In the last review, we at the lab enjoyed a nice Pear soda from a Russian town which is home to research in experimental mineralology and "physiologically active substances". The Weirdness potential of such a beverage is nearly off the scale*. What we got was a pleasant but not extremely Weird pear soda, which was nice. However, I expect more from crazed Russian scientists. I want a soda left over from Soviet-era research, which will turn me into some sort of hideous human-bear cyborg hybrid with tank treads, adamantium armor, and plasma-arc flamethrowers emerging from my shoulders, filled with a compulsion to roll into Washington DC and claim it in the name of the proletariat. Or something like that.
Well, here's another chance. From the same market, we also obtained a bottle of Napitki iz Chernogolovki ("Drinks from Chernogolovka", the aforementioned Russian research-oriented town) Cream Soda. The label depicts a glass of an amber beverage, along with a still-life-like raised plate with three spherical...objects. Perhaps rice balls or Sno-Cone components. One of them has an umbrella sticking out of it.
Chernogolovkian Cream Soda. Hideous squid-man, manta-man, and alien overlords (and Harry Potter) provided in an attempt to elicit transformative Weirdness powers from the soda.
Well, I suppose I could settle for being turned into a hideous human-rice ball cyborg hybrid, with...er...syrup-based armor...and umbrella-shaped flamethrowers...at a seaside resort?
Oh, heck. It's cream soda. It'll probably be good.
Where and when: Purchased October 2010 at International Market, Vista, CA
Color: Almost clear, just a hint of beige. The amber beverage on the label must be apple juice. Or lager. Or chardonnay, although the straw suggests otherwise. ***
Scent: To my surprise, this has a scent closer to the bourbon vanilla extract family, rather than the sweet French vanilla. A fair amount of bite in the scent, and a hint of complexity. Promising!
Taste: Quite a bit more tart than I expected. The initial taste is almost citrusy, but it fades after a few seconds into a well-balanced cream, sweet, and tart mix. The taste is more French vanilla than bourbon, but it's a nice example of type.
The tart is now fading, leaving surprisingly little aftertaste.
A second taste gives me an odd moment of metallic taste just when the initial tart is changing to the sweet, but it fades fast. Not sure what that was. It's a fairly nice cream soda, especially for the sweet type (I have a preference for the slightly ore bitter variety).
The aftertaste is a bit more tart this time, but not too bad.
I've been fairly impressed with the Napitki iz Chernogolovki drinks so far. I do have one more in the wings, which should prove interesting. And speaking of wings...aw, crud. No biomechanical appendages have sprouted from my shoulders. Not a hint of laser cannons in my forearms or palms. I see not augmented targeting overlay in my vision. How disappointing.
Quaff rating: 3.5. A surprisingly good cream soda.
Cough rating: 0.5. The tart aftertaste is still growing, and getting a bit less pleasant.
** Weird-o-Meter Beverage Analysis Technology
*** For a contrasting opinion on the appropriateness of straws for consumption of wine, see Frog, K.T. and Piggy, M. (1979) Consumption of Fermented Beverages via Cylindrical Devices. Journal of Muppet Science 12(5), pp. 612-615. Additional commentary can also be found in Martin, S. (1979) Use of Straws by Muppets of Questional Socioeconomic Provenance: Yes, I Anticipated That. Annals of Snootiness 16(325), pp. 12-18