REVIEW: Fanta What The Fanta Mystery Flavor

Fanta What The Fanta Mystery Flavor Bottle

I should start off by explaining/apologizing for how, when I recently finished a thriller whose twist ending blew my mind, I was quickly informed by online reviews that I was the only person in the world who hadn’t seen it coming by the third page. Please bear that in mind when I tell you that I had no idea what to make of my first sip of Fanta’s What The Fanta Mystery Flavor. It smelled like Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles, looked like dishwasher detergent, and tasted like a sudden inability to remember a single other flavor to which I could compare it.

After a few addled attempts, I realized that it reminded me of Fresca, the zero-calorie drink known to me throughout my childhood as equally for its sparklingly synthetic taste as for its inexplicable presence at every gathering my dad’s side of the family ever held. Fresca was grapefruit-flavored, but I don’t think the same can be said of this blue beauty. I don’t drink much sugar-free soda, so that was just one of my few frames of reference for the bright, biting, and ever-so-uncannily artificial flavor that overwhelmed any other tastes I might detect here.

Still, “fruit of some sort” seemed like a promising start, and I kicked into detective mode to find more leads.

My first clue was a message on the bottle that read, appropriately, “Find Clues: #WhatTheFanta.” Attempting to follow those directions immediately led to me drowning in a sea of disgruntled Twitter users comparing this soda’s taste, with varying degrees of tact, to a rear end. (Fortunately, another recurring guess was the way more helpful — not to mention plausible — “orange creamsicle”).

Eventually, I made my way to Fanta.com, an oasis of information where, for the price of my email address and birthday, I was granted access to a secret world by way of QR code.

Spoilers ahead!

Fanta What The Fanta Mystery Flavor Glass

The QR code transports you to a mysterious website where you’re greeted by an array of images: first, there is just an innocuous blue Fanta bottle, which quickly reconfigures itself into an ice cream truck, a weird bluish blob that I initially parsed as an octopus but eventually realized was probably meant to be a stylized scoop of ice cream, an ice cream cone (okay, I thought I got it!!!), an ear of corn (never mind, I was confused again!!!), a carrot, a traffic cone, and finally some sort of reddish donkey-thing.

The three pieces of ice cream imagery and the two iconically orange items lend a lot of credence to the orange creamsicle theory, but I must admit I still have no idea how the corn or donkey play into it. I guess if the cerulean color for an ostensibly orange flavor is any indication, Fanta isn’t above throwing in a few red (or blue) herrings (or donkeys).

So, that’s the mystery of the flavor resolved (probably). What about the resolution of this review? Unfortunately, the tinny tang that comes along with the “zero sugar” label meant that I regrettably found the QR code caper more compelling than the actual beverage that inspired it. Drink this if you’re thirsty for a good case to crack, but perhaps not if you’re thirsty for a good soda.

Update: We also tried the Burger King Frozen What The Fanta! Click here to read our review.

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: 20 oz
Purchased at: Wawa
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 65 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: The Artist Marshmello’s Limited Edition Coca-Cola

Marshmacoke1

Coca-Cola has been around for 136 years, which is no easy feat. Those years haven’t always been smooth (New Coke enters the chat), but they have generally adapted to the market’s taste changes. It’s no mystery that younger folks are drinking less traditional soda than previous generations. Taste shifts coupled with the sheer amount of choices available have made soda companies readjust their approach, and the new Coca-Cola Creations division aims to bring younger people back to the brand.

Coca-Cola Creations was launched in early 2022 with its first flavor: Starlight. Not long after, we got a second entry into the Creations Canon with BYTE. The third release is different from the other two in many ways. The Artist Marshmello’s Limited Edition Coca-Cola tells you right on the can what to expect: Watermelon Strawberry Flavored Coke.

Even though the previous flavors were left a mystery, I think they wanted to avoid people misreading the can and thinking it was marshmallow-flavored. The joke’s on them because I did that anyway. While scanning the almost all-white can, my brain absolutely assumed it was marshmallow flavored. I would also imagine this was because I read Marshmello as marshmallow.

Marshmacoke2

A well-known electronic music artist/producer, Marshmello is easily identified by his signature helmet that looks like a Lego head painted white with black “X” eyes and a smile. I am painfully out of the loop with popular music but know a few songs he’s collaborated with. All this to say, he’s popular with younger people, so teaming up with him for a limited edition Coke seems like the right move.

