Friday, October 22, 2010

Soda Review: Henry Weinhard's Vanilla Cream

I bought a six pack of this locally for only $4.69, a fair price for a glass bottled soda. Very easily available online as well, for example from
here.This is a soda that markets itself as being old fashioned and hand crafted and having the recipe passed down for generations on a scroll that was kept in a vault where the only person who knows the code is the man who tames and owl to caw the morse code and blah blah blah. Basically, it's just a pretty standard soda but they chose to give it a sort of rustic boxing and such. I chose to have this particular soda with a side of 2 slices of bacon pizza from Cottage Inn, what a lovely meal!

Here's one of their little blurbs as read on the bottle. Like I said, "We proudly present", all that jargon. Except there's one major catch!

Yep. High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Now, I wouldn't really have all that much of an issue with HFCS(as it will hereby be referred to) but all over the bottle it touts all this stuff about "natural ingredients" and "hand-crafted". Yeah, hand-crafted with freaking HFCS! So right off the bat I hate the marketing. They are just totally lying about who they are, but let's not let this cloud our judgement and jump right into it!

First off, the bottling really is pretty well done. I know that it's misleading but the art and coloring is really just pretty good overall. It's a twist off, yay! It popped open with a nice little "bop" sound and I took a whiff. Oh man, I'm salivating this stuff smells gorgeous! It's so sweet but yet it still has an interesting flavor, something I don't think I've had very often. I admittedly haven't had very much cream sodas so I was really pretty excited for this one.

On my first sip I immediately just think "wow, this flavor is amazing!" It was definitely not like anything I had had before. It was in the ball park of a regular Faygo cream soda but it definitely had more to it. It had that underlying vanilla flavor carrying it along. I expected it to be as mouth-puckeringly sweet at faygo sodas due to the HFCS but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very, very sweet but not overwhelming. The carbonation is so so, I think I would have liked more because I like to feel the bubbles but they are there and they don't make you burpy so whatever.

I take a sip of water to refresh and then I taste again and I just feel the exact same way, what an amazing flavor. But it's not a deep flavor. For example, I have had sodas made with nothing but ginger and other spices and those sodas are like an ocean. You can take as many sips as you want but you'll never get to experience the whole thing because there are so many levels to the flavors. This is just sort of a "party soda" because it has a consistent but really good flavor. I can taste it over and over and it's always the same but it's always good. If anything I would recommend this as a soda for kids because of this quality. It would be a great gift as well because it comes in such an attractive little 6-pack with such nice labeling and bottling so it looks classy but it just tastes so good, nobody will complain. Oh yeah , did I mention the froth?
Seriously, just look at that. It's a solid centimeter of froth just from me drinking normally. That is just so pretty! I've never seen froth like that on anything but a root beer.

Overall thoughts:
This is a great soda being marketed totally incorrectly. The glass bottling and old, stern man on the front doesn't fit it's tasty and playful qualities. This would be so much better suited to come in a plastic bottle with a friendly, bright logo shouting out "Hey! Buy me and have a great time!" Right now the only way I would get this is if I knew that it really was just another fun candy like soda(like you do now!) or as a gift to someone. I really liked the soda itself, marketing basically just failed on this one.

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Pure Vanilla Bean Extract, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Botanical Extracts, Caramel Color, Honey, Natural Flavors.

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