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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Squamscot Old Fashioned Beverages: Grape

Really, there's only one way for someone like me to do a review of something called "Squamscot".

THE HORRIFYING TALE OF ANGUS MAC NYOGTHA, THE SCOT WHAT SHOULD NAE HAVE BEEN

Och, it was on the wild moors where I first saw Angus. 'Twas when the moon rose leprous o'er the heather that I first heerd the skirlin' o' his unspeakable pipes. The hideous pulsin o' the drone summoned visions o' vistas not meant to be seen by the likes o' man. E'en now, I shudder to think of it.
Through the cobwebs o' mist, I caught a glimpse of his form. The silhouette was slumped an' slippery, like a half-melted haggis icicle. I heard his hideous, croaking voice lettin' words o' hideous import dribble into the air.

"O my luuuuuve's like an ancient god,
That's can eternal lie,
O my luuuuve's seen the stars are right,
And now we're gonna die."

As he oozed into view, my mind tottered an' teetered on the very brink o'madness. That face...that voice...the squamous visage...N'gai'g'hroth...and God, O God...THAT BOTTLE O'DAMNATION IN THE HANDS O' THAT SQUAMOUS SCOT!


-from The Ballad of Angus Mac Nyogtha, music and poetry of Robert Burns*


This is one that I picked up from the Hawthorne Country Store, in Escondido.
The Lab** felt that our two noisy chickens were not causing nearly enough destruction and devastation at our facility, and so we needed four more chicks to raise. Not only that, we needed very specific breeds...one of which is known as a Buff Orpington.
I have to admit--when I hear the name "Buff Orpington", I envision a wealthy but irresponsible British rapscallion noble, who moonlights as an international secret agent and model for romance novel covers.
In any case, our usual source for livestock didn't have Buff Orpingtons, so we called around a bit, and determined that the Hawthorne Country Store in Escondido had Buff Orpington chicks. When we got there, we discovered that they also had Weird soda.
I was more than a bit surprised.
But a Quaffmaster must always be ready to seize opportunities, and this was a good one. We picked up three bottles, one of which I will review for you tonight.

"Experience the Past"? That sounds an awful lot like "The Shadow Out of Time", and THAT didn't end well for anybody.

With a name like Squamscot, it really has to be New England-based. It comes from Conner Bottling Works in New Hampshire, so it seems legitimate. Or maybe that's just what They want us to think. In any case, it claims to be old-fashioned, and grape. That's good enough for me to try it.

Where and when: purchased at the Hawthorne Country Store, Escondido, CA in January 2012.
Color: A very dark purple.
Scent: Fairly mild, grape-ish, dark and a bit herbal. Pleasant.
Taste: Oh, that's nice. It's sweet--even quite sweet--but not cloying. The sweetener is cane sugar. Very clean. It's not actual grape, of course--it's almost exactly grape popsicle, which is a very good thing.

K-i-C: "*pffuh* That's sweet. That's very, very sweet."
Me: "It's grape popsicle!"
K-i-C: "No...well, maybe grape Otter Pop..."

There is an aftertaste, but it's mild and pleasant. Just a hint of tartness.

The main taste is dominated by a fairly pure sugar taste, with faint to moderate fruit tastes at the sides. It reminds me a little of Dublin Dr. Pepper.
The K-i-C points out (correctly) that there is almost no tartness or tang in the main taste, which is interesting. It's a more pure taste than I usually get.
The K-i-C doesn't care for it at all, and thinks it's too simple a sweet taste.

K-i-C: "Even salt would be better. Maybe if you had a prosciutto soda to drink with it..."

So there we have it: an unusually simple, pure sugar with popsicle-y grape notes, and almost no tartness. I like it, but the K-i-C doesn't. But it's my Lab. MUA HA HA HA!

Quaff rating: 4.0, if you ask me. Notably good.
Cough rating: 0.5. Maybe too simple, but that's not all bad.

*Not intended to be interpreted as a factual statement of true things which aren't lies.
**To be more specific, one particular staff member. I won't say who, but her name rhymes with "Fribitzer-grin-Beef".

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