December 15, 2010

Manufacturers seek to rename "High-Fructose Corn Syrup" to "Corn Sugar"

Oh boy.

If you've read my reviews in the past, you must know how I feel about High-Fructose Corn Syrup. This proposed rename is ridiculous, as the only reason Manufacturers want to is because of all the bad press HFCS gets. Do they think this will change anything? Maybe, but I hope not.

Here's a link to a story about it:


December 13, 2010

Topaz Review of PEACE TEA Razzleberry

I had only learned of Peace Tea's existence about a month ago. I thought it was a cheap knockoff of Arizona, as they have already made themselves known as the "Tall can, cheap price" tea. This is NOT the case I am happy to report. In actuality, Peace Tea is very original, although the message isn't clear. The only thing really conveyed is "Peace, and natural ingredients." That's all. We never hear why or how Peace comes into the picture, but we are expected to go with it. Okay, sure. Why not?

One word. Sweet.
This Tea is so sweet that it could sweet the sweetness out of sugar. If that makes any sense. I can't taste any bitterness while taking a swig, not one tastebud can cipher the sugar overload. The weird thing is, it doesn't have that much sugar in it! Indeed, times are changing, as Peace Tea uses sugar and sucralose. The combination provides a hybrid of sorts, making sweet even sweeter. Oh yeah, the razzleberry is freaking good as well.

Peace Tea is very smooth. It has a feeling that reminds me of water after chewing mint gum, but without the mint flavor. It has a crisp, soft texture that cascades down the throat.
However, a thin film of tea matter is left on the inside of the mouth. This comes with any tea product, so I can't complain.
Overall very nice feeling. Cold, refreshing. Not sticky at all.

Can Art
Woah. The art on here is intense. Just take a look at it! Somehow I feel like it's some sort of propaganda, telling us to rebel against the government with our picket fences. Honestly, I really don't know what they're trying to tell us here. It's confusing.
The art style, on the other hand, is very bold. The black lines that outline the characters are large, and make them fun to look at.
Just woah.

I like the taste that Peace Tea has to offer, even if I'm confused as to what they mean by peace. Drink the kool-aid, but wear your tinfoil hats while you're at it.


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December 12, 2010

Topaz Review of Safeway Select French Berry Lemonade

You think you've seen it all, but then along comes something so contradictory that you don't know which way is up anymore. A lot of the time, the Safeway Select branding is something of a labeling that exclaims "This is cheaper, but not as good." Because of this, many people might not take Safeway Select seriously if they tried to sell a fine lemonade imported from France. "Oh yes, France, sure," I would say before trying the beverage, "It's probably made in some French catacomb." After tasting it, however, I wouldn't care if it was. The ingredients are all natural, which I admire. The use of grape skin extract was a clever work-around to artificial color.

You would think that the flavor wouldn't be that good, seeing as it's Safeway Select, but in reality it is. Forget what people might say about the store brand, you can find a gem or two hidden in those shelves. The flavor is absolutely exquisite, and I have no doubt that French Berry was made in France. (Even if it's some other place named France, that isn't in Europe.)
The taste starts with a strong strawberry tinge, followed by a strong bitterness caused by the lemon. This is followed by a sweet lemon taste, which evens out the entire mixture. Overall pleasant.

A glass bottle always helps carbonation's cause, and this case is certainly no exception. The bubbly bubbles are anything but redundant, and are actually varied in their presentation. This makes for a very interesting drinking experience, something that's hard to find. The stickiness is moderate, but expected, considering the ridiculous amount of sugar that is featured in French Berry. At least it isn't High Fructose Corn Syrup. All around a frothy, light feeling that tingles, but doesn't cut. (If you catch my drift.)

Bottle Art and stuff
The bottle is curved inwards in the middle, and protrudes out in the bottom and top middle. This makes it easy to hold, as your hand fills the shape quite nicely. Of course, the bottle has a Safeway Select logo on it; quite generic really. The sticker in the middle is much more interesting, but not by much. It displays a lemon above a strawberry, with an outline of a lemon above the lemon. Confused yet? Look at the picture. Not too interesting, but what do you expect from Safeway Select?

French Berry was a sweet surprise. I never expected to find a fine french lemonade at my local Safeway, let alone have it be store brand. Never underestimate the store brand, I suppose, as they can be quite nice.

SCORE AVERAGE - 71.25/100

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December 06, 2010

Topaz Review of RC Cola

First, some history behind RC Cola.
Chero-Cola started production in 1905, and produced a number of beverages with the prefix "Royal Crown." They manufactured such drinkables as Royal Crown Ginger Ale, and Royal Crown Root-Beer. Finally, they decided to start making sense and changed the name of Chero-Cola to Royal Crown Cola, to go along with everything else they sold. That's quite funny in my opinion, I don't know why they didn't go with Royal Crown in the first place. But I digress.
There's a certain magic to be had when drinking a bottle of this delicious cola. You have a certain freedom, which can't be destroyed by the two beverage giants, Coke and Pepsi. RC is its own thing, and although it may be less popular, I believe that it is the best out of the three. You just can't get this sort of experience anywhere else.

