The final bottle of Private Selection (Kroger Brand) soda is upon us. Huckleberry Hibiscus Cream Soda is the flavor on hand and I’ve saved it for last for a reason. I’m often intimidated by flower flavored beverages. You tell me something tastes like cherry I know what to expect. Cola? You bet, I have several examples of that in my mind. Sarsaparilla is where it begins to get a little fuzzy, but I still feel confident enough to write on it. Rose, Hibiscus, or Lemongrass… I really reach to put my thoughts on paper.
To add onto the issues I have with flower flavors, I’m not really sure what a Huckleberry tastes like. I know of Huckleberry Hound and Huckleberry Finn, but I am certainly not your Huckleberry. So the first half of this sodas flavor is quite foreign to me, now the second half is right up my alley. Cream soda is a staple in my line of work, so at least I’ll know what to look out for here. With that said, let’s open up this bottle and see where it takes us.
From the scent alone I am comforted. The cream soda aroma, or “sodaroma” as we say in the biz, is by far the dominant scent. Backing it up is a berry smell that is simultaneously grape and raspberry. Overall it’s a very sweet beverage if I’m to trust my nose alone. We all know that you can’t trust your nose alone so my mouth will have to make the final call.
I’m going to tell you what this tastes like and you might think I’m saying it’s bad, but I’m not. This tastes like Dimetapp Cream Soda, specifically grape Dimetapp. It’s quite sugary as my nose predicted, but the huckleberry paired with the hibiscus is producing a flavor my taste buds are unfamiliar with thus attaching the experience to the closest tangible thing. Even if I’d never had Dimetapp I’d still say that Huckleberry Hibiscus Cream Soda tastes medicinal. It doesn’t start out that way, but midway through the sip you’re hit with a cough syrup flavor.
This cough syrup flavor doesn’t go away easily either, it lingers well after the few ounces you consumed have made their way to your stomach. The cream soda does it’s best to try and fight back, but ultimately all that’s left of it is the smooth mouthfeel one would expect and enjoy from such a product. I need to stop drinking this as it clearly is not my thing. The flavor is building upon itself in a bad way so I’m just gonna stop for now.
Even though I didn’t enjoy this offering the Private Selection brand has been a wonderful set of sodas to try. They have daring, unique flavors that go places a lot of other sodas do not. I really hope Kroger puts out some additional ones to pad their selection a bit.
Verdict - Buyer Beware
This soda was purchased at Kroger