A little while back, we reviewed Oogave Watermelon Cream, and found it to not be as good as we hoped. Being fans of both watermelon and cream soda, we were hoping that it would (in fusing the two) lead us to hitherto unsuspected realms of beverage enjoyment, transfixing us with halberds of watermelon-creamy refreshment, and sending shivers of transcendent ecstasy through our quivering frames with the popping of each little carbonated bliss-bubble.
Perhaps our expectations were a bit high. Still, it did not strike us as being as special as we had believed it might be, after reading reviews elsewhere.
Imagine my utter shock when Mike, who apparently works at Oogave, commented on the review. I was--to use a British phrase which has become a favorite of mine--gobsmacked.
Someone reads the blog!
Mike was very polite, acknowledging that not everyone likes the watermelon cream flavor (although it does sell well). He then offered to send us samples of other flavors. A Weird Soda bottler wanted to send me soda!
But wait...would this bring our integrity into question? If I accepted Mike's generous offer, would it bring the objectivity of the Weird Soda Review labs--objectivity on which thirsty weird folks everywhere might, theoretically, depend--into question? Was I taking the "king's soda"? Would this forever tarnish the sterling reputation of the Lab and its staff, and result in our being forced to lurk in dank alleyways, huddled under cardboard boxes, reviewing pools of stagnant water and oil slicks on the pavement?*
After careful consideration, I decided that having bottlers send me Weird sodas was just too cool to pass up, but that I would make sure to enforce absolute objectivity on myself and the staff. I would accomplish this by offsetting the genuine gratitude I felt toward Mike and Esteban at Oogave with a ridiculously grumpy attitude. So here goes...
GODD**MIT, NOW I GOTTA REVIEW THIS #@!%&ING SWILL THAT CAME IN THE MAIL! WHAT THE %&*@ DO THEY WANT FROM ME, HUH? I MEAN, WHAT THE $#@&%ING **%@#@ DO THOSE #$@%ERS THINK I DO ALL DAY? SIT HERE WAITING FOR THEIR $$%@#$#@? LIKE I WANT TO TRY IT. @$$%#$!
Okay, now that's taken care of, and nobody could possibly suspect us of bias.
When I opened the package that Mike and Esteban sent us, I found that they had sent us six bottles. Each was completely mummified in bubble wrap, so that I couldn't actually see what they were. They were plush, bottle-shaped objects which sloshed vaguely.
I didn't think our review had been bad enough that I should worry about bombs, but this did present me with a problem. What flavors, exactly, did I have?
The Kibbitzer-in-Chief showed me how this was not as much a problem as an opportunity. We could have a series of surprise reviews! I would pick a bottle at random and unwrap it, knowing that whatever it was, I would have to review it.
I don't think Oogave makes "Cockroach Cream", but if they do, I'm probably the right guy to send it to.
For the first one, I unwrapped Ginger Ale. I like ginger ale. I hope it's good.
Err...I mean I'LL BET THIS IS GOING TO SUCK MONKEY @#$%@#.
(Thanks, Mike and Esteban!)
Where and when: donated by Oogave, September 2009
Color: murky and translucent, white. Not the usual amber-gold of ginger ale.
Scent: Holy moly. Massive ginger smell, much stronger than any other ginger ale I've smelled. Almost earthy. Pleasant, but very strong.
K-i-C: "Yep. Ginger. And, oddly, grapefruit."
Taste: Hmm. The ginger taste is strong, but not extremely sharp. The dominant impression is one of smooth and cool, with a strong honey-ginger taste.
LAT: "I like it."
JAT: "Doesn't seem that refreshing to me."
LAT: "It's a very fast taste, isn't it? Like, kind of BOOM!, then goes away fast. Like a nuclear explosion." *tastes* "Mmmm. BOOM!"
K-i-C: "It's very nice. If anything, it's a little too sweet." *pause* "That's a lot of ginger. I feel like I should be having sushi with it."
It's very smooth, easy to drink. Very little initial bite, which is remarkable given how much ginger is in it. It also tastes like honey--which, given the agave syrup, is understandable. Overall, very pleasant. It's not much like any other ginger ale I've had--it's almost like a ginger Italian soda. Much better than the watermelon cream--more subtle, less cloying.
Actually, it's a bit like Vernors, which is a good thing. This is smoother, less sharp, and a bit sweeter, I think.
Quaff rating: 4.0. A very nice experience.
Cough rating: 0.5. The ginger scent almost made my eyes water.
*"At first, the mold and algae was a bit strong for my taste, but I found that the undertone of diesel more than offset it. Still, I'd prefer to lick the gutter at 4th and Lincoln."
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