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Jones Sodas


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Halloween soda from Jones Soda ...

Jones has introduced a line of spooktacular 8oz cans, to be found exclusively in the candy aisles of Target stores nationwide. These cans feature two new flavors, Candy Corn and Caramel Apple, and two old standards renamed as Strawberry Slime and Scary Berry Lemonade.

the same folks who brought us Christmas soda in the form of Turkey and Gravy ...

So how does this clever, or even cutesy, stuff actually taste? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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The Candy Corn tastes uncannily like candy corn -- I had to try to figure out why that was impressive, and I guess it's because I'm used to "lemon-flavored" soda, "grape-flavored" soda, whereas this is exactly the same taste as candy corn, only liquid and carbonated. (I recommend not pouring it into a glass and looking at it, though.)

It's not something I'd drink often, but candy corn isn't something I'd eat often either, so that's no fault of Jones.

The Caramel Apple is unexciting -- I don't taste any caramel in it, but it's nice to see an apple soda that isn't sour apple, I guess.

Like all Jones sodas, though, I think they're too sweet -- probably unavoidable with the Candy Corn, but I think it's more a matter of the company's everyday high-sweetness approach.

Lord knows they're a sight better than the Turkey and Gravy, though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just found the 2005 Jones Limited Edition Holiday Pack today at Target. It wasn't by the sodas, but on a small end cap up by the registers which was already about half empty.

The five flavors are: Cranberry, Pumpkin Pie, Wild Herb Stuffing, Turkey and Gravy, and Brussels Sprouts.

I have not yet tried these, since right now the plan is to do a taste testing on Thanksgiving - nothing like a shared odd experience to break the ice between groups of people who don't know each other :biggrin: .

Jones' website still has the Holiday Pack marked as "coming soon", but if you're at all interested in these, now would be a good time to check your local retail outlets.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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May lightning strike me if I ever put anything like Brussel Sprout Soda in my mouth ... :shock: even the sound of it would, if given away for free, be something I would avoid at all costs .. (and I actually enjoy fresh brussel sprouts sauteed in a bit of butter)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found the Regional Holiday Pack yesterday at our local Cost Plus: Broccoli Casserole, Smoked Salmon Pate , Corn on the Cob, Pecan Pie, and a repeat of Turkey and Gravy. There were lots of them but they were selling - the woman in front of me in line bought 5 packs, and the checkout clerk said they were very popular.

It's going to be some tasting on Thanksgiving. I'll try to remember to take notes and write up some kind of non-scientific report.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Honestly, the biggest problem I have with these is that they're diet -- just as Jones' ordinary sodas are too sweet for my liking, their diet sodas have really pronounced sugar-substitute tastes. The Cranberry soda -- the only one I've had so far from this year, but I stare down Brussels Sprouts every time I go into the kitchen, and sooner or later we'll tussle -- would be a decent soda if not for that; but between the diet taste and the lack of tartness, I only finished it because, y'know, it was wet and I was thirsty.

(And I'm a diet soda drinker by default, so that's not the problem.)

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A pretty funny review of them can be found here.

More than pretty funny actually ..

With Jones Soda, sometimes the smells are misleading. With "Brussels Sprout," not at all. Nothing could smell this bad and be anything but this bad. The flavor literally made me choke, and this is coming from someone who eats chicken bones. The testers were so appalled already, I didn't have the heart to tell them the whole truth. This isn't just "Brussels Sprout" soda. That's the name of the label, but it's only to save space. According to the documents inside the box, it's actually "Brussels Sprout & Prosciutto." My God.
:laugh:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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And, as if that Thanksgiving stuff wasn't difficult enough to swallow, comes Jones Soda Company's newest offering:

article here

For beverage connoisseurs tired of turkey-and-gravy or green-beans-and-casserole flavoured sodas, there's a new choice being offered this year by specialty U.S. soda maker Jones Soda Co.: salmon.  Jones Soda said it is offering the orange-hued fish-flavoured drink this year in a nod to the Pacific Northwest's salmon catch. "When you smell it, it's got that smoked salmon aroma," said Peter van Stolk, chief executive of Jones Soda. Asked whether he liked his new salmon soda, van Stolk said: "I cannot finish a bottle, I just can't."

now if I could only bottle some cream cheese, bagel, and onion sodas, life would be marvelous!

check out the Smoked Salmon Pate soda ... :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  • 2 weeks later...

As part of our Thanksgiving celebrations, we and our guests held a tasting of the two Jones soda Holiday Packs: the 2005 Holiday Pack available at Target, and the Regional Holiday Pack I bought at Cost Plus. This year's scrumptious-sounding soda flavors were:

2005 Holiday Pack: Brussels Sprout, Turkey and Gravy, Wild Herb Stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Sauce

Regional Holiday Pack: Broccoli Casserole, Smoked Salmon Pate, Turkey and Gravy, Corn on the Cob, and Pecan Pie.

