Sunday, December 25, 2005

The League (with Special Guest: Steanso) Taste Tests the Jones Soda Holiday Collection

The League is usually full of bad ideas, and, upon occasion, bad ideas that affect other people. Part of the new and improved Steans/ McBride gift exchange is the placement of "Santor" gifts under the tree.

This year, in addition to an unopened Richard Marx album which had been following The League around since 1996, Santor also gifted the visiting Steanso with the Jones Soda Holiday Collection. Apparently we got the National release vs. the regional release. In either case, I am fairly certain the results would have been similar.

Jeff the Cat takes a look at the collection.

Steanso carefully considers the journey upon which we are about to embark.

The collection includes five Holiday Dinner flavors, a spork and a moist towlette.
We took a wee wiff of each flavor before beginning the taste test.

Brussel Sprouts.

Turkey & Gravy

Wild Herb Stuffing

Pumpkin Pie

Cranberry. Which we spilled all over the counter and floor. It's okay. It's a taste test, not a "let's drink the whole bottle test." We used to have those, but it didn't involve soda. We called that "college."

Allrighty. Each of the Bros. Steans got a tiny, holiday and/ or animal themed cup with a tatse of the soda, plus some ice to keep it chilly.

The League hates Brussel Sprouts more than we hate Candian Baby-Eaters, but we also brought this upon ourselves, so it's up to us to go forward and take the first drink. At this point, the smell was already getting to me, and I wanted to call an abort on the whole plan. Unfortunately, the Bros. Steans are really good at egging each other on into unknown and foolish territory.

We had picked Brussel Sprouts first, knowing it had, by far, the foulest smell, and we might as well get it out of the way.

If evil has a taste, it's Brussel Sprout soda. Mother of Christ. Every animal instinct in my body kicked in, fight or flight alarms going off in my head. I almost vomited, even with just the tiniest taste of Brussel Sprout Soda in my mouth.

Luckily, Jamie was on hand with a canister of Tic-tacs.

At this point I beg for an abort and to discontinue the process, but Steanso is having none of it.

Steanso takes a sip. Unfortunately, the reaction shot here isn't really captured. I believe his exact words were "Jesus Christ (Bleep)".

He also had a Tic-Tac.

Steanso was up at bat and went for the Turkey and Gravy Soda.

Don't be fooled. It's not a smile. That's the same look Steanso gets when he's about to stand up and punch you in the mouth. You can't punch Turkey & Gravy Soda in the mouth. Notice, he's sweating. His fight or flight instincts have also kicked in.

The League also finds Turkey & Gravy soda unpleasant, but after Brussel Sprout soda, T&G tastes like a fine wine. It really has little taste at all, for which, in this case, we're eternally grateful.

Next up, Wild Herb Stuffing. We LOVE herb stuffing. Just not so much in soda form. It doesn't really smell like much of anything, but the color is that of a day-old colostomy bag. Nothing good can come of this. But, when we're done, we have only two more sodas left, and they're desert sodas. So, bottoms up.

Ughhhh... not good. And now my stomach is hurting from tasting bad things. We don't want to ever eat anything ever again.

Pumpkin Pie! Mmm-mmm! Steanso takes a sip, hoping for the smooth flavor of Mom's pumpkin pie. He is non-plussed and a bit repulsed.

The League almost throws up again. Pumpkin-pie is delicious. I have no idea what those bastards at Jones Soda were up to, but this ain't pumpkin. I spit and spit, feeling my stomach trying to squeeze out the poison which isn't even there.

This one was a surprise. I had expected it to be sort of okay, but instead it was like getting kicked in the crotch by your favorite aunt.

Last soda! Cranberry! Or, more accurate, gelatin cranberry sauce artificial flavoring! Steanso gives the "sign of the devil" as he prepares to take his final sip.

Delicious? Well, it didn't cause wretching.

It smells like cranberry juice cocktail, which The League likes a lot.

It doesn't not taste like cranberries, but our stomach is full of glass shards, our mouth is going numb and, if we were alone right now, we'd probably sit in the corner, rocking and crying ourself to sleep.

All in all, a Christmas Day miracle.

What you can't tell here is that I'm angry. I'm not really sure why, but it's that same sort of angry you get when you've just been through something pretty awful, like almost getting hit by a car, and you're just pissed. That's how I felt pretty much until I went to bed.

A novelty soda is a novelty soda, and The League had to learn this the hard way. Steanso deserves a gold star for putting up with this taste test, let alone partaking.


After reviewing the Taste Test post, Jamie asked if I would do this over again knowing what I know now.

I want to say "Of course!", but I'm gonna be honest with you... I wouldn't voluntarily drink any of these things again. Did I learn anything? No. My sense of smell forewarned me, my sense of taste confirmed it. My lizard brain knew enough not to drink this piss, and I went ahead and did it anyway. Sometimes you should really go with your gut.

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