Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kotas Reviews Limeade Oreos

I enjoy fruit flavored confections generally. Some are terrible, but most of them manage to at least somewhat resemble the flavor they are attempting. Then there are things like today's entry, which are somewhat baffling. Let's dive into the oddity that is Limeade Oreos.

Because SOMEONE demanded it!

Well, this certainly is a package that screams "Limeade Oreo", and I think the packaging is pretty attractive. The real trick is to make it taste as good as the package looks. I've had pretty good success with fruit flavored Oreos, generally. The Berry and Lemon ones taste pretty darn good, though I absolutely hated the Watermelon ones. Still, a 66% success rate is promising, and frankly a Lime flavored cookie would be right up my alley. So why in the heck is this a Limeade cookie and not just a straight Lime cookie? Maybe the graphic for a lime was kind of lame? Eh, the Root Beer ones were pretty decent, so let's see what these puppies look like. 

Does this scream Limeade to you?

Well, it sure looks like a Lime cookie. The scent is "vanilla cookie with a hint of lime". I, for one, am simply shocked at this amazing development. These pass the twist off test without any problems, and they look pretty sharp. The flavor is pretty good, with a light lime creaminess that is quite refreshing in the mouth, though I really wish the lime came through stronger. As it stands, it's nice, but it could be better. The vanilla cookie was the right choice, evoking a lime pie-esque after taste that is pleasant if not spectacular. The creme by itself is also pretty tasty. With milk, the lime flavor is more muted and the creaminess accentuated, and that's not bad, but not great either. I just don't get where the -ade part comes in. I was hoping for a bit more effervescence or something, but as it is it's just a lightly lime flavored cookie. It's good, but a little disappointing.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 1 smiley face. I like them, but they do not seem like Limeade cookies, only like Lime cookies that aren't trying hard enough. These could really benefit from a stronger lime flavor, about on par with the Lemon ones. Try them out, if you like flavored Oreos and artificial fruit flavoring. Just don't expect anything particularly surprising.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kotas Reviews Cinnamon and Sugar Pringles

Limited Edition foods are a perplexing beast. On one hand, they are often used for things that make sense: Seasonal Treats, Test Market flavors, and so on. On the other hand, they are a crass marketing ploy designed to create a false sense of scarcity. The McRib is a prime offender here. Sometimes though, it seems like people use it as an excuse to create some of the weirdest things ever. With that, I bring you to today's specimen: Cinnamon and Sugar Pringles

The taste sensation that is sweeping an angry man in marketing's nation.
I do like Pringles. Something about those completely processed chips, each one more identical than the last one just scratches my "everything must be orderly" itch. That they taste very strongly of potato and salt does not hurt. They also tend to feel a lot less greasy than a more traditional chip such as Lay's. I like Pringles is what I'm saying, though not every flavor is a winner. I can honestly say that I never felt that Pringles would be enhanced in any way by the application of cinnamon or sugar, to say nothing of BOTH. Will this finally be the combination that brings potato chips into the dessert realm?

I'm going to go with no.

Well, they certainly look exactly as you would expect. Pringle crisps covered in a reddish brown dust. The excitement is palpable, let me tell you. The scent is...Pringles and a light cinnamon-y sweet scent. Again, be still my beating heart. The flavor is pretty much a lightly salted Pringle with some cinnamon and sweetness added. It's a little odd, but not unpleasant. Pretty munchable really, though it is certainly not something I would crave. This is by far the most Exactly What It Says On The Tin food I have reviewed up to this point. 

On the FACE Rating System, I give this zero faces. It is what it is, but what it is is not what I particularly want, though I wouldn't be upset if I had some. I simply cannot imagine a time in my life when I will say "Boy, I sure do wish I had some Cinnamon and Sugar Pringles right about now", but I certainly can imagine eating them if they suddenly appeared. I don't feel they would make a good dessert though, since they don't have enough culinary robustness to carry an entire meal, even if that meal is just dessert. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kotas Reviews Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses and the Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Red Velvet Pumpkin

Hello everyone! I've been taking a bit of a break recently due to a variety of reasons, but now we're back with...more Halloween stuff. Yeah, I know, Halloween was weeks ago, but the plethora of leftover candy has kept me in a bit of a candy coma for a while. Still, I'm back now, and boy do we have some treats for you. First up, Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses.

Ain't she a beaut?
Hershey's Kisses are one of the best ways to enjoy their rather uniquely American take on chocolate, being big enough to be satisfying, yet small enough not to feel like you are gorging yourself. This combines to let you look wistfully into the empty bag and wonder what exactly just happened. Still, I am generally dubious of anything that goes outside the usual parameter of "chocolate, and nothing else". Let's have a look see!

