Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lucky Club Cola

I needed a caffeine kick, so I grabbed this:

Lucky Club Cola

Brand: Lucky Club Cola.

Origin: Breese, IL.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: This was fine, but it was just a normal cola. That's not bad. It just didn't stand out in any way. It was decent, so I'll give it a score on the high side of average.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hard Root Beer Float (Best Damn Root Beer)

Last month, I tried the new hard root beer "Best Damn Root Beer," and I really didn't care for it. But I promised that I'd try it as a root beer float because that could be better. And I was right. Barely.

NOT the best (as I noted in this post)

As a HARD root beer float.

I tried this with my soon-to-be brother-in-law Matt. Neither of us LOVE beer, so admittedly, we're maybe not the best reviewers of a root beer / beer hybrid. We didn't care for the root beer float that much. It was OK with bites of the ice cream, but neither of us drank the creamy hard root beer that was left once the ice cream was gone. It had a odd sharpness to it that was no good. I initially gave Best Damn Root Beer a 2.5 out of 10, and I'd have to give this root beer float at 3 out of 10. Still not good.

Score: 3 out of 10.

(Here's my initial review of Best Damn Root Beer if you missed it.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cherry Soda at Cold Front in St. Paul

On Friday, the boys and I stopped off at Cold Front Coffee / Ice Cream / Soda shop:

Cold Front in St. Paul

I drove through that neighborhood a few days before that, and Randolph Ave was all torn up. I figured we'd stop to "help out the small guys" in case they were hurting from the road construction. But the construction near Cold Front was all complete! So stop by without fear of construction issues.

Cold Front in St. Paul
My boys enjoying "Superman" and "Birthday Cake" ice cream cones.

Cold Front in St. Paul
My Cherry Soda from Steve at Cold Front.

Cold Front in St. Paul
I got about 1/2 my soda. The boys split the other half. Charlie kept
saying "more please!" (And yes, he's got a bandaid on his finger and
a scratch on his face - it had been a rough 24 hours for him.)

I Instagrammed this after we left: "A quick stop at @coldfrontmsp for
ice cream and a homemade soda! #HighlyRecommended"

Brand: Cold Front Cherry Soda.

Origin: St. Paul, MN.

Purchase Place: Cold Front, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Unknown. (I forgot to ask.)

Review: No joke: this was one of the best cherry soda I've ever had (if not THEE best). It was plenty sweet without being too syrupy, and the "freshness" of a homemade soda gave it a perfect slight kick with the "fresh" carbonated water. This was good. The boys couldn't stop stealing sips.

Score: 8 out of 10.

(Next time I go back, I need to try something with phosphate added for an extra tanginess. You can do that for a extra $0.50 at Cold Front.)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sprecher Raspberry

I cracked into this after I picked it up on a recent "Menards run" with my boys:

Sprecher Raspberry

Brand: Sprecher Raspberry.

Origin: Glendale, WI.

Purchase Place: Menards, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Glucose Syrup and Raw WI Honey.

Review: There have been some Sprecher sodas where honey added a nice sweetness, and some where it's been ruined by honey. I was ready to NOT like this, but it was actually pretty good. The raspberry flavor is nice and just the slightest bit tart/tangy. But it's cut with just a subtle honey sweetness to it. I'm not a huge fan of raspberries, but this was alright. If you're a raspberry nut, give this a try!

Score: 6 out of 10.

Monday, May 16, 2016

365 Root Beer

I had to stop for something at the new Whole Foods in St. Paul (yes, you're allowed to "read into" that - I don't care stopping there at that busy intersection), and I grabbed a can of root beer on the way out:

365 Root Beer

Brand: 365 Root Beer.

Origin: Austin, TX.

Purchase Place: Whole Foods, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This was heavy on the wintergreen flavor, and it was just a bit too much. (It'd be great if you really like wintergreen.) There was a bit too much of a sharpness to this as well that wasn't enjoyable, and that could have been from the wintergreen. Once you get past the wintergreen and sharpness, it has a relatively classic root beer taste. If it were just toned down a bit more, I'd be able to give this 2-3 more points.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy 333rd Soda to Me!

