REVIEW: Coca-Cola Spiced

I’m a fiend for flavored Coke. And by “flavored Coke,” I actually mean any cola jazzed up with something else, like Pepsi that is mangoed in nature, and yes, the flavored Cokes — most of them, anyway. I love Cherry and Vanilla Coca-Cola, and I am still mourning the departure of Orange Vanilla Coke. (That and the Cinnamon Coke it did at Christmas a few years ago. I’d do bad, illegal things to have Cinnamon Coke be a regular offering.)

I did not, however, care for many of the past couple of year’s “Mystery Flavors” from the Coca-Cola Creations line. You know, the abstract ones meant to taste like emotions and concepts or those designed by algorithms or famous DJs. There were a couple that were tolerable, but because there were far too many to begin with, they all blended together, and now I can’t remember which ones they were.

But I had high hopes for Coca-Cola Spiced because the flavoring seems pretty straightforward: “Raspberry Spiced (and other natural flavors).” Plus, on more than one occasion, I’ve opted for a Raspberry Coke from a Coke Freestyle machine, and I’ve never regretted it.

But make no mistake. This ain’t that, though.

My previously high hopes were dashed against the rocks immediately after cracking open the bottle.

A strong cough syrup scent overwhelmed me before the first fizzy sip ever touched my lips. Then I took a drink, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the cough syrup was front and center. Thankfully, it wasn’t as strong as the scent, but it was still very present, a medicinal bite that tasted only vaguely raspberrian in nature, right at the beginning of the drink. And while it mellowed slightly on the back end, it never fully went away.

Because I am a “Zero Sugar” guy, I tried both, and while it is worth noting that the Robitussin-esque qualities of Spiced were milder in the Zero version, they are still there, just muted. It made that version more tolerable, but still, nothing I’d actively seek out again.

So until Coca-Cola brings back Orange Vanilla or Cinnamon (or makes Vanilla Zero Sugar more ubiquitous so that I can buy it more often than “that one time I found it last summer while vacationing in Des Moines”), I’ll stick with the options that don’t immediately evoke memories of staying home from school with a bad cough.

Purchased Price: $2.69 each
Size: 20 oz bottles
Purchased at: QuikTrip
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Original), 5 out of 10 (Zero Sugar)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) Original – 250 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 67 grams of carbohydrates, 67 grams of sugar (including 67 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 54 milligrams of caffeine. Zero Sugar – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 57 milligrams of caffeine.

41 thoughts to “REVIEW: Coca-Cola Spiced”

  1. Two days ago, I tried the zero sugar verson, myself and sadly was not all that impressed, either. Upon opening the bottle, I could definitely pick up on the raspberry aroma initially and the overall flavor was flat to me. It seemed like it lacked carbonation and did taste reminiscent of cough syrup. It was disappointing and I was surprised that they would designate raspberry as a permanent flavor when it’s not always a preferred fruit flavor.

      1. That was exactly my response too. I picked up a bottle of the zero sugar spiced, took two sips and could not drink anymore, and even felt a little nauseous after tasting it. It sits in my driveway by my trashcan where it will go tomorrow. Yuck.

  2. I had planned to pick up a bottle of the Zero version if I saw it, but after reading this review, I think I’ll skip it. “Robitussen-esque”–I now know exactly how it tastes and exactly what I’d think of it. Ick.

    1. I’m a devoted Coke drinker. Who ever came up with Coke Spiced must have been looking for attention with the CEO of Coke or high on drugs. Coke spiced is nasty tasting. I even tried it in some cooking that required Coke. Absolutely no good. Now I’m stuck with a case of 20 OZ bottles.

      1. Wtf!?! I thought I was grabbing a cherry coke in the store and got spiced coke by accident. Very disappointing. If you’re gonna have this crap on this shelf PLEASE make the label different so it doesn’t look like cherry coke at a glance.

  3. I’ve tried both. The zero sugar one is the worse of the two for me. Which sucks for me cause that’s what I need to drink. But even the sugary version is just ok. I’d never buy a 12 pack of it, but I can see myself grabbing one occasionally.

    1. Also, I dunno what the “spice” flavor is, but I think just a plain old raspberry flavor would have been 100x better.

  4. Thanks for the review – I just returned from a shopping trip to King Soopers looking for a 2L bottle to try (weekly special this week) and they did not have any. After reading this, I am SO glad they didn’t.

  5. Tried it this weekend (the regular version). I’d probably give it around a 5.5 out of 10, maybe a 6 if I’m being kind. On the first sip, it definitely hits you with raspberry flavor. But not pure raspberry, I thought it was more like a raspberry bubble gum flavor. I found it very off putting and overly sweet. I almost didn’t even go to finish it, it was that bad to me. The more I drank of it though, the better it got (but it never got “good”) as more of the “spice” flavor came thru and the raspberry subsided. It’s really hard to describe just what the “spice” is. Closet I can come up with is maybe a weak cinnamon red hot candy. It doesn’t burn like those candies do, but it just kinda tingles a bit.

    All in all, it was a pretty pedestrian offering, which seems to the be case with Coke lately with a lot of their new flavors. I agree with the reviewer, the only ones that have really hit are the Orange Vanilla and Cinnamon. In fact, if they were gonna do Coke Spiced, just make Cinnamon Coke again.

