Today, America’s Favorite Soda Blog(tm) is setting its sights out west. Checking out the ads on Facebook Matt was taken by a curious little craft pop company with a western appeal that specializes in old fashioned flavors. Will Wild Bill’s brand of down home hospitality be worth the extra money? There’s only one way to find out, giddy on up to the Soda Blog with us Buckaroos, YEEEEEEE-HAW!
Ok, I promise that’s gonna be the last Wild West reference for a while, so let’s talk about what we’ve got here. Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Co is, among other things, a craft soda company that focuses on old-timey flavors distributed with a modern sales technique. While the new age mugs, corporate logos and such are normally outside the scope of what we do here, we couldn’t resist a sample pack of their four main flavors: Vanilla Cream, Root Beer, Orange Cream, and Black Cherry. Let’s saddle up to the stage coach and get right to it (fuck, sorry).
Vanilla Cream, or rather Vintage Vanilla Cream claims to be their sweetest flavor, so it made sense to start here to see how far, or how bad, things might get with their sugar philosophy. Right out of the gate, the rich smell proves that going the pure cane sugar route was a good call. Cream soda smells traditionally make my head swim, but the vanilla addition made the smell distinct but very agreeable. As for the sweetness, well, it certainly delivers on that. Compared to a traditional drink it down soda from the grocery store it’s surely on the rich side, but there’s more going on here than that. Dilution with ice helps a bit, but in reality this is more of a dessert drink. No ice cream in the house? A can of this might serve as a good alternative, or even as a replacement if you’re one looking to get out of the ice cream game. This was a great start to Wild Bill’s stable, the other three are already looking more promising.
Rocky Mountain Root Beer looked to be the most conservative option, but you can’t have some Old West soda without a sarsaparilla style drink, right? The flavor is just what it needs to be: not too rich, yet not too mild. This is one to go to when you want one of those good root beers. You know what I mean, when you’re at the grocery store and you make the choice to step it up to one of those in the glass bottles this week, one of those times when A&W simply won’t do the trick. I can’t really heap extra praise on this one as it doesn’t go out of its way to be spectacular, but this is one root beer that won’t ever let you down.
Outlaw Orange Cream, which from what I can tell is still ok for the rest of us law abiding citizens to consume, promises a creamy alternative to a traditional orange soda. This is the best smelling one of the three so far, but the level of carbonation might be something to think about. Most orange sodas in my experience lay heavy on the bubbles to offer an extra effervescent experience, but that’s not the case with Ol’ Bill. The light carbonation that’s used by their entire drink lineup lends to a stronger orange flavor, and the cream brings it close to that “creamsicle” flavor profile. Again, not a ground and pound sort of soda, but at around 3 dollars a can it’s more of an occasion to have one in the first place. Three down, one to go and things are looking good down at the alcohol free saloon.
Blazing Black Cherry, our final soda, was the most intriguing, as this is a flavor that’s been hard to nail down by most sodas currently on the market. Either too sweet, too “fake sugar” tasting or some other such nonsense…black cherry sodas have always struggled to satisfy me. The smell of this one didn’t get my hopes too high up from the start, as it smells exactly like undiluted cherry snow cone syrup. Be not afraid though, as the taste more than makes up for it. It’s mild at the front, strong at the back, this might just be the black cherry soda savior we’ve been waiting for. Even better, we mixed it with some of the vanilla cream for a mild pleasant flavor if the vanilla was too sweet for your liking. If Black Cherry isn’t Wild Bill’s flagship flavor, I’ll challenge that fucker to a duel. I demand satisfaction, and this one might just do the trick. Giddy up!
Check out Matt on Twitter for more soda reviews, takes on NASCAR, and maybe even some book stuff for nerds.