Once more the global reputation of the Weird Soda Review Lab has brought us a windfall. Undoubtedly drawn by the impeccable credentials of the Lab as a bastion of scholarship, unimpeachable integrity, and enthusiastic Weirdness, the Sioux City company (whose birch beer and sarsaparilla we have previously quaffed) have sent us their latest concoction, Prickly Pear.
Prickly Pear is, of course, a cactus whose fruit and flesh (as nopales) are edible. I am going to presume that this soda is based on the fruit, and that the spines have been removed.
In addition, since I have recently been volunteering as a stagehand at Vista's "Moonlight Ampitheater", I will write the rest of the review in iambic pentameter.
Sioux City, knowing of our peerless wit
And trusting us to weigh their Prickly Pear
'gainst other sodas, did vouchsafe to us
A sample, which we now shall quaff and rate.
The bottle, clearest glass, doth show its shade;
Magenta like unto the rosy light
When Helios, our sun, has dipped below
The rim of Earth, and clouds are painted red
Decanting some, I raise my cup and sniff
Allowing effervescence to convey
The essence of its fruity scent within.
My nostrils read its tale, and thus I speak:
A sweetness strong it shows, but not alone;
Intriguing shades of fruit do lie beneath,
Tart berries war with citrus, scent on scent.
A mellow note alloys the sweet and tart.
The youngest of the tasting personnel
Reports the smell as "Cherry!" and seems glad.
The Lead Assistant Tester claims he finds
"Strawberry, cherry, plasticky" therein.
I'll not deny the berries they perceive;
Indeed, those fruits encompass well the scent,
Though I would place a lemon in the mix,
perhaps a lime, and berries at the front.
And now comes tasting; do we fear to quaff
This rosy brew? No, no! The scent is kind,
Raspberry-tart, and not suggesting that
Within lies any horror unforeseen.
We taste! The smell has led us true, the drink
Is pear and berries, citrus comes in strong.
Raspberry! That's the flavor I detect.
"Quite tart!" the Lead Assistant says (and true).
The Lead Assistant and the Nazgul both
Declare their joy in quaffing Prickly Pear.
Myself, I find that, while the taste is nice,
The aftertaste is not what I desired.
Initial tastes of berriews, lime, and pear
O'ertaken by a rush of sour regret;
Not wholly bad, but still regrettable
If only it had mellowed at the end!
This soda is not one to fear or shun.
The others in the Lab enjoyed the taste.
I'll not pretend to find it without peer,
But not half bad. I'd drink this down again.
But how to rate it? On the scale of Quaff,
A 3.5 would best describe the taste.
It's interesting, and has a certain flair,
But not among the best I've ever had.
In Cough, 'twas nothing which inspired my gorge
To rise; I found it drinkable enough.
The sourness of the aftertaste alone
Inspires a nought-point-five; no more is just.
Well, there you have it. Sioux City has produced a pleasant cactus-flavored soda. Really, fruit-flavored is a better description; raspberry is by far the strongest feel it gives.
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