REVIEW: 7 Up Ten, A&W Root Beer Ten, Sunkist Ten

Written by | February 4, 2013

Topics: 3 Rating, 7 Rating, 8 Rating, Soda

7 Up Ten, A&W Root Beer Ten, Sunkist Ten

According to basic high school chemistry, which I managed to somehow retain despite frequent non-approved nap breaks during 10th grade, a single gram of carbohydrates contains exactly four calories*.

*3.9 if you want to get all technical about it.

According to even simpler preschool math, I have also managed to remember (although in this case, I credit school-sponsored naps) one plus one equals two and four plus four equals eight. So with two grams of total carbohydrates, it’s perfectly reasonable to think the eight calories per can of the new 7 Up, and Sunkist low-calorie sodas would take on names like 7 Up Eight or Sunkist Eight. Likewise, you might think the folks at RootBeer.com would piggyback “Twelve” onto the end of the name for their new low calorie, three carbohydrate version of A&W Root Beer.

Except they didn’t, mostly on account of the FDA having this whole rounding thing going when it comes to calories, but also because saying you’re an “eight” is like wearing a pin that sports how moderately above average but not spectacular you are.

It makes sense when you think about it. I mean, when was the last time you bragged to your friends about scoring that “eight” at the bar or walked into an interview touting the fact that you earned the equivalent of a B- grade point average? Face it. An eight is like losing in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. It’s not horrible, but nobody really cares or remembers. And 12? Don’t even get me started on 12. Hyperbole might be all well and good for cartoons, but when it comes to superlatives in my food, I can see right through that marketing fallacy.

So we’re left with rounding up on two new sodas and rounding down on one new soda to get us to the magic ten calories which give the new 7 Up Ten, Sunkist Ten, and A&W Ten sodas their names.

It’s not the first time a “Ten” soda has been released. Aside from their calorie (or lack thereof) content, the only thing the new flavors of “Ten” sodas have in common with the previously released Dr. Pepper Ten is that they’re owned by the same company. Otherwise, I would have pegged them as the last sodas to get an upgrade in flavor. Popular Coke or Pepsi products, or something otherwise legendary and iconic? I could see that. Who wouldn’t kill for a Cheerwine 10? But 7 Up, A&W, and Sunkist? This is like the cast of characters that come back for reality shows like Rachel Vs. Guy Celebrity Cooks. But considering this is the most play 7 Up has gotten since Spot Goes to Hollywood hit the Sega Saturn and the most love any flavor of orange soda has gotten since Kel Mitchell went all PG-13 on that bottle in All That, well, I guess it was time for something different.

7 Up Ten

I started with 7 Up Ten because that seemed like the soda that could be the least offensive of the three. Or as I like to say, boring. Go figure, boring is exactly how it tasted. It has your characteristic diet soda body in that it didn’t leave any syrupy sensation going down, and it lacked the “bite” or harshness which something like Sprite Zero or Diet Sierra Mist has. The carbonation meter on 7 Up is still on the wimpy side, while the taste lacks any zing or pizzazz or other onomatopoeic word you would use to describe soda. It’s terribly typical, and almost indiscernible from Diet 7 Up. I was not a fan.

Sunkist Ten

Next, I moved on to Sunkist Ten because the taste of 7 Up Ten left me feeling pretty plain about my soda drinking and because I thought it would help my self-esteem to be kist by the orange sun of celestial citrus goodness. Of course, I’ve had Diet Sunkist plenty of times in my life and have found it to be about as dull and exciting as getting kist by a grey sun peeking through the fog on a cloudy day.

Sunkist Ten, for some reason completely unexplainable to me, has a much greater intensity and brighter orange flavor than Diet Sunkist, putting it closer to our image of an actual sun kisting you. The carbonation walks the line of being just enough to give you a few quiet burps but not enough to make embarrass you at the office lunch meeting, while the sharper flavor of the orange and citrus do a much better job at covering up the harsh aftertaste of aspartame. Quite frankly, it’s about damn time we got low calorie orange soda that didn’t suck, and would give me cause to consider why someone like Kel Mitchell would kist it back.

