IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate

Consumption of soda in 3...2...1...

It has been a long time since we’ve reviewed an IZZE product.  That’s a shame too as they make some really good soda.  I probably stopped reviewing them because Hipster Soda Drinker Aaron thought they were too mainstream since he saw them everywhere.  Hipster Soda Drinker Aaron was kind of an idiot.  Today though he goes away.  Today he becomes Soda Drinker Aaron once again when he opens this bottle of IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate.

 

Speaking of IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate, it has no refined sugars, no caffeine, no preservatives and is 70% pure fruit juice with a splash of sparkling water.  Ingredient wise we have an absolute winner on our hands here.  Taste has yet to be determined.

This smells more of grape juice than pomegranate, but since the ingredients include grape juice it’s somewhat understandable.  There is a pomegranate scent, but it seems to be happy enough playing second fiddle in this case.

This is wine for children.  I’m sure IZZE doesn’t want to sell it that way, but it’s the first thought that came to my mind.  The real deal grape juice lends itself easily to the wine comparison, but we all know that wine is so much more than grape juice.  The pomegranate adds the dryness you’d expect in a wine, but being soda it’s obviously sweeter.  Since the only sugars used are the ones from the fruits themselves it’s a fantastic balance.

Now here is where I come clean and say I’m not a wine drinker. I’ve had maybe 10 glasses in my life, and 5 of those were red.  IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate takes my tastebuds on a similar journey that the wine did.  A burst of flavor on the front end (although I like the IZZE version better) and a somewhat dry finish.  It makes me feel fancy, but not overly so, with each sip  I take.

Overall I’m thrilled with IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate.  The mouthfeel is nice with just enough fizz to remind you that you’re drinking a soda.  There is an aftertaste, but it mirrors the present taste accurately.  I really want some cheese and crackers now to enjoy with my bottle of IZZE.  

Hipster Soda Drinker Aaron kept me from reviewing this earlier in life and I dislike him for it, although maybe I wasn’t ready yet.  Perhaps Hipster Soda Drinker Aaron kept me from reviewing this with an unrefined tongue.  This is my favorite of the IZZE flavors and I immediately want more of it.  Pair that (WINE JOKE) with a stellar ingredient list and you’ve got a top soda.

Verdict - Buy Stock

~A

This was purchased at a Kroger Grocery Stor

Nature's Pure Organic Cola

Last time I reviewed a Nature’s Pure product I lamented that it cost me around $6.50 for a four pack.  Well a couple week’s later and they’re on sale for $4.50, a much more reasonable price.  For those jerks that only read this site for the ONE soda review you need in a pinch, Nature’s Pure makes organic sodas.  For those of you who read this each time a review is posted you already knew that… also I’d like to shake your hand.

In the same awesome tiny (8oz) glass bottle as before, Nature’s Pure Organic Cola’s label theme is red.  Has Coke done such a good job that we now associate cola with red or did Nature’s Pure just feel that red best represented their cola.  The world may never know, although I’m pretty sure it’s the former.

A healthy cola aroma or colaroma lifts itself out of the mouth of the bottle.  It’s a strong enough scent that I feel ok saying the taste should be “good” at the very least.  Perhaps I should fact check myself now.

The radiating excellence is all that keeps Twist that far away.

That’s a tasty little drink.  Cola is unmistakably the taste that hits my tongue and makes me smirk a bit.  I’m not sure why they don’t have “Have a Nature’s Pure Organic Cola and a Smirk” as their slogan because it would be perfect.  

The carbonation levels are perfect.  It’s just a tingle of sharp carbonation.  If Coke has a “bite” then Nature’s Pure Organic Cola is like a kitten stretching and putting it’s claws into your thigh accidentally.  Now, kitten nails embedded in flesh may now sound tasty… but it is.

Visiting the taste once again I’m pleased with how sweet it is and their use of spices.  This soda actually feels like a treat, but doesn’t leave any syrupy aftertastes or gross mouthfeel its competitors might.  The spices (which you can taste better near the bottom of the bottle) give this a somewhat unique strength.  On top of all that it’s a fairly clean cola in terms of aftertaste, leaving only it’s original flavor behind.

Overall Nature’s Pure Organic Cola is a strong contender in the cola category and it’s organic to boot.  Even if I had bought this at $6.50 a pack I’d have felt like it was worth it.  Find it, try it, enjoy it.

Verdict - Buy Stock in the Company

~A

This soda was purchased at an HEB grocery store

Swamp Pop Praline Cream Soda

Well, I’ve saved what I think will be the best Swamp Pop flavor for last.  Swamp Pop Praline Cream Soda sits in front of me complete with a tiny picture of pecans (pronounced puh-konz if you care to be a friend of mine).  I’m curious as to how candy like this cream soda will be.  Will it be extra sweet with a caramel finish?  Will it have a nutty flavor with a hint of cream?  I genuinely haven’t the slightest of clues, so let’s find out shall we?

