REVIEW: Coke Freestyle 2017 Holiday Mixes (North Pole Magic and Arctic Chill)

Coke Freestyle 2017 Holiday Mixes

One of the more understated junk food rites of the holiday season has to be Coca-Cola’s seasonal Freestyle mixes. Since they’re not ubiquitously marketed like everything else Coke does, they always seem to sneak up on you as quaint, L-T-O surprises at the local cineplex or friendly neighborhood Burger King.

Well, if you fancied previous seasonal flavors like Secret Santa and Mistletoe Flow, you’ll probably get a yuletide kick out of the latest additions to the Coke Freestyle family – the aptly named North Pole Magic and Arctic Chill.

Aesthetically, there isn’t much to say about either beverage. They both have a pleasant, reddish brown hue, with the Arctic Chill variation looking lighter than North Pole Magic. In terms of scent, they smell practically identical – as soon as your olfactory glands whiff the drinks, the aroma is unmistakable. You’ve got orange, you’ve got vanilla and you’ve got something else that you can’t quite put your finger on for the initial sniff. But that becomes very apparent once the drinks start tangoing with your taste buds.

Coke Freestyle North Pole Magic

We’ll start with North Pole Magic (NPM) because it’s the stronger of the two (both in terms of figurative quality and literal flavor). The beverage tastes pretty much the same way it smells. I’ve read some Internet posts that say NPM is one part vanilla, one part cherry, and one part root beer, but I beg to differ. To these tastebuds, anyway, NPM is one part Coca-Cola, one part orange creme and one part vanilla – in short, sherbet-flavored Coke.

In all my years I’ve never once imagined what a Yabba Dabba Do Orange Flinstones Push Up-flavored Coca-Cola variation would taste like, but I’ll be tickled pink if NPM isn’t one of the most delicious Coke permutations I’ve tasted in quite some time. This stuff is too yummy to be relegated to those bright red touchscreen terminals – Coke definitely needs to put this in bottle and can form come next Christmas.

Coke Freestyle ArcticChill

Arctic Chill (AC) – which is fighting under the less calorie-dense Coca-Cola Zero umbrella – is pretty much the same thing as NPM, except…well, not as flavorful.

I hate to use the term “watered down,” but that’s precisely what AC tastes like compared to NPM. It’s still pretty good, but the Coke Zero taste completely overwhelms the sherbet flavor. In fact, you only get the sherbet flavor as a ghostly aftertaste – almost as if you were drinking a Coke Zero in a cup somebody momentarily used as a holster for a creamsicle for about five seconds. Again, it’s not a bad soda by any stretch, it’s just that compared to NPM it feels like a mild imitation.

Regardless, you really can’t go wrong with either flavor. And Coke definitely needs to be commended for thinking outside the box for these holiday mixes – thank goodness they eschewed the all too predictable gingerbread and candy cane flavors in favor of one that’s great, no matter the time of year.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available.)

Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: 20 oz. cup
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10 (North Pole Magic)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Arctic Chill)
Pros: A robust, creamsicle flavor. You’ve got options if you’re trying to count calories. The theoretical ability to combine each flavor with Diet Dr. Pepper and peach Sprite, because Y.O.L.O.
Cons: Arctic Chill tastes pretty watered down compared to North Pole Magic. Only being able to drink the sodas at the movies or while you’re shopping at the grocery store. Wondering how much it would cost to bribe the store to look the other way while you fill up a water cooler jug.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Coffee Plus (Japan)

Coca Cola Coffee Plus

Coffee and Coke sounds like the morning ritual of an 80’s Wall Street banker. It’s also the combination found in a new beverage in Japan that’s exclusively available at vending machines — Coca-Cola Coffee Plus.

For those of you who were in diapers a decade ago, Coke did offer a coffee-flavored cola called Coke Blãk. If you’re wondering if it was Coke Blech, I thought it was pretty good. But the rest of America didn’t think so because it wasn’t around for very long.

Since being discontinued, I could’ve easily and cheaply make a Coke Blãk-like beverage by combining the Coke and coffee already in my kitchen. But, nope, I did it the hard way by purchasing a can of Coca-Cola Coffee Plus from eBay for a ridiculous price plus international shipping from a seller in Japan, which would take two weeks to arrive.

But the thing about Coca-Cola Coffee Plus is that it’s not made by combining two liquids. It gets it coffee in the form of an extract powder. The cola and coffee combo gives the can’s contents 34 milligrams of caffeine, which is not a lot in this day of caffeine-filled espressos and energy drinks. But, granted, the can is a wee one. It holds about 6.5 ounces, which makes spending about $15 for a can a bit silly.

The beverage’s aroma is a bit weird. At times, it smells like coffee. Other times it’s coffee with cola spices. But that’s not why its weird. That’s expected. What’s odd is that sometimes, while finding out if my nose could pick out the coffee and cola, there were moments when I thought I smelled Japanese curry.