Due to the mix of savory and sweet in both packs, we decided to combine the two packs and not taste them separately to try to put them in some kind of more palatable order. We also unanimously decided that we did not need to drink the Turkey and Gravy soda twice just because there were two bottles.

We all sat around the coffee table with shot glasses, a pitcher of water for rinsing, and a large stock pot for the spit bucket. I took the best notes I could, but the tasting went pretty quickly, since about one sip of any of these was enough.

Overall, I was very disappointed with these sodas. Not because they were awful - they were - but because they weren't awful ENOUGH. It's like they wimped out on the flavors – most of the ones that should have been gawdawful weren't because they simply weren't close enough to the actual food they were supposed to taste like. If you're going to put out unusual flavors of soda, do it up right and go all the way. These all tasted like they were pulled back or dumbed down so they wouldn't be too awful.

So here are our results, with participants protected by code.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Brussels Sprout

Cap Message: That long sought opportunity will soon arise

We decided to start with this because it sounded like the very worst of the lot. It was a properly bilious green color, but with little odor. Only those who were the most sensitive to cabbagey odors said it smelled anything like Brussels sprouts.

Nose: Sweet and buttery

Tasters' Comments:

J: tastes like buttered popcorn, buttery and sweet

K: overdone Brussels sprouts, or the cooking water from Brussels Sprouts

Me: I didn't get much sprout flavor at all, more like popcorn than anything else. Sorely disappointing.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Turkey and Gravy

Cap Message: See a sunrise

This is the famed Turkey and Gravy flavor that made all those headlines two years ago. Looks like muddy water.

Me: I did not get much turkey or gravy flavor out of it. Had a very citrusy, orange flavor to it.

J: Orange with salt

The general consensus was that this was definitely worse than the Brussels sprout soda, and it tasted almost nothing at all like turkey or gravy (which we had recently consumed, so we knew what we were looking for).

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Wild Herb Stuffing

Cap Message: Soon you will encounter a new world of opportunity

Me: I didn't get much herb at all out of this.

J: tastes like tea

P: could clean the bathroom with it

J: this is what you get after you clean the bathroom

K: Baking soda!

This was second to worst flavor, very much baking soda flavored soda. Yuck.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Broccoli Casserole

Cap Message: Your reputation for being honest will bring rewards

K (in a Scotty from Star Trek voice): It's green.

K: I have an experience with a smell like this – the wastewater tank at the refinery

K: More celery and more herb than the previous

J: Celery is dominant, same butter flavor

Me: some herbal flavor, far better than the herb stuffing

Comment from someone is that this was closest to Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda. Never having tried that, I'll take their word for it.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Smoked Salmon Pate

Cap Message: Success is yours if you continue on the path you have chosen

Me: oh, god, it smells like salmon

P: or lobster

K: smoke assaults you first, fish note behind

Me: not enough salmon, too much smoke – the smoke makes your tongue furry

J: like drinking liquid smoke with a can of cat food nearby

This soda was the absolute worst of the entire lot – worse than the herb stuffing, which was foul. But it still needed more salmon flavor. A horrifying mishmash of sweet, fishy, and too much smoke.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Corn on the Cob

Cap Message: You should be able to make money and hold on to it

P: smells buttery

Me: the Brussels sprout tasted more like corn than this – very flavorless

J: tastes like candy corn – not unpleasant

K: it's more about the texture, that big buttery note

This soda was a waste of time, didn't taste like much at all.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Pumpkin Pie

Cap Message: Miss the bus on purpose

Me: odor is chemical

J: urinal cake

G: doesn't taste like pumpkin pie

K: More like spice cake – artificial cinnamon and nutmeg, an unexpected coconut note, no pumpkin at all – Yankee Candle

Me: I'd drink it all before tasting that salmon stuff again.

This one was very disappointing because it had potential. A pumpkiny, spicy soda could have been interesting at the very least, and it was, again, not very good at all.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Pecan Pie

Cap Message: Next month you'll be a big hit socially

Me: doesn't taste like pecan pie, has a bitter and a chemical note

J: vaguely nutty with some undertones of caramel and nuts

K: toast – could have used some of that butter flavor

Another huge disappointment, especially since the flavors in pecan pie would seem to transition to a soda fairly straightforwardly. This was chemical and vile and really could have used some of that artificial butter flavor that was so prevalent in a lot of the other flavors.

-----------------------------------------

Flavor: Cranberry Sauce

Cap Message: A pleasant surprise is in store for you

(and for once, they were right)

This one was highly carbonated and some exited the bottle under its own enthusiasm.

M: Ocean Spray soda – it didn't suck.

