REVIEW: Limited Edition Dr Pepper Vanilla Float

Limited Edition Dr Pepper Vanilla Float

Hello, everyone. I’m very sorry I was gone for so long, but it’s good to be back!

If summer could talk, that’s what I imagine it saying, anyway. It was a brutally cold winter that also lasted roughly 11 years for large portions of the U.S., so the warm weather we’ve all been experiencing these last few weeks is more than welcome for you and I, but even more so for marketers.

Every summer you know to expect the lawn care and iced beverage ads, and car dealerships start pointing out your inalienable right to independently choose whatever Nissan you’d like for no money down at signing your John Hancock, at prices that are practically free(dom).

Be that as it may, the colder it is, the less you feel like standing outside in your parka to grill up some elk and watch the kids break icicles off the sprinkler. So you can bet that like every food company but Swiss Miss, Dr Pepper was glad to see Frozen finally exit theaters and our lawns simultaneously. In fact, they’re SO excited they’ve released a limited edition variety of their famous product: Dr Pepper Vanilla Float.

Limited Edition Dr Pepper Vanilla Float Closeup

As is no doubt obvious from the pictures, the can basically IS summer. You got your sunglasses, flip-flops, grill tools, surfboard, fireworks, plus an Uncle Sam hat because this soda wants YOU to drink it. Don’t like it? Eff off, this is ‘Murica. There’s also some backstroke flags to remind you of when you forgot how many strokes it is to the wall and slammed into it headfirst. Or maybe that was just me, but luckily there were no long-term side elephants.

I actually haven’t had a Dr Pepper since about high school, either five years ago in my mind or sixteen by the calendar. Never drank it after that because it tasted too much like Cherry Coke, but I was eager to revisit it for this review. Popping open the tab wafts up a hint of vanilla and cherry — the smell isn’t overpowering or unpleasant, but it’s certainly noticeable… though, it must be said, far more cherry than vanilla.

And unfortunately, that carries over to the taste as well. Oh, it tastes like Dr Pepper — granting I haven’t sampled the good doctor since Bill Clinton’s first term, but this is exactly how I remember it tasting. And, well, that’s the problem, because I believe there was some mention of vanilla? You certainly wouldn’t know it from a casual swig. Or a concentrated one, for that matter. It tastes fine (assuming you like regular Dr Pepper), but that’s all you’re getting.

But hey, maybe I’m just an outlier. In the interest of journalistic integrity I drafted my wife to try a can. She reported thinking she smelled and tasted a liiiittle bit of vanilla, but very mild. Whether there’s a slight “Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome going on there is for you to decide, but we both agreed that by no means is there enough vanilla taste in this soda to justify its name. “A batch of Dr Pepper we accidentally spilled a bottle of vanilla extract into,” maybe, but certainly not “Vanilla Float.”

Unfortunately there’s not much else to say: you should buy this soda if you like Dr Pepper, but don’t go in expecting any kind of radically different experience. Unlike Vanilla Coke, where there was no mistaking it for a can of the original, I could easily see someone being served this in a cup and not even realizing it isn’t the regular stuff. As is, the can is more interesting than its contents; and if you want a Dr Pepper Vanilla Float, be sure to have some ice cream on hand.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 ounces – 160 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of total carbohydrates, 41 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Limited Edition Dr Pepper Vanilla Float
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 12-pack
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: It is a pretty fun can, as… soda cans go, I guess. Didn’t cost a ton. My wife has a new beverage to enjoy for the next couple weeks. If you like regular Dr Pepper (or Cherry Coke), you’re in luck!
Cons: Could’ve just said “We wanted an excuse to use these cool cans our design guys came up with, but all our batches were already made.” Vanilla really would’ve helped cut that strong fruit flavor. The idea that it’s called Dr Pepper because it was originally marketed as a laxative is, sadly, just an urban legend. Revisiting high school relationships is never very satisfying (er, so I’ve heard).

REVIEW: Dr Pepper Ten

Dr Pepper Ten

The fall season is beginning to make itself known here in Orlando. We have traded out 95 degree days (with humidity so thick you can cut slices of it and serve with whipped topping) for temperatures in the mid-eighties. The trees are turning from green to the same green. The air smelling of sweat mixed with citrus perfumes are bowing out for scents of sweat and sandalwood ones. Yep, Fall is here.

Who am I kidding? We would never know Fall has arrived if not for those disgusting cinnamon brooms the supermarkets trudge out that assault our noses. The aroma drives me crazy. Why the hell would anyone want their house to smell like smoker’s sneeze? It’s that unique blend of metal and curdled milk? Sorry dad, when you sneezed, it was the olfactory equivalent of Hiroshima.

So here I was in my local supermarket searching for some pizza rolls and the sickening wafts pillaged my nostrils. I didn’t care if I stretched the neck of my fitted t-shirt but I stuck my nose under the collar. Aware that I looked like I was trying to avoid the avian bird flu while roaming the aisles, I did not care. But then I found it, or maybe it found me (cue the Zamfir).