  6. I didn’t get a cough syrup taste, but I wasn’t particularly impressed, either. The raspberry flavor was raspberryish enough, with a bit of a Red Hots taste. At the end though, I was hit by a weird taste/feel that reminded me strongly of the old wax lips candy (candy?) that used to come out around Halloween. So bizarre, a little off-putting, but mostly just confusing. I am glad I only picked up a bottle and not a 12-pack, although I could pick up another sometime. Shame this became permanent instead of bringing back Orange Vanilla Coke; that stuff, as noted, was great.

    Side note, this flavor convinces me even more that lately Coca-Cola has no confidence in their flavor capabilities, and tries to hide it behind heady, conceptual names. No one can get upset if “Move” (the best of those abstracts) doesn’t actually taste like moving.

  7. This tastes nothing like cough syrup. I don’t know what anybody is talking about. It’s kind of a raspberry esque flavored Coke with a bit of cinnamon in it. It’s not their best but I like the attempt.

  8. Big fan of this one. I do find it somewhat weird that the most pronounced word in the label is SPICED, even though I tasted little to none.

    But the raspberry flavor is subtle and awesome. To me, this is a much, much better alternative to Cherry Coke.

    I only drink the Zero versions, btw.

  9. Not sure what the reviewer drank. but it tastes nothing like that. it tastes like that candy raspberry with coke and a hint of spices. i really liked it. one of the better coke creations. Won’t try the zero sugar. cause zero sugar is gross and has a weird aftertaste.

  10. Raspberry Coke? What?! Never heard of that but now I must have it. Also never heard of anyone vacationing in my hometown. Nice place to live, but you wouldn’t want to visit. ?

  11. I don’t know why Coke is so averse to adding even a hint of sour to their drinks. Diet Coke with a twist of (real) lemon or lime is so refreshing… every fruity flavor they have is always just sweet on sweet on sweet.

  12. Coca cola is my soda of choice. But this spiced thing??? I bought a 6 pak 20 oz bottles – and it will last me a long time. Drinkable but definitely not enjoyable. The fact that they list as “new permanent flavor” means someone made a mistake. I realize every drink company has to experiment now and then, but having followed Coke’s ‘experiments’ for 50+ yrs, this one will not be permanent. If they didn’t keep cinnamon coke why would they ever keep this.

  13. The next time somebody asks me what I think about Coke spiced zero I’m gonna forward them this review because it’s spot on and will save me a lot of typing! Coke Robotussin. Yep!

  14. Me finding myself liking the Zero version now that I’m trying it. ?

    Just a little gingery that is probably reminiscent of Dr. Pepper and clones. Not getting much raspberry. I didn’t read the actual flavor description before trying it, so that’s something.

    I would get it again. The cotton candy one is probably still my favorite of the recent creations – I also can’t remember how to associate any of the names and flavors at this point. The cinnamon Coke sounds awesome…

  15. I like it, and will absolutely get some more if I see it in cans, in a 12 pack, steeply discounted. I don’t get a cough syrup vibe, more of a cinnamon and definitely a fair amount of raspberry.
    I will have to try this with sugar. I think the weird flavor at the end is probably the soap-flavored sweetener that my wife can’t taste.

  16. I bought Spiced Coke Zero in cans and it goes flat within ten minutes. It also isn’t spicy. I wish Coke would stop with this nonsense and just bring back Feisty Cherry. It used to be in the Diet Coke line, along with a very good lime one. Other than Stardust, I haven’t found any new Coke flavor to be that great. The going flat quickly is something I haven’t experienced before.

  17. My God I’m not alone.

    My first thought was “‘Tussin”.

    It’s methadone for cough syrup junkies.

  18. I didn’t pick up on the cough syrup vibe but it was like drinking a scented candle! Ugh. The aftertaste/smell still lingers on. Give me a Coke Zero with a squeeze is lime.

  19. I do not appreciate ruining the product coca cola by producing a new version like,” coca cola spiced.” Your giving coca cola which is normally refreshing, a bad name by giving who ever tastes it a bad after tastes and a head ache with the unusual flavor that lasts for too long after drinking it.Do better….please. I wasted $6.00 on a 2 liter from the local gas station. And thats no fun. Thank you, sincerely your fan,Ricky Johnsen

  20. I LOVE the new “SPICED ZERO SUGAR”!!!!! I’m reading reviews and plenty say this new Coca-Cola flavor tastes like cough syrup?!!! Are they serious? — As a lifelong lover of Coca-Cola (…and, yes — I am also mourning the discontinued Orange Vanilla Zero) I want to congratulate the creators at Coke for this refreshing, uplifting, not very spicy flavor! THis could have been called “Raspberry Coke Zero.” AAAAA+

  21. I haven’t decided if I like this Coke or not. . . While I don’t taste a raspberry flavor the after taste is more like perfume tastes as when you accidentally get perfume in your mouth. There is also a hint of floral. I’ll give it another taste tomorrow before I have a final decision. But right now I’m just glad I only purchased one bottle of Coke Spiced Zero.

  22. Coke Spiced is not that great. In fact, it terrible. I certainly would not recommend, buy it. I thought it would be a totally different taste than what it was. Not enough spice in it to make much difference.

  23. They say that taste and smell go hand-in-hand and I can’t disagree. The taste of Coke Spiced reminds me of what hits your nose when walking into a Yankee Candle store.

  24. Omg. If u have never tried spice coke then trust me DON’T. It’s the nastiest tasting drink I have ever put in my mouth. I literally throwed up twice because of how bad it is. It’s not for someone with bad gag reflexes. Coke you didn’t produce a good product here by no means

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