Here's one which promises to be unusual. At BevMo, we found Journey Caribbean Creme. As a fan of cream sodas, I felt I should give this a try. The label describes it as "Hint of coconut, gentle brew of Java vanilla." Sounds interesting. My interest is further piqued by the fact that the bottler's logo, prominently featured around the bottle, is an upside-down, mirror-reversed question mark.
And I note that this bottle has more of those coded dots down near the bottom! More on this topic in a further post.
This soda comes with an additional side effect. Since reading the name (Caribbean Creme), I have had Billy Ocean's song "Caribbean Queen" stuck in my head.
Where and when: purchased 3/12/09 at BevMo, Escondido, CA
Color: medium pale gold, kind of like a lager
Scent: Wow. Strong vanilla, but mixed with coconut and (maybe) coffee. The lead assistant tester says it smells like buttered kettle popcorn, and he's exactly right.
The Lead Assistant Tester says: "I wonder if it tastes like that. I hope not."
It's not a bad smell, exactly, just very strong and not what I would expect.
Taste: Interesting. More sour than it smells, but pretty similar. Really quite unique, not like any soda I've had. Sweet, with a strong undertone of vanilla, overlaid with coconut and popcorn, with a hint of coffee.
Opinions in the Lab vary rather a lot.
Lead Assistant Tester: (retching noises) "Nobody should ever drink this", making panting noises with his tongue out.
Kibbitzer-in-Chief: "I have goosebumps of horror. I'd rather drink the Kombucha Wonder Drink"
Junior Assistant Tester, after at least 20 seconds of careful consideration, with a very serious expression: "I like it".
Lead Assistant: "This should be on one of those TV shows, the 10 most disgusting things in soda"
K-I-C: "It tastes like a vermifuge. (does some net research) Look! Coconut oil is a vermifuge!" NOTE: a vermifuge is an anti-parasitical worm medication.
Lead Assistant: "The worst thing about it is that if you burp afterwards, you can taste it again."
I actually don't mind it, it's got character. Some Weird Sodas end up being slight variations on totally commonplace sodas, but not this one. This is not one of those. It has a unique and complex flavor, one I've never encountered before.
Quaff rating: 2 and a half. Despite the fact that I kind of groove on the unique flavor, it is pretty startling.
Cough rating: 3. Nearly caused upchucking in half the staff.
Now I'm turning slightly green,
And I think it slew my son.
Get this stuff of my tongue.
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