Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Fentimans Curiosity Cola

If you want to read a shorter review of this soda, you can check out the Quick Review of it here.
Before Drinking
Background: This is one that I am quite excited about, I have heard good things about it online and I have had it sitting in my collection for about a year now! Perhaps it will have a nice aged flavor to it. I got it at World Market for $1.79. I highly recommend stopping by World Market if you want some nice bottled sodas. 5 or 6 of the sodas in my collection are from there.
The bubbling is more apparent live

Very unique neck shaping!

Most unique bottling I have seen, bar none. The neck has a really interesting shape to it and the bottom is flat with a slight bubble going around it. Very interesting, I don't see it as really conveying any particular image. With a Boylan's bottle it is obvious that they are trying to have a strong, bold feel to their soda. Fentimans seems to go for the "Curiosity" part of their name, just making their bottle a little bit strange. It doesn't feel heavy or slender or average, it's just different. Very unique and really drives the branding.

Captures the early 1900s well
The logo is nice, the illustration of the dog has a very old-timey feel to it. I adore the font, totally feels like the old sodas of the past. The font makes it seem like the sort of soda that you would pick up from the apothecary for a nickel. It also boasts about being "Botanically Brewed" which is probably more a marketing term than anything else. All that seems to mean is that they include ginger and herbs in the soda. I am quite looking forward to that, very strange combination of cola, herbs and ginger that I haven't seen before. The cap is also completely blank of any ink. I sort of like that, a nice simple look though it isn't anything terribly special.

It is also a bit darker of a cola than most. Even a bright light only shines through the neck of the bottle, the body is all pure dark.

Very dark coloring
Amount of sugar and calories are perfectly average. The ingredients are definitely odd though, the first ingredient is water followed by carbonated water. Every other soda I have ever had was carbonated water only as the top ingredient. This means that it will probably not be as bubbly as most sodas I am used to. It also lists ginger and caffeine as ingredients. I am really interested to see what ginger in cola tastes like, never had that before. I am also very glad that they included caffeine on their list of ingredients. Very often a soda will have caffeine in it but not list it anywhere on the can. When I was a kid this annoyed me greatly because I wasn't allowed to have soda with caffeine in it. It is also made with real sugar, but that is completely unsurprising. Basically par for the course with sodas I am interested in.

During Drinking
Twist top which I am glad for, makes a nice "pop!" when I take the cap off. The ginger is really quite apparent and lends an extremely unique flavor. The bottle is also not as filled as most are so it takes longer than expected to get the first taste. The lip is wider than usual as well which gives a very different feel to is. The glass is also quite thin right at the lip, which I enjoy. It matches the character of the soda.

Water, Carbonated Water. How curious!
Very good level of carbonation, exactly on par with what it should be. I would say it is a little bit heavier on the carbonation than a Coca Cola but a bit lighter than a Henry Weinhard Root Beer.

As far as flavor goes I would describe it as nothing more than the best cola flavor you've ever had, with ginger mixed in to it. When I had my first taste the ginger was quite powerful, the most noticeable part of the soda but now that I am about a quarter done it is much more mild and nothing more than a wonderful hint layered on top of an amazing cola flavor.

I am having trouble picking out the other herbs used. I suspect there is a bit of vanilla extract, because the soda is quite smooth.

Getting lots of good burps out of it too. The carbonation isn't too much that it feels uncomfortable in the stomach but there is enough of it that it leads to good quality burps.

Tongue goes a bit numb from the ginger, a little bit of a weird feeling but totally to be expected.

After Drinking
This soda is just flat out really good. I initially thought that it would be a novelty but it is just simply a new flavor that hasn't been done before but which is really quite amazing. The ginger doesn't take anything away from the Cola flavor, it merely adds on a new layer of complexity that is very yummy. I think this is one of the few sodas I have had where I want to get a 6-pack of it. This is the sort of soda that if you served it at a party you would want to point out the uniqueness of it to guests and everyone would appreciate it. Everyone loves Cola, everyone has had a Coca Cola and this would be a cool way to introduce them to something new, unique and utterly delicious.

I'm not sure I would like having this with a meal though. It is a complex enough flavor on its own that I think it would distract from a meal rather than add to it. Unless you considered it as being a side-dish to the meal instead of just a liquid to wash the meal down with.

Overall, I highly recommend it to anyone who likes soda at all. It is a new twist on a classic flavor that is completely unique to anything I have had before and it tastes amazing.

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