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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Product review: Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry soda, 2 liter bottle

Packaging: Looks similar to other Pepsi packages, but does have and additional red border at the top and bottom of the label and a more "action-oriented" background in the blue of the label, almost giving a sense of vibration to the viewer. The label states that it is a "GREAT NEW TASTE." Otherwise, a relatively standard two-liter bottle, clear with blue top.

Initial presentation: Opening the bottle, the soda seemed less fizzy than regular Diet Pepsi (which is the fizziest of dark sodas). The pour, from a warm bottle onto ice, was smoother than a regular Diet Pepsi pour, with the bubbles receding quickly. Dark cola color was as expected.

Initial taste: Bringing the soda to the mouth with a faint bottle fizziness still on the glass, the smell of cherry soda was strong. The initial taste was of a very strong cherry flavor, overpowering the assumed cola taste (based on the cola coloring of the soda in the glass), and a definite chemical element to the flavor and bouquet, despite the promise of "Cherry Flavored Diet Pepsi with other natural flavors" on the label. In the glass the cherry flavor dissipated slightly, allowing some of the cola flavor to come through. However, the cherry flavor is very strong, overpowering the naturally light Pepsi cola taste.

Straight up this cola is really a cherry cola, not a "Pepsi." As cherry is a relatively poor mixer for spirits, this is not likely to be a great mixer for alcoholic beverages. It does contain caffeine, and appears to be an efficient delivery vehicle for this much needed substance in modern life. However, the overwhelming cherry flavoring, completely masking the cola undertones so critical to cola-based soda refreshment, makes this a poor substitute for other forms of diet soda, even at sale prices.

Rating: 71 (out of 100)


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