A&W Ten

With two flavors of ten sodas down (that’s 16 calories, for those keeping track) I moved on to A&W Ten, which prides itself on having aged vanilla flavor.  I’m going to have to take their word for it because I don’t think I’ve ever had aged vanilla before, unless you count the pint of nine-month expired Ben and Jerry’s I once bought at a thrift grocery store.

I thought the taste was a moderate improvement over regular Diet A&W, with the actual liquid having a bit more body and the vanilla and sassafras flavor coming across as sharper and better defined. It’s a good low calorie root beer, although it’s still not nearly as good as Barq’s Zero, which has a serious bite and no calories, but is only available through Coke Freestyle machines. I don’t think they sell those in 12-packs though, so I consider A&W Ten an acceptable substitute for the time being.

The cynic in me wants to back up the assertion that making sodas out of two of the most hated ingredients – high fructose corn syrup and aspartame – isn’t going to please anyone in the regular soda vs. diet soda debate, and if I was going off of 7 Up Ten alone, I’d probably just tell you to buy regular Diet 7 Up or 7 Up depending on your preference.

But as I lifelong diet soda drinker who occasionally dabbles in the empty sugar rush of HFCS-sweetened beverages, I can say there’s a real improvement of flavor and body in both Sunkist and A&W Ten that makes them highly preferable to their zero calorie predecessors.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 ounces – 7Up Ten – 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 45 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein. A&W Root Beer Ten – 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 80 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein. Sunkist Ten – 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 130 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein.)

Other 7 Up Ten, A&W Root Beer Ten, Sunkist Ten reviews:
BevReview: 7 Up Ten, A&W Ten, Sunkist Ten
Purple Knee Socks
Diet Coke Babies

Item: 7 Up Ten, A&W Root Beer Ten, Sunkist Ten
Purchased Price: 25 cents each
Size: 12 ounce cans
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 3 out of 10 (7 Up Ten)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (A&W Ten)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Sunkist Ten)
Pros: Low calorie. Sunkist Ten is like being kist by the sun without the risk of skin cancer. Aged Vanilla in A&W Ten actually tastes more defined and sharper than in diet version. Busting out the Sega Saturn references. School sponsored naps.
Cons: None have heavy bite and carbonation that will get you through the first half of burping the alphabet. 7 Up Ten tastes just like Diet 7 Up. Contains a whole bunch of chemicals that the internet says will give me cancer. Still have Diet Soda body, and not the body you get from abstaining from regular soda, if you know what I mean.

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REVIEW: Pepsi Special (Japan)

Written by | December 11, 2012

Topics: 7 Rating, Japan, Pepsi, Soda

Pepsi Special (Japan)

Look at Japan’s Pepsi Special.

Having the word “special” on its label makes it soooo special.

Well, do you know who else was labeled “special”?

Me.

Oh sure, Japanese scientists did research on dextrin, which is in Pepsi Special, and learned that it prevented rats from absorbing the fat they ate and because of that the cola has been designated as a “Food for Specified Health Uses” by the Japanese government.

Well, I aced several tests in the first grade that involved reading at a higher level than all my other classmates, being able to put the square block into the square hole, and drawing trees that looked like trees, all of which designated me for a gifted and talented class.

But look at me now. I could’ve been a doctor, lawyer, pharmaceutical salesperson, or an actor who plays a doctor, lawyer or pharmaceutical salesperson, but the only real accomplishments I’ve had are barely graduating from college, not getting arrested for anything, eating an entire large Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza in one sitting, and not having watched a minute of James Cameron’s Titanic.

I don’t know if the pressure of being labeled as “special” got to me or the years of praise caused my ego to become so large that my arrogance destroyed almost every meaningful relationship I’ve had, leaving me as an empty shell of my former self, but whatever happened I’ve learned that being labeled “special” doesn’t guarantee success.

