The Weird Soda Review Testing Labs pride ourselves on our cosmopolitan attitudes. We're equal-opportunity quaffers; it can come from anywhere, and we'll quaff it. We've already tried things from a number of places. Today, though, we have something which claims to be from El Salvador.
It comes in a clear bottle, and it's labeled Kolashampan. It further claims to be "La Original", and to be "Sabor Unico de El Salvador" (which translates to "The Unique Flavor of El Salvador"). The name "Kolashampan" is superimposed on an irregular outline which, on further research, seems to be the outline of El Salvador.
One gets the impression that this is a soda strongly associated with the nation of El Salvador, possibly uniquely so. In fact, this could (based on the translation of the label) actually be El Salvador-flavored soda. That's even weirder if you continue the translation of the Spanish, but let's not go that far. Weird Soda is one thing; blasphemy is quite another.
Yes, I agree that the Biotta Digestive Drink is, in and of itself, the very incarnation of blasphemy against any Deity which could be considered benevolent. But let's move on. This looks to be Weird enough as it is.
Two more pieces of data to consider when assessing this Weird Soda:
1) It is bottled in Los Angeles
2) I had a chance, purely by accident, to show this to someone prior to drinking this. She recognized it--she had actually had it before.
In more than one guise.
She was from Colombia, and had been all over central and south America. She informs me that there are sodas named after several countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, etc. All of them look like this, except the names are different. And, according to her, all of them taste exactly the same. She was unable to describe how it tasted, except to say that it did not taste like Orange Crush.
It's some sort of El Salvador-flavored Soda Borg, gradually taking over the Americas.
I am so looking forward to this. Bring on the Salvador!
Where and when:purchased sometime in April at Galco's, Los Angeles, CA
Color: bright orange, clear, slightly brown-tinged (as opposed to red).
Scent: bubble gum, quite strong.
Taste: Not like Orange Crush.
There is a bubble-gumish taste to it, but it's not as strong as the scent. Behind the bubble gum, and emerging slightly after, there is a very sweet yet slightly citrusy taste. It reminds me of candy orange slices, or maybe those weird circus peanut candies. The bubble gum is unpleasant, but the unusual semi-citrus which follows is kind of nice. The carbonation is strong, and adds bite to the citrus. However, I wouldn't call this a citrus soda at all.
It's actually quite a bit like Juicy Fruit gum.
Despite the name, it tastes nothing at all like either cola or champagne.
Not much of an aftertaste, just the gradual fade of the circus peanuts. Maybe just the tiniest hint of a bitter edge in the very delayed aftertaste, but it's so faint as to be almost nonexistent.
So there you have it. The unique flavor of El Salvador (which is not only unique, but identical to the flavors of Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia at least) is Juicy Fruit, or maybe circus peanuts.
Quaff rating: 3. Reasonably nice.
Cough rating: 1. I'm not all that fond of Juicy Fruit.
Aftertaste Update, about two minutes later: I suddenly got a bizarre bitter/sour taste. It sprung out of nowhere, seizing my taste buds in its sinister biomechanical grip. The Kolashampan nanoprobes have undoubtedly taken deep root in my esophagus, and are gradually working their way up past my tonsils . The taste is possibly that of my own blood, being assimilated by the SodaBorg of Central and South America. It is my own unique taste, that of my very flesh, blood, and sinews, and with the last shreds of my consciousness, I can taste it becoming one with the Kolashampan.