Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q Kola and Ginger

The family and I got to spend a couple of hours at one of our favourite places again today, Roast Coffeehouse.  It's been too long since we've been!

We noticed some new sodas that we just had to try, Q Drinks.  There were 4 flavours, but we chose two; Kola - Superior Kola, the label tells us, and Ginger - A Superior Ginger Ale.

They come in pretty little bottles, with only 237 ml/8 fl oz rather than the 355 ml/12 fl oz you'd get from a canned drink, and quite a bit more expensive.  I don't remember the price per bottle, but after enviro fees and GST, it came out to just over $4 a bottle.


Aesthetic appeal was definitely something the makers paid attention to.

 Even under the caps.

The Kola bottle even went the extra mile, with a personal message from the company founder.

"Real trees and plants," huh.  As opposed to fake ones?  Looking at the website, one of the things that had me rolling my eyes a bit was their going on about using organic agave instead of "high fructose corn syrup and sugar."  It's always disappointing to me when I see companies playing on people's fears and health fads of the day.  Sugar is sugar is sugar, regardless of the source.  Still, I'm not a fan of super-sugary anything, so the promise of these being not too sweet was encouraging.

So were the ingredient lists.  The Kola lists carbonated water, organic agave, phosphoric acid, extracts of cinnamon, clove, coriander, kola nut, lemon, lime, orange and nutmeg. Caramel.  Caffeine.  The Ginger Ale lists Carbonated Water, organic agave, ginger extract, extracts of lemon juice, coriander, cardamom, capsicum, orange peel, rose oil.  Sounds really interesting!

The Ginger Ale bottle did not include a pretentious little message from the founder.

So, did the sodas live up to their hype?


The Ginger Ale was not as overwhelmingly ginger flavoured, nor as ... chunky... as some sodas we've tried.

This is a good thing. 

Unfortunately, it didn't really have much else to make up for it.  We could taste a light phosphoric acid bite and a light ginger flavour, but there really wasn't much of anything else to make it stand out.  It was rather pleasant and light (this from someone who does not actually like ginger ale, nor almost any of the clear sodas).  It was nice.  Other family members who actually do like ginger ale didn't find it particularly appealing.  Nice to try, but not enough to want to buy it again.

It was much the same with the Kola.  Lightly flavoured with the light phosphoric acid bite, it was happily as not-sweet as promised, but... it was really rather boring.  I was hoping to taste more of the spices listed in the ingredients, and I really didn't.

They were both good, but not great.  I'm actually more impressed with the bottle design than I am with what was in them.

When it comes down to it, if I'm going to spend more money to get a more traditional sodas, I'll stick with Boylan for cola and Reed's for ginger.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Brewer's ADD, Innis & Gunn Winter Treacle, Skullsplitter.

So the other day I sat down with three beers, my little sister, and the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Because you're not the boss of me.

The first beer is Brewer's ADD, with an appropriately spastic label design. It's aggressive, with a good bite. Not much subtlety, but I like it.

Second up is Innis & Gunn's Winter Treacle Porter. Now, Innis & Gunn is one of my favourite brewers, hands down. My favourite of theirs so far has been the Irish Whiskey finish, but this one might be right up there. It's pleasantly bitter, like black coffee, but with a strong fruity undertone. I recommend it.

The suprise winner for the night, though, was the Skullsplitter. Which I admit that I bought because it's called Skullsplitter. The best way I can describe it reminded me of a good, strong cheese. Not in flavour (I'm not sure even I'd go for that more than once), but in the way the taste is delayed. When it first hits your tongue, it's unremarkable, and then BAM! Flavour! Flavour everywhere! It's bombastic is what I'm saying, and I plan to pick it up again.
Overall, a good night!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

St. George Premium Lager Beer

"You gotta try this Ethiopian beer I found!"

All right, what's it called?

"I don't know, it's in Ethiopian."


So I really hope I titled this post right.

First off; this label is really nice. I love the colours and the adorable little St. George, and it was certainly easy to pick off the shelf.
Unfortunately, that's about all that distinguishes it. It's a light beer with that typical back-of-the-throat apple-juicy acidity. I can drink it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again.

Guess what image I didn't know I'd be using again so soon.