Friday, November 24, 2023

Closing Soon for the 2023 Year: Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

My boys and I made a quick stop to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store on Wednesday. I needed to refresh my soda stash, and they are closing for the season on Sunday evening, Nov 26th, 2023! Here are a few photos from our stop:

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023
A HUGE (sun-faded) puzzle out front.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023
Some of the "superhero room" at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023
Looking across the big candy area. Notice all the puzzles in the ceiling!

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023
The "final" room full of space-related things. And a large Thanos!

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023
The "Harry Potter hallway" near the end of the store.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023
Batman in the foreground, Harley Quinn in the background, and lots of treats in between.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, Nov 2023
See you next May!

I picked up 25 sodas (a case +1), so look for reviews on those shortly! I actually didn't take any photos of the soda section, but check out this post from 2.5 years ago for lots of photos of the soda sections.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Diet Pepsi and Cherry Coke Zero REDESIGN

I just picked up some of my normal "go-to" diet sodas, and BOTH just had a big redesign. Here, I compare the old (on the left) with the new (on the right):

Diet Pepsi Redesign
Really basic redesign, but I like that it's a little retro (in the text) but with an overall more modern and cleaner look.

Cherry Coke Zero Redesign
Cherry Coke Zero brought a bit of "classic Coke red" into the can...

Cherry Coke Zero Redesign Close-up
... and the top half is a very visible halftone pattern that fades to the older Cherry Coke Zero color.


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Zia Sandia Cola: Watermelon, Mint, and Lime

Here's another soda that my friends sent me:

Zia Sandia

Zia Sandia
I was looking for a line like "separation or floating ingredients is normal" after seeing stuff at the bottom!


Brand: Zia Sandia.  

Origin: Taos, New Mexico.

Purchase Place: Smith's, Kaysville, UT.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This was intriguing to me. I thought the flavor combo sounded like a possible hit! But it was a little to tart and "zingy" for me. This is definitely an "adult" soda as it's not very sweet but has a lot of flavor. There's a subtle watermelon flavor/sweetness that is then met with a punch of mint and lime later in each sip. It's the mint and lime combo that I'm not 100% sold on - it's unique and it tastes sort of how you'd expect, but it's not ALL that tasty. Not sure what to think about this one... but it DID grow on me a bit as I kept sipping on the bottle (and it's definitely a "sipping" soda - this is not something that you'd chug!), so it raised the score from a 4 earlier on to a 5 by the end.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Ramune Original Flavor

I was at HyVee earlier today, and I found this in the Asian Foods aisle:

Ramune Original Flavor

Brand: Ramune Original Flavor.

Origin: Japan.

Purchase Place: HyVee, Eagan, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sugar.

Review: "Original Flavor..." what's that? I don't always do well with "mystery" flavors. After the fun task of opening these special bottles, I took a sip. I first thought it was some sort of fruit flavor, but I quickly realized that it's very "bubble gum" favored. My boys both agreed as well. It was very sweet... really TOO sweet. It was good, but I happy it was only 6.7 oz because it was a lot of sugary goodness. It was OK, but just a bit too much sweetness. Between the fun way to open the bottle and the super sweet soda inside, this would be great for a kid... but not an adult.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Northern Soda Company's Orange Cream Root Beer

I still have 2 sodas left from my Father's Day variety pack. So I left the "best sounding" one for later, and tried this orange cream root beer:

Northern Soda Company's Orange Cream Root Beer

Brand: Northern Soda Company's Orange Cream Root Beer.

Origin: Arden Hills, MN.

Purchase Place: Remix, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: When I popped the top, I instantly smelled that smooth "orange cream" smell. And my first sip had a strong orange cream flavor. But then the rest of the sip was very much JUST "root beer." It was almost odd how separate the flavors were. But it wasn't BAD, it was just unusual how the different flavors hit. It's a tasty orange cream flavor followed by a very basic (but creamy and smooth) root beer flavor. Honestly, I liked it a whole lot more than I thought I would.

Score: 7 out of 10.