RC has a very distinct flavor, and it leaves you craving just one more sip every time. Many people always ask, "Do you like Coke or Pepsi better?" My answer is always "Royal Crown all the way!" It has a real strong cola flavor that starts a bit bitter, but ends in a delicious sweetness that sends a wave of pure awesome through the mouth and down the esophagus.
RC has somewhat of an earthy flavor to it, which makes it seems more authentic in my eyes. Don't worry though, it's nothing major. In fact, it really complements the beverage, creating an interesting diversion from the normal cola taste, which in turn makes it taste even better.

Of course, being a cola, RC has a bubbly carbonation going on. Even better though, it has a sort of frothiness that makes it seem light. RC does go flat fairly though, which is something of a disappointment. RC does make up for this however with its lack of high-fructose corn syrup overload, which makes for a much smoother stream of liquid going down your throat. (Unlike Big Blue, which sports the exact opposite.) But another thing... It contains high-fructose corn syrup! I would have expected the glass bottle to use sugar, as it is with Coke and Pepsi, but I was wrong. RC isn't either of them, after all.

I bought the bottle pictured at the top of the post, which is glass. This I like, however I could have bought the plastic variant for much cheaper. As always, quality comes at a price. I like the way the bottle is designed, meaning the way the way the neck of it melds with the body. It's very streamlined and unique.
As for the logo, it's unexciting, but classic. RC Cola rarely changes their logo, and if they do it's always a minor change. Thumbs up to them for "Keeping it real," so to speak. But you don't buy RC Cola to look at the bottle, do you? (Well I do.) The twist-off metal bottle cap is definitely a nice touch.

Overall Thoughts and Feelings
RC Cola is more scarce than other brands, but if you can find it (Which I'm sure you can) it's definitely worth a go. RC Cola has much more to offer in terms of flavor, which is key. It doesn't matter much that the bottle is boring, really. Buy it for the taste, you wont regret it. If you do, get a job you lazy bum.


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December 05, 2010

Topaz BONUS Review of BIG BLUE

Comment if you've heard of it!

If you don't live in the southern United States or Tahiti, you probably don't know about Big Blue, a curious little cream soda drink. The company that manufactures Big Blue is most famous for creating Big Red, the drink from which Big Blue was derived from. Seeing as I've never had the chance to consume a bottle of Big Red, there is no possible way for me to compare them. After some research, it seems as if Big Red tastes the same as Big Blue, with the only difference being the color. Once I get my hands on some Big Red I'll update you guys with a comparison.

Now some people say that Big Blue tastes like bubble gum, which is true to an extent. It's actually a cream soda with a bit of orange, but I would still classify it as a bubble gum flavor, seeing as it tastes almost identical to the artificial bubble gum flavor that we all know and adore. It makes me wonder whether or not this was what Big Red LTD was going for when they created the unique flavor.
It's a somewhat mild flavor, that has an odd bitter aftertaste, which does make some sense, seeing as bubble gum does have that feel to it.
Where's the market for bubble gum flavored soda?

Big Blue is riddled with high fructose corn syrup, and as a result has a very sticky feeling to it. For some reason it reminds me of a laundromat. Very obvious and non surprising sub par machine grade carbonation here, which is very boring I might add. Also, it goes flat in about a half hour.
Big Blue will leave your lips sticky, and by the time you wash them of it, it's flat.

Big Red LTD always takes a simple approach to their bottle art, usually only having a splash of whatever color the drink is under the title text. The font used is very boring and reminds me of generic laundry detergent. Something about this always reminds me of laundry for some reason.
Anyways, the art is very dull and tiring. It's just generic product text under a blue splash of liquid. Absolutely invigorating.

I didn't expect too much, and for good reason. Big Blue has some serious flaws, and I honestly can't think of a good reason to buy it again. Why is this so popular in the southern states? It makes no sense to me.
Big Blue has nothing to offer except for the altered cream soda flavor, which really isn't all that great in the first place.


December 04, 2010


What a rush! Man this damn drink isn't playing around. I'm currently halfway through it, and let me tell you it lives up to the ENERGIZE name. Too bad I have to sit here and write about it instead of putting this energy to great use. I could be running a mile, or.... What am I saying!? That's the SoBe talking ladies and gentlemen. In reality, I'm pleasantly writing this review without a hiccup. On with the show...