Pepsi Special should look at my paunch and unshaven face and realize that it could be me in the future. I don’t know what the beverage equivalent of being overweight, unshaven, and sitting in your underwear writing junk food reviews is, but whatever it is, Pepsi Special won’t feel special.

Besides the dextrin and the fancy stamp of approval from Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition, which looks like someone at the front of a boat yelling “I’m the king of the world,” was there anything else special about Pepsi Special?

Yes, Pepsi Special smelled like Pepsi Next and, this is probably a bit blasphemous, it tasted like Coke Zero.

I enjoyed its cola flavor. It didn’t have a strong artificial sweetener flavor like Diet Pepsi and it was nowhere close to being as syrupy sweet as regular Pepsi, but it definitely tasted more like a diet cola. The dextrin didn’t affect the cola’s viscosity in any way and it just blended in with the flavor of the cola.

As for the claims that Pepsi Special will prevent the absorption of the fat in the foods we eat, it’s hard for me to determine if it’s doing anything because I only purchased two bottles. Heck, it’s also hard for me to tell if there are any benefits because I’m not a scientist. I could’ve been one, just like I could’ve been a doctor, lawyer, pharmaceutical salesperson, or an actor who plays a doctor, lawyer or pharmaceutical salesperson, but instead I have to settle for a clean driving abstract.

Stuffing five grams of fiber into a cola that doesn’t taste like it has five grams of fiber is impressive. Although, I wouldn’t recommend drinking a lot of Pepsi Special in one day because the combination of carbonation and fiber can’t be good for both end of the digestive system.

(Nutrition Facts – 11 kcal, 0.4~2.0 grams of fat, 25~46 milligrams of sodium, 5.4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of protein.)

Other Pepsi Special reviews:
Kotaku

Item: Pepsi Special (Japan)
Purchased Price: $4.95
Size: 490 ml
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant cola flavor, if you enjoy low- or zero-calorie Pepsi colas. A bottle has more than 5 grams of fiber. Making diet cola healthy. Being one the of few people on Earth who hasn’t seen Titanic.
Cons: Only available in Japan and on eBay. Hard to determine if the dextrin is doing its job. If you don’t enjoy low- or zero-calorie colas, you won’t like it. Drinking too much of it might turn you into a burp and fart machine.

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NEWS: Japan’s Pepsi Special Sounds Like It’s A Beverage Sumo Wrestlers Will Avoid

Written by | November 8, 2012

Topics: Japan, Pepsi, Soda

IMG_0435

Do you eat fatty foods AND live in Japan?

Well, I have a beverage for you, my fatty food feasting friend. It’s the new Pepsi Special, which will be released in Japan later this month. What makes this cola special? It’s special because it contains dextrin. What’s dextrin? Well, I’ll tell you what dextrin is, my fact finding friend. It’s a soluble fiber supplement that helps prevent your body from absorbing fat.

You might be thinking to yourself, “That sounds dubious.”

Well, my cynical compadre, Pepsi Special has been certified by the Japanese government as a “food for specific health use.” The certification is based on dextrin experiments with rats by Junichi Nagata and Morio Saito from Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition. But Pepsi Special isn’t the only dextrin-fied cola available in Japan. Earlier this year, Kirin introduced Mets Cola.

Pepsi Special will be released in Japan on November 13th and sold for 150 yen.

Source: Foodbeast

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REVIEW: Limited Edition Dragonfruit Pepsi X

Written by | October 19, 2012

Topics: 5 Rating, Pepsi, Soda

Dragonfruit Pepsi X

I guess dragonfruit is the appropriate fruit flavor for The X Factor’s Limited Edition Pepsi X since almost everything that comes out of Simon Cowell’s mouth is verbal fire that can burn egos and Britney Spears is bat shit fruity.

Dragonfruit, or better known by Future Farmers of America members as hylocereus undatus, hylocereus costaricensis, or hylocereus megalanthus (depending on the color of the fruit’s skin and flesh), is grown in tropical areas, like this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean I live on.