J: almost no odor, tastes like cranberries

P: without the sugar

K: sugar free ocean spray soda

This was by far the best of the lot, but again, it sure could have used some more in your face cranberry flavor. With a little work, this one could be a contender for a regular soda flavor – it has potential.

-----------------------------------------

Final notes: each Holiday pack came with a prepackaged tasting spork. Somehow, that just seems like the right tool to include.

The 2005 Holiday pack also included a list of wines recommended for pairing with these sodas – perhaps to rinse your mouth out with after drinking the soda.

On the whole, I'm glad I sampled these flavors. If I hadn't, I would have always wondered what I was missing. But I'm probably not going to be doing this again unless I hear that they've "improved" them, either for the better or or the worse. The only thing worse than bad soda is bland bad soda. And it's really disappointing because I'm a huge fan of the Jones Sugar Free Vanilla soda, so I know they can do big flavored sodas right.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I bought the Holiday pack as a bit of a gag gift for my dad this Thanksgiving. Alas, he wasn't able to join us, so we're saving it for Christmas. Hoping to get out to Costco to get the Regional pack as well and try them both.

There will be alcohol of some sort to chase it all down. Any suggestions (other than the wine pairings on the box)?

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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You are a brave group. I hope there was a reward for the tasters. Maybe a Jagger shot!

We tasted between dinner and dessert, so we had coffee with egg nog and brandy and rum and mince pie and chocolate biscotti and vanilla tarts to, uh, cleanse the palate.

There will be alcohol of some sort to chase it all down. Any suggestions (other than the wine pairings on the box)?

Everclear. That should kill the aftertaste :biggrin: .

Seriously, just about anything that tastes better should do fine - and I know that doesn't narrow it down much!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I bought the holiday pack a few weeks ago at Target. I'd been wanting to try it, but last year they sold out. This year they were on sale- That should have been my heads up!

I have been too scared to try them and now there's no way. Thanks Marcia for sacrificing so others may not have to suffer.

I figure if I keep it around long enough, one of my husband's old college friends will come stay with us and get drunk enough to agree to try them. :cool:

-Kelly

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  • 1 month later...

I bought the holiday pak for my co-workers and we opened it up today. Jones should be ashamed of themselves for selling such a poorly executed product. DO NOT BUY THIS thinking it will be a funny joke--it won't be.

The sodas aren't flavored properly. One of my office pals loves brussels sprout so he was thrilled to try the namesake soda--no sprout flavor, just fake butter tasting... Herb Stuffing tasted pissy...and I mean that literally and figuratively. Turkey and gravy tasted like neither...just sweet and chemically.... Cranberry had no discernable cranberry flavor, it was just...sweet.... Pumpkin pie had a squashiness to it but no pumpkin and no pumpkin pie spice flavors whatsoever.

Cheap and gross. And a complete waste of money. If someone would concoct sodas that REALLY tasted like their namesakes you might have something.

Avoid.

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purplewiz,

Just curious, did you chill the sodas or drink them at room temperature? The Jones site says you can do either, but I am wondering if one or the other would make these sodas less horrifying.

I bought the holiday pack and was planning to have fun with them on New Year's Eve. But after reading the reviews...maybe it's a bad idea!

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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  • 1 month later...

Today I picked up the latest seasonal Jones Soda set, the Valentine's Day edition. Far more palatable than the turkey soda from the Thanksgiving edition, Love Potion #6 has tastes sort of like... well, gooey, sweet, sickening love. Or cotton candy, I'm not sure. It also came with a CD, a book of "love coupons" (five minutes of uninterrupted gazing into each other's eyes *unless in public, where goopy-eye time will be reduced to two minutes), and a stick of Love Potion #6 lip balm. The lip balm tastes very almondy, and complemented the soda.

I'm not sure how wide the distribution is on this, but I'd suggest picking it up, if for no other reason than the novelty (although it's actually pretty tasty).

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  • 2 weeks later...
Today I picked up the latest seasonal Jones Soda set, the Valentine's Day edition. Far more palatable than the turkey soda from the Thanksgiving edition, Love Potion #6 has tastes sort of like... well, gooey, sweet, sickening love. Or cotton candy, I'm not sure. It also came with a CD, a book of "love coupons" (five minutes of uninterrupted gazing into each other's eyes *unless in public, where goopy-eye time will be reduced to two minutes), and a stick of Love Potion #6 lip balm. The lip balm tastes very almondy, and complemented the soda.

I'm not sure how wide the distribution is on this, but I'd suggest picking it up, if for no other reason than the novelty (although it's actually pretty tasty).

I'm glad to hear this one tastes better than the last set of holiday sodas, bur frankly I think the whole idea of these sodas has gotten out of hand. They just can't make them cheap enough to be worth buying, so nobody buys them, and they just wind up (still too expensive) on the discount rack after the holiday is over. For holiday candy varieties? That seems to work. Soda? Not so well.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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