Certainly citrus alone wont make the cut, now will it? Actually, yes. It will. Sort of. You see, the fruit in here is nothing but citrus; orange juice concentrate; lemon juice concentrate; cherry juice concentrate. But wait... That's not much of a citrus fruit now is it? Don't be fooled however, it's simply there to provide an inkling of subtle flavor. If you want the full-on cherry deal, you might want to check out SoBe Courage Cherry Sitrus. Enough of this tomfoolery, get on with it! Okay, okay.
A sip of SoBe ECE contains within it a multitude of potent aromas, as well as vicious citrus flavor. The orange is there, yes, and is complemented very well by the presence of lemon. You don't actually taste cherry flavor, but it does alter the concoction on a minuscule scale. If I were to describe the drink in one word, "Sweet" wouldn't be it. Instead, I would go for something along the lines of "Tangy," or "Zestful." (Which is a word, I might add.) Really, this beverage is obviously not meant to provide the sweetest experience around, hence the citrus ingredients and whatnot. What I'm trying to get across here is don't buy this looking for a sugary good time. Actually, I lied. Since SoBe ECE is sweetened, however lightly with sugar, the previous statement would, in actuality, be true.
80/100 - Delightful

How does it feel?
SoBe ECE has a rather interesting sticky feeling, which appropriately goes along well with the varying array of ingredients. In your mouth however, is solely a matter of opinion. If you enjoy the sensation of phleminess (Which isn't a word I'm afraid) in your mouth, go on your merry way. For the normal person I might suggest something to snack on whist drinking, so that the phlegm doesn't choke you or something.
On occasion, SoBe ECE would slightly burn the back of my throat. Now that is what I call a true citrus beverage extravaganza! If I can even classify one bottle of SoBe as an extravaganza. This only happened twice though, so there's absolutely no reason to be alarmed.
Going down the throat without a hitch, SoBe ECE feels smooth. It has that trademark electric feeling that citrus is famous for. Just dazzling.
75/100 - Remarkable

Does the little bottle look pretty?
Why yes, of course. SoBe is known for being somewhat amazing in their marketing skills when it comes to packaging and design. SoBe ECE is definitely no exception.
Long ago, when the bottle was glass, and the text and pictures were printed directly on it, the design was limited. Since the bottles were glass, SoBe needed to save money on artwork, which was why there wasn't much on them. After a while, SoBe finally decided to switch to plastic, and as a result, the bottles are gratified with the most astounding illustrations. On this particular specimen, I spy a halved orange. No surprise here.. But wait! The circumference is spiked! Even though there is no reason for this, it certainly is a nice touch, and most definitely isn't as strange as the orange, slightly darker orange, green, and slightly lighter green highways that are sprouting from the side of the halved orange. They overlap, and criss-cross one another, and provide a youthful innocence to SoBe ECE. Oh, and of course, there are the obligatory lizards riddled about the art, which are colored correspondingly to the highways.
80/100 - Extravagant

Well, what do you think?
From an unbiased view, I say that SoBe ECE is a delightful energy crossover drink that supplies the desired pep that it was intended to.
From a biased view, I say that SoBe ECE is FREAKIN' AMAZING. But that's just my biased side speaking. (Rest assured that this entire review, excluding the previous sentence, is unbiased.)
If you want a citrus blast, along with a healthy amount of GUARANA and GINSING, this is one of the best beverages you can buy to satisfy those feelings of want. If you don't want it, well, you'd probably buy something else.
85/100 - Unicorn Nectar


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December 03, 2010

Topaz Review of vitaminwater Spark

First off, I have to say that this is my first experience with this particular flavor of vitaminwater. I have tried many other flavors of the same product however, and know what to expect in terms of texture and such. When you boil it down, vitaminwater is all the same, excluding the flavor, which can be similar to other flavors in the same general spectrum. [Ex. Raspberry-Strawberry is very similar to Raspberry-Grape.] With this flavor, I was surprised to find that it was wildly different from any other vitaminwater I've had.

Honestly, who thought that combining the distinct, tart flavor of blueberries, and the naturally sweet grape taste would be a good idea? Not me. The two flavors crash horrendously, and together, create a repulsive taste that lingers in the mouth long after the sip was taken. Glacéau could have made it so good, if only they had done it right. It's not pleasant, not a bit. I guess it would be okay to say that this is an aquired taste, but I've yet to aquire it as I can barely force myself to drink one bottle. It oddly reminds me of a nasty old candy that I ate as a child, but don't let this convince you that is the reason for my negativity. Truely, I'm disappointed.

As if the taste wasn't bad enough. At first you're tricked into thinking, "Oh it's just another vitaminwater, not surprise here." But when you take your third sip, you start to feel a sickly-smooth sort of sensation, which leaves the feeling of soap bubbles lingering in your mouth long after you've finished the beverage. I suggest some actual water afterwards if you're so inclined to try this is the first place.

You know exactly what to expect from Glacéau when it comes to wrappers. Plain and simple, with a witty paragraph printed on the side. (I might add that it's printed upside-down on Spark.) The color of the wrapper usually matches the flavor of the drink. however neither blueberries nor grapes are neon blue. In fact, the color of the actual beverage is a weird pink, which also makes no sense. Glacéau, Glacéau. Oh why Glacéau?

Whatever you do, don't buy this beverage. In all three categories it fails, and will leave you wounded and defenceless. I wanted a fruity, refreshing drink, but instead I got a bitter, sickening abomination of artifical flavor and coloring. Failure, failure, failure.