Judging by the aroma it seems they went the caramel route.  So rich it almost has a texture, a sweet/salty scent flows easily out of the mouth of the bottle and just hangs.  By smell alone I can tell you this is a dessert beverage and I’m guessing a dang fine one. 

Twist loves himself some pralines.  His original recipe included crickets though.

Son of a gun.  Chocolate, caramel, cream, coffee, pecan, and a touch of dirty livin’ made this soda.  This is a wonderful combination of all the flavors listed.  Initially the taste starts off smooth and nonchalant, but a caramel coffee sensation rolls across my tongue and does it’s best to prepare me for what’s to come.  Its delightful warning is followed by a somewhat bitter chocolate taste that rushes by with pecans in hand.  Like a streaker running past, you know you saw something, but it all happened so fast you can’t create a very accurate mental picture of the naked person.  The carbonation is fairly light, letting all of the tastes show their stuff. 

Behind all of this is the cream, because after all it is a cream soda.  This cream keeps the flavor consistent throughout its ever changing textures.  You may have noticed that I also included “dirty livin” as a flavor.  By that I just mean you can taste the work, effort, and dirty hands that it took to come up with this one.  I’m not sure I can find a weakness in this soda. 

What’s impressive to me is that with all of those flavors the beverage doesn’t feel heavy.  I’ve finished this bottle and could easily drink more.  Not something I expected after getting a scent of what I was about to drink. 

So it seems I made the right decision leaving Praline Cream Soda for last.  Overall I’m very impressed with the Swamp Pop line up as they give us familiar tastes, but with a Louisiana touch.  If you have the chance, you definitely need to pick up a bottle.

Verdict – Buy Stock in the Company

~A

This soda supplied to us by Swamp Pop

Pure Sodaworks Cafe Cola

Pure Sodaworks Strawberry Jalapeno has both strawberries and jalapenos in the ingredients.  Pure Sodaworks Honey Lime has both honey and lime in the ingredients.  This begs the question, what does Pure Sodaworks Café Cola have in it?  We know they’ll be using 100% natural ingredients, but what are they?  Why aren’t I reading the ingredients right now since the bottle simply sits inches away?  Ok, I’ve tortured myself enough.  Here is what makes up a bottle of Pure Sodaworks Café Cola:  Sparkling Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Herbs and Spices, Caramel Color (from cane sugar), Espresso, and Citric Acid.  So while that may be a bit more complicated than “Honey + Lime = Soda”, you can’t deny that doesn’t include anything you couldn’t easily find at your local grocer.  Perhaps some of the “herbs and spices” would be difficult, but for the sake of this review let’s pretend they’re there too and move on.

Today's use of "sapid" brought to you by Thesaurus.com

Today's use of "sapid" brought to you by Thesaurus.com

Something that struck me as odd is that this is cola seems overly dark in color, so dark that when I shine a flashlight up from the bottom of the bottle the light doesn’t make it all the way to the top.  You haven’t heard of this time tested test of soda color?  This isn’t something I’m going to start doing “on the reg”, but I figured in this case it’d be kinda fun.  Sorry to have wasted your time, I guess I’ll just open it now.

Wow, the spices used are quite pungent.  It’s like I have a basket of cola potpourri and next to me and why wouldn’t I?  I like the finer things in life too.  Cola potpourri, Dr Pepper Febreeze, root beer candles… you know, the norm.  Time for a drink.

I’m somewhat thankful that the spice isn’t as noticed in the taste as it is the smell.  My tongue is greeted with a strong cola flavor that lacks the bite that so many of us are used too in our Coca-Cola brand Cokes.  What fills this void of harshness is the smooth sensation of cola made sharp only by the carbonation that dances around it.  It’s not so sweet that you couldn’t enjoy it with a meal, but it does seem a touch more sugary than what you might be expecting.

If this were the end of the experience I’d say Pure Sodaworks Café Cola was an above average cola that I was happy to try, then I’d go about my day.  Thankfully this is not the case.  The espresso included sets Café Cola even further ahead of the pack by giving the final moments of each sip as well as the aftertaste a roasted coffee flavor.  I personally hate the taste of coffee, but I absolutely love the way it smells.  Pure Sodaworks Café Cola transmogrifies the scent of coffee into a taste and lets it run slightly behind the lead horse named Cola.  This roasted bean makes all the difference in the world making this beverage quite sapid.  Drink this cola if you like colas.  Drink this cola if you like coffee.  Drink this cola if you like sodas.  Drink this cola.

Verdict – Buy Stock in the Company

~A  

This beverage supplied to us by Pure Sodaworks