REVIEW: Coca-Cola Limited Edition Y3000

According to Coca-Cola, its Limited Edition Y3000 Cola is “Futuristic Flavored” and was partially developed using Artificial Intelligence. But should we trust AI to come up with new flavors? I don’t even trust it to write a paragraph about the limited edition cola.

But I did anyway.

Here’s what it came up with after I asked it to compose something about Y3000: “Coca-Cola has recently introduced a new limited edition flavor that has fans buzzing with excitement. The new flavor, called Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Orange Vanilla, is a refreshing twist on the classic soft drink that has quickly become a fan favorite.”

So, um, yeah.

While it’s “Futuristic Flavored,” it smells like a beverage I’ve had before. Despite putting my nose on the top of this bottle for the same amount of time my dog’s nose is under a fire hydrant, I can’t definitely place where I’ve smelled it before. With its berry-ish aroma, I want to say Pepsi Blue, but that would be weird because my fellow reviewer said this other Coca-Cola Creations cola smells like Pepsi Blue.

But the way it tastes confuses me even more. There’s a tasty berry vanilla flavor at first, but the aftertaste sometimes reminds me of buttered popcorn jelly beans. That aftertaste was more noticeable after using Y3000 to soothe my mouth after eating some Takis. But other times, that aftertaste wasn’t buttery and leaned heavily towards vanilla-y. I think I also picked up on some artificial banana flavoring. But that buttered popcorn vibe caused a cola that started off good to fall a bit off at the end. Let me know in the comments if any of you also noticed that artificial buttered popcorn flavor.

So, um, yeah. Thank you, Artificial Intelligence. Thank you for making what started out as possibly one of the better tasting Coca-Cola Creations flavors and then making it perhaps the one with the weirdest aftertaste. Now I’m curious about how the Zero Sugar version tastes.

Although, to be fair, according to Coca-Cola, the soda was developed by AI AND humans, so maybe it was human error that caused the back end of this soda to taste like a Jelly Belly?

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 20 oz bottle (also available in 7.5 oz cans)
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 65 grams of sugar (including 65 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Fanta What the Fanta Mystery Flavor 2023

Fanta’s 2023 version of its What the Fanta Mystery Flavor has two mysteries attached to it. Of course, the first one is its flavor. And the second one is: Why don’t the cans glow in the dark?

The light green colored graphics over a black background make me think they’re glow-in-the-dark, but they’re not, despite my attempts to charge the possible glowy parts by putting a can next to a window for a time much longer than it would take for me to just Google the answer. While the cans don’t glow, the soda makes your tongue turn black or dark purple, especially in a dark room.

It smells orangey or citrusy, but it’s dark purple in color. With the first few sips, my guesses switched between grape and orange. But I think its color confused my head because there’s no way this is grape-flavored, right? There’s no mystery there. That would be like Sherlock Holmes in a mystery called “The Case of the Murderer Who Instantly Admitted It and There Are Dozens of Witnesses, Plus There’s Video Evidence From Every Angle Taken By Those Dozens of Witnesses.” It’s not that simple, right?

So my guess is orange, which sounds so basic that it’s got to be some kind of unique orange or orange-flavored product. The artificial sweetener aftertaste kind of hits me the same way as fruity, chalky candy does. So maybe it’s orange Smarties or Sweetarts? Or perhaps it’s Orange Fanta with a lot of Red 40 and Blue 1 food coloring. If that’s the case, WTF, Fanta?

A QR code on the side of the can leads to a website, but I didn’t visit it because I didn’t want to take the chance that it would give away the answer. I’ll just wait until it’s officially announced.

But is this orange candy-flavored soda good? It’s okay. Usually, I don’t mind zero sugar sodas, but there’s something about this one that makes it less appealing. It could be the artificial sweetener aftertaste I mentioned earlier that leads to a chalky candy-like sensation. Or maybe I taste the disappointment of the cans not glowing in the dark.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 7.5 oz cans (also available in 20 oz bottles)
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Limited Edition Ultimate

Video games partnering with soda brands to cross-promote is such a natural partnership. It’s a synergy of two things that already tend to be consumed by the same people and often allows for a bump in sales/game play. This summer, Coca-Cola partnered with Riot Games’ massive game League of Legends to release a new limited edition drink under their Creations banner: Coca-Cola Ultimate. Described as being +XP (experience point) flavored, the sixth addition to the Creations line is just as odd and unique as the other offerings.

+XP is often earned in games through tasks/challenges that contribute to you gaining a level, so I was extremely interested to see how they would interpret that concept into a flavor. Its smell was that of a sweet berry that almost gave me the vaguest hint of Pepsi Blue. Don’t worry, to all that hated that drink; the initial aroma was the only thing that reminded me of the divisive blue beverage.

The first sip was overwhelming to my pallet as it didn’t match the berry smell. I should have known better with the Creation line than to assume it would taste how it smelled. Taking my time to savor the soda, I tasted peach on the front with a hint of citrus on the back. The tried and true Coca-Cola flavor isn’t really present. The sweetness you expect from a Coke is absolutely there, but the signature “cola” taste is barely there.

The lack of a strong cola flavor didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. While I am sure that will turn some off, I genuinely enjoyed that this tasted like a whole new concoction because other Creations varieties drank like “Coke with added flavor.”