From the skinny white can, came a strong sweet berry smell that was so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place it. Pouring it into a cup, I was shocked to see the color of regular Coca-Cola. Based on the flavor description, I thought the color might be lighter or reddish. My first taste brought a crashing wave of recognition. The flavor was very strawberry/berry up front, with the smallest tang of classic Coke on the back end. The taste is, to me, very reminiscent of Pepsi Blue.

Marshmacoke3

Unlike Pepsi Blue, the sweetness is pulled back with this drink. I think that is because Coke is not as sweet as Pepsi to me. While I absolutely loved Pepsi Blue, I wish this wasn’t quite as similar. The lack of discernible watermelon was disappointing, and the strawberry overpowered any other flavor that might have been present. I’m curious how the Zero Sugar version compares taste-wise and if the watermelon might be more present.

The Artist Marshmello’s Limited Edition Coca-Cola is an interesting offering that I think will do well with its target audience. It has a “drink of the summer” vibe that I don’t feel we’ve seen yet this year. I enjoyed it overall but wished the watermelon flavor was more present. I was looking forward to a new and unique flavor but ended up with the answer to a question I hadn’t asked: What if Coke made Pepsi Blue?

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: 12 oz can
Purchased at: Wawa
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 39 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Overdrive

Mtn Dew Overdrive Bottle

Mtn Dew Overdrive is a Casey’s-exclusive flavor. What’s Casey’s? It’s a convenience store chain that isn’t convenient for anyone who lives outside the upper center of the United States.

According to its label, it’s a Dew with a blast of citrus punch. I assume that punch contains mango, raspberry, and lime flavors because there are images of those fruits on the label. The graphics also include a bunch of critters, like a beaver, turtle, catfish, duck, and what I assume is a moorilla, part moose and part gorilla.

Mtn Dew Overdrive Moorilla

(UPDATE: I am told that is Benny the Bearalope, and it’ll be touring Casey’s locations and the nightmares of those poor folks who lay their eyes upon it.)

Mtn Dew Overdrive Critters

If you’ve read my past Mtn Dew reviews, what I’m about to type is whatever the written equivalent of me sounding like a broken record is. Mtn Dew Overdrive smells and tastes very similar to another Dew (or a Dew offshoot) that exists or has existed, but I’m not sure which one. However, I know for sure that I have no idea whether it tastes like Mtn Dew Cyclone, the first citrus punch-flavored Dew that was a Speedway exclusive, because I’ve never tried it.

While it’s supposed to have mango, raspberry, and lime flavors, I only taste the raspberry and lime when I take a sip. I notice a bit of mango in the aftertaste, but I wish I could taste it with the other fruits. As much as I enjoy Mtn Dew Overdrive’s flavor, it’s not one I’d put in the uppermost echelon of my favorite Dew varieties. Of course, your taste buds may vary.

Again, Mtn Dew Overdrive is tasty, but I can’t help but think about how it’s a little disappointing that it reminds me of another Dew variety. If you live far outside the region where Casey’s stores are located, it’s not a flavor I’d drive over many miles to obtain.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: eBay (Casey’s exclusive)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 270 calories, 0 grams of fat, 85 milligrams of sodium, 73 grams of carbohydrates, 73 grams of sugar (73 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 91 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Berries and Cream RC Cola

Berries and Cream RC Cola Can

RC Cola used to be my favorite soda growing up. I remember it tasting sweeter and had more of a bite than Coke and Pepsi. But then it just disappeared out of my life. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe Coke and Pepsi conspired to make sure RC Cola never got shelf space, or perhaps my parents received bribes from Big Cola to make sure during my formative years that my allegiance would be with Coke or Pepsi.

Since then, I’ve had RC Cola a few times, but it doesn’t taste as good as I remember. Maybe it’s the high fructose corn syrup, or perhaps my tongue has been washed with Coke and Pepsi so often that my taste buds can’t bring themselves to relive the good times they’ve had with RC Cola.

RC Cola is still around, kicking, and according to Instacart, available at a grocery store near me. But the cola is not only alive, but it also has a new limited time only, Dollar General exclusive flavor — Berries and Cream.

Berries and Cream RC Cola Pour

The can has a retro look, and its muted colors make it look even more so. Its vanilla-heavy aroma is inviting, and it smells like what you’d get cracking open a can of Vanilla Coke or Pepsi Vanilla. However, I don’t notice any berry scent.

