Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Waialua Pineapple Soda

For a summary of this review please go here.
Before Drinking

I got this soda from World Market for $1.49. It is also available online. I am quite excited for this soda because I have never had Pineapple soda before and it sounds really yummy. I have had plenty of pineapple before though, in fact once I had so much pineapple in a week that the acid made my mouth raw. Very uncomfortable, partly because of the pain of eating any salty but mostly because then I couldn't eat anymore pineapple for a month!

Generic, especially the fonts
Bottling: The bottle shape is quite standard, I think that they probably just buy something generic. There is a little bit less of a transition from the body to the neck than I am used to, but it isn't bad. Just really boring and kind of bleh, doesn't show at all what the soda will be like. The labeling is okay, font wasn't chosen very carefully and although it isn't ugly it isn't anything special. It doesn't feel like terrible professional labeling, the fonts are pretty normal and outlined for no particular reason. No clue why they put the logo in red besides it matching with the blue background. It's neat that they did the blue for the sky and the yellow circle for the sun. The logo is pretty cool, gives the Hawaiian feel for sure. I am also quite fond of the cap, it is simple and to the point.

Despite the pretty lame branding I am excited because this soda is so legit. When things have generic themes like "Hawaiian" it is often a concern that they are just doing it for marketing purposes. A lot of tourist traps do cheesy stuff like this. This soda is not messing around at all though. Not only is the company actually in Waialua Hawaii but the ingredients are even Hawaiian. The sugar used is a mix of generic cane sugar and Maui White Cane Sugar. That's awesome and it's probably going to lend a very unique flavor.

Ingredients are normal besides that. I wish that I saw some pineapple juice in the ingredients though. The nutrition facts are similarly normal. No sodium is a bit out of the ordinary and there is maybe 6 or 7 less grams of sugar than is usual, so nothing terribly exciting.

During Drinking
Popping the top made a nice sound and my nose is immediately filled with the flavor of pineapple. I can tell already this is going to taste amazing. There is no visible carbonation when I opened it which is a bit discouraging. First taste and the flavor isn't over whelming. Really a fairly subtle pineapple taste. Carbonation is a little bit stronger than most fruity sodas, but that's the way I like it. The lip of the bottle is fairly thin, which I really like the feel of. I feel like the flavor is just sort of underwhelming. Just last night I had a pineapple freeze pop (I'm a kid at heart) and it had a much stronger flavor. I think that probably the cane sugar is what is not doing this soda justice. Yes, I know that it is heresy but I think that pineapples as sticky and sweet. Sodas with high fructose corn syrup just simply have a lasting effect in your mouth, a sort of sticky sweetness that cane sugar does not offer. Cane sugar is a very clean flavor that gets washed down easily and that isn't something I associated with pineapples. I appreciate that they used the Maui Cane Sugar but I will always choose quality over pride.

After Drinking
I think that ultimately this soda falls flat in a lot of areas. It has a boring bottle, boring flavor, generic logo and dull fonts. I am still enjoying it because it is sugary and sweet, but I feel this soda could be so much more than it is. Pineapple is a flavor that could be so wonderful but they don't seem to let be as strong as it should be. The only thing I am thoroughly pleased with is the level of carbonation, that is really spot on. I feel this might just be an unfortunate tourist trap. Just marketing "Hawaiian soda!" without caring too much about the quality of their product.

Overall, I would say that if you happen across it you might as well give it a shot just so you can say you've had pineapple soda. I wouldn't recommend that you go out of your way for it though. Not a party soda, not a meal soda, not a gourmet soda. This doesn't really fill a niche other than people going "Ooo pineapple soda, I think I'll have to try that!"

I hate doing negative reviews. You can notice that the during section is always really short when I don't have things to gush over.

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