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Black Cherry Soda

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Josh Steinberg, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Message #101 of 117 Dec 13, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
    Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    -Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry Soda
    180 calories per 12 oz serving, sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup (explanation below)

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    The traditional accompaniment to a classic New York Jewish style deli, this black cherry soda from Dr. Brown’s packs a strong cherry flavor that’s well balanced with a generous blend of sweetness and bubbles. It’s better on tap or from a can than a plastic bottle, but we work with what we have here. It has the strength of flavor and mouthfeel that you’d expect from a Pepsi or Coca Cola. While some might find it overly strong on its own compared to the more delicate Boylan’s, it matches perfectly with a good hot dog or pastrami sandwiches without getting lost, and helps reset the palate after a dose of salt and nitrates. Whatever the container, grab a Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry if you can find it, along with your favorite hot dog or deli sandwich, add a bag of your favorite potato chips or a knish (square!), and you’ve got a perfect meal.

    About the sweetener: high fructose corn syrup isn’t Kosher for Passover, while sugar is. Since this drink is often found at Jewish delis and a common part of the family meal during the holiday, there is a with sugar variety that is sold that time of year. (Same with Coca Cola too!) The labels are mass produced to list both sweeteners but there will usually be a sticker or stamp added on to call out of its specifically sugar. Of the two I think the sugar one is every so slightly better, but most people can’t tell the difference (it’s pretty similar to the difference between Coke or Pepsi when offered in both sugar and HFCS varieties; some people can tell and some can’t, some really care and some don’t). My take is, don’t worry about which variety it is, you’re fine with either. I’m 99% sure this one I’m tasting now is corn syrup but it’s fantastic. The hot dog was pretty great, too.
     
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  2. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    I just bought a boat-load of those glasses from Dollar Tree as stocking stuffers.

    Thanks for your wonderful reviews.
     
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  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I found this on the Crate and Barrel site. The base on yours looks thicker.
    75E2E3B2-2D50-4861-A1D3-91C0782AA65A.
     
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  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That's a pretty drastic action just to get your hands on some really nice glasses! :D

    I think the thing that surprises me here is that Monica can't tell you where those glasses came from. Practically anything in our house, Peg can easily tell you where we got it (and usually can give a close ballpark of how much it cost!). :laugh:
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Haha, I’m normally the one in our relationship that remembers those details!

    Upon further reflection, she only had one of those and not a set, and thinks it might have come from a restaurant that was closing down years ago. So a restaurant or bar supply store might be the place to check.

    You know how I was writing a couple posts ago how much better I am at drinking soda in moderation? I might have just finished that Dr. Brown’s one liter already so... no pat on the back for me!
     
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  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I hope you’ll forgive me, I saw this while watching the Star Trek Discovery blu ray-

    It looks like Captain Pike uses a similar bar ware in the future.

    9E08880C-8EF6-40F9-89C6-85D8AC569DBD.
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Please feel free to compare me to Captain Pike at any time! :D
     
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    -Stewart’s Black Cherry Wishniak Soda
    180 calories per 12 oz serving, sweetened with cane sugar

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    This is an absolutely wonderful black cherry soda, which presents with tight, sharp bubbles out of the bottle which open up to a more relaxed fizz when sipped out of a glass. Suitably sweet but not overly so, the drink’s base mix of sweetness and fizz propels the black cherry flavor the the foreground. Stewart’s based their black cherry flavor on an old fashioned Eastern European cordial called Wishniak, which was a sweet cherry liquor. While there’s no alcohol in this drink, it carries the faintest but most pleasing hint of a cordial’s slightly syrupy texture, giving the soda the smoothest mouthfeel. Some may prefer the slightly more straightforward flavor of the Boylan and Dr. Brown, but make no mistake, Stewart’s makes a phenomenal black cherry soda.
     
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  9. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That’s the last of them! I’ll try to have a ranking and summary within the next few days.
     
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  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    If that is your wish. :). Quoting the Keeper.
     
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  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I found one more to taste!
     
