So far at the Lab, we've only reviewed one of Sprecher's offerings--the Ravin' Red. It did not go well--not only did it make our "Weird in a Bad Way" list, it made me write a poem. And that's not usually a good thing.
We've decided to give them another chance, and try out their Cream Soda. Given my great affection for cream soda, I have high hopes for this; on the other hand, given the really unpleasant aftertaste of the Ravin' Red, I am prepared to have those hopes cruelly dashed. In short, I am prepared for anything.
Well, except for the newly discovered freaking enormous orb weaver that was recently discovered in Madagascar, Nephila komaci. *shudder* I might need a cape to be ready for that. I'm not sure I could possibly be ready for that.
Anyway. The JAT and I are going to give this Sprecher a try. The label names is "Sprecher Fire-Brewed Cream Soda". How fire is involved in the brewing process is not further described. The label features a picture of an anthropomorphic bee in a chef's hat, drinking from a bottle of Sprecher's cream soda while holding three other bottles with its other appendages. The bee seems happy about this.
He probably hasn't read about Nephila komaci yet. I looked that happy, too, before I read about that.
Where and when: purchased at Galco's, Los Angeles, CA
Color: medium amber. Darker than some, kind of the color of stained oak or maple. JAT: "Golden."
Scent: Honeyish and vanilla. There's an interesting acrid bitter scent in there too, faint. Not the bitter of beer--a more acid bitter. Honestly, the bitter of stomach acid, but very faint and not quite as unpleasant as that.
Taste: Definitely vanilla, the sweet kind--this is a little like the Faygo, in that it has a strong note of french vanilla ice cream.
JAT: "Vanilla!" He is apparently speaking in single-word sentences for this review.
Unlike the Faygo, however, this has an undertone of bitterness, but not like Bourbon vanilla. It's the same bitter from the scent--again, faint, but present. It shows up mostly in the aftertaste. The front taste is almost entirely French vanilla, with some honey-like notes. Quite sweet.
The bitter/acid is worse in the scent than in the taste; in the taste, it mostly comes out as an acid or citrusy kick at the end of the taste. I like the honey vanilla flavor, it's quite nice. The honey lends a complexity that a more pure vanilla cream soda lacks.
Sprecher seems to have an affinity for Weird and slightly unpleasant aftertastes.
Quaff rating: 3.5. Pretty good, nice smooth honey and vanilla.
Cough rating: 1.0. The unpleasant acrid scent makes the approach problematic.