Saturday, April 23, 2011

Volume 6, Number 6: Diet Soda Reviews, Part V

Here I go again, trying a few different diet sodas and letting you know what I think:

Diet 7-Up: Thumbs up because I liked it, but it just wasn't as chug-worthy as Sprite Zero was. Back in the days when I drank regular sodas (1982-2010), I liked 7-Up better than Sprite, so I thought maybe I would like Diet 7-Up better than Sprite Zero. Nope--I guess certain flavors work better with certain artificial sweeteners.

Boylan Diet Root Beer: I found this at a local Big Lots store and thought I'd try it because this brand is a) one I don't see at local chains like Meijer and Kroger, and b) is a brand that goes for about $4 a bottle on "more expensive" is supposed to mean "better" right? Another point of note is that unlike the other root beers I've tried, this brand uses a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Sadly, this one tasted like someone spiked it with some sort of medicine (Sucrets, maybe?). Thumbs down to this particular variety (note: I have never tried Boylan's regular sodas so I cannot say as to how good those would taste, and my thumbs down review is not meant to discourage people from buying Boylan products).

Diet Dad's Root Beer: I also found this at a local Big Lots and it also uses a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Diet Dad's tasted better than Boylan, but it left behind an aftertaste I didn't like, so thumbs down to this one, too. (Again, it's possible that the regular Dad's tastes way better, but I am not reviewing regular sodas here. My previous experience with Dad's Root Beer was--drumroll, please--those little barrel-shaped hard candies you see in that Halloween candy mix, the one that also has the Smarties and the Dubble Bubble bubble gum.)

Meijer Diet Encore Cherry Cola: Thumbs down. I really disliked this one. It tasted like someone had spiked Cherry Coke Zero with sawdust. It ranks right down there with Walmart's Diet Root Beer among the worst diet sodas I've had. I don't think anything with cherry flavoring in it is supposed to have "hints of wood". (Note: Meijer is a chain of hypermarkets that is based in my home state of Michigan, but also has locations in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.)

Meijer Diet Cream Soda: Thumbs up. Yes, I said up, even though Meijer's store-branded food and drink products have had a mostly bad track record with me. Meijer has themselves a very good imitation of Diet A&W Cream Soda--I liked the taste and found the aftertaste very easy to live with (because, as with Diet A&W Cream Soda, the flavor goes well with the aspartame/ace-K artificial sweetener).

I just asked Faygo (via their Facebook page) if they could look into using an aspartame/ace-K blend. Their diet sodas currently use aspartame, which, in my book, puts them a decade behind many of the other diet soda makers.

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