Just like I’ve never seen an episode of The X Factor, I have yet to try dragonfruit. So seeing as how I could easily get the exotic fruit, I thought it was necessary to taste an actual dragonfruit before writing a review about the dragonfruit-flavored Pepsi X.

It’s a good thing there’s a farmer’s market down the street from me, but it’s a bad thing that dragonfruits were selling for $4.99 a pound. I bought the smallest one, which cost me $5.15.

If you’ve never seen a dragonfruit in real life or saw one when accidentally choosing a Google Image search suggestion for exotic fruits instead of, what you really wanted, exotic females, the most common type of the fruit (hylocereus undatu) has a pretty, pretty pink skin with green leaves protruding out of it and behind it there’s white flesh with tiny black seeds.

A few other interesting factoids about dragonfruits, there’s also a red-fleshed dragonfruit (hylocereus costaricensis) and if you eat too much of it you may get pseudohematuria, which is a harmless condition that turns your urine and feces reddish in color. Now that you know that, I hope you never accidentally choose a Google Image search suggestion for pseudohematuria. And knowing is half the battle.

Oh, speaking of pseudohematuria, the color of Pepsi X was noticeably lighter than regular Pepsi and it looked like it had a reddish hue.

Dragonfruit Pepsi X 2

Now that I know what dragonfruit tastes like, I can definitely say Limited Edition Dragonfruit Pepsi X doesn’t have a flavor that’s recognizable as dragonfruit. The dragonfruit’s flesh was mostly bland with a very mild sweetness. It’s as flavorful as cucumbers or kiwis. However, Pepsi X has a strong fruity and slightly floral flavor that doesn’t taste anything like dragonfruit. There’s also very little cola flavor.

Of course, I might’ve selected the wrong dragonfruit to taste and needed to buy the pseudohematuria-causing one. Or maybe, because it’s a little floral, Pepsi is trying to reproduce the flavor of dragonfruit flowers. Or maybe the flavor was developed by blending together dragon meat with fruits.

Dragonfruit Pepsi X 3

Whatever the case, I didn’t really care for Pepsi X. It’s interesting and not horrible, but I don’t see myself buying more because its unusual fruity/flowery flavor just doesn’t have The X Factor.

While I didn’t care for Pepsi X’s flavor, I LOVE that Pepsi did something I never thought they would do — release an unusual Pepsi flavor. A dragonfruit-flavored Pepsi is something I’d expect Pepsi in Japan to release, but it was released here in the U.S. That’s extremely exciting. So, within the past few months, Pepsi has launched a malt-flavored Mountain Dew and this dragonfruit-flavored Pepsi. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 ounces – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 35 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.)

Other Limited Edition Dragonfruit Pepsi X reviews:
Thirsty Dudes
The Holidaze

Item: Limited Edition Dragonfruit Pepsi X
Purchased Price: $3.00*
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Not horrible. It’s a weird Pepsi flavor that sounds like it should be from Japan, but it’s not. Being able to buy dragonfruits down the street. Future Farmers of America.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like dragonfruit. Fruity/flowery flavor is a bit odd and doesn’t have The X Factor. Very little cola flavor. The price of dragonfruit. Pseudohematuria. Simon Cowell.

*To ensure I could review these as quickly as possible, I bought some off of eBay. It will most definitely be cheaper if you bought it in a store.

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NEWS: Pepsi Announces Dragonfruit Flavored Pepsi X

Written by | October 4, 2012

Topics: Pepsi, Soda

Update: Click here to read our Limited Edition Dragonfruit Pepsi X review

new pepsi logo

Update: Click here to read our Limited Edition Dragonfruit Pepsi X review

According to Beverage Digest’s Twitter account, Pepsi has announced on tonight’s episode of The X Factor a dragonfruit-flavored cola called Pepsi X.

The new flavor was chosen by The X Factor’s fans and contestants during “The Pepsi Flavor Audition Tour.” The limited edition Pepsi X will be available starting October 8 in 12-packs, 2-liters, and 20-ounce bottles.

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