I must admit, I was a little bit nervous when I picked this beverage up off of the shelf. I opted to try the the mango flavored version of the drink, but the original markets itself as a non-carbonated milk/yogurt beverage. I really had no idea what to expect going into this one, but the taste is one that would have likely contradicted my expectations anyway, if I had had any.
Calpico is a little bit hard to describe, as there's really not much out there that tastes like it. It's sort of one of those "have to try for yourself to see" beverages. The base of the drink tasted milky, but it also sports a robustly tangy and acidic bite to it that most creamy flavored things tend not to have. The mango flavoring was quite noticeable, but it was a bit less sweet than other mango flavored things and it did not interfere heavily with the original taste of the drink. While the drink has a relatively milky taste, it's hard to pin down exactly what the drink tastes like, as the acidity turns it into almost an entirely different drink.
The dairy taste comes through quite clearly, but it is more like Calpico has captured the "essence" of dairy, rather than having the flavor of a full-bodied milk or dairy product. Additionally, the drink does not have the thick consistency of milk, and is only slightly more viscous than most other non-carbonated soft drinks. I am glad that this is the case, however, as I think that had the drink been much thicker, it may have just been too odd to handle in full servings.
Overall, I really enjoyed the mango Calpico. It was different and unique, and I found it to be surprisingly light and refreshing, despite its somewhat odd combination of elements. I still haven't worked up the nerve to try the original flavor, but I am sure that it is quite good and that I really have nothing to worry about. Definitely give this one a try.
Purchased: Asian Market [Greenwood, SC]
Size: 16.9 fl. oz. [500 mL]
Price: $1.99 [If memory serves...]