Yeah, it’s been a while since I posted anything about soda pops. But then, when Dr. Pepper keeps trying to put out a cherry version of their soda and Dew coming out with different flavors to expand THAT branding beyond any sense, I didn’t see any use. Besides, there were more important issues (like why the American Car Companies were dying, and why all the celebrations over their coming demise). Pepsi Natural seemed to be trying too hard to justify its name (and a bit too expensive to boot) to be worth a review here.
But Pepsi did something different: Put out their old recipes for their sodas. More specifically, these two items:
That’s right, the original Pepsi and Mountain Dew. Complete with Sugar. Not sure if it’s cane sugar or genetically modified beet sugar, but it’s sugar nevertheless. They each also have a few fewer ingredients than the present items (Pepsi now has BOTH sugar and HFCS; Dew adds Orange Juice amongst other things).
The Pepsi I knew right away was better than the stuff they put out nowadays as Pepsi. From the first sip to the way the taste holds up as it warms up to the smell as you work on those last drops; this was the old Pepsi that I remember drinking, the Pepsi that challenged Coke (and nearly passed Coke as the #1 cola before the New Coke made the Pepsi Challenge passe). Pure Sodapop Heaven! And to think that for years Pepsico accepted that Pepsi would have what some of us (me included) would describe as a dirty taste on the back of the throat!
Mountain Dew presented a challenge, as I think they handled the changeover better with that pop. The addition of Orange Juice added some flavor that seemed to make up for the effect of the HFCS. Indeed, I had to try the two out side-by-side to recognize the differences.
But those differences came up clear with the side-by-side. The HFCS Mountain Dew has a heavier taste that sticks close to the tongue and becomes bitter towards the back, whereas the Throwback Mountain Dew has a light flavor that rises in the mouth as you swallow it. Yes, I know that description sounds funny (“How does a flavor rise when it goes down the throat?”), but that’s how it feels to my mouth.
Overall, I would say the Pepsi Throwback is very much a success. The Mountain Dew is more up in the air to me, as I’d like the stronger flavor without the back-of-the-throat bitterness of the present day Dew.
And this comes from someone with TOO MUCH knowledge of what pops taste/tasted like.