I went back and looked through all of my posts here. As of this moment, here's how this blog breaks down:

- 374 total posts (before this one)

- 315 "normal" soda reviews
- 27 shared articles, funny soda-related things, or showing ways we cook with soda
- 23 posts about different stores and/or refilling my soda stash (7 of those containing soda reviews)
- 4 posts reviewing hard cider/beer/root beer (but 2 of those posts contained 5 reviews each)
- 3 "other" posts (like the intro to this blog, etc.)
- 2 posts where I re-reviewed a soda that I thought deserved a second chance

So if I've done the math correctly, I've chronicled my experience with 333 beverages here so far (315 "normal" reviews + 12 hard ciders + 7 reviews at local soda fountains - 2 re-reviews = 333). Let's see if I can hit 500 reviews before the end of 2017. Bottoms up!

Sidenote: that total of 333 reviews could be a bit off. I could have missed a few "other" posts, so it could be a few short of 333. But I also know that a few of my soda fountain reviews contained more than 1 review (I know one contained 2 reviews, and one contained 3), so I have a 3 review cushion to get me back up to 333 total. So we'll just stick with a count of 333 for now.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Jic Jac Black Cherry

I brought this to class with me this week:

Jic Jac Black Cherry

Brand: Jic Jac Black Cherry.

Origin: Mukilteo, WA.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar

Review: Whoa. This has to be the syrupy-est and sugariest soda I've ever had. When I took a sniff of the soda before taking my first sip, it had a deep black cherry smell that I got excited about. But the taste and sweetness was just too much. I'm generally OK with slightly syrupy sodas, but this is extreme. The flavor just seemed to stick to the back of my throat. Too much. No thanks.

I let this sit next to me for most of my class, and then I tired another few sips at the end of class. Still too much. This barely deserves a 2.

Score: 2 out of 10.

Spring Grove Soda at a St. Paul Coffee Shop

I just stopped down the road at "Coffee Bené" here in St. Paul:

Coffee Bené

Map of Coffee Bené
Behind Davannis Pizza near Grand and Cleveland in St. Paul.

I didn't have my phone on me to take a pic, but they had 4 or 5 different kinds of MN-made Spring Grove Soda in the front display case next to their bakery items. Just wanted to let you all know. Stop in to Coffee Benè and grab a soda!

(Click here for any post tagged with Spring Grove Soda.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Point Premium Root Beer

I cracked into this over the weekend:

Point Premium Root Beer
In front of the lilacs we stole picked from the neighbor's yard.

Brand: Point Premium Root Beer.

Origin: Steven's Point, WI.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: This was a bit smoother than I would have hoped, and it was too heavy on the vanilla. Usually, I like a smooth and vanilla-heavy root beer, but this was just a bit too much. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't quite the root beer for me.

Score: 4.5 out of 10.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dublin Texas Root Beer

I cracked into my first soda from my new stash from Blue Sun Soda:

Dublin Texas Root Beer

Brand: Dublin Texas Root Beer.

Origin: Dublin, TX. (Which is good, because I first thought this was some unholy Irish/Texas blend.)

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: This was creamy and tasty from the first sip. Super smooth. There's a BIT of an odd aftertaste, but it's not too bad. It's not a perfect root beer, but it's quite good. (I also picked up the diet version of this, and I can't wait to try that now.)

Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Foxon Park Strawberry Soda

I brought this to class with me recently:

Foxon Park Strawberry Soda

Brand: Foxon Park Strawberry Soda.

Origin: East Haven, Connecticut.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: This "exploded" more than any other soda I've had when I opened it - it was like it was super carbonated. The strawberry flavor was nice and subtle, not overwhelming. It was sweet and subdued overall, but not too sweet - it was a good "adult" soda without being nasty and dry. Simple and nice. I didn't think I'd care for this a ton, but this was enjoyable.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Yacht Club Grape Soda

I cracked into this recently:

Yacht Club Grape Soda

Brand: Yacht Club Grape Soda.

Origin: SOMEPLACE, Rhode Island.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: Initially, it had a bit more of a "bite" than I'd like a grape soda to have. I want a sugary, smooth, sweet grape soda, and this wasn't quite that. After a few sips, I started to like it more, but it was still far from one of my favorite grape sodas. I'll give this an average score (like I've given to many Yacht Club sodas - they haven't impressed me much).

Score: 5 out of 10.

Sorted Stock of Sodas

After our weekend trip to Blue Sun Soda, I had to sort my soda stock in the basement:

Sodas from Frattallones, Blue Sun, and Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

The open case on top of our "soda fridge" is half "Frattallone Ace" soda and half "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" soda.  The case on top next to the fridge is the new case from "Blue Sun Soda," and the one below that is a few more bottles from "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store."

In total, I have nearly 60 bottles waiting for me. A few at the back of the top case are "repeats" that I've reviewed before, so they're saved for cooking or for giving to friends. Happy soda drinking!