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    Entries in bottle (2)

    Monday
    May182009

    Bubble Up

    Bubble Up bottle. Sketch © 2009 Anthony D. PaularThere are times when I don't feel like I need caffeine. Those times don't occur very often, but when they do it's nice to have a good tasting soda around. Tonight was one of those times.

    Bubble Up is a soda that features a "kiss of lemon • kiss of lime." Originally developed in 1917 by Sweet Valley Products Co. (10 years before 7-up was introduced),  Bubble Up was distributed by the Coca-Cola bottler network before Coke introduced lemon-lime Sprite. This particular bottle of Bubble Up is one of the sodas I purchased at my local BevMo store, and was bottled by Real Soda in Real Bottles, under license from the Dad's Root Beer Company.

    As a kid in the 1970's, I remember watching Bubble Up commercials on TV. That memory attracted me to this soda. While I don't actually remember much detail about said commercials, the link helped me to remember to "take a Bubble Up break." My Google search of Bubble Up not only turned up old commercials, but also current international commercials for the beverage. Turns out that it's pretty popular outside of the United States.

    Like other lemon-lime sodas,  Bubble Up is caffeine free. While I wouldn't normally consider that a "feature," my dinner of home made chow mein and veggies called out for a lemon-lime soda, rather than a cola. Since I had consumed enough coffee for the day to make up my caffeine quota, it didn't matter. Taking a Bubble Up break was a good thing.

    The taste of Bubble Up was refreshing. The lemon-lime flavor was subtle, not overwhelming. "Kiss of lemon • kiss of lime" is an apt description. Because this bottled version was sweetened with real cane sugar (a feature, not a bug), the flavor was slightly different from a fructose sweetened soda. I suppose that it was sweeter than I expected, but still in balance with the lemon and lime flavors. 

    The carbonation was also subtle. It was enough to make me notice, but not so strong to make me pull away. This isn't the first soda I've reviewed that had subtle carbonation. All were packaged in glass bottles, rather than cans or plastic bottles. That leads me to believe the subtle carbonation is related to the glass bottling process.

    Retro Bubble Up logo from dadsrootbeer.comFrom a packaging perspective, the Bubble Up bottle had a retro-modern look. Brown and white ink on a green Bubble Up in a glass bottle is an apt alternative to more popular lemon-lime sodas. Sweetened with cane sugar, it has a flavor that isn't overwhelming, but rather provides a refreshing (and caffeine free) companion to any meal. 

    Rating: 3 Shacks (out of 5)

    Sunday
    Apr262009

    IBC Root Beer

    IBC Root Beer sketch © 2009 Anthony D. Paular

    One of the things I enjoyed about family vacations as a kid was the opportunity to visit an A&W restaurant and enjoy a root beer float. The fizz and distinct taste of the root beer blended nicely with vanilla ice cream. Now you might think this is a review of A&W Root Beer, but alas, you'd be wrong. This is a review of IBC Root Beer in a classic old time bottle.

    IBC Root Beer came in a dark brown bottle. There was no printed label, but rather the product information was molded on the surface of the bottle. This gave it a classic look reminiscent of the brand’s origins in 1919 (for IBC Root Beer history, click here). When packaged in a six-pack, the carrier has a full color design, with the classic logo on the side.

    This bottle did not have much carbonation, much to my chagrin. As a reference, I prefer the carbonation and “bite” of Coca Cola—the sharp taste that makes you stop sipping before the carbonation goes through your nose, and IBC Root Beer did not have this. Instead, in a mental comparison of IBC to A&W Root Beer, the IBC was smoother and creamier, possessing a mild taste without as much “bite.” I suppose this is because there wasn’t as much carbonation in the bottle I had. As a companion to my veggie panini, the smooth mild taste was great. 

    When looking for a root beer for floats, I’d say that IBC would be just the thing. However, combined with a cheeseburger, I’m guessing I’d be reaching for something else.

    Rating: 3 Shacks (out of 5)