May 6, 2006

Buried in Cream, and a Diet Aftertaste

There is currently a debate that rages within the shores of America that threatens to tear the fabric of our nation apart. It sectionalizes our country and has been the cause of many shouting matches which I have witnessed. This divisive issue is the nomenclature of carbonated beverages more officially known as soft drinks.

Some call these drinks “soda”. Others say the name is “pop”. Still another party insists the name is “soda pop”. The variations on these names seem endless, and the dispute has caused many difficulties over the years. Today, I confront one of those difficulties head on. It is my intention, however dangerous, to attempt to review Diet Berries’n Cream Dr. Pepper. Although I could skirt the issue by writing “soft drinks” constantly, I choose to step outside of boundaries and confront the squabble.

Roughly a week ago, Dr. Pepper began a marketing blitz pushing the “Berries’n Cream” flavor. The television commercials feature a man with a soda can glued to his lips. My eyes lit up when I saw this feature. The drink is so good that you can’t take it away from your mouth! If watching a young man fall down stairs because he is drinking Dr. Pepper doesn’t make you want to down some sodapop-pop-soda, nothing will.

The slogan, “get buried in cream” is slightly less enticing. More conventional burying, such as being buried in the sand at the beach, have never truly appealed to me. The saying also conjures up terrible memories of a disaster movie involving a Cool-Whip plant. Regardless of the slogan, Dr. Pepper’s marketing forced me to review their latest soda-pop-sodapop.

In doing this, I was at a slight disadvantage in that I have never tasted the “Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper”. If one is to review a highly modified cola, he or she should probably sample the original twice-flavored pop-sodapop-soda. I truly do not drink the fizzy stuff regularly, so I was forced to skip the Doctor’s first complex drink and dive into the second.

Berries’n Cream Dr. Pepper comes in both diet and original varieties. Unfortunately, the news stand where I secured the sodapop-pop-pop-soda-pop only offered diet. Certain portions of the population (myself included) have never learned to live with the aftertaste of a diet drink, so I crossed my fingers in hope that I would be buried in cream rather than Nutra-Sweet.

After taking my first swig of the pop-soda-sodapop-soda my first impression was that it contained more carbonation than regular Dr. Pepper. However, just after this thought I was struck by the fact that the carbonation tasted slightly creamy. Until tasting this concoction, I never knew it was possible to have creamy bubbles. Fortunately for the world, Dr. Pepper has learned how to achieve this feat.

There may have been a slight hint of a berry flavor present as well, but it was barely noticeable. It was present enough that no one should sue Dr. Pepper for false advertising and faulty labeling, but those with a fetish for fruit flavors shouldn’t be running to their nearest supermarket to pick up this drink, either. A better name would be Dr. Pepper’n Cream. Or perhaps it could be called “Creamy Dr. Pepper”. The current nomenclature is clearly attempting to cash in on the allure of complexity rather than any actual berry flavor.

But the final flavor that lingered in my mouth was the watery, somewhat bitter “diet aftertaste”. Diet Soda’s are undrinkable for many due to this problem, and I was unable to finish my bottle. Regular diet drinkers won’t notice anything wrong with this taste, as it is identical to the aftertaste of any other diet cola. However, those that like their sodas untainted will be gravely disappointed.

In the end, Diet Berries’n Cream Dr. Pepper was an interesting idea that promised more than it could deliver. I plan to sample the regular variation of the drink in hopes that it will be superior to its sister. Until then, the soda-pop-pop-soda only gets one out of five sporks for a very disappointing aftertaste and lack of berry flavor.

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