Baloo
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Blue Sky Dr. Becker

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Blue Sky Dr. Becker

I've seen Blue Sky Natural sodas in several different places (only reviewed the Root Beer so far though), but I've never seen this variety. Had to assume that it was their take on Dr. Pepper, as most "takes" on that old soft drink always have "Dr." at the beginning of it. Since a sugar-sweetened Dr. Pepper is hard to come by (you can order it from Waco, TX, where the soda was born, but it's pricey!) I was looking forward to this one.

Well, it does taste similar to a Dr. Pepper, but closer to a cola flavor to my palate. It is a bit bitey and fruity like a Dr. Pepper, but yeah . . . I taste a lot of cola when I try it. Doesn't mean it tastes badly (to the contrary, it's pretty darn good), but just more cola than Dr. Pepper. Not surprising since the ingredients list "Natural Cola Berry Flavor." That's still kind of perplexing since I always thought "Kola" was a nut. Still, it's worth giving it a shot if you are a Dr. Pepper fan!

Sweetened With: "Real Sugar"

Verdict: Worth a can or two
astro_huh
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Sprecher Ravin' Red

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Sprecher Ravin' Red

Yet another flavor from Sprecher from the same place I got the Sprecher's Puma Kola and Cherry Cola. Being called "Ravin' Red" I thought it would be a red pop, but upon further inspection it appears to be a Cherry-Cranberry blend soda. Cranberry? Truth be told the only times I've seen cranberry used for soda was for cranberry ginger ale (not even sure if they make that anymore.) So I wasn't sure if this blend of sweet and tart would work.

Well, it does and it doesn't. It isn't overly sweet like a cherry soda as the cranberry's tartness kinda keeps that in check. However, there's an additional bitter flavoring that doesn't seem to come from the cranberry. Looking at the ingredients, it shows that this beverage contains yucca extract and ginseng. I've seen yucca used in some root beers, while ginseng is a not very good tasting root used often for energy. So those kinda add a different dimension that push the flavor of this one into the odd realm. I don't hate it, but I don't think I'll be trying this again.

Sweetened With: "high fructose corn syrup, raw Wisconsin honey"

Verdict: Worth trying at least once
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Sprecher Cherry Cola

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Sprecher Cherry Cola

Picked this one up at the same place I bought that Sprecher's Puma Kola. Apparently Sprecher's has some kind of animal thing going on for each of their products with the puma for the cola, there's a bear on this label (don't quite understand why the root beer has a crow on it.) Since their cola and root beer are pretty good, I was looking forward to this. Though I don't know what exactly "DOOR COUNTY CHERRY JUICE" is (it's on the bottom of the front of the label right after it says "made with") and what makes that better than any other cherry juice, but google "door county cherry" and you learn a few things. Anyways . . . how's it taste?

Thankfully, really darn good! This is probably the cherriest cherry cola I've ever had. Though the taste does remind me of Cherry Icee a bit. But still nice cola flavor (not as strong as their Puma Kola thankfully) complimented with sweet cherry flavor. Do get this if you can find it!

Sweetened With: "high fructose corn syrup, raw Wisconsin honey"

Verdict: Worth a bottle or two
badtz - happy thoughts
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(no subject)

Cola Azteca

Happened upon this in the organic section of a Wegman's supermarket. It was on sale since it was being discontinued. Not sure if that means it was no longer being made, or if it just wasn't being carried by the store anymore. In any case, I jumped at the chance since it was something I had never seen before. Only problem is saw with this initially is that the label says "Taylor's Tonics Cola Azteca is based upon a traditional recipe of energizing and flavorful botanicals. Cocoa, Coffee Bean, Cinnamon and a touch of Cayenne are sure to enliven your senses."

Now, the only ingredient there that I find remotely appetizing in a cola is the cinnamon. I'm not a coffee drinker so the "coffee bean" entry didn't get my hopes up about the flavor. "Cayenne" was a "The Hell?!?" addition as well since cayenne pepper is a pretty powerful spice.

Now I know why it's being discontinued. Upon first taste, my worries were confirmed. Wow! The coffee flavor totally overpowers anything in this soda. The other spices don't really make it taste any better either. I can make out the cocoa and the cinnamon, but the mix just doesn't work out right. It's not very sweet and that's to its detriment since it's a whacked out amalgamation of flavors with nothing to tie it all together.

Sweetened With: "evaporated cane juice"

Verdict: Not worth your time
Marahute Confused
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Crush Cherry

Crush Cherry

Ran across this in my local supermarket recently. I've known for a while that Crush has a few other fruit soda varieties out there (you can get glass-bottled Crush Grape and Crush Strawberry at almost any Walmart), but this is the first time I've come across cherry . . . and I love cherry sodas!

