This is probably the last Fentimans drink I’ll be reviewing for a while (I previously reviewed their Dandelion & Burdock, Rose Lemonade, Mandarin & Seville Orange, and Curiosity Cola) – there are too many other interesting things out there for me to focus on one product line indefinitely. So, without further ado, here is the fourth and final one: Fentimans Botanically Brewed Curiosity Cola.
I know what you’re thinking – a cola? How can you do anything interesting with cola? There are a hundred different varieties out there, but most people still prefer Coke or Pepsi. Well, I’ve had a couple of “traditional” colas in the past, and while they were definitely familiar tasting, they did have a different sort of taste than the mass-market varieties I’m used to. So, I had high hopes for Fentimans’ version. How did it do?
Taste: The first thing I noticed about Curiosity Cola is that it isn’t very sweet at all. The initial taste is sharp, faintly bitter, followed by smoothness with a fine carbonation. There’s a brief flash of sugar in the middle of all that, but it fades just as quickly as it arrived, replaced by more bitterness. Note that when I say “bitter”, I don’t mean “Moxie” – I just mean that the taste is hard-edged with a bit of a bite, lacking sweetness. There’s a very nice hint of spice in this cola, and it lingers on your tongue for a few seconds after you’ve finished each sip. It almost reminded me a bit of a very light Vanilla Pepsi, or even a tiny slash of spiced rum thrown into the soda. There’s a very faint hint of fermentation, but it’s difficult to notice. The aftertaste is quite mild, and like all of Fentimans’ sodas you’ll find that the flavor is volatile – here one minute, gone the next. Drink this one in under ten minutes – it will go flat if you let it sit for too long.
Presentation: I still maintain that Fentimans’ bottles are quite nice – the custom glass makes them stand out on the shelf, and also makes me feel good about picking up something unique. Still, the labels are as bit generic and out of place as far as their shape is concerned.
Would I buy it again? Probably. There aren’t that many unique colas on the market (at least not in Maine), and since I’m not a big fan of regular soda’s excessive sweetness I’m liable to give this one another go.
Rating: 3.5/5 Forks