June 14, 2011

Make 7, Up Yours...7UP Retro Review

It's been a while since I've done a full beverage review.  Why?  Besides the fact that my wife and I have been working on reducing our sugar intake, nothing has grabbed my attention.  I'm sure most people who follow my Twitter account or read my blog regularly, have seen that Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback are now back for good.  These are the "real sugar" varieties of the originals.  Dr. Pepper has also done the real sugar thing.  And now 7UP, the uncola, is doing it.
Apparently, if you are a Celebrity Apprentice fan you already knew this was coming, but I'm not a fan.  I did hear about it through the grapevine (my wife), but I only heard about the lame can designs.  When I saw these glass bottles in the store for the first time, I got excited and purchased a 6-pack.  The green glass, retro logo styling, and the use of real sugar made this Retro a "must review" for this amateur.  I mean, it's an excuse to drink a soda and voice my opinion, with some obvious stuff to write about.  Like all my reviews, I smelled it first, poured it into a glass with 3 pieces of ice (to prevent too much diluting) and reviewed the color, bubbles, and taste.

Smell, Color, and Bubbles:
There is nothing to report for smell. There wasn't a smell.  I even had my wife check it.  There was maybe a super subtle hint of lemon/lime, but it was so super subtle the smell could have been from earlier at dinner, when I squeezed lime on my taco salad.  Weird huh?  Actually, in reviewing the label, it's printed in big letters over the "nutrition facts" that this beverage "CONTAINS NO JUICE".
Interesting enough the color goes right along with the smell.  There is no color.  In fact, some people in the more rural areas around me might think their drinking water has more color than this soda.

The bubbles were huge.  In contrast, the Pepsi Natural's and Pepsi Throwback's bubbles were much smaller, which I thought might have to do with the sugar verses HFCS.  I might have been wrong.  I'm no scientist, you know.  It's probably just the CO2 they use.  Anyway, big bubbles were nice, giving the drink a really crisp texture.

Taste:
At first, I recognized the familiar 7UP flavor.  It made me think of being home, sick from school growing up. My mom would treat me to 7UP and Nabisco Saltine Crackers.  But, I enjoying this Retro 7UP. In the 90 degree shade of my backyard, while I watched my boys play in the water from the garden hose, I ended up finding the 7UP incredibly refreshing.  It wasn't heavy or too sweet.  It wasn't overly flavorful or dramatic.  It was bubbling, cool, crisp and refreshing goodness, with a subtle hint of lemon/lime (which is not lemon or lime, since it CONTAINS NO JUICE).
What it does contain is water, sugar, acid, natural flavors, and some other stuff I'm sure is okay for you in moderation.  All-in-all, I give this a thumbs up.  I felt refreshed and really enjoyed the drink.  I love the look.  I enjoyed the taste.  And with NO CAFFEINE, I can drink it at night and not worry about being kept up late.  YES!, I'm that old now, and drinks that contain caffeine affect me at night.

Good job 7UP.  I was actually ready to knock you as "the uncola".  I had a conversation with a Pepsi marketing person this week, who told me "7UP is called the UNCOLA for a reason, because it is".  And, while I'm not sure I understood her meaning, I think she was saying 7UP is not her competition for Pepsi.  Though this may be true, and Sierra Mist Natural may be outselling 7UP (which I say, not based on fact, but pure speculation), 7UP did a good job here with the Retro 7UP.  I hope this brings some good brand recognition to them.  I think commercials they SHOULD run need to include the "Make 7, Up Yours" campaign from back a few years ago.  Nevertheless, Dr. Pepper/Seven UP, Inc. is doing some interesting things and I hope it works for them.