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  12. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    -IBC Black Cherry Soda
    170 calories per 12 oz serving, sweetened with cane sugar

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    The flavor splits difference between the more natural flavor of Dr Brown’s or Boylan’s and the sweeter finish of Stewart’s, but with sharper carbonation and a less syrupy mouthfeel. It’s a top five choice that wasn’t my very favorite but would likely be for at least some tasters. There’s nothing not to like here, as attested to the fact that my family guzzled the four pack before I could get a decent photo!
     
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  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I need to look for that one at Big Lots - they carry IBC Root Beer (a pretty good one although not my favorite) so some of this just might happen to hit the shelves too.
     
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  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Here is a long overdue completed ranking of the sodas I sampled - I've included all cherry varieties in the one list rather than breaking out by sub-varieties, but it holds true if you want to look at just all of the black cherries compared only to themselves:

    1. Stewart's Black Cherry Wishniak Soda
    2. Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda
    3. Stewart's Cherries 'n Cream
    4. IBC Black Cherry Soda
    5. Boylan Black Cherry Soda
    6. Baumeister Cherry Soda
    7. Fitz's Black Cherry Soda
    8. Foxon Park Cherry Soda
    9. Virgil's Black Cherry Cream Soda
    10. Blue Sky Organic Black Cherry Soda
    11. Spring Grove Black Cherry Soda
    12. Cool Mountain Black Cherry Soda
    13. Harmony Springs Black Cherry Soda
    14. Deadworld Premium Zombie Black Cherry Soda
    15. Dang! Italian Cherry Soda
    16. Bawls Guarana Cherry High Caffeine Soda
    17. Cock 'N Bull Cherry Ginger Beer


    Entries 1-5 represent the best in class. You really can't go wrong with any of the top five choices, it's just a matter of personal preference. I like the slightly extra sweet, slightly syrupy flavor burst of the Stewart's brand, but you might prefer the slightly less sweet flavor of Dr. Brown's or Boylan's or IBC, where the cherry seems to come through without that extra little push of sweet at the end. They're all phenomenal sodas.

    From there, it gets a little trickier. Entries 6-8 were all very nice sodas, where your individual taste preference might cause you to favor one more than the other, but where all three are hitting the mark and satisfying if not at the top echelon of awesome.

    It gets really subjective from that point onward. Virgil's Black Cherry Cream was disappointing as neither the cherry nor the cream seemed to come through in a reliable way. Blue Sky Organic Black Cherry and Deadworld Premium Zombie Black Cherry weren't terrible, but tasted more of carbonated juice than actual soda (and the Deadworld was barely carbonated at that). Spring Grove, Black Mountain and Harmony Springs all seemed like great ideas for sodas that simply lacked the strength of flavoring necessary; if their flavors had been more strongly concentrated, they had potential to rank higher. Dang! Italian Soda had the opposite problem: the flavor was so strongly concentrated that while the first sip was incredibly satisfying, it was just too strong to finish, and I think that's a weakness if it's not enjoyable to finish a single serving container. Bawls and Cock 'n Bull were practically undrinkable and I couldn't make it through even half the bottle; Bawls had an incredibly bitter, off taste to it, while Cock 'n Bull was almost painful in the intensity of its ginger flavor.

    My biggest surprise from this tasting was that Boylan's or IBC didn't end up claiming the top spot; both make outstanding sodas and based on my current love affair with Boylan's Creamy Red Birch Beer, I half expected their black cherry to come out on top. It's still a great soda and perhaps I tasted it with my expectations too high. And I think IBC will be the winner and is a great compromise choice as it ends up splitting the difference in flavor profiles between Stewart's, Dr. Brown's and Boylan's.

    Happy drinking!
     
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  15. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    By the way, if you guys end up trying any of the sodas I sampled, please let me know what you think - I hope I don’t steer anyone wrong. And I’m always up for a good one, so if you find one I’ve missed, let me know!
     
  16. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I'm just annoyed that our Big Lots had no IBC Black Cherry soda when I stopped by yesterday. All they had in stock is the IBC Cherry-Limeade (which I really like and already have at the house).
     
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  17. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Cherry Limeaid sounds pretty awesome!
     

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