A colleague of mine went to a soda tasting the other day (yes, soda heads do share certain quirks and events with wine snobs, except they aren’t as snobby) and came back with this as his recommendation as a non-root beer standout. He was right about one thing: the bottle sure as heck stands out. It’s way too wide. Probably to turn off the casual soda drinker since this gourmet soda is for the hard core. It was fire-brewed after all, which I assume means they evaporated the soda and then condensed it back into liquid from a gas before bottling it. The fact that some white “smoke” came out of the bottle as I opened it adds further proof to this theory (although my colleague told me it was just evaporated water, anyone have a real answer?).
Like I said, the wide bottle makes it hard to grip. Seems like the stuff aimed at hardcore people is designed to be as obnoxious as possible to actually appreciate. Think about it: Coke cans are designed to fit your hand perfectly, and as an added benefit, you can crush the can against your head after you’re done to become a hit with the ladies. But this? This is something that you can only drink by yourself or, if you have to be with friends, at an underaged poker game (since people under 21 who play poker only drink soda because they follow the law). It’s a beer that you have to be in a good atmosphere to appreciate. You can’t lug it around a party, you’ll drop this sucker.
Anyway, most important is the taste. My colleague said this was good since it tasted like actual cherries. He was right: it doesn’t have much flavor at all. This is the catch-22 with making fruit-inspired consumables: either you add enough sugar to make it taste sweet and screw up the natural taste, or you don’t add enough sugar and it tastes like the fruit but not like the ideal fruit. By ideal fruit, I mean the type of taste you get from a Skittle. Green apples do not taste at all as sweet as the candy does, but that doesn’t stop the candy makers from striving for the ideal flavor of it by adding way too much sugar.
Basically, what I’m saying is that if you’re an old person who is through with sugary-tasting sodas but still wants something with a hint of sweetness, you could do a lot worse than this cherry cola. It’s pretty good. Not great, and as a timeless person, I still have an appreciate for sweets, so I’m not that into what it’s going for, but it’s fine.