Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Real Sugar Extravagansa

As those of you who keep up with this blog know, Pepsi-Co has brought their Throwback soft drinks back to the market for a limited time. This year, however, Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. has decided to release a version of their own called "Heritage Dr. Pepper." That's what this review is mainly about, but I thought I would revisit the other two while I'm at it.

Heritage Dr. Pepper

I was surprised to see this sitting next to the Mountain Dew and the Pepsi throwbacks in the CVS refrigerator. At first, my thoughts went to how Dr. Pepper ripped the idea off. However, I then decided that the beverages appearing on shelves at exactly the same time was pretty suspicious, and concluded to assume that there was some sort of secret board meeting between the two companies about the concept prior to release.

Anyway, on to the product. let me get started by saying that I have never been a humoungous Dr. Pepper fan. I prefer Mr. Pibb when it is available, and when it is not, I typically just buy something else. On a side note, for those of you who just thought, "Pibb and Pepper are the same thing. They taste the same," you are wrong. The two drinks are magnificent in their subtle (but quite notable) differences. Anyway, I picked up this Heritage Dr. Pepper in hopes that it would be a similar experience to that of Pepsi Throwback, but I was a bit disappointed. It tastes almost exactly like regular Dr. Pepper. The only real difference is that the crystalline sugar, as I have said with Pepsi Throwback, breaks down better than corn syrup, and doesn't leave that syrupy, sugary feel in your mouth. And not that that isn't without worth. In fact, I think that it is a huge improvement. But that's really all that the drink has going for it. It's basically just a more clean feeling Dr. Pepper. I don't know why, but with the Pepsi Throwbacks, the real sugar just makes them taste different somehow.

I finished the serving, but towards the end, it was kind of a task. If you like Dr. Pepper, go for it. It's definitely "better," but it tastes pretty much the same.

Verdict: Recommended above conventional Dr. Pepper, but really, you've already tasted this.

Pepsi Throwback

I'll keep the Pepsi and Mountain Dew sections short, as they have already been around once before.

I was super excited to find this on store shelves again. Especially since I was afraid that I would never get to taste it again. Pepsi Throwback is good. In fact, it is so good, that after the first run was over, I had a hard time drinking regular Pepsi again. It was just gross to me. The beverage benefits from the crystalline sugar in the same way that the aforementioned Dr. Pepper does, but on an even higher level. There's something about the sugar that also makes the drink taste more crisp and flavorful.

It tastes to me like this time around, they changed the formula a little bit. Typically, this is a worry, but this time around, it is even better. It has a stronger cola taste (and aftertaste), which is always, always, always a good thing. Also, I really like the new graphic design of the label. There is almost nothing in those store refrigerators that has a white label like the Throwback, and it's very eye catching by contrast. It's like it's just asking to be taken home.

Verdict: Recommended

Mountain Dew Throwback

Mountain Dew Throwback is...well...it's good Mountain Dew, I suppose. The same thing goes for the real sugar here as it did with the above two examples. Real sugar is just something that should be used in all beverages. However, I do not like Mountain Dew. It's just too...bland for me. The flavor is mellow, but at the same time, it's outrageously sweet. How they managed to make it simultaneously diabetes-inducing and tasteless is a mystery to me. Okay, maybe tasteless is a little harsh, but it just doesn't really taste like much to me, especially in comparison to the other beverages that are out there. I know that a lot of people like it, and I know that when reviewing something you are generally supposed to arbitrate based on the product's own merits and not in comparison to other things of it's sort, but in this case, I really just feel like there are better things out there. I feel that the purpose of this blog is to tell you how to spend that dollar fifty that you are holding in front of the drink refrigerator at that creepy gas station wisely. So, I'm going to have to say no.

Verdict: Not the worst thing you can drink, but spend your money elsewhere

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