Very underwhelming, really.
These look less like a traditional Hershey Kiss, and more like the inferior white chocolate cousin, the Hershey Hug. Hugs are, at best, something to eat when you want some candy, but have nothing better. I do not particularly care for white chocolate, and Hugs get no love from me. Then again, maybe this one will be the flavored candy that alters my opinion.

A box without hinges, key or lid, yet inside whitish goo is hid!
Well, they certainly smell pumpkin spicey. Much more spice than pumpkin, yet there is a hint of it. Instead of being a solid candy all the way through, this one is a very soft center coated in a durable waxy shell. The Kiss doesn't lend itself well to this sort of thing usually but in this case, it seems to be fairly well done. The flavor is like eating a bit of heavily spiced gingerbread wax filled with some sort of creamy...something. It is incredibly artificial tasting, but it's not bad if you like nutmeg and gingerbread. There might be the barest hint of pumpkin flavor, but I couldn't find it.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 1 frowny face. They really aren't terrible or anything, but I would describe them as a good presentation of a terrible recipe. The flavor is not pumpkin, but it is spice...gingerbread spice. The mouth feel is waxy and unappealing. I did enjoy the foil though, and the little paper flag is of the highest quality. Not really recommended except for that rare breed of Hershey Kiss Completionist.

Next up from the bargain bin we have the Russell Stover Red Velvet Dark Chocolate Pumpkin. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? There are a large, LARGE number of different flavored candy pumpkins that Russell Stover produces each year, and this one comes from the veritable wall that my local drug store had for sale.

Look at that face! It just screams "legitimate pumpkin candy".
Russell Stover is what I call a "low tier" chocolate maker. They put out a huge variety of average quality chocolates, along with a cornucopia of themed sweets. They are at their best when you want a lot of different kinds of chocolate confections in one box, for cheap, but their theme items are only fair to middlin' in flavor. Great on price though! Let's see what mysteries await us!

That's not very pumpkin-y. It could just as easily be an ornament shape.

Now it is even less pumpkin than before!

Well, I can't say I'm excited to see this. I am not sure what I was expecting, but this is really just a candy disk with a nub at one end. It could be almost anything, so I suppose pumpkin is as likely as any other vaguely round object with a distinctive appendage. It smells of dark chocolate and...maybe devil's food cake. This is actually an encouragement, since Red Velvet cake is just Devil's Food cake with some food coloring and a good marketing department.

The flavor is, in a phrase "fucking terrible". The chocolate makes a bold attempt at being something worth eating, but it has too much of that cheap, artificial flavor to pull it off. The filling tastes like sand mixed with sugar, paste and suffering. The thing actually crunches as I chew it, as if I were consuming aquarium gravel or possibly ground glass. I managed to choke down half of the thing, and gave the other half to my long suffering wife. She boldly consumed as much as I did, and for that, I owe her. I did not gag though, so I suppose that's a plus.

On the FACE Rating System, this travesty gets 3 frowny faces. Stay the hell away from it, unless you hate yourself. Wash it down with  Bud Light Chelada for that authentic taste of misery and despair. Leftover candy is not all it is cracked up to be, that is for sure!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Kotas Reviews Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Now that I have recovered from Halloween shenanigans, it's time to get back to work! Then, after work, in my free time, write up reviews of things I sampled Halloween Weekend. Today's experiment comes courtesy of the lovely people who brought it to the Halloween party I attended (in costume). I do not know who brought it, but they have certainly given me something to write about! Ladies, Gentlemen, my Tens of Fans, I present to you, Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

It's Original because it says so!
This look pretty much like, well, a bottle of beer. The label looks like what you would expect from a domestic beer trying to disguise itself as an import, but I like it well enough. I mean, come on it has thistles on it! At least I think those are thistles. Let's crack it open!

Pinkie extended for proper form.

The smell is pleasantly ginger-ish, but not that overwhelming hit of GINGER that some non-alcoholic ginger beers like to bowl you over with. It smells nice and refreshing, actually. Most of the time when I sniff non-alcoholic ginger beer I get walloped in the nose with this wave of hyper gingerness, but not in this case! Now, for the sampling!

Why yes, I WILL take the Physical Challenge
This is a tasty beverage. It's nice and ginger-y, definitely a step above your mass market ginger ales, but it's not completely punch-you-in-the-mouth gingery. This will not clear our your sinuses from drinking it, but on the plus side, you can actually drink and enjoy it without too much trouble. Very refreshing, and you can hardly taste the booze. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about boozing it up with sweeter things.

On the FACE Rating System, I give this 2 smiley faces. Definitely not what I expected, but I was nicely surprised at how tasty and drinkable this beverage is. If you don't like ginger, avoid this, but for everyone else? Give it a try!