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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dry Soda Co. Soda: Vanilla Bean

In the last few weeks, I've been indulging my love of cream sodas. More will be coming, and we will eventually have a cream soda tasting festival of some sort. However, here at Weird Soda Review, we don't really believe in following unvarying linear paths. We like cul-de-sacs, strange side trails, and interesting rocky slopes which lead round enticing overhangs, and look like you could probably manage to clamber up.
Now, I am acutely aware of the dangers of curiosity. H.P. Lovecraft wrote extensively about how much trouble you can get into investigating things. Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken", for instance, is actually based on a previous work of Lovecraft's.

Two roads diverged on a leprous isle
And frightened by things pursuing me
With noisome sounds, I stopped a while
And gazed down one oft-trodden aisle
To where it slid greasily into the sea

Then took the other, dank and bleak
Though having perhaps the better claim
For down it no amorphous freak
Of gibbering horror could I spy or peek
Nothing of unspeakable name

And twixt them both my mind was caught
As from behind the star-spawn creeped
My incantations came to naught
My silver bullets all were shot...
Onto the second I desperately leaped

I must write this down before I die
So others may avoid my fate
Two roads diverged on an isle, and I...
I took the road less traveled by,
And that has resulted in the loss of my sanity and probable consumption by tentacled horrors.

-"The Road Which Cannot And Must Not Be Taken", by H.P. Lovecraft*

But this is who we are. Curiosity is in the warp and weft of our neural networks here at WSR. If it weren't, this would be "18 billion varieties of Diet Coke Review". So we had to ask the questions.

What if it's cream, but not vanilla?

If you loosely interpret "cream" as "semi-liquid dairy product", then this was adequately answered by the Abali Original Flavor Yogurt Soda. I don't think we need to revisit that, although those two other flavors are still watching me with unblinking eyes. Soon I shall have to quaff them. But there's another question:

What if it's vanilla, but not cream? interesting question indeed. And that's how we come to the soda being reviewed today. This is Dry Soda Co. Soda: Vanilla Bean. The Weird Soda Review Lab has already quaffed some of Dry Soda Co.'s other varieties, including Lavender, Kumquat, Lemongrass, and Rhubarb. In general, they've been surprisingly palatable, if very simple. I have high hopes for this. Unfortunately, the rest of the Lab staff are out on a fact-finding mission, so I am tasting this one solo.

Where and when: purchased April 2009 at Galco's, Los Angeles
Color: totally clear. No color at all that I can see.
Scent: Faint, recognizably vanilla. This bottle is pretty cold, so I'll have to check back on this as it warms up. Sweet, maybe just a hint of acid; could be the carbonation. Smells kind of nice.
Taste: Like much of Dry Soda Co.'s line, the taste is faint. The basic taste of carbonated water is prominent, but with a sweet vanilla laced through it. The vanilla tastes slightly oily; I wonder if it's some sort of essential oil? It's nice, though. The vanilla isn't the bittersweet vanilla like that in the Natural Brew; it's more like the sweet vanilla in Faygo's or Henry Weinhart's. Quite drinkable. Sweeter than most of the Dry Sodas, not too dissimilar from their Lavender.
Much like a very light, cleaner/less syrupy sweet vanilla creme soda.
This makes me wonder what exactly the "creme" is in most creme sodas.

Quaff rating: 4. Quite pleasant, although would not be satisfying if you were looking for a typical soda due to the very light flavor.
Cough rating: 0. There's really nothing objectionable in this.

Aftertaste note: the delayed aftertaste is pretty sour, which is normal for soda. The scent never really got any stronger.

*OK, this was NOT actually written by Lovecraft. It was actually written by Francis Bacon**.
**No it wasn't. And Robert Frost wrote his own poetry***.
***I think.


  1. late to the party on this review, I know. However, I will offer up a small bit of wisdom I've picked up over the years of researching homemade soda-the "creme" in Cream Soda is cream of tartar. cream of tartar is basically the foam scraped from the top of a vat of wine and dried into a powder, and something about the natural fermentation process gives it a slightly cultured taste(exactly like yeast does), and gives a bit of a thick, "creamy" mouthfeel like milk(or yogurt) gives.
    It's found naturally in the skins of grapes, but refined through heating and smooshing out. Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, nectarine, etc. produce citric acid-grapes, bananas and tamarind produce tartaric acid.

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