Dublin 1891 Red Cola

Dublin 1891 Red Cola

I really dislike allergies. My right eye is watering like a toddler waters a plant. Thankfully, at least I believe so, I’ve got a bottle of Dublin 1891 Red Cola. Earlier this year I thought I’d reviewed every Dublin Bottling Works product, but then I stumbled upon their 1891 line. I’m not sure if the ingredients are better, but it appears as if it’s a step above their normal sodas. Just so we’re on the same page, all of Dublin’s sodas are sweetened with cane sugar.

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Another Time Soda Fountain - Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper

I asked my waiter at Another Time Soda Fountain to recommend something to me for review.  “Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper” was his response.  When I asked what made their Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper different he said that they make it the old fashioned way by combining Dr Pepper, Cherry, and Vanilla syrups then carbonating them.  Judging by the color of what he delivered this truly is something different.

Not a lot of aroma comes off the top of the glass, but I still can’t take my eyes off of the auburn coloring of the soda.  I know what’s in this.  Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper is a known quantity in my mind, but it never looked like this.  I’m sure the camera on my phone didn’t do it justice… just trust me.  Yeah, nothing could go wrong with just trusting me.

Son of a gun that’s a great blend.  All three flavors race towards my tongue and end up in an all out brawl.  From this chaos “Cherry” is the clear winner as he triumphantly stands atop his two battered foes.  Dr Pepper, a very rich version of the drink most are familiar with, is the first to stumble to his knees pushing Vanilla’s face into the dirt as he attempts to stand.

Vanilla is alive.  Vanilla is awake.  Vanilla doesn’t want to get up though.  Even though he’s still on the ground after the brawl you still can’t take your eyes off of him.  Just picture three men in front of you, two standing and one flat on his face.  Which one is going to pull your attention?

Vanilla ultimately lost the fight, but the bruises and marks he left are still apparent on his opponents bodies.  Each sip includes vanilla to the point where it almost seems as if this drink were a float instead of an ice creamless soda.  

The syrup hugs my teeth in delicious fashion, but still pushes me to go brush.  Did I bring gum?  I really hope I brought gum.

Today I was introduced to the way Dr Pepper could really taste if put in the correct hands.  Don’t get me wrong, like most any Texan I like Dr Pepper, but when it’s created in the manner listed above you end up with a bigger, stronger animal.

Another Time Soda Fountain’s Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper is a better version of whatever you imagine it to be.  

Verdict - Buy a Pallet

~A

This was purchased at Another Time Soda Fountain in Rosenberg, TX  

Honest Fizz Professor Fizz

I have returned from my long break and I’m sure the rumors about my departure were just starting to run rampant.  Had I gone off the deep end, sold my Soda Jerk stock and purchased a yacht?  Perhaps I gave up soda drinking and was living in a little cave with only the essentials.  Maybe I was prepping for Game of Thrones Season 4 to start.  I’m not sure we’ll ever figure out what I was up to, but I’m sure it’s a tale for the police.

Today’s review comes from the folks at Honest Tea.  They make a soda called Honest Fizz that comes in four (hopefully) fantastic flavors.  Honest Fizz is a zero calorie soda that’s naturally sweetened with stevia.  Here’s their ingredient list for those interested.  You know there won’t be a lot of ingredients because I’d be too lazy to type them.  Anywho, here they are:  Carbonated Water, Erythritol, Organic Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Stevia Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, and Caffeine.  For those who don’t know what Erythritol is, it’s a sugar that’s sometimes found in fruit and fermented food.  I don’t know if Honest Fizz’s is from fruit or from a lab, either way it’s in there.

What I’ve chosen today is called Professor Fizz.  Honestly I don’t really know what flavor Professor Fizz is as the label has what looks to be a cherry on it, but the description on the back reads like this may have Dr Pepper similarity.  You be the judge.

“Professor Fizz has a Ph.D. in taste, and one sip will tell you why.  There’s no way to describe this unique, all-natural spiced cherry flavor, other than to say it’s a definite A+.”

Fun Fact:  Twist was known as Professor Fizz when he taught school in the 1800's.

So I counted a total of two puns in there.  I’m ok with puns… the lip of the can says “So-da-lightful”…I’m no longer comfortable with this many puns/plays on words.  Now that I’ve written my longest intro yet, lets me get to actually reviewing.

Judging by the smell of Professor Fizz I’m going to say they’re going for the Dr Pepper experience in this soda.  To back up my theory, the color is brown with a light red hue.  Scent-wise they’re doing a pretty good job matching it though.  Should be interesting to see how the taste stacks up.

