Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock Traditional Botanically Brewed Soda

Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock Traditional Botanically Brewed Soda Review, Forkable

I’m not a big soda fan. Most of the popular ones are just too sweet for my taste. So, other than using cola or lemon/lime soda as a mixer, I really don’t drink much of the stuff. But having said that, I never pass up an opportunity to try a unique flavor – and you can’t get much more unique than dandelion and burdock. When Fia and I saw this soda by Fentimans on the shelf at the Natural Living Center, we knew right away it was something we had to review.

Fentimans Dandelion and Burdock Traditional Botanically Brewed Soda Review, Forkable

Price: Although Fentimans packages its Botanically Brewed sodas in four-packs, the store where we bought them marks each bottle for individual sale (likely because of the unique nature of the flavors, and also because they’re more expensive than a mass-market soda). A single bottle was $2.05 – pricier than Pepsi or Coke at the grocery store, but honestly not that much more than drinks at a convenience store. Basically, this soda is priced like a microbrew beer.

Taste:¬†The first thing that I noticed upon opening the bottle was that it smelled like cherry cough syrup – distinctly sweet and medicinal. Oddly enough, it didn’t actually¬†taste like cough syrup. The strongest flavors were a generically herbal flavor with hints of anise (imagine the aftertaste of absinthe, or even Moxie with a bit of licorice added) and a lingering bitterness. The carbonation was fairly light – enough that the drink almost seemed a little flat. Overall, the flavor of Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock is relatively mild, but definitely distinctive. I didn’t mind it, but I can’t say I really enjoyed it either.

Presentation: Fentimans uses a custom-molded glass bottle for all of its sodas. It has the look of an old patent medicine bottle. In my book, custom glass always gives a product a few extra points, and definitely makes me a little more likely to purchase it. The label is a simple paper oval sticker with a predominantly typographic design. It’s basic and fairly clean, but the type seems a bit cluttered to my eye. Also, the shape of the label doesn’t really fit with the design of the bottle. I wouldn’t say it’s a poor design, but it’s not quite unified.

Would I buy it again? Honestly, no. This soda tastes too much like medicine or some sort of dilute bitters for me to really enjoy it. I really like that Fentimans is putting out interesting and unusual drinks, and I’m absolutely game to taste other varieties, but I won’t be buying Dandelion & Burdock a second time.

Rating: 2/5 Forks

-Ian