Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cas Cal All Natural Soda Review

Sell by July 11 2011... oops.
 This is an old soda. I mean like I bought this back when I bought the Sidral Mundet that I did for my first review. Proof is that way -->
Oh well, soda doesn't really go bad if it was bottled properly. For whatever reason getting this review out has been a huge problem for me. I have had it sitting on my desk for about a week waiting to get opened but whenever I had the freetime to do it I would always find myself straying to Reddit and wasting time there which I heavily regret. I wish I had been able to do more reviews while I still had so much time, but here we are. I'm also going to be trying a bit of a different review style to bear with me and if possible leave a comment letting me know what you think. I got this for $1.79 from World Market.

Particulate matter. Too. Freaking. Cool.
Okay with that out of the way let me say that I am absolutely pumped to drink this soda. It is such a completely different direction that I have not seen at all so I know it is going to be a very unique experience. What that picture to the left looks like is an embryo in an egg. However it is actually the pulp of the soda. Yes, you heard me right, this soda has solid particle matter in it. How freaking cool is that! I had to shake it up a bit and it makes the soda foggy which is pretty cool, although I'm not a bit afraid to open it.

Fermented? Oooooo
"Serve chilled in good company"
The other huge thing that I noticed immediately is that the writing on it is really out of the ordinary. Here's some picture to show what I mean. It says it has Black currant, Cherry and Mirabelle which is nothing I have ever tasted before. It is only 60 calories. 60 calories! That is insane, even for a juice that is low. It makes me fear that it might be lacking in flavor but we'll find out soon enough. The logo is absolutely brilliantly done, it is very simple and classy and it fits the color scheme of the soda which I absolutely love to see. The color of the soda is also brilliant, it is a nice healthy red that is clearly not dyed that way at all. It just looks natural in it's color and I love that. The font is custom and fits in beautifully with the design of the logo which I adore.

100% refreshing!
This is the strangest nutrition facts I have ever seen on a bottle. No seriously, this is unlike anything I've ever seen on any bottle of soda or anything else. It is high(ish) in carbs because of the fruit but it has basically no calories and the ingredients list doesn't include a "natural flavorings" or "artificial flavorings" or and food coloring at all. That alone has gotten me really excited for this soda because it really looks like it is indeed mature. This is a soda for classy people to enjoy, not to be guzzled because you are thirsty. They did a great job on the labels too, they used paper instead of plastic which gives a better feel while you hold it especially for a glass bottle. They also got it on extremely evenly, often when there is not a wrap around design to the label it has a tendency to have edges that don't quite get glued on or that come off because they are a bit weaker on there but this is very solidly on. Even after over 3/4 of a year in storage there is nothing more than a few knicks on the paper.

The bottle is genius. I can't say I've seen masterful bottle design in many places besides root beers but this really nails it. It bulges out slightly in the bottom. It just feels so appropriate to not have an absolutely insane bottle but just this very minor customization that makes it different and makes it sit a little bit better. It has a very short neck as well which I really like. I have seen long necks that work very well like what Boylan's does but this just drives home the concept of simplicity. This is a light soda, as they say on the text on the neck. It doesn't need extravagance, it needs a normal bottle with just a hint of class added. The bottle cap says "Cheers! Salut!" which is perhaps a bit odd. Salut in French is the less formal way of saying hi, I mean I suppose it's sort of appropriate but it feels more like they were just adding random French to try to class it up some more. Random French for classing things up a bit is not a bad thing, messing up a translation is!

Oh my, it's a pop-top not a twist off! Didn't see that one coming, pop-tops are a more or less dead breed. I suppose I don't have terribly strong opinions but I prefer twist off, they both keep the soda vacuum fresh and twist off is more convenient. I do like the old-time feel and the more interactivity of a pop-top. I think if any soda should have it it's this one. Anyways I'll go get my bottle opener!

Okay opened up and popping the top was admittedly quite fun. The pfft wasn't as good as a twist off but what can you expect. It looks to be very carbonated. First drink now! Oh my god this is really great. Wow, it's very much different from what I have had before. I really like the Black Currant flavoring, it gives a great after taste. The carbonation is super appropriate, it is definitely strong and there but the bubbles are fine, not over bearing at all. This soda really has found what it wanted to do and delivered. I got some mild burps which were fun but like everything else they weren't over powering. This is just exactly the sort of soda I would have with a salad for lunch, it's so legitimately fruity without tasting like juice. It tastes like it uses apple juice as a core liquid and then had the other flavors stacked on top of it. I find I'm not writing too much because I just want to drink the stuff! I am having some trouble tasting the cherry, if anything at times I feel the Black Currant is a bit too strong that it doesn't let the other flavors blend with it. It has a definite bite to it as well. That is the fermentation which I really quite like. It again gives it a mature flavor. Just burped straight into my nose, burned sort of but not nearly anything like a Vernon's nose burn. When I let the flavor sit in my mouth for a while without taking another sip it starts to have a bit of a nasty feeling, I definitely didn't have the cleanest mouth going into this but the fruits have amplified that. The only criticism I could think of is if I was looking for something different. If I was trying to quench a thirst and expected to do that with this like it were a Sprite I would be let down. If I were looking for a soda that I could drink on it's own and have it have a lot of sweetness I would have been let down. But I went into it with thinking that this was a light, classy soda that wasn't going to ball me over with sweetness. It really does do a great job of delivering on flavor. I like to feel that the nutrition facts that a soda chooses to use are setting its limitations. For example, if I decide to make a soda and I figure I can have 50 grams of sugar per serving then it will be very easy for me to make a very flavorful and sweet soda. What Cas Cal has done magnificently is deliver a unique, interesting and powerful flavor with nothing but some fruit juices (not even any added sugar which kind of blows me away), 60 calories  and 7 grams of sugar. This really is the healthiest soda that you will find and if you put it in the right context it will serve you amazingly well.

This is not a soda for kids, this is not a soda for a party, this is a soda for you to enjoy when the weather is nice out and you want a drink to go with a nice meal. This is a soda which you would enjoy with friends outside. This is just a classy soda that could enhance and offset other flavors marvelously while still being it's own thing. It's not a fun soda, it's not a HFCS sweet to the max soda, it's an artisan soda. This is very much a crafted soda and you can tell from all the little details that were done so amazingly right.

I also was doing a bit of research on this soda and stumbled upon this review which hated the soda. I don't want to make any commentary because you should decide for yourself. I just thought another opinion might be interesting for all of you.

I liked that format for reviewing quite a bit better, it made me feel I was rambling less (my bubble pop review felt really rambly) so I think I will stick with it.

I also very much regret to say that this blog will not be doing reviews for the next 10 weeks because I'm going to college! All of my fancy sodas for review are being left at home so I won't have any material. Hopefully while I'm there I can stop by some stores and get a collection going. I'm attending Union College in Schenectady New York and I'll be studying Computer Science. I will try to keep this blog going because it is quite a bit of fun to do but if I don't have any material there's no way to get reviews done. Sad sad stuff but I'm excited to go anyhow.

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