When researching the connection between the drink and League of Legends, I was a little bummed to find it wasn’t inspired by anything directly from the game. However, you can access some interesting benefits by scanning the QR code on the bottle or can. It will take you to the Coca-Cola Creations page, where you can access different activities tied to the game. It’s worth noting you don’t have to buy the drink to access these benefits: in-game missions can yield you an exclusive emote, AR lenses can turn your likeness into an LoL emote, and you can add your face into a video to share.

While I cannot speak to whether or not I gained XP drinking Coca-Cola Ultimate, it was an overall enjoyable drink. The connection to League of Legends doesn’t seem as deep as other soda x game collabs have been, but I think it will work in Coke’s favor: LoL fans can enjoy in-game rewards and limited edition soda fans can enjoy a new offering.

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 65 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Lymonade Legacy

The Coca-Cola Company has released Sprite Lymonade Legacy, a strawberry-lemonade-flavored take on the classic lemon-lime soda. Released with the tagline “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop”, will this soda do justice to the legacy of one the most influential musical movements of recent memory?

Here’s the bad news: the only music I listen to are Broadway show tunes and movie/videogame soundtracks. So, unless Hamilton counts, I’m completely unqualified to judge whether a strawberry-lemonade soda adequately represents hip-hop from a musical perspective. But I do know my way around a soda fountain, so I feel up to the task of reviewing this soda.

I open the lovely pink can, pour the soda into a glass, and am surprised at the lack of red or pink coloring in the liquid. It instead appears as ordinary, vaguely cloudy yellow lemonade. No doubt the cloudiness is from the modified food starch in the ingredient list and not the clarified lemon juice listed, but I appreciate how much like real lemonade it appears.

The scent is very strawberry-forward, and the flavor really brings the berry. It’s certainly artificial; you won’t mistake this for a freshly squeezed lemonade with crushed strawberries from the county fair. Think more of those old-fashioned strawberry candies. Underneath all that berry is a distinct lemon flavor, separate from the lemon-lime of classic Sprite, but there’s no mistaking this for regular Sprite Lymonade.

A strawberry flavor is a natural addition to the existing Sprite Lymonade. If you’re one to get excited about new sodas (And I am! And I suspect readers of this site are too), this may seem like an underwhelming brand extension. I, however, have come to appreciate this simple soda. At a time when Coca-Cola is releasing Coke varieties like “Pixel,” “Dreamworld,” and the upcoming “Sound Of A Lover’s Step As They Approach,” I can appreciate how much a touch of strawberry can add to a soft drink. The others all end up tasting like fruity bubblegum to me anyway.

Sprite Lymonade Legacy is a soda that does exactly what it promises. Some red coloring would have added to the strawberry experience, but the flavor is on point.

Purchased Price: $ 7.29
Size: 12 fl oz cans/12 pack
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 130 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar (including 35 grams of added sugars), and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Limited Edition Move

The Coca-Cola Creations line is known for inventive flavors inspired by abstract concepts, celebrity collaborations, and eye-catching thematic aesthetics. The newest in the line, Coca-Cola Limited Edition Move, boasts all three. Co-created with singer Rosalía, Move is described on the Coca-Cola website as “a celebration of transformation. A homage to all the versions of ourselves that coexist within us, and that forms our very own personality.” The product, also according to Coca-Cola, “brings to life the transformational power of music.”

The fun of the Creations line includes the questions each flavor raises. Specifically, what flavors represent transformation? What is this beverage supposed to taste like? Will any of the versions of myself that coexist within me regret spending $2.49 on a mystery flavor? These enigmas are the stuff arguments in the comments section are made of.

Move shares classic Coca-Cola’s appearance and scent, minus most of the soda’s characteristic spice notes. The first few sips of the full sugar variety reminded me of a minimally-spiced cola spiked with smooth coconut flavor. The more I drank, the more vanilla flavor crept in until it became dominant. In the spirit of Coca-Cola’s musical inspiration, drinking Move is like listening to two warring DJs mixing the same songs. There is some cohesion, but flavor highs and lows are bound to occur as they both impetuously fiddle with their controller dials to produce varying levels of coconut tempo and vanilla volume.

At some point, the vanilla won out for my taste buds, producing a flavor that reminded me of the scent of Bath & Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar body lotion. (If you know, you know, and it’s weird, I know.) Still, the taste isn’t wholly unpleasant. The artificial quality of the vanilla vacillates, affecting the soda’s overall drinkability. At its most enjoyable, there is an almost creamy smoothness to the flavor profile that makes the drink less crisp and refreshing than most of the brand’s other offerings. I finished the bottle over the course of a few days, and the lotion association is now cemented in my brain so strongly that I can’t un-think about it.

It feels appropriate that transformation tastes, to me, like shifting flavors among a familiar – but altered – cola taste. To continue the experience, I scanned the QR code on the vibrant pink, black, and white packaging to find music content, as well as a personality quiz that generates a custom metaverse-inspired avatar and playlist. For the record, my avatar looks like an upside-down tulip with wobbly arms, wormlike hair, and a = sign for a face. Maybe because I’m elderly, I don’t quite understand it, but it did “Move” me to laughter.

For those open to a transformational experience, Coca-Cola Move is available in 20 oz bottles or 7.5 mini cans, in both the full sugar and Zero Sugar varieties.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Purchased at: Giant Eagle
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 65 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.