Curse you stevia.  The first third of my sip tastes like Diet Dr Pepper.  The cherry/cola/root beer taste is there.  It’s sweet, it’s light, and it’s enjoyable.  The carbonation brushes gently across my tongue in a playful way.  I want to take another sip, but then the first third of my sip ends abruptly.  The second third of my sip begins to taste like Diet Dr.  The sweetness is turning into a somewhat bitter chemical sensation.  The cherry/cola/root beer flavor is fading quickly and the overall makeup of the soda is deteriorating.  By the time I’m in the home stretch it’s a bitter liquid that doesn’t even resemble what it sought out to be like so many of us out there.

You leave home at 18 to go out into the world with so many ideas.  You have your flaws, but you still feel unstoppable.  As time marches on you gain a more realistic view.  Bills, work, and booze infiltrate your life.  You black out.  Now you sit hunched over a computer writing soda reviews for the masses.  Three meals a day are passed to you through the bars of your “office”.  You tell them you have a peanut allergy, but they keep putting them on the brownies to spite you.  Your boss comes in every hour on the hour to make sure you’re still cranking them out.  Finally one day you find a way to escape. 

A speck of sunlight is seen at the end of the long hall.  You make a break for it.  For over a month you’re out in the world again, feeling light and airy.  A few weeks later you check the site and see that some other schmuck has posted a review.  Relief passes over your body as you figure the search for you is all but over.  You go to your family’s house to spend Easter Sunday with them, but that’s where they get you.  Before you can ring the doorbell the men in blue gag you and bring you back to your computer so that you can write more reviews.

That “fictional tale” is what Professor Fizz’s journey seems like.  It started off with such hope and promise, but the speed in which it deconstructed into a bitter beverage with a stevia aftertaste is astounding.  I know they want to have a zero calorie soda and I don’t fault them for that.  If they want to have an improved flavor then they need to cut the stevia with some sugar.  Just do half and half to see what it tastes like.  It’ll still be pretty low in calorie and you might have a wider appeal.  What do I know though?  I don’t make soda; I just sit here in my office eating brownies all day.

Verdict – Buyer Beware

~A

This soda supplied to us by Honest Fizz

R-Pep

Anything mainstream has a knock off version of it.  Take it from the kid who was playing with Go-Bots instead of Transformers.  As I’m sure you’re aware, this especially rings true in the soda world where a multitude of “coke like colas” are out there.  Another flavor you see multitudes of is Dr Pepper.  Today’s beverage, I’m assuming, is a Dr Pepper “inspired” soda.  I’m guessing this because it’s called R-Pep.  What would you think it was?  It’s made with chemicals and cane sugar so it’s at least trying. 

My personal favorite part of this simple labeled soda is that the slogan is “Make it Yours!”   If this truly is “inspired” by Dr Pepper then those words could not ring truer.  Make this other popular flavor yours.  Who knows though?  Perhaps I’ll open this up and it won’t taste a thing like Dr Pepper.  Perhaps I’ll look like an ass because of it.  Either way, it’s time to find out.

Twist was once a doctor in a small Midwestern town.

It smells somewhat like the Dr, but a different scent lingers as well.  A strong caramel sensation seems to be making itself noticed.  Maybe this is what will keep R-Pep from being a knock off and make me play the fool.

So I may not be playing the fool, but I’m at least his understudy.  R-Pep is good, but I could easily tell the two apart due to a couple of things that R-Pep does differently.  This is certainly creamier than Dr Pepper and the carbonation levels are lower here.  These differences allow R-Pep to be smoother than the already self-proclaimed smooth Dr.  There is also a heavier dose of vanilla used in R-Pep which just exaggerates the previously made point.  Overall it’s a pretty dang tasty beverage and even though it’s exactly what I thought it would be, it’s not.

Anyone can make a halfhearted attempt to copy someone, causing the result to taste halfhearted.  When a company makes a soda like R-Pep you at least know they were trying.  A lover of Dr Pepper had an idea of how to make it better, so they put forth the time and energy to do so.  Ultimately this created a different enough soda that it should be allowed to stand alone, but sadly will always be compared.  Just ask Pepsi how that’s worked out for them.  Dr Pepper’s only competitor is Pibb and if you ask me that’s not much of a competitor.  R-Pep is better than Pibb and sizes up well against its “inspiration”.  Sure it’s sweeter, more vanilla-y, and smoother, but that’s what makes it special.  If you find a bottle in your neck of the woods you should give it a try.

Verdict – Buy a Pack

~A

This soda was given to us by YOU!  Your donations made this review possible, so THANKS!