(Volume 1 in a possible series - depending on what other interesting stuff I find to drink)
Despite the label, strange-nosed, ethnic-looking children are not one of the main flavoring ingredients - at least not as disclosed by Jones.
Just like Orangina, 7-Up, or Dr. Pepper, Jones Bacon Soda tells you exactly what it will taste like from the name on the label.
But before I get into the real meat of this review - and other tasty puns - I’d like to be perfectly clear as to how I came into possession of this (or any) meat flavored soda. Quite simply, it’s known far and wide that I love the taste of bacon. And my brother thought this would make an interesting Hanukkah gift. He was right.
I’m pretty sure if I saw this soda in a grocery store, I’d be tempted to buy a bottle. So it’s quite possible I would have tried this on my own anyway. But as usual, my bro beat me to the punch and bought me a gift that I didn’t even know I wanted until after I received it.
To be clear, Jones does not use any real swine or swine-derived products in this soda. It’s 100% vegetarian, and only includes nearly 100% artificial flavors and colors. I’m pretty sure that’s the only way it could be made, considering it contains 0% pork.
Perusing the ingredients list provides few clues to the presumably earthly origin of this beverage. There’s not a whole lot there that seems out of the ordinary for any soft drink. I can’t say for sure that every soda I’ve ever tried contains propylene glycol alginate, but I also can’t say for sure that this isn't an ingredient commonly found in oven cleaner.
Further perusal of the label teaches us that this beverage has zero fat, and only 10 calories per bottle - definitely not bacon-like attributes. But on the other hand, a single bottle contains over 500 milligrams of sodium - 21% of the US RDA. I’d go out on a limb to say that this a shitload of salt to find in a soft drink. But maybe not too much to find in a bacon soft drink.
Now for the official tasting notes.
The liquid itself is a deep ruby red with purple highlights. It looks like beet juice, or maybe pig’s blood mixed with beet juice. Neither of those are listed in the ingredients, so this description is just for your mind’s eye. It pours a fizzy pale pink head of rapidly dissipating foam, leaving only a wisp of ephemeral lacing on the glass. I was also going to use the word "gossamer," but that sounds stupid, particularly when describing bacon soda.
A sulfurous, smoky nose overwhelms the nostrils and confuses the brain. Is this bacon and egg flavored soda? Is this stuff safe to drink? It doesn’t really smell much like bacon unless you use your imagination. Maybe it smells more like a pan in which bacon had been cooked three days ago, and then left out in the sun and urinated on by a cat, and then allowed to heat up again to boil off most of the cat urine. MOST, but not all of the urine.
This shit tastes like bacon. It’s weird. It actually kinda tastes like bacon. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. It’s sweet, smoky, and salty all at once, with slightly sulfurous, minerally, cat pee undertones. It’s as if the cat had eaten a lot of nutrasweet, or sucralose before peeing in that pan - lending an artificial flavor to that sweetness. (Note: do not feed your cat massive amounts of nutrasweet or sucralose and then see if their piss tastes strangely sweet. This will give your cat brain cancer, and make you a fucking maniac.)
There is something oily about this soda. It coats your mouth in a way that soda really should not do. Maybe it’s the propylene glycol alginate. I certainly hope that’s all it is.
VERY, VERY LOW. I would say it is almost impossible to drink 12 ounces of this stuff in a single sitting. I defy you to do so without a Coca-Cola chaser. Or even a whiskey chaser. I really appreciate the novelty of the bacon flavor. But the thought of drinking a full serving of this makes me a little nauseous. It might actually be good as a flavor component of deep-fried sweet and sour pork. I will send Paula Deen an email about this immediately.
If you like bacon, I would recommend you try Jones Bacon-flavored soda. But be prepared to dump out most of it. In other words, five out of five stars, and 10 Michelin diamonds.
Just kidding, 3 out of 10.