation levels could be brought down a smidge to lessen the burn and improve the overall mouth feel. So this is a better than average ginger ale if you can look past the obvious.
Sadly with each sip I take those qualities quickly vanish as Blenheim become less of a ginger ale and more of a gag gift. The caustic feeling at the back of my throat is not pleasant. Years ago I couldn’t finish a ginger beer because of the burn it produced. Gradually, in all my soda reviews I’ve come to enjoy the feeling and experience that a good ginger beer gives. Blenheim Ginger Ale is only something you drink to remind yourself that you’re alive. I cannot suggest anyone try this, but I will say that I’d really like to try their “not so hot” version. I bet Blenheim makes a great ginger ale, this one is just too much for me.
Verdict – Buyer Beware