Tasting the Sweetness

So we have decided to try something new around here this year. Because we are all about soft drinks here at the Dr Pepper Museum (Check out our mission statement.), we have decided to spend a few minutes each month trying out different soft drinks that we haven’t had before. Quite a few of us got in on the action:
Staff getting ready to taste some new soft drinksJack, our Executive Director
Jennie, Director of Administration
Gabe, Exhibits Manager
Krista, Communications Coordinator
Charlie, Research and IT Coordinator
Bill, Director of the W. W. “Foots” Free Enterprise Institute
Jessica, Programs Manager
Margaret, Interpretation Associate
and myself – Joy, Associate Director.

So for our first round, we tried two different sodas from a brand I ran across at HEB last week. Here is the rundown of the brand:

4 pack carton of Dewberry soda and The Ultimate Caramel Cola along with our rating sheet.What: Boots Beverages, distributed by Kristen Distributing Co
From: Bellville, Texas
Purchased at: HEB, Waco, Texas
Flavors we tried: Dewberry Soda and The Ultimate Caramel Cola
Other Flavors: Coconut Cream Soda, Sarsaparilla Root Beer, Picture Show Red Hot Soda
Production Start Date: September 2013

Interesting Facts:
The drinks are inspired by flavors popular in the 1950s.
Kristen Distributing Company has been a family run business since the 1930s.  It was originally known as Bellville Bottling Works.
Each flavor of Boots Beverage line is dedicated to a member of Kristen family that worked for the company in the 1950s. The line is itself is named for the current CEO’s father who went by the nickname Boots.  The photograph on the packaging for the Dewberry flavor is actually current CEO Mark Kristin as a child in the 1950s.
The soft drinks are naturally flavored and sweetened with cane sugar.
You can learn more about Boots Beverage line here.

Jessica is gettin ready to have her first sipSo what did we rate during our tasting? Smell, effervescence, flavor and overall appeal of the drinks. I thought that with as many people as we had participating that we would have a wide range of opinions, but we didn’t. Dewberry was the preferred drink.

Dewberry Soda
Dewberry wasn’t a flavor that many of us had come across before. The image on the package made us think of blackberries, but we all agreed that definitely wasn’t the flavor of the drink. We did discover that dewberries are native to the Texas area and that Cameron, Texas even has a festival devoted to this delicious berry. The smell and flavor of this drink kept reminding us of Jolly Ranchers, or Jell-O, or even popsicles. I even thought it was combo of grapes and berries.3.1 soft drink bottle rating for Dewberry Soda

Overall we thought Dewberry was somewhat refreshing with a mild smell and had a good bubbly mouth feel. We did wish that the berry flavor had a little more to it because the flavor seemed to disappear after a few sips. Overall score, 3.1 soft drink bottles out of 5.

My favorite comment from our staff – Jell-O without having to wait an hour – YUM!

The Ultimate Caramel Cola
I picked this out of the product line up for us to try because I thought it sounded interesting. I could see caramel and cola being a good combination. The smell and flavor kept reminding us of pancakes and caramel popcorn, but we thought the cola seemed a bit lacking. Because the tart taste of cola was muted, the drink seemed overly sweet at times.2.1 soft drink bottle rating for The Ultimate Caramel Cola

Overall, the mouth feel was smooth instead of bubbly. There was a suggestion of an aftertaste that wasn’t the most pleasant. The word medicinal was even used by one person. Overall, 2.1 soft drink bottles out of 5.

My favorite comment from our staff – It leaves me wanting pancakes!  (I’m in favor of that!)

Now we’ll take our empty bottles back to Charlie so that these two soft drinks will be permanently preserved in our collection because we are all about the collection and preservation of items related to the soft drink industry – the other part of our mission.

Has anyone had these new soft drinks before?  What did you think?


The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15.  For more information, visit us on the web at drpeppermuseum.com. To purchase your own
Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.

2014-02-04T16:32:59-05:00February 4th, 2014|

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