This one starts off pretty good with some decent cherry flavor (artificial and natural as the label says), but I was waiting for the bitter/sour flavor to hit me after that initial fruity-sweetness. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. That sourness never came. It's got a little sour flavor, but not quite enough if you ask me. Without it, it's just too sweet for me. Your mileage may vary.

Sweetened With: "high fructose corn syrup"

Verdict: Worth trying at least once
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Blenheim Ginger Ale

Blenheim Ginger Ale

Here's another soda my friends got me for Christmas (yeah, I been neglecting this community for too long!) I certainly didn't think much of it from first looking at it especially with the minimalist ingredients list. Sugar sweetened at the very least.

That all changed once I got a taste. Wow, this is one spicy ginger ale! Definitely in the golden ginger ale range of spice and bite. My mouth tingled for a while after I drank it. Well, if you like spicy ginger ale like I do, you will love this. If spicy ginger ale isn't your thing, this definitely isn't going to change your mind.

Sweetened With: "sucrose"

Verdict: Worth a bottle or two
homer_panda
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Zuberfizz Raspberry Ginger Ale

Zuberfizz Raspberry Ginger Ale

I initially wasn't going to review this Zuberfizz Raspberry Ginger Ale simply because it's a calorie-free beverage. I pretty much wanted to stay away from diet type drinks, but since some friends got me this as a package of sodas they ordered for me for Christmas, I figured I'd make an exception. Plus, this is the first . . . anything I've come across that uses ZSweet, so it might be worth a shot.

Unfortunately, it isn't. It does have a nice natural, herbal flavor up front with a hint of raspberry. But then that subsides and you taste what you would normally expect to taste of a "diet" soda--that crappy not-sugar sweetener taste. You just can't escape it I suppose no matter what sugar substitute you use. I can imagine that this would probably taste pretty good with sugar, but until that happens--I just can't recommend this too much.

Sweetened With: "zsweet"

Verdict: Worth trying at least once
donovan chill
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Jones Soda Orange Cola

Jones Soda Orange Cola

Leave it to the eccentricity of Jones Soda to come up with a twist on Cola that I've never had before. Sure I've had cherry cola, vanilla cola, chocolate cola, lemon cola, lime cola, coffee cola, even green tea cola, but never orange cola. Always thought that the orange flavor was too strong to really mesh well with the cola flavor, so I didn't think this fusion would really work out.

But that's the key to it, the orange flavor is kinda subdued. Tastes a bit like a cola with a little bit of a melted orange popsicle in it--but in a good way! And of course, since it's sweetened with sugar, no nasty cola aftertaste. Now, I don't think this will replace lime cola as my favorite cola mixer, but it's still pretty good.

Sweetened With: "pure cane sugar"

Verdict: Worth a bottle or two
Casino_Royale
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Sioux City Birch Beer

Sioux City Birch Beer

Couple friends of mine got me a batch of various sodas for Christmas, so here I am sharing the spoils with you all! First up is Sioux City Birch Beer. Been wanting to try this for a while now, but this brand just doesn't show up far too often in my travels. It's a red birch beer so I'm expecting a creamy flavor in this one.

And I'm right. Sweet and creamy, with good bite. A little on the syrupy side. I should have expected that after reading the label though . . . "ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS." One wonders why they would go through the trouble of using cane sugar, but go totally artificial with the flavors? Still, not too bad.

Sweetened With: "pure cane sugar"

Verdict: Worth a bottle or two
Marc Anthony - SAY WHAT?!
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Sprite Green

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Sprite Green

Went up to NYC recently with some friends. Made a trip out to St. Marks Market in the hopes of grabbing some Pepsi Natural (since it's only available in certain areas.) I didn't find the Pepsi Natural, but I did find this--something I didn't even know was available. Upon looking at the label, it seems that this revision of Sprite is naturally flavored, is 5% lemon juice, sweetened with sugar and also featuring rebiana; which is an extract of the calorie-free sweetening root, stevia. It appears they're trying to make a lower calorie, natural version of the lemon-lime soda. So . . . is it any good?

Hmmmm . . . well, the lemon flavoring is stronger than regular Sprite. It's pretty good overall, but it kind of tastes like regular Sprite and Sprite Zero mixed together. Now, granted it is much better than Sprite Zero or Diet Sprite, but I can't see myself buying this over and over.

Sweetened With: "sugar, rebiana (stevia)"

Verdict: Worth trying at least once