Berries and Cream RC Cola Red

Thankfully, a syrupy berry flavor comes through the cola taste with the very first sip. I thought it was a bit odd at first, but subsequent sips weren’t weird. Although its name contains the vague “berries,” the only one I taste is raspberry. The cream flavor is also around, but I wouldn’t call it “cream” because it reminds me of the vanilla flavoring in other colas.

Berries and Cream RC Cola Glass

Overall, Berries and Cream RC Cola is tasty enough that I think it has the power to raise the brand up and out from behind Coke and Pepsi. Just kidding. But it’s definitely good enough to prevent RC Cola from sinking lower.

Purchased Price: FREE*
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay (available exclusively at Dollar General)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 57 grams of sugar (57 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 57 milligrams of caffeine.

*Thanks to the mnmtwinz, known for their fantastic Instagram, for sending this (and a few other extras) with the Mtn Dew I purchased from them on eBay.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem

Mountain Dew Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem Bottles

It feels like it’s been a Flamin’ Hot minute since I’ve done the Dew.

I’m jealous of all you hardcore Dew heads out there who manage to track down every flavor (I imagine you call yourselves “Dewds and Dewdettes,” naturally.) I know there are grinders out there who don’t let any regional release or store exclusives stand in the way of their doing of the Dew.

Me? I’m a big Mountain Dew fan, but at this point, half the names feel like fever dreams. Every time I turn around, there’s a new one on the market. It’s hard to keep track. The last Dew I had was red, but it wasn’t Code Red. You know the one! When was that released? Am I way behind?

Either way, I liked it. It was a headache in a bottle, but it tasted good. What can I say? I’m getting old, and the sugar rush goes straight to my dome. Actually, I think Mountain Dew could use that as a slogan. Mtn Dew: It’s a headache in a bottle, but it tastes good! Enter the two new Dew – Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem. Guess what? They’re no exception.

Baja Gold is pineapple flavored, while Baja Mango Gem tastes like mango, with zero gem flavor to be found anywhere. I can honestly say I’ve had maybe two pineapple sodas and no mango. Couple that with the fact I’ve been a fan of the Baja variants since the OG at Taco Bell, and I was fired up to try these.

Mountain Dew Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem Glasses

Well, what I can tell you upfront is, yeah, both of these are cloyingly sweet – too sweet if I’m being honest, but we all know what to expect from Mountain Dew. I couldn’t fathom drinking a full 20 ounces of either of these in one sitting, let alone both, but they were delicious in moderation.

Mtn Dew Baja Gold Label

Baja Gold tasted like the ripest chunk of pineapple you’ve ever had, inexplicably rolled in pure cane sugar. It’s essentially pineapple Life Savers in liquid form. My only real frame of context when it comes to pineapple sodas are Goya and Jarritos, and I think this stacks up pretty well in comparison. It’s vibrant, smells incredible, and has that tiny, almost peppery bite on the finish like the best pineapple usually has.

Pineapple is criminally underutilized by soda companies, and this lived up to the hype I built up in my head. I know Dew had a pina colada-inspired flavor at one point, and I’m really bummed I missed it.

Mtn Dew Baja Mango Gem Label

Baja Mango Gem didn’t pack as much as a punch, but it was equally good.

Finding super ripe mangoes near me is always a total crapshoot, so I am a big fan of dried mango, and this soda tasted just like that. It didn’t pop quite like Gold but had a nice sweet mellow flavor that really made me think of those little dried fruit jerky pieces.

Mango and orange aren’t exactly similar, but this had a similar sensation to a less intense orange soda. It kinda falls somewhere between the typical orange soda and those creamsicle-flavored novelty sodas. It’s not “creamy” per se, but sweet and smooth.

It’s admittedly dumb even to mention this about a Mountain Dew release, but they still caught me a bit off guard with the sugar content. The fructose corn syrup in these drinks is higher than Snoop Dogg.

In the end, both are really nice, but they’re a headache in a bottle. I say definitely do these Dews, but don’t be shocked if you polish off the bottle and have a stomach ache soon after.

Purchased Price: $2.29 each
Size: 20 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Quick Chek
Rating: 7 out of 10 each
Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 0 grams of fat, 85 milligrams of sodium, 74 grams of total carbohydrates, 74 grams of total sugars, and 0 grams of protein.