The Taste of Reckoning

I’ve been waiting to review Appletieser for some time and now that sometime is Friday afternoon. In the past, I’ve been blocked by cost-prohibition and the fact that the first time I tried ordering it, Amazon sent me Grapetiser. If you haven’t read that post, yet, go do it. Now.

I found a shop in Los Angeles that sells Appletiser by the can at $2.95. That doesn’t seem like a lot, and in reality it’s about on par with some of the other beverages I purchased. The downside was shipping. It was $12 to send the can roughly 400 miles up the coast of California. I suppose this was still cheaper than driving down there and buying it in person.

When it arrived, I had to let it chill for a bit. UPS trucks don’t have A/C so I hope the fact that it was rather warm when it arrived hasn’t spoiled it.

At first smell, I notice the plesant apple scent followed by… pasta? It’s super subtle, though and might be something else masquerading as something starchy.

At first taste, I’m plesantly surprised. With how Grapetiser turned out, I was expecting Appletiser to fall somewhere in the tastes like cat litter spectrum. I’m sorry I doubted you, Appletiser.

The flavor is subtle and definitely doesn’t match the intensity of an American sparkling apple juice. This likely has to do with the different and less added sugar. I’d bet they use green apples in this beverage and if you’re an apple eater, you know they’re not super sweet but rather tart. It’s as if they took straight pressed apple juice and carbonated it. Nothing fancy.

Plus, there’s no aftertaste. This was something I was genuinely worried about and am happy to know it’s not making an appearance.

Being crisp and fresh without looking gaudy or over the top in packaging is nice to experience. It’s fancy without being fancy, and it seems to be popular enough that people drink it in multiple countries. Judging the packaging by itself, there’s some room for improvement. The can looks very similar to Grapetiser and I wasn’t a huge fan in that camp, either.

Would I drink this again? Probably. Would I pay $12 for a can? Definitely not. If I ever travel to a country that sells it, I’ll definitely be sure to grab some.


That's Not How this Works

Alternate Title: Grape Juice and Anuses.

For part three of my International Beverage Bonanza series (also check out parts one and two), we’re taking a trip to South Africa for one of the selections in the ’tiser series: Grapetiser.

Gracing it us with its presence is a 12oz can, also the size of the middle-sized Red Bull. It comes from Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages, It’s tall and narrow compared to a typical 12 oz can that’s a bit more squatty. It’s not inherently a Coca-Cola product as Coca-Cola purchased TJC Holdings in 2006 and became CCSB. Grapetiser came about in 1981 in both red and white grape variations. I’m taking a look at the white grape version.

Presentation is subdued and lacking a bit of class. I can’t tell what market this is for: fancy or convenience store? That’s about it for the gentle stuff because what lies beyond is… well you be the judge.

I had super high hopes for this drink. I love grape juice and I love sparkling beverages, but this just wasn’t good. I’m not sure what they did to it, but the inital taste was sweet (good), transitioning into tart (also good), then a butthole (yeah…).

Not sure what their standards are in South Africa but if ass is on the menu, I’ll go ahead and skip it. I triple checked what I bought and it wasn’t expired. I even tried another can and got more of the same (yeah, I bought a six-pack of asswater).

If you’re reading this and thinking “oh he’s just an American that drinks HFCS all the time, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” My response is that before you kindly leave, note that I’m not a huge fan of HFCS. Just about everything I drink doesn’t contain it, anymore, unless I can’t avoid it. I bid you good day.

For those that stayed, please don’t waste your time on this one. In a future post, I’ll cover another -tiser, Appletiser, but being 0-1 on this line doesn’t give me high hopes.

Taste: 2/10 – I’d give it zero points but the inital taste was quite good… nowhere close enough to cancel out the sphincter tinge.

Presentation: 6/10 – The packaging is decent but for a drink that looks like it’s branded as a higher-class beverage, it could be a bit less muted.

Desire: 0/10 – If someone handed me a can of this, I’d throw it at them… hard.


Forget How to Spell with Irn Bru

Is that jello and pasta sauce, I smell?

Following up my Lucozade review, I went straight into number two with Irn Bru in my International Beverage Bonanza series. I kid you not, that’s how to spell it. I’m pretty sure it’s pronounced Iron Brew. I think the lack of iron makes you forget how to spell properly.

Irn Bru is in a rather unassuming clear bottle, looking more like a 16oz soda than a carbonated citrus drink with 5% of your daily recommended amount of iron. Unlike the last orange beverage thing I tried, this one has some flavor. Some odd flavor.

Remember, as a kid, when the dentist put fluoride in your mouth to poison your mind for your teeth and you got to pick a flavor? Yeah. This brings back those memories. While I wondered for 20 minutes what Lucozade tasted like, I have no doubts what Irn Bru is trying to get after. Ever drink orange gelatin before it set?

I really hate that I’m making myself drink 12 oz of this mind-altering fluoride water bubble juice. I’m having a really hard time figuring this drink out. The flavor is so crazy compared to how innocuous it looks.

Then again, as a kid, I always wanted more of the tasty fluoride foam so the Illuminati could become supreme overlords I could get more of that orange flavor. As I drink it, it’s becoming addicting. Irn Bru is a British Scottish drink that’s lying to me, you, to the Queen, and to all of Her Majesty’s KingdomTM. The latter half is fine because of its Scottish roots; I hear the Scots have some beef with England.

If I took the wrapper off and told someone it was a new kind of Crush orange soda, they’d believe me.

Did I mention the spelling? Oh, I did. I’ll just get back to drinking it.

Besides the 5% DV of iron per serving, there’s little nutritional value. At 200 calories, 50 carbs (100% of which is sugar), and a measly 20mg of Sodium, this is true sugar water.

One thing worth noting here is Irn Bru found in the United States contains different ingredients than the UK version. The UK version uses Ponceau 4R (Europe: E-124) for coloring, a coloring not approved by the United Stated Food and Drug Administration for use in food, where as the US version uses FD&C Yellow Number 6 (Also known as Sunset Yellow FCF; Europe: E-110). Like anything FD&C is much better, right?

Barr’s has made a legit attempt to make sure Irn Bru is as US legit as possible. It comes with a North American UPC label and everything.

Taste – 2/10. The logical side of me is having a hard time with this flavor. Seven-year-old me is metaphorically losing his mind. If my inner child were writing this review, it would be a 10/10.

Presentation – 5/10. The package screams “Meh!” and Irn Bru’s bland packaging is definitely hiding something. In the right light, the liquid looks like dark urine. Take that for what it’s worth.

Desire – 2/10. Again, like the taste, adult Johnathan is nearing repulsion. Seven-year-old me is now spazzing out.

Overall – 9/30. If you’re over the age of seven, don’t even think about it. The exception is those who drink jello before it sets or they have odd fixations with funky-ass citrus flavors.

I picked this one up at the Aussie Products store for a few bucks but it can be had online in many places, including Amazon and UK Goods.

Special thanks to Aussie Products for the hookup on this one, even though I technically paid for it. If you’re in the San Jose, CA area and are feeling that down under tingle, go check them out or visit aussieproducts.com.


page 1 of 2