Coca Cola Coffee Plus 2

As for its flavor, it tastes better than what I remember Coke Blãk was like. The coffee flavor hits my tongue first. It’s not bold, like drinking black coffee. It’s mild and goes well with the cola spices. From what I can taste, it doesn’t seem to have artificial sweeteners like Coke Blãk did, which is why I enjoy it more. It’s tasty enough that I’m sad it didn’t come in a larger can or bottle. Also, that would’ve meant more sweet, sweet caffeine.

So is Coca-Cola Coffee Plus worth picking up? If you’re in Japan and in front of a vending machine that offers it, then absocoffeely. If you’re a former 80’s Wall Street banker with lots of money because you quit cocaine early in your career, then go ahead and burn some cash.

But if you’re a normal person in front of your computer’s monitor looking at an online Japanese snack store or eBay seller that offers it for 10 times its regular price with shipping, then NOke-NOla. As much as I like it, its can size alone makes it not worth it.

(Nutrition Facts – 100 ml – 22 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.02 grams of sodium.)

Purchased Price: $5.49 + $9.99 shipping
Size: 190 ml can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant combination of coffee and cola spices. Worth a try if you’re standing in front of a Japanese vending machine that offers it. Coffee and Coke.
Cons: Not worth $15. Wish it came in a larger can or bottle. Spending $15 to get a 6.5-ounce beverage from Japan. At times, it smells like Japanese curry.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Blãk

Let me tell you, this bottle of Coca-Cola Blãk sucks.

No, no, no. Not the coffee and cola fused Coca-Cola Blãk inside, just the bottle itself sucks.

Why does it suck?

Because I can’t use it in a bar fight.

What good is a glass bottle if I can’t break it and use it as a shiv to stab some guy messing with my woman? Also, forget about christening a ship with it.

I made a little video to show you how strong these bottles are. Check out the video here.

Come on, when you got to stab someone with a broken glass bottle, it needs to shatter on the first whack on the edge of the bar, maybe two whacks at the most.

Because if it doesn’t, you’re in danger and you can expect the following things to happen to you: someone stabs you with their own broken glass bottle shiv; someone hits you from behind with a barstool; or your body gets dragged across the bar, clearing everything off of it.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Couldn’t he just take someone else’s bottle?” I don’t want to take someone else bottle and shatter it, just to stab someone, because that’s just plain rude, especially if they just opened it. That’s a total waste of alcohol, unless it’s a light beer, then that’s a totally different story, because they may not realize it, but I’m doing a favor for that person I took the light beer bottle from.

The reason why the Coca-Cola Blãk bottle won’t shatter is because there’s this wrapper around it, which has all the fancy graphics and the nutritional information. Coca-Cola could’ve just put a sticker with the fancy graphics on the bottle like every beer does, because beer companies know that beer bottles make great shivs.

Also, you don’t really need nutritional information, because there really isn’t much nutrition in Coca-Cola Blãk. There’s 45 calories, zero grams of fat, 30 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbs, 12 grams of sugar, and zero grams of protein per eight ounce bottle.

That’s another problem with the Coca-Cola Blãk bottle, it’s too damn small. I wish it came in a bigger bottle, because that means more Coca-Cola Blãk and a bigger shiv, unless it shatters and all you have left is the bottleneck, then it doesn’t really matter.

As for the Coca-Cola Blãk itself, it was surprisingly really good. When I opened the bottle there was pleasant spicy and coffee scent, which really grabbed me and punched me in the nose. If I was able to shatter the bottle and stab some guy in the face with it, he would definitely notice that pleasant spicy and coffee scent.

After drinking it, I was surprised by the fact that the coffee taste didn’t overcome the cola. After all, coffee is strong enough to overcome drug sniffing dogs when trying to smuggle cocaine into the country. Also, I was surprised by the lack of the typical coffee bitterness.

Overall, Coca-Cola Blãk definitely creates a very delicious fusion of coffee and cola.

But the bottle still sucks.

(Editor’s Note: The Impulsive Buy will not be responsible if you attempt to shatter the Coca-Cola Blãk bottle and injure yourself due to the bottle shattering or any other accident. The editor of The Impulsive Buy was stupid to try to shatter a glass bottle, so please don’t be stupid.)

Item: Coca-Cola Blãk
Price: 50 cents (8-ounces) (it was definitely on sale)
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly really good. Nice fusion of coffee and cola. Nice spicy and coffee scent. Zero grams of fat. Low calorie. Glass bottles that break on the first whack.
Cons: Small 8-ounce bottle. Glass bottle won’t break, so it can’t be used as a shiv. Quasi-product review blog editors who try to shatter glass bottles. Light beer. Bar fights.