Jones Zilch Pomegranate - 2 stars

The soda pours a bubbly cherry red in the glass. There is a strong candy cherryfruit aroma.

The flavor is sweet and full. It is a strong redfruit although pomegranate does not factor is heavily. It had the sweet punch of a corn syrup flavored fruit soda, but without the texture or aftertaste. For a diet soda this is exceedingly impressive.

This soda easily earns itself a strong 2 stars.

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China Cola - 1 star

The soda pours a slightly headed brown into the glass. There is kola nut on the nose, but it is mixed with many other herbs and spices, reminiscent of Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola.

The flavor is what one expects of a gourmet cola. Really cut on the sweetness, and instead a strong cola sourness. Not too complex a flavor, though, as all the ingredients seem to muddle into one less sweet cola flavor. Not particularly moving.

I give this soda 1 star.

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Cheerwine - 1 star

The soda pours a rich maroon into the glass. The aroma is soft and sweet, with some dark cherryfruit on the back end.

The flavor is rich and sweet without being too overbearing. It is similar to black cherry but has hints of cola hidden on the back end. There is an intense fizziness that plays off the cherry well. Conversely, the flavor is not particularly complex nor do any of the elements of the flavor profile really bring in the drinker.

I give this soda 1 star.

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Virgil’s Dr. Better - 1 star

The soda pours a lightheaded amber in the glass. The aroma is faint, and I daresay I get a whiff of McDonalds hamburger sauce in it. Not a good sign.

The flavor is light and passing. It tastes like Dr. Pepper, like it advertises, but it’s really not much of an improvement. The cherry and cola flavors are there, and just sit there like a DMV clerk. No personality, no spice, no bite, nothing interesting to speak of. A disappointment from a brand we all know and trust when it comes to root beer.

I give this soda 1 star.

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Johnnie Ryan Birch Beer - 2 stars

The soda pours a headless amber into the glass. The heritage aroma is of strong birch and oak fullness.

The birch flavor is sweet and spicy, giving a strong traditional birch maple oak lavender oaky carrot pesto flavor. It is a full bodied, full flavored offering and the back end is pleasing enough.

I give this soda 2 stars.

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Boylan’s Lemon - No stars

The soda pours a headless clear, like a seltzer. The fragrance is close to a brand of baby wipes I’ve smelled, round and tall.

Unfortunately, the taste is not much better. It tastes like a lemonade pellet, it’s softness betrays its artificiality. Imagine drinking a baby powder soda. This is it.

I give this soda no stars.

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Diet Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale - 1 star

It sits a bubbly light yellow in the glass, somewhat paler than a normal DCD. The bouquet is rich and full, ginger with strong notes of tea, and of ripe, freshly cut pear.

The flavor is alright. It certainly lacks the bite and spice of a classic DCD, but the soft tea sits above the carbonation and surrounds the flavor profile nicely. I wouldn’t say that it pulls off the tea ginger ale concept splendidly, but it’s not an utter desecration of the sacred DCD and it is worth trying at least once.

I give this soda 1 star.

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Regatta Ginger Beer - 1 star

It sits a headless misty white in the glass. Strong ginger on the nose, but short-lived. Weak nose overall.

Strong ginger flavor, burned throat. A little basic, not too much complexity. Slight herbal flavor like a tea, on the back end. Nothing too amazing. Solid ginger beer, but nothing special.

I give this soda 1 star.

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San Pellegrino Blood Orange - 2 stars

The headless soda pours a ruby red-orange in the glass, like grapefruit juice. The aroma is subtle and defined, a subdued citrus with hints of redfruit. This should be an interesting selection.

This is a good soda. There is an orange flavor, but it stays true to the description: like a blood orange, there is a bitter back end, with notes of sweetness peppering the full flavor profile. The citrus is not the main component, and that makes for a particularly interesting orange soda. This is a very unique soda, and I am impressed.

I give this soda 2 stars.

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Manhattan Special Sarsparilla - 2 stars

The soda pours a headless, rich brown into the glass. The aroma is rich; notes of coffee, bark, chocolate and the common sassafras are present.

There is a heavy flavor that sinks into your taste buds like a spoonful of molasses. It’s similar to a craft root beer but maintains the individuality of a classic sarsparilla. Sassafras, along with mint and other herbs rounds out a full, rich flavor profile. The backend is slightly dry but overall this is a strong soda.

I give this soda 2 stars.

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