Dr Pepper Ten! All my friends know I am a sucker for two things: soft drinks with new flavors (I’m still hunting for that elusive mint-tinged Sprite Ice) and women who wear eyeglasses (drool). I am aware of the rules because for every Pepsi Lime there is a Pepsi Holiday Spice. I remember drinking the Holiday Spice and thought there was a demand for paint varnish flavored soft drinks. SCORE!!! I held a cold frosty bottle of the new Dr Pepper Ten.

Just to let you know Dr Pepper Ten also comes in the two-liter bottle (which normally go flat incredibly fast) and the standard case of twelve ounce cans. I decided to play it safe and buy the twenty ounce bottle because I did not want to commit to a dozen cans on the chance they taste like crap.

Dr Pepper is no stranger to different varieties of its flavor. I particularly was a big fan of their Dr Pepper Berries & Cream which was short lived in stores. I have been looking for this Dr Pepper Ten for some time and couldn’t believe they were here in front of me. Since writing this piece, they seem to be widely available now. My assumption is they are preparing for a nationwide rollout.

Just to let you know, the TEN refers to the ten calories per serving the doctor has. The weird thing is the ad campaign is marketing itself as a diet soda for men. I’m not sure if it is manlier to drink a diet soda that has ten calories versus none. I’m also not sure how they came up with ten calories being the threshold for a man’s drink versus eight or eleven calories. Honestly, a man’s drink is a tall glass of cheap scotch.

I am pretty certain if I went to my neighborhood biker bar and ordered a martini straight up with two black olives, holding a Dr Pepper Ten is not going to save me from a beat-down. Also do I think a woman drinking a Dr Pepper Ten is any less feminine because it’s supposedly for men? Nope, especially if she is wearing flirty black thin-rimmed eyeglasses.

Regardless of the stupid marketing, it’s all about the taste. The almost boiling weather couldn’t stop the condensation running from the bottle around my fingers. I twisted the cap and heard that satisfying pffffsssssttttttttttttt!

“Oh yeah,” I thought to myself and that was the last of my happiness.

The more appropriate name for Dr Pepper Ten is Dr Pepper Two. Read on and I will explain because like most underwhelming sequels (Ghostbusters II anyone?), this Dr Pepper rates a two. I give it two points: one for effort and another because it is not hydrochloric acid.

Like some beers, I think soda always tastes better in a pre-chilled glass and so I poured a generous amount. The bouquet (yeah I said bouquet) did not have that unique hint of a “nutmegish” scent that Dr Pepper normally has. In fact, it had no scent.

I took a sip and was instantly depressed. There was very little taste of the famous doctor, in fact there was very little taste. I did appreciate the lack of unpleasant sweet syrup that coats your teeth some diet sodas have. However, this is canceled out by the fact there was little flavor.

In fact, it tasted close to plain seltzer which made me pine for that heavy sweetness. Actually, I wouldn’t care if it tasted like prune juice (as it is rumored Dr Pepper is made from) as my taste buds wanted to grasp on to something. It claims there are Ten BOLD tasting calories but it is no bolder than a grey argyle sweater vest.

A clean finish for sure, which many sodas do not have, but what does it matter when there is no taste? I haven’t been this disappointed since Fox unforgivably cancelled the show “Drive” with geek approved actor Nathan Fillion. Speaking of amped manliness, I keep hoping he will team up with Bruce Campbell.

You know, if there are ten calories…it has got to be from eating the cap and bottle. Dr Pepper Ten is obviously for boring men (or men with way too sensitive taste buds). It hasn’t affected me since I still shop at Banana Republic, listen to New Order and have different colognes for night or day.

Furthermore, Dr Pepper Ten states proudly “It’s not for women.” Women aren’t missing much because a poor tasting product will fail regardless of which gender they are aiming for. If Dr Pepper Ten is for men, I’ll take a “girly” Diet Dr Pepper instead. Or a scotch.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein.)

Other Dr Pepper Ten reviews:
BevReview
BevNerd (video)
Random Dude Eats Random Food

Item: Dr Pepper Ten
Price: $1.59
Size: 20 ounces
Purchased at: My neighborhood Publix that sells those forsaken cinnamon brooms.
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: No sticky film on your teeth. Nathan Fillion. Pleasant clean finish. Women in glasses, especially with their hair pulled back. Did I mention it doesn’t leave a sticky film on your “teeths”? Banana Republic circa 2006. It is only ten calories.
Cons: No Dr Pepper taste. No sweet taste. No taste. Networks canceling shows too early thus giving us viewer blue balls. Ad campaign is moronic. Not one of the ten calories are bold. CINNAMON BROOMS. Men, Women…either way it’s not good for either.